Banksy’s modern Nativity, revisited in 2018: Trump’s wall, and Jesus

December 16, 2018

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
==> Georges Santayana,
The Life of Reason, vol. 1: Reason in Common Sense)

Those who don’t pay attention to history are condemned to repeat it? Then, gods forbid we should have leaders among the condemned, and heaven keep us from joining their folly.

Hey, I’ve been putting this post up for most of a decade. It’s time for everyone to join Mr. Gorbachev, and tear down that wall. Which wall? That one. THAT one. Robert Frost noted, “Something there is that does not like a wall.” That something is God. Humanity. You. Your children. Act now.

Has there ever been a good wall that actually worked to keep trouble away? Do we need to rebuild the Berlin Wall in the Americas?

Thomas Nast helped bring down the crooks at Tammany Hall with cartoons. Boss Tweed, the chief antagonist of Nast, crook and leader of the Tammany Gang, understood that Nast’s drawings could do him in better than just hard hitting reporting — the pictures were clear to people who couldn’t read.

But a cartoon has to get to an audience to have an effect.

Here’s a cartoon below, a comment on the security wall being built in Israel, that got very little circulation in the west at Christmas time. Can you imagine the impact had this drawing run in newspapers in Europe, the U.S., and Canada?

It’s a mashup of a famous oil painting* related to the Christian Nativity, from a London-based artist who goes by the name Banksy. (Warning: Banksy pulls no punches; views shown are quite strong, often very funny, always provocative, generally safe for work unless you work for an authoritarian like Dick Cheney who wants no counter opinions.)

[That paragraph is a decade old; is there anyone who doesn’t know who Banksy is, today? Anyone besides me who didn’t see the movie?]

banksy-israels-wall-77721975_fda236f91a.jpg

Banksy’s modern nativity — does he ever bother to copyright his stuff, or would he rather you broadcast it?

*  At least I thought so in 2008.  I can’t find the painting now.  Anybody recognize a work underneath Banksy’s re-imagining?  Let us know in comments, eh?  Perhaps this one, by David Roberts?  Perhaps this engraving after Joseph M. W. TurnerTurner’s original? Plus, in 2008, most people said “Banksy who?”

Tip of the old scrub brush to Peoples Geography.

More, in 2011: 

More in 2012:

More in 2018:

 

This is an encore post.

Yes, this is an encore post. Defeating ignorance takes patience and perseverance.

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Making America great will make us free?

June 19, 2018

The great Lalo Alcatraz put truth in his cartooning pen. Damn, that hurts.

Lalo Alcaraz cartoon, what he saw at the child detention centers, June 19, 2018. Or something like that. Please share, he asks, for our #MAGA friends.

Lalo Alcaraz cartoon, what he saw at the child detention centers, June 19, 2018. Or something like that. Please share, he asks, for our #MAGA friends.

Sadly, Lalo Alcaraz got it right. How many steps down the road must a man take before we call him lost?

Shake of the old scrub brush to The Mexican Judge, Lalo Alcaraz hisownself.

 


Good thing it’s in German!

May 12, 2018

Cover of Germany's Der Spiegel, May 12, 2018, after President Donald Trump announced U.S. would no longer participate in nuclear non-proliferation agreement with Iran.

Cover of Germany’s Der Spiegel, May 12, 2018, after President Donald Trump announced U.S. would no longer participate in nuclear non-proliferation agreement with Iran.

But don’t judge a magazine by its cover. Go read the article, and more, at the magazine’s English language site:

Exit from Iran Deal

Trump Strikes a Deep Blow to Trans-Atlantic Ties

With his decision to blow up the Iran deal, U.S. President Donald Trump has thrown Europe into uncertainty and anxiety — and raised the specter of a new war in the Middle East. One thing is certain: the trans-Atlantic relationship has been seriously damaged

Brian Klaas also suggests Putin is eating Trump’s lunch and whipping U.S. silly in international war for hearts and minds.

Read this Der Spiegel editorial from Germany. America’s closest allies have lost faith in the United States because of Trump’s bullying & disrespect. Putin’s biggest foreign policy goal has been achieved: to weaken the West by splintering the NATO alliance

Do you think it’s that bad? What can we do about it? Comments are open.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Brian Klaas on Twitter.

 


UN/Lurie cartoon awards 2015 retrospective: 3rd Place to Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution-Journal

December 14, 2016

Cartoonist winners of the 2016 United Nations/Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Awards will be announced December 15, 2016.

American political cartoons come through a rich and glorious history. Cartoons held politicians’ feet to the fire throughout the 19th century, helped fight corruption and campaigned for wise growth policies. In the 20th century, political cartooons helped establish America’s rich conservation foundations, and again fought corruption, playing a huge role in the Watergate scandal exposure.

The UN/Lurie awards bring to us a world of good cartoons, often carrying powerful messages in images that require no translation. Anticipating the 2016 awards, we’re looking back at 2015 winners.

Here’s third prize winner in the UN/Lurie Awards for 2015, a year dominated by attacks on journalists and especially cartoonists which add an exclamation point to the powerful effects cartoons have in fighting for good. Third prize went to U.S. veteran cartoonist Mike Luckovich who draws for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

2015's 3rd prize in the UN/Lurie Political Cartoon Awards went to Mike Luckovich, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

2015’s 3rd prize in the UN/Lurie Political Cartoon Awards went to Mike Luckovich, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

AP World History teachers may want to keep that cartoon for document-based questions, noting the links to the French Revolution and revolutions through the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as events of 2014 and 2015.

 

 


UN/Lurie cartoon awards 2015 retrospective: 2nd Place, Raimundo Rucke, Brazil

December 13, 2016

A reminder, cartoonist winners of the 2016 United Nations/Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Awards will be announced December 15, 2016.

Truth in cartoons. Boss Tweed complained that his voters couldn’t read the news stories, but they could see the “damned pictures.” On the run, Tweed was captured in Spain when someone recognized him from the images drawn by Thomas Nast.

Fighting corruption across the globe.

Here’s the second place winner in the UN/Lurie Awards for 2015, to Raimundo Rucke, drawing for O Dia, in Brazil.

Second place cartoon in 2015's UN/Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Awards, to Raimundo Rucke, drawing for O Dia, in Brazil.

Second place cartoon in 2015’s UN/Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Awards, to Raimundo Rucke, drawing for O Dia, in Brazil.

What issues will dominate the 2016 contest, do you think?

 


UN/Lurie cartoon awards 2015 retrospective: 1st Place to Aristides Hernandez Guerrero

December 13, 2016

Cartoonist winners of the 2016 United Nations/Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Awards will be announced December 15, 2016.

Political cartoons pack a powerful punch, of information and political policy critique. Cartoonists are among the first to be censored when authoritarian governments move in, among the first to be attacked when radical, destructive political militants commit terror acts (as we saw in 2015).

Political cartoons record history, making them fertile materials for classroom use.

Here’s the first place winner in the UN/Lurie Awards for 2015. First place went to Cuban cartoonist, Aristides Hernandez Guerrero, for a cartoon in Courrier International:

First place cartoon in the 2015 UN/Lurie Political Cartoon Awards, by Aristides Hernandez Guerrero, in Courrier Political, Cuba.

First place cartoon in the 2015 UN/Lurie Political Cartoon Awards, by Aristides Hernandez Guerrero, in Courrier Political, Cuba.

 

 


With fondness, wishing it were true in 2016: Remembering “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving” by Thomas Nast, 1869

November 24, 2016

November 1869, in the first year of the Grant administration — and Nast put aside his own prejudices enough to invite the Irish guy to dinner, along with many others. (Nast tended not to like Catholics, and especially Irish Catholics.)

In a nation whose emotions are raw from a divisive election, violence from winning and losing the World Series and various other championships, nearly daily violence against people of color and unwarranted, horrifying assaults on police officers, not to mention daily horrors reported from Venezuela, Central America, East Timor and Indonesian New Guinea, Syria and the Middle East, could there be a better or more timely reminder of what we’re supposed to be doing?

A Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub tradition, Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving.

(Click for a larger image — it’s well worth it.)

Thomas Nast's "Uncle Sam's Thanksgiving," 1869 - Ohio State University's cartoon collection

Thomas Nast’s “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving,” 1869 – Ohio State University’s cartoon collection, and HarpWeek

As described at the Ohio State site:

“Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner” marks the highpoint of Nast’s Reconstruction-era idealism. By November 1869 the Fourteenth Amendment, which secures equal rights and citizenship to all Americans, was ratified. Congress had sent the Fifteenth Amendment, which forbade racial discrimination in voting rights, to the states and its ratification appeared certain. Although the Republican Party had absorbed a strong nativist element in the 1850s, its commitment to equality seemed to overshadow lingering nativism, a policy of protecting the interests of indigenous residents against immigrants. Two national symbols, Uncle Sam and Columbia, host all the peoples of the world who have been attracted to the United States by its promise of self-government and democracy. Germans, African Americans, Chinese, Native Americans, Germans, French, Spaniards: “Come one, come all,” Nast cheers at the lower left corner.

One of my Chinese students identified the Oriental woman as Japanese, saying it was “obvious.” Other friends say both are Chinese.  Regional differences.  The figure at the farthest right is a slightly cleaned-up version of the near-ape portrayal Nast typically gave Irishmen.

If Nast could put aside his biases to celebrate the potential of unbiased immigration to the U.S. and the society that emerges, maybe we can, too.

Hope your day is good; hope you have good company and good cheer, turkey or not. Happy Thanksgiving 2016.  And of course, remember to fly your flag!

More: Earlier posts from Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub

And in 2013:

 

Yes, this is mostly an encore post. Fighting ignorance requires patience.

Yes, this is mostly an encore post. Fighting ignorance requires patience. And good Thanksgiving stories need to be refreshed, to bring peace around the dinner table.

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