Political HumorOctober 07, 2008
As serious as this election is to all of us, it is nice to be able to laugh at ourselves in these last frantic and intense weeks. If you didn’t have a chance to see the recent Saturday Night Live spoof of the VP candidate’s debate, it’s worth a couple of minutes in your busy day.
A good political cartoon is both humorous and satirical and can often make us think about the issue in a different way. Here is a link to cartoons focusing on both sides of the 2008 election fence —politicalhumor.about.com. Of course, this led me to start looking at cartoons from a historical perspective. I discovered an interesting site in the Library of Congress’s Community Center, The Learning Page. It provides links to numerous historical cartoon sites, including some about the women’s suffrage movement. And then there’s this American Political Cartoons: An Introduction site that appears to be part of a class at Truman University and includes an explanation of suffrage cartooning.
“True liberation is not having a man draw cartoons defending your rights, but being able to draw your own cartoons.” — Signe Wilkinson
I can’t showcase other’s cartoons or articles about political cartoons without drawing attention to an article in the Spring/Summer 2008 edition of the AAUW Outlook magazine, “A Thousand Words: Women Cartoonists Let Their Drawings Do the Talking,” by our own AAUW blogger Elizabeth Bolton. Liz brings us to the present day as she brings to life the trials and tribulations of women cartoonists and highlights two Pulitzer Prize–winning women, Signe Wilkinson of the Philadelphia Daily News and Ann Telnaes, a nationally syndicated cartoonist.
As I read many of these or viewed today’s via videos, laughing at some, shaking my head at others, I realized that even in humor I could feel my passions rise, depending on the issue being spoofed. I find I want everyone to appreciate the humor but not to forget the seriousness of the issue at hand. So enjoy a good laugh, but don’t forget to educate yourself and others about the facts in the few weeks left before November 4th.