Thursday, September 18, 2014

Q Toon: The Secretive Nym

Turning our attention now to what has been classified as a First World Problem:
Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Sep 18, 2014
Facebook has lately gone on a tear against drag performers whose Facebook pages are under their performance names rather than the names on their drivers' licenses -- closing down the performers' Facebook pages and requiring them to change the name on their accounts. This is because of Facebook's "real names" policy, which is supposed to protect against accounts set up to impersonate another user, for example. As a company spokesman put it, the policy is intended to “prevent bad behavior, while creating a safer and more accountable environment.”

Cross-gender personalities from San Francisco to Seattle have been up in arms over abruptly losing their pseudonymous accounts.

The NymWar does sound like a strictly First World Problem if you only consider this:
The problem here is that Facebook is strong arming many performers to switch their pages over to Fan Pages/Like Pages, which, for all intents and purposes, are the most useless thing on Facebook. Unless you have thousands of dollars to shell out for ads to get your page boosted for views, Like Page posts get lost among a sea of InstaGrams and viral trends.
On the other hand, these performers can face real-life stalking and harassment, or loss of employment. The Personnel Department at Beige Cubicle Inc. is very likely to think twice about hiring Harry Jones after they look up Harry Jones's Facebook page and see dozens of photos of Harry Jones on stage at Folsom Street dressed as Sister Ivanna Smooch. Gay bashing, moreover, is still a very real thing, and anyone who transgresses gender boundaries makes an easy target.

Given that the "real names" policy has been around for years, why has Facebook suddenly gone after so many drag performers?
A source at Facebook explained that, in general, profile pages are only reviewed when “a member of the Facebook community reports it to us,” adding that, “In these instances, the profiles would have been reported to us.” Given the high number of queens being “hit hard,” as Miz Cracker put it, someone has clearly made a serious project of reporting drag profiles to (or perhaps from within) the company.
A coalition met with Facebook executives this week, but were rebuffed.
A company spokesman said that Facebook would temporarily reactivate the profiles of several hundred members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community whose profiles have been deactivated: "This will give them a chance to decide how they’d like to represent themselves on Facebook. Over the next two weeks, we hope that they will decide to confirm their real name, change their name to their real name, or convert their profile to a Page."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Because Sexual Harassment Is Funny

In the second installment of cartoons from 1945's A Bird's Eye View of the Postwar World, we have a look at the workplace environment according to cartoonist Eric Ericson:
One hardly knows where to begin.

Monday, September 15, 2014

This Week's Sneak Peek / R.I.P.

This week's sneak peek comes with a Requiescat In Pace for one of the cartoonists who influenced my career, Tony Auth, who succumbed to brain cancer yesterday at the age of 72. He had retired from the Philadelphia Inquirer only two years ago. He continued posting cartoons on line; his last cartoon is dated July 1.

His deliberately simple style came from the theory that the message rather than the artwork should be the focus of the editorial cartoon. It also lent itself to the move from pen and ink to digital artwork, a medium he championed to others in the craft. (I'm still a troglodyte in that regard.)

A tribute from his editor is here.
The back cover of Auth's 1977 book of cartoons, Behind the Lines

Sunday, September 14, 2014

200 Years of Star Spangleness

In celebration of the Star Spangled Banner's 200th birthday today, and for the benefit of everyone who has wondered why anybody's national anthem would pose an unanswered question, here are all four verses of Francis Scott Key's original poem:

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?


On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
There have been several renditions of our national anthem sung at American sporting events, from the sublime to the horrendous, but I'll bet riots would break out if any singer ever tried to get through all four verses.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Q Toon: Sure 'Tis Like a Morn in September

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Sep 11, 2014
New York LGBT organizations are less than impressed by the decision by the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) to allow Out@NBCUniversal to march in New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade next March. Out@NBCUniversal is the LGBT employee group for the media corporation broadcasting coverage of the parade, and will be the only LGBT group allowed to participate.

The last time an LGBT group marched in the parade, in 1991 (also, briefly and without permission, in 1992), it did not go very well at all. Since then, the AOH had refused to allow any LGBT  group to march in the parade until now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

This Week's Sneak Peek

I can't top Steve Benson's cartoon from last Friday, or Lena Dunham's tweet, or Howard Stern's eulogy.

Nor do I wish to pile on with yet another cartoon depicting Joan Rivers at the Pearly Gates castigating St. Peter for wearing white after Labor Day. As many others have observed, it's kind of lazy to commemorate a Jewish person that way. (On the other hand, cartoonists haven't come up with a recognizable image for being taken into the bosom of Abraham.)

So instead, I'm going for brach.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Joan Rivers

In memory of Joan Rivers' passing yesterday, here's a cartoon of mine in which she appeared in 2008; a Hollywood writers' strike was expected to affect that year's award shows.

I freely admit that, had Ms. Rivers actually been forced to critique picketing writers' couture, she would have come up with much fiercer -- and funnier -- comments than I put in her mouth.

P.S.: The memorial cartoon I had in mind to draw for next week is too similar to today's cartoon by Steve Benson, so I may have to choose some entirely different topic.