Thursday, September 27, 2012

Q Toon: RBG on DOMA

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Sep 27, 2012
Last week, as a way of declining to answer a question from a Colorado law student on the subject, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg predicted that DOMA (the so-called Defense of Marriage Act) was likely to come before the court in the upcoming term.

Somehow, I think this is Justice Ginsburg's first appearance in my cartoons. I don't recall drawing any cartoons about her when President Clinton nominated her to the bench in 1993, or when the Supreme Court decided the 2000 presidential election, or when she pointedly cited Romneycare in her opinion upholding the Affordable Care Act last year.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Week the of Peek Sneak

I have no particular reason for putting the words in the above headline backwards. Just bored with having the same headline for every other blog entry, I guess.

In other news, I decided to submit only two cartoons to Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year's 2013 edition, the deadline for which was this past weekend. They usually allow late submissions about the outcome of November elections. I don't believe I've ever taken advantage of that option -- the LGBT angle on presidential election results isn't often of general interest.

On the other hand, it wasn't the Charles Brooks-edited BECY but Daryl Cagle's rival The Best Political Cartoons of the Year that for 2005 included a Rob Rogers (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) cartoon that was the exact same idea that I drew in response to George W. Bush's reelection.

Here's mine:
Rogers's cartoon includes Dubya wielding a paddle bearing the words Iraq Mess, Lost Jobs, Tax Cuts, Deficits, Health Costs, Pollution and World Anger on it. I guarantee you that neither of us had seen the other's cartoon; we were both riffing on Dubya's frat boy past. Cagle calls these coincidental cartoons "kismets."

But I'm serving notice here and now that if any conservative cartoonist draws this idea to lament Barack Obama's reelection, it's plagiarism.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Q Toon: The Team Name? The Cougars

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Sep 19, 2012
I had discounted this story as fodder for an editorial cartoon when I first read it -- too obscure, I thought. Besides, I'd just drawn about football last week. But I reconsidered the story when it popped up in the Saturday Night Live Update, and when there seemed to be no other LGBT story out there other than the one I'd just drawn about.
"A freshman at a two-year college in North Dakota is saying he was kicked off the football team because he is gay. However, North Dakota State College of Science football coach Chuck Parsons is saying linebacker Jamie Kuntz was dismissed from the team for lying. A teammate saw Kuntz kissing his older boyfriend in the press box at a game in Pueblo, Colo.
"The teammate reported the kiss to the team's coaches. Football coach Chuck Parsons confronted Kuntz on the bus ride back to Wahpeton, N.D. and Kuntz told his coach the man he kissed was his grandfather. Kuntz's boyfriend is 65 years old."
Now off the team, Jamie dropped out of college as well, telling SB Nation that he didn't see any point in going to NDSCS if he couldn't play football. I hope he has something else planned for his future, and I don't mean following Anna Nicole Smith's career path.

It would have been only too precious if the North Dakota college's football team were the NDSCS Cougars. Actually, they're the Wildcats. My mistake.

Monday, September 17, 2012

This Week's Sneak Peek

Am I trying to get Outsports's attention or something?

After last week's cartoon featuring NFL stars endorsing marriage equality, this week's cartoon looks at another side of the coin.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ayanbadejo and Kluwe Speak on NPR

A follow-up to yesterday's post: Brendan Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe were interviewed on NPR's "All Things Considered" yesterday afternoon.

Some highlights:
"I've had some encouraging conversations with my teammates, and with people in the building. I'm so glad that it's coming to light and that so many people are supporting it; because you go back 24 months, 12 months, and it was a completely different feel. People weren't so supportive, and I'd hear some snickering and some comments. So, I'm glad that in our football community we're changing. Our sport, that's known as a macho sport, known for, you know, making gay slurs and whatnot, I'm glad to see a changing of the guard, and people broadening their horizons and starting to accept equality, really." --Brendan Ayanbadejo
"The NFL is a business, first and foremost. They're in it to make money. And as players, our jobs are to go out on the field and to play to the best of our ability. Now, that being said, we also have a very unique social platform in that we can reach a lot of people that normally, you know, this message might not reach. I think if you're willing to take the risks, okay, if you're willing to deal with the distractions, while maintaining the level of your play, well, for me, personally, it's worth it." --Chris Kluwe
Toward the end of the interview, Melissa Block asks whether their seniority within the sport -- Ayanbadejo is 36 and Kluwe is 30 -- informs their comfort in speaking out.
"Being players that have had success in multiple years in the league does make it a bit easier, because, you know, we have some of those years when we've got some money saved up; but at the same time, I'd like to think of us as kind of the veteran guys that when young guys come in, you know, they look at us and they're like, okay, you know, that's okay, these guys are talking about it; these guys are supporting it, you know. We're okay with it. And just make the league a better place then when we came in." --Chris Kluwe
"We're trying to change the whole attitude that's in the locker room. And I think we've done it. One of the biggest, you know, compliments that I get -- I kind of don't like it, but it's also a compliment -- is, 'Oh, I wouldn't expect a football player to be talking about marriage equality.' But why not? We're no different than anybody else. We laugh; we cry; we have emotions. Just because we play football, it doesn't mean that we're these quote-unquote macho guys or whatever. I mean, we want everyone to be treated within our organizations and within our sport. We're trying to get that done, and I think Chris has done a great job of showing what kind of people we are." -- Brendan Ayanbadejo

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Q Toon: This He Said, And Nothing More

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
ǁSep 12, 2012
As Marylanders have been preparing to vote on a referendum to overturn their state's marriage equality law, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo spoke out strongly against the measure back in March.
"Gay and lesbian couples want to marry for similar reasons as we all do: love and commitment. It’s time to allow them the opportunity to build a family through marriage. It’s a matter of fairness. This is why I’m asking Marylanders to join me in supporting marriage equality for same-sex couples.
“Having the freedom to marry means committed couples and their children will have the same crucial protections under the law as other families. Churches can always have their beliefs, but government is supposed to treat everybody the same, and that’s equal. America is supposed to be the land of the free but in order for this to be true for all of us, then we must have the ability to marry whom we love regardless of their gender."
More recently, Ayanbadejo offered two tickets to the Ravens' first home game of the season this past Monday as part of a Marylanders for Marriage Equality fund raiser. Delegate to the Maryland legislature Rev. Emmett C. Burns, Jr. (D-Baltimore County), who is also founder and pastor of Rising Sun First Baptist Church, wrote a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti expressing his outrage:
"I am requesting that you take the necessary actions as a National Football League Franchise Owner to inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing."
 Burns cc'ed his letter to the media, and has since learned of at least one other NFL player who agrees with Brendan Ayanbadejo.
"I've also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your 'I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing' and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole."
So wrote Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe in a very profane but otherwise quite eloquent broadside to the preacher-turned-politician-turned-censor.
 "What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person's right to speech. ...
 "'Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement.' Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who's 'deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland'? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you're going to say that political views have 'no place in a sport'?"
It is Kluwe's letter on Deadspin that has turned this story from a local one to a national, but I've chosen to highlight the original center of controversy.

Besides, I'm a Packer fan. It's really, really, really, really, unbelievably, stupendously, insanely, Herculeanly hard to force myself to say anything nice about a Viking.

Monday, September 10, 2012

This Week's Sneak Pique

I draw cartoons for LGBT media, you know. If I can find an excuse to draw beefcake, that's what at least half of my readership wants.

Heck, it's the only way to get some readers to notice the cartoon at all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Qtoon: Sense and Censorability

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Sep 5, 2012
The fall TV programs are almost here, and a few of them have One Million Panties in a bunch.

"Partners" is a CBS program by the creators of "Will & Grace" which is essentially about the creators of "Will & Grace" except that they are architects instead of TV show writers. Or else it's a retread of "Will & Grace" in which Will is named Joe and he's straight, and Grace is named Louis and he's Jack. Or something like that. We'll see in a couple of weeks.

And NBC is introducing "The New Normal," which centers on a gay couple, the surrogate mother of their child-to-be, her opinionated grandmother, and her precocious and presumably adorable daughter. As NBC's promo page for the series puts it, "These days, families come in all forms - single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors... It's 2012 and anything goes."

Management at NBC's Salt Lake City affiliate, however, have decided that it's not 2012 and some things still don't go. They're not going to show "The New Normal." KSL management issued a statement that, "For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time." The local CW station has stepped in to show it on Saturday nights after all the good Mormons have gone to sleep.

Meanwhile, ABC is continuing the Emmy-winning "Modern Family" and spring replacement series "Happy Endings," which is "Friends" except that there's a gay guy and a black guy so you can tell the difference. And "Glee" continues on Fox, Ellen DeGeneres continues in syndication, and Andy Cohen continues in charge of Bravo.

Management at KSL aside, the reaction from the upright citizens' brigades to this smattering of TV comedies has been, frankly, far less than impressive. It could be that they're saving their energy in favor of establishing a moral monopoly on government this November. At present, if they complain about "Happy Endings," all they accomplish is calling attention to a series few people had heard of before, and possibly making a hit out of it. Take over the government, and they can have the FCC issue a fine for every episode of every program with a non-traditional family or out-of-wedlock hook-up.

It's 2013 and everything stops.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sneak Peek


I hope you weren't planning to take a nap, sink a ten-foot putt, or record viola da gamba solos, because this lady is not going to sit quietly by.