Thursday, June 27, 2013

Q Toon: Exeunt Exodus

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
ϪJun 27, 2013

As much as I would have liked to have known when I drew this week's cartoon on Sunday night how yesterday's Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 would turn out, my crystal ball has no bars downstairs at my drawing board.

Perhaps the guys in charge of pray-away-the-gay ministry Exodus International were able to foresee the Court's ruling, however, and decided that this was as good a time as any to fold up its tent and sell off the circus animals.
"I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn't change," [Exodus President Alan] Chambers wrote in a statement on his website. "I am sorry that I ... failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine."
(Chambers is different-sex married, with children, although he admits still being attracted to men.)

One side story to this cartoon: I looked through a couple of my books for a picture of a hearse as a model for the one in the background above. One of those books was of Chas Addams cartoons; and while there were a couple of cartoons set in cemeteries, there were no hearses in any of them. There was, however, a cartoon featuring a Supermoon, which some of you may recall was the celestial highlight outdoors and on Facebook on Sunday night.

To share this find with my own Facebook friends, I located an eBay page where someone has been offering that very cartoon up for sale. You have to click on the image for a pop-up so you can read the caption, which is a bit more well-phrased than the title the seller has given it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cheap Toon: North West Heir Lines

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
ϪJun 26, 2013

Observant fans of this blog will notice that the image in this week's sneak peek doesn't appear in this cartoon. This week's Q Toon will come out in due time. Meanwhile, I made a snarky little comment on Facebook a few days ago, and then decided to draw a tawdry little cartoon about it.

Yeah, I know: with the Supreme Court poised to rule on marriage equality today, having just opened the doors so that Dixie Republicans can impose all the Jim Crow voting laws passed by their Republican brethren up north, there are more important things to spend valuable drawing board time on than the peculiar name some celebrity couple have saddled their baby with. But let's lighten up for just one moment here before all hell breaks loose, okay?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Q Toon: Clandestine Gay Network

Pope Francis received the long-dreaded report last week about the Vatican's lobby of homosexual priests, bishops, cardinals, and butlers -- a clandestine network so entrenched that they even have their own dating site.
Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
¤Jun 19, 2013
Say, wasn't Clandestine one of those medieval popes?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Know Your Station

I noticed a little something while checking out news coverage of an event held at work last week. Here's the picture at the top of the Mount Pleasant - Sturtevant Patch.com site:
It's a shot of the Sturtevant Amtrak station. Nice enough picture: blue skies, spring greenery, and the Waxdale windmills towering in the distance. I suppose that the station, which opened in 2006, is the most distinctive building in Sturtevant or Mount Pleasant other than the prison. It appears on the Sturtevant village letterheadvillage sign, and village web page, (The lone image chosen for Wikipedia's Sturtevant page is of a warehouse with a caption informing you that "Distribution warehouses are a common sight along the western side of Sturtevant.")

And here's the picture atop Patch.com's Caledonia page:

That building on the left? It happens to be the old Sturtevant Milwaukee Road/Amtrak station, which was moved to a Caledonia field on Five Mile Road just east of State Trunk Highway 38 in 2009.

P.S.: Sturtevant's logo is actually based on the old train station, as shown in this photo from 2003. The new station was built to specifications so that the village wouldn't have to change all its signage and stationery.

P.P.S: Even Attica, New York doesn't use its prison in its town logo.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Q Toon: Pardon the Interruption

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
÷Jun 12, 2013

Since all the news today is about the massive database amassed by the U.S. government of every phone call, fax,  instant message, tweet, Facebook post, Google search, and garage door code for every person in the world, it's quite possible that you have forgotten the news items at the heart of this week's cartoon.

But rest assured that there is someone at the National Security Agency who remembers Ellen Sturtz, the woman who heckled Michelle Obama about employment non-discrimination, and they know what the PIN for her credit card is, how often she uses her microwave oven, and where she drove yesterday. If it's not someone at the NSA, then it's at least some high school dropout tech geek who got a job at some NSA subcontractor by virtue of his skills at Tomb Raider.

And, as that NSA subcontractor geek well knows, Chris had our TV tuned to the French Open on Sunday morning watching Rafael Nadal beat David Ferrer when one of the antigay yet homoerotic Hommen protesters stormed the court with a flare. Which was a great thing as far as I was concerned, thanks to the fifth law of editorial cartooning: Two Things Make a Cartoon. It's also been months since I've had an excuse to draw a guy without his shirt on.

It's also been over a year since I've had any use for my high school French.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Peter Barca's Outreach

64th Assembly Representative Peter Barca held a listening session at Mount Pleasant Town Hall last night. Three people showed up. 

Republican commenters on the Journal Times page twitted Barca for drawing so few constituents, particularly since the front page of the JT reported that over 400 people came to a simultaneous event at Emmaus Lutheran Church, where Sheriff Christopher Schmaling and other local officials addressed the concerns of the Latino community about allegations of racial profiling of brown-skinned drivers.
"Pete,,,,,You need to coordinate better. Dickert and Voces had almost 400 future voters turn out at Emmaus Lutheran Church for their rally. Best you could do was 3? Word is that Dickert has his eye on the Governors race. You better get with the program Pete. Three people....too funny." -- J.T. commenter "ordmm"
But check out the map.

Republicans drew a tiny portion of the Village of Mount Pleasant into Kenosha Democrat Barca's district in 2011. (The lion's share of Barca's district extends well south of this map, with another leg stretching west from central Kenosha out beyond I-94.)

The Mount Pleasant Town Hall is located at the little pink star up at the top center of the map. Even for those people who realize that they are no longer represented by anyone from Racine County, the Mount Pleasant Town Hall is a considerable drive from anywhere in Barca's district. (What, the Taylor Complex Building in Elmwood Park wasn't available?)

And considering how much of the Mount Pleasant appendage of Barca's district is Latino, some of those people had somewhere else they wanted to be on that particular Monday night.

Correction: I should have placed that pink star above the "N" in "MOUNT." I was thrown by this map not showing that 90th Street is now a through road there.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Le coup d'oeil furtif de cette semaine

Gosh, I missed the Tony Awards last night. I had to watch the season finale of Game of Thrones to make sure that Bran, Sansa and Arya didn't suddenly get wiped out by a rogue ice dweller or something.

But, hey, if Game of Thrones: The Musical ever comes to Broadway, I'm there with bells on.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Not As Fun As Ex-Gay Birds

Gay 'cures'? There shouldn't be an app for that. But there's a new one called "Setting Captives Free," available in ... Google Play stores, meant to teach you how to stop being gay.
It's a 60-day course that tells gay people they are not "born this way" and offers to help them find "freedom from the bondage of homosexuality." 
The app had also been available from Apple's iTunes, but no longer.

By the way, hasn't anybody else wondered why the aliens in Close Encounters go to such great lengths to abduct little Barry Guiler in Indiana only to send him trotting back to his mother when their spaceship lands a week or so later in Wyoming? Why are we so sure that's really little Barry?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Joseph Parrish cartoon

The subject of this week's cartoon has written to ask for the original, which is as good an excuse as any for me to share this photo from our recent vacation through the Shallow South:

It's a framed cartoon by the Chicago Tribune's Joseph L. Parrish in the Oscar Getz Whiskey Museum in Bardstown, Kentucky. This was my best angle to minimize the reflection of the window across the room without shooting it from too oblique an angle. You can click on the picture to embiggen it; the caption is "When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain" (the name of a pop tune). The moon is a jug of moonshine (get it?), rising over the mountains of "High Liquor Taxes" while the moonshiner is heading to the hills.

The card in the frame erroneously credits the cartoon to Maxwell Parrish; perhaps someone is thinking of the painter Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966).

Joseph L. Parrish began his career in 1925 drawing for the Nashville Banner and the Nashville Tenneseean, moving on to the Chicago Tribune in 1936. In addition to his editorial cartoons, he contributed to "Dick Tracy" and created the "Nature Notes" cartoon series. He was a staunch Republican, as was any Tribune cartoonist in the McCormack era. He retired from editorial cartooning in 1970 (continuing the weekly "Nature Notes" until 1982), and died at the home of his daughter in St. Louis in  September, 1989 at the age of 84.

The museum also has a framed copy of the December 5, 1933 front page of the Chicago Daily News on this wall, with the banner headline "Legal Liquor Flows Today." I happen to have a reproduction of the same front page at home!

There were no prohibition era front pages from any of the Kentucky newspapers of the day anywhere in the museum, oddly enough. These particular exhibits must have come from a Chicagoan. I'd have thought that the end of prohibition would have caught the attention of editors in Bourbon Country.

H

I'd also like to share a comment about my cartoon this week left on the AAEC site by a reader in Bozeman, Montana: "On a day when another cartoonist made me so angry I could hardly see straight, what I then saw was your 'A record number of Lutherans will know who their bishop is?' cartoon. That laugh saved the day for me. Much thanks, Paul."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Speaking of Gay Bishops

If the election of The Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin as bishop of the Southern California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America hasn't made the front page of your RSS feed, perhaps it's because we've been there before.

Here's a cartoon about what it was like ten years ago when the Episcopalians crossed that threshold:
Conservative Episcopalians had conniption fits (they're called Episconniptions) over Robinson's election, and several U.S. churches went so far as to break away and join the Nigerian Anglican Church.

The bishop received death threats, and was pointedly not invited to the 2008 Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Communion. (This cartoon, however, was drawn three years earlier.)

He was invited to deliver an invocation at President Obama's first inaugural. If you didn't notice, it may be because he was omitted from the live broadcast on HBO and NPR and from the Presidential Inauguration Committee's official live blog.

Bishop V. Gene Robinson retired in January.

As for the Lutheran Church, before Bishop Erwin's election, The Rev. Eva Brunne was elected as Bishop of the Diocese of Stockholm, Sweden, in 2009. And of course, the Catholic Church had gay bishops long before Protestants got all worked up about theirs -- but I wasn't cartooning way back then.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Q Toon: Lutheran Ladies and the Gay Bishop

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
ΔJun 5, 2013

As Mrs. Exposition explains in this week's cartoon, the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) last week elected as its Bishop The Rev. R. Guy Erwin, an openly gay man in a committed relationship. It was only two years ago that the ELCA gave its approval to ordaining openly gay or lesbian clergy without requiring celibacy of them.

For those of you unfamiliar with Lutheran polity, the ELCA was formed in 1988 through the merger of three more or less liberal Lutheran denominations. It is divided up into several geographically based "synods" (which leads to some confusion because the second and third largest Lutheran denominations in the country are called the Missouri Lutheran Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. They are completely separate from the ELCA, and have formally condemned the ELCA over the issue of ordaining LGBT clergy).

Each ELCA synod elects its bishop at an annual assembly for a six-year term. The presiding bishop of the ELCA is elected at a biennial national assembly, also for a six-year term. Synod assemblies are made up of all of its clergy, plus lay people elected from individual congregations. And by "elected," I mean whomever the pastor can persuade to volunteer. Nationally, you can probably count the candidates for assembly voting representative who have lost a congregational election on one hand.

For most of the '90's and '00's, ELCA Lutherans cared greatly about these annual assemblies because LGBTs and our allies kept proposing resolutions favoring marriage equality and ordaining LGBT clergy; such resolutions were firmly opposed by Lutherans from congregations in Red America. Year after year, assemblies would wrangle over these issues only to set up commissions to report back later. Over time, synods came down on one side or the other until 2009, when the national church could put off a decision no longer.

That decision? If you think it's wrong to marry or ordain gay people, you don't have to. If you have no problem with marrying or ordaining gay people, go ahead. There, can't we all get along? And if not, can you pay off the mortgage on your church building before you leave?

Assemblies have continued to address controversial issues since 2009, but nobody's leaving the ELCA over being on the losing side of resolutions about immigration, Mideast peace, or genetic engineering.

I'm still waiting to see a report of my own synod's assembly last week. So far, their web page only offers a rundown of nearly 100 assembly-hashtagged tweets, which reveal little other than that resolutions 3 through 6 passed with little discussion and that only a handful of voting representatives spent any significant amount of time contributing to the Twitter feed.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Can't Please Everyone

I'm happy that the Dallas Voice chose to include this week's cartoon in their print edition (page 24)! My cartoon is usually an on-line-only feature at the DV. It's probably a question of how much room Wayne Besen's regular column takes, rather than one of this week's cartoon lampooning Democrats for a change. Yeah, that's got to be the reason.

After all, just two weeks ago, they found room for my Norelco Manscaping Commercial cartoon, too.

But you can't please everyone. San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter took a pass on my cartoon this week.

(Update: The BAR ended up running this Democritical cartoon in its June 13 edition, instead of this one.)