Thursday, May 21, 2015

Q Toon: Patchwork Uniformity

This week's cartoon was touched off by Republicans' proposed measure in Michigan to nullify local anti-discrimination ordinances, and a similar measure which went into law in Arkansas.
LGBT activists breathed a sigh of relief when a provision that could have invalidated all 38 LGBT inclusive anti-discrimination ordinances in Michigan was removed from the final version of a bill passed 11-7 by the House Commerce and Trade Committee May 19. The Republican sponsors of the original version of the "Local Government Employer Mandate Prohibition Act" claimed they were simply trying to unify employment practices across the state.
In the final version passed out of committee, communities will not be allowed to pass ordinances regarding wages, benefits or working conditions in their towns. 
Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
May 21, 2015

I apologize, dear reader, that this cartoon works a whole lot better in a newspaper, which is easy to turn upside down, than on a desktop computer, which isn't, or a smart phone, which will keep trying to turn the image right-side up. (At last, an advantage dead trees have over live circuits!)

This cartoon is probably the result of my having recently read a mention of The Upside-Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo. The six-panel cartoon by Gustave Verbeck (starting in 1903) was ingeniously designed so that the second half of the story was told when you turned the page up-side down.

Verbeck's reader had to overlook the fact that Old Man Muffaroo's legs were extending up from the top of Little Lady Lovekins's hat, or that a stream the heroes had waded across in panel #3 was flowing through the sky in panel #10. But it was a weekly tour de force nevertheless: a story aimed at children but presented in a way that adults could appreciate.

At first, I was going to have a human character in the cartoon, talking out of his ass, as it were --  one of the preliminary sketches is at the top of this post. In the end (ahem), I decided that some of my editors endeavor to run respectable news publications in which exposed derrières belong in the club photos and phone sex ads in the back pages, not the editorial page. So I went with an elephant instead -- the traditional symbol of the Republican Party, whence these laws superseding local ordinances on everything from the above mentioned labor conditions to gun safety and fracking bans originate these days.

With an elephant instead of a human, the aspect of talking out of one's ass still remains, but not quite so explicitly that the League of Perpetually Offended Complainers should catch it.

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