Wednesday, September 01, 2004

But I dream a dream so pretty, that I don't feel so depressed

The Ottawa Citizen very, very rarely runs colour pieces of any sort in their editorial section, whether editorial cartoons or photo illustrations for longer opinion pieces. And this fact is apropos of what, exactly? This: It's not quite enough for Cam Cardow, the paper's house cartoonist, to merely suggest Cheney's lack of warmth; no, that would be letting him off easy. (And also be a genuinely non-partisan complaint. Cheney may be the most competent and experienced VP ever, but even I have to admit he usually comes off as cold and creepy.) Cardow has to make certain, with this strategic use of colour, that even the very stupidest reader can understand: Cheney is wrapping himself in the flag, huh-huh-huh. Never mind that the DNC was similarly star-spangled; it wouldn't have shown, shall we say, nuance to mock John Kerry for doing the same thing - and, indeed, Cardow's only contributions on the subject of the DNC were an offhanded jibe about Teresa Heinz-Kerry's rudeness, and gentle admiration for Barack Obama's infinitely-more-credible-than-Kerry speech. I don't ask that political cartoonists be non-partisan; that would be silly. But I can certainly demand a bit more subtlety. As political discourse, this piece is juvenile and obvious. It's an embarassment, which should be compounded by the expense involved in an extra page of full-colour. Do we not deserve the likes of Thomas Nast any more?


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