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It’s Funny Cause it’s True!

Posted by anandrr on November 28, 2008

This was going to be a flashback friday edition with a different art form: cartooning. Unfortunately I couldn’t unearth funny cartoons from when I was a little tyke, so we’ll go with just-because  Friday blogging.

Oh editorial cartoonists! What would we do without you? You’re always there to elicit a smile from me by reinforcing my peerless opinion with a humorous twist. Take for instance this by Tom Toles of the Washington Post:

© The Washington Post Company

Funny. Trenchant. Good stuff. So when I arrived in India and started reading The Hindu, I was expecting more of the same, except with a local flavour. Except, every time I turned to the op-ed page in The Hindu I would be greeted by a cartoon that was not funny. For instance you might see this, apropos of the sinking of the pirate ship:

© The Hindu

© The Hindu

Or even this, apropos of The Congress Party promising lower petrol prices just ahead of an election:

i© The Hindu/i

© The Hindu

I mean WTF? None of this shit is funny. I kept thinking there was something wrong with me. That he was being very very funny, and I was just not seeing it. As a certified member of the smile-at-New-Yorker-cartoon-pseudo-intellectual class, this was mildly insulting. I smile at cartoons that are not funny, how dare you mock me with cartoons that even I can’t smile at? Finally this morning, we had this:

© The Hindu

© The Hindu

I mean, WTF? Since when is people being shot by terrorists funny? And that too terrorists at The Gateway of India? Seriously WTF is up with this Keshav (or Surendar, depending) the cartoonist guy? Then it struck me. He’s not drawing humorous cartoons. He’s not even offering up opinion. Instead he’s finding an abstract way to represent the news. Every day, Keshav reads the news and asks himself, how can I make this newspaper more abstruse to the average reader? Why, I’ll represent the pirates as a dragon, the Indian Navy as a ship in the distance and the tail of the dragon slowly sinking into the water in a whirlpool like swirl. That will clearly demonstrate that we are winning the war on pirates. Arrrrr!

But even if I go with the abstract representation theory, I still have no fucking idea what this means. You can go squiggly eyed at as many MOMAs as you can find, but you’ll still not be adequately prepared for the awesome abstract thought of the Keshav. Let’s see the BJP  is turning into a bullet belt that is wrapped around the bomb of terror, but it thinks it is just watering a creeper?  The creeper represents the strong hold the BJP has on terror?  Is the creeper turning into an alternate wick for the bomb? And if the creeper needs support, why does the guy have a pair of shears in his hand? WTF?

em© The Hindu/em

© The Hindu

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One Response to “It’s Funny Cause it’s True!”

  1. For Jay Leno and Jon Stewart, you have Shekhar Suman and Sidhu. WTF!

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