23 October 2009

importance of the cartoon

We're quite aware that satire plays an important role in media. When it highlights human impact and causes us to think about our role in the environment, and at a very basic level, it borders on genius.

Melissa Packer correctly assumed that this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon would make my day. It is sheer brilliance. It is also something that looks like it fell right off of the VHEMT (Voluntary Human Extinction Movement) website.

Matt commented that trophy bucks aren't the entire population, the doe population should be well represented as well. Easier to shoot a lot of deer than to reintroduce cougars, wolves, coyotes, etc. right?

Back to the impact of cartoons.
One of the most influential cartoons of my youth was also a Calvin and Hobbes bit: it involves a dead bird, of course. Calvin's outlook is inquisitive and very insightful when it comes to human behavior and impacts and overall sense of the world. Somehow grown ups just don't get it. We've not learned.

Edit: the Calvin & Hobbes image link for the dead bird isn't working anymore, so until I can find a new link, here's the text from wiki -

Calvin: Look, a dead bird!
Hobbes: It must've hit a window.
Calvin: Isn't it beautiful? It's so delicate. Sighhh... once it's too late, you appreciate what a miracle life is. You realize that nature is ruthless and our existence is very fragile, temporary, and precious. But to go on with your daily affairs, you can't really think about that...which is probably why everyone takes the world for granted and why we act so thoughtlessly. It's very confusing. I suppose it will all make sense when we grow up.
Hobbes: No doubt.

So the irony of it all is that we go around shooting deer in the name of keeping their populations healthy, while our own population staggers under problems related to indulgence (greed as much as food). We discount the worth of our light-boned masters of flight and pass over dead birds with a blind eye and cling to status quo.

On the bright side, we can chuckle at other forms of demise instead (all from NOTFUNNY Cartoons):
gullible sheep

There are far too many awesome cartoons out there (NOTFUNNY is the English equivalent of NICHTLUSTIG, for all of you German speakers), but few have quite the significance of the first two shared. That said, Gary Larson's "The Far Side" has the lifeblood of ornithology, entomology, herpetology and sociology coursing through its panels. Now there's even a set of books, beyond "There's a Hair in my Dirt" (all of the aforementioned publications are on our wish list).

How do cartoons impact you? Any favorites? How have they changed who you are or how you see the world?

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