Saturday, November 1, 2008

Funny Obama Cartoon in Doonesbury Wednesday--Too Bad You Won't Necessarily See It

According to the SF Chronicle Saturday (Nov 1), Doonesbury cartoonist Gary Trudeau has turned in to publishers his cartoon for Wednesday, the day after the election. In it, his joke depends on Obama having been elected, so his syndicate offered a back-up cartoon--a rerun from the summer--in case publishers get cold feet.

The cartoon for Wednesday is described as set in Iraq where some GI's sit around a TV listening to the election returns. As it's clear Obama has won, one white soldier turns to another and, noting that Obama is half white, says "Son of a gun, what a great day. We did it." Another soldier, who is black, turns to his white colleague and says, "You must be so proud!"

*That* is *funny*! And gutsy. But most of all, funny as hell! And fresh: Few have taken up the half-white half-black aspect of Obama and twisted it around to mock racism like that. As one report said last week, a kid asked his parent why, if Obama is half white and half black, he's referred to as black; why isn't he called white? The classic rationalist dig against the "one drop of black blood" racism of slave days and after (Mark Twain wrote an absorbing novel on this theme, "Puddinhead Wilson," that plays havoc with its irrationality).

But if you get the SF Chronicle, you won't see this cartoon in your paper; the relevant editor says that since the comics section goes to press before the election results are known, he's playing it safe with the backup comic. "We certainly don't want to be doing a 'Dewey-defeats-Truman,'" he says.


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