Warren Is A Joke

For many years now I’ve been increasingly worried by a growing list of anxieties, including (but not limited to): world hunger, global warming, terrorism, fundamentalism (of any stripe), political corruption, the North South divide, social dysfunction, ocean pollution, mass extinctions, overpopulation, viral pandemic, the banal cult of celebrity, existential malaise and the steadfast refusal of any person in authority to take any of these things seriously.

Realistically, besides the occasional donation or token polemic blog, there is bugger all I can do about any of this, which compounds the anxiety. However, I have found a crusade which might just be within my measure…to see the end of that fool Warren who draws (so-called) cartoons for the Telegraph.

There is a proud Australian tradition of editorial cartoons – usually political or otherwise holding a mirror up to the crazed countenance of the Australian or World condition. Many names have entered the pantheon such as Larry Pickering, Alan Moir, David Pope, Cathy Wilcox, Michael Leunig (of course), Matthew Martin, Mark David, Paul Rigby…and those are just a handful covering the last 30 years or so. All of them funny. All of them capable of genius. How could a mere mortal ever aspire to joining their ranks?

Well, as it turns out, expert draughtsmanship, a way with words and a keen eye for cracks under the socio-political wallpaper are not the only tools needed to become a successful cartoonist. You could, like Warren, simply scrawl pictures of people Australians have been told to hate (or love) by the right wing media and that will be enough to get you a gig with the Tele.

But images of towel-headed terrorists waving scimitars, or Tony Abbott in his speedos purporting to out-macho Putin add little to the canon of Australian cartoonery. Even worse are the occasional tributes to the Aussie hero du jour. Thursday’s ‘cartoon’ was simply a picture of the civil engineer John Bradfield straddling titan-like the harbour in place of the bridge he famously built (on the same day that Tony Abbott proposed that the new airport be named after Bradfield). How is this a cartoon? Friday’s effort depicting the (unconvicted) Phil Rudd being raped in prison and facing an electric chair was simply grotesque.

The alarmist, right wing propaganda masquerading as satire produced by Warren is never funny. It asks no questions. It reveals nothing surprising or worthy of caricature. It serves no purpose except to encourage obsequiousness to conservative leaders and fear of Otherness. It is ham-fisted, humourless drivel which is generated simply to support the radical right wing agenda of the editors.

Now, as an ardent advocate of free speech, I have no problem with Warren trotting out tasteless and disturbing propaganda as directed by his paymasters. But I do have a problem with cartoons that aren’t funny. Let’s all join together to get Warren thrown off the Tele and replaced by a cruel, heartless conservative demagogue who at least can make us laugh!

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