Tuesday, December 06, 2011
You may know Syd Hoff as the author of classic children’s books such as Danny and the Dinosaur and Sammy the Seal. Or you may know his cartoons from The New Yorker.
In addition to these more famous works, he is also the author of a little collection of political cartoons called the The Ruling Clawss published in 1935 under the pen name he used for his more radical work, A. Redfield. It is a collection of his contributions to the communist newspaper “Daily Worker.”
It satirizes the ruling class by featuring everything from a cop after a long, hard day clubbing protesters to rich old ladies praising the virtues of Nazi-occupied Berlin. Here are some of these cartoons…
I picked several of them that seemed newly relevant in the wake of the OWS demonstrations and police response to them, and Newt Gingrich's smarmy comment about why don't the demonstrators take a shower and get a job. What job, Newt? Much of the OWS energy is devoted to protesting the lack of jobs for desperate, willing workers.
And speaking of the demonstrations, I was in the Metropolitan Opera house last Saturday evening for a performance of Gounod's Faust. Just before the beginning of the second act, after the house lights had dimmed out but before the conductor had entered the pit, a loud and deep voice roared out of the score desk area of the top balcony yelling "Occupy Wall Street" six or eight times rapidly. He got a rather nice hand from the audience.
MET Opera security was on the scene in seconds, searching in the aisles but without delaying the performance. They remained in the area throughout the act, sometimes providing a distraction. I later saw it reported that he had been found and escorted from the building. Unless I've missed something in the reporting of OWS demonstrations nation- and world-wide, this was the first demonstration within a theater during a performance.
This was an appropriate demonstration - although it troubles me that people still think opera is only for rich folks, when I can get a ticket for $25, a lot less than a broadway play or a major league sports event or a rock concert.
But I really don't want a demonstration during a performance, no matter who is doing it.
Loved the cartoons.
There is a big disconnect between what she says and the reality of the current Republican Party that is so deeply in thrall to the Radical Religious Right and its grab bag of litmus tests for candidate suitability, all based on Biblical standards of morality.
Should Newt achieve the nomination, I suspect there will be a heavy campaign against him digging up all the morally sleazy, financially corrupt, and hypocritical things he has done in his life. Nancy Pelosi is already hinting at releasing material that came up in the investigation on him that led to his departure from Congress. And the scene in the hospital when he told his wife, who was fighting for her life against cancer, that he was dumping her in favor of his mistress, will probably get replayed a lot. The man's a fool to think his past won't be brought back to haunt him.