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Auchter's Art: Taking a break from our regularly scheduled outrage

cartoon drawing of someone being happy about vaccines, stimulus payments
John Auchter for Michigan Radio

First, let me be clear — anger and outrage are the very fuel of editorial cartoons. So I am not in any way trying to talk people out of their absolute right to be angry and outraged.

What I am suggesting is that it may not hurt to acknowledge the positive every once in a while.

Earlier this week I saw a post on Facebook from a guy I went to high school with expressing his thoughts about Speedy Gonzales and Pepe LePew cartoons. His point was that he enjoyed them and didn't see anything wrong with them. Fair enough. But the way he said it was with anger and outrage at the "real losers in this country" who would disagree with him. And then, as it often happens, the subsequent comments took all that up a few notches.

I considered for a brief moment pointing out that I, too, love those cartoons, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong with them. Times change. People evolve. Some things age better than others. We are still free to enjoy them in the context of our experience, but others have good reasons not to.

Anyway, I was ruminating on that when I got an email from a friend thanking me for a caricature that I had done for him years ago. He has been using it as an avatar and in fact had just used it again as a volunteer to a project that has been collecting and publishing data about COVID-19here in the United States. It struck me as a very un-angry and un-outraged thing to do. So I thought, "Yeah, there ought to be a way I can work something like that into a cartoon, too."

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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