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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Between The Lines: It's time to lighten up

  • One morning this week, I received an email from someone who obviously isn't a huge fan of the newspaper.
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  • One morning this week, I received an email from someone who obviously isn't a huge fan of the newspaper.
    It began: "Leftist swill."
    The reader went on to say that he picks up the newspaper "to kill breakfast time" but was completely offended by a cartoon which was in the paper.
    The cartoon was of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, dressed as a school boy going back to class. He was holding a book called "McCarthyism for Dummies" and in his backpack it said, "Racial division" and "Hate speech."
    I thought it rather funny.
    Our reader, though, didn't.
    He instructed me to do my homework because Cruz never said anything which relates to the words in the backpack. I'm instructed to be the paper of truth and not "leftist pandering."
    First of all, let me explain something as simply as possible: "It's a cartoon!"
    Here's what the dictionary has to say: "a sketch or drawing, usually humorous, as in a newspaper or periodical, symbolizing, satirizing, or caricaturing some action, subject, or person of popular interest."
    Okay, is that pretty clear?
    It's called humor.
    Interestingly, I received a email a few weeks ago from someone who took offense to a cartoon dogging on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
    Apparently, that made it "rightist swill" or something along those lines. I guess I was "rightist pandering."
    The email this week also failed to mention that just a few days earlier, I had a cartoon of President Obama sitting on a fence and the fence was called "foreign policy."
    There I go, pandering again. Excuse my Rightist swill!
    First, I guess I should explain we get our cartoons from a news service. Some days there is only one to pick. I don't have a lot of choices.
    But that isn't the bigger point.
    It's called humor.
    Does someone really think some national political cartoon reflects an entire local newspaper? Really.
    Wow, if that's the case, someone is simply not thinking things through.
    Maybe one of the problems we have in this country is the loss of humor. Political cartoons are as old as the ink which was invented to print them.
    They are satire. Something funny.
    I have never understood why people get so upset with political cartoons. They are meant to be funny and poke at the more famous among us.
    They are not meant to make some giant statement about political lines. Trust me, political cartoonists have no boundaries. They will fry anyone they see fit.
    Page 2 of 2 - I think this email may typify a lot of what's wrong with the country. When we fail to laugh at each other and ourselves, we have big problems.
    Even during the darkest hours of our lives, many of us find a way to laugh because we are all humans and we are all going to end up the same way — dead.
    In the meantime, maybe we should have a little fun and laugh about things.
    I think that may be the biggest frustration for me in these political times. The hard liners simply think they are right and everyone else is wrong.
    I really don't give a damn about Ted Cruz, to be honest. Sure, he's a U.S. Senator, one of only 100 of those animals in the nation.
    But I certainly could care less what some cartoonist draws when it comes to Cruz.
    It's a cartoon.
    It's also a fact that Cruz has been very outspoken on many issues. Ironically, this cartoon came out about the time it was learned that Cruz has dual citizenship in America and Canada. You'd think the "Birthers" would be all over that one, huh?
    The point here is that Cruz has been in the news and thus he is fair game for political cartoonists and editorial writers across the nation.
    I did a little Google search for Ted Cruz cartoons and I had to chuckle.
    One had a guy wearing a T-shirt which read, "Former Birthers for Cruz 2016." The character said, "I thought it sounded better than 'Hypocrites for Cruz.'"
    Good stuff.
    Another has Cruz giving a speech saying, "Defund Obamacare and the Canadian birth records office."
    Humor.
    That's the simplest way to explain any of this silliness. It all goes back to humor and people need to get just a little bit more of it in their daily lives.
    Now, let me go check for that next cartoon ....
    Little is editor of The Wayne Independent and can be reached at editor@wayneindependent.com.

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