Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Steve Brodner, illustrator, political satirest

Steve Brodner has been my favorite political satirist (still alive) since 1992. I first saw a piece of his on the back of a punk rock record sleeve. It was a drawing of Bush Sr. filling his gas tank with gasoline made of dead Iraqi babies. Not a subtle piece, but it grabbed my attention. He's not one to shy from sharing his rapier-like imagination. And his pen is just as sharp.

One thing I have appreciated about him lately is his willingness to speak truth to current power. So few people seem to want to risk talking about the things the Obama Administration is doing that are similar to the previous administration/s, or anything that might blemmish the everything-is-going-to-be-alright-now-that-the-Dems-have-the-Whitehouse-again-and-a-new-knight-in-shining-armor mentality that has blinded us in light of the Hope hype. It's a superstitious fear that we will curse the good ride, and stoop to the level of the overtly negative media, and I think it is silly. Yes, I think we should bask in all the new directions we're seemingly headed because we elected a community organizer who is an honored 12-year Professor of constitutional law, and a civil rights attorney, among even other things. But we have a responsibility as citizens to critically analyze our elected leaders. I think it's just refreshing to get the fisheye lens over the tunnel vision...

Jane Mayer of The New Yorker has reported that the number of US drone strikes in Pakistan has gone way up since President Obama took office. During his first nine-and-a-half months in office, Obama authorized as many CIA aerial attacks in Pakistan as President Bush did in his final three years in office. At any time, the CIA now has multiple drones flying over Pakistan, scouting for targets. Mayer writes, “there is no longer any doubt that targeted killing has become official US policy.” David Kilcullen, a former adviser to General Petreaus, says that the propaganda costs of drone attacks on civilians have been disastrously high. He recently wrote, “Every one of these dead non-combatants represents an alienated family, a new revenge feud, and more recruits for a militant movement that has grown exponentially even as drone strikes have increased.”

Regardless of whether you care about politics, or war, or even satire, Brodner's art alone is worth checking out. Fortunately, he is accessable (I find it very odd that I can have a daily dialogue with him) he has a steady blog, and is open to discussion. Click on the title of this entry to check the link.

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