The Sorensen Monologues

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Archive for 2010

War on Christmas Flashback

I haven’t been paying much attention to right-wing media lately, but Mr. Slowpoke just informed me that the “War on Christmas” is apparently still on. I’ve been so busy traveling and working and preparing to bake a feast and saying “Merry Christmas” to people I know who celebrate Christmas, I didn’t even notice! Anyway, I thought I’d share this cartoon from the Great Christmas Battle of 2005.

(PS: I received an early Christmas present in the form of having a cartoon published on NPR.org yesterday. I think I may have a cartoon in the LA Times this Sunday too!)


Trivia game illo

Thought I’d share something fun I created recently for Geeks Who Drink, a company that puts together pub quizzes. It’s a rare foray for me into the realm of scatological humor, but as a dog owner who spends a fair amount of time wielding a poopsack, it came naturally. Nixon is also fun to draw.

Presidential dog quiz

How well do you know the presidents' dogs? No Googling!


This Week’s Cartoon: “The Off-Center Center”

As Paul Krugman pointed out yesterday, the more market fundamentalism fails, the more vigorously it seems to be embraced. Bipartisan compromise now consists of agreement between the center-right and off-the-deep-end psychocapitalists. I honestly don’t see a way out of this self-defeating feedback loop given our current political environment.

Before I wrote this cartoon, I was actually thinking of doing one that showed Republicans praising FDR the way Obama has praised Reagan,  just as Krugman mentioned (hey, great minds think alike!), to show how ridiculously improbable that would be. Also, is it just me, or shouldn’t more people be freaking out about Ron “End the Fed” Paul overseeing the Fed? I dunno, maybe not enough Americans understand what the Fed is.

On another note, all I want for Christmas is for you to join the Slowpoke Facebook Krew, or follow me on Twitter. If you don’t already do so, of course.


This Week’s Cartoon: “Mr. and Mrs. Perkins Go Gift Shopping 2010″

A holiday tradition continues, as we peek in on the Perkinses once again while they shop for Auntie Perkins and themselves. This year they are shopping online, and having some difficulty in an age when so many things have become “free” — not to mention existing only on an ethereal plane. Fortunately, they haven’t digitized underwear. Yet.

Previous strips in the series are here.


SlowpokeBlog Flashback: On Obama

Two years later, I find it interesting to read what I wrote about Obama on the eve of the 2008 Virginia primary:

Tomorrow is the Virginia primary, and for the first time ever I am considering intentionally not voting… The trouble is, neither Obama nor Hillary have shown solid progressive leadership. Both of them pander to the right to the point of grotesquery. I could almost forgive Obama his weak health care plan even though that issue is extremely important to me, but that “Harry and Louise” ad was so wildly irresponsible, it really made me question his judgment. Wouldn’t it be nice if Obama used his rhetorical talents to promote a real health care plan? He has also repeated right-wing lies about there being a Social Security “crisis”; his praise of Ronald Reagan was steeped in gauzy right-wing frames about the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s; and his campaign actually created an oppo page about Paul Krugman, a true-blue progressive hero whose intellectual integrity I greatly admire… Obama has been so reckless in his approach to these bedrock issues that I simply don’t trust him. Sorry to rain on the hope parade, people, but there it is.

I actually admire Obama for what he managed to accomplish on health insurance — but aside from that, I’d say my misgivings were justified. Not that you’ll ever see me as a vaunted TV pundit.


This Week’s Cartoon: “Hedge Fund Nation”

Only in a nation that is truly ill-informed could Republicans block unemployment aid for millions unless the most fortunate among us get tax cuts, while simultaneously talking out the other side of their mouths about deficits burdening our children. All this while we live in a new Gilded Age of mind-blowing income inequality. It’s almost too absurd to contemplate. But you knew that already. As for my thoughts on the Great Compromise: I think Obama could have used his rhetorical abilities to put the GOP on the defensive. But caution is his middle name (it has officially replaced “Hussein,” in fact), and it’s going to come back and bite him on the butt.

One almost gets the impression from the GOP that something is wrong with you if you’re still doing actual, useful work (or would like to, except for the fact that there are five available workers for every job opening), as opposed to occupying the loftier realms of high finance. So I decided to play around with the idea of everyone becoming a banker. Related cartoon from 2004 (a personal fave): “The Labor Chain


Signed Slowpoke Books

…are now available in the Slowpoke Bookshop, just waiting to be personally-inscribed by moi, and shipped off via Priority Mail for the holidays. Whomever you give them to will love you forever. This concludes our public service announcement.

Slowpoke books

Chuckles aplenty!


’80s Prom Illustration

80s prom illustrationHere’s something I drew for the WAM! (Women Action & Media) Radical ’80s Prom to be held in NYC on December 3. If I lived in New York, I would TOTALLY be there. It’s 10pm-2pm at the Bowery Poetry Club; proceeds benefit ladyfolk in the media. More info here.


This Week’s Cartoon: “Snack Gentrification”

In Seattle there’s a bakery called Cupcake Royale, which I suppose planted the seed for this cartoon. It seems the Pacific Northwest is positively exploding with artisinal doughnuts, hamburgers, etc. Not that I’m complaining, really. The trend of gourmet “lowbrow” food just strikes me as an interesting cultural phenomenon. It’s similar to the hipster embrace of Pabst Blue Ribbon, except that unlike PBR, gourmet cupcakes don’t taste like skunk butt. At least, I assume they don’t; I’ve never actually tried a gourmet cupcake or a skunk butt.

I’m not sure how this happened, but the peepmaster in the fourth panel came out looking eerily like Trey Anastasio. Am I right or am I right?


This Week’s Cartoon: “Takin’ One For the Team”

Little-noticed last week amidst the hubbub surrounding airport security machines was the torpedoing of the Paycheck Fairness Act at the hands of Senate Republicans.  The fact that it took me some effort to find out the specifics of the bill shows you just how little it’s being talked about. To put it briefly, it actually gave teeth to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 which, while noble in sentiment, was very difficult for women to put into practice. This site gives an excellent rundown of the situation (see point #2 in particular).

Before anyone comments or sends me email about how the pay gap is a myth because ladies make babies, I suggest reading the entirety of the two links provided above. Then you can make your dunderheaded remark that only reinforces my opinion that you’d make a sucky boss. (Actually, most SlowpokeBlog commenters seem pretty smart, so perhaps I’m jumping the gun.)

Also, enough with the corporate-supremacist twaddle that the Paycheck Fairness Act is “bad for business.” As if hordes of suing women are going to upend the economy. Sorry, I think banking deregulation beat us to it! If the GOP trots out its faux concern for small business one more time, I’m… I’m… I’m going to draw another cartoon, dammit.


Kwik Links

A couple interesting reads I’ve been meaning to share lately: The Oct. 25 issue of the New Yorker had a great article about one of my biggest pet peeves, leaf blowers.  (See related cartoon about blowers here; thanks to Matt for sharing his copy of the magazine with me, because he knows how much I hate them.) Only the abstract is freely available online, but if you have a digital subscription, you can find a link to the whole article here.

The gist of the story is how a well-to-do California town has become leaf blower hell, and how one couple’s efforts to do something about it has earned them the animosity of their libertarian neighbors. (Apparently the right to peace and quiet in your own home doesn’t count as a proper “freedom.”). After reading the article to Mr. Slowpoke, he immediately went outside and started raking leaves. With, you know, a good old-fashioned rake. These days, I’m very tempted to say “thank you” to people when I see them raking the neighborly way. Except they’d probably look at me like I was some kind of weirdo.

Also worth reading, apropos of Joe Miller’s defeat: this column on Alaska as welfare state.  Thanks to Adam D. for the link.


This Week’s Cartoon: “New Product Warning Labels”

In case you missed the story about the new cigarette warnings, you can read about it here. This would be one of the good things that Democrats have done that no one knows about (Bush was threatening to veto any law giving the FDA power to regulate tobacco products).

On the other hand, the Dems are on the verge of caving on extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy without putting up a fight. If ever there was a golden opportunity for Democrats to emerge from their morass of mixed messages and effing DEFINE THEMSELVES as defenders of the working class, this is it. Force the Republicans to publicly explain why they are holding middle-class tax cuts hostage in order to make executives even richer! Call them out on the absurdity of bemoaning the deficit at the same time they would contribute vastly to it! Ah, but that would be showing conviction, and we all know “the big tent” doesn’t allow for such things.

I highly recommend reading this little piece in the Washington Post on Bush tax cut myths. As a small-business owner making significantly less than $200,000 a year (like some 98% of small-business owners), I have to laugh every time I hear BS about the upper-crust cuts somehow helping us.


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Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

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