This Week’s Cartoon: “Let’s Get Ugly”

Whenever I travel by highway, I am struck by how determined we seem to destroy the country with ugliness. The drive from Seattle to Portland is not especially ugly compared to others, but it has its moments (I’m looking at you, Tacoma-area sprawl). This  grotesque lack of attention to aesthetics really, really bothers me. We’re letting commercial developers ruin everything that’s not within an urban core. Opposing this stuff doesn’t make me a snob; it makes me patriotic. The song is “America the Beautiful,” not “America the Sh!thole,” dammit.

My parents recently reported that their neighbors, who have a deep affinity for crap (among other things, they bought their children an actual golf cart to drive in circles around the neighborhood), just installed a hideous above-ground pool in their backyard. That’s where the pool reference in the comic came from. [UPDATE: The pool has apparently developed a case of mustard fungus! Schadenfreude? Yes.]


  • Abell Smith

    Did you catch the Uncle Sam Billboard? Years ago, some farmer put up a huge billboard on I-5 around Chehalis, so he could put up various right-wing slogans and spoutings. Last I saw, it said “Where’s the Birth Certificate?”

  • Jen Sorensen

    I saw a huge Bible-thumping billboard somewhere down there. Might’ve been it.

  • Quiddity

    Love those Crocs in the first panel.

  • Tom Schmidt

    What about the garbage? That’s my personal pet peeve. It infuriates me when I see people littering. I think the one of the most basic civic responsibilities one can accept is to NOT litter. We pay for services to pick up garbage from easily accessed and numerous containers – yet people litter like the earth is their private garbage can. Makes me sick.

    I drove from Boston to Chatam on Cape Cod a few years ago, and that main drag that goes down the middle of the cape was just covered in litter people throw from their cars. Disgusting. If you’re too damn lazy to not litter I have zero respect for you.

  • Jen Sorensen

    Quiddity: I was hoping someone would notice!

    Tom: Right on. When we lived in rural Virginia, the road to our house was festooned with litter; people just threw empty beer bottles out of their car windows. Thoughtless on so many levels.

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  • Bill Freese

    I knew a woman who told of a visit to her grandchildren in Alaska. “…and if you are ever in Denali National Park,” she said, “be sure you don’t throw any garbage out of the car window. They go CRAZY there when you do that.”

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.