This Week’s Cartoon: “2012: A Mad Lib Odyssey”

Three years ago around this time, I was asked to draw a comic for C-VILLE Weekly about events in the year ahead. At first it felt like I’d been asked to predict the future, and I thought it would be difficult. But after a bit of mulling, I found I could write an entire two-page comic addressing many of the “big” news stories of 2009 — Obama’s inauguration! The Star Trek reboot! The First Puppy! — before the year even happened. It made me realize just how much news is formulaic. Not to diminish the importance of good journalism; on the contrary! It is the antidote to normalizing fluff.

So I decided to do a mini-version of my “predictive” comic, in a sense. Just remember it in November when you hear some pundit waxing triumphant about the American electoral process, which will most assuredly have sucked in a thousand ways, no matter who won.


  • Tom

    Sad to say, it already happened. On the 4th NPR ran a piece called “U.S. Politics: Hurrah For The Red, White And Screwy” full of effusive praise for wonderful the system of legalized bribery works. How does the intrepid NPR reporter know it works? Why, by comparing the United States of America to North Korea, to Syria and other dictatorships. Oddly enough, many of the comments below the story are not full of praise for this insightful pap.

    Reminds me of 2006 when Mara Liasson said on a short-lived NPR blog that Stepehen Colbert had bombed in front of the National Press Club. After a storm of comments to the effect of “What are you talking about?” Mara lost interest in having back-and-forth with the great unwashed who live beyond the banks of the Potomac River.

  • Roger Bloyce

    Right on, Jen and Tom. I would only add that the wildly inaccurate attacks will be coming largely — or entirely — from the right, which since the Bush II catastrophe has offered very few — if any — constructive ideas for dealing with America’s most serious current problems, such as unemployment, income disparity, the approaching depletion of fossil fuels, global warming, and mankind’s tolerance for weapons of mass destruction.

    NPR, along with all other major media outlets, will continue to publicize ridiculous proposals by Republican Presidential candidates to dismantle such essential government agencies as the Federal Reserve, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration, and demean the electoral process by focusing on such side issues as gay rights, abortions, and sex education.

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.