It’s a “classic” from 2011 this week due to travel and some much-needed observance of Labor Day. But this point can’t get repeated enough. Here’s what I had to say in 2011:
I sort of feel like the tea party and progressives could almost find some common ground over the plight of ordinary people getting screwed six ways from Sunday in this economy. We share a disillusionment with Wall Street and, I would argue, concern with loss of community in the face of crushing bureaucracy. The general principle of localism seems like something we could agree on, to a point. But it all ends there, because the tea partiers, among their other philosophical shortcomings (and there are many), have a MASSIVE blind spot when it comes to understanding the way power works in this country. They refuse to see any abuses resulting from unfettered, predatory, market-fundamentalist-style capitalism. Everything is the government’s fault. It’s such a simplistic view, it would be quaint if it weren’t also so harmful.
I’m writing this after spending the day hunkered down indoors next to an air purifier, as I have the good fortune of being in Washington state while it’s home to some of the world’s worst air pollution. For the second year in a row, smoke from wildfires has rendered the normally refreshing air practically unbreathable. My primary source of entertainment these days is checking air quality monitoring websites for signs of ominous red and purple bulges making their way down from Canada. Fires in other parts of Washington aren’t helping.
As if things didn’t already feel apocalyptic enough, there’s something about these wildfire episodes, with their sickly grayish-orange skies and sense of entrapment, that truly give one the sense that the end of the Anthropocene is nigh. Scientists say that warming temperatures plus population growth in burn-prone areas are causing the surge in wildfires; meanwhile, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is, of course, blaming environmentalists. Hard to see how we come back from this brink, since we’re already so far over it.
Since everyone is either on vacation or wishing they were on vacation this week, I felt like doing something more cultural and summery. Not that political horrors aren’t happening daily. We’ll be getting back to those shortly.
I believe the initial idea came from driving past a Jamba Juice and being mildly surprised that Jamba Juice still existed. Are there really enough people out there drinking Strawberry Surf Rider smoothies to sustain a franchise? It seems almost inconceivable to me. Seems like paleo-friendly meat smoothies would be all the rage now. They actually sell cones of meat in Spain. That’s my get-rich plan if cartooning fails.
I’ve been meaning to do a cartoon about crowdfunding healthcare for a while, especially after reading this excellent Mother Jones article on how it turns healthcare into a popularity contest. People with large social networks and compelling stories tend to get funded; those with less-marketable illnesses or a smaller circle of friends struggle. It’s shameful. Not that you shouldn’t try to help friends in need through a GoFundMe campaign, but this simply cannot be the future of healthcare in America.