The Sorensen Monologues

Archive for November, 2022

Hostile Takeover

With the recent takeover of Twitter by a certain cretin who shall not be named here, the information landscape feels more dominated than ever by far-right conspiratorial garbage while progressives get pushed even further to the margins. The aforementioned executive tweeted recently that the site had been propagating “far left San Francisco/Berkeley views” to the world and that he was “moving rapidly to establish a even playing field.” These guys are the true eliminationists, using money, power, and intimidation to shut down the entire project of civil rights and human rights. Yet in conventional narratives, it’s still college kids or powerless people on social media who get scolded for being some sort of authoritarian threat. 

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Predictable Pattern

I think it’s safe to say that if the GOP had not launched an aggressive demonization campaign against drag performers in recent months, falsely linking them to child abuse, those people at Club Q in Colorado Springs would still be alive today. The same applies for threats of violence against trans people and the medical professionals who provide care for them. The party now thrives on barely-veiled threats of violence and intimidation.

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Signs the Climate Conference is Falling Short

The Cop27 climate summit happening now in Egypt has been somewhat overshadowed by US election news, but it is no less important. I was struck by the statistic that global subsidies for fossil fuel production totaled $400 billion in 2019, and according to this Guardian report, these subsidies shot up to $700 billion in 2021 as governments tried help their economies rebound from the pandemic. Meanwhile, wealthier nations have failed to honor an agreement from Cop15 in 2009 (!) to provide a fraction of this — $100 billion — in aid to poorer nations ravaged by climate crises. 

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“Dems Should Move to the Right”

It cannot be emphasized enough how the GOP has ceased to be a legitimate political party and there is no meaningful way the Dems could position themselves to “the right” without trafficking in dangerous falsehoods. Mainstream commentators like to pretend elections are still determined by good-faith policy differences, because the alternative would be to acknowledge that nearly everything one “side” says has no basis in reality. And that gets awkward when you’re trying to maintain the lucrative fiction of “unbiased centrist.”

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A Brief History of Twitter

In earlier drafts of this cartoon each stage of Twitter initially had a description, which I’ll post here for posterity: 

  1. The Early Years: Innocent first-person “microblogging”
  2. The Middle Years: Outrage generation machine
  3. Later Years: Barely-contained tsunami of disinformation and abuse — but still strangely compelling
  4. Now: Plaything for deranged billionaire autocrats

Hopefully the artwork in each panel manages to convey these ideas without the explanations.

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Jen Sorensen is a cartoonist for Daily Kos, The Nation, In These Times, Politico and other publications throughout the US. She received the 2023 Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning from the National Press Foundation, and is a recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. She is also a Pulitzer Finalist.



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