This cartoon is a byproduct of technology and the Eisenhower administration. I spent a good 20 hours on Eisenhower’s Interstates last week, and listened to mp3s the whole time, about half podcasts, half music. I finally got caught up with This American Life and the In The Shadow of the City episode (#307) reminded me that it’s been a while since I did a cartoon about New Orleans. I also heard the Dead Milkmen‘s Beach Party Vietnam on the way back and couldn’t get it out of my head while I was trying to come up with something.
So that, combined with a desire not to spend too much time huddled over a piece of bristol board upon my return, led to this bit of single panel randomness. I find it amazing that the subject of New Orleans virtually disappeared from public discourse almost as soon as 2006 came around. Everytime some asshole on TV talks about Mexicans and homosexuals, or even the quagmire in Iraq, as the greatest problem facing America, I start to think I’m the only person who knows that a good chunk of an American city is still in ruins.
Of course that’s not true. The hundreds of thousands affected by the disaster certainly aren’t getting too caught up in la polémique du jour. I’m sure there’s excellent reporting going on somewhere, but I have no idea why the Democrats are running away from Katrina in an election year and focussing on other issues. (Raising the minimum wage is important, but it’s not exactly going to fire up the base as much the greatest failure of our government since Hoover’s Great Depression.)
What’s even more surprising is the dearth of coverage Katrina gets among the progressive punditry, including those of us in the backwater of alt-weekly political cartooning. Ben Smith is the only exception I can think of. However, I must confess to not actually being a fan of political cartoons and I’m sure I missed a few good ones.
It’s not racism, or even classism, just a lazy willingness to talk about politics like sports or the weather. Old news is no news, even if it means talking about what Ann Coulter said instead of the stuff that really matters. I suppose I’m just getting tired of everyone dutifully moving on to issue after issue just because Republicans feel like changing the subject.
Next Week: Our Flag Is An Awesome Flag
Reminder: July 8 – Boston Attitude 3 signing with Mark Poutenis.