Sunday, June 15, 2014
A dear friend of mine recommended a wonderful HBO documentary I post here and below on the political cartoonist and satirist Herb Block. He drew the most prescient politically satirical cartoons that made, in their way, a most weighty influence on our history. He began his drawing in the early 20th century; working through the Great Depression until his death in 2001. That's a lot of history to draw. I paste a famous one he drew of Nixon during Watergate:
Nixon hanging between the tapes
[Nixon hanging between the tapes], May 24, 1974 Reproduction of original drawing. Published in the Washington Post (79) "
[Nixon hanging between the tapes], May 24, 1974 Reproduction of original drawing. Published in the Washington Post (79)
I loved this documentary and if you care anything about the trajectory of our nation you will, I think, love it too. The film was made for me as I try to, in my own small way through my writing, unprofessional that it may be, place a stake in what I think is the most humane and just policy while pointing out grave hypocrisies when I can. My mantra has been to question everything, as Howard Zinn instructed, by always asking who does policy benefit and why.
I wanted to be a voice for the little guy, to erase terrible injustice and to add to the fairness in life and not detract from it. There is, an ethical cement in which I place my opinion to try. Maybe I will not be able to fill the aisles when I depart the planet but someday if someone is reading a history of our time my point of view -- liberal humane points of view -- will get a just hearing.
Herb Block before his death sums up his hope for our nation's future through Truman's famous "The Buck Stops Here" sign on his desk except Herbblock (as he liked to spell his name) rephrased it. He said "Anything FOR a buck stops here" Amen, Mr. Block, from your words into God's ears!