Friday, March 29, 2013

Today's Walk - Angophora Reserve Rock Ledge


"From the Desk of Bob Mankoff - March 28, 2013"


Robert Mankoff

Robert Mankoff is the cartoon editor of The New Yorker. More than eight hundred of his cartoons have 
been published in The New Yorker in the past thirty years, including the best-selling New Yorker cartoon 
of all time.

He is the author of the book “The Naked Cartoonist: A New Way to Enhance Your Creativity,” 
published in 2002, about the creative process behind developing magazine-style cartoons. He has also 
edited dozens of cartoon books and published four of his own. Notably, he edited “The Complete 
Cartoons of The New Yorker” (Black Dog & Leventhal), the best-selling coffee-table book for the 2004 
holiday season, featuring all 68,647 cartoons ever published inThe New Yorker since its début, in 1925.

Mankoff graduated from Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 1966. He lives in 
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, with his wife, Cory, and their two children.

Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here together, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, for funnier or, I hope, even funnier, to cast a jaundiced cartoon eye (and if you’ve ever had a jaundiced cartoon eye, you know how painful that can be) on a topic that’s much in the public eye these days: same-sex marriage, not to be confused with its hetero-normative near-homonym:

Marriage, gay or straight, is a serious business, not to be entered into unadvisedly, although once the date is set, the advice of counsel is not recommended:

It is clear that marriage should not be entered into lightly—unless you’re a cartoonist, in which case light is the right way to go:

Marriage has always been a bottomless well of inspiration for New Yorker cartoonists, who witness the challenge that any couple faces in attempting to make their union civil, often to no avail:

And while the current sea change in attitudes toward marriage has given many institutions mal de mer, forNew Yorker cartoonists it has been a spring tide on a familiar subject.

Not that attitudes toward marriage haven’t evolved over the decades. Older cartoons often confronted issues both ridiculous and sublime, sometimes simultaneously:

Any kind of marriage can be a union of the heart, body, and mind—a wellspring of mutual joy and the foundation for a stable and loving environment. In which case, it has no place in cartoons:

That’s not to say it’s impossible to create a cartoon about marriage that focusses on the need for mutual understanding and sensitivity in a relationship. As many of us have learned through the years, it is important to enter marriage with realistic expectations.

Even though The New Yorkers cartoon record reveals a somewhat cynical attitude toward the sanctity, sanity, and stability of marriage, most cartoonists I know have tied the knot, and don’t consider it a noose. And some, like myself, have tied it, untied it, and tied it yet again.

Specious arguments against same-sex marriage aside,

an objection to same-sex marriage could be based on experiential, not moral grounds:

That objection notwithstanding, I can report that, when I asked New Yorker cartoonists if they approved of same-sex marriage, whether Republican or Democrat, straight or gay, all proudly said, “I do!”


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