It’s Time for the “Average Joe” to Start Worrying about America


I don’t recommend reading The New Yorker magazine, but if you do you will love the cartoons. They are terrific. They trade on the foibles and silliness of modern American life. I once talked to a woman who had spent twenty years in a cultic commune. Since she had been out of circulation for many years she was unable to see the New Yorker’s cartoonists’ humor. They were empty for her. She reminded me of another woman I know who is dyslexic. A written sentence is, likewise, empty for her. Weird. My point is … how reliant the NY cartoons are on the subtle nuances of American culture and news, which is why the cultist lady didn’t understand them. But whether you “get” the New Yorker cartoonists’ humor or not, you will see several “visual vehicles” that always recur in NY cartoons. You’ll see lonely souls on deserted islands, cavemen puzzling over possible uses for some new invention like a stone wheel, mom and pop watching television, end of the world guys in sandwich signs, variously sized Grim Reapers, cowboys and Indians trying to make sense of each others’ antics. My personal favorite is Mom and Pop observing the modern crap that surrounds us and analyzing it with basic common sense (or something slightly out of kilter to common sense).

Formerly I drew stuff on the TV screen being watched by Mom and Pop (actually Mr. and Mrs. America), but I got tired of picturing people whose actions were so boorish that attempting a likeness (an important thing for cartoons) seemed a waste of time and drawing. An example of this “boorish” factor is just about any time Bill Clinton shows up in some questionable situation. Or any situation Mrs. Clinton appears in, of which all seem highly questionable. Does she do anything properly and lawfully?  Is the Press completely blind towards her stuff? She isn’t a “Teflon” person so much as a person on whom the Press just cannot see or smell the excrement clinging to her persona …tightly attached to whatever form of flawed Teflon she covers herself with.

take our poll - story continues below

Who should replace Nikki Haley as our ambassador to the U.N.?

  • Who should replace Nikki Haley as our ambassador to the U.N.?  

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to Eagle Rising updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The main reason I like the “Mom and Pop” device is that Mom and Pop seem immune to worrying about the rubbish our political hacks engage in. They happily snuggle and just comment. They are wonderfully normal (which is not just a setting on a washing machine) and unruffled by the carnival freak-show atmosphere whirling around in America. Unfortunately, they may awaken one day soon to discover the Bearded Lady and JO-JO the Dog Faced Boy have somehow wandered into the Oval Office as long term tenants. Whether Mom and Pop remain calm or not, there will be even more fun/stupid stuff to cartoon about, which is small consolation.



The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Stephen Bowers

Stephen Bowers

I am an attorney in Las Vegas who has always wanted to draw political cartoons, partly because I like drawing, but mostly because I enjoy ridiculing pompous know-nothings. Verbally debating them gets nowhere. They don't know they're beaten. But poking fun at them in a drawing leaves them without recourse or rebuttal. What can they do...? Call me names, whine, cuss me ... or maybe draw a witty riposte? Unlikely.
Steve Bowers, Esq.

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

Send this to a friend