Political Cartoon from 1933

We’ll have to make do with a description rather than an image file again- The scanner is buried beneath a pile of books, and I am not sure I can scan this one without harming the scrapbook my grandfather pasted it in. It’s from the editorial page of The Chicago Tribune in 1933. In general, I agree with the overall point (Western Civilization is a wonderful thing), but there’s a side theme that makes me twitchy.

Teaching Our Youth

Panel One:
illustration:- young people doing the ‘hot cha cha’ to discordant sounds (illustrated by broken notes) coming from the radio, which bears the label ‘Jazz imported from the Congo.’
text: If we teach our youth that this is music

Panel Two:
illustration: young man looking confused as he looks at a wild eyed artist presenting to him a framed, scribbled mess and a bizarre sculpture. The framed scribbling is labeled “modern art swiped from the Eskimo and the Liberian”
Text: …and this is art

Panel Three:
illustration: Young man seated in a room with a shelf full of books labeled ‘filth,’ he is looking shocked as he reads another one also labeled ‘filth.’
text: … and this is literature

Panel Four (my favorite):
illustration: young man looks dismayed as a professorial type smiling indicates to him a primitive ox drawn cart. The peasant driving the cart looks tired. The oxen look tired. The cart is labeled ‘Russia.’
text: …and this is progress

Panel Five:
illustration: Uncle Sam and Miss Columbia are dressed in furs and feathers, holding stona ge tools, in front of a grass hut on stilts, looking like traditional depictions of cavemen. A dodo bird is labeled “American Eagle.”
text: – we ought to develop a great civilization in a couple of generations.

Cartoon is by Orro or Orrd- it’s hard to read his signature.

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One Comment

  1. Navhelowife
    Posted June 10, 2006 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I”m interested in hearing more about your thoughts on this cartoon – I saw it as a definite negative reaction to what the culture was promoting at that time. But maybe one has to see it to get the whole feel of it…
    And I also found it interesting that some of the same issues are still around..nothing new under the sun!

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