[Un]Presidential
doodles during the `debate'

So I made these drawings yesterday and today. The first one, I actually did during the presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden. I don't think I could've gotten through what was called a “disgrace” and (on CNN!) a “shitshow” without A) my computer's mute button and B) the commentary by the various NYT bureau chiefs, their fact-checking and so on.

doodling during the presidential debate. Graphite on printer paper. 4x5.5", 29sep20. digital erasure, contrast and colour balance adjustments.

Even so, it was still too stressful to even do doodles, which are—let's face it—pretty undemanding art. That's why people doodle in the first place, as a sort of mindless (or mindful) practice. After making total failures of horse heads with a brush pen (all of these were from my imagination) which I duly digitally cropped and/or erased from the image, I did the heads, starting on the right. The side view of a man is actually the first white person I've drawn in awhile.

The Asian figure in the middle was probably inspired by a NYT video on genderless danshi, a form of ...cross-dressing? nonbinary? It was pretty interesting, though I only understood (as usual) only a [Japanese] word here or there. The last figure I drew, on the left, I was trying to show in a head-tilted down perspective, and it didn't start well. I expect by this time Trump was making some pretty racist comments, so I drew a Black person. (Or tried to, anyway.) The gesture of the fingers is, I think, from some anime/manga, but the overall pose, of supplication or prayer, was accidental and a product of my subconscious.

The rendering of the locs, which unfortunately doesn't show up well in the reproduction, is probably my favourite bit, followed by the hair in the Asian figure.

doodles, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, technical and ball point pen ink, graphite on paper. 29–30sep20

Although my feelings about the race actually improved after the debate, nevertheless, I was still in a pretty doom-scolley mood this morning, not helped by a clip on a friend's FB feed by a black commentator, Van Jones, who was horrified by Trump's refusal to disavow white supremacy. Whoops. I mean, I was appalled too, but...I'm white.

So after that, I added some flowers, and the various texts to the second drawing. The first quote is from one of my very favourite fantasy novels, and Mr Jones’ passionate speech brought it to mind. In the quote, the (literally) saintly protagonist, Cazaril, is begging for justice: for a murdered man, for the appalling scars on his back received when sold into slavery, for a young princess about to be sold, very much against her will, into marriage with a man who rapes, murders, and bullies with an attitude not unlike what I saw on that debate screen last night.

That quote floated up to mind because, as I mentioned in the intro, I have been thinking of all who seek justice from our current administration: the three million voters disenfranchised by the EC; the vitriol and cheats to which HRC was subjected; not just the folks who have lost their homes or their lives to fires out west, but also the countless animals, trees and other living things burnt in a crucible of human failure to assume any kind of responsibility for global climate change in general, and this administration's wretched policies of environmental rollback in particular; the pain of Van Jones and everyone else, especially Black, to wonder how they are to protect their children against a rising tide of fascistic racism;[1] the 200K dead and the long-haulers still struggling with COVID19.

I am atheist. I do not believe in gods or heavens, and know that all who have been slaughtered by the injustices visited upon them in this life will receive no benison in the next. —But if the Bastard existed, I think Trump would've long paid the slimy villain's price in that book. Fortunately, we are not to that point, where every other option besides self immolation has been exhausted...[2]

Originally I was just going to write that: Bujold fans, could, I think, draw the parallels easily. But I'm not a subtle person, so a couple of Trump's seditious comments got added, and then the classic Maya Angelou quote as well.

There's a lot of guff going around about (Roman) catholics, the faith in which I was reared, and disavow, for its misogyny, child-rape, and failures to the tenets of its purported founder, Christ.[3] But another old saying has floated up, from even further back: “Peace be with you.” It's not much, with so much hurt in the world. But since I cannot offer the Bastard's justice, that nearly useless mercy must serve.

[1]A fellow beadmaker just had her minor son, who, like Cory Booker, is a 6’ plus kid, yanked out of his bedroom by the 17 odd cops at 2 in the morning because someone SWATed the household. Presumably because the kid's teacher foolishly failed to password protect their zoom account, and the kid pushed back on some zoombomber's racial slurs 5 days prior. This, less than five miles from my home. In a supposedly progressive community. No-one was shot to death, but mother and son's faith in our democracy took a major hit—not so much when it happened, which sureashell would've been my tipping point, but when the police failed to apologize afterwards for frightening and manhandling an innocent, and as she repeatedly stressed, a completely compliant-to-their-demands family.

[2]Vote. Vote. Vote.

[3]Paul is pretty much considered to be the real founder. Then, I suppose, Constantine...