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— Editorial —


Unfair Distribution of Talent:
The Surrogate Cartoonist Act


Drawing of Harley
as done by his friend

I have a friend who thinks it is great fun to draw caricatures of me. The other day, she drew one that you might think is humorous but, to me, did not resonate with my personal funny bone. Fair enough. However, when I tried to reciprocate, I had a lot of difficulty, which just isn't fair.

You see, although I have a variety of talents, I can't draw all that well and — more specifically — I can't draw whimsical and imaginative cartoons nearly as well as my friend. So where her caricatures of me are professionally cute, if not a bit insulting, my drawings of her are rudimentary at best: blocky, childish, not at all effective.

She, however, doesn't see it that way. "You can't draw well," she says, "because you don't believe you can draw well."

This, I believe (and I hope you agree with me) is where we need to draw the line. It's high time that the government — and our culture as a whole — recognize that all people cannot draw cartoons equally well and many of us, through no fault of our own, have difficulty coming up with anything above the level of an inebriated border collie.

What comes easily to my friend may not come so easily to me, and we need the federal government to step up to the political plate and do something about it. For this reason, I call upon the government to pass the Surrogate Cartoonist Act, a law mandating measures to mitigate such injustices. Specifically, I believe that I should be provided with professional, government-funded help to enable me to compete with my friend.

I think that whenever my friend draws a funny caricature of me and I want to get back at her, I should have access to a government- mandated surrogate cartoonist to help me. After all, does it sound fair to you that people like me should go through an entire lifetime never being able to draw funny cartoons of other people, just because we don't have enough talent?

I believe that whenever I need such services, I should have access to a government-funded cartoonist. He or she would come over to my home. I would describe what I want, and the surrogate cartoonist would draw it for me. I could then show the drawing to my friend while sticking out my tongue at her. She how she likes it.

Right now, because of the unfair advantage my friend has over me, whenever she draws an insulting cartoon featuring me all I can do is tell her, "I know you are, but what am I?", which, as I am sure you know, only works up to a point.

But here is my point. I live in the greatest country in the history of the world and I pay my taxes. When I need a tiny bit of help from a large, powerful, wealthy government, I think they should be there to help me, not to ignore me. After all, it is not my fault that, when it comes to cartoons, I am artistically challenged.

As such, I challenge our government to, once and for all, stop sweeping this important problem under the political carpet. Remember (I say to our senators and representatives), I am only one of many and, come election day, the millions of us who can't draw well are perfectly capable of making our voices heard loud and clear — especially if we feel like going to the bother of voting.

I call upon Congress to act now and pass The Surrogate Cartoonist Act. Failing that, I call upon the President to show true leadership by issuing an executive order mandating federal funding to ensure that anyone with my particular disability have access to a surrogate cartoonist to enable me to compete fairly with my friend. In addition, I call upon the government to pass a law requiring people like my friend — who, unfairly, has more than her fair share of natural talent — to draw only with her left hand.

After all, I am a citizen of a country founded on the principle that I have an unalienable right to pursue happiness, and it's not my fault that I can't draw cute cartoons as well as my friend.

Just imagine what that does to my sense of self-esteem.

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