Monday, December 28, 2020

Meanwhile In Mississauga...


"Our Lady of Perpetual Lockdowns", Mayor Crombie has decided that we cannot have any joy this year.



Saturday, September 26, 2020

Happy Birthday, Marty Robbins!


 Remembering the great Marty Robbins on his birthday today. I was fortunate enough to get to meet Marty backstage after his performance at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa back in 1982. I was there with my Mom, as we were both huge fans of Marty, and he was so gracious in chatting with us for about 15 minutes or so, even giving my Mom a kiss on the cheek! He was quite taken with my caricature of him (I painted up two originals so I could present one to him as a gift), and he even asked us if we'd like to watch his second show from the wings backstage, which we took him up on for several songs before we had to head home. Tragically, I heard the news just later that year in December that Marty had died of a massive heart attack, having had a history of heart problems throughout his life. I was absolutely crushed, as I'd have to rate my meeting with Marty as one of the most cherished of any of my celebrity encounters. He was a very kind and elegant gentleman, and remains one of my favourite country singers to this day. Here's Marty singing his classic, El Paso, one of the greatest western ballads of all time!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Sad State Of Academia And "Cancel Culture"


Mostly on this blog I talk about the things I like, particularly entertainment from the past that I admire. Only occasionally do I get political on here, but this is one of those exceptions as I think it's too important not to address.

Within the last couple of weeks a situation happened to a friend of mine that very closely resembled what I too had experienced in my last year or two of teaching college until my resignation in 2015. (Perhaps I'll finally tell that story in the near future). Cristy Maltese is a veteran of Disney feature animation, having most notably painted backgrounds for The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast and several other features through to Home On The Range, for which she was background supervisor. In short, she's got a lot of talent and some pretty impressive credits to her name, so she knows her stuff. Recently, Cristy had also been teaching Visual Development in the Animation program at Laguna College of Art & Design in California. That all came to an end last week after a ridiculous situation that Cristy writes about here. Please read her account first before continuing on to what I have to add to it below.

https://medium.com/@cristymaltese/how-laguna-college-of-art-design-is-dealing-with-its-racism-88505daf4a87

The following is Cristy's original letter to LCAD that she also copied to her teaching colleagues, including Larissa. These segments are from Larissa's Facebook page, so you can also see the snide comments in response from she and her followers:



Now, here is Larissa's initial response to what Cristy had said:



She then followed that up with this letter of rebuttal that was sent to LCAD:

https://www.facebook.com/larissa.marantz/posts/10158563054098234

As well as airing her views about Cristy on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/LarissaMarantz/status/1276886456481398791

As you can see, Larissa went to great pains to paint herself as a “victim” of “racism”, when it was really all much ado about nothing , i.e.  a hashtag that read #AllLivesMatter issued by one of the staff at LCAD. Yet when Cristy tried to show just how benign that statement from this well-meaning staffer was (as he was actually writing in support of BLM), Larissa decided that Cristy must also be publicly outed for not kowtowing as she was supposed to when it came to all things related to the Black Lives Matter movement (a dubious organization hiding behind a title suggesting noble intent). Anyone who has actually read Cristy’s original letter can plainly see how it was only meant to calm things down and is not “racist" in the least, as Larissa falsely claims it to be. Yet Larissa decided to write a spiteful screed in response that deliberately mischaracterized Cristy’s words while also ginning up her followers on both Facebook and Twitter, all of whom added their own vitriolic comments likely without ever having actually read Cristy’s letter in the first place. Just take a read through those comments to see how hateful they are.

The end result was that, after this debacle and the pressure that Larissa and her followers (including other faculty and students) put upon the college through a signed petition, Cristy received a phone call from LCAD letting her know that she would not be called back to teach in the next semester. In short, she was another casualty of today's "Cancel Culture".

The fact is, I know only too well how such radicals operate, having been subjected to much the same vindictive experience a number of years ago myself. As such, I know how to recognize their insidious and dishonest tactics intended to ruin the reputations of others. Teaching can be a very satisfying experience when one has students who are willing to learn, as well as colleagues and administration who are tolerant of different viewpoints. But it can devolve into a nightmare when those who are steeped in “outrage culture” are looking for any opportunity to take phony offence and seek to destroy their target by whatever nefarious means they can. So long as this intolerance of alternative views and practice of “Cancel Culture” continues, our colleges and universities will lose their brightest and their best teachers and professors, and will end up with mediocre people remaining to indoctrinate and cow their students into submission. This does not bode well for the future of higher learning or for society at large.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Happy Birthday, Jim Garner!


As is my annual tradition on The Cartoon Cave, here is this year's new caricature to honour the late, great Jim Garner on his birthday. Though I've drawn him in a number of his film and TV roles over the many years, I must admit that I always prefer to return to his familiar role as Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files. This time, however, I also wanted to showcase Jim's co-star and longtime friend, actor Stuart Margolin, in his semi-regular role as Rockford's former cellmate and professional grifter, Angel Martin, whom Jim still inexplicably remains buddies with despite how often Angel takes advantage of his good nature. For no matter how many times Angel behaves like a despicable little weasel, somehow Jim not only tolerates him but seems to genuinely like and care about the guy. So does the audience, for that matter, and it's all due to Stuart Margolin's ability to imbue the character of Angel with such a manic, yet likeable, personality.

One of the recurring situations that will be familiar to all fans of the series is when Jim and Angel are confronted by gun-wielding heavies and, while Jim attempts to calmly talk their way out of the dilemma, Angel will desperately say anything he thinks the bad guys want to hear in the hopes of saving his own skin, even if it means selling out Jim in the process! Yet somehow Jim's wits (along with a sucker punch or two) manage to eventually get them both out of the scrape and back into Jim's gold Firebird to go burning up the pavement to safety.

I based my caricature on such a scene from the episode, The No Cut Contract, but here is a similar scene (and perhaps the definitive one!) from another episode, Chicken Little Is A Little Chicken. Enjoy!



Friday, March 20, 2020

Happy Birthday, Jerry Reed!


I'm afraid I haven't been too active on this old blog for quite some time now and I do really miss it. Anyway, here's a new caricature of my favourite country singer, that crazy rascal, Jerry Reed, who had quite a successful career on both the country music charts and onscreen alongside his buddy, Burt Reynolds.

I watched a number of Jerry's performances available for viewing on YouTube before settling on this one as my main reference in developing this caricature. Here's Jerry singing a medly of songs along with the great Marty Robbins in this clip from Marty's syndicated TV show back in the late 70s. Enjoy!