David Sipriss has been a cartoonist for The New Yorker since 1998 and, as a middling scribbler in a past life, I've been a fan of his sketchy, expressive style for many of those years. It was an essay he wrote for the magazine, however, that caught my attention the other day.
"How to Stay Sane as a Cartoonist in Trumpland," published Feb. 3, riffed off the most popular piece he's ever created: A one-panel drawing of a man and woman walking down a city street, the woman remarking, "My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane."
According to Sipriss, he doesn't remember what specific event or circumstance caused him to draw that particular cartoon, or even where it was first published. He wrote that it dated from sometime during the Clinton years. That it remains so readily shared on social media is a testament to its fundamental truth: If you stare too long into the abyss, it will stare back.
One remedy for bad-news-overload is to escape into art, and we have a great opportunity for you to do just that in this week's edition of Boise Weekly. For the second year in a row, BW has teamed up with The Flicks for the Red Carpet Movie Awards—a free contest in which you pick what Oscar nominated films will score a statuette and, if you choose wisely, win from a slate of prizes that will make it easy to leave this world of strife and division for a few hours of blessed entertainment.
For a complete list of rules and prizes, plus a sample ballot containing BW film guru George Prentice's picks, see Page 19. In the meantime, maybe carve out some time to take care of yourself by catching up on some of the best films of the year.
As Sipriss wrote, among all the forms of self-care he's come across in this dark night of the political soul, the best might be "just making sure to have fun now and then." Good advice.