Friday, December 31, 2010

A Cat for Class President

Remember this cat?  Woodstock moved onto the Third East floor of East Campus sometime in late 1975.  In the Spring of 1976, he was entered as a candidate for president of the Class of 1978.  His electoral prospects seemed remote at the time - until the image above appeared on the cover of the March 11, 1976 edition of thursday, at which point he became a campus sensation, garnering votes for any number of offices - Undergraduate Association president, vice-president, dogcatcher.  All of the votes were thrown out, of course, but Woodstock's notoriety was established.  He only lived another year, but his name appeared on ballots as a write-in for several years.  He also became the model for the cat that appeared in the Stickles cartoons that followed; this one dates to October 1977.
For me, politics has been very ripe for parody.  In high school, I created three fictitious candidates and a fictitious class office (Class Libertarian), and proceeded to plaster the school halls with posters for the candidates, sneaking them in amongst the posters for the legitimate candidates.  They were probably all very diligent, earnest and hard-working, and they all really wanted to win, for the betterment of student life and their college transcripts, but I thought the vast expenditure of energy was, if nothing, worthy of an equally energetic campaign making fun of it all.  Real world politics has been another matter altogether - much rougher and meaner in spirit, though no less ripe for satire.  I included my share of political sentiment in my cartoons over the years.

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