101usesforajohnhoward

john howard fossil

Australia is blessed with great cartoonists. John Kudelka is one such. There are some terrific cartoons on his website – which I’ve reproduced below the fold. In the meantime, he’s doodled away to produce a book of cartoons and light commentary on the theme of 101 Uses For A John Howard.

Well timed for both the electoral and Christmas shopping cycles this book would make a handy gift for people like my Mum who are rusted on Labor barrackers or who spend at least some small part of each day lamenting the direction our country has been taking for a while now.

It costs $20 or less than 20 cents per cartoon, which is good value. Above is a favourite in which Mr Howard is shown to be relaxed, comfortable and fossilised. This is a somewhat hackneyed way to present our most post-modern Prime Minister yet, but I thought it was particularly well drawn.

Then again I’m biased – for two reasons.

  1. I used to be a cartoonist of sorts so I like cartoonists and think Australian cartoonists are so far and away the best in the world it’s not funny. As I wrote in an earlier post “Twenty years ago I was travelling the world selling cartoons I had drawn over the previous three years. Naturally I looked around at the competition. At least according my admittedly culturally specific biases, around five of the best ten cartoonists Ive ever seen are Australians – viz Petty, Leunig, Moir, Leak, Tandberg though there are plenty of others.”
  2. John sent the book to me in return for my undertaking to tell you all about it. I am easily bought.

Hurry while stocks last. John’s comments on the cartoon above are over the fold. And this cartoon, the accompanying comments and the other 100 sets of cartoons and comments are at the book’s website.

For millions of years, John Howard roamed the earth, then, tragically, the times stopped suiting him. Some say it was a small, neat meteorite that finally killed him off, others suggest that after all that time he simply ran out of places to bury his dung, however it is certain that a change in the climate didnt help.

Early pretenders to his ecological niche were the Sabre-Toothed Latham, which unfortunately kept biting itself in the bum, and the Giant Woolly Beazley which baffles political palaeontologists by popping up in various epochs but finally turned out to be an evolutionary dead end.

The remarkable rise of the quite unremarkable-looking Nerd-Faced Rudd seems to coincide with the decline of the Howardsaur, with fossil records popping up seemingly everywhere in an extremely short time. Some suggest that he was better able to cope with the change in climate due to an ability to regulate his own body temperature, but the jury is still out on whether he was truly warm-blooded.

One group asserts that he may in fact have been a direct evolutionary offshoot from the Howardsaur due to some striking similarities, and other less kind scientists suggest that he was in fact the direct evolutionary precursor to the Drovers Dog.

While current indicators point to the Rudd being the cause of the Howardsaurs demise, further study is required. What can be said is that evidence of the Howardsaurs reign will continue to be turned up for years to come in the form of enormous coprolites buried throughout the political landscape.

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