Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Zack Rawsthorne, a conservative writer/cartoonist who is the creator of Diversity Lane (www.diversitylane.com), a print-cartoon series and soon-to-be-released book which mercilessly skewers the liberal/left world-view on a regular basis. A man on a mission to “help get America laughing at the Left,” Rawsthorne believes that far too much ground is given up in the humor department to the forces of modern liberalism. In his view, without widespread participation in the arena of Humor, the conservative vision– which Rawsthorne regards as essentially common-sense– is severely undermined in our culture.
FP: Zack Rawsthorne, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Rawsthorne: I appreciate the invitation.
FP: Congratulations on your creation of Diversity Lane.
Rawsthorne: That’s most kind of you– thanks for the vote of confidence.
FP: Tell us what inspired you to start it.
Rawsthorne: Our culture is saturated with liberal/left thinking, which is to say dangerously mistaken assumptions about life, people, the world, America, you name it. I was leaving a used book store one rainy afternoon and my eye fell on an old Addams Family collection– you know, those cartoons The New Yorker used to run many years ago which evolved into a TV show and then movies. The Addams Family was a clan of grotesques, people ominously opposite from normal folks, and it suddenly hit me that today’s incarnation of such an against-the-grain household would be a hypothetical family of liberal/leftists. The Addams Family reveled in darkness– that is, the characters came down on the side of Death and morbidity in a way that series creator Charles Addams was able to make wryly amusing. But many liberals today will march in a candlelight vigil in support of condemned-to-death murderers, for whom these reverent ideologues have a twisted sympathy. And hundreds of thousands of other liberals not physically engaged in the hushed quasi-religious midnight march routinely vote and think in ways that support the ghouls circling Death Row. This is just one of countless examples. They glorify the down-and-out vagrant lying in the gutter as some kind of societally wronged Noble Savage with a bottle of Jack Daniels, while holding the self-sacrificing, responsible, hard-working entrepreneur in suspicion or contempt if he has dared to become reasonably successful. They squirm and rail against the public mention of God as if it indicates some fearsome evangelistic insurgency come down from the hills of Appalachia to enforce violent religious strictures on us all– rather than the ever-present touchstone of countless speeches from Washington to Lincoln to Roosevelt and practically every statesman in history. They’re skeptical-to-condemnatory of Israel but cautiously supportive of the radicalized Palestinians and other bloodthirsty Middle East types whom they paint as “wronged” by America-like (and therefore suspect) Israel. And this just scratches the surface.
FP: What are your goals with Diversity Lane?
Rawsthorne: My regularly re-stated chief goal is to get America laughing at the left. I’d like to help people– through my cartoons– see the left for what it is: a twisted, anti-rational, often anti-human world-view which, through its widespread spokesforces in the mainstream media, has come to dominate our cultural mindset to a dire degree. And all through cleverly devised arguments and theories which routinely represent Good as Bad and Bad as Good. In their extreme ideological gyrations they can be not just dangerous but funny, and this needs to be more fully explored. If enough people can come to comprehend the laughingstock essence of leftist thought we’ll go a long way to undermining it as the pervasive destructive force that it is.
FP: Are your cartoons based on real people, and do we know any of them?
Rawsthorne: They’re based more on actual human types than on specific people but to be sure many of the traits exemplified in my characters get played out publicly every single day by Democrat politicians or, alternately, Hollywood & TV celebrities. When Harry Reid condemns our war effort as “lost” while we still have troops engaged in battle, he’s being an Alex Lane. When Joy Behar screeches that Republican senatorial candidate Sharron Angle is a bitch en route to Hell, she’s being a Devon. Sadly, Republicans too at times can betray their ideals and act like liberals. I keep trying to formulate a cartoon character representing this trait but always end up tossing them in the trashcan in disgust.
FP: Have you done any political art before?
Rawsthorne: I began several anti-Left cartoon series since renouncing my initially Democrat roots several decades back but none of them really got off the ground. I think their main shortcoming was the lack of a family structure, however demented. My earlier attempts were also a bit over-ripe. For example I started one called The Adventures of Liberalia, which followed for a few pages the highly symbolic journeys of a left-leaning knight as he sails from one metaphorical situation to another… kind of a “Pilgrim’s Progress” for the National Review set. I think the lighter tone of Diversity Lane suits our age much better, and besides it’s wearisome rendering armor and chain-mail all the time.
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