In this cartoon, the employee asks his employer for permission to go to a supposed funeral which will take “exactly” half an hour. The word “exactly” used in this context catches the attention of the boss and begins to insinuate that the employee is speaking nonsense. The employee’s eyes appear wild on the second picture as he begins talking about the mythical Baldor and setting a dragon on fire. His hairstyle and plain black t-shirt suggest that he is a stereotypical nerd, which leads the employer to believe that he might be referring to a video game, and in this way Rudy Park uses imagery to portray the possibility of the worker not being insane. The employer, with an indifferent expression on her face, tells the man that she hopes he is talking about a video game.
On the last picture, the employer’s expression is one of mischief, with a wide smile, as she states that she will not pay for her employee’s mental health care because it would go against her religious values and the Supreme Court backs her in this matter. On the same picture, the man demonstrates his mental instability by saying that he will make his pikemen wear black. The argument presented in this cartoon has to do with the debate of whether birth control should be paid for by employers or whether freedom of religion should prevail. The Supreme Court has ruled that employers are not obliged to provide birth control to workers if birth control goes against their religious views.
But taking into account the fact that there is a great number of religions with different views on every issue, employers could use the ruling of the Supreme Court to their advantage and fail to provide coverage for their workers’ health care, as would be the case if an employee loses his mind and the employer’s religion disapproves of psychiatry. This scenario shown on the cartoon is ironic because by trying to protect freedom of religion the law is undermining the right to proper healthcare. The cartoonist uses facial expressions on the characters to illustrate the situation behind their words. The employee’s wide open eyes are a symbol of madness, and coupled with the growing insanity of his words there is no room for doubt left that he needs psychiatric care. The employee’s attitude is depicted in her nonchalant face first, showing how she is not worried at all about the worker’s mental instability, because she has the tranquility of knowing that she does not have to take responsibility for this matter.
Later, her cunning grin shows how she is taking pleasure in her situation of comfort provided by the Supreme Court. This cartoon is an allegory of how absurdly people can twist this particular Supreme Court’s ruling, and uses symbols and humor to make its point.
Uclick Darrin Bell and Theron Heir. “Cartoons”. New York Times.
Universal, 2014. Web. 23 July 2014. http://www.uclick.com/client/nyt/rk/