Beatrice (Bea) Arthur: May 13, 1922 – April 25, 2009



A great scene from “The Golden Girls”, although I remember Bea Arthur from her 70′s show “Maude” and her first portrayal of that character on “All in the Family”.

The hilarity of Bea Arthur, and the rest of “The Golden Girls” helped get me through some of the roughest moments in the early years of AIDS.

What a contribution to life to have made so many people laugh, while never shying away from taking courageous stands on so many social issues!

As an aside May 13 was my brother Craig’s birthday, 33 years after Bea’s. There were definite similarities.

Oh America, where is thy appreciation of satire?


When it comes to satirical cartoons, they don’t get much better in the United States than The New Yorker.  Go to their website and you can order books of them.  Facebook will deliver one to you daily.  New Yorker = cartoons, satirical cartoons.

So, when I saw the cartoon on the latest cover, I laughed and thought “Well done.”  It seems not everyone got it, and even Barack Obama had to denounce it (whether he saw the humour or not).  My guess is that he is offended as much by how many people will not understand satire and how this cover might end up being used to fan the flames of doubt and intolerance. Call it “as seen through the eyes of a FOX”.

Let’s be clear, however.  Everything in the drawing is the satirical conclusion of all that has been thrown, so far, at Barack and Michelle Obama – a prominent portrait of Osama bin Laden (as if he and Barack are related); a burning American flag in the fireplace (as if anyone not wearing a flag pin on his chest or holiding his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem might just as well be doing so); Obama dressed in Muslim dress because an astonishing number of stupid people still believe he is a Muslim (and which is worse - that misconception or the prejudice behind the misplaced objection?); Michelle a no-nonsense warrior with the never-before-seen-in-middle-white-America “fist bump”.

Clearly America needs to learn about satire. An educated voter would be able to see the humour in much more than has been the case since George W. Bush was imposed on the world.

Jon Stewart’s work never ends.


Digg!