I marvel at the uncanny insight of our readers


… or one of them, anyway. Just now, I was kidding Robert Ariail about this letter in today’s paper:

Ariail’s work deserves a Pulitzer Prize
In case it comes up, I nominate Robert Ariail for a Pulitzer Prize. His pen is multidirectional: It cuts up and down as well as sideways. A case in point is his masterpiece Tuesday regarding the bailout fiasco in Washington.

Brad Warthen also deserves some sort of special credit for whatever role he plays in victim selection.


Here’s what’s funny about that if you’re me: Robert’s been having a bad week, by his reckoning. Robert’s problem is that his "bad weeks" are largely in his head. He’s unhappy with his ideas, so he thinks he’s not doing well. Artists. On Monday, it was going so badly that even after our page was long done and in the proofing stage — past mid-afternoon — he hadn’t even started on a cartoon, although he had several sketches he was unhappy with.

He was on the verge of saying he just wouldn’t have a cartoon for the next day (something that almost never happens) when I started in on him, telling him he was dogging it, he could do it, it was all in his head, and a bunch of other halftime exhortations. I told him this particular idea that he had sketched was just what was needed, as it touched on the debate AND the news of Monday. So he finished it.

And this reader not only thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but sensed somehow that I had something to do with it. I’m loving it.

4 thoughts on “I marvel at the uncanny insight of our readers

  1. Mike Cakora

    Arial is gifted thrice:

    – He can translate complex notions into multifaceted, readily understandable images, day after day.
    – He conceals whatever political beliefs he may have: over time he fairly and vigorously subjects all to an honest appraisal, somehow capturing the essence of the human condition.
    – He’s got a colleague — you — who can motivate, cajole, inspire, and otherwise support his experiments.

    I’ve got an older collection of his cartoons and I find them both humorous and inspired today. I’ve a lot of admiration for folks who can translate the complex into simple imagery, proving that a picture is worth a thousand words. He’s a whole heckuva lot better and fairer than most in the major dailies.

  2. Brad Warthen

    No, no, no — this, obviously, is self-deprecating humor. I’m doing that irony thing again, which loses some people.

    If you want "uncanny ego," pure obnoxious self-absorption, you have to go read my extended comments in response to Doug back here

    Please, in your attacks on my character, be precise.

  3. p.m.

    Thanks for the invitation.
    And for the ammunition:
    Where you sent me, you wrote, “I study an issue until I reach a point that, holding everything I’ve learned in my head at once, I reach a conclusion.”
    Sure you do, Brad. Though no one on earth can literally even conceive of more than 50 or 60 people at one time, much less 40,000 or 50,000, you can hold a lifetime’s worth of thoughts about several different people in your forebrain all at once.
    I bet you can run the 100-yard dash faster than David Beasley, too.

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