Category Archives: Missouri

Political Cartoons About Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin’s Unpopular Opinions

Check out Self Deprecate Political Humor for more political cartoons!

Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin-R, who is now trailing 9 points in his race for a Senate seat, has had one hell of a time, lately.   No one told him that you can’t spout nonsense data, not supported by science, as justification for the legal oppression of women in this country. Todd Akin, from the same party that brought us the 2012 Republican War on Women, is even getting dirty looks from within his own ranks. Not because of what he said, but because people are upset that he said it. Go figure.

Senate Candidate Todd Akin Evokes Dr. Strangelove

Todd Akin vs Women's Rights - 2012 Cartoon

Akin - Legitimate Rape Editorial Cartoon

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Press or Pass: The Unfunny Closing of the University of Missouri Press

Tracy Wuster

Update:  As of October, the decision to close the Press has been reversed and Clair Willcox has been rehired.  The concerted efforts of many people helped convince the bigwigs at Mizzou to reverse course, even if they won’t fully admit their mistakes.  I will be publishing my book with the press, if it is approved, of course.   To follow the situation, go here:  https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheUniversityOfMissouriPress.  I have added a new cartoon below.

Another update: in November, 2015, Wolfe has resigned due to his handling of a number of incidents concerning racism.  In a twist, considering the satire on Wolfe below, the final straw seems to have been the announcement that many members of the football team would be on strike until Wolfe left.  In another, more personal, twist, I received my page proofs for Mark Twain: American Humorist from the University of Missouri Press on Saturday night.

This summer has had something of a dark cloud hanging over it.  In June I arrived in San Francisco for the American Literature Association conference, excited for the conference, for a short vacation, and for the chance to get back to Austin to get to work on my book.  Tentatively titled “The Great American Humorist: The Making and Meanings of Mark Twain,” the book was/is under advance contract with The University of Missouri Press for inclusion in the “Mark Twain and His Circle Series.”  I was scheduled to get the press a revised draft by July 1.

On the first day of ALA, I learned of the decision of the UM system’s new president, Tim Wolfe, to shut down the press, a decision he made without consulting any of the press’s employees or, it appears, any faculty at the four campuses of the UM system.

Many have noted that the subsidy for the press was pulled at the same time as the university announced a $200 million plan to upgrade athletic facilities.  As part of the justification for closing the press was that it did not fit into the core mission of the university, many have wondered if the core mission of many universities is football (often with tragic results).  And while sports can play a necessary and positive role in higher education, the prioritization of sports over academics can be seen as part of a larger view of colleges as businesses rather than as colleges.

For more information, see the “Save the University of Missouri Press” Facebook page.

Please sign the Petition to save the press.

Recent article on the closing of the press by William Least Heat-Moon.

The just announced “plan” to do something or other to replace the press. Unfortunately, not a joke.

This is all very sad and frustrating, and the only humor in the situation consists of the short, nasal chuckle in which a sigh is transformed into a rueful commentary on the silliness of the universe by a slight smile and a slow shake of the head.

Why should you care?  While the closing of the press affects me personally, if you are interested in the study of humor or the study of Mark Twain, then the closing of the press means the loss of a press that published significant books in both areas (see below for a sampling of the books).

Unlike the recent, and quite analogous tumult at the University of Virginia, the decisions of business people, with little academic experience, to so drastically attack key components of academic life has been met with little satiric ridicule.  The work of John Darkow at The Columbia Daily Tribune is the exception.

University of Missouri Press football athletics SEC

University of Missouri Press mizzou football athletics SEC

University of Missouri Press, Tim Wolfe, Mizzou

See below for three more cartoons from Darkow, as well as some other bits of humor and a sampling of the fine books the press has published on humor.

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