Introducing the Event Depicted in the Cartoon
The cartoon under consideration provides a picture of the horrible disaster happened to Japanese people who lost everything. The tragedy has taken thousands of lives away and has deprived thousands of people of home.
In the cartoon, the artist tries to depict the reaction of other people to this tragedy and show how trifle other problems are comparing to the sufferings experienced by the Japanese people. While comparing tsunami disaster and NFL fans’ concerns, Tornoe has managed to render the scale of disaster as well as unconcern of other people with the problem (n. p.).
The cartoon is based on the event that happened on March 11, 2011 when about 30 000 people died and got to the list of the missing. Full devastation and natural disaster appears to be one of the horrible events in the history of mankind. But what is more terrifying is people’s indifference to this tragedy and reluctance to help and understand other people’s sufferings unless this tragedy affects them.
Tornoe chooses a tricky approach to conveying a satirical character of the cartoon. In particular, while introducing different contexts within an image and correlating two completely different events in terms of meaning and importance, the artist intends to fully disclose the essence of people’s attitude towards the tragedy as well as the measures they take to help. In addition, Tornoe also makes use of irony while comparing two different interpretations of “tragedy” for the Japanese and for the American.
Information about Title, Artist, and Subject of the Cartoon
Providing a Detailed Description and Analytical Summary
The cartoon under consideration is called NFL tragedy whose author is Rob Tornoe, an outstanding political cartoonist. The picture unveils his personal vision of the events happened in Japan and the way the global community reacted to this disaster and expressed its unwillingness to be involved into rescue operations and measures eliminating the consequences of the tragedy.
While taking the first look at the cartoon, one can see two figures, one representing the Japanese people and another from the United States. The first person looks desperate and helpless because he lost his home and land because everything was destroyed by the earthquake.
The second figure is an American standing near Japanese, but is little concerned with what is going on around him. He seems not to care much about the house burning as well as about heaps of ruins he is standing on. With some beverage in his left hand and a “Fun Number One” glove in his right hand, the American seems to be more anxious about other problems.
His appearance, nevertheless, demonstrates that the NFL fan does not even realize the degree of devastations and disruptions; all he wants to know is whether his favorite team is going to play next season. Number 7 on the fan’s T-shirt is another important detail that cannot be left without attention. The number only highlights that neither the Japanese nor the American is lucky in his own manner, which places a satirical accent on the cartoon.
Details surrounding people matter much as well because they underscore the reaction of the figures to the tragedy. The house burning in the left corner, the broken computer lying within the debris – these are all things that surround the Japanese and the American. There is not a thing that is not affected by tsunami, except for the fan.
While looking at the NFL fan, the question concerning what is really important comes to the forth. Fan’s involvement into the problems of the League does not only indicate NFL policies of the owners and players, but show how important fans are for both sides to gain financial benefits.
The quotes explain how each person understands the meaning of the word “tragedy”. Hence, the Japanese, the victim of the earthquake, says “Tsunami destroyed everything I owned. It’s a tragedy”. In contrast to this response, NFL fan says, “Speaking about tragedy, did you know there might be not any NFL games next season?”. Both statements indicate what a tragedy means to each person.
These contrastive reactions to the problem make the viewers understand different degrees of tragedy as well as how insignificant NFL tragedy is compared to the disaster happened to the Japanese people. It also indicates that the fan does not care about the suffering and pains experienced by the Japan because he has never dealt with losing his home and land. Would he care much about his favorite team if his house was destroyed? Lack of this experience prevents “Number 7” from realizing the actual scales of the disaster.
The Thesis and the Main Idea of the Cartoon
The artist’s Thesis
In the cartoon, the author renders the idea of people’s indifference to the tragedy happened as well as passiveness and reluctance of people to help the Japanese people overcome the ecological disaster and understand the actual meaning of tragedy.
Interpreting the Details of the Cartoon to Explain the Thesis
Particular attention should be paid to the persons’ anxiety and concerned expressed and the way they understand tragedy and hopelessness. The house burning and the ruins surrounding the fan do not affect him; he is still involved in their problems and concerns with the next season of NFL games. At the same time, one can see the desperateness and shock of the Japanese who is at a loss and who does not know what can be done to solve his problem.
Providing Supporting Evidence for Supplementing the Artist’s Evidence
In fact, abhorrent images of the disaster and horrible experience of the Japanese people is unspeakable and incomparable with other insignificances and routines of life.
Indeed, the picture displays one part of the problem and it is not difficult to imagine what consequences this disaster has had for humanity and natural environment. McCurry reflects on horrible outcomes that the earthquake can have, including groundwater contamination, spread of poisonous waist, and aggravation of the already critical ecological situation (837).
The author talks about the Indian Ocean tsunamis happened years before the tsunami in Japan. It was less disastrous, but the damages it brought are still tangible.
In this respect, one cannot imagine what harm has been done by the earthquake in tsunami. The nuclear plant breakdown is not only concern of the Japanese government, but the concern of the world organizations, as the outcomes are now being experienced by many countries in the world.
Impossibility to understand the actual scales of the disruptions can also be explained by people’s lack of involvement into this tragedy. Tedjasukmana provides the readers with a real picture of tsunami earthquakes as well as the threats they constitute to humanity (23). The author also emphasizes the necessity to express more concerns with everything taking place in the world because it can sooner or later affect them in future.
As a result, ignorance generates more ignorance, but people should not wait until the problem influences them. People should also realize that disasters are not just spectacles or shows to watch. Living in the era of television and media, society is able to keep abreast of everything that happens in the world, but this awareness does not contribute to its overall welfare.
In this respect, people should revaluate their view on the role of TV; they should understand that it serves not as a source for entertaining and shocking performances while disclosing horrible disasters, heroic rescues and houses burning and tearing apart (Mutter 693).
On the contrary, they should use television take corresponding measures for eliminating the outcomes of the tragedy and remaining human in critical situations. Indifference to what is going on in the world is also brightly illustrated in the cartoon under analysis.
It fully reflects people’s ignorance, coldness, and unconcern with other people’s problems. In this respect, one can conclude that globalization encourages egocentrism and provides more incentives for self-centered strategies. Disaster in Japan, therefore, should not be considered as an event as presented by media channels, but a process, a tragedy, and a bulk of horrible consequences for society.
While continuing the theme of media and its role in delivering information to society, Sandomir’s article discloses information about NFL network as well as the way it is impacted by TV channels (n. p.).
False information and wrong interpretation of facts can have a critical impact on society, particularly on its perception of the events happening in the world. Increasing attention to certain events and details make people put aside other more significant facts. Being educated by the media, people are not able to realize the actual problems and disasters until they experience it.
In addition, Sandomir underscores the negative consequences for people who blindly follow the false messages delivered by the media channels. Distorting and corrupting the reality, media seeks to attract more viewers and increase rating, but not convey and inform people about real facts.
Presenting Personal Thesis Statement
Evaluating the above-disclosed evidence supporting the main idea of the cartoon, it can be stated that Tornoe has managed to fully deliver the world’s attitude to the earthquake in Japan.
Partially because of the media activities, partially because of growing tendency in self-centered orientation and increasing competition, government is reluctant to help Japan eliminate the outcomes of the disaster. The cartoon also underscores people’s misconception concerning the extent of the tragedy because people cannot evaluate the actual scales of disaster.
In conclusion, the cartoon under analysis represents the author’s multidimensional view on the problem existing in the globalized community as well as people’s relations and attitudes to each other. Grounding on the evidence presented in the paper, the cartoon proves to be quite realistic in depicting the world reaction to the tragedy. In desperate quest of sensation, mass media strives to capture the abhorrent pictures of people’s sufferings and pains instead of providing help to the Japanese people.
Unwillingness to help prevents people from building a strong and multicultural society where each person is more concerned with the overall welfare but only with their insignificant problems. Tornoe has managed to convey the main problems as well as the main vices of the contemporary society with the help of one cartoon depicting people’s inability to understand the actual consequences of tragedy.
Jason Tedjasukmana, et al. “Sea of Sorrow. (Cover story).” Time 165.2 (2005): 22-39. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 29 Mar. 2011.http://web.ebscohost.com.proxy055.nclive.org/ehost/detail?hid=122&sid=36d14b0e-b91c-430f-8a1b-828f1481b5a5%40sessionmgr115&vid=6&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=15530843
McCurry, Justin. “Cleaning up after the tsunamis.” Lancet 365.9462 (2005): 835-836. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. http://web.ebscohost.com.proxy055.nclive.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?hid=122&sid=12075b58-8fca-453b-9215-5b4a517dcd81%40sessionmgr111&vid=8
Mutter, John C. “Preconditions of Disaster: Premonitions of Tragedy.” Social Research. 75.3 (2008): 691-724. Print.
Sandomir, Richard. “In Lockout, a Close Eye Falls on the NFL Network.” New York Times 17 Mar. 2011: 14. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. http://web.ebscohost.com.proxy055.nclive.org/ehost/detail?hid=122&sid=12075b58-8fca-453b-9215-5b4a517dcd81%40sessionmgr111&vid=3&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=59340457
Tornoe, Rob. “NFL Tragedy.” The Cagle Post. Cagle Post, Web. 24 March 2011. http://blog.cagle.com/2011/03/nfl-tragedy/