The following, I hope, is an attempt to explain the situation of the dilemma in trying to make sense of many of the magazine cartoon art purchases at The new Yorker magazine, since the mid-seventies. ( Serious comments, dialogue welcomed )
From Webster's New World College Dictionary ( Third edition ): The following . . .
da-da . . . Fr. lit., . . hobbyhorse, babytalk, altered ? selected by Tristan Tzara, leader of the cult, because of its resemblance of meaningless babble, as symbolic of the movement, a cult ( 1916-1922 ) in painting, sculpture, and literature characterized by fantastic, abstract, or incongrous creations, by rejection of all accepted conventions, and by nihilistic satire.
And furthermore, from Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth edition, the following . . .
Da-da . . . Fr., 1919: A movement in art and literature based on deliberate irrationality and negation of traditional artistic values; also, the art and literature produced by this movement.
Gee, I wonder why the people at the New Yorker just didn't say this and tell cartoonists that they have started to look at Dadaism in their cartoon selection . . . . . way back in the 70's or when the Dadaists started to appear . . . more and more . . . I guess people were supposed to figure it out themselves . . . they could have saved themselves a lot of time because although they have never stopped some new " traditional " cartoonists to appear altogether . . . an overwhelming number of " Dada cartoonists " have continued to join the ranks of the cartoon group at The New Yorker.
I am positive that if a buyer suggested to you that they get giddy and excited over a Dada cartoon style, you would think twice before sending them your run of the mill traditional cartoon crap, instead, you would very easy to go the Dada route ( and send them some crappy Dada crap.) It would be easy.
Take a good free-throw shooter in the NBA who averages 85%, and you tell him, look, I want to hire you but you show too much skill, can you miss more shots, so you look really bad, can you do that?, huh? can you miss a few shots, huh? or is that too hard ?, huh ?, huh? . . .
( Try asking a Dada cartoonist to draw with skill, hell, it's too much work!, you're taking the FUN out of it, man . . this is ME, I'm having a ball . . . whazza matta, aren't you hip ? don't you get it ? Was Jackson Pollock nuts or are YOU nuts, don't you get it ? . . get with it. ) It's ALL a bunch of shit. Nothing matters. Read Alan Watts, and Saul Alinsky and Noam Chomsky . . . take a hit off this bong, THEN tell me my Dada cartoons stink. It's YOU, not me.
Picture it the other way around, a magazine has been buying totally 100% Dada cartoons for 50 years and then one day they tell you that they are going to start buying cartoons from cartoonists that are tradionalists . . artists that can draw with skill, and their training shows, people who take the art seriously . . . I think what would happen is more Dada cartoonists would consider jumping off bridges or go back ( or just plain go for the first time ) to art school, or maybe join The Progressive Party of politics, where it plainly shows they would feel very comfortable, or maybe move to Amsterdam or Oregon or Seattle, or look for a profession where they can "rationalize " that bad is good, down is up, Columbus was a no good rotten bastard, It's all the other greedy bastards fault, taxes are good, life owes me something, the government can solve everything, cops are bad, share the wealth ( AND the pot, why not? ) , legalize everything, if it feels good, it ought to be legal.
" Do not be a solver of riddles. "
- Kahlil Gibran