There comes a time in every actor turned cartoonist’s life when he looks around and sees his inspiration gone. Poof. Zip. Gone girl. His muse is off somewhere like Florida, enjoying some rock-hard steak, and suddenly all those great ideas for fun cartoons are gone. Jim Carrey, actor and cartoonist, has come to this crossroads and made the difficult decision, as he just announced on Twitter: “For the past 4 yrs [sic], among other commitments, I put considerable effort into this collection of political protest cartoons. It truly feels as though you and I have crossed an ocean of outrage together. But something tells me it’s time to rest my social media gavel.”
He posted a final drawing of himself at the door to the outside world in his own 1998 film The Truman Show. He included the final words of the movie, “In case I don’t see ya’” (which precedes: “good afternoon, good evening, and good night!”).
The cartoons were crude and grotesque, and for Twitter mostly, but also his own coping mechanism. As he told Charles Bethea, the author of a New Yorker Talk of the Town piece entitled “The Disturbing World of Jim Carrey’s Anti-Trump Cartoons”: “It makes me feel better if I can alchemize all of this. Turn it into something creative and make people on the Twitter feel good.”
In the same article, Carrey described the drawings as his weapon of choice in fighting the administration: “I fight him to the end,” he said, with a nod to Bhagavad Gita. “It’s my Arjuna moment—my responsibility to pick up the sword.”
Whether the pen is a gavel or a sword in Carrey’s estimation, it’s done now. It’s over. Time to relax, go back to one’s regularly scheduled schedule. “Mission accomplished,” as they like to say in politics.
Some might note that one of our most prized comedic—and often dramatic—actors from the ’90s drawing spooky cartoons while watching the evening news is not the most powerful combatant to what ails, but there’s something familiar there that I don’t dare examine too closely. I will say however, that I also have an announcement: I am going to stop picking one night a week to eat an entire sleeve of double-stuffed Oreos while deleting and re-downloading the Twitter app from my phone and saying “I deserve this” over and over, sometimes in a tone meant to soothe and sometimes in a more punishing way. I too am laying down my sword and/or gavel, thank you.
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