© Bill Stott
PCO Chair, Bill Stott, writes:
Less than a month to go to Christmas. Hmm. I have to admit that Christmas doesn’t have me jumping up and down with excitement. If you’ve only got a small family – I have – and what few there are are spread far and wide, all those cosy candlelit television ads showing a dozen or so folk attacking huge Christmas dinners are a bit annoying. “Scrooge!”, I hear you cry. Not really. I quite like buying presents. And I like some Christmas music. A good choir giving “Hark the Herald Angels” the beans certainly lifts the spirits and reminds me of childhood.
But at this time of year, television ads are relentless – from laptops to foot spas, hand-crafted crisps to incontinence knickers – they’re all at it, and so many of them are very shouty too. What the hell is a hand-crafted crisp ? I don’t think any of us actually like television ads. If they’re not banal, they’re shouty – with a few exceptions like Marks and Spencer or Waitrose. Yes, yes, I know that advertising revenue pays for programmes, but so many of the ads are badly made and deeply irritating.
And I’m fed up with Brexit. Just think, if 3% had voted the other way, we wouldn’t be taking this huge step into the unknown. Three percent ! I bet the Leavers are horrified at the mess we’re in.
Cartooning’s taken a very welcome – if temporary – upswing. It always does at this time of year, with companies and individuals needing Christmas card cartoons. But cartoon publishing generally is still very poor. Looking back over a long career in cartooning, I think my generation’s had the best of it.
Meanwhile, thanks to the excellent PCO Committee, PCO continues to make a difference. For example, on Nov 21st, I went to Westminster Reference Library in London for the Private View of a cartoon exhibition called “Gagged” – in support of cartoonists across the world who are persecuted by repressive governments. Getting a London exhibition at a decent venue is very difficult. But thanks again to the PCO Committee, we managed it.
© Bill Stott
London was a very long [17 hours] day so it was midnight when I finally got home to Maggie the Dog who isn’t very well. She has to take lots of pills for heart and breathing problems and is very clever at finding them buried in food – and spitting them out. But I persevere. Maggie’s elderly and on the last lap now. I can’t imagine life without her.
I heard bits of a debate recently about whether animals have feelings or not. What a stupid, ignorant question. Of course they have. And those who are cruel to animals should be shot, or at least taken round the corner and given a good seeing-to. Whilst I know we can’t do that, lifetime bans and longer spells in jail should be the order of the day for those who are cruel to animals – including fox hunters.
End of rant.
And so – back to Christmas card cartoons – and I’m running out of red.