apologies for the charmless nature of this cartoon. some things just need saying though.


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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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41 Responses to 665

  1. Leo says:

    At times…wonder if the top “guy” are our elected representatives…

    Or…maybe they are just too distant anymore from the average person…might make an interesting cartoon…

    The truth is difficult, at times, to speak…keep speaking it…

  2. beckyG says:

    Spot on – the hearings in the US Congress with the businessmen begging for money WHILE doing moves like flying in corporate jets, redecorating their office that costs more money than most people earn in a lifetime, etc., etc.

    I would expand the metaphor beyond “rich” to those who hold any kind of power and use it for ill. For example, the Emergent Church ™ boys whip it out and take a whiz every chance they get.

  3. Sophie says:

    I’m a little concerned about the green colour – maybe the rich chap isn’t very well…

  4. miriworm says:

    If any of you remember the story of the UK bankers secretary who was able to sign his cheques for him and who stole about £1000000 from him before he noticed? If so you will know this portrays his rather sordid sex life quite aptly as well.
    Always thought maybe she deserved a knighthood rather than 2 years in clink!

  5. Neal says:

    Well said that fella!

  6. beckyG says:

    4. I would call that more revenge against the powerful – she got pissed on, then got pissed off as it were. Reminds me of the guy who hated his co-workers so he peed in the coffee pot every day until he was caught on the security camera.

  7. David T. says:

    Ooh nasty! Glad I don’t drink coffee… did that really happen?

  8. marcus says:

    It is a pity that none of those poor people had a live electric cable to hand!!!

  9. Stumpy says:

    very literal. Some people drink there own liquid waste, others use it to mark their territory and or assert their aggressive arrogance.
    again, spot on Birchy. Maybe the bankers think we have to be grateful to them fro anything they give us. Hmmmm.

  10. Robb says:

    The model falls down at one important point. Power corrupts. (was it Jesus who said that :P :lol: )

    To use the nature of church leadership as an example (BeckyG started it :P ), it is supposed to be an upswelling from the bottom (oo-er). For many this is exactly what it is, an opportinity to serve. In some cases however, power corrupts. Sometimes deacons priests bishops elders PCC’s flower ladies etc forget how it works and it all goes pear shaped.

    When looking at the trickle down effect of money, it doesn’t take into account that it actually requires a faster rate of trickle up to make the rich rich. If everyone were rich then everyone would be poor. It is all relative.

  11. rockingrev says:

    Very appropriate today given the news about a certain banker’s retirement package after he screwed up RBS and his comment that he will not give any of it up.

  12. beckyG says:

    11. Rob, that’s why I broadened the discussion to beyond money as the root of this is “power” of which money is certainly used as a major leveraging tool. It’s easy to play servant leadership when the ministry is underground but once the leader starts to get elevated (along with the accompanying perks), the communal nature often becomes a one man missional marketing machine – and unless you choose to stand behind the person feeding the machine, you get totally pissed on.

    Re: Trickle down – we’re all still paying for Reaganomics not just here in the states but around the world.

  13. subo says:

    if the job of government is to ensure justice for the poor, then all the best to Gordon in his attempt to re-claim a little of Sir Goodwins massive pension. lets face it, if he gets that much, an awful lot of elderly people will be working till their 80yrs old.

    (Ex-RBS chief vows to keep pension
    Banker Sir Fred Goodwin rejects calls to give up his £650,000-a-year pension and says the Treasury knew about the deal.)

  14. jonbirch says:

    fred goodwin (‘sir’… what a joke!!!), is clearly a bit of an arse!

  15. jonbirch says:

    it was reaganomics in the states and thatcherism here… shameful.

  16. This might not go down well, and I’m surprising myself by writing this, but, shouldn’t we show the bankers a little more forgiveness?

  17. jonbirch says:

    steve… i’ll forgive any greedy banker who asks for my forgiveness. i’d have respect for anyone who repents. a bit of repentance in that ivory towered world methinks would not go amiss.

  18. Welshdisastergirl says:

    very good point well made…. also made me laugh out loud which is v embarassing as have a tendancy to snort, but totally worth it :)

  19. Linus says:

    “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”

    I think sometimes forgiveness has to come first in the hope repentance will follow. The rich man in the cartoon needs my compassion and my forgiveness and my call for him to change, whether he acknowledges any of that or not, as much as i need Jesus’ compassion and forgiveness and call to change (whether i acknowledge it or not). Jesus response to this situation? Well he’s choosing to stand right there being pissed on like all the other people, but his response is both challenging and outraged and full of love. I am called to do likewise. Unfortunately, I am too busy indirectly pissing on all the people who are exploited to sustain my decadent western lifestyle to live up to that calling.

    I have a friend who works for Northern Rock. She joined them about a week before it all went tits up there (she worked for a different bank before that). She spent her induction period in Dublin answering calls from panicked savers which was about as far from both her home in newcastle and her job description which she signed up for as you could feasibly get whilst still being in the same company. The amount of chaos and stress and uncertainty she’s put up with over the last year is unbelievable. And she’s worked damn hard with incredible dedication to help be part of the solution to other people’s incompetence. She deserves a bonus more than anyone i know. Yes many people screwed up, many people took advantage of a corrupt and unjust system. Not all of them were bankers and not all bankers were/are like that. Prejudice and caricature are ugly whoever the target group is. And beyond that there are problems with our whole society/culture/way of life that have to be addressed. Blaming other people does not remove the planks from my own eyes.

  20. beckyG says:

    17. Steve – I find before I can forgive, I need to pray to be released from my anger. Once the anger is lifted, then I can forgive them. And bless the Amish for being able to forgive those who shot their children on the day it happened — but for me, I can’t forgive while the whizzing is happening.

    What I am trying to do is 1) not to watch too much news because every time I see their mugs, I want to scream and 2) focus on exploring with others via blogs like Andrew Jones (Tall Skinny Kiwi) how we can creatively deal with the recession as a Christian community. A lot of problems have been caused because a sizable number of Christian ministries here in the States have co-opted into the consumerist culture instead of offering an alternative vision. The more I go in this second direction, the less angry I feel towards those folks who literally screwed folks over.

    For example, in terms of the Emergent Church ™ boy BS – until this latest kick in the pant, I was almost at the point where I would look at these jackasses for jesus and not want to kick them where it hurts. (I would say balls but bullies like these don’t have any). What I decided to do was take a Lenten fast from Facebook and blogs (except for this one and giving a few attaboys to Andrew and afew buds). And then focus on those ministries where God is glimpsing through the cracks. Already, I can see some signs that my heart is softening a bit.

  21. Carole says:

    Superb, Jon!

    Got my bank statement this morning…outgoings exceeding income and overdraft increasing at a mildly alarming rate each month. Notice the bank still took £25 charges. Drastic measures called for. Hey! I might become a vegetarian after all!

  22. beckyG says:

    My comment was being written while Jon (18) and others were posting.

    Jon – IF a banker repents and then shows what he’s going to do about it, then I’m liable to welcome him like Jesus did Zaccheus but that also meant that like Zaccheus the banker repented and gave back the money they stole. MY Challenge is to forgive the person when it’s clear they aren’t about to change. But harboring the resentment ends up making me anger and bitter – my satire then takes on a very mean and nasty tone (I am toning down WAY too many comments in my book and that tells me I need to work on this some).

    Rather the forgiveness is to heal my heart so i can respond in love – I pray someday they feel likewise and we can have a reconciliation but often that doesn’t happen. (And I’ve had reconciliations after a number of years, where we embraced without going into the reasons that led t the split – water under the bridge that dried up over time).

  23. subo says:

    if the injury is a personal one, just against me, then it’s my Christian responsibility to forgive them.

    I also have a responsibility towards others, (only small in my current ‘medical receptionist’ post), so then I have some responsibility to hold others to account, for instance if I was aware of professional misconduct at work, I’d have to work out what to do about it. doing nothing would not be an option.

    I therefore do think governments have a responsibility to safeguard the economic resources of the population, and in particular the poor and vulnerable. that is their God given calling

    I do also think the church has a calling to hold governments to account, and to challenge actions that cause suffering. This is of course on top of the responsibility to preach salvation for the repentant, through Christ. the unattractive part of this in to-days culture, is pointing out that awarding yourself massive, bloated, sums of other peoples hard earned cash, is sin. (as far as I can see, at the moment, these guys think they deserve the fat pickings of other peoples money!)

    awesome Linus, to read about your friend at Northern Rock, there’s some great people out there

  24. Jane says:

    Really liked this.
    But now I have a request. Might you do an Asbo cartoon on water and justice during Lent? Perhaps water of a rather less urinary nature

  25. Caroline Too says:

    the following people are absolved of all western tendencies and are therefore given permission to kick
    bankers in the crutch (or anywhere else that it hurts – the wallet)

    * anyone who hasn’t borrowed money to buy a car,

    * anyone who didn’t (not once) look at how much their house had bone up in price during the boom years

    * anyone who hasn’t over eaten

    * anyone who hasn’t bought something nice (but unecessary) just because we could

    * anyone who hasn’t got a new apple computer in the last 10 years

    * anyone who hasn’t got a new pc type computer in the last 10 years

    * anyone who hasn’t directly taken advantage of the growth in business over the last ten years
    for example
    – people selling services to busines
    – people working in resteraunts or coffe shops
    – people teaching or training managers in business

    oh, I think that you get the message! I’m afraid that we’re all culpable, maybe not to the same
    degree of grossness of the Fred Goodwin’s of this world but we have all thoughtlessly enjoyed the
    benefits of the bubble growth

    and as we point the fingers at others there’s three pointing back at us

    Yes, you’re right, Jon the ‘trickle down’ theory is the fig leaf to justify the greed and
    avarice of the world’s richest 5% …

    … of course that richest 5% almost certainly includes everyone who visits this blog…

    what’s wrong with the world to day?

    Dear Sir,

    I am

    your faithfully

    Caroline Too

  26. jonbirch says:

    calling these people to account is all part of taking responsibility for our behaviour in the west. perversely i appear to be doing a bit better in the bust than i was in the boom. having had years of debt am now crawling out of it. yes, many of we fortunate westerners stand on the edge and pee downwards, but not deliberately. i know ignorance is no excuse, yet i see a difference between the hard working nurse who gets a standard pension and an incompetent banker who gets 2/3 of a million a year for his failures. there are blames that need attaching and fingers do need pointing… in the same way as some people are targeted for benefit fraud.
    carole’s situation above is one i know very well. that is the reality for half the country… yes, we are all complicit in the poor wages to workers in the far east… that is something we need to change too. but these mega rich, money stealing wasters need sorting out.
    sounds harsh, but it needs doing. the corruption (moral and ethical if not always legal) is abhorrent and it seems to be deep within our public sectors too, councils etc.
    i guess in one way, it is good that we’re looking at the dubious goings on at the top… for years, government and law has seemed only concerned with rooting out those at the bottom. i know both are wrong, but i welcome the change of focus.

  27. Eric says:

    This reminds me of something I heard many years ago on the radio. Pop scientist Dr Karl was talking about what happens when you pee off a tall building. After it reaches a certain speed, it gets into a turbulent state. Presumably the stream breaks up, although I wouldn’t know exactly what it would look like.

    I’ve too been wondering about Christian responses to recession ought to be…

  28. rebecca says:

    Carole (#26) — perhaps you need to extend your list. I didn’t have to look very hard to find somebody who hadn’t done any of the things you’ve listed. But there are certainly other things I have done which I regard as objectionable — such as getting upset when I failed to get through an audition. And running up the heating bill during the recent cold weather — I’m not primarily bothered about the cost, but the carbon footprint… There are many people around who wouldn’t have been able to heat their homes adequately because of the cost.

  29. Caroline Too says:

    Thanks, Rebecca… it was getting late and I thought that I had probably missed some escape

    Jon, I take your major point about the high priests of greed who have ruled our hemisphere for years
    upon years and who have created the logic that drives us into foolish sin ourselves

    I guess that, over the months (years now?) I’ve happily been a part of the ASBOworld, but one
    little thing has niggled me occasionally…

    we are quite good at pointing the finger everwhere else other than ourselves…

    and I guess that’s what my post is about, and Rebecca reminds me of another example of my selfish thoughtlessness… I just need to locate myself right in the centre of the sin, for then I might be able to offer forgiveness as well as recognition/judgement.

  30. jonbirch says:

    a list extension… guilty re. heating through the winter.

    i’m all too aware of the other three fingers pointing back at me. however, maybe i should do more cartoons on that subject. it is, as you say caroline too, my response to the world around me and how i behave that holds the key to change. doing satire is quite challenging and i appreciate the prod. :-)

  31. Robb says:

    I guess that was what I was trying to get at with the tree comments. Often I suspect that I am chopping down other peoples trees through my own ineptitude and youthful exuberance.

  32. Caroline Too says:

    hmm, you did notice that there was a ‘we’ in my prod, Jon… I don’t
    think that it’s purely about the cartoons…

    noticing the other guy’s mistakes is just such an easy conversation
    to get into isn’t it….

    I know that I’m guilty of it

    and, of course, satire’s main job (and a crucial job at that, is to
    prod at the powerful and SHOUT “Wake up before you do any
    more damage!”

    But isn’t this what community’s about? Not a case of everyone
    doing everything perfectly (I’d have to leave if that were the case), but learning to walk into
    that dangerous, scarey place where we question, doubt, encourage and
    celebrate each other…

    May he long delight us!

  33. beckyG says:

    32. Robb – some trees need to be cut down because people put themselves on a perch and sing so durn loud they won’t let the other birds in the forest have a voice – see previous emergent church ™ discussions. But you’re right – sometimes I can be so cynical that in my quest to get rid of the big bird, I make so much noise that the other birds can’t sing either.

  34. jonbirch says:

    haha! thanks caroline too! and i do believe you are right. :-)

  35. Bought two copies of the Daily Telegraph, just so that I could have the free bottled water to take with me on the train.

    I think that puts me firmly with the pissers rather than the pissees.

    Off to have a long hard look at myself.

  36. jonbirch says:

    so that ended up being a pretty expensive bottle of water then, steve!? 2 newspapers and a guilty conscience! man… you live life on the edge! :lol:

  37. They don’t call me Philippe Petit for nothing!

    Actually the train journey was what made it exciting: a two day screen writing conference in Darlington, not especially because I fancy myself as a screen-writer, but because as christians prepared to live genuinely on the edge we can learn so much, from professional storymakers, about what’s necessary to keep in a (the?) story for it to remain true to itself. Answer? Love and not a lot (nothing) else. I spent 45 minutes speed-pitching love at one delegate after another.

    Church’ll never pay me for it, ‘cos I didn’t mention Jesus once. But I told ‘em they were brilliant, I showed ‘em they were loved, and I got brilliance and love right back.

  38. jonbirch says:

    kind of speed reaping and speed sowing?! :-)

  39. you know what, Jon(39)? …that’s right!

    So fast I don’t even have time to make the judgement as to whether I’m in and they’re out, or they’re in and I’m out, or we all doing the hokey cokey or whatever!

    And here’s my scriptural justification – if one was needed: Jesus saying the eyes are windows of the soul. How fast is a glance? And if that glance is one of love, how can anyone not respond? A glance is speed of light, after all. Certainly faster than I can think.

    Off to Newcastle’s second Extreme Ukelele festival – Ukelear Meltdown. Think I’ll come back with a ukelele.

  40. Forrest says:

    That stream also flows the opposite way: sometime during the fall was a news story about a fellow nearly attacked while exiting an Unemployment office because he drove up in a fancy car like a Mercedes or Jaguar or something.

    Uhh, excuse me, he’d busted his butt for a couple decades to be able to afford that kind of car.

    And through no fault of his own, maybe even the shennagains of those who had employed him, they who owned the company being even richer than he had been.

    But, the chronic underachievers lounging about in front of the Unemployment office appeared they’d rather use their energy to destroy others who make successes of themselves instead of using their energy to create success for themselves.

    I’ve had more occasion to use the Unemployment offices than I’d have liked to and have seen those habitual non-achievers myself.

    While those are not the type of people referred to in this cartoon, the kind of thing mentioned above greatly angers me.

    Something is grossly wrong with the hearts of men.
    Of all social classes.
    Jealousy, envy, and greed, are true “Equal Opportuniy” sins.

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