The Beltway Gets a Dose of British Humor
For many, especially in the beltway media, the politics of Washington D.C. is a game of winners and losers. Every few years the egos and accomplishments of every player are pitched, considered, and compared to each failure and gaff. Journalists, pundits, and voters line up the wins and losses to decide who should hold the reigns to our politic and governance, and sometimes we like to condense these points into a narrative to understand everything that’s happened.
At the end of 2014, The Washington Post, the preeminent beltway newspaper, compiled a whole list of the winners and losers in the process of 2014 for their editorial section, and who better to illustrate the wonky tome than the English Illustrator Mr Bingo.
Chris Cillizza’s weekly “Worst Week in Washington” column was blown up to a year in review, and that means recounting some really bad times. Mr Bingo has always been the master or the tough position, consistently creating beautiful work from the darkest places, and he’s been operating that way since the beginning. “I was quite a naughty school child, I basically just did drawings all the time,” he told Crane.tv. The serial misfit took on the Cillizza’s political assessments in typical Bingo style. Barack Obama, who was named to have the Worst Year in Washington, is presented in Bingo’s clean lines with a scowl that would break any mother’s heart. Winners like Mitch McConnell and Elizabeth Warren are shown with glee, but the dark glasses The Secret Service peer through cannot hide the disappointment for such a terrible 52 consecutive weeks. Even Chris Christie’s mixed year finds just the right tone in expression and composition.
Taking one of the busiest and most contentious political years in American History and turning it into a six-part Op-Ed along with a handful of illustrations isn’t an easy feat, but a little bit of good luck and hard work is no stranger to the illustrator that gets his name from a game of chance. But that skill has also been honed over decades of drawing, and staying away from boredom. “I feel like people that complain that they’re bored are silly because it’s their fault that they’re bored,” he says. We stay interested as we look forward to another year of the real political process and the entertainment that comes with “Hollywood for ugly people.” Good thing we have Mr Bingo, and his British distance, to help us laugh at it along the way.