Wednesday, March 22, 2023

City Council Cartooning


I've lived in my city three years now and figured it was about time I attended a city council meeting.  It was probably better than whatever was on television that evening, but it wasn't exactly exciting.  Still, it's a civic duty to keep an eye on government once in a while; otherwise, they'll get up to all sorts of mischief.  It seemed like the main work was done before I arrived, and the official meeting was mainly a formality where they'd vote rapidfire.  Mostly, it was groupthink at play because they all agreed on what they were voting for, except for approving the minutes when one council member abstained.  Overall, they seemed like a dutiful group of folks, though, like most local governments, they were overly involved in other people's business (much of the meeting was based around telling people how they could build their buildings--the anarchist/libertarian streak in me made my scratch my head; short of making sure a building doesn't collapse, let people design their buildings how they want).  They even had a section of the meeting open to the public.  Nobody had any comments that night, but there were only some city administration in attendance, me, one woman who had a business or something where she needed a zoning variance, one man who was pissed off apparently from the earlier meeting and stuck around to glower at the council the rest of the evening, and one other woman who probably either was a volunteer for The League Of Women Voters or a newspaper reporter (she seemed to be taking notes) there (yes, Americans get the democracy our lazy asses deserve).  I myself took very few notes, but I did do some sketching, which gave me a great idea.  I mean why pay for a model in your art class or pay a few bucks to attend a Dr. Sketchy event in a bar (admittedly, there's alcohol and the subjects being sketched are probably better looking) when you could just get some free models at the city council meeting?  I mean drawing essentially a series of old, white men isn't the most exciting sketch subject matter in the world (arguably, a bowl of fruit still life might be more interesting just for the color variation), but you can't beat the price for life drawing!  Plus if you take notes as well, then you can send your notes to the community newspaper, so the rest of the community has an independent report of what went on at the council meeting.  All those in favor of occasionally attending a council meeting just to do some cartooning, say aye!  The ayes have it!

For more fun, read my latest novel, Fast Guy Slows Down!

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