Gerhard Haderer is an Austrian cartoonist who does not shy away from controversial statements. These aren’t the type of cartoons you want to look at with your niece or nephew. Not unless you want to explain satire to a 7-year-old. Trust me, you don’t. What you’ll see is that a lot of these cartoons are relevant to many different time periods. It’s like we’re living the same mistakes over and over again. Check out and see how many of these you can relate to. #43 will totally make you fall to the floor.
1. Is That a New Face Filter?
People get into their own little bubble when they take selfies. Every year there are hundreds of cases of people falling off mountains or getting hit by cars just so they can snap the perfect photo. At least they have something to show for their deaths. Not everyone can say that. Some people choke to death and all they have to show for it is an unfinished meal.
This picture perfectly roasts our intense need for selfies, claiming that even in the literal mouth of danger, people would still be more focused on the picture. Think about it though. If you ended up in the mouth of a shark and weren’t torn into hundreds of pieces, you had better take the opportunity to snap a photo. After all is said and done you could always use the selfie stick as a weapon.
2. I Feel Bad for You, Sun
Phone cameras are getting better and better with every year. They used to only have half a megapixel. Now they have so many megapixels that it’s making me realize that I don’t even know what a megapixel is. As good as these cameras get, do we really expect them to be better than our eyes? Eyes have unlimited megapixels. Unless you’re blind.
These days it’s not uncommon to see more people filming an experience than actually enjoying it. In a way I understand it. It’s nice to preserve the memories, but a sunset is a sunset. I’m pretty sure we already have enough sunset footage. The point of being there for a sunset is to feel it. Watching it later is just pointless. There are some things you just can’t manufacture, which is why our addiction to phones is such a bad thing.
3. Let’s Put a Smile On That Face
Everybody has their fake smile. I am so in tune with mine that I can physically feel it when I’m giving it, and then I become immediately self conscious. It’s the smile I’ll give to the hostess at a restaurant. It’s like, I want to be polite but I also want to get this social interaction over with as quickly as possible. It’s a courtesy we do for each other, yet we can all sniff out a fake smile so it’s not really doing anyone any favors.
This drawing takes the idea of a fake smile to a whole new level. By having a dedicated station for fake smiles, it’s saying that society demands that you be happy. That’s pretty dark. What’s even darker is the lack of sanitation station. You think I’m just going to shove that in my mouth without dropping it in some Listerine?
4. There’s No Time Like Screen Time
At first glance this picture doesn’t look bad. It’s the type of beautiful image you might see in a classic Christmas book. The depiction of a mother making cookies. I can smell the cookies right now. Although this lady could add some chocolate or jelly on those cookies.
The problems arise when you look behind her. Even though she’s trying to her best to hold onto the classic activities of the holidays, the kids around her are into the activities of today: surfing the interwebs on the Facebooks and Youtubes.
I can personally connect to this one. My family used to play games together during the holidays, but as the new generation has taken over, those games have died. Instead everyone is instagramming me passed out drunk with my pants down. Now everyone knows not to leave me alone with the turkey on Thanksgiving.
5. Extra, Extra, Type All About It
Right now you can get a laptop cheaper than you could get a yearly newspaper subscription. Seriously, I remember the days when laptops would cost some serious money. Now I buy laptops like I buy gum. If they are at the checkout aisle, I pick one up. Once you have a laptop then you pretty much have an infinite amount of newspapers. That’s why it’s so common to see a coffee shop full of people on laptops reading fake news instead of good, old fashioned print.
This picture shows us just how alien physical newspapers have become to us. Here we have a bunch of people in a restaurant on laptops, but they’re looking at the guy reading a newspaper as if he’s the weirdo. In some ways the people have a point. Newspapers lead to waste compared to laptops and phones, but let’s not pretend these people aren’t just Facebooking.
6. Monkey Business
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. You may be more familiar with that phrasing when it’s conveyed by the image of the three wise monkeys. It’s an old proverb meant to say that you shouldn’t immediately judge things. You must understand them before labeling them as evil. The proverb is used to startling effect when instead of the monkeys we have three priests.
We’re all aware of the problems that the churches have had with molestation, and not just molestations, but the cover ups as well. This picture shows us the irony of when we clearly know something is evil, but we choose to do nothing about it. It’s quite the opposite of the proverb, which I think is incredibly clever. As clever as this illustration is, let’s not forget how disturbing the meaning is behind it.
7. Government House Party
Now more than ever it seems like there’s no faith in the American congress, among many other aspects of the United States government. That’s not just our imaginations either. People inside of congress even say it’s a madhouse. Not that we needed any evidence. You can see it with the policies that do and don’t get passed. Flint, Michigan still doesn’t have clean drinking water, but let’s have a couple dozen more meetings about the billion dollar border wall.
This depiction of congress doesn’t seem all that inaccurate when you consider what’s going on in the government. Although I can understand some of the details. After long hours voting on bills you’d get hungry, so I think we can all see the merit in a hot dog stand inside of a congressional assembly. Right now it seems the only thing they’re serving up is bologna.
8. The Future is Bright
What’s sad about this image is that I’m looking at it thinking, “that’s actually a pretty good idea.” That’s totally wrong though. We’re less connected to each other now than ever before. Sure, I can text my girlfriend all throughout the day using our smartphones, but I can’t even tell you what color her eyes are. We’re so deep in our phones I don’t need to see her face. Sometimes the only physical time we get together is in front of the TV.
At least with that we can be next to each other and stare at the same thing. This image strips away any sense of being together.
When I think about it though, this isn’t that different from when I lived with my parents. I’d be in my room watching TV while my mom was in another room watching TV, and my dad was in another room watching TV. Sometimes we were even watching the same thing! What’s our problem?
9. Ghana With the Wind
The amount of food available in certain countries, yet stripped away from others, is insane. If I order the Mega Burrito Special from my local taco shop I can be fed for five days with five dollars. Even then I usually just throw the rest of the burrito out… because I can! This image shows the disparity between certain areas, and how unfair economics can be when it comes to giving people livable conditions.
Here we have Euro tomatoes for the same price as Ghana tomatoes, but is that really fair? Ghana can’t possibly produce tomatoes on the same level to be competitive to other countries. You can’t just say, “Ghana doesn’t get tomatoes then,” because how are they going to make BLTs? No one wants just a BL. That’s BS.
10. Money Hungry
This one is simple, yet true. That’s what makes it so effective. Anyone can understand it, even the type of person who this image is about. We’re talking about greed, folks. Specifically with money. Some people have so much money that I can’t fathom why they would want more. It’s not like the Earth has infinite resources. You can’t be so rich that you can buy unlimited pants. At some point, we’ll run out of pants. I hope that makes sense to you, because it makes sense to me.
People who continually chase money look exactly like this. They have nowhere else to put it after a while. They’re just jamming it down their throat further and further until they become a bloated monster. Just a shadow of the kind soul they once were. If there’s one rule to remember it’s that money changes you.
11. The Not So White House
One thing that we are very used to doing is giving importance and gravitas to old, historical things. That can cause us to not see things for what they truly are. Take the elderly for example. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t love the elderly. I’m saying that just because someone’s old doesn’t mean they aren’t a jerk. Don’t waste your time giving respect to an old person just because they’re old. They have to earn it just like you do. Now, enough picking on the elderly. Let’s pick on the white house.
The White House has been in disarray for a while. Like the past couple hundred years. But seriously, it seems like this recent iteration of the US government has been screwing up badly. The magnificent image of the white house isn’t so magnificent when it’s filled with crap. That’s what this image reminds us. All that glitters is not gold.
12. What Came First?
Honestly, this is probably a much easier-to-stomach version of what actually happens to farming chickens. I have a cousin who works at a chicken farm. He let me check it out, and let me tell you, it was the best argument for veganism that I’ve ever seen. This image touches on that in a very cartoonish way that might be more palatable for people to understand just what goes into your morning eggs.
By having the egg be a soft boiled egg on a custom tray is an extra jab at the wealthy. Us poor people are out here eating cake mix and water. We’re lucky if we get eggs. The wealthy are the type of people who would pay $20 for an artisanal soft boiled egg, boiled inside the chicken. Opulence knows no bounds.
13. We’ll All be Swimming with the Fishes
I love how this one slowly hits you. At first you think, “why would they be scuba diving in the desert?” Then you finally understand… because there is no more water. Now, while I think that if the Earth ever got this bad we would be dead before we ever took up desert scuba diving, the message is not lost on me. Anytime I take a shower longer than three minutes I start to get worried about the planet. I live in Southern California which as been in a drought since the 20s. Seriously, until we learn how to drink salt water, this could be a serious issue.
I don’t think this is how the end of the world would go down though. A lot of people have the desert depiction in their head, but I think a huge wave will swallow us all before we ever completely dry up. Isn’t this fun to talk about?
14. The New Relationship
Like I had mentioned before, sometimes the only quality time I get with my girlfriend is us watching TV together. There we are, romantically staring at the screen watching ‘Greys Anatomy.’ Both of us having confusing feelings about Patrick Dempsey. Sometimes we’re staring at our phones while watching TV too, so we’re not even watching the same thing. That’s unfortunately what modern romance has become.
You’d think that nothing could ruin the romanticism of sitting on a park bench with your lover, but this is more close to the reality of that situation. Here we have two people sitting as far away from each other as possible. All while they connect with other people online. It’s so bizarre how we hunt for some kind of connection yet ignore the connections all around us. I’m starting to sound like a philosopher. If only I could follow my own philosophy.
15. Bad Fortune
I don’t mess with fortune tellers, tarot cards, or anything like that. I believe in self-fulfilling prophecies, so if you tell me I’m going to have bad fortune, I believe that I will end up creating the bad fortune. The same can be said about being told good things, but who wants to risk that? I’d rather just live my life minute to minute, hoping nothing goes wrong and happy when things go right.
This cartoon doesn’t make me want to visit a fortune teller anymore than I did before. This is exactly my worst case scenario. The fortune teller already knows that once I hear what’s coming, I’m going to want to kill myself. I wonder if he had to pay extra for the noose, or if you can get a discount if you bring your own. These are the types of questions a frugal person thinks of.
16. Dark Twisted Fantasies
This is absolutely hilarious to me. We daydream so much about what we want that we don’t realize that those things won’t change our situation. I’ve spent countless hours stuck in traffic fantasizing about being in a new, expensive car. The thing is that even if I had that car I’d still be in traffic. Even if I wasn’t in traffic, I’d still be the same guy with the same anxieties. It would be better to daydream about how we can better our mindset, but where’s the fun in that?
I will take this cartoon to task by saying that when you go from a car that has no stereo or AC, to one that has those things, then these kinds of fantasies are completely legitimate. Yes, AC and a radio will make your ride in traffic better, however, if you’re riding around in a 2017 Camry wishing for a sports car, just stop. You’ve already got it all, my man.
17. Pencils of Color
I’m getting a lot of messages from this one. The first is the fairly straightforward concept that the pen is mightier than the sword. Here you have a dude in every piece of tactical gear you can wear, but when surrounded by the proverbial pen (colored pencils in this instance), he is shaken to his core. Also note there are more of them than there are of him. Ultimately our voices are loud and many. That’s what terrifies any power who is trying to maintain control through violence.
The other reading of this image is a bit more intense. It reminds me of the Ferguson protests. I see the colored pencil representing people of color. We’ve seen that military opposition has been sent to clash with many of the protests led by people of color. Replace those pencils with real people and this image isn’t so different than something we’ve already seen before, is it?
18. Peeping Drone
Our privacy is practically gone. There really is no escape. You can’t even enjoy simple things without worrying about somebody looking in. Especially with the recent Facebook data breaches we see how fleeting any sense of privacy truly can be. Even if you decide to go live in the woods, disconnected from the internet, Google is still up there flashing satellite photos of you. You’d think that some things would still be sacred, but technology finds a way to rob us of any privacy.
In this case the simple pleasure of sunbathing (nude I’m assuming) is taken away. Tall bushes used to be enough to stop a peeping neighbor, but that’s just not the case with drones. Drones are especially cheap right now too. For $20 you could have your very own spy footage. That power does not belong in the hands of 99% of people.
19. They’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat
I don’t expect everyone to know German, nor do I expect everyone to use Google translate to figure out what the guy is saying in this cartoon. Don’t worry. I got you. I’ll be your official German translator. “Erwarten wir besuch” means “are we expecting visitors?” Look at that. Now you know German!
Here we have two hugely fat people on a very small piece of land. That’s how it can feel looking at poorer countries compared to countries with more money. There would be a lot more room on that float if they would take up less space and use it more efficiently. As what we can assume are immigrants are coming towards them, it’s obvious what’s wasteful and what’s not. The argument then is whether these two fat people should have to worry about others.