The Importance Of Thanking A Veteran By Rick London

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  Other seasoned artists, writers, musicians etc. with whom I’ve spoken and are friends, understand clearly with no explanation.

For those who have never worked in a field in which the “envelope is encouraged to be pushed”, sometimes they don’t understand when I tell them that Veteran’s Day may be one of the most important if not most important days of the year.

These thank you posts to our veterans, for us, are put up with great emotion; for we know that without our veterans, none of us would be doing the work we love to do, except in hiding, as it is only the countries that suppress, kill, censor and torture their citizens, the one’s that often eventually begin a war to defend their wrongdoing, that consider their creative persons “the most dangerous”.

In a free country, like ours, legends like Mad Magazine, Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, Colbert, The Onion, and yes, even Londons Times Cartoons thrive. Matters not if one likes that type media or not, just be glad it exists, because when/if it ever stops, we’re in big trouble as a nation. In countries like America, one does not need to agree with the philosophies of such media, but they better think twice if they don’t think they should exist.  That’s how Syria, Iran and other such countries think, intensely.  So they don’t (exist) in those countries. I take that back; some do, but they are done very carefully “in undisclosed locations”.  

And it is our veterans that have fought for our freedoms so that we don’t have to hide in caves to work. In fact we can be proud of our work and most of us are.

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So when I “Thank A Veteran”, I tell them why.  Almost none of them have thought of that, they tell me, but it is absolutely true.  Freedom breeds creativity. Suppression and censorship are violations to the body, mind and soul.

Even if you don’t work in the arts/and letters, chances are you utilize them at times. You listen to iTunes, you read your favorite magazine or newspaper, you watch movies, and hopefully you read Londons Times Cartoons :).   If you enjoy any of that activity, you too, may thank a veteran.  Without our veterans, chances are very slim any of those would exist, or, if they did, they would be heavily conrolled and censored by the government to fit their philosophy, and only one philosophy would be allowed. 

Please thank a Veteran today.  Let he or she know how much you appreciate him/her and why. It possibly is one of the most important things any of us will do this year.  If you can’t find one nearby, there’s always groups on facebook, Twitter, etc. It only takes a minute and it means a lot to them.  Just let them know you feel they are very important and we could never repay them (and that would be true). 

Thank you kindly.

Sincerely,
Rick London

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Rick London is a designer, cartoonist, songwriter and author.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts Londons Times Cartoon. He is married to popular nature photographer Lee Hiller-London and together they live and hike in their home in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. Lee has he popular nature blog Hike Our Planet. 

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Mayo Clinic: The Story Behind The Cartoon by Rick London

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Click To Enlarge

I love the English language. And though I’m not certain other languages offer the same kind of slang, puns, etc, for now the English language has plenty of content to keep me happy.

So many words not only sound like other words, many of them synonyms, many of them actually are the same word.

There are a few research hospital’s websites that are full of excellent information in the way of research, and even documenting experiments and clinical trials of alternative medicines such as herbs etc.  I do believe in allopathic medicine, but I also believe there are some herbs with very healing alkaloids for post traumatic health events and even to prevent them.

Apparently in agreement with me are MD Anderson,  Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins and many others, and though not their primary source of medical treatment, many of these herbs are so at their peers in Europe, Australia and several other regions.

About 2 years ago I received a call from Mayo Clinic. The librarian saw several of my cartoons featuring Mayo Clinic.  As it turns out, the founder of the Mayo Clinic library, Dr. Lucy, was a big cartoon fan, and collected cartoons that contained Mayo’s picture, name or both.  They wanted a signed copy of both of mine.  I gladly agreed, and within 3 days I received a thank you note from Mayo, that the cartoons were now showcased in the library. I felt so proud.

About two years later I received an email from Mayo’s lawyers that they noticed I had cartoons up with their client’s name and to cease and desist immediately.  I was livid.  Was this a joke?  The librarian was out of town for a week.  I told Mayo’s legal department to talk with the library, that they the hospital was perfectly happy with the cartoons, and apparently they, the legal department was not quite doing their job; and I contacted the hospital to let them know what had occurred.

The hospital was quite embarrassed, and I never heard from them again.  But it was a valuable lesson that no matter how big a company becomes, their departments need to keep in touch with each other, so as not to embarrass each other.  Am sure Mayo can afford the very best of attorneys, yet on that day, they seemed as if they’d not even passed the bar exam.

In addition, it was parody, protected by the Fair Use Act.  Even if Mayo had not had my toons on their wall, I clearly billed them as cartoons, and not trying to confuse anyone that “this was real” and I was a “part of their medical establishment”.

Some of the biggest lawyers have done this; and then backed away when they realized the creator understands the protections of parody when it comes to the Far Use Act. 

I still love Mayo and their site; in spite of their less than pristine legal department. 

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Rick London is an author, designer, songwriter and cartoonist.  He has created cartoon gifts featuring this Mayo Clinic Cartoon.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoons, Londons Times (or LTCartoons.com) and number one funny tees and gifts.

Way Too Complex Carbohydrates The Story Behind The Cartoon by Rick London

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Click To Enlarge

I’ve told this story before, but, I kind of enjoy it in a strange sort of way, and if you’ve not heard it, you might enjoy it.

In late August or Early September 2001, I was rushed to National Park Hospital for angioplasty after a major heart attack. 

For those who are not familiar with angioplasty, (in my case) rather than putting me under with full sedation, they put me in what is known as “twilight” where, allegedly the patient doesn’t know exactly what is happening, nor remember much afterwards, but really doesn’t feel any discomfort or pain during the procedure.

I can remember floating around in the room and seeing what many describe as “a tunnel”. Uh oh. Was I going to be one of the many who’ve now been on national media claiming to have seen the afterlife and come back to tell the story?  Not quite. First I returned to my body. Important work to do.

I found myself in a large picnic area.  On one of the wooden tables was a plate of food talking, debating philosophy.  Most of the food was foods we know to contain complex carbohydrates.

I asked one of the cardiac nurses for a pen.  She said that would not be allowed during surgery.  I asked her if I told her a cartoon concept might she remember it.  She said no, but if I did after surgery in my regular room, she would gladly give me a pen and paper.  Good enough, I thought.

I am fairly sure she figured I would forget the whole event, given the amount of anesthesia running through my brain at the time. 

I remembered.  First question back in my room. Not “Is it over?” or “Will I live?”. It was “Where’s that pen and paper you promised”.  I actually had the strength to write a portion of the cartoon concept down.

When I was released from the hospital a week later, I knew just the LTCartoons.com illustrator who would be assigned this project.   And Johann Wessels had it completed in less than 3 days.

A lot of young people ask me about getting into cartooning.  I try to encourage those who are creative or have artistic and/or writing abilities, but many don’t.  To all of them, I explain, but you don’t have to have a heart attack to do this type work.  Only be crazy enough to where you could easily give one to someone else.  I do both. 

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Rick London is an author, gift designer, songwriter and cartoonist.  He has created 50+ gifts and tees featuring this complex carbohydrates cartoon.  He is best known for his #1 offbeat cartoons, Londons Times (or LTCartoons.com).