“THE TRUTH IS, people can go through their life without editorial cartoons — I just don’t want to let ‘em. I want to stop ’em and make them laugh at the things they’re outraged about, and scream at them for the things that they aren’t.”

So said Matt Bors in his Herblock Prize acceptance speech last week, while addressing a Library of Congress crowd. The Portland-based editorial cartoonist — the first Herblock winner not to have a staff job — was puncturing the notion that political cartoons are some “grand necessity” for a free and just society and functioning democracy.

[HERBLOCK PRIZE CEREMONY: Trudeau and Bors, masters of poignant comic timing]

In Thursday’s talk, which was followed by Garry Trudeau ’s Herblock Lecture, Bors thanked his family, his editors — and all the newspapers that have dropped him, compelling him to work even harder.

Bors — who was by turns poignant and humorous — also noted the predominance of Caucasian dudes who have won the Herblock award (the finalist was Slowpoke Comics’ Jen Sorensen ):

“Yes, I’m a white guy, but I’m the first one to be in his 20s while balding. So, pretty trailblazing of me.”

[WHITHER POLITICAL CARTOONING?  A Conversation With Matt Bors].

To watch Bors’ punch-lines and poignancy, the Herblock Foundation has just posted the video of his entire speech: