Thursday, September 30, 2004
I know, it sounds predictable coming from me, but I did not expect to write that. Since these debates are now judged almost exclusively on image rather than substance, I thought tonight could be disastrous for Kerry. I could just see the headline: "Aw-Shucks, Winky Charm Clear Winner Over Solemn Intellect." But Bush had nothing to say but the tired old freedom yap yap, and ye olde consistency blah blah. Bush almost made it through without any major boners, but had a classic space cadet moment on the very last question, not unlike the "Have you made any mistakes?" blank at that press conference. Kerry was assertive and clear, though he can never be as elementary as Bush. And therein lies the possibility, of course, that Bush's simplicity of message will come off well among the totally empty-headed.
Bush also coined a new word during the debate: "transshipments."
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
I officially left my 20s behind today. So far, I'm not too impressed with my 4th decade; I've already dribbled coffee on my shirt (they say motor control of one's mouth is the first to go), and had to park a mile away from work, which meant trudging through the leftover hurricane rain armed only with my ridiculous broken umbrella. Ah, but things could undoubtedly be much worse. We could be on the verge of anointing criminals as rulers of the free world. Er, wait...
Seriously, though, I'm not quite as upset as I thought I would be. About turning 30, that is. I had many wonderful experiences in my 20s -- I met and married a swell guy, had monkeys crawl on my head in Bali, published two books with a third one on the way, and befriended a lot of great people through cartooning. And I still get carded when I buy beer, so I must be doing something right.
Monday, September 27, 2004
It looks like I will be on a "Comics and Politics" panel this Saturday evening at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD. Other panelists include Ted Rall and possibly Keith Knight and Peter Kuper.
Perhaps the most dispiriting aspect of politics I have found is the amazing lack of importance of reality. It goes beyond simple dishonesty. This presidential race and its appalling media coverage represent the absolute triumph of form over content. And if content means next to nothing, it seems pointless to even debate the niceties of policy. The sciences are rendered moot. Hell, reason altogether is rendered moot. It's almost enough to make you question why we bother to learn at all. Well, some of us, anyway. Oh, there I go again, being an "elitist." If reality mattered, I would remark on the precedent of other troubled societies where intellectuals were persecuted, but since we now live in a history-free era, why bother?
Saturday, September 25, 2004
A letter from an American currently teaching in Hong Kong was passed along to me recently (the letter had been made public on a newsgroup, so I assume it's kosher to excerpt here):
I cannot emphasize enough to Americans back home what a disaster a Bush win would be for US prestige and influence overseas. If he is defeated, a lot of sins may be forgiven, but anti-Bush sentiment and frustration AT self-centered and counterproductive US policy will shift to all Americans if we cannot defeat him and the neo-cons.As someone who loves to travel, this worries me. Up to this point, I've had the impression that many people around the world (thankfully) make a distinction between Bush's policies and Americans in general. I was in Europe just a few months after the Iraq war, fully expecting at least one awkward moment -- but people could not have been friendlier. If Bush finally gets legitimately elected, however, it will be very hard for the rest of the world not to view Americans as complicit in the madness.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Reader Chris sent me a link to an article about the latest wheeled monstrosity, which you have to see to believe. The website for the International CXT "Severe Service" pickup is here.
The expiration of the assault weapons ban: yet another sign our country has gone completely nuts. The gun dealer in this cartoon is loosely modelled after Ted Nugent.
Sunday, September 19, 2004
I've been a loyal subscriber to the Washington Post for some time now, but I came within a hair of cancelling my subscription the other day. As much as it makes my stomach turn, I can handle their editorial board's neocon attitude toward the war in Iraq -- what gets me is the obviously, obviously biased Howard Kurtz. This is all old news to political geeks, but I don't get the impression that many people in the mainstream are aware of the fact that Kurtz's wife is a Republican PR strategist. Mind you, this is the guy interpreting Bush and Kerry's TV ads for the Post. You know the flaming nutballs on the right would be screeching about this if the situation were reversed. So I wrote this letter to the Post last week:
As a subscriber to your print edition, I have been meaning to write about this for quite some time. How can you possibly justify having the spouse of a Republican operative as your primary media critic -- the very person who interprets political TV ads for your paper?You too can write them if you're so inclined, at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Just use your own words (i.e., please don't cut and paste from my letter).
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Here it is:
Should be out in 2-3 weeks!
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
I posted the latest strip on Monday, but haven't had much time for blogging, as I've been feverishly working on my new book. Fortunately, it's off to the printer now, so I should be showing up here more regularly.
A wee anecdote about this cartoon: for some reason, I had mixed up funnel cakes with angel food cakes in my head, and I had originally sketched an angel food cake with bikini icing in the third panel. After all, angel food cakes have a hole in the middle, and might be more suitable for penetration, if one were inclined to do such things. Then I did a Google image search for funnel cakes and realized the error of my ways. Funnel cakes are swirly masses of deep-fried dough. I should have known this, having grown up in Pennsylvania Dutch country, but it's been a while. Anyway, I decided to stick with funnel cakes, since I like the way "funnel cake" rolls off the tongue, and I figured if someone is determined enough, they can fuck any kind of cake. I had some trouble drawing the funnel cake in the third panel without it looking like a human brain, which would undoubtedly confuse readers, so I had to simplify a little bit. But I think you get the basic idea.
Monday, September 06, 2004
As if cell phones and arrhythmia-inducing bass in our cars are not enough to distract us from the reality of operating a two-ton death machine, we have begun installing TVs. I suppose I can tolerate DVD players in the back seats for spoiled brats -- if you really must -- but there is no way in hell drivers should be allowed to mount moniters in the front of the car so they can watch while they roll down the highway. The fact that you can get a ticket for having a taillight out but not for watching TV while you drive is a bizarre injustice.
Friday, September 03, 2004
From the Washington Post:
Several dozen of those detained said that they had not taken part in protests. Police apparently swept up the CEO of a puppet theater as he and a friend walked out of the subway to celebrate his birthday. Two middle-age women who had been shopping at the Gap were handcuffed, and a young woman was arrested as she returned from her job at a New York publishing house...What on earth is going on here? This is an absolutely terrifying vision of a police state, not a free society.
As the spookily authoritarian signs said at the Republican convention, "Let Freedom Reign." Not "ring" -- reign.
01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010