Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mardi Gras

The Washington Post takes note of an important group that is absent from the celebration -- New Orleans' black middle-class, which is basically gone. There has been so much talk of the impact on poor blacks in New Orleans (and rightfully so), but these middle-class professionals are the leaders of the city's black community. Their presence will be vital if rebuilding is to be done the right way.

Meanwhile, President Pinhead admitted in an ABC interview that he had no idea people were suffering after Katrina hit, until he saw it on teevee (via Huffington Post).

How many "My Pet Goat" moments does this guy get?

Monday, February 27, 2006

2/27/06 Cartoon

"Billy, the Boy Who Knew Too Much"...

See more of Billy (or characters that bear a striking resemblance to the present-day Billy) here, here, and here.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Cheney's Got a Gun...

A friend of mine sent this to me. Pretty funny.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

More New Orleans

The Washington Post has an article on the toll that Katrina continues to take on New Orleanians in the form of stress and anxiety (I have sensed that this may be an issue down there, based on some emails I've received from people I know still living in the area). This is terribly unfortunate, since what makes that city great is the noticeable absence of stress in the air down there. Hopefully, things will get better soon.

On a slightly more positive note, The Times-Picayune won a Polk Award for their amazing Katrina coverage on Nola.com... which was particularly admirable given the circumstances under which the reporting was done.

Monday, February 20, 2006

2/20/06 Cartoon

"New Floats for Mardi Gras, '06"... satirical floats are big this year for the parades, so some of these may actually come to fruition.

Read a remarkable first-hand account of what New Orleans was like in the days after Katrina hit, written by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone.

New T-Shirts and other goodies coming soon!

Friday, February 17, 2006

State of the Union

This is a little old, but I came across this while researching the most recent 'toon. Funny as hell... keep an eye on Hastert while Bush is speaking.

Also, check out the Cheney Quail Hunting game (via Huntington Post).

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"Rednecks & Bluenecks"

Interesting article via Cursor: Reason.com tries to sort out the political puzzle that is country music.

Merle Haggard, who has historically been a musical hero of right-wingers, also recently called Dubya one of "the top three assholes of all time," right next to Hitler and Nixon.

Monday, February 13, 2006

2/13/06 Cartoon


Dammit all if the best news item ever for satirists didn't come too late for this week's 'toon. Something tells me this won't be going anywhere for a while, though... it's a defining moment for Cheney's image. Sort of like Dubya trying to open the locked door, or Bob Dole falling off the podium, or George H.W. barfing on the Japanese Prime Minister at a state dinner in Tokyo.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Low and Behold...

Right on cue, Bill Bennett and Ann Coulter prove my point yet again...

These people are free to say whatever they want, but they are quite obviously NOT the "great minds of our time." They are hateful extremists who have no business being on mainstream media outlets of any kind, trying to shape the viewing public's opinion based on a twisted, small-minded worldview.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Muhammad Cartoons

My requisite political cartoonist's P.O.V. on this? It is not a simple issue. I would not have drawn those cartoons, or anything like them.

It seems that commentators on all sides are trying desperately to boil this entire dispute down to one black and white issue. Some people say it's about FREE SPEECH, a value that should be immutable in a civilized society and cannot be brushed aside by violent thugs. Some say it's about POLITICAL ISLAMISM, which in its present-day form often demonstrates a hostility towards "democratic values." Some say it's about CULTURE CLASH, and the insensitivity towards "the Other" that pervades Western society (which remains eternally unaware of historical context and its imperialist tendencies).

I think that there may be some truth to all of these statements. It is not an un-nuanced situation.

I don't know what the ultimate answer is. Free speech is a vital principle, of course, but as suggested by the American legal doctrine that shares the name of my cartoon (although this is not why I picked it), words that can be expected to incite an immediate breach of the peace may not be protected speech. As for the religious and cultural differences, these are obviously not easy topics either... or someone would've found a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a long time ago. At any rate, it is a subject for honest debate by scholars and the great minds of our time.

What makes this a particularly urgent and contentious issue right now, and is keeping this from being a level-headed debate by scholars, are the extremists... on both sides.

As has been well documented, Islamic extremism rises as a result of complex historical and political situations that are unique in different parts of the world. In general, the relationship of "Islamic fundamentalists" to Islam is roughly analogous to the relationship of "Christian fundamentalists" to Christianity (which makes al-Qaeda akin to the KKK). This means that the nuts who are currently burning down embassies and sending death-threats to cartoonists are just that -- NUTS... and they should be treated as such.

On "our" side, the debate over the Danish Muhammad cartoons within the American media simply demonstrates to me just how far our MSM has wandered from the values it claims to covet. Ted Rall makes an excellent point in his recent column (via Matt Bors):

"We always weigh the value of the journalistic impact against the impact that publication might have as far as insulting or hurting certain groups," said an editor at The San Francisco Chronicle.

"The cartoons didn't meet our long-held standards for not moving offensive content," said the Associated Press.


If these cowards were worried about offending the faithful, they wouldn't cover or quote such Muslim-bashers as Ann Coulter, Christopher Hitchens or George W. Bush.

Until we get to the point where we never again see Ann Coulter on the cover of Time Magazine, when we never again see Bill O'Reilly on the Today Show, when CNN stops hiring nuts like Bill Bennett and Glenn Beck, and when Fox News ceases to exist... the American mainstream media will not have a whole lot of credibility in determining what is "offensive content."

As a cartoonist, at this point I can't do much about Islamic extremism. However, I can make my voice heard about creeping extremism within my own society, and hopefully help to effect some change there.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Good News, Keef...

... and a touching cartoon.

Attitude 3

Pre-ordering is now available on Amazon! I'll be putting up some stuff on this on FightingWordsComics.com soon...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Well THAT sucked...

Quite possibly the worst officiated national championship game in any major American professional sport ever.

There are some UP-set sports fans in Seattle today...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

2/6/06 Cartoon????

Well, folks, it's not looking good for a new 'toon this week. A big wind storm came through the Puget Sound area last night and knocked out my power, which means I can't scan my artwork, and it's not looking like the power's going to be up tomorrow either (since I live in "B-F, Egypt," as I heard someone put it the other day). That coupled with the home team playing in the big game tomorrow (which I will be watching elsewhere), spells doom for a spanking-new 'toon. However, I suppose that's why God invented "Repeats" (also known as "Classics," "Best-Of's," and "Oldies-But-Goodies"):

As an added bonus, here's an illustration I did last week (click to enlarge):

It's Ohio congressman Bob Ney, Tom Delay, and Jack Abramoff re-enacting a scene from Caddyshack:

Friday, February 03, 2006

Obligatory political stuff...

Cartoons in the news a-plenty: read about the Muhammad cartoon fracas, and about the Joint Chiefs playing politics with a Tom Toles cartoon. Also, Clay Bennett has given some excellent quotes on the Toles 'toon debacle (via Matt Bors, who has some nice coverage of these items).

I may do some in-depth posts on these issues later, but I live in a town that is currently in the grips of FOOTBALL FEVER. I've tried to avoid it, tried to plug my ears, but I have to admit that I'm there now. I'm human, dammit. Interestingly, I've never even really been a huge Seahawks fan... if by some miracle the Mariners were to make it to the World Series, I might be out of commission for a full week or so. So in contrast to last week, I'm gonna try to get the new 'toon posted a little early...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Of the People and By the People

Want to know where change is going to come from? Sure as hell not from the Democrats, as we're all starting to realize. It's going to come as the result of actions by people like Cindy Sheehan, who was arrested inside the House chamber last night in one of the ballsiest moves for peace that we've seen so far in our current national political adventure.

It is appalling how little media coverage this is getting... CNN's website had it briefly as a "Breaking News" story in red, and then it basically disappeared. When the story does show up, the MSM is falling over themselves to also mention that a Republican congressman's wife was also "removed" (she was politely asked to leave, as opposed to being arrested and forcibly removed). Change will sure as hell not come thanks to the mainstream media either.