Wednesday, February 13, 2008
From the Onion: Kitchen-Floor Conflict Intensifies As Rival House Cats Claim Same Empty Bag
Masheka emailed this to me this morning and it made me laugh through my nose. Last night I brought home some books in a bag and our two cats went nuts (over the bag, not the books), temporarily abandoning a fight over their favorite chair. And we did indeed resort to deploying the squirt bottle. Seriously, read the whole thing.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Cartoonists of Color Sit-In
Cartoonists of Color Unite for February 10 comic strip demonstrationThat link seems to be down right now, but I'm sure it'll recover once everyone stops trying to visit. There's also a video about the protest on the CBS website. CBS notes that only 25 percent of newspapers in this country have even one strip by a black creator.
On February 10, 2008, about a dozen cartoonists of color (and a few who are not) united to help bring attention to the lack of diversity on newspaper comic pages. In order to show the world that our comics are not all interchangable, we all did our own version of a strip that was originally done by Cory Thomas. Unless you have ever been in our shoes, it may be very difficult to see the uniqueness and frustration of our predicament. And when you see the responses to our "protest" (and you will), I'm sure you'll hear things like "Black cartoonists are given the same shot as everyone else" and " we pick strips based on quality, not race."
To see all the cartoons in one place, please visit:
And you can read a spirited pre-discussion of the protest by many well-known cartoonists in the comments here.
More on why McCain sucks
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Affluenza Documentary on Youtube
While on the subject of consumption, the wonderful hard-to-find PBS documentary Affluenza is now available on Youtube in six parts:
Af-flu-en-za n. 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by dogged pursuit of the American Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth. 4. A television program that could change your life.
Affluenza is a one-hour television special that explores the high social and environmental costs of materialism and overconsumption.
Through revealing personal stories, expert commentary, hilarious old film clips, dramatized vignettes, and "anti-commercial" breaks, Affluenza examines the high cost of achieving the most extravagant lifestyle the world has ever seen.
Last year, Americans, who make up only five percent of the world's population, used nearly a third of its resources and produced almost half of its hazardous waste. Add overwork, personal stress, the erosion of family and community, skyrocketing debt, and the growing gap between rich and poor, and it's easy to understand why some people say that the American Dream is no bargain. Many are opting out of the consumer chase, redefining the Dream, and making "voluntary simplicity" one of the top 10 trends of the '90s.
One of the things I found most interesting in this documentary was the strange mix of hard-core Religious Right folks and left-wing environmental and social justice types. For example, one of the featured speakers in this movie is good old anti-gay evangelical superstar and "family man" Ted Haggard--before he got busted for, uh, consuming crystal meth and man-on-man "massages." Haggard extolls the virtue of spending time with your wife and working on your marriage instead of shopping and wasting money. Focus on the Family (shudder) also figures.
But the movie also features speakers who are more my flavor, such as one of my favorite left-wing economists, Juliet Schor. Prof. Schor was my freshman women's studies adviser at Harvard, and taught a wonderful class called "Shop Til You Drop: Gender and Class in Consumer Culture." She's the author of three books I highly recommend: The Overworked American, The Overspent American and Born to Buy.
"They're not REALLY poor-they have color Teevees!"
Tom Tomorrow did a great cartoon skewering this bogus argument 10 years ago. Apparently it's still around, now with all these fancy charts claiming that the prevalence of certain consumer goods--televisions and the internet, for example--prove that there is not really a gap between the rich and poor at all.
The idea that consumption is somehow some great wonderful equalizer is so twisted I don't even know where to start.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Bigot Responds to Personal Border Wall Cartoon
Do you have one for uninsured drunk illegals crashing and killing innocent Americans?(Bolding added by yours truly).
Or how about one of a drophouse packed full of endentured slaves?
Or of an illegal killing a police officer in a sanctuary city?
How about the fragile desert environment full of trash?
BTW: I love Mexican food. Just hope an illegal with a contagious disease that wasn't screened at the border doesn't work at my favorite restaurant. Kinda challenging to draw a cartoon of that.
Seen by searching 'illegal immigrant'.
- What we can learn from this little racist rant:
- This just makes me all the more convinced that we need to encourage manufacturers to actually produce personal anti-immigration walls for xenophobes like this guy. He'll be so encumbered behind his wall and sunglasses and headphones that we won't have to listen to his racist rants. Maybe we can even pipe in a little Lou Dobbs to keep them sated.
- Anyone who claims that the huge rise in anti-immigrant sentiment has nothing to do with racism or bigotry is crazy.
Oh please. Sounds like you could really use one of these walls yourself, it would protect you from all that "scary" Mexican food and protect us from your racist rants. Lay off the Lou Dobbs and get a life.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Biofuels Even Crappier Than Fossil Fuels?
Toon: Future Stimulus Packages
A few hundred dollars doesn't mean squat when you're about to lose your house because you've been conned into a subprime mortgage. A few hundred dollars doesn't mean squat when you don't have a job. Maybe you can buy food and heat for a month or two, but what about the next month? Also, the last thing most Americans need to do with their money is spend it--most need to pay off debt with it.
As for those other things that piss me off, here are some notes about the four other stupid quick fix stimulus packages:
- The Education Rebate. Remember Bush's horrible SOTU address last year, when he spent half his speech randomly singing the praises of those awful bogus "Baby Einstein" videos? If Bush is so misguided as to ignore the research that says no child under two should spend ANY time in front of any type of television or computer screen, I figured he might be deluded into thinking that one Baby Einstein DVD per student of any age could solve our educational crisis.
By the way, I thought about somehow trying to explain or indicate why this girl was a high school dropout, but then I thought it was beside the point. Maybe she went to a crappy school and fell through the cracks. Maybe she got pregnant and didn't get the support she needed to stay in school. Maybe she had such horrible underfunded overcrowded schools since she was young that she never developed a love of learning. Who knows?
- The Hunger Healer. This is real, actually. Back during the initial stages of the Afghan war, the U.S. tried to assuage/offset any small guilt about dropping all those bright yellow cluster bombs on civilians by dropping bright yellow packages of food along with the bombs. Food that looked like bombs, often burst or spoiled on landing, led children into minefields, and made many Afghans very sick. And yes, each packet contained PB&J. Which is fine if you know what that is and how to eat it and you don't have peanut allergies. Here are some quotes from a Boston Globe piece ("Afghan Food Drops Found to Do Little Good") about the backlash to this ill-conceived faux-humanitarian effort:
The Bush administration's much publicized food ration airdrop in northern Afghanistan - hailed by the Pentagon as a way to feed starving residents while winning their loyalty - achieved neither goal in many targeted areas, military experts, aid workers, and a report by retired US special forces officers now conclude.
...The bright yellow plastic-wrapped meals ruptured upon impact because they were dropped from too high an altitude and spoiled, endangering the Afghans who ate them, the report by the retired officers said.
Moreover, the meals often were collected by local warlords and sold for a profit at Afghan markets and seldom reached hungry families, according to aid workers. In other cases, Afghans were lured by the bright packages into minefields or confused them with cluster bombs of the same color.
- The Nature Stimulator. CFL bulbs are great. They're all I have in my house, and they sure do save a little bit of energy. But promoting the false idea that every American making one TINY change is somehow going to be enough to stave off global disaster is ridiculous. Sure we should all do our part--but we need much more drastic and widespread change as a society to make a real difference. We need real regulations on corporate polluters and real tough emissions standards and smaller more efficient vehicles and better public transport and a whole lot more than just a CFL bulb in every house. Etc.
- The Peace Patch. This is just in reference to all those Iraqis who were supposed to love their U.S. liberators. It's kind of hard to love the people who shot your innocent husband for driving slightly too fast past a checkpoint you just set up at random.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Somehow I thought Romney's defeat would feel sweeter...
From the mailbox...
I'm an ex-pat Canadian who, every time I read the news here in America, feel like I've landed in some form of malicious - though loopy - alternative universe. Yes, I know that crazy, rich fundamentalist nutters own all the media etc etc blah blah but still, HOW HOW HOW can science and universal health care be so successfully dismissed as extremist plots??? I have donned my Jane Goodall hat and am investigating. If I find out I'll let you know.I have to say, I'm not even an ex-pat Canadian, and I also always feel like I'm living in some freakish dystopian science fiction America. Especially when I hear health care for all Americans being derided as "socialized medicine" or waterboarding defined as "not torture." Sigh.
But, to the point, I just saw your cartoons and loved them. In fact, they made my day after super Tuesday, which was a rough day - I actually had to resuscitate my girlfriend at the polling booth!
Keep up the good work.
On another topic, Miriam and Bruce were alarmed by the Google Ads that popped up in response to my anti-McCain cartoons:
Did you know that a banner ad on your site, right under the new "straight talk express" cartoon is for McCain? I clicked on it and it took me right to McCain's website…Sadly, Google Adsense (which I use to offset my web hosting costs for this site) doesn't give much control to bloggers such as myself--it's based on keywords, so it just read the keyword "McCain" and blindly assumed that my readers would somehow be into John McCain. Silly Google!
What's going on?
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Really scary thought
I am so scared right now!
Toon: Casualties of Super Tuesday
Click to enlarge
Loosely based on my own experience yesterday, except in New York we have those cool oldschool mechanical voting machines with levers.
For the first time in my life, I had no idea what would happen once I stepped in the voting booth. I pushed aside the curtain and stared at all the little levers. I ran my fingers over the Kucinich and Edwards levers with a little sigh of regret, frowned at the Clinton and Obama levers for a few moments, took a deep breath and pulled the Obama switch.
Why Mr. Barack "bipartisanship" (eeek!) Obama? In the end I figured I might as well vote for the guy who MIGHT maybe possibly have voted against the war if he had the chance, rather than the woman who definitely voted for it. Hillary has blood on her hands, and I just couldn't support her, superior health plan or not.
I didn't even have the satisfaction of feeling that either of them was a sure thing to end the reign of GOP terror and wingnuttery we've been under for the past eight years.
Democracy shouldn't be so depressing.
P.S. I am indeed registered as a Democrat (you have to be one or the other to vote in the primaries in NYC). But I'm far too left-wing to truly identify with that spineless middle-of-the-road party. So technically, if I HAD fainted, it would have been fair for a poll worker to say "Democrat down!"
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Wow. I'm STILL undecided.
Maybe I'll just vote for Edwards in protest.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Toon: Why It's Called the "Straight" Talk Express
Click to enlarge
I don't get it. Why do so many liberals still love John McCain? He's anti-choice and anti-gay and a true conservative Republican in many other ways as well. Boo to John McCain!
Oh, and this robocall thing is real. Via Politico, here's the actual wording of those robocalls:
We care deeply about traditional values and protecting families. And we need someone who will not waver in the White House: Ending abortion, preserving the sanctity of marriage, stopping the trash on the airwaves and attempts to ban God from every corner of society. These issues are core to our being.
"Mitt Romney thinks he can fool us. He supported abortion on demand, even allowed a law mandating taxpayer-funding for abortion. He says he changed his mind, but he still hasn’t changed the law. He told gay organizers in Massachusetts he would be a stronger advocate for special rights than even Ted Kennedy. Now, it’s something different.
"Unfortunately, on issue after issue Mitt Romney has treated social issues voters as fools, thinking we won’t catch on. Sorry, Mitt, we know you aren’t trustworthy on the most important issue and you aren’t a conservative
"Paid for by John McCain 2008.
Why does Obama have to suck so much on health care?
That's a Big Deal. Then again, so is the war--which Obama said he opposed from the beginning, but continuously voted to fund. Then again, so is civil rights for immigrats, and Clinton won't support driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants (Obama does). I'm not going to even get into all their corporate ties and the nasty donations they've gotten from health insurance companies and credit card lenders, among other.
So yeah, crap. For the first time since I turned 18, I really don't know how I'm going to vote in the primary. For the record, in 2004 I went for Kucinich in the primary, and in 2000 for Nader. How about you?
P.S. Fellow Cartoonist With Attitude Jen Sorensen is also pissed at Obama over health care.