Tuesday, April 30, 2002
And they thought Geraldo had credibility
Not from the Fox News desk: America's
Fair and Balanced NetworkT has recently
been noticed for one of their expert military
consultants for the War in AfghanistanT-
okay, actually, they've been noticed because
of the expert's impeccable qualifications,
all of which are completely fabricated.
Turns out Joseph A. Cafasso lied
about his military experience, including
blatant lies about winning a Silver Star
and participating in the failed Iranian
hostage rescue attempt in 1980.
Please do read the entire article, because
it's a great read and a great laugh, but
I'd like to point out the extra funny
part if I may:
Fox News executives acknowledged that
they now think that Mr. Cafasso was not
who he said he was. But they said that
the information he gathered never led
to any known mistakes and that he had
a network of military sources - built,
apparently, on the strength of his stories.
So let's run that by one more time: Fox
News, on the grounds that a guy's dialogue
was accurate, continued to claim they
had an accredited and decorated military
veteran on their roster even though they
thought he might be lying, because they
didn't see a problem with it.
But hey, at least they're still the only
channel not run by commies, right? Right?
Let's talk about the Middle East, Pt.
To update the previous post on this topic:
Once again, keeping in mind that the
U.N. wants to send in a probe to find
out if the Israeli army committed atrocities,
the Israeli government is now listing
demands for allowing the U.N. to have
the priveledge of politely asking if they,
you know, might have killed a few hundred
Folks, even when I attempt to rationalize
the Israeli point of view of this situation
I can't comprehend how this makes them
look good. Here's what it looks like:
first of all, they're basically saying,
by demanding to select military and "Anti-terrorism"
experts (translated: hates Arafat)
Sharon is coming across as though he wants
his own jury. "Anti-terrorism experts?"
The claim, as the article reads, is to
make sure they understand why the army
did what they did. They're trying to
find bodies- that's how they tell!
Second, since when did it become political
tact to dismiss the U.N. as biased, racist,
and irrelevant to the Israeli cause? All
this is going to do is bring up the somewhat
feasable argument that it seems like the
only U.N. resoution Israel has ever agreed
to is the one that established the country
in 1949. After that, they all became evil
anti-semites or something like that.
And speaking of anti-semitism, here's
editorial from Bishop Desmond Tutu
about how stupid it is to call someone
an anti-semite just for criticizing Israel.
I am dying to hear how people are
going to try to attack this guy.
Monday, April 29, 2002
Oh, shut up, Condy
National Security Adviser Condoleezza
Rice explained today, without giggling
once, that Hugo Chavez "did
as much to undermine democracy in that
country as those who tried to oust him."
She then followed up by saying "When
people are elected, they especially have
a responsibility to talk about the importance
of respecting democratic processes,"
at which point 48 million people laughed
maniacally, 48 million people had one
of those "might be laughter or tears,
but not sure which" moments, and the rest
wondered when Monday Night RAW
So, yeah. Umm... more
on "those who tried to oust him" here.
Let's talk about the Middle East, Pt.
Setting aside the obvious personal stances
on the Mideast conflict, there's a simple
two-point lesson that needs to be given
to the adamant supporters of Israel- not
is some form of contrast to what they
say, but as a simple lesson in basic "how
to" in the public opinion department:
- Without a doubt, a significant portion
of the world has an unfair, and at many
levels inexcusable, bias against the
State of Israel.
- Those who unilaterally support Israel
appear, whether they want to or not,
to be doing everything in their own
power to create the bias.
Now before the Inboxer Rebellion begins,
hear me out. Of course, the big issue
that we have to reflect on right now is
has decided to forbid the UN probe from
entering Jenin to survey the damage
and examine the charges of alleged war
crimes and/or humanitarian violations.
We look at the two points I just said
and it shows the critical flaw of the
Israeli government, and the mentality
of the pro-Israel lobby: the failure to
acknowledge the basic credo of 21st-century
news media. Since the inception of the
24-hour cable news network and the proliferation
of the tabloid press, anyone involved
in a story as big and as long-running
as this have to accept the grand rule:
"no one cares, even if you're right."
Is Israel right in their claim that there
was no massacre at Jenin? Is Israel right
in claiming, as the linked story claims,
that the UN is biased against them and
out to smear them? The answer to both
questions is "it doesn't matter." News
media, especially the American news media,
makes you guilty the moment you deny anything.
And if the catchphrase is good enough,
you don't even need to make a denial to
be branded for life.
The irony, of course, lies in the fact
that this is a technique perfected by
conservatives- the group most one-sidedly
supportive of Israel in the military conflict.
I apologize for these examples, because
obviously they in no way mean to compare
to the tragic loss of life of 2,000-odd
people in Israel and the West Bank, but
the stories fit the example: Al Gore inventing
the internet. Clinton staffers trashed
the White House on inauguration day. These
stories have both been proven to be completely
false; yet still to this day it's used
against them. The catchy lines were too
good to give up simply because of some
pesky "evidence" that the charges had
To continue disgracing the dead with
sub-standard examples, the two most high-profile
celebrity scandals of note: Gary Condit
and Robert Blake. Condit, by not openly
admitting his affair, has now been accused
by large percentages of people of actually
committing the murder of the woman he
was apparently having an affair with.
Blake has more people convinced he's guilty
than people who actually know who the
hell he is. Both are made guilty by the
media by their simple acts of evasion.
It is the same evasion Israel is doing
now by blocking the Jenin probe.
A better example of the irony with the
conservative thought toward this is the
anti-terrorist actions undertaken in the
United States. What is the most common
line given by those who unabashedly support
the oppressive and racist policies of
the USA Patriot Act? "Well, I don't care.
I have nothing to hide." "Only people
with something to hide should be concerned
about the government invading their privacy."
I'm sorry, but the blame needs to be given
where it's due: conservatives, this line
was your baby, and now it's coming to
the Middle East to bite you in the ass
Is the UN biased against Israel? Probably,
but it doesn't matter. The media has already
decided what the image of this is going
to be. And there's already a perfect ironic
comparison to make a catchphrase worthy
of inventing the internet: the fact that
Iraq is going to be attacked for blocking
It doesn't matter than what the UN wants
from Iraq and what they want from Israel
are two completely different things. It
doesn't matter that countless debate time
can go towards the moralistic differences
between the two nations. What matters
is that the simplest and catchiest line
is that Israel is being allowed to do
what Iraq is getting bombed for. And hell,
even I sort of believe that.
Though it pains me to say it, the arrogant
and hypocritical conservative thoughts
towards anti-terrorism in the country
need to be applied to Israel now: Israel
is obligated to prove that they have nothing
to hide. This "boy who cried wolf" action
of accusing, literally, the entire world
of being against them is only going to
give them just that. And if they did commit
a massive act of genocide that a rising
sentiment is alluding to, then delaying
the eventual discovery is only going to
make it worse. Ariel Sharon should look
at how well Gary Condit did in his last
election when he tried the same tactics.
Sunday, April 28, 2002
The President of the United States
has gone completely insane, Pt. 3
The Bush administration has drawn somewhat
specific plans for a large-scale invasion
of Iraq sometime next year, depending
on how much popularity and clout the Republican
Party has in the Senate after the 2002
elections, a spokesman for the White House
obviously didn't really say but we all
know he was thinking anyway.
And, of course, what way to continue
the United State's proud tradition of
humility and compassion towards the only-when-necessary
use of military force than to announce
the goddamn plan in one of the largest
newspapers in the world?
Seriously, it's not even the fact that
the administration is now grotesquely
estimating that we may need a quarter
of a million people- more than we planned
for invading Tokyo in 1946, for
fuck's sake- to go in and allegedly cripple
the alleged army we allegedly already
crippled eleven years ago, but we have
the arrogance to, in a span of less than
a century, go from arranging our military
operations with such secrecy that we had
parts of it coded in Navajo dialect just
so the Germans couldn't translate it to
making it downloadable off the internet
I would take pride in how much balls
it must take to do that if it wasn't for
how horrifying the implications of this
Essentially, we've just indicated to
Saddam Hussein that, if he is in fact
making chemical weapons, he should definitely
concentrate his efforts now towards getting
some of them ready by January, and oh,
he should try to make sure he has enough
to kill, let's say 70 to 250 thousand
people. And while were at it, Mr. President,
let's establish a friendly relationship
with all the Arab nations by opening every
single meeting with one of their envoys
with "hey, guess what we're going
to do next year!"
I swear, the only way this makes sense
to me is that they want previews to be
made up for Gulf War II. think about it.
eight months away, need to spread the
hype to push toy sales for the Christmas
rush. MSNBC and Fox News are the new guys-
they've never had their own war movie
like CNN did in '89. Imagine what the
trailers are going to be like.
Mario's pissed, but legally no one
has to care now
I'm aware that me referencing an online
cartoon and opinion forum of such fame
and popularity as Penny
Arcade is sort of like Vanilla Ice
telling someone, "hey, this Mozart guy
sounds like he might be good," but I think
I should do my best to point out something
the artists over there recently brought
to light on my humble sub-standard blog-
yet a blog that attracts many a political
Umm... where was I before establishing
myself as a bottom rung on the cartoonist
ladder... oh yeah, the thing these guys
did. Anyhoo, they recently pointed out
an interesting ruling by a federal judge
about a law requiring violent and explicit
video games to be sold and displayed in
arcades only to minors with direct parental
consent. The judge upheld the ruling,
which to even some degrees I can agree
with. What caused the well-written and
though-provoking essays found
here, however, was the horrifying
justification of the judges ruling: video
games do not constitute free speech.
So, just to make it clear: unlimited
political campaign contributions being
stopped- that's a violation of the first
amendment. Banning the depiction of violence
and sex on film or the internet- a violation
of the first amendment. Banning the depiction
of violence and sex in a game run on the
same television that shows the film or
the same computer that connects to the
internet- okay by him.
I suppose it goes without saying that
the judge and his ruling are both full
of crap. Apparently, however, I can't
say that in a video game now.
Saturday, April 27, 2002
Where else but in Nevada, the offical
home of the world's most tasteless city
you see to the left is, tragically, the
vanity fundraiser license plate design
from Nevada, celebrating their proud
history of nuclear testing.
Yes, this is, just to make it clear,
the same state that, as we speak, is practically
threatening to secede from the Union out
of anger towards the sudden attention
towards how great Nevada would be to host
Seeing as how regardless of Nevada's
claims, the image of a mushroom cloud
will eternally be synonimous with the
death of several hundred thousand Japanese
people, not with the historical moment
when the nation built it. Thusly, I will
leave the personal gauge towards how utterly
tasteless the image of a nuclear explosion
on the back of one's car with a message
to celebrate it's proud tradition is to
you dear readers, though I can guess you've
all pegged what mine is.
This is an image of the first frame of
my Intro to 3-D final project. It's being
done in a program called Maya, the same
software used to make Ice Age.
My project is currently "rendering" at
the NYU animation SGI computer lab, a
process which means each one of the 430
frames (30 frames=1 second of animation)
in the movie is individually rendered
to high resolution by powerful computers.
It takes about 3 or 4 minutes to render
each frame, which means at a minimum it
will take 21 hours for my project to render.
Hence, I might be away from the site
for extended periods of time while this
project finishes. Rest assured I am still
reading all your e-mails, still looking
into news items of note, and still generally
caring about disrupting the world as it
works right now. I just have to appease
a bunch or people who make me pay them
35 grand a year to dump these torturous
projects on me right now.
I'll be in an out at odd times, so keep
checking in. If you're bored, go watch
the David Hasselhoff video again.
Friday, April 26, 2002
Ignorance is Strength, SpyWare is privacy
Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings is
pushing legislation that allegedly helps
protect computer users from intrusive
online marketing and spying tactics. Unfortunately,
according to this
article, it actually will allow the
progenitors of SpyWare- the secret unknown
programs that record and report you personal
information, demographic statistics, and
every web site you've ever gone to- to
push their business full steam ahead.
The article points that Hollings is behind
another online legality bill that would
essentially cripple the basic practices
of open-source programmers in an attempt
to make Hollywood feel happier about their
own content. And of course, no one seems
to wonder about the double-dealing plans
of Sen. Hollings- maybe we're all too
busy waiting for the new Star Wars
movie, which ironically seems to have
the same plot. That's the dumbest analogy
I've ever made. Oh, just go read the article.
(story via Salon)
So much for enjoying what I
do from now on.
This is a long post, so bear with me.
Usually I don't go into personal things,
because I try to avoid making this a diary
and leave that to actual bloggers with
On Wednesday, I recieved this e-mail
from Doug Spirduso, who asked me something
that I honestly never expected to hear:
Look, I don't know if this is possible,
but how can I contribute to your cause
monetarily? I looked for a tipping jar,
but didn't find it. I must admit that
I haven't even looked at your art; I've
just read some of your blog, thanks to
a link from Tom Tomorrow. Your take on
Rumsfeld's "we never had or have had any
credible info on Osama" was priceless,
and it gave me a measure of hope.
Since 9/11, I have somehow gotten
myself immersed in these blogs, but most
of the ones I've found were right-wing,
hawkish, Andrew Sullivan types...even
the ones who professed to be liberal.
Finding Tom and you somehow made me realize
that I wasn't crazy, or alone. The real
USA does exist in some hearts.
What really gives me hope, however,
is your youth (I'm old enough to be your
father, or perhaps your grandfather),
and with that youth, you seem to be able
to think about someone other than yourself.
Thinking may not be beyond the youth of
today and the leaders of tomorrow, but
thinking of someone else seems to be a
So, I've rambled on enough. I have
enjoyed your blog, and I would like to
help your career and future. Money seems
to be the "coin of the realm" these days.
So how can I contribute?
In any case, keep drawing and commenting.
My response to Doug was as follows:
Thank you for your praise, but
as for now I have no plans to set up any
typical blogger "donation" system.
Essentially, I consider my site
more of an online resume for publishing
syndicates rather than a blog- I consider
myself a cartoonist who has a blog, not
a blogger who draws cartoons. Therefore
I choose to refrain from any tawdry blogger-esque
elements, including Amazn wishlists, link
tables, or any of the "what ____ are you"
At least for now, demand is not
high enough to merit any profit on merchandise,
so there's none of that either. But also
at least for now, cost is not an issue.
I've never complained about the cost to
make the comic, and with my current level
of bandwidth I can afford the monthly
fees on without any major problem.
The best way to contribute would
be to let as many friends know about he
site as possible, perhaps even recommend
it to anyone you might know in the magazine
or newspaper business. If one of these
publishing companies hears that a large
group of people would be willing to pay
money to read artiles or comics, then
that's when business can start.
The faster I become famous, the
faster I can make stuff for you to buy,
and then your goal can be complete. Or
something like that.
Looking back on it, I realize that I
did two things. First, in an attempt at
self-depreciating humor, I made myself
look like a pretentious greedy prig, and
second, I made myself look like I felt
superior to other bloggers. I hope that
most of you believe me when I say I didn't
intend either of these ideas. As for the
line about "tawdry blogger-esque elements,"
even I can see I shouldn't have written
it that way, but we'll get to that in
Basically, I was trying to thank him
and decline in a nice, somewhat typical
Pollak-humor way. Nothing, however, prepared
me for the response I recieved the next
Perhaps I insulted you by concentrating
on the "blogger" aspect of my exposure
to you. Let me just say that in addition
to reading your daily diary, I did read
about you and the characters that are
included in your strip. I wasn't exposed
to your "cartoons" because I couldn't
gain access to them at my office.
Your response to what I considered
a genuine and generous offer, however,
has taught me a lesson I have received
before, but never learned. I must thank
you for bringing an obvious point to my
You theoretically eschew the "tawdry
blogger-esque elements" of current bloggers.
So do I. I just wanted to help further
your career and voice.
The reality is that you want fame...enough
of which will enable you to sell merchandise.
Pollak mugs, Pollak dolls...whatever.
You want to join the club you allegedly
hate. You are a contrarian for profit.
Fool that I am, I thought you meant
what you said. I thought you were a college
student who didn't just think about him
or herself; who valued life--not just
his own, but those of others.
You're just a typcial 20-something
who's come up with a new gig. Right-wing
patriotism is in; let's counter that,
and gain an audience.
Well, thanks to Tom Tomorrow, you caught
me. Thanks to you, I no longer care.
I hope you and your art, based on pseudo
philosophy dies the death it deserves.
You won't get contributions, nor recommendations
You deserve none.
So, yeah. First, I double-checked that
this was the same guy. When that proved
to be true, I tried to figure out how
my first response to him could have possibly
altered his viewpoint that much. I could
explain my reaction here, but it would
be easier to continue this post's trend
and post my response to him.
First of all, I never meant to
cast my previous post as if I was insulted.
Far from it. I am in fact flattered that
someone would be willing to pay for some
part of my work. It is an inspiration.
I am not, however, going to pretend
that this second e-mail of yours isn't
both facetious and unnecessarily hurtful.
To chastise me for seeking a career
out of my work is ridiculous- it is the
height of conservative rhetoric to assume
that any leftist who actually wants a
financial future is selling out. If what
I said construes "selling out," i.e the
perversion of personal values for other
gain, then let me examine my personal
values: I like to draw cartoons. I'd like
the opportunity to show them to as many
people as possible. I'd like to find a
way to make a living out of that.
When I said that the way to help
was to make me popular, I meant that in
the way that the style of work artists
such as myself, and in a much higher plane
of talent, Tom Tomorrow, to use your own
example, is a style that the mainstream
refuses to recognize. I am rejected constantly
for the usual reasons: that there are
two many words in my comics. That my ideas
are too controversial. That, (and I swear
a publisher actually said this to me,)
my ideas are too over the heads of their
readers. With each of these, the subtle
suggestion is made: draw cartoons and
write ideas the way all the other do.
Make simple one-panels with repeated gags
that are indistinguishable among all the
If anything, my goal is to become
famous and recognized without having to
change this- not "join the club." I want
to bring content the way I, and many other
independent artists, currently produce
it. Convincing the corporate world that
this is marketable is, sadly, one element
that factors into it. My earlier strips
even made fun of this with R.C.- a cat
which one of the characters carried around,
as the comic quoted, "for the sole purpose
of creating a mass-marketable icon America
I am sorry if you find me pretentious.
I believe in what I say, and I want people
who agree with it, and for that matter
disagree with it, to spread the issues
I address into open debate.
At no point did I ever attempt
to hide the fact that I am aspiring to
be a professional. I consider my website
to be almost like my resume of what I
can offer as a professional. I admit the
statement "tawdry blogger-esque elements"
is overly harsh to other bloggers in a
way I did not mean. I used "tawdry" in
sense of being gaudy or out of place.
As the sole producer of everything on
my site, I refuse to concede to the notion
that I do not have the right to say what
I find aesthetically pleasing or not.
I meant no harm or malice to the countless
bloggers who use the system as their diary,
or who do at the moment need donations
to keep doing what they enjoy. I am neither
of those, and do not wish to compete as
one by appearing to be.
I told you in my first reply that
I also did not need the money. Would you
have preferred I asked for donations for
a deliberate profit? It seems to me that
would make me exactly the thing you baselessly
shape me to be.
Finally, I can only assume you
did not realize that my last line "The
faster I become famous, the faster I can
make stuff for you to buy, and then your
goal can be complete." was a joke. I was
teasing what I considered an outrageous
notion that someone would actually be
interested in compensating me for something
I did. Obviously "your goal" is not to
spend money for no reason, any more than
"my goal" is to acquire fame for no reason.
Your statement that I am nothing
more than a 20-something who wants to
counter the current right-wing patriotism
is both an insult to the values which
inspired me to become a political cartoonist
and an insult to the intelligence you
obviously have and are refusing to show
in this vehement attack. To tell me that
I only write what I write because I think
it's popular is 1. ludicrous, considering
I am practically extradited from parts
of the country for thinking this way-
far from the notion of popularity, and
2. an insult to every friend, family member,
and personal experience that shaped the
way I think and feel about this world.
I can understand that you totally
misconstrued my intentions in my previous
letter to you; that does not prevent me
from feeling incredibly hurt. In attempt
to thank you but politely decline an offer
of money, I cast myself as if I wanted
more, or as if your offer wasn't good
enough. But rather than attempt to question
my motives in a sensible tone, you have
responded to me in the tone of a drunken
man at a bar angry at a whore for refusing
to service him.
You told me in your first e-mail
that the things you have read on blogs
about the country have given you a glimmer
of hope. That is the real "coin of the
realm" that fuels most of us. I am inspired
by the fact that you and others like my
work. Your first e-mail was one of the
greatest compliments I have ever received,
and your second one of the greatest insults.
If you meant what you said that you want
to "further our causes and voices," than
I suggest telling them you hope for those
voices to die might not be the best way
Regardless, thank you for your
comments. If you wish to continue the
belief that my work has no merit, I hope
you continue to read the blogs and ideas
of others. I would be happy to provide
a list of links to other political-based
blogs and student cartoonists if you so
desire. I would hate to think you have
lost faith in everybody because someone
as insignificant to the debate as you
have placed me has upset you.
So, even only a short time after writing
it, I regret some of the tone, because
frankly there's too much emotion in it.
But also, I look back on it and realize
that I said a lot of stuff that is unfair
to other people.
I am sorry to anny other bloggers who
might be offended by me implying that
what they do on their blogs is inferior
to what I do. I didn not mean that. I
simply choose for personal reasons not
to do a lot of the things normal bloggers
do- I mean, as I said before, I don't
even consider myself a blogger- I consider
myself a cartoonist who blogs. Blogging
in itself is a culture that has its own
rules and styles and I cast myself as
an impartial observer, not as a member.
Friends of mine have proven that they
are much better at blogging than I am,
and if anyone came to the idea that I
am mocking them for wanting Amazon donations
or lots of quiz thingies, I am sorry if
I upset you.
I do not, however, apologize to
Doug. I am sorry if the person he cast
me to be upset him, but hopefully as my
second e-mail to him shows, 95% of what
he said about me is grossly untrue.
Ultimately, I guess what all of this
about is that Doug has shown me that I
might be making people think that I'm
only in this for profit. I'm not going
to lie and say I wouldn't love a profit
out of this, but I mean that in the sense
of becomming a professional. For people
who want to be singers, there's a difference
between singing on the sidewalk with a
jar and getting a recording contract.
I don't feel ashamed in establishing a
difference between doing the same for
cartoons. I am allowed to have my dream...
especially one that I have already accepted
is unlikely to come true.
I would like to make sure, however, that
I'm not making other people think the
way Doug is. If I am, please let me know,
because it's the last thing I want to
This is just wrong
I know this one's probably old to all
the hardcore bloggers, but I just came
across it today and frankly, it shoots
out of the water.
You are being warned in advance: this
is the most frightening thing ever.
Thursday, April 25, 2002
I suppose we could try for. the blatantly
I will admit that, as one who hasn't
stepped inside a church in about three
or four years, and even so being a Episcopalian
(which, to quote the great Lee Tergesen
from Oz, means you're required
to think about God about a week out of
the year,) that I'm more than slightly
rusty on the Catholic Church regulatory
But could anyone give me a simple explanation
as to why what most people would assume
is the simplest corollary in regards to
these pedophile priests' actions is never
discussed in the news or anywhere else?
The corollary is as follows:
1. People who molest children are either
criminally or psychologically dangerous,
and thusly need to go to criminal or psychological
rehabilitation facilities, respectively.
2. Several people who happen to be Catholic
priests are molesting children.
Yet, as I've been reading in the news
today, apparently the Pope and the Cardinals
are all up there at the Vatican discussing
the appropriate actions to be taken when
one of these "incidents" happens.
Now, I may just be spouting something
simple and ill-researched what with me
being one of those godless liberal heathens
and all, but isn't the stance of the majority-right/conservative
observant Christians that we can't be
a nation soft on crime? That if you commit
a crime, you have to go to jail?
So why, pray tell (or, I guess, prayer
leader tell,) is there an argument over
a "one strike" policy? Did anyone else
read this one? It was decided that action
will only be taken against priests who
are "repeat offenders."
I fail to see why this suggestion hasn't
been offered yet: they're debating whether
or not if you abuse a child, you lose
your job or not. what happened to going
to goddamn jail?
I have advocated in countless arguments
with my peers for the side of somewhat
compassionate measures against child molesters-
a stance which, of course, ranks right
up there with finding Megan's Law questionable
as the easiest way to never be considered
a candidate for mainstream politics for
the rest of one's life. Of course, I don't
think that what these people do is horrible-
it's possibly the worst crime a single
person can commit outside of murder. But
frankly, a lot of these people are clearly
psychologically troubled, and saying
that it can be handled without doctors
or law enforcement will never cure these
In the past week, the Church has pulled
the pins from their Holy Hand Grenades
and dropped them into their own laps.
First, of course, they leak the offensive
and abusive notion that this has something
to do with homosexuality. This is, of
course, the "Big Lie" of child abuse.
A pedophile is not sexually attracted
to boys any more than he is sexually attracted
to girls. A pedophile is, by definition,
one who is sexually attracted to children.
The Cardinals realized really quick, fortunately,
that most of the country didn't buy this,
and maybe if we keep letting them know
we don't buy it they'll realize that their
staff has a major problem instead of blaming
it on what they think of as another one.
Now, in between arguments over whether
or not they should accept that priests
are, regardless of the collar, human,
and maybe might not have such a fucked-up
sexual mentality if they were allowed
to. well. fuck, (here's a hint- yes!)
they're weighing just to what level of
abuse of a minor constitutes telling the
priest they're a bad, bad person.
All I'm saying is that, with the limited
knowledge I have of this, it seems very
strange tat no one has suggested mass
arrests. And if they have, I sure as hell
haven't been hearing about them in the
You Decide, We Report: the Celebrity
was a long debate, dozens of suggestions
were submitted, and frankly I think anyone
who hasn't forgotten about it would be
bored if I waited any longer, myself included.
A while ago I asked you, the diligent
readers, to submit your picks for who
would make an ideal celebrity United Nations
Envoy to the Middle East. (the logic was
that if Russian can send celebrities into
space, then the U.S. should, in true Cold-War
tradition, attempt to meet the challenge
in futile pointless historical ventures)
major criteria included logical, rational
reasons for why the celebrity would have
a legitimate purpose to be a Middle East
Peace Envoy. Also, anything that you put
way too much effort into thinking about
got a few extra points. I mean, seriously-
it's a gag, folks. Hence, the candidates,
as well as an attempt at a logical reason
for sending them:
Mr. T. First of all, we save billions
on the defense costs. I mean, honestly-
do you think anyone in the area thinks
they can take this guy out? It's not going
to happen. His massive frame and sparkly
jewelry will mesmerize both sides as he-
the master of eloquent conversation- subtly
explains the rational points of the Oslo
Accord. (Thanks to Matt Weiland)
Michael Jackson, in the Captain Eo
costume. Both the Israelis and Palestinians
will be awed by his otherwordly presence
and his monkey will warm their hard hearts.
Now, I actually think this makes sense.
I know stupid jokes were supposed to be
a no-no, but seriously, I think the "time
will be spent trying to figure out what
the hell this guy is" factor weighs into
it. Reader Mandy Brown suggested Bob Dylan,
and I didn't pick it because all that
we'd need to do is tell them his real
name and he'd be dead before lunchtime.
With Michael Jackson, they won't even
be able to figure out if he's human. I
think the weirdness factor will allow
more attention to be drawn to him, and
in addition, there's no one outside of
the President who can get more media following
him than Jacko. which is a huge benefit
to the entire humanitarian cause. (Thanks
to the reader identified only as "blamb")
Bono. Well, Duh.
David Bowie. First of all, if
he did Zoolander, then he's got
to be itching for anything to prove personal
credibility. But Chris Handy provided
some ample points that I find compelling
and agreeable: he has a global recognition,
is well versed in ceremonial fanfare becoming
of a diplomat (aaah, glam-rock,) and his
compassion is accentuated by a key personal
element: he's married to a Muslim.
The fact that Ms. Iman is not directly
from the Muslim areas in conflict, yet
is a member of that group, prevents both
sides from a making a credible complaint
of bias. I agree that this is somewhat
racist, but frankly, so is every other
rationale coming out of Israel right now.
So there are the four runners-up. And
I want to thank everyone for their submissions,
and for the thought you put into this.
Frankly, I can't say anything else about
this, so I will leave the rest to reader
"Eduardo" Orange, who without a doubt
gave the best envoy suggestion. With that,
I leave you with his e-mail in its entirety.
It is poignant. It is passionate. And
the level of logic it contains is utterly,
mind-bogglingly insane. Thank you all
Part of the problem with this country's
foreign policy stems from the fact that
we employ only human agents. In a time
as dire as this, we can turn longingly
to only one bastion of peace and sanity.
Scoff if you will, but I honestly believe
we need to send a little Kermit the Frog
Don't close this letter, yet. I'm
serious. Sure, Ariel Sharon may have a
few screws loose. He may not have a clue
what kind of wad he's put Israel's collective
panties in. Perhaps his heart is covered
with the blackest coat of apathy imaginable.
But more importantly, he doesn't seem
to have the so-called "rainbow connection."
Think back, if you will, to the original
muppet movie. Remember the cast? Jesus,
those puppets were so diverse THEY didn't
even know what they were. How could a
motley crew so outrageous ever come together
to produce almost a dozen movies, countless
television series, and spawn who knows
how much merchandise?
One frog, my friend. One frog with
a guitar and a pig girlfriend.
Not only does Mr. Kermit have the
know-how, elbow grease, and overwhelming
charisma to pull it off, he also has plenty
of time. If I'm not mistaken, it's been
some time since he or any of his compatriots
put together a movie and I suspect he's
a little short on current projects. Not
only could he resolve two millenia's worth
of violence, he could even spin this into
the most exciting muppet adventure of
Peace in the Mid-East! A new Muppet
venue! Millions of dollars in merchandise!
How on Earth could anyone lose? They couldn't,
Mr. Pollak. They just couldn't.
Wednesday, April 24, 2002
If you smoke cigarettes, you're helping
According to this article in The
Nation, representatives from most
of the major tobacco companies in the
United States ordered a significant passage
of the U.S.A. Patriot Act to be eliminated.
Why? Because it dealt with stronger tactics
and larger influence over international
money laundering, which, to quote the
...would have expanded the definition
of money laundering to include "fraud
or any scheme to defraud against a foreign
government or foreign government entity,
if such conduct would constitute a violation
of this title if it were committed in
interstate commerce in the United States..."
The section, which the Justice Department
had requested to aid its crackdown on
money laundering, would have rendered
major tobacco companies accused of smuggling
cigarettes overseas extremely vulnerable
to legal challenge, and they wanted it
At the time, the tobacco companies
were facing legal assaults on several
fronts. On the docket at the US federal
courthouse in New York City were two cases
being argued in parallel: Twenty-two Colombian
states and the city of Bogota and ten
European governments-including France,
Germany, Italy, Spain and Greece-had accused
Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds and British
American Tobacco of defrauding their governments
of hundreds of millions of dollars in
tax revenues and of taking the illicit
profits back to the United States, which
would constitute money laundering...
Representative Oxley removed the provision
from the bill at the behest of the White
House and GOP whip Tom DeLay, under pressure
from big tobacco... As Richard Daynard,
director of the Tobacco Litigation Center
at Northeastern University, explains,
"The bill as originally drafted would
have made the tobacco companies a lot
more vulnerable to the charges in those
lawsuits." It should perhaps come as no
surprise that those who supported the
tobacco industry were also major recipients
of the industry's largesse: A report by
the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids reveals
that Republicans received 82 percent of
the more than $18 million that the tobacco
industry has poured into political campaigns
Newest comic posted - "Once Again"
Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Oh, for fuck's sake.
Joe Lamond, president and chief executive
officer of International Music Products
Association, left, covers the microphone
with his hand as he confers with with
fellow witness Elmo of Sesame Street during
a House Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education Appropriations Committee hearing
on Capital Hill Tuesday, April 23 in Washington.
Well go the fuck ahead, read it again.
I didn't write that. That actually
Okay, here's what gets me about the whole
deal. Not that this is an overly cutesy
way for Children's Television Workshop
to advocate more funding for music education.
Not that they actually put a goddamn suit
on Elmo, which even I admit is kinda adorable.
Not that, essentially, our tax dollars
went this morning towards funding all
the resources required by congress to
listen to a man read a statement through
a hand puppet.
What bothers me is the actions, captured
here for all time, of Mr. Lamond, seen
here doing two things:
- Covering with his hand an inactive
prop microphone, seeing how the actual
one would be near the mouth of the puppeteer-
you know, the one that can actually
- Whispering into Elmo's ear. So that
only the muppet can hear what
he has to say.
This was all, of course, in the name
of more funding for special programs...
something that was recently cut because
the budget didn't have enough money. Because,
as today's conference with muppets clearly
shows, all the money is being used appropriately.
Uh-oh, he's making us think again.
Today, representatives of the Swedish
government announced that they believe
the inherent bias of the United Nations
and it's dominating members will unfairly
view the status of their nation in light
of an upcoming investigation into said
military practices of the Swedish.
The UN, which fears Sweden may be overstepping
its military power, is now being told
by Sweden that inspectors will not be
allowed into their country. Considering
the relations the UN has with Sweden to
provide aid, it's questionable what kind
of incident may develop.
So, when do the bombers fly in? Maybe
they won't. See, I'm lying. I changed
the country. And you're not going to get
a story link to find out which country
is really doing this.
You don't get to pick which side you're
on just because of who you think is "evil"
or not. First tell me if what the country
doing is wrong. Then you get to decide
if it's Iraq, or Iran, or Israel, or the
United States, or whatever. Maybe it's
none of those countries. maybe I worded
it so that it actually applies to more
than one country. uh-oh!
It's a lot harder to call an action "evil"
when you don't get to be told who's making
the play, isn't it?
World's stupidest idea update
Over a year after my comments were made
in my April
5, 2001 comic (fourth one down,) the
WSN has announced the breakthrough
report on just how much everyone in NYU
Dental hates the World's Stupidest
IdeaT (or at least one of them,) that
being the complete conversion of the entire
NYU Dental School course texts into
a DVD, which, under the original guidelines
proposed 13 months ago, cost $1,200, required
the student to own a laptop computer,
were serial-coded to prevent transfer
of the disc's fiels to other computers
(e.g. every student had to buy one for
themselves,) and the best part- a built-in
"re-updating" policy which required the
software to be bought again every
The issue that drove the dental students
to a near-reenactment of the finale of
Frankenstein, however, was the
arrogance of the NYU administrators, who,
during the periods in which they could
stand upright without the collective sexual
organs of the DVD companies inside them,
decided to completely ignore any level
of student complaint, or in the classic
explanation of Wendy Seltzer, a fellow
at the Berkman Center for Internet and
Society at Harvard University, "There's
no way for students to exert any pressure
as a market. The student has a choice
to buy a Vital Book, or [not] go to NYU."
And this isn't of course just with the
DVD company... the articles will show
that computer companies, medical science
research suppliers, and even the professors
themselves are all part of this big financial
deal to claim a "streamlining" process
for NYU Dental, which in reality is a
21st-century cover for forcing students
to buy something they don't necessarily
So remember, I said it a year ago and
I'll say it again today- NYU: pioneers
in the fight against the oppressive rule
of libraries and used book stores.
Monday, April 22, 2002
Bandwidth problems, hopefully, should
be okay now for the next sixth months.
This does mean, however, that this
is your last chance. My favorites
to be posted sometime in the next day
Also, my portfolio's up in the info section,
so you can go tell all the people you
know that run animation studios what a
lousy artist I am. Or something to that
Big trouble in little Paris
Le Pen! Le PEEEENNNNNNNNNN!
I'm sorry. That had to be done.
Also, please note the sign held by this
guy reads "I am ashamed to be French."
I will leave that joke up to you because
I actually have French fans and I really
don't want to upset them. They're already
upset because, basically, they
now have to choose between a sharp stick
in the eye and a red-hot poker up the
ass in the runoff.
But anyway, Since when did the French
get rowdy? I mean, the stereotype of these
people has always been to. well. surrender
whenever someone looks at them really
mean. So now several thousand of them
are tearing the goddamn nation apart because
a fluke in a 16-man election made a psychotic
right-winger one of the two leading candidates.
My favorite quote from this
AP article, however, was as follows:
Le Pen, 73, leader of the anti-immigration
National Front, called his score a step
in "the French renaissance," to be completed
with a May 5 victory.
A renaissance? You mean a cultural
groundswell in which the populace erupts
into a new wave of free thought and expressive
ideals? And here you all are thinking
I'm a schmuck for making a bad Lo Pan
reference from an obscure 80's Kurt Russell
Now, I'd like to use the rest of this
rant to explain a simple point to many
of the berserk conservatives who are now
proclaiming this as a complete sign of
the end of leftist politics in France.
Oh, do be so kind as to bite me.
Since we live in a nation that has corporations
running the election through the two-party
system, most of these people don't understand
the concept that France had an election
between 16 people- which means the runoff
will consist of the people who support
the incumbent Chirac, the supporters of
Le Pen, and the other 77% of the
country that didn't vote for either
of them, and sure as hell aren't voting
for the more conservative of the two.
In other words, there were 14 candidates
that people thought were more to the left
of these two, including the Prime Minister,
who, come one guys, only lost by 1% of
the vote. So stop acting like the right-wingers
are taking over Europe. Last time that
happened, most of Europe fought back.
Except France. Sorry. Couldn't help myself.
Sunday, April 21, 2002
And now, the world's smartest 12-year
This is probably old to some of you,
but I just found it- an essay written
by a Charlotte Aldebron, a 12-year old
schoolgirl, about the true importance
of the symbol of our nation:
The American flag stands for the fact
that cloth can be very important. It is
against the law to let the flag touch
the ground or to leave the flag flying
when the weather is bad. The flag has
to be treated with respect. You can tell
just how important this cloth is because
when you compare it to people, it gets
much better treatment. Nobody cares if
a homeless person touches the ground.
A homeless person can lie all over the
ground all night long without anyone picking
him up, folding him neatly and sheltering
him from the rain.
School children have to pledge loyalty
to this piece of cloth every morning.
No one has to pledge loyalty to justice
and equality and human decency. No one
has to promise that people will get a
fair wage, or enough food to eat, or affordable
medicine, or clean water, or air free
of harmful chemicals. But we all have
to promise to love a rectangle of red,
white, and blue cloth.
Betsy Ross would be quite surprised
to see how successful her creation has
become. But Thomas Jefferson would be
disappointed to see how little of the
flag's real meaning remains.
Source, as well as the e-mail address
of the girl's mother so you can tell her
what a great job she did, found here.
"Hey, let's pass some more laws so
we look like we're working!"
The Senate voted on Thursday 97-0 to
pass the (deep breath) Enhanced
Border Security and Visa Entry Reform
Act, which prohibits the entry into
the United States of anyone from a country
that "sponsors terrorism." The list of
these countries is as follows: Cuba, Iran,
Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan and North Korea.
(The Axis of Evil has grown, apparently)
Yes, thank you. I as well noticed that
in other words, this bill would have done
nothing to prevent the 9/11 terrorists
from entering the country, seeing as how
almost all of them were from... none
of those countries.
So basically, seven nations have just
had their entire populations added
to a blacklist. Talk about racial profiling.
My favorite part, however, is how the
bill lovingly explains how foreign college
students can be treated. From the article:
The measure also significantly tightens
control over foreign students studying
in US universities and colleges. It requires
the State and Justice Departments to closely
monitor these students' arrivals, enrolment
into classes as well as their dropping
out. If the bill becomes law, which is
largely expected, universities will be
asked to report foreign students not showing
up for classes to immigration authorities.
Well, as an alleged "citizen of an oppressive
nation" yearning for the education of
an obviously superior land, that
sure as fuck would make me want to enter
the open arms of Uncle Sam. Way to teach
our guests about freedom, Senators.
Saturday, April 20, 2002
Well, they just don't let anything
get by the vigilant security, so they?
A man has just filed a lawsuit against
American Airlines for $10 million because
the lost some of his stuff. Sort of.
The "stuff" in question is in fact the
man's 70-year old Alzheimer's-striken
wife, who due to lack of supervision on
the airline's part disappeared
during a stopover and has not been seen
since Dec. 5 of last year.
American Airlines refused to comment,
although I bet if they did, they would
have claimed "Beats us what to do. Usually
this happens with dogs, and they just
run home across the country in some Disney-movie
storyline." Yeah, that's what they would
Friday, April 19, 2002
Who'd a thunk this?
This is an advance warning, but I'll
bring it up again when it definitely happens.
As I write this, I will have used about
900 MB of the 1,000 MB bandwidth limit
for the month with my current host. As
a free hosting service, they do not offer
the convenient "we'll just charge you
a few more bucks if you go over" deal,
so as soon as I hit a gig, this site goes
poof. What makes me proud about this is
that this is bandwidth consumed just from
reading the blog- the comics, which
make up about 80% of the actual site space,
are on a different server.
Since their upgrades cost too much and
offer too little given the incresed traffic
I've been given, it means that most likely
sometime in the next week or so this site
is going to go down for a day or two to
transfer to a new host. If this happens,
rest assured in advance this site has
NOT gone down permanently. I really
would hate the irony of changing my host
to increase bandwith only to lose enough
people to not having merited it. Hmm.
With that, I have decided that this is
a perfect deadline-forcer for the Celebrity
Envoy Suggestions. It's official-
you have until this site stops working
to submit your entry.
On Rall and responses
Once again I apologize for not being
able to personally respond to every person's
e-mails. I started doing that this morning
and after a few of them I realized I was
being told and being challenged, and subsequently
being forced to respond, in a repeated
So first of all, to the new fans, thank
Now, to the conservatives who have been
writing me: for one thing, you don't need
to tell me you're conservative. For some
reason, every single one of you writes
me and says "by the way, I'm a conservative."
I figure this out on my own by about the
second or third paragraph.
Second, please don't write me to tell
me you're not going to dignify my post
with an answer. Whenever this happens,
I call my roommate and/or some friend
over and we stare at it and then giggle
for a minute.
But I digress. Many of you have attacked
me for referencing Rall, as well as making
note of the terrorist connection to Haliburton
and the Carlyle group. I think I need
First, I love Ted Rall and his work,
but yes, at times the act of defending
him makes me feel the way court-appointed
attorneys must feel when they are assigned
to try to prove that their client didn't
really eat that nun. Nevertheless, I support
Rall's opinion to theorize that the war
is an excuse for the Unocal pipeline.
Personally, I don't this theory as a level
of proof, but a situation in which neither
side has given enough information to disprove
Also, this goes to liberal and conservative
readers alike who have been doing this
all day: please don't point me to Spinsanity
for evidence. For one thing, I do not
accept the intricate research of three
guys and their web site as definitive
proof any more than I expect any of you
to accept my site as. If anything, I am
beginning to see a technological nightmare
on the horizon if we are approaching an
era in which the concept of "researched
debate" de-evolves into using websites
to debunk other websites.
When I go to a site like Spinsanity or
my evidence is not garnered by the fact
that it's written by their site, but by
whatever information they have garnered
from outside links. you know, legitimate
sources. In one link a reader sent
me re: Rall, there were absolutely none.
Just an article written in the tone of
"Rall is wrong because we say so, and
we're to be trusted because goddamit,
we're printed in Salon."
That said, I emphasize that I like
Spinsanity, just not as a research source.
When I say three guys with a website I
mean three very smart guys with a website.
I think it's a well-written, well-calculated,
well-balanced opinion site/column,
and should be noted as such. Note Spinsanity
to me if you think they wrote a smart
article. Note it to me if they linked
to a viable news source about one of their
findings. Please don't link me just to
a quote of theirs as evidence. That's
all I'm saying.
As for the argument I'm being given that
"we didn't just go there for bin Laden:"
obviously not. But we were made to think
that. My point is that now that Rumsfeld
has admitted we had no evidence on bin
Laden, he should at least go all the way
and admit that Defense Department and
the President spun this entire tragedy
into a movie plot, and convinced a load
of Americans that everything would be
better if we had Bruce Willis go in and
off this one single 70-year old man.
In other words, it was made to look as
if killing bin Laden would be a definitive
victory for the war, and now that we realized
we can't, and never had, the chance of
doing that, chastising me for being critical
of the plot being changed midway just
doesn't make any damn sense at all.
Plans change, apparently
Reader Chris Doherty sent me this e-mail
which I can't really tell if it's meant
to be supportive or critical, or maybe
just a lil' bit o' both:
I'm finding your response to be uninformed
and, while maybe justified, many months
did anyone ever claim that we had
more specific information about bin Laden's
whereabouts than "Afghanistan"? we went
there not just for him, but for his organization,
and it looks like we did a pretty decent
job of that, at least (as a side objective,
I was just told that the Taliban was not
cooperating with US attempts to lay an
oil pipeline through Afghanistan from
Turkmenistan, which I'm sure was another
US hegemony and its abuses is not
a new thing, and this isn't even the worst
thing we've ever been involved in--read
the history of US involvement in Latin
America, for example. with regard to the
9/11 attacks, we started bullying other
nations within days of the event-the entire
world lined up behind us with specific
wording supporting military action to
defend ourselves...why? because they like
us? no. in fact I have pretty good information
that every nation received a list of things
that the US wanted them to say, with no
uncertain terms stating that there could
be consequences for not endorsing the
which is not to say that they didn't
support us to some extent, but we pushed
it beyond that.
I don't understand why you seem to
think that Rumsfeld should resign. if
there was any fraud involved, he wasn't
alone, and in reality a lot of this is
just How America Works in the past few
decades. high-level officials just don't
resign as a result of how they've done
their jobs, really.
I share your anger, but I think it
lacks a thorough background.
So here's mostly what I told him:
Chris, the answer to the last part of
your e-mail explains my opinions for the
first. I think Rumsfeld should resign
for numerous reasons, the newest being
the fact that no individual at that high
a level of responsibility in the government
should be allowed to say he was not ashamed
to not know the most significant piece
of military information and keep his job
afterwards. To not only say that he failed
at his job, but to say he has no qualms
about it, would get him fired at Old
Navy, let alone a job controlling
the actual one.
Rumsfeld should also show shame for exactly
what I mentioned yesterday- the fact that
he began a targeted bombing campaign for
no reason at all other than domestic internal
reasons capitalizing on the post-9/11
patriotism. I will leave all discussions
on the veracity and evidence of the Afghanistan-oil
connection to Ted
Rall, who has, does, and will know
more about it than I ever will for the
rest of my life.
Your notion that "we started bullying
every other nation" is not entirely true.
We picked a few nations not to bully,
despite reasons to do so I will mention
in just a moment.
Your statements about how much we know
about Afghanistan and bin Laden as well
as your statement that we did not go in
there just for him are grossly inaccurate,
if not entirely untrue.
It was the president himself who said
"we put the world's financial institutions
on notice: if you do business with terrorists,
if you support them or sponsor them, you
will not do business with the United States
of America." Yet only a week ago our "allies"
in the Arab world held a fundraiser which
most pro-war pundits claim will support
Palestinian terrorist attacks. How can
they agree to both these ideas?
In addition, the Taliban and Al-Quaeda
were the same type of organization four
months prior to September 11, when they
were, to be blunt, doing business with
the United States of America. This includes
the infamous "anti-drug" aid as well as
negotiations with the Taliban with Haliburton,
as well as bin Laden family connections
to the Carlyle Group (co-founded by former
president George H.W. Bush.)
Why is the Taliban and Al-Quaeda suddenly
the enemy? It does not take a genius to
realize that they are referring to bin
Laden. Nor do we doubt greatly that Bush
was referring to someone other than bin
Laden when he said we would "smoke 'im
out, dead or alive," nor the connection
to suddenly raising a bounty on him to
$25 million, nor the demands Bush made
in his address to the nation demanding
that Al-Quaeda turn him over. So, in short,
the notion that bin Laden was not the
reason we picked Afghanistan to bomb is
If our goal, as you said, was to decimate
Al-Quaeda, why have we not bombed any
other country that contains Al-Quaeda
cells? Moreover, why did we attack Afghanistan's
Taliban regime in disgust of their "inhumane
treatment" of women and others, when our
allies do the same? Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
are monarchial dictatorships, and both
still restrict women from various rights.
Afghanistan is NOT the only country that
forces women to cover themselves, yet
Laura Bush only seemed to find the time
to express her disgust towards the one
In other words, we have proven that our
goal was not to remove Al-Quaeda or the
elements of radical oppressive Islam,
because we have a long list of allies
who are involved with both that we chose
not to "bully." With the goal of eliminating
Al-Quaeda clearly a farce, the only other
objective left to rationale attacking
one individual nation is bin Laden.
I have expressed these ideas and opinions
for seven months now, and yet every time
I have been told that I am without a thorough
background, or that I have no evidence,
or no merit. I am disgusted that ultimately
it was the other way around- the government
has proven through action and now admitted
openly that they are the ones who failed
in their attempts at thorough research.
And with no malice towards you, I am sick
and tired of being told I am the one who
has to gather more evidence. To tell me
or anyone else who is against this war
that we are "many months belated" is an
insult to the work we have all done that
the government has clearly failed to.
(Information regaring Bush's statements
and initial policy towards Afghanisan
courtesy of Fox
News. You heard me.)
Thursday, April 18, 2002
a massive number of tips, rumors and other
intelligence, the U.S. military has never
had good enough information on Osama bin
Laden's whereabouts to mount a mission
to go after him, Defense Secretary Donald
H. Rumsfeld said Wednesday.
As Carlin says, I'd like to repeat that
because it sounds vaguely important.
The Defense Secretary of the United States-
the man who pretty much answers only to
the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the President
himself over the military actions of the
country, announced today, without immediately
resigning afterwards, that although
we bombed an entire country, killed thousands
of people, and intervened in specific
governmental regime changes because it
might have hosted a man from a different
country, we didn't really have enough
information to merit doing it.
I can't even attempt to feign some mellow
rational tone of voice. I just can't do
it. It's psychotic nutcase liberal hippie
commie tree-hugger go-back-to-Russia screaming
WE EXECUTED A BOMBING CAMPAIGN THAT KILLED
A THOUSAND PEOPLE BECAUSE WE WERE TRYING
TO CAPTURE SOMEONE, AND NOW. NOW
WE'RE BEING TOLD WE DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH
INFORMATION TO MERIT IT?
Jesus Christ. What the flying FUCK were
we doing in Afghanistan after September
11? Scouting for goddamn Olympics sites?
I could have sworn some asshole in a suit
went before the nation and both houses
of Congress and said in a brilliant eloquent
speech worthy of Churchill himself that
we're "gonna go in and smoke 'im out."
No need to mention that we're just going
to start the smoke somewhere because,
according to our evidence, we. can.
Not enough information on where he was.
Then why didn't we "smoke 'im out" in
Somalia, sympathetic to his cause? Why
not "smoke 'im out" in Russia- where we
trained him to become a killer? Why not
"smoke 'im out" in Saudi Arabia- where
he's from and where half his entire family
This is not just a statement that we
don't have enough information. This is
a statement that proves every idea, every
theory, every notion that people with
the ridiculous concept of questioning
this military operation, is right: we
grabbed Jughead from the Malt Shoppe,
spun the globe, and had him throw a dart
at it. Then we incinerated the country
the dart hit.
You are no longer hearing it from the
lunatic fringe. You are no longer hearing
it from racist anti-Semitic websites that
claim some inner Jewish conspiracy to
cause 9/11. You are hearing it from the
Defense Secretary of the United States
of America: We declared Afghanistan was
hosting bin Laden, then mocked the people
who asked for evidence. We launched a
campaign that killed thousands of civilians
because we assumed he was there, but didn't
have the evidence. We bombed a country
because we felt like it.
"I'm not ashamed to say we don't know,"
Rumsfeld told reporters Wednesday. "We
Well, isn't that nice. He's not ashamed
to say he doesn't know. So he's not ashamed
to say he didn't know when we killed a
few thousand people.
Because all that mattered was finding
another man who wasn't ashamed about killing
a few thousand people for no particular
Wednesday, April 17, 2002
Just a quick congratulations to Tom
Tomorrow, who I read in the news today
just won the 2001 "Cartooning with a Conscience"
prize in The James Aronson Award for Social
Justice Journalism at Hunter College.
That said, I'm also annoyed, because
I entered that contest too, and had to
pay a load to copy and ship 15 packets
of 20 different comics for submission
But like they say, I guess there's no
harm in being beaten by the best. Congratulations
may be directed to Tom and sympathy towards
me can be directed towards the PlanetCartoonist
"Vote for Me" button to the left. It's
the least you can do, since as long as
Tom's around I'm apparently never winning
any of these awards.
Newest comic posted - "The Return of
the Ghost of Adolf Hitler!"
I warned you.
Tuesday, April 16, 2002
Well this is interesting
Got a quote for ya.
[W]e believe the Israeli conscience
is immune to the atrocities your army
and settlers commit against us.All Israeli
terrorists are mere lunatics, all the
civilians you kill are by mistake, all
the houses you demolish are owned by sub-humans,
all the people tortured in your detention
camps are terrorists, all the land you
confiscate is biblical ... your moral
argument concerning civilian casualties
is, to us, the pinnacle of hypocrisy.
This is not because we are morally inept
but because your army does exactly the
same thing you always deplore; your army
kills civilians almost daily. Civilians
die and terrorism is committed whether
you use an F-16 or a car bomb ... For
35 years, you've enslaved us. You never
stopped building settlements. You've created
generations of Palestinian nothingness
that can lead only to desperation and
violence. How did you expect us to react?
My vote is that Ariel Sharon's offensive
is the stupidest campaign in recent memory.
Defined here as a campaign that has solved
nothing, increased Israel's problems,
intensified Palestinian hatred of Israel,
estranged many Europeans and Americans,
and fanned Islamic hostility ... What
Sharon has been doing is to give way to
Israeli rage. The rage is hot, deserved
and purposive. But to proceed on the assumption
that water and electricity lines and schools
and hospitals are vital organs of terrorist
excursions is untenable except on an understanding
that General Sharon hasn't articulated.
What makes this interesting? Well the
quote comes from this
editorial from the United Kingdom's
Also, I'm lying. The second paragraph
was written by William
F. Buckley's column "On the Right."
And if that won't make Limbaugh's head
explode, I don't know what will.
Let's talk about the Middle East, Pt.
This is basically what I just wrote in
an e-mail to Tom Tomorrow about a letter
a fan wrote him in regards to the
I'm taking special note of the first
fan letter you printed last night about
the Middle East, because I think it's
the new record for the most disagreeable
and spin-laden response I've read in a
recent while. It scares me because he's
not simply parroting the violent and racist
comments that you see from both sides
in places like the Yahoo! message boards,
but rather more frightening because he
honestly means everything he says in it.
First of all, he's a liar. For the writer
to say "I feel for the plight of the
Palestinian civilians caught in the middle"
and then in the same letter- in fact,
the same breath, say that all Palestinians
"(who, by the way, cheered as your
beloved WTC fell and rabidly support chemical
weapons cheiftan Saddam Hussein) have
said repeatedly that they want to eliminate
Israel from the planet" is both a
critical prejudice and a savage hypocrisy.
I am adding "Palestinians cheered as
the World Trade Center fell" to my list
of talking points that shatter credibility
in the debate. For one thing, it's a horrible
generalization, if not a flat-out lie.
Several news groups and web
sites have already garnered evidence
of countless "Arabs celebrating" stories,
which if anything are fabricated to instill
Am I saying some of them didn't do it?
Obviously not. Of course some Palestinians
cheered. The same way some Americans cheered
at newsreels of the atomic bomb landing
on Hiroshima. The same way people giggle
and make jokes about celebrities they
didn't like dying, or co-workers they
hated getting killed in a car crash. When
exactly does morbid enjoyment of the death
of someone you allegedly despise switch
over from "funny" to "meriting the carpet
bombing of their homeland?" A certain
body count? That's the most horrid devaluing
of human life I can imagine. So is calling
a building the "beloved WTC." It wasn't
beloved. In fact, most people hated the
damn thing. What was beloved were the
lives of the 3,000 people who died in
it, so for future reference it would be
nice if he got his priorities of value.
People dying was bad. THEN building falling.
The hypocrisy astounds me when the issue
of "who hates who more" enters the debate.
We see that there are supporters of peace-
both Arab and Jew- within Israel begging
to end the conflict. As you said yourself,
even members of Bush's own cabinet acknowledge
the strife on both sides.
Yet like countless others who support
the Israeli invasion, your fan gives no
second thought to the baseless notion
that every single Palestinian laughed
and celebrated as Americans died, and
that every single Palestinian wants Israel
to be pushed into the sea. Your reader
essentially has stated that there are
NO Palestinians caught in the middle.
All this will do is make the fanatic Arabs
think there are no Israelis caught in
the middle, and then the non-existent
state of total hatred will come true thanks
to people like him imagining it already
The spin that is placed on the desire
for war is equally ludicrous. First people
brag about the might of the Israeli army,
then they suddenly turn submissive at
the idea that they are using it. Though
the Ghandi proposal is valid (I believe
Michael Moore made the same point,) how
can one chastise the Palestinians for
not resisting violent action when even
before the start of the invasion Israel's
policy of stopping alleged militants was
launching missiles at them? In other words,
if Israel has such a mighty army that
they are apparently pained to use, then
why aren't THEY adopting a nonviolent
policy, or for that matter even one of
just simple defense?
The reason, of course, is the settlements
again, which in the eyes of any Palestinian
ARE a violent action. Israel cannot mount
a defensive wall because tanks and troops
must remain to guard the settlements.
I challenge your reader to ask Israel
why THEY didn't attempt to acquire land
in 1976 through nonviolent means. If Israel
has the alleged moral high ground, then
why is no attempt to assume it being made
Finally, we come to the "why aren't you
on both sides?" spin, which I think we
need to add to me old list as well. This
is basically a line that is retooled through
every military conflict since before all
of use were born. The argument is this:
if two sides are committing atrocities,
then the only way to be fair is to condemn
both sides, or else you're a biased sympathizer.
I hope that your fan has since read your
post about Paul Wolfowitz- a man who tried
to do just that, and was booed by several
thousand people who didn't find anything
wrong with praising only Sharon.
If he wants, your reader can address
his comments to me, because I am very
interested in what he has to say. I apologize
if this sounds overly supportive of Palestine,
because I am doing my best to bring the
savagery and stupidity of both sides in
my writing. But in the case of this particular
letter, I felt it was important to point
out the hypocrisy of someone who was priding
himself on calling everyone else a hypocrite.
-August J. Pollak
Oh good, Newt wants to say something.
From an editorial
in the ever-so-fair-and-balanced Washington
Times by the Former Speaker:
For Israel to survive, the forces
of terrorism and hatred must be totally
defeated. Therefore, a campaign must be
undertaken to eliminate them from the
Palestinian territories, break their financial
ties from Arab states, and eliminate the
propaganda that grows new generations
This campaign might begin by declaring
Yasser Arafat a terrorist and exiling
him from the Palestinian territories.
As a known terrorist, Mr. Arafat could
well be banned from travel to the United
Countries that want to have good relations
with the United States should be informed
that they can no longer support the forces
of terrorism without severe consequences
including financial subsidies to families
of suicide bombers and organizations of
terror. Additionally, shipments of arms
and weapons will not be tolerated. Countries
need to understand that their actions
matter more than their words and that
aid to terrorists puts them squarely on
the side of terrorists.
After isolating the terrorists from
their outside support it is necessary
to create a Palestinian government which
is willing to seek a peaceful, prosperous
future as a neighbor to Israel. This will
require funding and training of a police
and intelligence infrastructure that can
support the anti-terrorist leadership
and can root out the terrorists.
Ah, the wonderful circle of life. Where
else but in America can a political demagogue
who united an entire country in disgust
of him write a flowing article about how
good it would be to isolate someone and
lionize him for all time. Good call, Newt.
Ironically, someone actually suggested
this guy as a celebrity
envoy. He's not my best friend at
Monday, April 15, 2002
Truly, we are made in God's image...
My brother forwarded to me this afternoon
two news stories which I think bare a
unique corollary- that they represent
the absolute opposite ends of the thin
line that we call "Man's Belief in the
Universal Possibility of Achievement."
You see, we now know that a human being
can fully comprehend complex physics,
and grasp the god-like ability to generate
unique life, and expand his own ability
throguh advanced technology by connecting
his own body to cyborg technology.
An advance in science that could possibly
aid the cure of disease, further the quest
for artificial intelligence, and spread
the advancement of human knowledge into
the realm of the future.
Then, in the same day, we learn that
12-year old swallowed 87 condoms filled
with heroin. Frankly, there's got
to be a science to that.
Oh lord, not this again
In a move that, when you think about
it, could be predicted by just about anyone,
Television Workshop has filed a lawsuit
against an independent director for
making a film that not-to-subtly implies
the homosexuality of Sesame Street's
Bert and Ernie.
The article, in the grand tradition of
"oh look how cute this is" journalism,
then fills the rest of the article with
whimsical reminders of all the funny websites
and jokes about the two, including the
famous "Bert is Evil" fiasco that led
to a photo of Bert
and Osama bin Laden appear in a pro-Taliban
protest in Bangladesh.
First, the stupid issue of this post:
the CTW shouldn't, and hopefully won't,
have a leg to stand on. I find it hard
to believe a court of law will believe
than an independent underground filmmaker
releasing a documentary on the film festival
circuit- truly a hotbed of young child
audiences- was distorting the reputation
of a now-massive children's programming
conglomerate by implying a gay relationship
in a satire of two of said conglomerate's
That said, here's the actual point of
this post: I am sick of people saying
stupid things about Bert and Ernie being
Bert. Ernie. Velma. Peppermint Patty.
And I'm sure I'll think of a few more
in a minute. Get over it, people. There
is no hidden meaning, no secret message.
As a cartoonist, and as an animator, and
as someone who's actually studied in college
a little bit about storytelling in American
cinema, I can safely say you're all morons
if you think these are gay characters.
Personally, I think this is all William
Golding's fault for writing Lord of
the Flies. You see, we all have to
read this book in high school, and this
novel. Jesus Christ, this novel defined
the concept of "literary interpretation."
Every goddamn thing in this book is a
metaphor for something. The boys represent
the Bible, the Second World War, and any
other thing a bunch of guys who went to
Harvard could get their hands on.
So suddenly, all us schoolchildren across
America are taught to take every little
piece of storytelling and nitpick the
living hell out of it. And as Americans,
we turn towards sitcoms and cartoons,
the two American contributions to the
modern entertainment culture. Sitcoms,
of course, being scientifically designed
to have absolutely no inner meaning whatsoever,
we are forced to analyze Hanna-Barbera
ad infinitum until someone gets on the
internet and announces "I've figured it
out! The Smurfs are Communists!" then
takes another hit and falls out of his
So now there's this adorable little bandwagon
that thinks it's funny and cute to giggle
about how Velma's a queer and how funny
the subtle references to that in the upcoming
movie will be. not realizing that thinking
like this is the worst thing for the gay
community that you can possibly do.
Why is this so annoying, and why do people
think these stupid concepts? It comes
down to these points:
For the last 20 years, there has hardly
ever been a significant character on an
American television program who was openly
gay without that being an element of the
Think about it. A gay character. Who
appears routinely on the show. Who is
not flamboyant, has no lisp, is not incessantly
whining about how he hasn't had sex (because
it's important for Will to remind us every
week that (oh my gosh!) he fucks other
men,) and does not talk like a 25-year
old black woman.
This is where the media applies the stereotype
tat they no longer have to apply to anyone
else. When a character is black, the plot
does not necessarily revolve around their
race (Bill Cosby proved this to us.) When
a character is a woman, the plot, like
the previous example, can revolve
around that but doesn't have to.
When the character is gay, then the show
has to be titled "The Adventures of This
Guy and Look at This! He's Got a Gay Roommate!"
Want a perfect example? Star Trek. They've
had women, the middle-aged, and minorities
all in power roles on the show. Rarely
has their "uniqueness" been the turning
point of whether or not the Universe was
going to be saved. So where's the gay
starship captain? Hell, where are the
Frankly, the only character I can think
of in recent history is Richard Hatch
from the first season of Survivor,
which doesn't really count because it
wasn't a character, but the real person
on film. Yet the editing turned Rich into
an evil character, with traits so vile
and reprehensible that by the end of the
show you forgot that he was gay because
you were too concerned about his relevant
trait- that he's a complete asshole.
Prior to 20 years ago, gay characters
in television and film were either obviously
implied or removed from the original source
of the story.
Anyone notice the complete lack of homosexual
undertones in the film version of A
Streetcar Named Desire? Not like that
was important to the theme of the play
If you want a real example of gay characters
in television and film leading up to today,
check out the documentary The Celluloid
Closet. It provides more information
about how gays are addressed in American
film than any website or news article
you'll read, and it sure as well won't
waste your time implying that cartoon
characters are gay.
It is an insult to the creator of
any character or story to disagree with
him or her when they tell you exactly
what they meant out of their characters.
I am offended every time someone talks
about how Peppermint Patty is a lesbian.
It's an insult to Charles Schulz, and
an insult to writers and artists who actually
do create gay characters, to tell them
what their work means. Bill Hanna has
said Velma's not gay. Charles Schulz said
Patty's not gay. CTW has filed a fucking
LAWSUIT to say that Bert and Ernie aren't
gay. Get over it, people. They're not
gay. If you're looking for an icon, I'm
confused. Why would you pick a character
to represent the gay cause when that character,
if gay, is obviously the most in-the-closet
queer in town?
It is a further insult to directors
who actually try to address the gay issue
to waste your time addressing the gay
issue in subjects that have no relevance.
There are countless films out there that
bring a decent light to the gay character.
But no one looks at it or analyzes it
because they're spending their time saying
that Bugs Bunny has repressed homosexual
tendencies and that's why he's always
dressing up as a woman. No. Bugs Bunny
dresses up as a woman because he wants
to distract the Cro-Magnon with a gun
chasing him, and because it's funny.
Jokes about gay people are hurtful,
and no, gays should not just "get over
Is it right to say that people who protest
films with rampant gay jokes can go to
far and are acting irrational? Yes. Does
that mean they don't have a point? No.
Like the stereotype of making all gays
flamboyant, it is an unspoken rule as
of late that jokes towards gays are allowed
in a venue where jokes about minorities
are not. The debate about this being a
result of a stronger political lobby is
still going on, but to put my cards on
the table, I see it like this: I laughed
the first time Jay made a joke about gays
in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
The movie was ruined when it was the first
of about 30 or 40 gay jokes in a 90-minute
film. That's why Kevin Smith looks like
a raging homophobe.
This is where people will yell at me
to tell me that Kevin Smith is the only
filmmaker out there who addressed gay
issues in a good light, as his wonderful
film Chasing Amy reflects. This
consequently is where I say bullshit.
Chasing Amy is not a flagship film
for the gay movement. As the Village Voice
once explained, the movie is a straight
man's dyke fantasy. If you want a whimsical
look at gay-straight interactions and
the social commentary that underlines
then, watch But I'm a Cheerleader
or Gerard DePardeu in The Closet.
Don't watch a film about a man turning
a woman temporarily straight in a plot
subdevice straight out of hardcore porn.
On a side note, thank you to all the
people writing me in with their envoy
suggestions, and to those who haven't
your best shot.
Sunday, April 14, 2002
Where the hell are the singing cats?
has explained to us that he enjoys blogging
as a means of posting pictures of his
adorable dog, then my only response can
be to use my blog as a means of posting
pictures of everyone else's cats.
I present to you the Library
Cats Map. This is, essentially, an
online database of all know cats in the
world who live in libraries.
That's right. Try not to think about
it too long or blood will shoot out of
your face. Just go look at all the fuzzy
sending in your votes.
Saturday, April 13, 2002
Weekend. No rest for John. Working working
working. Finishing the next comic to be
published Wednesday. But as a spoiler-slash-warning,
it's got Hitler in it. And newer fans
can check the cast section and the Chaosphere!NY
archive to know what I'm talking about.
(I'm planning on making a graphic with
Hitler to use as an official "Godwin's
Law" seal in the near future for all you
rabid message board fans, so stay tuned.)
I met animator Bill
Plympton on Friday when he gave a
lecture about being an independent animator
and he gave me his empty coke can, which
I now use as an inspirational statue on
my desk. What can I say, I can't afford
one of the Conan O'Brien Jesus statues.
He's promoting his new film, which looks
like it will rock, and in a strange happening
I ran into him again in the park today
as he was handing out promo cards for
his film. (How often is it in New York
when you can see the director of the film
on the promo team?)
I have tremendous respect for Bill Plympton
and his work, and the fact that he's made
over a dozen cartoons without ever using
a computer; a feat I doubt I'll be able
to copy when I start production on my
first short for Senior Production next
semester. And I have great respect for
his effort to look at my work and comment
on it and give me all the great advice
he gave me about improving my animation
ability last night.
So on that note, I feel very guilty now
that I wrote this
guy back and actually had a list of
reasons why I'm trying to avoid linking
to the site of every person who asks me
to. Partially it's because I am forcing
myself into a state of denial whenever
someone writes me and suggests that I
have any clout in the cartooning world.
I'm not, and sometimes I'm overwhelmed
when people write me of all people and
ask for advice. But he's just too damn
good a "webtoonist" to pass over, even
if I violently disagree with about half
of his cartoons. He does much better caricatures
of public figures than I do. However,
the general public is informed NOT to
interpret this as a sign of an open call
Friday, April 12, 2002
Who wants to solve the Mideast Conflict?
Here's your chance to interact with social
satire, folks. I had this great idea last
night right before I passed out.
If the Russians have decided that they
are going to allow celebrities and important
(translated: really rich) people into
their space program, then why can't the
United States allow celebrities into their
diplomatic programs? It will easily bring
more international recognition, wouldn't
So here's my proposal: write
me with your rational ideas for who
would make a good celebrity envoy to the
Middle East to aid with the peace process?
Give me as many suggestions as you want,
with as many explanations as you want,
but please try to follow these simple
- The celebrity must be a known celebrity
throughout most of the world. So
don't say something like Gary Condit,
because despite what you may have though,
only middle-class white Americans know
who the fuck that is.
- You must present at least a shred
of legitimate reasoning for the celebrity
to be considered a Mideast peace envoy.
This includes your perception of global
concern, their personal experiences,
or any specific attributes.
- This is not a venue for stupid
late-night level celebrity jokes.
Example: If you suggest Mariah Carey
with the explanation, "since she knows
so much about bombs already" or "because
I wouldn't mind if she got killed,"
then I will not only ignore you, but
I will ignore anything else you ever
try to send to me for the rest of time.
However, if you suggest Mariah Carey
because "if Arafat was distracted by
Condoleeza Rice's legs, imagine what
concessions he'll make in front of her,"
then that has a shred of legitimate
reason as outlined in the previous guideline.
- Do not suggest Bono, as he
is already on the list. Duh.
The contest will run until I get enough
really good ideas to make a list, or until
I get bored, whichever comes first. The
contest will of course also end in the wake
of any Mideast peace, at which point we
will all go outside to build a snowman with
Satan. Yes, please tell your friends
and fellow bloggers and whatnot they are
welcome to participate in the contest as
Oh, and since a few were wondering, 14th
floor won the Penny Wars, but the 9th
floor came in fourth place for some reason,
which means on the overall board they're
still beating us by ten points, and I've
just about stopped caring.
Thursday, April 11, 2002
With 21 minutes to go until the deadline
(updated from the original midnight as
previously thought) there has now begun
a massive surge in underdog floors bringing
down buckets of pennies to load into their
jars. Currently, access to the 10th floor
jar is suspended, as their jar has been
placed under quarantine due to all of
the silver change disappearing from it.
I'll repeat that because it's that utterly
sad: someone from the 10th floor actually
stole money being donated to charity to
gain an advantage in Penny Wars. Again,
please note, this is a college dormitory,
which by inference implies everyone in
it was qualified to go to college.
In addition, I have been told by the
Hall Manager that counting of the pennies
shall be done using a coin counting machine,
which they understand is not completely
accurate, therefore in case of any close
counts between multiple floors, a hand
recount of pennies will commence and I
swear to all that is holy I am not making
any of this up. My reaction is thus:
Yes. This is actually a group of people
who all got into college.
My reflection on today's news that the
Senate passed a voting reform bill shall
be expressed via this true story of my
current place of residence: NYU's Rubin
We are currently in day four of "Floor
Wars," a series of little games and activities
that each floor in the dorm pits against
each other for points. Whichever floor
with the most points come Sunday wins
a $250 prize for the floor's RA to do
with it what they will. I will emphasize
now that everything else I'm going to
explain is completely true, as the previous
sentence is for a long time going to be
the only thing that sounds remotely believable
about any of this.
My floor, the 14th, is one of the main
combatants right now in an onslaught of
accusations and rivalry over the events
of this week. 14 barely won the Twister
competition the first night amidst constantly
changing rules during the middle of the
game, and now we have been dropped down
to second in overall points because of
a rule change again. Our RA, who I remind
you is the appointed voice of reason and
logic in this friendly competition, registered
a complaint against the building manager
(the head of the games) for altering Wednesday
night's "Family Fued" rules in which our
floor, which should have been given a
bye to the second round due to our previous
victory, was instead forced to face of
in the first round against the 9th floor,
who beat us and ultimately won. and were
awarded 80 points for their victory instead
of the 50 they were only supposed to get.
putting them in the lead by 25 points
The demand for violent action against
9, as well as third-place leader 11 just
for the hell of it, was quenched at the
start of today's challenge- the most gruesome
fund-raising event any college dares to
endure- Penny Wars.
Let's give a rundown to all the people
who actually have responsibilities in
life: Penny Wars in a game in which teams
(in this case, each floor) are each given
a jar to fill with pennies. At the end
of the game period (in this case, midnight
tonight) teams receive one point for each
penny. However, here's where the fun comes
in- teams may put nickels, dimes, and
quarters in other teams' jars, which count
as NEGATIVE points of their respective
monetary value. In addition, each team
is given only one jar, which means once
the jar is full, no more coins can be
put in by any team. The teams receive
overall points in ranking order of points
for the pennies. (i.e. first place gets
70 points, next gets 65, etc.) So not
only was it necessary for 14 to win first
place, it was vital to the overall board
to make sure 9 and 11 came dead last.
So 14's strategy, being the mature, responsible
college students we all are, was to acquire
nearly a hundred dollars in cash, convert
it all into change at nearby banks, and
proceed to fill our jar to the brim with
pennies and load all the silver coins
(which became known as the "Fuck You,
9th Floor Fund") into the jars of 11 and
9. This would make it impossible for any
other floor to give us negative points,
while providing the 9th floor with about
thirty or forty dollars in debt (i.e.
3,000-4,000 pennies) needed just to break
This plan was put into action at 10:16
this morning, roughly 15 minutes after
the contest began with the Hall Manager
actually putting the jars in the lobby.
And it all goes downhill from there. The
mistake made by our floor was the denial
that any other floor could possibly be
as immature and catty as we were about
this. This mistake was revealed by the
9th and 15th floors, which together houses
about 90% of the gay male drama students
at New York University. Things got real
ugly real fast.
As of this writing, 6 of the 14 floors
in the contest have full jars, be it with
pennies, silver, or a combination of both.
Banks within a seven-block radius of the
dorm are now all out of coin rolls. And
at one point people from other floors
actually loosened the lid of 14's jar
to allow another row of dimes to just
squeeze into our jar. Now floors are beginning
to rationalize that if a quarter is worth
-25 points, then a dollar bill must be
worth -100 points. and those fit in the
jar! Hooray! Except of course, that allegedly
certain floors were told in advance that
bills don't count. I swear to Christ this
is all true.
So now, my dormitory, housing place of
the alleged representatives of excellence
in their achievement of entering one of
"the New Ivies," have practically begun
shifts of vigil over the jars to harass
those who may even attempt to think about
foul play. This is too much for American
credibility to handle. This is far too
much for me to handle, and at the rate
people are gathering coins, it's too much
for the card table holding all the jars
to handle- imagine what a little folding
faux-wood card table looks like. Now imagine
that table holding 14 jars that each weigh
as much as a curling stone.
Wednesday, April 10, 2002
It's time for another round of opinions
from my diligent and supportive fans.
Who by the way, I am told, are giving
Mikhaela a very good day. Thanks to all
for supporting her. Make sure to keep
voting for both of us on the PlanetCartoonist
thingie because with only 1,200 more hits,
I'll technically be more popular than
the guy who just won the Pulitzer. If
Freepers get to screw with internet polls,
so do we.
Let's talk about the Middle East,
Reader (and fellow member of the Grand
Order of Broke Film Students) Allen Cole
adds a new factor to the debate, that
of the class issue. It's something I agree
with, as I mentioned in Pt. 4, when I
tried to explain that bragging about Israeli
superiority is not the best way to curry
a loss of determination in the suicide
bombers. But I will also warn you that
there's a few points here that I think
are going to get at least some levels
...the reason the Isreali/Palestinian
conflict is so devicive and so unsolvable
is that it is a conflict that plays on
so many levels; race, religion, political,
economical, and class (that's right, I'm
dropping the C-bomb). Palestinians are
the backbone, the working class of the
Isreali economy, that's why when groups
such as Hamas call for a general strike,
Isreali troops would force local shopkeepers
to open at gunpoint, leaving them to fear
reprisal attacks from their own people.
But all that is a thing of the past, now
it's all out war. Isreali soldiers shoot
anything that moves in the streets. They
drive their tanks through Palestinian
homes, and use the refugees as human sheilds
in order to advance farther into the camps.
Innocent Palestinian men are rounded up
like animals to face inquisition and detension.
It is truely ironic that this Jewish nation
would mirror the methods used by the Nazi's
sixty years ago.
The bottom line is that when one looks
at history, it quickly becomes obvious
that in a just world, Isreal has no right
to exist. Isrealis live on conquered land,
given to them by western support and military
This remains the case today. Can anyone
blame the arab world for being a little
ticked off when they see US made weapons
murdering fellow Muslims without descimination
I like your argument, Allen, but I'll
be the first to disagree with one element.
Technically, Israel's right to exist is
unquestionable, just as I feel Palestine's
right to exist is as well. They both are
allowed to exist by inference of mass
association. Frankly, if thirty million
Americans announced this afternoon that
according to countless amounts of historical
text which can neither be proven nor disproved
that they are children of The Great Pumpkin
and that the region we now know as Wyoming
should be declared "The Pumpkin Patch,"
then I doubt there would be agreement
that those people with their hopes and
dreams and flags with little Linuses on
them don't have the "right to exist."
It's just an issue of whether or not we
give them Wyoming. That was the strangest
thing I have ever said in my life.
But I digress- they all have the right
to exist, but what I think you mean is
what I believe, that being the state of
Israel does not have the right to specifically
exist anywhere they please, nor do they
have the right to exist in their own view
of security that requires neutralizing
several hundred people in the course of
a week. As Michael Moore once said, it
would have been a lot easier if right
after World War II we gave the Jews Bavaria.
Then there wouldn't be Mideast tension,
the Arabs could form any map they wanted,
and the former Nazis would get to make
the fucking desert bloom instead of being
"punished" by being allowed to keep the
most valuable land on the goddamn continent.
New fan (I hope) Diamond LeGrande has
provided a link to Gush
Shalom, an Israeli peace organization.
I'm still looking at the site, but I think
so far it's legit- that is to say it's
not a fake (and violently racist) pro-Palestine
organization that I have been given way
to many references to. Diamond has also-
I'm very sorry. I need to interrupt myself
again. Diamond, I am so very sorry for
the fact that so many people have probably
told you this already, but I can't go
without saying that you have quite possibly
the greatest porn star name I have ever
seen. I do not even know if you are a
man or a woman, and it just doesn't matter.
You should be proud of telling it to people
in clubs, because man, saying a name like
that just oozes an aura of someone who
would be really, really good at any of
the following: sex, racecar driving, professional
golf, pit fighting, being an incredibly
gorgeous 70's police detective who doesn't
go by the book, and holding major political
office in the South. I would KILL for
a name like Diamond LeGrande.
Diamond has also provided one of the
most useful links I have ever seen, even
if, as I mention yet again, I am not 100%
sure of it's accuracy. It's an interactive
Flash movie of the alleged "95% of the
West Bank" offer, and how apparently
it's the biggest rumor spin of the entire
conflict. Definitely worth a look at.
And on a closing note,
This came from my good friend Bjorn
(who, proving once again that the world
is much smaller than we think, is a former
co-worker from my Flash design job last
summer) who has provided the long sought-after,
final clinching piece of the puzzle that
we began last week about male-female interaction
in dance clubs:
I am rather uninterested in the whole
tight-ass-pants issue. Sure, not 'gettin
any' is a problem, and worth doing something
about. It's just that (and these are my
humble 2 cents) I would prefer to see
your blog (and that because It's one that
I actually read) stay on the important
And there we have it. Bjorn solves my
problems once again. Bjorn, just so you
know, is incredibly smart, and I believe
it's because he did not go to school in
this country. So go play with the fun
toys on his site.
Newest comic posted - "I Like to Waste
Insane Amounts of Money, Too!"
Sort of a local issue, but I mentioned
it earlier in the week: apparently some
rich people decided to donate $13.5 million
to the NYU library fund... and the library
has decided the best way to improve the
library with the money would be to build
a coffee shop.
Tuesday, April 09, 2002
Agar (the Horrible- films that is)
I have just found out that John Agar,
the star of just about every other movie
to ever be reviewed on Mystery Science
Theater 3000 (aka The Greatest Television
Show in the History of the Universe,)
has passed away. From The
John Agar, who first became famous
for marrying former child star Shirley
Temple, and who later became a film star
in his own right, died here April 7th
of emphysema. He was 81. MSTies will recall
his performances as stalwart space hero
Doc Farrell in episode 104- WOMEN OF THE
PREHISTORIC PLANET, as determined ichthyologist
Dr. Clete Ferguson in episode 801-REVENGE
OF THE CREATURE and as bombastic archeologist
Dr. Roger Bentley in episode 803-THE MOLE
Beginning in the mid-1950s, the studio
began casting him in the newly popular
science fiction genre: "Revenge of the
Creature" and "Tarantula," (both 1955)
were very successful at the box office.
But Agar soon found himself trapped in
the B-movie world. For the next 15 years
he worked steadily in both westerns--films
such as "Flesh and the Spur" (1957), "Frontier
Gun" (1958), "Stage to Thunder Rock" (1964),
and "Johnny Reno" (1966)--and science
fiction--films such as "Brain from Planet
Arous" (1957), "Invisible Invaders" (1959),
"Hand of Death" (1962) and "Zontar the
Thing from Venus (1966).
It's a shame, folks. People just don't
make bad films they way they used to.
Now films are laughably bad- they just
suck. You can't make fun of all the teen
movie garbage that comes out every four
months, or whatever baseball-related film
Kevin Costner just made, because they
just suck. But back in the day you could
pop in a copy of Manos, the Hands of
Fate (okay, understood that technically
VCRs didn't exist yet) and just enjoy
the moment with friends as you brutally
tear a director's dream apart simply because
he made the mistake of thinking he knew
how to direct.
Now we have Harry Knowles and his army
of 13-year olds who are like a little
Free Republic for the Star Wars crowd
who think that just because there's a
lot of them and they all know how to use
a message board they'll reshape the format
of the world. It's not that I hate them
or even dislike them; I'm a big fan of
Harry Knowles... it's just... come one,
people! Nitpick bad movies, not all of
I don't know, maybe I'm just pissed MST3K
was cancelled in the first place. But
I figured I should whine about something
other than the Middle East and the nature
of romance in this city, both of which
I am discovering are becomming a lot more
dangerous with no peaceful end in sight.
Lets talk good website talk
On the whole, I'm trying to avoid turning
this into a mixture of reposting others'
comments and mentions of websites. That
said, I should point out that I post others'
comments and mentions of websites for
one significant reason: they are very,
Such is the case when readers like Matt
Weiland alert me that the United States
has once again slipped in the evolutionary
scale because a
professional baseball player's used chewing
gum is now officially a collectible commodity.
Nor do I know what to say when presented
Norton Anthology, which is quite possibly
one of the most weirdly brilliant web
sites in existence. A combination of unique
oddities from the print media, as well
as the most though-provoking gallery
of painted artwork I have ever seen.
I swear, I'm just looking at some of these
and it makes my brain work so hard I start
to lose function in my nervous system.
But this is one that touches me personally.
Only a week ago I was not known by anyone
until I made a fan in the great Tom Tomorrow,
for whom I hope our friendship can only
get better. (Especially since I turn 21
in two months and he sounds like a guy
who knows where all the cool stuff in
NYC is. But I digress)
So now I feel obligated to point out
people who should get just as much credit
as, and in this case, much more than,
me. I point you to Ms.
Mikhaela Blake Reid, who in addition
to being a brilliant cartoonist and writer,
is getting screwed over by editors at
the Harvard Crimson who apparently want
to make it as difficult as possible for
her to actually get her cartoons published
and recognized in the mainstream.
Apparently these attempts include demanding
multiple sources for any fact she references
in her comics, making her complete legal
hurdles not required of any other columnist-
or even any other cartoonist- at her paper,
and not allowing her to put her e-mail
address or web site link in her cartoons
because it would be "unfair to people
who have to pay for advertisements." I
will remind you again that this is coming
from the alleged best and smartest college
in the United States.
So I'm thinking a really nice way to
piss off a bunch of pompous jerks in the
Ivy League would be to go visit her site
and let Harvard know she has some fans.
Monday, April 08, 2002
And on a lighter note, here's an interesting
story about a different territorial dispute:
rights for kitty litter. This comes
from the good folks at getdonkey.com,
who I promise have even more interesting
stuff to read that's actually important
to know about.
Also, happy birthday, Tom. Assume I sent
a card, and assume I meant to send it
Friday, but was delayed because I couldn't
decide whether to address it to "Tom"
or "Dan." That and I don't have your mailing
Let's talk about the Middle East, Pt.
Before I get to the main topic, I should
just mention that Saddam
Hussein is now practically a goddamn hero
to every single person in Iraq because
of the logical actions of the United States
in dealing with Israeli military policy.
Way to motivate regime change there, guys.
I'm going to talk about spin in regards
to the West bank crisis, because I'm still
seething with anger from some of the rhetoric
that has been on the TV and directly in
my face for the last few days. And here
in the city, it's not gonna get any better,
because now apparently there's
going to be a new New York City paper
that will allegedly be even more right-wing
than the New York Post, if
that is, in fact, morally possible.
I'm sorry if this is going to sound biased,
but most of what you're about to read
is going to be critical of Israel. That
doesn't mean it condones anything the
Palestinians are doing, but right now
the issue is the anti-Arab movement (which
is not necessarily Israeli) and their
immense over-indulgence in racism and
To those who support Israel- I hope you
realize I both understand and respect
your general position, just not the way
it's currently being implemented. If anything,
I hope you listen to me so that you become
more credible in your argument by avoiding
useless hyperbole like this.
So let's go down the list of things that
do not give you credibility when trying
to convince someone Israel is justified:
Touting your history of military supremacy.
Primarily, the idea that those who support
a free Palestine will somehow be more
inclined to change that view when you
tell them that the Palestinians should
just get over the fact that "they went
to war with Israel and lost four times."
This is usually followed by the rationale
that "What's wrong with Israel keeping
the land is seized as spoils of war?"
and then if allowed to continue sinks
into such tokens as "Maybe we should just
give the Indians their land back, too,
Well, to be honest, we probably should
give the Indians their land back. Unfortunately,
we happened to kill almost all of them.
As I mentioned before, this is a valid
option for Israel- simply liquidating
anyone who claims Palestinian ancestry.
That doesn't mean it's a good choice,
or for that matter one that wasn't attempted
in the mid-40's. I should point out that
whenever someone makes this analogy, they
always seem to use the Indians as an example,
and not, say, South America, of which
after the US invaded we did in fact return
major portions of the land we seized.
Or, for another example, Germany, which
the United States and Russia chose not
to return to its citizens, and as a result
led to fifty years of unbridled peace
and harmony throughout the world.
Furthermore, the entire UN Resolution
242 issue comes into place, which indicates
that no country can assume land through
force. You might have remembered that
little war in the Persian Gulf we fought
to explain this to Saddam Hussein, a man
who I have not yet seen one supporter
of Israel say was just in being allowed
to keep Kuwait as the spoils of invasion.
Finally, you should weigh the factor
that many of these military victories
are a result of a military well-funded
by another country, which really, really
pisses everyone off.
Price-checking a pound of flesh.
Would someone tell me when it came to
be that one human life has a higher value
than another? The terrorists' views can
easily be recognized- "all Jews are the
enemy, the state of Israel must be destroyed-"
and passed off as fanatical. Yet those
who support the current military incursions
claim justification in saying "Arabs target
innocent women and children, at least
the Israelis only kill civilians by accident-
there just killing the terrorists" as
if that makes it okay!
First of all, to be horrifically morbid,
these are terrorists. Their goal is to
kill as many people as possible. Why are
you questioning the logic in a terrorist
action of attacking the unarmed? That
seems to be the only thing that makes
sense in this conflict- attack the people
who can't hurt you back. I mean, it's
what the U.S. did when we decided the
enemy was Afghanistan and not Saudi Arabia-
Saudi Arabia has a huge army and the ability
to financially cripple us- no way we're
going to "only kill by accident when aiming
at terrorists" a few thousand of their
The reason the Palestinians are becoming
terrorists, and the reason they are filled
with hatred towards Israel, is because
Israel is doing this constant action of
placing the value of an Israeli life over
the value of an Arab one. Do you know
what a different way to say "one life
more valuable than another" is? "We're
a better people than you." That's why
almost every Arab nation equates Zionism
with racism. And this valuing of life
like a stock market commodity brings me
to the next pointless point:
Declaring yourself an expert on Arab
morality. What is the first declared
aspect of the terrorists? "They're animals."
"They're sick, sub-human beings." "They
have no respect for human life." This
is not just wrong, but a dangerous assumption
for the Israeli army to make.
This idea goes hand in hand with the
so-there statement that "terrorists are
cowards." No, they are not. They are twisted,
angry, intensely calculating individuals.
The reason a terrorist wants to destroy
human life is not because he doesn't value
it at all; it's because he is more aware
than anyone that it's the most precious
commodity in the world. The Palestinians
on the whole have a profound respect for
human life- it's just that they have an
even more profound respect for death.
Any time the news reports that a bomber
has "struck," there is a mix of sadness
over the death of a loved one and celebration
of the bomber's martyrdom.
During World War II, the desperate actions
of the kamikazes were perceived as the
highest honor in death- the willingness
to sacrifice themselves for the honor
of their people. This was not degrading
human life- to them this was honoring
it to an even higher level. Yet the Japanese
knew that this would not turn the tide
of the war, just as the terrorists know
that these attacks will not destroy Israel-
but they will motivate an even larger
group of people to think that choosing
death over loss would be honorable. This
makes it about pride- and restoring a
pride that is lost when you, for example,
say stupid things like how you kicked
their ass with U.S.-funded military equipment
A child dreaming of becoming a martyr
is sick to our perspective because we
live in a country where that child can
become something else. there are no Palestinian
children right now dreaming of becoming
doctors, or rock stars, or the president-
they don't have a country to become president
of yet! Children become encouraged because
they see only the small world around them-
one in which they can either grow old
being harassed by border security, deprived
of basic human rights, and suffer in subjugation-
or die in the process of destroying those
who they blame for making them suffer.
The fastest way to stop people from
killing themselves is to give them something
worth living for.
The Israeli military incursion is
working- after all, there haven't been
any suicide bombings since the tanks started
firing. First of all, this is wrong
in itself- Arabs in both the West Bank
and Lebanon are still using suicide attacks
at close range- except no count of attacks
and casualties can be properly made because
Israel has blocked the media (which in
itself is not a very good PR move.) But
assuming that you mean no attacks have
been made inside Israel proper, this is
still a moot point- after Clinton ordered
the Middle East bombed in 1998 following
the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Sudan,
there weren't any suicide attacks following
that.. Except a year later when they destroyed
a battleship and two years after that
when they destroyed the World Trade Center.
Israel can invade the entire West Bank,
install "sympathetic governors," kill
Arafat, whatever. For now, that might
stop the bombings. But they're going to
be back in little while after that, simply
because there's a lot of Arab nations
funding them with a lot of money given
to them by the U.S. for oil.
I'm walking back from my Internship fair
today (note to animation studios: NY-based
cartoonist looking to work for you for
FREE. Think about it) and the Main Building
is surrounded by two large groups being
held across the street from each other
by armed guards. Yes, it's a bright and
sunny Monday on the NYU campus, and what
better way to spend it that strolling
down to Washington Square East and watch
the Holy War of Words continue.
Long story short: both the pro-Israel
and pro-Palestine students took their
turns saying and handing pamhlets with
sayings to me that on the whole insult
both me and the intelligence of this university.
Unfortunately, speaking of intelligence,
I have to go to a Cinema Studies class
for my weekly nap, which means you'll
have to check back in a few hours for
when I write another long rant about the
West Bank. Stay tuned, and keep yourself
occupied with the nuclear blast calculator
in my previous post. I
never knew just one bomb could waste the
entire state of Rhode Island. Now
Watch what happens to Hooper's Store
when we aim this mother at Sesame Street.
we all know, PBS has a long tradition
of shaping our nation's well-being- one
of the last bastions of rational, calming
thought. Public funding, an attempt at
freedom from corporate bias or control,
and a general position on avoiding the
use of American media as a tool to manipulate
the emotions and calm of the decent hard-working
people of the Republic.
So here's a link to a feature on their
site which shows how
many of your best friends will die if
a nuclear weapon is launched directly
at your home. Remember, if you get
vaporized within the 12-psi radius, you'll
get a complimentary tote bag.
Sunday, April 07, 2002
The great debate rages on
And I thought talking risqué about the
Middle East would cause a crisis. Well,
it's been a few days and I've got an accurate
sampling of both the male and female points
of view on the "hitting on women in clubs"
issue, and I've reached the conclusion
that we are never going to agree on
The only thing I've established here
is that there's a lot of people who are
very delusional, and a lot of people who
aren't giving themselves enough credit.
Which means maybe they need to start doing
the opposite of what they usually do in
For example, the comments of Mandy Brown,
who sent me a message addressed to Sam,
the guy who's letter started this all:
Before I go off on you entirely, let
me say that you're probably not entirely
wrong. There are women who want to engage
in semi-sexual acts with random strangers.
That's fine. But most of us already know
what we want, and in reality, it probably
When I go to a club, it is to dance.
And I might wear tight pants, or a short
skirt. Do you expect me to go in some
polyester tub just because I might not
feel like being grinded by some forty
year old man? I like to look good, I like
to talk to people, and if I get to know
them, I might just show them a wild side.
Trust me-- it is much sexier to come buy
me a drink and ask me what I think about
Bush's foriegn policy that it is to grind
my ass while I'm dancing. The latter is
For the last time: what a woman wears
is not an appropriate indication of what
she wants from you. A rape of a woman
in a short skirt is rape. There is no
other way around it. If she doesn't want
to show her tits, that's all there is
to it. Leave it at that. So all I'm asking
here is that you do a little more listening
and a little less coercing. Let us make
Because you wouldn't want to make
Just to stray off topic, I would like
to point out that this is an e-mail, from
a girl who apparently dresses rather sexy
and loves to dance, sometimes even with
guys, who finds knowledge of politics
sexy. Mandy- you are cordially invited
to the NYU campus to watch the grand spectacle
that will be several hundred men fighting
each other with their bare hands over
Nicole Boury is very honest, and doesn't
even give guys the chance that Mandy has:
I look sexy because I always look
sexy, not because I want some bum feeling
When I go out with my girls, I'm out
with my girls; I don't want to talk to
some drunken sleeze at the bar who's just
looking for ass. I love to have a little
fun now and then, but I'd like to at least
see what he looks like in daylight first,
I hope you look for some sign of interest
before you head in, cuz right now I'm
picturing the SNL Roxbury guys.
Nicole, you appear to be in the majority
of opinions, you expressed it the most
fluidly. When you mention "your girls"
I assume it means you go out with a group
of other lovely ladied. my only suggestion
would be a "group guy-" i.e. a male designated
for the sole purpose of being in your
group to scare other guys away. Seriously
girls- I've seen this in action. Half
the time, even if ten girls are with one
guy, not a single guy will come up to
them. The other half of the time, if a
guy is with two girls, ten guys will try
to see if they can get whichever girl
they think the first guy's not with. If
this happens, it means you need to leave
because you're in a club filled with horny
My next opinion came, apparently, from
a guy in Australia named Mik, which has
now led me to a bias about the place in
that all men from Australia are either
1. So confident with their social prowess
as a result of what must be the largest
concentration of scantily-clad attractive
tanned women with sexy accents that they
can talk about sex as casually as this,
or 2. delusional from being in the sun
way too long. Let's hope he starts with
a calm rationale of his personal experience...
So you're trying to figure out women.
I remember sweating it out, trying to
do exactly the same thing, and then I
found the secret. I'm going to share it
with you, and you can post it to your
blog too if you like, not just as a gift
to all heterosexual men, but also as a
gift to the women who have to put up with
Hi, it's me again. Sorry to interrupt,
but wow. I'm just a college student
cartoonist, and I have apparently attracted
Zoltan, chief overseer of an alien race
who knows all and sees all about uman
emotions. Okay, I'm just joking with you,
Mik, but Jesus Christ, do you introduce
yourself at any social event by saying
"Hi, I'm Mik. I'd like to give you the
gift of true sexual knowledge." Okay,
back to your gift.
Women are people.
Simple, isn't it. Okay, so it sounds
like I'm stating the obvious, but it seems
that most men caught up in mainstream
society overlook this fact. Once I woke
up and realised this, it became much easier
to "understand women", so much so that
today I have sex with more women than
I know what to do with, and, more importantly,
interacting with them personally and professionally
is much more fulfilling and a lot less
complicated. (I'm not kidding about the
"more than I know what to do with" thing,
either; sometimes I feel like I'm getting
/too much/ sex, which ten years ago I
didn't think was even possible!)
.Since women are people, it means they'd
think the same way us men would, if women
and men went through the same social conditioning
bullshit. Since they didn't, us men need
to try to understand what it might have
been like for us if we were, say, treated
like we're worthless if we kissed too
many people in high school, or if we were
assumed to be ignorant when it comes to
sport or science because of our gender.
It helps if we also take a look at what
conditions us men into behaving the way
we do. Even the more enlightened amongst
us, who have grown out of all that macho
bullshit, might still be acting a certain
way "because we're a man". It pays to
observe this, and explore whether there
may be better ways of doing things. This
might leave us open to being accused of
not being "a real man", but my experience
has shown me that the kind of people who
give other people shit for not following
gender stereotypes usually have more than
their fair share of insecurities, and
probably don't get laid enough anyhow.
Mik is now my best friend.
.Okay, so suddenly this "women are
people" concept is no longer a sure-fire
way to get laid next time you go out.
Well, I never said it would be. However,
you're much more likely to come across
as somebody who respects women if you
understand that they're people. And if
you come across as somebody who respects
women, then hell, you're already doing
better than most of the rest of the bar
full of dickheads who are trying to come
up with some sleazy sure-fire pick-up
line. But I'm not writing about how to
pick up women or even how to strike up
a conversation with them; I'm writing
about how to understand them. (The respect
thing definitely does help picking up,
though, and so does being yourself. Other
than that, I don't know; I've never been
that good at picking up in bars. All the
sex I mentioned above is largely because
I mix in social circles where casual sex
is seen as a positive thing. I haven't
had any trouble finding such circles in
my home cities of Sydney and San Francisco;
I doubt that they'd be hard to find in
New York, either. But casual sex eventually
becomes rather ho-hum if you don't have
some more fulfilling relationships as
well. I'm serious!)
See, Mik seems to be on the level. Except
for my alleged ease in entering "casual
sex circles." I keep missing those meetings,
Our friend Sam Geer suggested that
a woman who wears tight pants in a bar
might enjoy a guy rubbing his crotch against
her arse if he isn't "too crude of a lout".
Sam probably isn't talking about some
complete stranger in a crowd, though;
he's probably talking about a guy that
she's at least exchanged a few words with,
or made eye contact with, and given some
sign that making physical contact is okay.
I've never been much good with hints,
so I prefer to actually /ask/ women if
it's okay to touch, after I've picked
up on the vibe that she's at least interested
in talking or dancing with me. Asking
takes its toll on that smoothness glorified
in Hollywood, but I've never met a woman
who hasn't really appreciated being asked
directly, and getting a sincere "yes"
makes /me/ feel better because I know
I'm not going to stumble across anybody's
boundaries and make them feel icky or
Well, most of that makes a world of sense
to me. Mik is wise. I think guys should
try to at least consider some of Mik's
advice. He seems to be confident in what
he's talking about. Also, he sounds like
someone who is apparently getting way
more sex than I am, so who the hell am
I to argue about this? Plus, he's a sensitive
man to use the words "arse" and "icky"
in the same paragraph.
And to round it out, new fan and reader
Kjersti Kyle sent me another massage the
other day, and she's actually in defense
of Sam. Which is great to round out the
debate, but horrible in terms of me thinking
there's a consensus about anything.
Sam is right. What women want is attention.
Why else would we be lifting our apparel
for cheap beads at Mardi Gras? The only
value comes from the daring it takes to
earn them, and America has enough sexual
taboos that some socially sanctioned nakedness
is a good thing. Should we all be so embarrassed
by our bodies? Showing skin and getting
praise for it feels good. No woman wants
to feel unattractive, and if her sex-life
has been idling, someone asking to see
her tits or dry-humping her on a dance
floor... well, so long as she knows what
she is doing. Not every woman wants this,
but going to a club in tight pants, a
girl's pretty safe with everyone around
her and her DD sober to take her home.
Exposing her breasts from a camera, if
she knows the photo will be published
it's her choice (Bonus points if they
will take it down should she request it
at a later date). And asking women on
the street for breast pictures? The photographer
is going to get normal women. Certainly
a bias toward whatever the man thinks
of as sexy, but not super models.
Which brings us to the other point.
Super models and runway fashion are somewhere
between a bizarre from of art and exploitation.
Whether men expect their girlfriends and
wives to have plastic-perfect design or
not, a great many women are sexually intimidated
by such idealification of the female form.
Is that the model's fault? Is she being
exploited? No, and not necessarily. Genetics
or environment, it is nobodies fault if
they are naturally sexy. Modeling is a
job, like any other, where you take advantage
of your assets and receive compensation
for services rendered (hell, even prostitute
is a choice - rape is not). So the women
being exploited are not the models, but
those whose self-esteem is being destroyed
so that they will buy X product, to compete
sexually with someone more physically
advantaged, but so rare that she is merely
an illusionary adversary for sexual partners.
Comparatively, any normal woman showing
off her tits and ass is a liberating celebration
of female sexuality. Still, it all comes
down to one this - encouragement, in the
right social circumstance is good; coercion
and force are unethical, immoral, and
punishable by law.
So our conclusions for the day: don't
be assholes. Don't break the law. Don't
assume girls like you. Don't assume guys
like you. And if you're really in a rut,
move down to Australia and ask for Mik.
Saturday, April 06, 2002
If you can't get the comics, it might
be because the server they are located
on sucks. Hopefully they will be
back up soon. I am currently debating
switching site hosts anyway, because recently
I have needed a lot more bandwidth...
which in reality makes me feel awesome.
Update: everything seems to be
working now. In addition, I would like
to announce that apparently my site has
come up in a Google search for the terms
"tight + pants + asses." I'm so very,
very proud. No, I will NOT provide a link
Friday, April 05, 2002
Well this is just utterly sad
In a move that just makes anyone who's
ever voted want to finally refuse to ever
participate in politics ever again and
just curl up into a little ball and die,
but just as soon as they firebomb the
entire state of Florida first, Jeb
Bush has filed to legally trademark his
own name in an effort to prevent people
from using it in campaigns in manners
against his wishes. The irony, of course,
is that he's doing to prevent hard-core
Republicans from abusing his name
in attacks on Janet Reno.
So, the sum up, the governor of Florida
is trying to become "Jeb Bush, TM" because
there's too many pyschotic people in
Florida. Anyone else think he's one
(Thanks to Alex Davy for some fact-checking)
"Those Crazy Women"
despite all the stuff I got from you guys
about the Middle East, it's a completely
different topic I started that got my
first response ever where I have no idea
what position to take on because of the
ramifications of taking any possible position
on it. So I think I might just have to
put it out here.
From reader Sam
Geer, with the subject line "Those
...The reason that I am writing is
that there were a number of ideas that
you expressed in your rant about women
that I disagreed with. Mostly I have to
question your statement that women do
not enjoy being the target of anonymous
sexual advances or pleas. Granted, there
are a lot of stupid people out there who
make crude and unwelcome actions toward
women. But I would contend that there
is a fine art to getting women to do things
that they normally wouldn't do, and making
it enjoyable for both parties...
I feel sort of like the reason that
single women often go to clubs wearing
tight pants is to have guys grind
their crotches against their asses. In
my experience as long as you aren't too
crude of a lout many women find that sort
of behavior to be quite stimulating. This
is all leading up to a little theory that
I have. Here it goes, Women are a bunch
of perverted wierdos just like men are
but they often require a graceful nudge(and
maybe a little booze) in order to release
these bizzare and sexy flipsides. Therefore,
I regard it as a noble aspiration to help
all women get freaky and reveal their
breasts(to myself and others) as often
as possible. This isn't about objectifying
women or making them feel insecure about
their bodies, it's about transforming
the boring workaday world of clothes,
into the fun, exciting sexual adventure
life should be.
I should also note that I am not implying
that men should coerce women into doing
things that they don't want to do. I am
advocating a stance of heightened awareness
towards what women really want, not
to be left alone. Tits are completely
harmless, what possible damage can a set
of tits do? If a man can get a woman to
take her shirt off with a big grin on
her face he is doing the whole world a
Sam, either you're a genius or I'm about
to get a lot of feedback from some
ladies in disagreement. More as this develops.
Thursday, April 04, 2002
Lets talk about the Middle East, pt.
I saw your commentary regarding the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict and agree
with you 99%. My only disagreement with
you is your statement that the comment,
"Barak offered 90% of the West Bank to
Arafat and Arafat walked" is not productive.
The reason that this statement is relevant
is that it sheds light on the dynamic
of what is transpiring. It also sheds
light on the sincerity of the claims flying
back and forth. To wit:
The Palestinians state that all they
want is land and dignity. The offer in
2000 provided them with a chance for more
land and dignity than the rest of the
Arab world has offered them in 50 years.
The fact that this offer was spurned and
the current intifada was immediately commenced
is extremely telling.
This was the item in my list that most
of you have questioned me on, as among
all if them it's the one that bears the
most truth. The problem with using this
statement in the debate is that although
it's true, it's looked at immensely out
I dislike this argument because it is
always used in a sense to deem Arafat
as one who does not want to actually make
peace- which although true, should not
be credited to this comment. Other factors
that must be looked at include if this
was actually possible and who actually
proposed it- they are both linked by Ehud
Barak, not Sharon, was the one who made
the offer, and following the failed peace
accord Barak was voted out of office by
the Israeli people who favored Sharon-
a candidate who made part of his platform
a promise to not ever offer something
as generous as Barak just did at the time.
In the eyes of the Palestinians, the people
of Israel overwhelmingly supporting a
candidate who openly refused to accept
Barak's peace deal didn't seem to make
the offer look like a very convincing
one. (Yes, I know, Arafat not trusting
Israel to keep its word. Pot, have you
met my friend Kettle?)
Add this to the fact that Barak's offer
intended to close the deal for good without
any recourse for a single refugee, and
it doesn't look as much like all of the
Arab problems being solved as we used
But above all that, you have answered
your own question, Liebchen: the want
for land and dignity. To Arafat and most
of the Palestinians, Israel accepting
the pre-1976 borders is their minimum
for dignity. For many, it is the only
way they can believe Israel has accepted
what they have done is "wrong."
Sharon's almost deliberate provocation
of Arafat, not to mention past history,
caused the talks to fall flat as well,
something reader Daniel
Majoros pointed out:
.during the 2000 Camp David meeting,
Israel offered the Palestinians back much
of the land, but not the settlements,
meaning that instead of having a contiguous
nation, there would be a series of four--I
think--regions surrounded by Israel. Palestinians
would need to have permission from Israel
to travel from one section to the next.
Oh, and Israel would retain rights to
the airspace and the water resources in
the areas. Both sides are unwilling to
share Jerusalem supposedly for religious
reasons, but I'm thinking it has a lot
to do with the tourist dollars the city
generates. This is why the Palestinians
walked, because it was a crappy deal,
not for fear of looking weak to their
Sharon is considered (by some) as
a war criminal for his actions during
the Lebanon invasion. In fact, his own
government investigated him and found
him indirectly responsible for the deaths
of hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli
refugee camps and he was removed from
office. And I don't care what ANYONE says,
he holds a great deal of responsibility
for creating this latest round of violence.
It did not begin with the collapse of
the peace talks (which occurred in July
2000, I think), but started with Sharon's
ill-advised September trip to the al-Aqsa
mosque during a Muslim holy time. The
Israeli government begged him not to go,
knowing it would cause problems. He insisted
and had Israeli soldiers with him for
protection. Children, who threw rocks
at him, were shot dead by the soldiers.
And for a final note of reader suggestions
about the best deal to give Arafat, we
turn to Carl
.I'm tempted to say the only solution
is to give the Palestinians nukes.
I'm not even going to touch that one.
A Good Day in the Very Local News
The WSN printed my comic a day late,
but I didn't mind this week because it
allowed me to be part of the coolest opinion
page I think I've ever seen at the paper.
In addition to my comic, it contained
articles by, as I mentioned in a previous
strip, the two hottest members of the
WSN staff- Marissa Moss and, of course,
Moss has a great column about why
it's a bad thing that a chunk of ice the
size of a state has just disappeared
(something our president doesn't seem
to have a problem with at all,) while
Steve has penned one of the most brilliant
and poingnant articles of our time, and
something that addresses one of our most
important national crisises- Bill
O'Reilly needs to shut the hell up.
Steve he rocks our world.
And to close it out, yet another letter
to the editor chastising one of our
columnists for participating in this week's
political activity of choice- criticizing
Michael Moore without reading any of his
Wednesday, April 03, 2002
A studious reader explained to me that
the cause of my site being linked to from
the web page of a Japanee rock band was
most likely a mistke via a form of web
search engine. I am recollecting the list
of weird searches that led people to sites
of my friends, but just as an example
you can take a look at Fireballs
and Tsunami, who has a list of all
the hilarious bad ways Google can screw
up. Also, she's a fellow NYU Film student
and appears to be rather cute. I'm shameless.
Speaking of links, I also appear to have
risen in the ranks of the PlanetCartoonist
Top 100 Editorial Cartoonists. Only 1,400
more different people have to click on
the link to the left and I can actually
have a banner on the list. Wouldn't it
be great for the top-rated cartoonist
in the country to be a college student
who's never been paid for his work? Hey,
here's what would even be better: me
getting paid for my work. Oh well.
On Nature, but in No Way on Emerson's
Here's something amusing I saw today:
for those of you who live in New York
City, you might have been as confused
as I was about the sudden mysterious rain
storm that decided to occur for a random
hour or so in the middle of a sunny, cloudless,
perfect 67-degree day.
Apparently, no one was more confused
than the street team of the 102.7
"WOW" van, who were very annoyed about
the rain clearing the park during the
Opie & Anthony show.
For those of you not in the know, here's
a quick rundown - Opie and Anthony are
two DJs with a syndicated show. They are
rather funny and have some really good
stuff. They are also responsible for making
Stephen Lynch famous, which in itself
gives them a chance to be canonized. However,
one of the activities they came up with
a few years ago was WOW- which stands
for Whip 'em Out Wednesday. Which means.
exactly. They go around and convince girls
to expose their breasts to them, so they
can photograph them and put them online
or other wonderful things guys in their
late 20's who are paid to act like the
"typical" late 20's white male so Infinity
Broadcasting can continue their quest
to own the entire radio market and streamline
their mission to mold the entire youth
population into a single easily-manageable
And I found it very amusing that Big
Momma Nature told them to go fuck themselves
for the day.
Now, let me make this clear: this isn't
about women taking their tops off. I.
just a second.
Mom. Stop reading this. now.
.this isn't about women taking their
tops off. I enjoy a girl taking her top
off for me like any other living organism
that enjoys looking at female breasts.
I'm the last person to start a debate
about how men should act, because I live
in a Freshman dorm and want to have sex
with about half of it every time I go
down to the cafeteria.
The issue to me is about stupidity. And
guys getting stupider because they think
all girls want to do is take their tops
off is what's crippling this goddamn society.
Why are clubs not fun to go to? I've said
this in previous posts- stupid people:
usually a combination of men who think
any single girl who shows up in tight
pants wants her ass pulled into his crotch,
and those girls who decided to get really
drunk and act out sexually by pretending
that they'd actually want to fuck anyone
in the building if they didn't have 36
ounces of ethanol sloshing around their
Why are girls made insecure, depressed,
and susceptible to the biggest increase
in eating disorders in this country in
the last decade? Because of stupid men
who go around screaming at them on the
first goddamn sunny day of spring that
they as men somehow deserve for all women
they deem attractive to strip for them.
This notion of somehow tricking women
into sexual acts has always confused me.
It's part of an argument I had with friends
once about going to strip clubs. I don't
have a problem with strippers. If I was
getting a lap dance, I would get aroused
like any other heterosexual male. But
I don't ever have a desire to go to one
because I can't get past this concept:
you are paying a woman to pretend
she wants to fuck you, during a time in
which you can be trying to improve yourself
so that a woman will actually want
to fuck you.
So yeah, I'm not really that sensitive
or in tune with my feminine side. Just
smart enough to know that guys who complain
about their crap all day should respect
the crap women have to deal with and stop
giving them more. Leave the girls alone,
people. If you want them to get naked
for you, either go up to them and talk
or be like most of us and look at them
whenever you think they can't see you
I'm currently fine with the deal we have
now, folks. Men, myself included, are
going to stare at anything they find attractive
because guys on the whole want to fuck
anything they find attractive, and women
are just going to have to accept that.
Women are just going to have to deal with
the fact that if they're beautiful, people
are going to notice that. But on the plus
side, you can get them to do pretty much
anything you want, and if they decide
not to, by then all the overly aggressive
ones will just go get killed in a war.
Every Time I Try to Get Out...
Remember the Mr. Sparkle episode of The
this one out.
I don't know if I ever want to by electronic
products again. Maybe it's an ad for the
weather machine that obviously was activated
today whcih would explain why it's 65
degrees and sunny outside, and then for
no reason, it rained for five minutes
in the middle of my lunch break. That
doesn't seem fair at all.
Tuesday, April 02, 2002
Let's tie up a few loose ends.
Japan Answers Back
Thanks to all the fans who wrote me to
let me know that Shonen Knife is an all-female
Japanese rock band, most noted in the
States for a "Groovie" music short on
Cartoon Network involving the Powerpuff
Girls. The images I posted, by the way,
say "I can really fish!" and "I'd like
to put a mark here on the tower." which
like I said, doesn't ease my terrorist
threat theory. But I digress. (They mean
their band's logo- calm down, John) Thank
you to Mike,
Garrett, Kathryn, Donald, and Jordan,
and anyone else I might have missed. Special
note to Jon: due to previous
favors done unto me by the nation of France,
I'm afraid you may have to find someone
else to aid in your quest for its destruction.
Let's talk about the Middle East,
Wade Naveja has alerted me to a news
source, and apparently a blog/diary
from inside the West Bank. I'm looking
at bits and pieces of it, and it seems
a good read. I think it's important to
get the viewpoints of citizens who openly
admit to a lack of military involvement
in this. If anyone thinks there's a overbearing
bias in this site, let me know, but compared
to the common rhetoric, the only siding
with Palestine I see on this one has a
pretty damn good excuse given the writer.
Dean Riddlebarger has a good comment
that I'll post here:
Without turning this note into a minor
term paper, I would be inclined to make
one modification with respect to your
fourth point. Suffice it to say that I
offer this change after several years
of listening to a bevy of friends who
are of both Jewish and Muslim backgrounds:
"The crisis, and the violence, will
never end, in any way, because both
sides firmly believe they have a claim
to the Trans-Jordan lands west of the
river, and said claims go back literally
thousands of years."
You've got a point, Dean- claim to land
is one of the issues that I think needs
to be addressed- sadly, it's used most
often with the claim that Palestinians
Unfortunately, we're dealing with a strip
of land in which the title deeds are found
in the most re-written and misinterpreted
public document in human history. God
appears to be the only person who was
there at the time of the lease signing,
and I think His
opinion on this doesn't need to be
Comments and Fan Mail
Once again, I am thanking everyone for
the most interesting and exciting week
of my life. And I am painfully upset that
I cannot answer all of you as I used to
be able to when. well, when only one person
wrote me every three months. I have received
more mail in the last two days than I
received for the whole of 2001, friends
and family writing me included.
I have received loads of praise for the
Mideast article. I have been complimented
by dozens about the comic, which feels
great. I have apparently been hit on by
two, which is really great.
(You had me at hello!)
PLEASE do not think if I don't reply
that I didn't read your e-mail or that
I don't appreciate whatever you said,
even the ones that are critical. Especially
the other bloggers: I am doing my best
many of you who
me and told other people about me,
and I am beyond grateful. I am, believe
it or not, trying to make the time to
look at all of your sites, all of which
are really, really cool. Most of you have
been blogging a lot longer than I have,
so you deserve the credit for me even
knowing blogger exists. I'm just trying
to be a famous cartoonist... you guys
are prolific writers.
Just to make everyone happy. the newest
comic's posted: "Why Halle can't Win."
Come back soon and fall in love all over
Anyone here speak Japanese?
I was apparently linked to from the home
page of Shonen
Knife, who I can say only one thing
about I can say are Japanese. The site
is available in two versions: Japanese,
which contains illegible Japanese characters,
and English, which contains even more
I can't for the life of me figure out
where on this site I was linked to from,
but even more so I'm now perplexed as
to what the hell these people are all
about. I mean, their main page contains
a few English words in "Burning Farm"
and "Knife Collector's Fan Club." What?
I'm leaning on the idea that this is a
band, because one page mentions some kind
of track list. But i'm not sure, and I'm
very worried that this picture is some
kind of terrorist plan.
I mean no offense to the people in this
site and those who made it, I'm just very,
very, confused. If anyone out there speaks
Japanese, please give me a hint as to
what these people are doing. If you know
what context they linked to me in, that
would help as well. I may have just found
a new favorite band. Or saved France.
Ah, this is good, apparently we're (as in
we the people of the U.S.) are going to
some quick economic tricks
for a few
days to avoid going into default on the
debt... which means in simpler terms that
we've actually reached the limit for how
much the national debt can be.
Paul O'Neill, who- keeping in mind actually
has a job and is paid to say this-
has decided the best way to avoid this
problem again would be to... you guessed
it, folks... raise the ceiling for the
national debt. He then intends to put
the $750 billion advance all on black,
because according to Alan Greenspan, "it's
coming up, I can feel it."
You know, I'm not interested in touting
the Clinton administation what with all
of its monumental failures, but didn't
somebody over there run a plan by all
of us that would actually pay off the
debt instead of increase it to a level
in which we actually have run out of mnoey
to borrow? This article makes it look
like we're a month away from suggesting
that we can solve the debt problem by
"printing more money."
What a rush
Well, that closes out for me probably
one of the best days of my life. As I
said before, Sunday hosted five visitors
to this humble site, and as we ring the
closing bell the official total for Monday
is 1,517 visitors. That's an increase
of, as we art students say, a lot.
First of all, let me just say using cut
and paste technology I am willing to write
thank you 1,500 times. But I won't. I'm
going to stop with all the glowing about
how awesome this all was for me. I will
just say that for the first time in my
life, I've received more fan mail than
I can answer in one day, including people
asking for stickers, people adding insight
to my views on the Mideast crisis, and
a nice lady with a website
that sells really pretty shiny things.
I love shiny things. So forgive me if
I can't send personal messages to everyone,
but I'm trying. Andy- thank you. Brenda-
hi there, and tell all your cute Southern
friends to write to me too. Adrienne-
on the way. Pinhas- you're completely
right, and I think you've got a good set
of arguing points there. Whew! I have
gone mad with power. Riiiiiight.
I will give a special mention to epicurial's
because he linked to me whilst mentioning
his favorite political cartoonists...
and frankly, to be ranked by anyone among
Tom Tomorrow, Ted Rall, Milt Prigee, and
Clay Bennett as if I'm remotely worthy
of being compared to them is the greatest
compliment of my experience in cartooning.
To answer a lot of people's question,
the reason I have this split insight on
the Mideast is because NYU has an amazing
concentration of all sides of that issue.
The NYU campus is a little microcosm of
the West Bank, complete with pro-Israel
groups, pro-Arab groups, pro-Israeli-Arab
groups, and anti-Citibank groups, who
get involved in everything (As they should.)
And like the Middle East itself, each
group has it's
own ideas, it's
and its own way of unabashedly
each other in
the most argumentative and unproductive
ways possible. (Linking is fun!)
Right now I'm finishing an essay for
class tomorrow on Deweyan pragmatist thought.
Don't worry, I have no idea what it's
all about either. But I am picking up
a common thread that I mentioned a few
days ago: our educational system does
not reward its students for thinking the
way it should.
I have valued every letter sent to me
today from people who agreed with what
I said, not just because of their agreement,
but because most of them contained a little
unique paragraph or two that added their
viewpoints to this issue. And with any
luck (okay, it's the Holy Land, we need
a freaking miracle) something in the debate
we've managed to create for ourselves
will rub off on the rest of the world.
Whoever stays, whoever never comes here
again, it's cool either way. I'm going
to look for more stuff to write about
in the morning, and then on Wednesday,
the next comic comes out, as it will for
the rest of the month until the big summer
hiatus. (Not having a paper to print in
usually delays the creation of the comic
from May to August, go fig.)
buy shiny things. And no, I'm not
giving hints on the Page of Mystery.
Monday, April 01, 2002
Anyone remember the scene in Office
Space where he goes up to the ATM
and checks the account hoping to see a
few hundred bucks added to the account
and it reads out a deposit of like two
hundred thousand dollars? Yeah, the guy's
response was mine as well today:
I have recieved 793 hits in the last
three hours. This is slightly up from
Sunday's previous record of 5. And I owe
it all to Tom
Tomorrow. I've been doing the comic
for the school paper for three years now,
but the blog is only eight weeks old,
and this is simply amazing. I didn't think
even this many people at school read the
paper. And that's NYU- home of 50,000
undergrads. Who all hate to read for
I feel guilty that I'm famous for the
day, especially when people who are much
more talented and insightful than me have
been doing this for a lot longer- case
in point, my roomate Chris,
who showed me what blogs are in the first
place, and by that is somewhat responsible
for me even having this.
Mainly I'm humbled and honored by the
level of praise someone as influential
as Tom Tomorrow has bestowed upon me:
okay, I'm not going to reprint it, because
788 out of the 793 of you are here because
you read his post already. So thank you,
Tom, for already giving me more praise
than any comic syndicate editor has done
in the last three years. And thank you
to the people who have e-mailed me to
tell me that they approve of my opinions
towards the West Bank conflict. I love
the blog world: two weeks ago my top story
Kitty sexual aids. Now I feel like
bloggers have more political clout than
the cast of Crossfire. Okay, granted,
most bloggers already know they're
more politically insightful than CNN.
But again, I'm still new at this.
That said, I admit that come next week
I won't see a lot of you again, but I
don't mind that much. But for now, I'm
using the opportunity I have to say a
few things: please support your college
newspaper. Please buy Tom's books. If
you are a publisher or sydicate representative,
please give me money so I can make books.
And finally, for all you ladies... I'm
Yeeeeeah. That's right, baby. Georgie's
looking at... oh yes... you.
Let's argue about the Middle East,
Okay, I'm set on only one thing: everyone
within about a hundred miles of Israel
is out of their goddamn skull. The latest
news from the holy land today is that
Palestinian militants, so enraged, incensed,
and above all paranoid, have executed
11 fellow Arabs fearing over accusations
they were collaborating with Israel.
Which means the Palestinian terrorist
groups have now reached a higher apex
of their evolution, going from attacking
outposts to civilians, and now to their
new official target: anything that moves.
Meanwhile, back in the self-proclaimed
"civilized" country, Ariel Sharon
has decided that it's
just been way too long since Israel refused
to listen to the United Nations- you
know, those ungrateful wretches that are
responsible for Sharon even having a country
to run into the ground in the first place.
I had promised a while back to do a bit
of an analysis on the Israel crisis, and
I'll try to remember as many of my notes
as I've accumulated in my head for the
last few weeks. Here's basically the rundown
of rigid points I've established in regards
to this crisis:
1. Israel is, regardless of who you
support or how you object, committing
an act of war against the Palestinian
This is not necessarily a bad thing to
some people; it is to me because of what
I'll say in the next few points. But there
are people who still refute the idea that
what is happening right now is not "war."
Folks- the massive mobilization of a national
military and subsequent invasion of opposing
soil, with intend to cripple the current
power of the ruling government, is war.
If the U.S. in 1943 declared that we "didn't
want to kill Hitler, just contain him,"
we would still be declaring war against
2. Ariel Sharon is, without a doubt,
Sharon is not going to be Prime Minister
for long. The argument that he should
become harsher on the Palestinians to
appease the right-wingers in his cabinet
was as ridiculous an assumption as it
was when Clinton tried to do it. Right-wingers
are always going to vote for right-wingers,
even if the ruling left-winger does right-wing
acts. Sharon should realize that no matter
what he does, Benyamin Netenyahu is going
to take over, and instead focus on aiding
the Israeli Infastructure.
3. The only person in the universe
more screwed than Ariel Sharon is Yassir
Arafat does not, cannot, and most likely
will not ever have control over the military
mentality of the Palestinian territory.
Should he actually live to see statehood,
his role as President will be a figurehead
role, as a de facto physical threat will
force him to fill his cabinet with the
leaders of the militant groups that are
carrying out the terror acts in his name.
Much is said about Arafat's refusal to
"rein in militants." Even if
he could, which is as always in question,
he couldn't. Few who vehemently despise
Arafat recall that Arafat's former partner
in a peace deal, Yitzhak Rabin, was executed
not by Arab but by Israeli extremists-
his own people- for conceding
to the Arabs. And these were the people
who opposed the killings, right? So can
you even imagine how violent and bloodily
Arafat would be executed if he announced
that he will give in to the slightest
This leads to the core problem: both
sides are in control by two leaders who
not only refuse to back down, but are
both secretly in danger for their lives
if they actually attempt to do so. Both
seem to have no insight as to the internal
desires of their people: case in point,
as one conservative columnist pointed
out the other day: when was the last time
you heard Arafat mention what the economic
structure of the future Palestinian state
will be? What is its constitution? The
education system? At no point has Arafat
said anything about the existence of a
Palestinian state beyond its very existence
representing a defeat of the Israelis.
Likewise, Sharon has not uttered a word
of policy to the foreign press regarding
anything other than the military action
against Arafat- his entire campaign was
the promise to lower Israeli casualties,
and he has failed at it miserably.
This is why an international force seems
necessary- not just to protect the Jewish
and Muslim people of the multiple countries
involved, but the leaders of those nations
from their own people as well. Palestinians
just killed eleven of their own people
for the allegation of siding with Israel
and Bush thinks it's so simple for Arafat
to get on the television and declare in
Arabic that everyone has to be nice now?
Last time someone in the Holy Land said
everyone should be nice to each other
they nailed him to a tree. (RIP, Douglas
4. The crisis, and the violence, will
never end, in any way, while Jewish settlements
remain in the West Bank.
There is no possibility of a separation,
nor an independent no-man's land or buffer
zone, while these settlements remain.
Terrorists can and will continue to breach
Israeli defense perimeters because they
can go through the settlement connections.
The borders of Israel proper cannot be
closed off all around, because then all
the settlements are cut off from access
as well. The ultimate issue for a peace
process will not be if the settlements
are to be removed, but how Sharon can
remove them without appearing as though
he ceded something that significant to
5. No one is suffering more among
anyone involved in this crisis than the
refugees in the camps of Syria, Lebanon,
and the West Bank, and the existence of
these camps are the cause of every single
terrorist action against Israel.
The refugee camps of the Middle East are
modern-day Andersonvilles: single streams
and water pipelines are used as the drinking
fountain, the bathtub, and the toilet
all in one. Sickness and squalor are rampant,
and a lack of culture or intellectual
stimulation makes the children born and
raised in this camp to easily susceptible
to the convincing heavenly rewards of
There are two ways in which these camps
can cease to exist: the first is the withdrawal
of Israel from the settlements, and an
understanding of mutual ceding- The Israelis
accept their loss of expanding land, and
the Palestinians accept their loss of
the ability to return the refugees to
Israel. A massive amount of foreign aid
will help the Palestinians accept this
more easily, as well as simple actions
by the Israelis, such as not blowing
up commercial and industrial utilities
paid for by the European Union.
The second, of course, is genocide: Israel
wipes the Palestinian refugees from the
face of the earth. This is a short-term
possibility, but in the long run a failure.
If even one refugee escapes or survives
a massive Israeli military operation,
he or she will live on to spawn a new
generation of impoverished descendants
who can easily be taught about how important
it is to martyr themselves by killing
Israeli civilians. The flaw of both sides
is the idea that they can simply kill
all the people that oppose them, when
all it does is make twice as many enemies.
6. The useless rhetoric has to stop.
The following claims will not help either
side of any debate in any way:
- Barak offered 90% of the West Bank
to Arafat and Arafat walked.
- Ariel Sharon is a war criminal.
- Arab newspapers printing articles
about Jews putting blood in their pancakes.
- The promise of Israel never existed.
- Palestine never existed.
- The Holocaust never existed.
- Every act of terrorism committed in
the last five years has been by a Muslim
male between the age of 18 and 45.
- The Jews knew in advance about September
- Are Arabs are animals.
- All Jews are racists.
- All Jews who don't support Israel
are self-hating traitors.
- A poll states
- The following group cares only about
These are all claims made daily within my
earshot and within my reading material.
The only commonality they share is that
all of them are either distorted, misreported,
irrelevant, or a flat-out lie. Regardless
of either side, any pundit who used one
of these talking points should be immediately
questioned about their qualifications.
This is all I have for now, and I'm sure
there will be more. As always, input appreciated,
but anything remotely resembling anything
that might appear on the Yahoo! Message
boards will be summarily mocked.
(This post was edited later in the day
to make a guy named Carl happy. I'm not
Tomorrow posted some Easter-related
material yesterday of some sketches a
man made of Jesus helping out the common
man in everyday workplace activities.
I think in tribute to this great idea,
I shall post a link to the catalog Conan
O'Brien mentioned on his show a few
weeks ago that sells the Jesus
Sports Statues, including Jesus playing
baseball, Jesus playing Hockey, and Jesus
doing Tae-Kwon-Do (seen above.) My
personal favorite, however, had to be
"Jesus playing Football," not because
I have a preference for the sport, but
because the figure actually depicts a
small child trying to tackle Jesus
Christ to the ground.