Cartoon Violence: All Cocktober Surprise All The Time Edition
TGIOctober, right? Nothin' but sex and perversion from now 'till November, and our friendly neighborhood Comics Curmudgeon will be here each and every Friday to help us through. Today's Cartoons evince a sense of humor slightly less mature than The Hill's (everyone's on the same page!).
After the jump: MARK! FOLEY!
All right, everyone. We got the memo. Cocktober Surprise Mania is in full swing at Wonkette, and none of us here is exempt from the requirement to milk it for every last bit of hilarity. And everything else is going to get ignored, at least up until next week's invasion of Iran. Seriously, even Michelle Malkin's quixotic war against YouTube is being shunted off to our Silicon Valley gossip hound brother, so you know we're serious about this.
Anyway, as you might imagine, the combination of politicians, corruption, gayness, instant messaging, and nubile jailbait has proven irresistible to America's political cartoonists. Yet, like Congressman Foley himself, perhaps they all should have worked to resist temptation a little bit harder. Because most of the resulting cartoons are -- and there's no kind way to put it -- bad, in one way or another. Some are play to people's worst prejudices; some are confusing and pointless; some are poorly drawn. The Gawker mothership has already lambasted one example from the New York Post as well as we could, but the rest had better brace themselves for our wrath.
Before we launch into the hating, however, we do want to showcase the one cartoon that we actually kind of liked:
It's not redefining humor or anything, but it's a reasonably clever combination of several elements. There's the old elephants-are-afraid-of-mice gag, which dovetails nicely with the trusty standing-on-a-stool-to-get-away-from-a-mouse bit, reminding us of the old racially uncomfortable Tom and Jerry cartoons. The mouse-mouse thing is a graceful way to integrate the technological angle of the story, and the little motion lines, indicating that it's wiggling ever so gently and kind of obscenely, are a nice touch.
Everything else we're about to show you, however, pretty much blows.
Crimes: Implying that, since any gay Congressman is primary in it for the hot, hot page ass, any gay scoutmaster would clearly be in it for the same reasons. Equating Foley's ick with things that it's worse than (consensual extramarital sex), things that it's nowhere near as bad as (driving in the the river and leaving your passenger in the car), and things that it's pretty much exactly like (Mel Reynold's jones for underage girls) that happened, like ten years ago. Showing us exactly what the Democratic donkey would look like as a leather daddy.
Mitigating factor: Good lord, future Speaker Pelosi's grim, face-lifted rictus is going to be fun to draw, isn't it?
Crimes: Incoherence. Since they clearly are harboring pedophiles, does that mean that the other two things on the big board aren't true either? Is it too much to ask that all the agenda items be the same part of speech?
Mitigating factor: Huh huh, he said "on the same page."
Crimes: Stiltedness. Has anyone outside of an angry press conference held by concerned parents uttered the phrase "sexually explicit video game?" Has anyone managed to string together five words in an IM conversation and not misspelled something, either accidentally or deliberately, Prince-style?
Mitigating factor: That IM is so stilted that Billy may very will be in the process of being propositioned by Al Gore, inventor of the Internet himself!
Crimes: Egregious, egregious punnery.
Mitigating factor: The deeply trippy image of the entire Republican Congressional caucus as a multicolored collection of tiny elephants, clinging to one another and writing about at the top of a tree.
Crimes: Feeling a need to label the Speaker of the House, who is surely America's most easily caricatured politician since Taft.
Mitigating factor: Huh huh, he said "going down."
Crimes: Egregious, egregious punnery, not in the service of some larger joke, but for it's own sake.
Mitigating factor: The pleasing notion that Hastert's mother needs to safety-pin little notes to his suit, as if he were an illiterate five-year-old. --THE COMICS CURMUDGEON