Cartoon Violence Has Had it Up to Here With You and Your Metaphors

As we close out another slow summer week, today's cartoons are looking backwards, as they often do. The return of Activist Judges and the Gay Menace makes nostalgists out of us all. Even the Comics Curmudgeon, who, after the jump, tackles aforementioned unnatural family-destroying practices, corruption, the midterms, Gore v. Hillary, and, of course, the films of preeminent character actor Charles Laughton.

Let's get one thing out of the way right up front before we launch into the tenuous theme I've picked out for this week's cartoons. Check out this offering from Mike Luckovich:

01gay.gifNow, the joke in this is fairly run of the mill, but take a good look at the lunch box on Dubya's desk. The lunchbox itself is I guess supposed to symbolize the fact that our president isn't really a grown-up -- itself not a shocking speak-the-truth-to-power moment -- but what I like about it is that it's a Hello Kitty lunch box. It didn't have to be any kind of lunchbox, really, but the idea of the world's most powerful man being a Sanrio is objectively funny. This move both represents an eye for detail and a knack for hilarity. Little touches like this are the reason why Luckovich has a Pulitzer Prize and you don't, bitches.

(Apologies to those bitches reading this who do in fact have Pulitzer Prizes.)

Anyway, not everybody shows this sort of good sense in creating the metaphorical objects, people, and beasts that inhabit their cartoon world. This week in Cartoon Violence, we bring you sad cautionary examples of metaphors gone awry.

02fbi.gifMetaphor: Congress is the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

How it works: See, just as Quasimodo had to flee into the belfry of the titular church from angry, torch-wielding Frenchmen who hated and feared him just because he was unspeakably ugly, so Congress must flee from the red-hot flames of justice just because it's unspeakably corrupt.

Where it goes wrong: Well, for one thing, it's riffing on the 1939 Charles Laughton version of the story, which most people haven't seen. You really should see it, though. Laughton is just great -- he's funny at times, like when he's gleefully dumping molten metal on the angry mob, but mostly he's pathetic in saddest, truest sense of the term. At the end, when the gypsy girl he loves has run off with a handsome non-hunchback, and he cuddles up to the gargoyle and asks, "Why was I not made of stone like thee?" it'll just break your heart. And is William Jefferson or Dennis Hastert doing the perp walk really going to make you all misty-eyed? No. No it will not.

03gay.gifMetaphor: Traditional man-on-woman marriage is a delicious cake -- crafted, appropriately, by a man-woman pair of pastry chefs -- and its enemies are foul rodents.

How it works: See, the gays want to sully pure, lilly-white marriage with their razor-sharp buck teeth and tiny brown poops. The glass cylinders of state law protect marriage from the 'mos, but look out for those federal judges.

Where it goes wrong: Pretty much at the point where the activist judges are portrayed as giant sledgehammer-weilding rats. Also, would seeing some mice doing some obviously gay stuff, like swishing around in feather boas or assfucking, be too much to ask? Apparently.

04duke.gifMetaphor: Our two major political parties are like the odd couple.

How it works: See, the Democrats think they're going to "sweep" the Republicans out of Congressional power, but they'll just doing the Republicans' bidding again for the next two years -- represented by doing menial work like literal metaphorical sweeping!

Where it goes wrong: The words "pop tart". Somehow the mundanity of the request forces you to try figure out the details of this bizarre donkey-elephant cohabitation scenario. Also: pop tarts and coffee? Gross!

05gore.gifMetaphor: The 2008 Democratic presidential race will be like a very, very strange day at the beach.

How it works: Seriously, I don't have a fucking clue. Al Gore's Miss America-style sash? Hillary's beach signs? Al Gore's furry chest and tiny, floppy man-boob? WHAT DOES IT MEAN, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Where it goes wrong: Is that round thing on the front Hillary's bathing suit supposed to be a stomach-revealing hole? And it does it in fact reveal that her stomach is covered with curly hairs? You may not be comfortable with that image, but at least it will distract you from the strategically placed stars on her breasts.


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