Cartoon Violence Has Some Modest Proposals

Each week, the Comics Curmudgeon helps explain Today's Cartoons.

Hey everybody, did you miss me last week? There was a wee mixup with the column on Friday, but since your Comics Curmudgeon is also your faithful guest blogger filling in for Ken Layne for the first part of this week, I thought I'd put up the column myself today. So cast yourself back to the halcyon days of the previous Friday, before Fred Thompson finally bothered to claim not to be lazy live on TV.


All political discourse should ideally culminate in a call to action. It isn't enough to sit around and make dick jokes about our elected officials; no, we must point the way and use those dick jokes to call for real social and political change, and get a whole new batch of leaders in about whom we can make dick jokes! Just so, even the humble political cartoon ought by right to inspire you to change the world, or at least your mind. And most do, in their way, though their messages generally boil down to simplistic things, like "Don't vote for Rudy because she's ugly" or "Don't vote for Hillary because she will emasculate you and/or your husband."

But sometimes political cartoonists propose something more daring -- something involving infantilism or cannibalism, say. This week, Cartoon Violence salutes these brave visionaries.

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Proposal: Palestinian President Abbas should let give Israeli Prime Minister Olmert a horseyback ride, with possible reciprocation to follow.

Advantages: Let's face it, everyone sensible has spent years trying to convince these assholes to make nice with each other so we can get on to obsessing about other disproportionately enraging geopolitical hotspots. We've tried all the usual diplomatic tactics (cajoling, browbeating, locking the major parties in a room together for extended periods of time, etc.) and nothing's worked, so why not the absurd? C'mon, look at the good time they're having! Abbas has a sly grin on his face and Olmert's eyebrows are set on "fun." They'll have the borders drawn and the water divvied up in no time.

Caveats: In order to satisfy the seven minor parties in his coalition, Olmert will probably have to let various cabinet ministers take their turn riding Abbas, possibly simultaneously.

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Proposal: In order to veto legislation, the President shall draw an enormous universal "no" sign through the name of the bill.

Advantages: Back in the day presidents probably vetoed laws by writing "Prithee! I vetoe thee! Forsooth, good sir!" with a goose-feather quill or some old-ass shit like that. In the fifties, we moved with the times by producing an official rubber stamp that said "VETO"; but we need a veto symbol for the next generation! Something hip and fresh that speaks to the kids today who are bored with ordinary non-extreme vetoes!

Caveats: Fuddy-duddy Supreme Court might view this is a "back-door" to a line-item veto if president fails to draw symbol around entire title of law. Will be replaced in a few short decades with some symbol for rejection derived from MySpace de-friending that I can't even begin to envision.

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Proposal: Fred Thompson should be forced feet-first into an enormous meat grinder and ground into an enormous pile of hamburger.

Advantages: People love hamburger, and many of them are very hungry. Hamburger would really hit the spot. Meanwhile, Fred Thompson has a great deal of mean on him that he doesn't really seem to be using.

Caveats: At first, everyone will be like, "Oh, cool, they're going to grind Fred Thompson into hamburger! Isn't that dude on Law and Order? I love the character he plays on the show, so I'm sure he's going to be totally delicious in hamburger form!" But it's going to take forever for him to get organized and get the meat grinder set up, then he'll spend a bunch of time "exploring" how to get into its maw and figuring out who's going to turn the crank, and as she goes into the gears he'll just be kind of limp and unenthusiastic. By the time they actually turn the ground-up Fred Thompson into patties and cook them, people will realize that they aren't really hungry for ground-up Fred Thompson anymore, and he doesn't really taste as good as they thought he would anyway.

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Proposal: Secretary of State Condi Rice should quit her job and become a crazy cat lady.

Advantages: Well, everyone already ignores her and thinks she's a big joke and she hasn't gotten brought peace to the Middle East or stopped Iran or North Korea from being Axis of Evil members and now the Pentagon even wants to take her people's precious Blackwater guards out of the control of her department. So living alone in some rambling, malodorous farmhouse with dozens of cats is the next logical step. At least the local health department and humane society will talk to her.

Caveats: But once they take the cats away (and they always do take the cats away, eventually), she'll really have nothing left, and will be reduced to drunk-dialing Colin Powell. And nobody should drunk-dial Colin Powell.

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Proposal: Presidential candidates should have their name emblazoned on their shorts in such a way that it only comes out in a straight line when they're doing a split of some sort.

Advantages: Sure, a lot of the candidates will do badly at this at first, what with them being old and inflexible (IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE! HAW HAW!). But it will encourage them to become more bendy and limber. And honestly, limberness is the number one quality we need in a chief executive in these troubled times.

Caveats: Giuliani's going to work really hard at doing this. The tooth-gritted grimace of grim determination on his face as he attempts his split will be terrifying to behold.

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Proposal: Obese baby boomers should be dressed in enormous diapers, connected to a rope, and swung head-first into offices holding government bureaucrats.

Advantages: Obese baby boomers will be dressed in enormous diapers, connected to a rope, and swung head-first into offices holding government bureaucrats.

Caveats: There are no possible downsides to this plan. --THE COMICS CURMUDGEON

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