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

Americans have a few simple needs when they turn to the editorial pages: They want to read editorials about local elections so that they know who to vote for, since Lord knows they haven't been paying attention. They want to read Cal Thomas' column so they know how to get their lives in order before the Rapture cometh. They want to read insane letters to the editor from old ladies upset about the filthy taint on the newspaper industry that is Ask Amy. And they want to see editorial cartoons in which clearly labeled objects and/or animals representing major concepts in the political realm interact with amusing caricatures of elected officials and those who aspire to be elected officials.

What Americans don't want is an absolute horror show that tears their very souls out by the roots and hurls them down into the darkest realms of insanity. Yet sometimes that's exactly what they get. Because this is the Internet, rather than a so-called "family newspaper," we have judged that you're probably capable of handling the most terrifying of this week's cartoons. But turn back now if you're weak of stomach!

 - WonketteThe horror, the horror: No, not George Bush apparently reaching an arm up into Dick Cheney's nether parts, but rather Cheney's stumpy, hairy legs, which go nicely with his Birkenstocks.

Could it be de-horrorfied?: Cheney's leg hair should be exhibiting a manly curl; as it is, it looks like a five-day growth of leg-stubble. At least he's not wearing Tevas.

The horror, the horror: An age-old conundrum is put before you for your consideration: is it worse for a white person to talk in some kind of horribly over-transcribed minstrel show dialect, or for a white cartoonist to portray a black person doing the same?

Could it be de-horrorfied?: Here's an idea: What if you showed them speaking in extremely exaggerated dorky over-educated syntax? And then there could be a hilarious little black kid who taught them how to talk "street," pointing out, for instance, that in certain semantic contexts "bad" can actually mean "good"? THAT'S COMEDY GOLD, BABY!

The horror, the horror: Again with Cheney's stubbly legs, and this time they aren't even the worst of it. Scooter Libby is revealed to not actually be an independent, fully-functioning organism; No, he's a gruesome, parasitic monster who's latched onto the knee of our innocent veep, merging his digestive and circulatory systems with his host while contributing nothing to Cheney's overall physical or political health.

Could it be de-horrorfied?: Probably not, but it could be make all artsy-fartsy, and, like, a metaphor for something, if brought to the screen with the proper sensibility. Hire one of the hot J-Horror directors, or, if he's available, David Cronenberg.

The horror, the horror: WALNUTS! McCain begging a clean-cut white religious conservative archetype to "ride him like a horsey" in order to fulfill his "deviant sexual needs." He's forced to communicate with body language and nudging, since his mouth is occupied with holding up a ... a ... God-damned riding crop, and excuse me but it took me a moment to overcome my revulsion so as to type that. Seriously, this is like the sickest shit ever.

Could it be de-horrorfied?: Replace McCain with Ann Coulter. While it would still be sick and wrong, most conservatives already have walked through similar sexual scenarios involving the horse-

faced hate-pundit, and most liberals get so horrified just seeing her that their reaction couldn't get much worse.

boyz.gifThe horror, the horror: Hugo Chavez and George W. Bush show us their tits.

Could it be de-horrorfied?: No. Brain bleach is recommended for everyone who views this.



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