Another Friday, another opportunity for your editors to outsource the content-creation duties to people less distracted by that oh-so-welcoming couch over there. Say hi to the Comics Curmudgeon, here again to have a go at explaining Today's Cartoons. Well, not really "explaining." More like "bemoaning?" Whatever he's doing, we're just glad it's him and not us.

After the jump: Cartoonists remember when, they remember, they remember when they lost their minds.

So last week I gave the editorial cartoonists of America a blank check on crazy. I love it when cartoonists go for the gusto. Go nuts, I said -- literally! But see, the problem is that there's good crazy and there's bad crazy. Good crazy is when you come out with some totally whacked-out proposition and then go all-out illustrating it as zanily is possible. Bad crazy is when you just throw a bunch of labels and icons and opinions and whatnot into a cartoon stew and with it into an insane froth of dementia and hope that someone is amused, informed, or both. What emerges isn't boring, but it isn't right, either. So, ladies and gentlemen, this week, submitted for your approval, I give you: bad crazy.

01kerry.gifBad crazy in brief: The Democrats are trapped in John Kerry's hair!

Why it's not the good kind of crazy: Does anyone care about John Kerry anymore? I mean, really? Is John Kerry hurting anybody but himself with his droopy-faced flip-flopping routine these days? Was this just a forced attempt to do some kind of Democratic-donkeys-as-head-lice thing?

Mitigating factors: Kerry's hair is kind of bushy, I'll give you that. Plus the donkey on the left looks terrified in a particularly lifelike fashion.

02bush.gifBad crazy in brief: The U.N. is a grizzled old prospector, and appeasement is his whore!

Why it's not the good kind of crazy: I'm all for prostitution metaphors in political discourse, but I don't quite follow the logic here. If one is an appeaser does he or she make sweet love to the abstract concept of appeasement Don't we usually say that wimpy types like the U.N. "roll over" in the face (or something) of dictators? Isn't the appeaser whoring himself to the tyrant, not the other way around? Couldn't the grizzled old prospector have at least been black, so he looks like Kofi Annan?

Mitigating factors: I think that prostitute's supposed to be a man. I'm not sure if that makes this any less insane, but it does make it slightly funnier.

03tide.gifBad crazy in brief: The course of the War On Terror can be gauged by this ... gauge ... thingy.

Why it's not the good kind of crazy: Maybe you Chardonnay-swilling East Coast intellectuals with your fancy meteorological educations can explain what the hell this is supposed to mean. Us down-home folks don't have a clue. Just tell me this, Willard Scott: Who's winning? I mean, al-Qaida's at low tide, so that's bad for them ... but the little needle's pointing at them, so maybe that's good for them ... fuck.

Mitigating factors: It appears to be a relabeled photo of an actual barometer, so presumably it didn't take too long to draw.

04god.gifBad crazy in brief: The Episcopal Church USA worships its own dick!

Why it's not the good kind of crazy: Is this about the gays? Is this saying the gays are a bunch of dick worshippers? It's about the dick-worshipping gays, isn't it?

Mitigating factors: If you've been waiting to see a guy blow himself on the editorial pages, this is the closest you're going to get, at least until the Democrats get back into the White House.

05fema.gifBad crazy in brief: FEMA wears a hurricane sombrero of incompetence and malfeasance!

Why it's not the good kind of crazy: Actually, I'm really, really charmed by the hat thing. It's a triple threat: a chapeau, a hurricane, and a metaphor! Plus, it's very well drawn. No, what's got me is the quote marks around "you". Damn it, people quote marks are not for emphasis! They're for quoting things! How hard is that to figure out? Of course, Uncle Sam saying "It's you" in this context doesn't really make any kind of sense at all, so maybe the hope is that the quotation marks will somehow distract us. Well consider me distracted! Grr ... quote marks ... grr ... OK, I admit it, it's a sickness.

Mitigating factors:And the quote marks are pointing the wrong way! They should be pointing outward, not inward! Arggghh.... --THE COMICS CURMUDGEON


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