Cartoon Violence Presents: The Way Things Oughta Be

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

I'm not going to lie to you: Often, political cartoons present us with images so traumatizing that make we question how a benevolent deity could allow their existence. But it isn't always soul-searing horror. Sometimes, it's quite the opposite: we get a glimpse into a better world, one that we could almost reach into the smeared newsprint and touch. Of course, there's generally a fatal flaw, but we can dream, can't we? This week, Cartoon Violence presents a brief look at utopia.

01nwt.gifIf only it were thus: Instead of wearing boring black or grey suits and red, blue, or possibly red and blue ties, American politicians were allowed to dress up as great figures in literature! The costumes would allow each and every one of our public servants to offer a whimsical take on their role in the grand play we call politics.

Fly in the ointment: General American illiteracy would ensure that nobody gets any of the literary references, and the whole thing would degenerate into cosplay. Sam Brownback's Sailor Moon outfit results in mass suicides.

02usa.gifIf only it were thus: Women everywhere are protected from Karl Rove's attentions: thanks to the wonders of modern science, he is able to grow the heir he craves in a lab, rather than planting his seed in the fecund womb of some poor, hapless female.

Fly in the ointment: If low-budget science fiction movies about cloning are accurate -- and I see no reason why we shouldn't consider them to be -- the clones will become paler and paler imitations of the original with each batch, leading to Generation 17 Roves that can't even get a handsome star quarterback elected student body president.

03usa.gifIf only it were thus: Rather than firing or maybe just threatening to fire a bunch of federal prosecutors for vaguely unseemly political reasons that are simultaneously too complex and too boring for me to possibly understand or care about, the Bush administration tied a bunch of kittens to a cinder block and threw them into the river. And everybody loves kittens, so Alberto Gonzalez and Harriet Miers are lynched by a crazed mob.

Fly in the ointment: Presumably the mob would be led by naked people from PETA, would would make us somewhat embarrassed about cheering them on.

04dik.gifIf only it were thus: Dick Cheney's thick, leathery hide has been pierced by multiple wounds. We don't know how -- perhaps he was stabbed, perhaps hit by a projectile weapon -- but he seems to be bleeding a lot.

Fly in the ointment: Cheney is of course unaffected by such a feeble assault. As he walks the streets, he befouls the sidewalks and passersby with his tainted internal fluids.

05cal.gifIf only it were thus: The White House staff must grapple not with vast government bureaucracies that are metaphorically giant, fetid piles of garbage or worse, but actual, literal giant, fetid piles of garbage or worse.

Fly in the ointment: The piles would just grow larger over the course of Bush's term, though strenuous claims would be made that the giant, fetid piles were growing at a slower rate, and would be only half as giant and one-third as fetid by 2011.

06ass.gifIf only it were thus: All volunteers at the Edwards campaign must wear old-school straw boaters with an EDWARDS '08 band above the bring at all times. Also, all reporters must wear fedoras with PRESS tags in them, and say things like "Wow, what a scoop!" when the campaign spokesperson tells them something. Also, Edwards himself must at all times sit in a old-timey flowery armchair, and drink his coffee out of a fussy little cup right next to a matching little saucer for sugar cubes, all sitting on a prissy little doily, and have a wussy little purse slung over his arm, thus proving beyond all doubt that he is a homosexual 85-year-old woman.



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