Cartoon Violence Refuses To Declare The Pennies On Its Eyes

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

You may not have heard, but it turns out that bloggers are "mainstream" now. It's true! We've been feted by the media establishment and become an integral part of leading presidential campaigns! While of course we enjoy the power, influence, and cold hard cash this sends our way, there are downsides. For instance, occasionally we now need to leave the house, which in turn requires us to wear what you ordinary folk refer to as "clothes." We need to talk to other human beings face-to-face; sometime, these are human beings that we've spent a good amount of energy humiliating on our blogs, and instead of just leaving poorly spelled, all-caps comments on our posts, they can punch us in the throat instead.

Most pernicious of all, though, is the fact that with great income comes great responsibility. And even with feeble blogger income comes at least a little responsibility -- specifically, the responsibility to pay taxes on whatever trickles through our little PayPal tip jars. While the wheels over at the IRS turn slowly (the closest thing to blogging on the section of 1040C where you need to fill in your profession is "Distribution of Polemical Pamphlets to Citizens of the Towne"), they do turn. So, in honor of the upcoming due date for taxes on April 17 (thanks, Emancipation Day!), this week, Cartoon Violence offers several cartoons about Paying The Man.

01tax.gifSuggested title: "Only You Can Prevent The Total Bankruptcy Of The Government"

Wages, salaries, tips, etc.: Sardonic Mom has a very real point. Why should junior pay taxes without resentment to a government that has educated him for ten or more years but completely failed to educate him on the meaning of basic English words like "dependents"?

Do not include on line 8a: Since this is one of the Kids Today we're talking about, it's possible that he already has four children with three different babymommas, all under varying child care and support arrangements with several sets of parent and grandparents, and he's honestly just confused about the tax implications of his situations. In which case Sardonic Mom is still on target, because shouldn't some of those tax dollars have gone to some kind of condom demonstration in health class that would have prevented all that?

02kid.gifSuggested title: "I Believe That Children Are The Future -- Of Asymmetrical Warfare"

Other gains (or losses). Attach Form 4797: Since every other technique we've tried seems to just get us bogged down deeper and deeper in the Iraq quagmire, we might as well see what happens if we unleash an army of child soldiers against the insurgents. Their tiny, cunning hands, lack of a fully formed sense of right and wrong, and video-game-induced ADHD and bloodlust will all be military assets, and they actually require significantly less body armor per soldier due to their lower surface area.

Nontaxable combat pay election: A mailbox? Your eight-year-old is already fighting the damn war for you, people; couldn't you at least drive him to intake center where he'll be transformed into a soulless killing machine?

03tax.gifSuggested title: "No, I Don't Really Understand Irony. Why Do You Ask?"

Real estate taxes (see page A-3): Because the best way to call for lower taxes is in a cartoon that depicts a tax-funded service being unable to perform its job adequately! Hey, taxpayers, if you had only been paying less, that fireman wouldn't have been able to show up at all to insult you!

If your spouse itemizes on a separate return or you were a dual-status alien: The fireman here is a stand-in for another tax-funded public servant: the state legislature. And since the most efficient state legislature is one that lowers your taxes, obviously, isn't is possible that if you pay legislators more (and thus raise your taxes) they'd lower your taxes (thus lowering your taxes)? Or did we just blow your mind?

04tax.gifSuggested title: "The Revenuers Are Going To Upend Your Livestock"

Net farm profit or (loss) from Schedule F, line 36: Every once in a while a local-interest comic slips into Slate's bank of political cartoons, leaving me delightfully baffled. This probably has some kind of relevance to some tax initiatives in one of America's flat, square-shaped dust bowl states that will once again tighten the screws on our nation's suspendered, beer-gutted farmers, but I prefer to see it as a puzzling metaphor involving government revenue gaps and folk meteorology.

Add lines 47 through 55. These are your total credits: According to Cartoon Law, all Midwest/tornado-themed political comics must include a reference to either Dorothy or the Wicked Witch of the West. It's part of the gay agenda.

Oh, and on an unrelated note: Proving that the Age Irony Immersion hasn't quite arrived yet, I've received quite a few notes over the past few months by people puzzled by the Onion's political cartoons. Tim Cavanaugh has the inside story at the L.A. Times. --THE COMICS CURMUDGEON


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