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Cartoon Violence Says "Whaaaa?"

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

Hey, everyone! Do you like linear, easy-to-follow narratives? Do you like things and/or people that say what they mean and mean what they say? Do you like lots of clear labels on allegorical figures so you don't have any problems understanding what, exactly, they're allegories for?


Then you probably like political cartoons like this:

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See, the tornadoes represent various looming financial crises, and the dude on the right labelled FED represents the Fed, and the umbrella represents the rate cut that's ineffective in protecting us from these storms, and BORING BORING BORING DULLLLLLLL.

You know what's more my speed? Crazy whacked-out stuff WHERE YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING! Animals and people and explosions and stuff and it could mean anything! Thankfully, the following batch of cartoons deliver. Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream with me this week.

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Suggested title: "Smug elephants blast Huckabee and one of his socks into orbit"

What th' heck? The red, white, and blue Iowa cannon is firing Mike Huckabee straight into the stratosphere! Two GOP elephants stand nearby; one looks startled, the other kind of smug. Are they pleased to see Huck, the true religious conservative, doing so well? Do they represent the party elders who never expected the newly svelte Arkansan to triumph? And why is the smug looking one holding Huckabee's helmet? Will he keep grinning that little grin as Huckabee smashes his skull open on the unforgiving granite mountains of New Hampshire when he lands there?

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Suggested title: "Hutu and Tutsi: Did you ever notice that their names kind of sound alike? Also, they live in a jungle of some sort, maybe?"

What th' heck? It's true: the reason that, say, Israelis and Palestinians, or Serbs and Kosovar Albanians, can't get along is that their names contain no overlapping syllables. But if the Hutu and the Tutsi would just agree to form a single ethnic group called the Hututsi, all that hate would melt away! As to why this low-rent pop-art monument to that amalgamation has been left out here in the forest for this soldier type and his machete to find, that's a trickier question. Perhaps if we just left these two groups alone together in the wilderness, they'd work it all out -- like a corporate team-building exercise! Or they'd all kill each other and we'd find the horrible remains years later, like our intrepid explorer is doing here.

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Suggested title: "Do you have vaguely racist figurines at the bottom of your aquarium?"

What th' heck? So, Bush and Cheney are "beating the drums of war" with Iran ... check ... and they're dressed like funny primitive Africans ... check ... and the NIE report saying that Iran's nuclear program was shut down in 2003 ... is ... dangling from the sky? On a fishhook? Because Bush and Cheney are ... underwater? And and the NIE report is bait? From God? God is going to use it to drag them to heaven? Somehow? SO CONFUSED.

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Suggested title: "3,592 Chinese college graduates are going to devour this terrified office chair alive"

What th' heck? OK, so I actually do know what this is about -- it's from a Chinese political cartoonist, and apparently there are too many college graduates for the coveted public sector jobs over there -- but God damn I love it LOVE IT. You owe it to yourself to click on the cartoon to see the full-size version; check out how scared that damn chair is, and the expressions on the rampaging job-seekers' faces, ranging from grim determination to anger to outright panic. Also, for reasons I can't explain, the fact that the chair has both wheels and desperately churning legs is hilarious to me.

Big news! Do you like the Cartoon Violence column? Do you like foreigners? Well, you're in for a treat, because starting next week I'll be writing a second column for Wonkette, called "The Foreigns: They're Just Like Us!" It'll be all about the depravity and sex scandals and lies that mark the political classes of the non-American part of the world. Your liberal guilt leads you to believe that they're somehow better than we are, but you'll learn that they're just as bad, with cheaper suits and goofier haircuts. Stay tuned!

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