Cartoon Violence Sees London, Cartoon Violence Sees France

As July drags on and on and on, it's important not to get dispirited at the endless boring humid idiocy of a Washington summer. No, better to have your demoralizing happen at the hands of Today's Cartoons, a never-ending source of thrills and chills for resident cartoon expert the Comics Curmudgeon.

This week on an action-packed Cartoon Violence: The shaming of Kim Jong Il, old people, cartoon characters, white people, and Lady Liberty. Share the embarrassment, after the jump.

You know, it used to be that the press would ignore little peccadilloes and all-too-human moments suffered by the great and powerful. Sure, the public had a "right to know," but our leaders and public figures also had a right to a private life, and if their little foibles didn't affect the grand scheme of things, well, then the gentlemen of the fourth estate didn't report on it. Why, the press stayed mum on a whole series of potentially embarrassing Presidential qualities that didn't affect core competences, but would have torpedoed any modern-day candidate, including paralysis (FDR), rampant infidelity (JFK), homosexuality (Buchanan), ugliness (Lincoln), massive corruption (Harding), near brain death as a result of a massive stroke (Wilson), and paranoia and insanity (Nixon).

Of course, today you couldn't get away with being a world leader if your hobbies included, say, having sex with horses: those jackals in the press will be sure to expose you in the most embarrassing and compromising of positions. Not only that, but once the reporters get done with you, they hand you off to the cartoonists, who are, of course, the worst of the lot. This week in Cartoon Violence: Cartoonists who can't look away from some poor sap's shame.

01kim.gifShamee: Kim Jong Il

Reason for embarrassment: Pants fell down.

The embarrassing details: Since as a totalitarian dictator he claims power and authority over all of time and space within the borders of the nation he rules with an iron fist, it must be humiliating that not only can he not get his long-range rocket off the ground, but he can't even control his pants. Also, the fact that starving North Koreans have now resorted to eating belts to survive has been revealed.

Mitigating factor: Seven years from now, when relations have thawed and he's making his goodwill tour of the United States, he can spend more time in his MTV appearance discussing his Juche ideology and less time answering the tiresome "boxers or briefs?" question.

02mom.gifShamee: That old lady who just had a kid.

Reason for embarrassment: Mashed elder food dribbles out of her toothless mouth and onto her bib.

The embarrassing details: I know the newspapers are trying to pitch younger these days, but does anyone above the age of 15 think that 62-year-olds are as a rule toothless, wheelchair-bound geezers on the cusp of death? 62 is the new 45, people! What I'm saying is that this lady ought to be particularly ashamed for letting herself go like this.

Mitigating factor: Children of old people are super-advanced: Their birth is still front-page news, yet they're already capable of holding cutlery and speaking in complete sentences.

03bob.gifShamee: Spongebob Squarepants

Reason for embarrassment: Acid-scarred corpse on display for all to see.

The embarrassing details: Poor little sponge: cruelly killed by oceanic pollution run amok, you deserved a big send-off from your millions of fans, after a professional mortician had carefully restored your mortal form to look more or less like the vibrant, living, and very gay being that we had all known and loved. Instead, we are confronted by your hideous, eyeless face, along with the knoweldge that your eyeballs and limb flesh are more prone to corruption than your pants.

Mitigating factor: At least you haven't been professionally framed and matted.

04race.gifShamee: White rapper.

Reason for embarrassment: White rapping.

The embarrassing details: Low-riding pants that aren't jeans but from a track suit? Early-00s "izzle" slang combined with classic Flavor Flav-style giant clock-necklace? Hands hung in some bizarre parody of gang signs? I might demand reparations for this clown, and I'm white. He's just that awful.

Mitigating factor: There is no mitigating factor for white rappers.

05flag.gifShamee: Lady Liberty.

Reason for embarrassment: Accidentally setting the American flag ablaze.

The embarrassing details: Well, I mean there she was, just standing there in New York Harbor, minding her own business, lifting her lamp beside the golden door, like she usually does -- by which I mean like she always does since she's a fucking statue and all -- when all of the sudden some jackass flies the flag right next to the torch, and boom! It's on fire. Not her fault or anything -- did I mention she's a statue and can't move? -- but I'm sure it's quite embarrassing for her, being a symbol of freedom and liberty and America and all and yet desecrating another symbol of all that same great stuff. Yup, I bet she feels pretty bad.

Mitigating factor: Seriously, I don't have a fucking clue what this cartoon is about. --THE COMICS CURMUDGEON


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