By the Comics Curmudgeon

The September 11 attacks were terrible for any number of reasons, with the exploding and the wars and the death, and so it's obviously petty to bitch about the many terrible cartoons they spawned, with the Statue of Liberty, crying, but when it's your JOB to think about cartoons, as it has, somewhat improbably, become mine, then this is the sort of thing you think about, sometimes, when you think about 9/11. And there were no 9/11 weeping Statue of Liberty cartoons this year, so, VICTORY, in that extremely limited sense! But there was still a bunch of other crap.

Americans today are all too aware of Barack Obama's sinister socialist plot turn our apple-cheeked capitalist youth into dead-eyed hordes of socialist zombies, unable to take entrepreneurial initiative and instead waiting for their orders to come down from the Politburo. However, did you know that George W. Bush also had an evil plan for our nation's young people? The first phase was just being put into place the morning of September 11, as the president read to a group of schoolchildren out of the Necronomicon about his "pet" Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat with a Thousand Young. Sadly, before he could capture their souls for the Old Ones, some planes flew into some buildings and he had to go fight a bunch of wars instead.

Did we mention the absence of terrible cartoons featuring weeping patriot-statues? Well, surely the sad day couldn't pass without somebody's grossly distended eyeballs reflecting the World Trade Center in flames. In this case, it's the eyes of the sinister Osama Bin Laden, which, if I'm reading this metaphor correctly, are actually "tunnels" deep into the cave-like recesses of his skull, where war-representing buildings burn, Iraq and Afghanistan, WTC 1 and, well, WTC 1, perfect mirror images of each other in an impossibly closed space, like some kind of awful nightmarish stereoscope. The lesson: mescaline is serious shit, kids.

Thing that was also abused, in many, many 9/11-themed cartoon: the American flag! It is not so ill-treated here, but, consider its placement! This flag appears to be, what, about 80 percent up the flagpole in this cartoon? What can this mean? Is this sort of at half mast, because we sort of won some wars and moved on, but not quite at full mast, because we haven't totally ended all terrorism everywhere and maybe shouldn't have moved on? Is this a carefully calibrated balancing act between pride and mourning, shame and fear? Is it being raised in an act of hope? Lowered in an act of remembrance? THIS IS WHY ALL MODERN CARTOONS SHOULD BE ANIMATED GIFS, WITH BLINGEES.

Then after 9/11 we fought a war in Afghanistan or whatever. Hey, remember when Hamid Karzai was this awesome peaceful democrat who was going to save his country from the evil Taliban, and not yet another third-world election-stealing fraud-lord? Remember when his colorful clothes were a symbol his dedication to national unity, and not a sinister contrast to his electoral opponent's western-style suit? Remember when his hat was kind of cool, and not something resembling the top of the Tin Man's head? Anyway, these sorts of contrasts are good to keep in mind for the future. For instance, sometime in 2013, we'll be saying "Remember when Abdullah Abdullah was a wronged candidate and 'Afghanistan's Mandela,' before we found out that he was war criminal, like everyone else who's held any political power in Afghanistan since 1949?"

But what, in the end, is the most important lesson of 9/11/09? I think it's this: that it's now once again totally socially acceptable to use as metaphors depictions of planes flying into major government buildings, because now those buildings are occupied by Democrats.


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