Cartoon Violence Will Smash Your Web Of Lies To Bits

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


Of course, we don't mind it if political cartoonists take certain ... liberties with things. We know that Bill Clinton doesn't really always have lipstick on his collar, for instance, and that Hillary Clinton doesn't really wear dominatrix gear, at least not at campaign events. These are less lies than symbolic overrepresentation in the service of a higher truth.

Sometimes, though, political cartoons present us with out-and-out falsehoods, vile lies that subvert the very notion of truth, and this we cannot allow to stand. This week, Cartoon Violence pulls aside the curtain and reveals this fraudulent scribblers for what they are.

01al.gifVicious lie: During slow moments at Senate committee hearings, Hillary Clinton spontaneously draws little doodles of those testifying.

The real deal: Senator Clinton has a "response team" of trained caricaturists based in her campaign headquarters. She faxes an outline of the doodle she wants to them; they work on it in committee, hashing out several concepts that they do rough sketches of. Once a week, Clinton reviews their ideas, selects the drawings that she thinks will best attract independents and moderate Republicans without alienating her base, and then sends them to an outsourced inking agency in Southeast Asia for final implementation.

Germ of truth: Al Gore does not want to be President of China or India. When his armies of fearless warriors finally subdue the dual realm he refers to as "Chindia," he will assume the title "Deathless Padishah."

02chi.gifVicious lie: Latin American narco-terrorists wear hilarious Carmen Miranda-style dresses and earrings that show off chest hair.

The real deal: Despite racist and outdated Anglo stereotypes, Central and South Americans are actually very fashion forward. Right-wing death squaders and leftist insurgents alike carefully follow the latest clothing trends out of Milan and Paris, and many are smuggled into New York in shipping containers for Fashion Week so that they can see all the new lines in person. This year, the smartly turned out terrorist is wearing earth tones and slim-cut capri pants -- both practical and flattering.

Germ of truth: They do keep their weapons in their hats, though. It's just so convenient!

03bag.gifVicious lie: Jim Webb has helpful labels on the side of all of the luggage and duffel bags that he and his staff tote around.

The real deal: If the damn bag had "GUN" written on the side in eight-inch-high letters, his poor aid probably wouldn't have gotten into all that trouble, now would he?

Germ of truth: Webb does have unhelpful labels, mostly abstract concepts of varying parts of speech, on the sides of his bags. Other examples not shown here include "ANGRY," "APOPLEXY", and "THROBBING FOREHEAD VEIN."

04las.gifVicious lie: Lassie died from eating dog food tainted by rat poison.

The real deal: In early 2005, Lassie, while on vacation in the Czech Republic, was captured by CIA agents; due to a typo on an agency list of terrorism suspects, they were under the impression that she was an explosives expert and mid-level cell leader for al-Qaeda. They whisked her to a hotel in an unnamed Balkan country, where she was "interrogated" using a variety of increasingly invasive techniques for six weeks before the mistake was realized. A week after that, she was released, disoriented and exhausted, on the side of a road in rural Montenegro. Taken in by a peasant family for use as a herding dog and separated by little Timmy by several thousand miles and an ocean, she remains unable to return for the time being.

Germ of truth: In an attempt to break her will, the CIA agents did force Lassie to eat dinner out of a dog dish much like the one depicted here. They were dissatisfied by her seeming indifference to this technique.

05abe.gifVicious lie: Political bloggers are unattractive, obese, unkempt, and balding, slurping down sodas in front of their computer screens and wearing filthy pajamas for days at a time.

The real deal: Political bloggers are devilishly handsome, have all their hair, and know how to dress to impress.

The germ of truth: While it's true that a speech scrawled on the back of an envelope wouldn't make it on the radar screens of the "A.M. blogs," you should see the crap they're willing to run by the time you get to Friday afternoon. --THE COMICS CURMUDGEON

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