Cartoon Violence's Gone Fishin'

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

Greetings, Wonketteers! As you read these words, your Comics Curmudgeon is putting the finishing touches on a full week of no-laptop-required vacation in an undisclosed but reasonably exotic locale. Presumably some sort of current events have gone down over the past seven days or so. Is Fred Thompson really really officially really running for president? Who's the latest ostensibly straight Republican caught up in some laughable man-on-man sex scandal? Has Fran Townsend's appointment as Attorney General been approved by the Senate yet? Are we at war with Iran? Who the hell knows? Not me! I'm coming at you from way back in August!

01air.gifEternally relevant subject: Oh, man, those airlines! Sometimes they're delayed! And sometimes they'll lose your luggage! And sometimes -- I know it's crazy -- they're delayed and they'll lose your luggage! It's nuts!

Could have been drawn any time since... The advent of commercial air travel. You'll notice that you can't even see the wings of the aircraft out the window -- that could be a propellor plane, for all we know. And the generic AIRLINES banner behind the counter ensures that we won't be jarred by the anachronistic logo of a defunct company.

...and could still be published until... The combination of increasingly invasive TSA procedures and high jet fuel prices finally convince Americans to start using our clean, efficient rail network.

02col.gifEternally relevant subject: Good lord! Have you seen these tuition bills? Going to college sure is an expensive proposition ... especially for parents! It's nuts!

Could have been drawn any time since... Technically, since a computer became a standard part of the going-to-college student package -- say, since the early 1990s or so. But that box could have be easily relabeled to keep the cartoon fresh; it may have originally been full of slide rules, for instance. The box of greenbacks implies an original drawing date sometime before the advent of widespread non-cash transactions. I'm thinking late 19th century.

...and could still be published until... American society collapses to the point that power and prestige are determined not by education level, but by control of water sources and marksmanship.

03bud.gifEternally relevant subject: Wow, that budget deficit! It's huge! And no matter how much Uncle Sam tries to fight it ... it just seems to hit back! Gosh, how are we ever going to deal with it? It's nuts!

Could have been drawn any time since... Out of the three elements in this cartoon -- Uncle Sam, the budget deficit, and boxing gloves -- the gloves were the latest to be invented; thus, it probably appeared not long after the Marquess of Queensbury took all the fun out of boxing in the 1860s.

...and could still be published until... The United States passes that Balanced Budget Amendment and pays off its debt completely in the third year of President Ron Paul's first term. Ha ha, just kidding, that will never happen. It will cease to be relevant once the entire country is seized by its creditors and sold at auction in the early 2020s, though.

04vac.gifEternally relevant subject: Gosh, the e-mail sure piles up when you're away on vacation! I mean, it's a useful method of communication, but it's hard to handle so much of it at once, you know what I'm saying? I mean, I know it's electronic and all, but when you're deluged by a lot of it, it feels like you're being literally buried under a bunch of physical messages. It's nuts!

Could have been drawn any time since... Relatively recently, for this batch, anyway: probably no earlier than the late 1990s, when e-mail finally became a pedestrian part of office life. Regardless of the year it was drawn, it's a safe bet that it was drawn by someone who just got back from vacation.

...and could still be published until... Government mandated psychic communication ports implanted into the base of everybody's skull make the e-mail and other forces of screen-and-keyboard forms of communication obsolete, and also destroy the last vestige of the human soul.

05tax.gifEternally relevant subject: Holy cow, the taxes! They're so annoying! It's like, "Hey, we're the government! Give us some money because you live here!" Jeez! And they don't get any lower! Well, sometimes they do, but still, it feels like being attacked by some sort of savage monkey! It's nuts!

Could have been drawn any time since... The invention of taxation, and the discovery that monkeys are funny. In other words, since the dawn of human civilization.

...and could still be published until... A flat tax is finally written into ape law. You maniacs! You progressively taxed it! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell! --THE COMICS CURMUDGEON


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