By the Comics Curmudgeon
America might be a land of shouty illiterate fartsacks who will die of massive Hardees-induced coronaries in filthy hospital waiting rooms while trying to fill out insurance forms with numbing fingers, but at least we aren't Europeans, am I right? I mean, Jesus, think about the awful nadir of degradation it must be, being one of those people. Wait, what, you don't think Europeans are terrible mutant monsters? Oh, ho ho, do I have news for you, after the jump.
So imagine that you're going to draw a cartoon about the Irish role in European Union politics. (Don't worry, I don't expect you to actually understand the role of Ireland in the EU for the purposes of this thought experiment.) With what icon would you depict our friends on the Emerald Isle? If you said "leprechaun," you, sir, are a grade-A RACIST, and I want to hear no more of your Hibernophobic hate speech. No, obviously a modern symbol of Ireland would be an aquatic panther-like creature, with a lithe and unsettlingly sexy body and a somewhat humanoid face. And then, yes, you can put a little bowler cap on him and have him talk in a comical brogue, because you can't have a political cartoon about Foreigns without a little stereotyping. Anyway, the European Union will be depicted as an old dude with a beard, obviously, and then the tiger will eat him, maybe? (Note to self: do research on role of Ireland in the EU.)
But at least Ireland was depicted by a man-beast that some furry fetishists might find vaguely attractive. Germany, meanwhile, will spend the next five years cowering under the rule of this squat, numb-faced golem-thing, if we are to believe this cartoon from jealous neighbors Austria. The most disturbing part of this cartoon is, of course, not the depiction of Angela Merkel as a hulking dead-eyed goon, nor even the fact that her defeated socialist rival is apparently saying an ellipsis aloud (is this somehow possible in the devilish Teutonic tongue?); no, it's that Merkel's new coalition partner, the charming libertarian Guido Westerwelle, is erupting out of her bicep like some kind cheery muscle parasite. How can he fulfill his duties as Germany's foreign minister if most of his atrophied torso is connected by a complex network of interconnected blood vessels to his Chancellor's arm?
See what I mean? European, right? But before we get all smug about the fact that they're a bunch of tiger furries/golem monsters, let's consider our own political class. Did you know, for instance, that if you parted the hair on the back of their heads, you'd see another face there, blinking and wheezing in a monstrous parody of the human form that God intended for us? This is true of the liberals, anyway, though not for conservatives, like the single-faced patriots who run insurance companies. CONCLUSION: These mutant multi-faced liberal freaks are, secretly, Europeans.
But what can ordinary Americans do about it? We've been too beaten down the recession to rise up against our Janusian overlords. Why, just look at the once-proud Uncle Sam, who seems to have traded his trademark chinbeard for three days of stubble, his natty suit for a filthy, tattered American flag t-shirt (dude! I know times are tough but you can wash it down at the laundromat for a dollar), and his slim physique for a cheap-beer-and-french-fries gut. Only his battered top hat remains perched on his head to remind him of better days, and even that will probably be pawned soon.
America's leaders are of course unaware of the hard times faced by ordinary citizens, as they're surrounded by a protective layer of sexual decadence. Here, for instance, is General Stanley McChrystal playing some kind of twisted dominance and submission game with Vice President Biden, while President Obama shoves his hands down into his pockets, suggestively. At least I think it's Biden. It looks an awful lot like one of the creepy supposedly sexy aliens from the new James Cameron movie. Is our military fatally weakened by sexy alien cosplay? WE ARE AS BAD AS THE EUROPEANS, it turns out.