Subtlety Is Overrated
By the Comics Curmudgeon
Remember the good old days of American wit when our nation's cleverest sat around an elitist table at a fancy New York City hotel and made cutting remarks so subtle and erudite that nobody within earshot could tell what the hell they were talking about? And also, they were drunk? Well, those days are over (except for the drunk part). David Denby has informed us that, thanks to the awful blogs, we now just essentially hurl the verbal equivalent of feces at each other all the time, except when we are hurling actual, literal feces. Just so, our political cartoons have similarly devolved, from intellectual, high-art pieces that reward long-term study and contemplation to the current things that you are about to read, which are for the mouth-breathing morons who only like creepy pictures. Unfortunately, those morons only watch TV, which is why the newspapers that run these cartoons will soon be bankrupt.
You can click these to make them larger, though not any more subtle.
Hey, how about that AIG, huh? Did you hear that they asked for federal bailout money, but then took their bonuses anyway? You did, huh? I'll bet you thought that was a bunch of bullshit, right? Well, what if we depicted AIG, which is a large, multinational corporation, as a literal pile of shit, just extruded from the anus of an actual bull? Well? Did I just blow your mind? What if I tell you that the "bull" in question is going to be the bull that serves as a symbol of Wall Street, which is in turn a metonym for the American financial system, of which AIG is a part? Pretty crazy, huh? (Don't worry, we'll put the by now well-known AIG logo on the pile of bullshit, so that you can tell what it's supposed to be.)
Speaking of bullshit, what about that spending bill? Sure had a lot of pork in it, didn't it? Did you know that the word "pork" refers to the use of government money to curry favor with certain legislators or voters, but it also can refer to a kind of meat that comes from pigs? That's why Barack Obama is being sexually harassed by that enormous pig! But that's a metaphorical use of the term pork, which is why the word is in quote marks, on the pig's chest. And pork barrel spending is bad, and poop is bad, so that's why Barack Obama is stepping in poop! Poop that was pooped out by a pig! It's bad, you see!
A long time ago, America had a terrible depression, in which everyone was poor, and didn't have enough to eat. And there was a guy who starred in movies as a "tramp," just like all the other actual tramps who were tramps because everyone was hungry and poor. (Except the guy was actually fabulously wealthy, but never mind that for the moment.) Anyway, there was this one time where the tramp ate a shoe in a movie, because he was so poor! People just ate that up back then, because many of them were actually eating their shoes, because they were poor! And now, to symbolize the fact that we are, once again, all poor, this cartoon uses a portrayal of a pretend poor person, as a metaphor. The shoe is the "economy." Because we're poor, you see! Unfortunately, unlike the delicious leather shoes of yesteryear, your shoes are probably mostly plastic and other petroleum by-products. Do not eat them.
Hey, remember that time when Sarah Palin gave an interview on the TV and there were turkeys being massacred in the background, their terrible death-gurgles serving as a counterpoint to whatever the hell rambling nonsense she was saying? Well, Palin intends to visit the same grisly fate upon the boorish teenager who impregnated her daughter, because she is a vengeful, murderous sadist. This is not a metaphor for anything. There is nothing funny about this.
"I completely wreck the company and ruin its credit and you give me a fat bonus from our taxpayer bailout funds..." "Kind of like a credit default swap!" HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! HA HA! LIKE A CREDIT DEFAULT SWAP!
Seriously, nobody has a fucking clue was credit default swaps are, do they?