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Ladies and Penis-wielders, after weeks of self-imposed darkness concerning the events transpiring outside my nervous system, I have decided that for ONE DAY ONLY, I will marinate myself in news juices!

The demands of completing the Weapon Brown graphic novel have, for two months, forced me to ignore life’s greatest pleasure: human misery! I  deleted each news alert  that arrived in my e-mail, denied myself even a single decibel of public radio, and ignored every newspaper I passed as though it were a homeless man asking me for spare change. The result is that I can now report that ignorance is indeed bliss! Cypher was right! And fuck you, Neo, you goddamn hypocrite! You loved the Matrix after you learned how to fly in it!

But I digress.

The problem is, I recently decided to also foreswear sweets in a vain effort to pretend that I care about my health (my blood is 32% creamed filling). No news and no Oreos? I barely recognize myself! I must allow SOME toxicity in my life or else I’ll start worrying about what they’re shooting into hens to make their vaginas squeeze out twenty eggs a day without exploding. I LOVE EGGS, ALRIGHT??

So, for a single sweet day, the news must flow! However, I refuse to drink my information from legitimate news tits. Distancing myself from CNN, C-Span and NPR has given me clarity and fortitude enough to take on the very world that I no longer care anything about. Therefor, my one-day glimpse into the world I’ve forsaken will come only via editorial cartoons!

Through the eagle eyes of America’s greatest sages–lazy, grousing cartoonists–I will assemble a portrait of today’s world that, I submit, will be just as precise as if I had diced up a year’s worth of The New York Times and snorted  it through a rolled-up copy of The Economist.

I have picked, at random, three dates from the past two months to explore: February 20th, March 4th and March 19th. JOIN ME as I live for the very first time the days you have already flushed down your Time Toilets!

February 20th

I actually began my news fast a few weeks earlier than this date, so paradoxically, I begin by fast-forwarding backwards. It will be keen to see which stories fermented in my absence. I remember  the Olympics were about to start, the people of Ukraine were gettin’ antsy over sumthin’, and Chris Christie was getting it from all sides (and since Christie is a six-dimensional Corpuloid, that means quite a bit!) The cartoons below were picked based on the frequency of their topic recurring in other cartoons.

ramirez_feb20Ho-hum. More whining from the teabags about ObamaCare. As of February 20th, all is right with the world.


Oh North Korea, what are you up to now? This Hitler comparison is, I’m sure, over the top. I mean, we made our peace with the Kim Family turning their country into the Japanese nightclub scene  from Kill Bill a long time ago! Hyperbole much, cartoonists?

Waitaminit… stimulus? We did that before, right? They’re… talking about it again? I mean, the economy HAS to have turned around by now! Csn’t I leave the country alone for five minutes??


Putin, Ukraine and flames… I saw this motif a few times. My take: Putin is pissed over all the “flaming” homos of the Ukraine’s men’s figure skating team that whooped Russia’s all-straight asses! That or he’s started a genocide.

No Christie strips from that day, I notice! I’m glad the press is off his back. (Or maybe they are still on there, trapped in his fat folds.)

March 4th

Okay, I’m a full two weeks into the future from here I began! (Wait, was 2014 a leap year? Three weeks then…). The world seemed more or less on an even keel. Hell, Syria was out of the news entirely! I know shit was going down there when I checked out, so I figure someone has invented a “peace ray”, or maybe we made first contact with the Vulcans? Either way, I suspect the next round of cartoons will hail the arrival of paradise on earth!


Was I right or was I right? Hey, no space-age technology could ever hope to bring the Ds and Rs together, but they are just the last evolutionary stage of  the human experiment before we all turn into X-Men. I’m sure of it! Anyway, the elephant is smiling, so that’s good news! Let’s see what else folks are talking about today in the past…

Whoops! Sarek of Vulcan better not take any weekends off. Looks like Ukraine is still a bit of a hot topic… though how bad can things be? That Ukrainian doesn’t look any more worried than Bart Simpson does when Homer chokes him, and that always ends in smiles! On to our next topic…


Ho-kay! It’s surprising how much coverage this Ukraine bizness is getting. But hey, at least this strip was good for a chuckle. I get the feeling that everything is gonna be…

ALRIGHT! ENOUGH WITH THE FUKKIN’ UKRAINE!! Yeesh! And I had to go all the way to a Slovakian newspaper to glean the narrative of this story. It appears that a ventriloquist’s dummy is demanding help from Lena Hyena, so I figure that… um… nope. Lost the thread. I’ll just assume Ukraine stole a bunch of Russia’s beets.

Christ, wasn’t there any good news on that day?

bhish_march4YES! Burn in hell, Chedwick! I knew I’d out-live you!!

March 19th

My binge is almost complete. Let’s see how this whole Ukraine thing wrapped up. I know it must have turned out rosy,  because the earth hasn’t gone into a nuclear winter.


 Ah, at last! Putin has turned his attention from the Ukraine to some place called Crimea! That’s where Borat’s from, right? Fuck those sister-drilling anti-Semites!


Hmm… looks like the EU is still upset with Putin, though. Enough to blow up a balloon in his face! Crimea river! Oh shit… I bet that would have been funny in a political cartoon if I’d drawn it last week! Why did I choose now to start ignoring world events??


Oh, wait… never mind. I forgot that when one draws political cartoons, there’s always the risk that your clever pun will yield to a shitty, lazy, tasteless-on-at least-two-levels joke. And my minimum is three levels.

What?? the CIA hacked into Senator Feinstein’s lap?? Cuz they aren’t the only ones who’d like a piece of that hot, wet lap, if you get what I’m saying…

Oh my God… what am I saying? I’m not hot for Feinstein! Or… or am I? No… ! The news is starting to drive me insane again! This is why I stopped in the first place! Oh God… I feel sick. I need a… a bromide…

Ahhh… that hit the spot. As long as these two are still doing the Felix-and-Oscar routine, how bad could the world have gotten?

So, to recap: The economy still sucks, Washington is still bugshit, and America is still powerless to thwart world events. And aliens are stealing our airplanes. How little has changed! Yes, you news junkies may see a world on the brink, but you lack the Rip Van Winkle perspective! Today’s Ukraine is yesterday’s Syria, and yesterday’s Syria is just waiting to be tossed into the clearance bin with Iraq. Nothing to see here, folks! Back into the cocoon I go!

Concrete-reinforced cocoon, well stocked with canned goods,  just waiting for the birds to start flying.


  1. roaddragon

    Yea, pretty much. I await your “Crimea river” comic ! Wish I’d thought of that one.

  2. Craig L

    I regret to inform you that Mike Peters, while taking a break from dog comics, beat you to the “Crimea River” gag…

  3. Elfguy

    Meh, the Crimea River joke was done already in a “Knock Knock” style on the phone:

    Putin: Knock Knock
    Obama: Who’s there?
    Putin: Crimea.
    Obama: Crimea who?
    Putin: Crimea River. (Hangs up)

    At least I think that’s the one Craig is referring to…it won’t load for me for some reason.

    Still, glad to see that you’re still in favor of large countries marching into small ones and taking over. Good old fashioned pre-world war 1 “right of conquest” and none of this panzy “Beat down the aggressors, give the conquered country some troops to help them defend themselves until they can get back on their feet and then eventually actually let them take over their own defense” stuff.

  4. roaddragon

    Haw haw! That’s a good one!

    Don’t worry, the U.N. will respond in its typical toothless way by sending its enforcers (usually the States) after them.

  5. provemewrong

    "More whining from the teabags about ObamaCare."Yeah, keep saying stuff like this and I'll happily remind you of it once it becomes obvious even to libtards like you what an utter shitshow Obamacare really is.

    JY: People often say things like this, but never follow through. The only real proof of Obamacare being a “shitshow” would either be a first hand account of how you personally have been deprived because of it, or an argument that would persuade one of the beneficiaries of Obamacare against it. I happen to be in the latter camp (or at least, I may soon be… more below), and so I await a demonstration of your persuasive powers (though calling me a “libtard” suggests that you may have already shot your wad.)

    Mind you, I have been on Medicaid for over a decade, and could not have afforded medical care without it. In fact, were it not for Medicaid, I would almost certainly have become destitute and perhaps even crippled, an unproductive burden on society. With it, I’ve remained a healthy, tax-paying citizen producing kick-ass comics for a comic hungry world.

    In fact, owing to my continued good health, I have become even more productive and will likely soon be paying more in taxes because of it. This would normally have pushed me into that Twilight Zone of “too wealthy for Medicare/too broke for private insurance”. With Obamacare, I may yet be able to stay covered and generate more wealth for the economy.

    So, it will be a mighty task for you to talk me into cutting my own throat. I invite you to try, though. Just no trolling, please.

  6. provemewrong

    @ JY

    Let’s see…pre-Obamacare I paid $290-350 a month for health insurance, I had a full time job that had good benefits, oh and I didn’t have to worry about getting taxed if I was unable to pay for healthcare.

    Post-Obamacare? My premiums are going to be close to $700 a month*, I’m being cut back to part time so my company doesn’t have to kick in any money, I’m losing almost all of my benefits at work since I’ll no longer be a full time employee. And if for some reason I am unable to pay for Obamacare, I’m getting taxed for it at the end of the year.

    * I’m a single guy and am being forced to buy insurance that covers maternity and child dental care.

  7. JY

    ProveMe-Put a little more meat on these bones. My understanding is that most people, if they have health insurance through their employer, do not pay a monthly premium. What kind of job do you have that has a health insurance plan that still costs you $3000-$4000 a year out of pocket? You say your job is (was) “full time with good benefits”. Usually, the principal fringe benefit an employer offers is health insurance. Was that that not the case in your situation?

    So if, as it appears, you were already paying out of pocket for your health insurance, it sounds like you may have had one of those “no frills” plans that covered very little, the ones that did not meet the minimum requirements of the ACA and were forced to add more or else were discontinued. But most people in those situations were self-employed, so something about your story doesn’t quite add up.

    As for being forced to pay for coverage you don’t need, like maternity, while it may seem absurd to some, this actually represents an improvement in fairness. Women were often charged more for health plans even when those didn’t include maternity benefits, while other plans that ought to have covered maternity didn’t, leaving those women in the lurch when they became pregnant. The new policies are mandated to cover a re-evaluated list of essentials, and if that means men have to bear some of the costs of women’s services, on balance, since insurance means we are all covering other people for illnesses we ourselves may never get, what’s the dif’?

    (Captcha Blue Cross/Blue Shield is now offering coverage for inflammation of Your Flaerne)

  8. provemewrong

    @JY Without giving away anything that can identify me, I'm basically an "independent contractor" employed in an at-will state. The premiums I was paying were basically the co-pays our employer didn't cover with the company plan.Actually our plan was a good one, and one of the ones we were told we could keep. "As for being forced to pay for coverage you don’t need, like maternity, while it may seem absurd to some, this actually represents an improvement in fairness."How so? In my 38 years of life I've used my health insurance once. Why should I, who uses minimal healthcare at best pay for women who use far more of it?

    JY: I hate to needle you on terminology, but it is the only way I am going to be able to keep your arguments straight. How could you be both a full-time employee with a benefits package and still be an independent contractor? I’ll just assume this makes some sense based on the peculiarity of your circumstances.

    So, to be clear, I wouldn’t begrudge anyone the right to be pissed off at being dicked out of health insurance under any circumstances. My premise (and the ostensible premise of Obamacare) is health insurance for all. Clearly some people are getting the shit end of the stick, though.

    On the other hand, what about the role your own employer is playing? The plain fact is that the entire reason the ACA was passed is because private health insurance is increasingly unaffordable for the majority of Americans who are not covered through their employer, and with too many loopholes for screwing people out of their coverage when they do have it. The question is, why should we tolerate this situation under any circumstances? If you want sympathy from me over your own plight, why don’t we just choose to have sympathy for everyone and agree that health insurance is a right, and pass laws that enshrine this principle?

    This, of course, is the exact opposite of what those on what I suppose would be *your* side wanted. The status quo was fine with them, and that status quo made private insurance unattainable for the likes of me (and also cost the State tax dollars through Medicaid, another right wing bugaboo).

    Their argument was that even if the poor were owed some coverage, the Middle Class should sink or swim on its own. The problem is, there are many, many more people with good jobs sinking these days. The system had to change. It is unfortunate that we didn’t get single payer, and both sides are to blame for avoiding that obvious solution. It is the non-socialist workaround that has permitted your employer to put his profit margin first. If the country had taken a different route, the entire system could have been forced to adapt in a more holistic way, since all labor costs would have been affected at once.The real blame falls on the half-measures that were taken instead. You may not have realized that in standing foursquare against the “libtards” that this is what you were asking for, but you were.

    As for the fact that you only have been ill infrequently, that is no argument. You’ll get sicker as you get older, and then you will draw on the medical system as often as the rest of us. (And hey, why should I have to pay for the nuclear missiles I never get to launch?)

  9. Elfguy

    JY, you’re proceeding on a false premise.

    There is already a health insurance option for those who can’t afford private insurance.

    It’s called “Medicare” and already existed. What we DIDN’T need is a law that requires me (a male) to purchase a plan that includes maternity and natal care and the morning after pill. This didn’t decrease the cost of insurance, it increased it and forced many companies out of insurance plans, because they didn’t fit the required standards, making a lot more than 7 million people to lose their coverage.

    Then we have the wonderful part of the law that dumps cancer patients off of their treatment and offers no plans that would cover that treatment. It’s not just “Death Panels” it’s full fledged “Deathcare”

    After all, as the Secretary of Health and Human Services told the mother of the little girl who was trying to get an exemption to get her on the adult transplant list to save her life, “Some people live, and some people die.”

    Great plan there….NOT.

    Don’t believe ME…look it up.

  10. Marlowe

    Elfguy, the flaw in your argument is that you think you weren’t paying for maternity care in the first place.

    The fact is you were.

    Because emergency rooms cannot turn away patients simply because they cannot pay, when women get pregnant but don’t have insurance, they go to the emergency room to get the minimum care they could. And don’t bring up medicare. Lots of people don’t qualify for medicare because they make too much but not enough to be able to afford “real” insurance. And the expanded eligibility only works if you’re not one of the states where the Republicans are playing god with people’s lives just so they can pretend it’s really Obama that’s making their lives difficult.

    Now, emergency room care is expensive. When people can’t pay, hospitals recoup that money by increasing all their rates and cutting staff. Insurance companies respond by increasing their premiums. This is why rural areas (especially in the southern states) have access to treatment quality on par with third world countries. (Don’t believe me? Look it up)

    So lets break this down. Pregnancy is monumentally more expensive than contraception (Just like one emergency room trip for a nasty asthma attack is monumentally more expensive than a year’s supply of Advair). Pregnancy that develops problems because prenatal care wasn’t available is a lot more expensive than providing prenatal health care. Children with chronic health problems that could have been addressed with prenatal care are really, really expensive.

    So when mommy can’t pay, everyone pays. The difference is whether you see it as a tax to pay for adequate contraception and abortion availability, prenatal care, maternity and natal care, etc; or whether you see it as opaque creeping costs in insurance and out of pocket expenses, and in lack of access to adequate care in poor areas. Oh, and the creeping influence of the RCC as they buy up hospitals struggling to keep up with emergency room costs. Remember that when you’re fucking married and your wife is miscarrying but she can’t get a DnC because the only non-RCC controlled hospital is 200 miles away.

    You’re paying regardless. JY has stated (and I’ll echo) that single-payer is what we need, but that the ACA is overall better than what we had. ACA got fucked over by spineless Democrats and Koch worshipping Republicans. Those are the people you need to be blaming for your situation.

  11. JY

    People seem to be confusing Medicare with Medicaid. With some exceptions, Medicare is coverage for the elderly. Medicaid, on the other hand, is for people who cannot afford private insurance regardless. But, like the mandate that people who go to an emergency room must be treated, there is some misunderstanding in the general public about how Medicaid works.

    First off, the states have a say in what income threshold qualifies you to receive Medicaid. New York, for example, is somewhat generous, but other states make you jump though a lot of hoops.

    People often think that just anyone can go on Medicaid if their income suddenly decreases, and voila! Instant healthcare for those who drop out of the Middle Class! What those people forget is that there are asset tests that go along with Medicaid. If you have a house or other valuables, you may be required to sell them off before you are considered indigent enough to qualify for Medicaid. In other words, it is not enough that you lose your employer-provided health insurance– you must also literally go into the poor house before the State steps in.

    This is the reason why the healthcare debate occurred. The cost of private health insurance continues to go through the roof, and you have to lose your roof to get public health care (with all it’s limitations). Meanwhile, those who are self-employed or who work at a job without health insurance are doubly screwed: too wealthy for Medicaid, too broke for private health insurance.

    As for emergency room visits, let us also remember: yes, by law, a hospital must treat you. But you are still on the hook for the bill. Emeregency room treatment is never free. And you can’t treat cancer by going to the emergency room every day.

    The plain fact is, the private health insurance system is immoral. This does not mean anything that Washington replaces it with is by default perfect, and it is possible for it even to be worse, but that does not make the privatized system the right one by default.

    We all need healthcare, so healthcare for all is the only rational starting point for the most advanced nation in the world (that is, unless you want to face down Colonel Captcha’s Althpyin Resistance).

    (Oh shit! My response was Tsvenn Imperfect!)

  12. Elfguy

    Come on, Marlowe, you’re seriously arguing that a man should have to buy maternity care FOR HIMSELF?

    I think you should be forced to buy a clown nose every year, ESPECIALLY if you do not now, nor ever in the future, intend to become a clown, because someone needs to buy clown noses, after all, just ask Beepo.

    What we NEED is “Loser pays” tort reform, so Doctors don’t have to shell out 3/4 of what they make for malpractice insurance in case they get sued. THAT will cut medical bills like nobody’s business by making frivolous malpractice lawsuits rarer, so that serious malpractice suits get through the legal system faster (Not being stuck behind 100 totally made up suits will make things move better.)

  13. Marlowe

    Come on, Marlowe, you’re seriously arguing that a man should have to buy maternity care FOR HIMSELF?

    And women need to buy prostate and ED care for themselves? That’s what they’ve been doing, for a lot longer than you’ve ever had to “pay” for maternity care.

    And, like I said, you wind up paying for it anyway when families can’t pay, and paying more. You just don’t see it in such transparent way. You see it in creeping costs to care and insurance premiums and reduced quality of service.

    What I really think needs to happen is that we need a single-payer system. The richest among us need to start shelling out their fair share in maintaining a social safety net. We need to give up this nonsense rhetoric that people must work to live, because quite frankly we’ve automated and industrialized so much that there really isn’t enough work to go around for everyone to be able to work 60-80 hours to survive.

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