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!
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.
Ho-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.)
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.
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.