Tuesday, February 28, 2006

For the Jewish Confederacy

Finally, a single flag to unite Southern Israeli secessionists, rebel rabbis, Zionist slave traders, Jewish members of the KKK, and the two Jewish guys who drive pickup trucks.

I have no idea why I made this, but it's sort of fun to desecrate two things at once. Now if you'll excuse me, there's some hooded fellahs at my door.

Previous posts on flags.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #81 - Sex-Ed Day

Those of you who grew up in the northeastern US, or Canada, or Europe, may read this strip and think I am exaggerating what goes on in the classrooms of middle America (and Florida, where I'm from.) In fact, I am exaggerating, but only a tiny bit. Abstinence is taught to be the only way. Condoms fail, and you'll get stuck with pubic lice no matter what you do. I think those ugly nurses mentioned masturbation only once in all my years in grade school, and then it was only to tell us that masturbating doesn't mean you're gay (I'm not joking.)

The Invisible Life of Poet #81
Main Page

Friday, February 24, 2006

Der UnFuhrer Bush

People get upset when you compare their guy to the 20th century's greatest political monster, Adolf Hitler. Most of them simply don't understand the concept of hyperbole, as illustrated brilliantly in The Invisible Life of Poet.

I compare everything to Hitler: my dry cleaners (Another missing button! Did Hitler clean this shirt?), my pets (Bad kitty! Bad Hitler kitty! No scratch!), my breakfast (This poppy seed bagel is worse than Hitler!), and even the Boston Bruins (Who's coaching this game? Hitler? It's a holocaust out there!) As America's foremost humorist, however, I'm allowed to make these sorts of comparisons because I'm better than you.

Few people or inanimate objects are more deserving of the Hitler Hyperbole than George W. Bush. Bush wants to be a dictator, like Hitler. Not the "kill all Jews" Hitler, but the Iron-Fisted, Supercharisma, take-my-word-for-it-or-I'll-send-you-to-camp-Guantanamo Hitler. He wants to be the Good Hitler, a more caring Hitler. He wants to be the Hitler that loves all God's creatures, and then chains them to a steam vent and tortures them with attack dogs. He doesn't care if you're black or white or Muslim or Jewish, so long as you give generously to the GOP and always agree with everything he says no matter what or I'll kill you.

In fact, he said so himself in 1998:
"You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier."
(Governing Magazine 7/98)
And again in December 2000:
"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."
See the CNN transcript here.
Bush believes he has been chosen by God (he said so himself) to liberate Iraq and lead the Middle East out of the dark ages into the paradise of modern Western culture, where everyone drives Lincoln Navigators, Ford Explorers, Chevy Imperialists, and GMC Conquistadors. By all measurements by informed and unbiased journalists and foreign analysts, he led them instead from the dark ages back to the stone ages. But in his tiny alcohol-and-cocaine-weakened mind, he's still winning.

Hitler said the same kind of stuff in Mein Kampf: "...I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work." Bush and Hitler worship the same God, although Hitler's was Catholic and Bush's is First United Fake Methodist. They're like evil peas in an even eviler pod. Hitler even probably thought he was still winning World War II when he put a bullet in his head.

It takes a monumental ego to "stay the course" when everything is failing so masterfully, but that's what happens when you take a spoiled drunken scumbag and fill his head with Jesus. I think we'd be better off if he was still an alcoholic.

Many of us on the left see this country gradually slipping into dictatorship, where the news media is operated by the state, elections are controlled, minorities are exploited, and those who speak dissent are labelled as traitorous. America may be headed for dictatorship, but Bush will never be its dictator. The dictator must be both an adept executor and a powerful national symbol. Bush is neither. He's simple-minded, shifty, and weak. He can't even spell "oratory." And I guarantee Hitler knew the difference between "persecute" and "prosecute."

No, America can do better than a Hitler wannabe. We need a new dictator with some fresh new ideas; one who speaks his mind and doesn't take crap from anybody. That's why I'd like to nominate myself as the Democrat's next candidate for the Dictatorship of Earth, er, the United States. Why should you elect me dictator? Because once elected, I will take all that money we're wasting in Iraq and put it toward new contraceptive technology, state-sponsored cosmetic surgery, and STD research. Once everyone in America is busy fucking, they won't be able to cause trouble elsewhere. Now thrust your hands upward so I can smell your fingers, thus proving your loyalty.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Let Abortion Be Banned

The first of what may be many bills outlawing abortion is coming up in the South Dakota legislature, as discussed in this New York Times article. Liberals and progressives should be happy about this, although I suspect they are not. The abortion issue has been the bread, butter, meat, potatoes, and dessert of the Christian conservative movement in this country since the passage of Roe v. Wade 33 years ago. (Prayer in public schools has been the after-dinner mint, while keeping gays from being happy has been the mango-lime salsa appetizer). It is the primary issue that binds all the moral conservatives in this country together. They need it to survive. But without it, they are weak, and their voices cannot be heard in unison. Without it, they cannot mobilize effectively.

So I say we give them their issue right now. I'm not convinced yet that Chief Justice John Roberts will vote to overturn, but I think we should encourage him to.
An overturning does not automatically outlaw abortion, but rather give power back to the states to decide. By most estimates somewhere between a quarter and a half of the states would probably be able to outlaw abortion in their legislatures. But think of how the politics would shift in this country if such a thing happened. People on the left, many who never voted before or gave a flying rat's ass about politics would suddenly be furious.

Meanwhile, conservatives, lacking their keystone issue, would falter. On the tails of everything horrible the current Republican powerhold has been doing, in the wake of scandals and failed foreign policy and a hugely unpopular President, the conservative movement would be COMPLETELY CRUSHED by the groundswell of liberal and progressive support.
Few national candidates supporting abortion bans would stand a chance. Democrats and even independants would take control of this country within four years. Those same abortion bans would fall, one by one, and the Republican party would be totally humiliated.

There is a cost to this, as unwanted pregnancies would spike in many states. Of course, it could be argued that in many states, such as Mississippi and Alabama, it's already exceedingly difficult to get an abortion, so the change might not even be noticeable. Democrats, liberals, progressives, centrists, all need to get behind the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

By giving a little, we can take the momentum created by such a historical change and use it to crush the opposition handily. By letting it happen, Republicans will suddenly be without legs, arms, or torsoes. They will just be tiny heads trying to shout about the war on terror over the din of the coming progressive wave.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #80 - The Hitler Analogy

Poet doing his best Hitler impersonationThis is why I draw comics, even though I hate drawing--it's what makes being a cartoonist so unique. I can draw my lead characters as Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler and totally get away with it. In fact, I think most people would look at this and be impressed with the attention to detail and intelligence of it all. You will never see Hitler and Himmler jokes on Everybody Loves Raymond. But when I do it, it's artistic genius.

Poet #80 - The Hitler Analogy
The Invisible Website of Poet

Saturday, February 18, 2006

110% Slut

You might on occasion hear women talk about past relationships, perhaps those that fell apart in a short period of time, and follow up with “I’m not a slut.” There are many misconceptions among women about what number of partners makes them a slut. Here is a simple formula to determine, once and for all, if you are a slut or not, in the eyes of men (and jealous women).

Take the number of men you have slept with (s), add the number of men you have fellated but not slept with (f) times 0.8**, and divide the total by your age (a). This is your Slut Coefficient (C).
(s + .8f) / a = C
If you’re normal, your coefficient should fall between 0 and 1. Or, expressed as a percentage, between 0 and 100. If you’re a complete slut, your score will be at least 100%. Here’s how the scores break down.

0% -- Obviously, you’re a virgin. This is okay so long as you’re younger than about 19. After that, it gradually becomes sad. While idiot teenage guys, older gross guys, and some scarier Muslims pine for an unspoilt virgin, most mature men don’t want to be bothered with someone who has never been with a man, and who has no idea how to please him (or herself).

1-10% -- For most guys, this is a pretty good place to be. You’re not completely without experience, but you’re clearly holding back. So long as you’re not arrogant about your temperence, we should be pleased that you would have us.

11-29% --For most men, this is what we tend to expect we’re getting. Experienced, but not over the top. You’ve been with enough guys that you know what you’re doing, but we don’t have to worry too much about finding blood in our urine next month.

30-49% -- The warning zone. If your score falls in this range you are dangerously close to being labeled a slut. Some prudish men would reject you outright, others would only date you begrudgingly. Discuss your past at your own peril.

50-74% -- You’re pretty slutty. In fact, most people probably already suspect as much. Many men probably consider you damaged goods. Your only hope is to hide your seedy past and start wearing baggier clothing to hide your slutty figure.

75-99% -- You have crossed the line into the Republic of Slutistan and you are probably never coming back. There’s little hope of hiding it, either. People already know: you give off slut vibes wherever you turn up. Anyone you date is going to find out sooner or later what a slut you are, and he’s not going to like it at all. Your only suitors may be other sluts.

100-149% -- What type of man would sleep with you unless incredibly drunk? Sex for you is no longer a challenge, and for a man to have sex with you is only one step away from masturbation, except they get herpes for the trouble. You may be a prostitute.

150% and up -- Send me the DVD.

Most of you taking this test likely failed with flying slutty colors. Very few women realize that they are sluts, but numbers never lie. This formula is 100% scientifically accurate. It has been carefully scrutinized on slut-frauen at the Max Plank Institute in Germany.

There is good news, though. You can lower your slut coefficient very simply and get back on the road to being acceptable. Your coefficient declines naturally with time if you refrain from sleeping around. If you are 20 years old and have slept with 10 men, your coefficient is 50%. But go the next ten years with no sexual contact and your coefficient will drop to 33, a very manageable number. By the time you’re 40, your coefficient will be within the acceptable range, and if you manage to make it to 60, you might finally find a decent man willing to sleep with you, although he might not be able to get aroused anymore.

** Men vary on whether they count fellatio as sex or not. Some think it is, some think it is not, some are on the fence. The average of them all puts fellatio at about 80% of intercourse, thus the fixed coefficient 0.8. If you have fellated one man, but had no intercourse, the argument can be made you are still a virgin, but just barely (80% virgin). If you fellate a second man, you have likely made the conscious decision that the first one wasn't so bad. You are on your way to becoming a slut. Congratulations.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Nerve Personals: Rumsfeld

"How many licks does it take?"

74 year old man in Chicago, IL, USA

Occupation: US Secretary of D-Fence
Looking for: my car keys
Ethnicity: Warlock
Education: Georgetown Law Class of 1957 Dropouts
Languages: English, Klingon
Cigarettes: Nicotrol inhaler
Alcohol: Jager & Human Plasma on the rocks
Drugs: Darvon, Darvocet, Librium, Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Demerol, Phenergan, Oxycodone, Percodan, Valium, Morphine, Opium (smoked), Opium (chewed), Opium (injected), Thorazine, Haldol, Welbutrin, prescription PCP, Methadone
Body Art: Undress me and find out!

My Most Humbling Moment: When Dwight Eisenhower called me "smelly."
If I Had a Million Dollars: get my penis de-fossilized
Five Items I Can't Live Without: cluster bombs, napalm, double cluster bombs, additional napalm, shackles, sharp things (woops that was six)
In My Bedroom You Will Find: ice picks I've been meaning to throw in the river, a few ice picks I'm restoring, unfinished novel, Guantanamo Bay Spring Break T-Shirt, like, a million stuffed animals, thumbscrews, torture chair with spikes, "The Pear" device, abattoir nook, ice pick sharpener
Why You Should Get to Know Me: I love life! But only American life. Journalists are always telling me how funny I am and I can be very gentle and romantic once I get to stab you. I love to laugh and I love fun! I can get totally crazy at parties! lmao!
More About What I Am Looking For: I am very adventurous in bed and you should be too. Bondage and domination are very cool (did you see that movie, "Secretary?" That is totally my life!), but I don't want you to cause me pain. However, I would like to cause you pain if possible. You must be 420-friendly and have a fetish for prosthetic vaginas. Bulimia a plus.
Interests: self-mutilation, fighting wars on the cheap, tricking internatinal spies to fall into my shark tank, global domination, regional domination, municipal domination, necrophilia, menage a trois corpses, stabbing

Previous Personals: Hot_Prez46, Dick_inyoface

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #79 - Spirit Day

I don't recall whether "Spirit Day" was something that actually happened at my high school, or if I made it up. If it is just a figment of my imagination, it is only because reality was likely much, much worse. I do recall, however, that ribbons and mini pom-poms flowed like wine on the Fridays when our football team was to play. I thought going along with it all would help me assimilate, but as yet I have not successfully bedded a cheerleader, so at this point I'm ready to call it a mistake.

Life of Poet #79
The Invisible Life of Poet mainpage

Monday, February 13, 2006

They Called it Greed

It is partly to avoid consciousness of greed that we prefer to associate with those who are at least as greedy as we ourselves. Those who consume much less are a reproach. -Charles Horton Cooley
Greed has been around forever. But in modern America, greed is not only considered acceptable behavior, it is considered mandatory. Those who do not lust after money and riches are looked upon as eccentrics or just lazy. We are so greedy as a people that nobody even mentions greed as a problem anymore. In fact, many believe that the US economy is predicated upon our own greed. If we stop buying, the economy collapses. It might not be far from the truth.

We're very arrogant about our greed, too. We think heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, heated shift knob, heated washer fluid, and an in-dash rotating dildo are the yardsticks of civilization. We spit on people who ride bikes to work. If your butt is cold, you must be a failure. This is why so much of the world hates us. (Also that we firebombed their daughter's wedding party.)

We don't need all this crap we keep buying, though. And we don't really need bigger homes. Americans are simply addicted to MORE. In terms of financial and physical wealth, we already have more than anyone in the world. But, like all addicts, more isn't enough. We want MORE. After September 11th, we stormed Afghanistan, and totally owned (or "pwned") the Taliban. But Bush 'n Friends, and most Americans it seems, wanted MORE.

And we've got more. More than anybody in the whole world. But abundance always leads to waste and addiction. This is what we learned from the roaring '90's. Everybody was getting rich, our parents, our kids, the government, even some of the poor people. We got addicted to abundance. So addicted, in fact, that now we buy everything on credit. Not just TV's and SUVs, but also armies, navies, marine corps, air forces, and warfare. Bush's tax cuts were bought with credit. Republicans didn't cut the spending of the federal government, in fact they INCREASED it. But they cut taxes anyway by buying everything on credit. In 25 years America has gone from the world's largest creditor nation to the world's largest debtor nation (see this article.) America is greedier than ever.

Whose credit is it? The Chinese, mostly. Also Japan. They loan us this money by purchasing T-bills somewhere around $2 billion a day. Here's a great article on the subject, although over a year old. (And just for the sake of argument, a very nice article from the other side of the fence.)

Living on credit is not a bad thing, as long as you handle it responsibly. You are basically wagering that an increase in future income will offset the overspending you're doing now. It's just the time-value of money. Economics 101. But if nothing else, as you get further into debt, it puts you in a dangerous position. If circumstances change you might find you can no longer pay back the debt. That's when you get your legs broken or your thumbs cut off by hired goons. And I don't take solace in America's future income when I look at the ruling party's clear distaste for educating our children, the disregard of minorities and the lower classes, and the "anything but preventative medicine" health care system growing in this country.

The Chinese have an incentive to keep loaning Americans money, because it feeds our hunger for the goods they export to us. But if the Chinese stop buying our debt, we will have LESS forced upon us. And those "assets" you have your money in will soon belong to the banks, which in turn belong to the Chinese. It probably won't happen, but it's worth worrying about.

An addiction this bad is such that if you can't find a way to enforce a strict recovery program, then eventually the addiction grows out of your control, the system crashes, and somebody ELSE has to force you to go cold turkey, IF YOU SURVIVE THE CRASH.

Money isn't crack. We probably won't overdose on it. But it's not marijuana, either. You can smoke pot all the time but it won't kill you, just slow you down. Money addiction is like alcohol: a little bit is good for you, a little more is fun, but get too much of it and you start making bad decisions. Throw a lot of it into a crowd and there's going to be a fight.

But before we have all this MORE taken from us, perhaps we should rethink the way we live. So here's one American looking for LESS.
Don't give me the new '07 Escalade, I'll walk.
Don't give me a $350 cell phone, I'll take the free one that comes with the plan.
Don't give me the 110-foot yacht, I'll go for a swim.
Don't give me another bad $200 million dollar movie, I'll just jerk off.
Don't give me free money, I'll fucking earn it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

No New Posts Until Monday

...have to fly out for a grieving friend. I have a few good posts ready for release next week. Check out The Invisible Life of Poet while I'm gone, if you haven't already. See you Monday.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Don't Even THINK About Mohammed

Possibly for the first time ever, a cartoonist was able to piss enough people off to cause massive rioting. I think all of us are most shocked by the fact that it came from Denmark.

The thing that strikes me about these cartoons (see them here) are how some of them are really pathetic-looking. Some seem tastefully drawn, some maybe not so, but none seem to be very funny. As a cartoonist myself, I look at these and say "why bother?" And yet, the Islamic world is going nuts over this. The issue, at least what started all this nonsense, is that extremist Muslims forbid the depiction of Mohammed in artwork of any kind, or even the depiction of any living thing. According to a few articles I've read, the Qur'an says nothing about this, except for a few words on idolatry, but people have interpreted these passages for centuries to mean anyone who draws Mohammed must be beheaded. The issue has snowballed into more powerful questions of Islamo-Western relations and immigration in Europe, but months ago this was just about visual representation.

Representation has been a huge topic in art for many years now. What constitutes a representation? Is a representation as "real" as the real thing? Is the concept of the representation as "real?" Perhaps this is all just semantic nonsense, but to me there is an important question. These angry Muslims feel it is somehow blasphemous to represent Mohammed in pictures. But at what level? Obviously, drawing a Middle-Eastern-looking guy with a beard and labelling him "Mohammed" is pretty clear on what it wants to be. But is a representation of Mohammed a representation just because you say it is? Or does he have to look Middle-Eastern-y?

For example, are all these drawings to be considered a representation of Mohammed just because I say they are?

Do extremist Muslims want to murder me over such awful, awful drawings? The second to last one is just a tiny line. The only reason you would think these terrible drawings are Mohammed is because I labelled them as such. But if that's the case, then I can absolve myself the same way:

What if I had labelled the drawings "moohamed," or "nohammed?" Same drawings, different spelling. What if I labelled them "polecat" but then told you that secretely, they are drawings of Mohammed? If a Muslim can look at these ridiculous "representations," each more ridiculous than the last, and tell me that each one blasphemes Islam, then where does one draw the line? It seems as though the label, not the picture, is blasphemous. So is it then blasphemous to write his name? What if I just read his name? What if I THINK about a picture of Mohammed, or the word "Mohammed?" What if I think of the CONCEPT of Mohammed?

The only place one can draw the line is to not even acknowledge the existence of Mohammed. Anything less is still representation in some way or another. If your real objection is against people insulting your religion, that's up to you. I have no intention in this post to insult Islam anymore than I would insult any other way-out and wrong religion like Christianity, Judaism, or Hinduism. It's all mumbo-jumbo to an atheist.

And just to prove that I'm not disproportionately biased against Islam, I'd like to offer my entry to Iranian newspaper Hamshahri for their "Holocaust-denying cartoon" contest. Entry to follow. Please send my prize gold coin to my agent in Tehran.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #78 - African-American Dream Sim

Ben on the couchFans of my comic strip know I frequently use video games to illustrate something poignant about real life, and usually something specifically about American culture. This week I went after contemporary racism and the troubles faced by blacks in America.

I have used this theme in several strips (#4, #17, #37, and now #78) always with excellent results. When I consider doing a "video game" strip, it always feels so familiar, almost to the point of boredom. But looking back on them now, I realize that this is still a very fresh and original idea, and terrifically unique in the world of commentary, humor, and especially comic strips. It is a testament to my heaping piles of genius that I have discovered such a perfect way to hit all points of a touchy subject.

You're welcome to thank me for enlightening you now. Go on. Hit the comment button and tell me how wonderful I am.

The Invisible Life of Poet

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Gang / Not Gang

MySpace and many other online communities are awash with young people whose goal in life seems to be trying to be perceived as cool. This is nothing new, but these days nothing says "cool" like being a gangster. Gangsters are the knights of modern America, through their beliefs in honor, brotherhood, discipline, and redemption. They live fast, die young, and get rich through any means necessary. Gangsters also typically lead a childhood rife with suffering, and suffering equals credibility. Credibility, in turn, means additional coolness.

But the MySpace kids (see previous post) have a perception of the lives of gangsters based entirely around film and music, where gang life has been glorified since the days of NWA and Ice-T. This has led to the misperception that the only life worth leading is that of a gangster. Of course, many many of these kids grow up in relative wealth, in good neighborhoods, with caring parents. Many may even attend private schools or prestigious universities. Education, nurturing childhoods, and attempting to live within the confines of the law is seen as weak, as "gay." To them, in order to still remain credible in the eyes of their peers, they have no choice but to fake their gangsterness. This is unfortunate, because many of them could find lasting credibility in modern America by pursuing intelligence, self-improvement, and even nerdiness. Yet they persist in their poseury, and we get to make fun of them. All the better for me.

Here, for your education and amusement, I present Gang / Not Gang. A tit-for-tat comparison between MySpace gang life, and true gang life. Exhibit to follow.

Gang has prison and gang tattoos clearly marking his identity as a hardened gang member.

Not gang has pretty star tattoos and wears his trucker hat to the side.

Gang has scars all over his body from numerous gunshots, stab wounds, and savage beatings.

Not gang has a tongue piercing and has spent years working up to large guage tunnels in his earlobes.

Gang wears a bandana over his face to protect his identity.

Not gang has his laundry done at drycleaners.

Not gang wears hip clothing purchased from fashionable retailers such as The Gap.

Gang doesn't even wear a shirt.

Gang flashes hand signs to identify who he allies himself with, and who is his sworn enemy.

Not gang is always, ALWAYS from the westside, even when he's from central Connecticut.

Gang goes to funerals.

Not gang goes to homecoming.

Not gang hangs out in a band room that may or may not be a hotbed of gang activity.

Gang gets shot.

Gang gets 25 to life.

Gang gets the death penalty so macho Governors can look more macho.

Gang is the product of a society operated by white shits who don't give a crap about minorities and the underclasses.

Not gang is just a fucking jackass.