11 January 2006
Dear Mr. Kreider,
In the Artist's Statement for your most recent comic (posted online Jan. 11, I'm not sure if it went out in print media earlier), your footnote raises the question of whether snakes were punished by losing the power of speech. The short answer (only to those who believe any of this, obviously) is yes. In John Milton's "Paradise Lost," Satan, in the body of the serpent, tempts Eve in the garden, leads a group of rebellious angels in battle against God, and generally serves as the antagonist of the (obviously fictional) story. After a battle in which Satan and his minions have been thrust into Hell, he attempts to address them, but finds that the only thing that can come out of his mouth is a hisssss. The other "bad" angels try to respond, and find that their power of speech has been similarly taken away.
Now, this isn't the Bible, but Milton and his works actually form the basis for much of what fundamentalist Christians believe. I'd look up where exactly in "Paradise Lost" this occurs, but I'm supposed to be working. I believe it's located, as the Simpsons' Reverend Lovejoy would say, "somewhere near the back."
I'm a huge fan of your work, if you're ever in DC I'd be happy to buy you a beer.
11 January 2006
I'm an old college friend of Tom Balog and Erik Sunday.
Anyway, I love your cartoons, and I just wanted to mention in regards to the story of carnivores living on vegetables in the garden of Eden- for some strange reason, my cat LOVES cantaloupe, but no other fruit or vegetable that I know of.
Happy New Year,
P.S. Have you ever thought of making any of your cartoons in 3D? Like action figures or something? I'm a sculptor and model maker for Nike, and I think some of your drawings would make great statues.
12 January 2006
Many cats do, in fact, love avocado, probably for the oil.
Back when we lived in California, one of our cats would attack avocados that had fallen on the grounds of a nearby house, pick them up, and leave them for my wife like so many dead mice. Each one had one tiny tie taken out of it---this particularly insane cat may have assumed that he had killed them, since they stopped moving.
This is not to say that cats can be humanely fed a vegetarian diet...."Futurama" once had a beautiful depiction of a lion forced to live on tofu.
12 January 2006
Thought You Would Like This
A letter sent to "Salon":
Subj: "The Prez and the land are One"
Back in the '90's, we had a president with appetite--for love, for sex, for food, for attention---born of childhood want and adult achievement; nearly the whole nation was replete. Now, the C.i.C. is a man who formerly gratified himself shamelessly, and now the entire aware portion of our polity desperately feels the need for a beer.
Someone once claimed that Henry VIII is viewed much as pagan fertility gods once were, hence the durability of the fat-man-with-chicken-leg image long after most of us couldn't identify Charles Laughton if a night with Elsa Lanchester in her prime depended on't. Poles have King Sas. When Bill Clinton dies, he will join their august company in a hall replete with wine, beer, Jack, kavit, plump waitresses of negotiable virtue, and hams. Lots and lots of hams. Ummmmmmm.
P.S.: Uhhh, Ms H.-C., about those groupie pre-screenings...are they committed to film or videotape, 'cos if they are.....
12 January 2006
In answer to your question on 11 Jan 06: Yes, according to tradition the snake's power of speech was removed by God after the fall. In fact, all creatures in the garden had the power of speech, which I guess is why Eve wasn't very surprised by the appearance of a talking snake. This is mentioned, for example, in the extended version of Genesis which appears in the apocryphal Book of Jubilees. It was written around 2nd century BC.
Chapter 3 verse 28 reads
And on that day [the day of the fall] was closed the mouth of all beasts, and of cattle, and of birds, and of whatever walks, and of whatever moves, so that they could no longer speak: for they had all spoken one with another with one lip and with one tongue.
You can find out more about the Book of Jubilees here:
"Hysterical, militant virtue seems to be in direct proportion to the preponderance of temptation and the weakness of the local will."
You know who you sound like? That other Baltimore smarty-pants, Mencken. More specifically, his essay titled "Homo Neanderthalensis."
The first thing I thought of when I saw your drawing was the end of the opening sequence of "2001: A Space Odyssey:" the bone flying into the air, replaced by the spaceship. By removing the gulf of time that existed between the scenes in Kubrick's movie, you pose the question, "What would those primitive humans have thought of the spaceship that their descendants would build?" And Mencken answers: "Every valuable thing that has been added to the store of man's possessions has been derided by [the great majority] when it was new, and destroyed by them when they had the power." (Homo Neanderthalensis)
As to your doubts about the Ark:
"... including dinosaurs--whom God placed in stasis so they would not disrupt the voyage by fighting ..."
Not stasis. Eggs, my good man, eggs. At least that's what I heard on NPR this week. Talk about removing your gulf of time.
12 January 2006
About talking animals in the Bible, it didn't just happen in the Garden of Eden. Take this exchange from Numbers 22:28:
And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, "What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?" And Balaam said unto the ass, "Holy shit, it's a talking ass!"
OK, the end of the passage isn't quite KJV. But Balaam seemed to have no trouble believing his ass would talk with him. As strange as this is, I think the best part of the Balaam story happens moments later, when Balaam begs forgiveness for doing exactly what God commanded him to do. And then the angel tells him to keep doing what he was doing, the very thing that almost got him skewered with an angelic flaming sword. Sheesh, I've had bosses like that...
13 January 2006
Dear Ms. Hautpanz, I think Tim should do a cartoon about Rex, the dog that was recognized as a hero in the War on Terror by act of Congress and the President. Maybe there are other hero dogs out there, Protecting Us From Terrorists? What do you think? Sincerely, Mike J
14 January 2006
Well, the reality isn't as funny as the initial idea. And certainly not the picture. To tell the truth, I first imagined dogs being awarded medals for Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay (scaring detainees, offending devout Muslims) etc. But the truth is in fact a fluffy feel-good load of fecal matter. This actually made mainstream national news, it was on the "fluffy kitten" section of NBC Nightly news on Thursday. A couple article follow, the key names are: "rex" and "sgt jamie dana". A google search brings up way too many hits.
17 January 2006
Subject heading: Could you expand on the Lebowski-Vietnam theory?
As per the subject. My curiosity is piqued.
I enjoy your cartoons and statements a lot.
18 January 2006
Hello, Phelatia. How are you?
Please tell Tim that this week's cartoon and artist's statement are absolutely brilliant. I expect no less from Tim, but I just wanted him to know it this week. He is absolutely right in his thinking...no "crackpot" theories there.
Ok. Please also tell Tim that if (when...??! fingers crossed..!) Tim decides to cross to the other side of sexuality (as he mentioned several weeks ago..), that I am here, waiting!
23 January 2006
A right-to-life movie title
I give up all rights to the use of the title, "Scream, Blastula, Scream!"
31 January 2006
Dear Ms. Hautpanz,
Kindly inform Mr. Kreider that astronomers have discovered that Pluto has two more moons than was originally thought: http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2006/01/02/the-origin-of-plutos-moons/
David T. R.