Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 5/15/02 w/Artist's Statement
I heard this phrase "Moral Clarity"
on the radio the other day, in a story about how President Bush falters when
dealing with complex issues where he can't bring his acclaimed "moral
clarity" to bear. Which seems like another way of saying that the "president"
is sort of dim and can't come to grips with anything more complicated than
good guys vs. bad guys. And even the so-called "War on Terrorism"
demands a little more analysis than that. "Moral clarity" just sounds
to me like a very dangerous virtue. Usually it seems to involve committing
atrocities with a clear conscience. The Israelis have got moral clarity. Slobodan
Milosevich had it. In the case of the current administration and its flaks
it's a P.R. term to put a positive spin on Bush's simplemindedness, but it's
also more insidious than that; it's a propaganda tool that makes a complex
and multifaceted world seem as simple and two-sided as a big dumb Hollywood
blockbuster. In truth I'm a little dissatisfied with this cartoon, because
I think it's too easy to make fun of Bush as a buffoon, the sort of thing
editorial cartoonists in the family dailies do. It makes him seem harmless,
which he certainly is not. However, the line, "I'm gone give that Spider-Man
a medal" struck me as funny, and unfortunately funny trumps politically
responsible every time.
Really G.W. is a lot less like Spider-Man than he is like Harry Osbourne,
the spoiled, not-very-bright son of a corrupt and evil man, who's sworn vengeance
against the wrong culprit and seems destined to re-enact his father's crimes.
He could also take a lesson from Peter Parker, who learned the hard way that
when you turn a blind eye to criminals who don't seem to be your problem,
like that guy who robbed the wrestling office or the Taliban, they'll come
back to haunt you later. With great power, G.W., comes great responsibility.