Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 9/18/02

Artist's Statement

I have it in the back of my mind somewhere that there's this one exception to Freedom of Speech, which is that you're not allowed to advocate the violent overthrow of the government. (I guess since the founding fathers had just violently overthrown their own government they wanted to close up that loophole first thing so that no one could pull the same thing on them.) So let me just say, in case our protectors at Fatherland Security or the Ministry of Truth or Central Central or whatever they're calling it are so hopelessly misguided that they're monitoring my website as a potential threat, that this cartoon is purely satiric in intent and advocates neither the overthrow of any government nor the assasination of any political leaders. Because, obviously, those things would be wrong. Just as a precaution, however, I will be spending the next couple of weeks at my secret retreat, safely removed from the continental United States.

On the subject of our seemingly imminent invasion of Iraq, I received an e-mail from my friend and colleague Megan Kelso this week, which I'd like to reprint here verbatim because I don't think I could put the case any more concisely or eloquently.

Dear friends, family and colleagues,

I try to avoid mass emails, but I think this is really important. I, perhaps like many of you, am increasingly (and until now, secretly) worried that the US will actually invade Iraq. The Bush administration has done nothing to promote genuine public debate about this very serious undertaking. I've been waiting to hear on the news the results of some poll which tells me how many people in the country are for or against it, but I haven't heard one yet. I've been waiting to hear about anti-war demonstrations in my city, but I haven't heard about any of those either. I hope that the plan to invade Iraq is still at the point where public opinion can make a difference. Bush has shown that he prefers to act unilaterally, and objections from congress have been disappointingly muted. I don't think we should wait until after an invasion has taken place to register our disapproval. I think we should tell our leaders what we think right now.

If you too believe that invading Iraq is a terrible idea, please join me in writing to the President, your Senators and US Representatives expressing your views. Perhaps you've already written----write again!  I have often felt quite cynical about this form of democracy---writing to your elected representatives. It seems so paltry in an age when big business and big money have hijacked our political system,but perhaps if we all act "as if" it really works, we may indeed make a difference.

If you need to look up the names and addresses of your elected representatives, this is a very handy site:

If you want to read up on the Iraq situation on the web, or gather some talking points for your letters and emails, I offer you these urls:

Thank you for reading this.

Some of you reading this probably don't need to be told this sort of thing. Others of you may respectfully disagree with my position on this issue, in which case you are exactly the sort of docile, brainwashed fuckheads on whose ignorant complicity criminal regimes have always been founded. Others of you may feel that this e-mail is well-intentioned but naiive and futile. As my regular readers know, I have great faith in the futility of all human endeavor, especially any endeavor Quixotic enough to oppose stupidity and violence, but this may be one of those very rare precarious political situations where public opinion might really tip the scales. I know the last political advice I gave everyone was to vote for Ralph Nader. I promise this will work out better. Jesus, it couldn't get any worse.