Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 10/23/02

Artist's Statement

This week's wordy, multipanel extravaganza began with one glum idea: that the fearsome barrage of cartoons launched against the Bush administration by all the cartoonists of the alternative press over the last few months are likely to have exactly the same effect on their plans to invade Iraq as they would on a Rhode-Island-sized meteor heading toward the Earth. I was iffy about this as a cartoon idea--just wasn't sure it was funny enough--until I ran it by my friends Megan and Mike at Barney Greengrass's Deli in New York, where we were filling up on bagels and sable, which I had thought was an animal you got expensive fur from but turns out to be sort of like sturgeon. Intoxicated by the buttery fish, we started coming up with lots of ideas for the cartoon, including the panel of me drawing a lameass caricature of the meteor as a mustachioed villain. Thanks are also due to my friends Dave, Dave, and Sondra, who, intoxicated by buttery alcohol, came up with just about every other gag in the cartoon during a long weekend in Ithaca. It's ended up being more diffuse in its point than my original idea, which I don't really mind; the meteor could be the invasion of Iraq or the threat of terrorism or global warming or, hell, even an actual meteor. The cartoon has more to do with the inefficient folly of human beings, which is harmless and amusing as long as there isn't some actual crisis at hand. Then, what writer Kim Stanley Robinson calls "an imaginary relationship to a real situation" (e.g. the Drug War, the War on Terror, or my understanding of finances or home repair) becomes deadly.

Lest any of my readers imagine that I am mocking the feckless, doomed efforts of conscientious citizens who are expressing their dissent in this time of crisis, let me hasten to assure you that well yes I sort of am. But let me also say that I myself have written letters to my senators and representatives, and received thoughtful form letters in reply, letting me know how valued my opinion is. A march on Washington is scheduled this Saturday, October 26th, and I am going to attend, not because it'll accomplish anything but because I can't not, even though it will be dreary and routine, with signs and megaphones and people chanting rhyming slogans like pep-rally cheers. The inevitable fringe groups will be in conspicuous attendance--aging hippies, teen anarchists, Vegans, Communists, those useless fucking mushbrained Hemp advocates. (Like they actually give a shit about the many industrial uses of hemp.) It will rain. The media will interview people named Moonflower, report the property damage and the number of arrests, and chuckle bemusedly over the crowd's unfocused agenda. And I would be surprised if by the holidays they haven't already moved on to showing us the specs of the exciting new generation of military technology we're deploying in Iraq in between reruns of the same officially approved and censored clips of footage from the front.

All I can say is that if you can't understand why something is worth doing even if it will accompish nothing, you probably won't last long as a dissident in this country--or, for that matter, as a person in this world. Fuck the meteor.