Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 03/05/03

Artist's Statement

A note on last week's cartoon by Jim: Mom, if you're reading this, I hope you won't infer anything too literal about my life from Jim's silly drawings. It's sort of a tradition that Jim's cartoon is always humiliating to me, you see, and between us we've created a wacky persona that does not necessarily reflect the mature, sober, thoughtful and sensitive guy I really am. I spend no more than 45% of my monthly budget on beer. The similarity of the sexual positions depicted by both Jim in panel 2 and me in my introduction is a freakish coincidence. And I will not dignify the comments made concerning my anus with any response whatsoever.

This week's cartoon was conceived while I was standing in the Clinton-Washington A-C train subway station, handing out anti-war leaflets with Megan Kelso. (I must here also give credit to Megan for pointing out to me how to better draw George Bush, Jr.'s nose.) In handing out over a hundred leaflets we met exactly two people who were for the war, one of whose argument was, quote, "Kill them all! Saddam sucks! Kill them all!" Admittedly this was in liberal New York, in a predominantly black neighborhood, but still, the numbers were striking. It would be nice to imagine that if only some regular folks could get access to G.W. (and maybe get him to drop the born-again sober act) for a few hours, they could change his mind pretty easily. It's doubtful that George, Jr. had any opinions about Iraq, or could even have told you where M*A*S*H was set, before his "election," and has only become convinced by his "advisers," the people who actually rule the country, that this invasion is urgently necessary.
I've developed this theory that turns out to explain quite a lot of phenomena in the world, about something I call Michael Jackson's syndrome. Michael Jackson's syndrome afflicts only people who have become so stupendously wealthy and/or powerful that they are thoroughly insulated from the outside world, so surrounded by yes-men, toadies, and lickspittles, that they no longer know or meet anyone who ever doubts or contradicts them or even gives them fishy looks when they're fucking up or full of crazy talk. This exlpains not only bizarre, self-destructive, and ill-advised decisions--sleepovers with fourteen-year-old boys, Jar-Jar Binks, this blind dogged drive to invade Iraq--but the creepy disconnect from reality and popular opinion that allows them to be so cluelessly unabashed about defending those decisions in front of an apalled and incredulous public.