Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 08/13/03

Artist's Statement

Disclaimer: don't want to insult anyone's intelligence by spelling out the obvious, but there are quite a lot of stupid and literal-minded people out there so I'll just say for the record that this is a cartoon about homosexuality, not race. And that the potentially-misconstruable-as-offensive racial stereotypes depicted in it are all deliberately considered and deployed for complex and defensible artistic reasons. The funky pimped-out Bootsie Collins-looking bishop in panel 3 is a mockery of reactionary Episcopalians' paranoid fantasies, and the minstrel-show blackface caricatures in panel 4 are meant to parody the equally condescending sexual stereotypes represented by the gay fashion advisors on that new reality show--I forget what it's called, you know, the one where five gay men give makeovers to straight guys. Also I just love drawing wiggly people.

All editorial cartoonists are stern, reductive moralists at heart, and my rather humorless point here is that the whole issue of gay marriage, gays in the church, gays being generally accepted in society is not, once you cut away all the bullshit, a complex one--it's about bigotry. Period. I promise you that a few decades from now, after all the conservative old folks are finally underground or in tasteful urns in the immaculate living room where no one ever sets foot, this whole debate will seem as incomprehensible a no-brainer as the fierce debates over slavery or civil rights. Do not forget that preachers in the South quoted scripture just as passionately in defense of slavery (it's ubiquitous in the Old Testament and supported by Paul) as contemporary Fundamentalist Bible-beaters do to condemn homosexuality. People who claim to "hate the sin, not the sinner," are as far as I'm concerned no different from the dirtbags you meet in Cecil County bars who'll explain to you that they don't hate blacks, they just hate niggers. The only reasons people ever offer for opposing homosexuality are religious--those three-thousand-year-old tribal laws laid down in Leviticus about a man lying with another man being detestable. Note that this is the same chapter in which it is forbidden to eat animals with cloven hooves or shellfish or to hold a hired man's wages overnight or to wear clothing woven of two different kinds of material or to trim your beard, so anyone who enjoys bacon or Maryland crabs or oysters on the half-shell or issues weekly paychecks or wears cotton/polyester blends or shaves is just as much a sinner and a pervert as the homos and will end up burning in the same circle of Hell alongside them. What bunk. I swear religion is the cancer of human civilization. Aw look I know all the big genocides of the twentieth century have been conceived and carried out by atheists--I guess it's not religion per se but that dumb, dogmatic certitude that is so dangerous, and so attractive to dimwits and fanatics. Everyone should just mind their own goddamn business. Why are these people spending so much time thinking about what other people do in bed, anyway? I just don't believe it's really about scripture or religion--deep down they think homosexuality is yucky and weird, and they just want fags to quit it.

All that said, however, I've got to say I don't quite get why homosexuals are clamoring for admission into marriage, the church, and the army--the three most oppressive and joyless institutions ever devised to mutilate and shackle the human spirit, and from which they are currently happily exempt. To extend this cartoon's analogy, it's sort of like blacks arguing that they should have every right to become Grand Dragons in the Ku Klux Klan. Like, what then hell? Just form your own damn club instead--a better club, where you get to be boss, and no girls allowed! You guys can't get married, you can't go to church, you can't be drafted. And now sodomy is even legal! It's like freaking Paradise on Earth! Live it up!