Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 3/24/04

Artist's Statement

This weekend my friend and webmaster Dave visited me at Winter H.Q. in New York. On Saturday morning, as we were walking from my place in the East Village up to Music Row on 48th street, we saw police officers and news vans lining Madison Square Park, and remembered that there was to be a march that day to mark the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. (Let me mention here, tangentially, that the police dogs we saw did not appear to be particularly well-disciplined members of the K-9 corps; we saw one barking uncontrollably at another passing dog, the way ordinary dogs in the park do, and another one just going completely apeshit in the back of a cruiser. This does not seem to me to bode well for the Republican National Convention.) We joined up with the march for a few blocks on our way to get lunch and a pint of Guiness, as a gesture of halfhearted solidarity and to ogle hippie chicks. And as we got closer to the densely crowded epicenter of the demonstration the usual suspects inevitably appeared: the drummers, the giant puppets, the impassioned supporters of Mumia. We edged around a circle of hippies dancing hand-in-hand to a really irritating cacophany of pounding drums and clanging makeshift percussion that was drowning out a dixieland jazz band nearby. And among the undulating ring of hippies Dave and I both found our attention momentarily caught by girl whose face was transfixed with self-righteous ecstacy--a serene and joyful certainty that the positive energy of her dancing would soon bring The Man to his knees and all his infernal devices of oppression crumbling to the ground. I unexpectedly experienced a wave of loathing. I felt the unkind urge to let her know that she was accomplishing nothing. The best sign I saw at the march was a small sticker showing George Bush's smiling face, with the simple caption: NOT HELPING. I am sorry to say that the same could be said of many at that march. This is the Dipwad Vote: a broad-based coalition of dipshits, fuckwads, doofwads, fuckwits, and the elusive jagoff. Later, over Guinesses, Dave and I lamented the fact that we despise so many of the people with whom we are forced to agree.

If anyone out there is contemplating voting for Ralph Nader in November, I really must insist that you do not. Sorry, but you really must not. I know he is right about everything; that isn't the issue. I voted for Nader in 2000 because I belived that there was no substantial difference between the two major parties. And there is some truth to that; they're both so indebted to their corporate campaign donors so that neither one is likely to do anything dramatically or unexpectedly good for the American people like, say, offering universal, single-payer health care, cutting defense in favor of education, lowering perscription drug prices, or reducing greenhouse emissions. But I, like many people, had been lulled into a slightly unreal sense of complacency by ten uneventful years in which the biggest news story was a blowjob. Also, of course, it must be said that the Bush administration was not entirely forthright about its plans during the election campaign. I seem to recall the big debate being over the fine points of Medicare perscription drug benefits, not whether constitutional democracy should be dismantled or the entire world conquered. In the time since then, however, certain differences in specific policy and general political philosophy have become clear. Kerry may be just another colorless pro-business Democrat but he does, at least, appear to be an American; he seems to have taken an eighth-grade civics class and to believe in the corrupt, apathetic, and inefficient form of representative democracy that each one of us would gladly die to uphold. Bush, and the shareholders and technocrats for whom he is the spokesmodel, however, are Fascists.

Not that anyone cares, or should, but I personally squandered my vote on Kucinich in the primary, not because I particularly like Kucinich but because I refused to vote for anyone who voted for the Patriot Act, and by the time Maryland's primary rolled around Howard Dean had already gone shrieking into oblivion. Kerry and Edwards voted to let John Ashcroft look up my library records: fuck them. No way. In other words I voted out of spite. But the primary election is where you're supposed to vote out of quixotic whims or petty vengeance. In the general election I will dutifully vote for John Kerry, as I would for Terry Nichols or O.J. Simpson or Blackbeard's ghost if any of them were the Democratic nominee. The only hope for 2004 is that the outrage and the travesty that is George W. Bush will finally force us liberals to vote the way conservatives always have--in monolithic, mindless, obedient lockstep, straight down the party line.

Personally I would've liked to see John Edwards elected, if only because he looks so much like me and it would've made my job as political cartoonist a lot easier, if sort of confusing for my readers. For the last few weeks total strangers--clerks at Saks 5th Avenue, passerby at a Kerry rally--have been asking me whether anyone's told me I look like John Edwards. I always tell them that I am John Edwards, taking my secret mistress shopping, or waiting to heckle Kerry. The day after Super Tuesday some guys at an Irish pub bought me a Guiness as consolation for my defeat. "Aw, John," they said, "Has it already come to this?"

My friend Jennifer Boylan sent me the following e-mail from a hotel room in Hartford, Connecticut, were she was speaking at some writer's conference along with Morely Safer, whom she hoped to seduce:

you won't like this, but I have been thinking about the "dipwad vote" in your cartoon of about a month ago, and I'm glad that you acknowledge that in fact, you your own damn self voted for Nader in 2000. I am sorry to make you have to receive my invective, but I have to say, YOU ARE NOT SORRY ENOUGH. Oh sure, you allow as how things turned out much worse than anybody thought, and I agree with you there. But let's just say this one more time-- the whole reason the world is as fucked up as it is right now is because of everybody who voted for Nader in 2000. Without PEOPLE LIKE YOU, there would be no war in Iraq, there would be no "mister cheyney," who knows, the deal for peace between israel and the palestinians which clinton had almost brokered would be signed. We would have a surplus and health care. And so on.

Instead of this.

Now I understand that humor-wise, Bush jr. is a godsend, and a gore presidency would have gotten us exactly nowhere on that front. But if you wonder who the dipwad vote is, It is you. I will not be satisfied
until there is a billboard in times square that says, "WHY IS GEORGE BUSH PRESIDENT?" and next to this a huge picture of you, with your Nader button. and then big letters that say TIMOTHY KREIDER DID IT. IT'S THE FAULT OF TIMOTHY KREIDER THAT GEORGE BUSH IS PRESIDENT. TIMOTHY KREIDER. And then your phone number, which everyone who voted for Gore can call, whenever they like, and say, "Mister Cheyney told me there wasn't any difference between the parties."I hope you are sorry, Tim Kreider, for making George Bush president. Very, very sorry. Let's review: why is george bush president, the fuckface, the idiot? BECAUSE OF YOU. You, you, you.

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