Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 12/01/04

Artist's Statement

My spiritual advisor Boyd and I haven't been able to get together in several months, what with his having a job, a daughter, and a girlfriend all at once. So for over a month now we've set aside and defended against all competing plans the weekend following Thanksgiving for a marathon session of watching old crime films and drinking wine, of both of which Boyd is something of a connoisseur. So really I ought to have drawn my weekly cartoon Wednesday night, before Thanksgiving and Boyd's arrival. Instead I sat here staring dully and unhappily at a few half-finished doodles, none of which struck me as particularly funny. On Friday morning, with my deadline looming, preparing to open a bottle of Medoc and screen Kiss Me Deadly, Boyd and I decided that the time might finally have come to resort to Plan B.

Plan B is a little something I drew at the beginning of the summer, for reasons best not discussed here or examined too closely ever. Suffice it to say it had to do with a little contingency plan Boyd and I had developed code-named Fort Sex. Always this drawing was held in reserve, like the nuclear option--always available at the touch of a button, too unthinkable ever to countenance using except in the direst of circumstances. But now that day--the day we had hoped and prayed would never come--has arrived. I speak not only of the seemingly legitimate re-election of the dangerous and antidemocratic Bush/Cheney regime but of my consequent need to watch crime films and drink wine unhindered by professional obligations. We brainstormed a few titles to make the cartoon seem relevant to the current political situation: "After the Election," "Now That the Republicans Have Won," "Now What?", etc., but then Boyd, on the couch, sipping his Medoc, leaned his head way back for a long, meditative moment to absorb inspiration from the aether and then raised it again, now smiling serenely, and said: "I have it." O Ye of Little Faith. We ran it past John and Chris to give it the Laugh Test. My work was done.

So yes okay obviously this is silly and stupid. But I feel that there is a lesson here for all of us as well, and not just the obvious and rather tedious and preachy lesson about getting your fucking work done in time instead of waiting 'til the last minute like you always do. In this time of gathering darkness, at the end of all hope, let us not underestimate the redeeming power of sheer witless joy. Right now we are hunkered down, maintaining self-imposed media blackouts, drinking wine and watching DVDs. But we're also talking amongst ourselves, scheming our revenge, making jokes no Red Stater would ever understand and laughing harder than any Republican knows how. We will re-group. Already Chris --ex-Marine, physicist, and policy writer on Capitol Hill, is outlining a manifesto for a new liberal strategy, a manifesto that will make the phrase "Can you say, 'Blow me?'" as familiar to schoolchildren of the future as "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," or "government of the people by the people for the people." Hilarity is not just a defense; it is an offensive weapon. Let us don our patriotic costumes and go boldly forth without pants to rejoin the battle.

In closing, let me just say that I hope it is clear from this drawing exactly whose idea Plan B must have been, and also who is now having second thoughts about it, too late.


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