This is what we in the profession of the lazy and uninspired call a "re-working" of an earlier cartoon, 2001's "Structure of Our Governement." A fan wrote me about that cartoon at the time to tell me he'd shown it to a colleage of his--a Federal employee like himself--who studied it and handed it back to him without so much as smiling, saying only: "Yep, that's about right." This, I'm afraid, is another of the same genre--True, but not Funny. It's good to speak the truth, I guess, but it's better to be funny. (Best of all is to do both, but that happens only during infrequent astronomical alignments.) In short, I feel that this cartoon is pretty lame and I am sorry. There are two reasons why I have foisted a lameass cartoon on you this week. The first is that since the election I have been feeling much dispirited and burned out on political cartooning. A fan wrote me yesterday to complain that the political cartoons were getting "really really really old," and I was like, hey man, you think they're getting old for you? Try drawing one every fucking week as the country continues its grim inexorable descent into fascism. On the other hand I also get e-mails each week from people who tell me they count on my cartoons for their emotional health and urge me not to give into drink and despair. So some weeks it's all I can do to draw the best idea I have on Friday, e-mail it in by deadline, and declare cocktail hour. Additionally, the personal life of a professional cartoonist--on the details of which, in the interest of dignity, we decline to dwell here at The Pain--is more complicated and unhappy than civilians can possibly imagine. Suffice it to say that there are days when we pine for the stability, peace of mind, and bourgeois domestic contentment enjoyed by musicians, poets, and theoretical mathematicians. We're actually contemplating a hiatus around here. I may at last turn my creative energies to my long-awaited pornographic autobiography, Too Crazy to Fuck. For the time being I will continue the weekly cartoon, but all correspondence will be answered by my lovely and capable intern, Ms. Phelatia Czochula-Hautpanz, at email@example.com.