Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 3/23/05

Artist's Statement

This feeding tube story seems to be the only story in the world being reported in the media right now. I have to snap off the radio at the top of every hour. It's so ghastly and depressing. The best outcome we can hope for is that this woman's wishes will be followed and she'll finally be allowed to die, which won't exactly be cause for high-fives and a round of shots. The Republicans' willingness to impose their own pushy, simple-minded Sunday-school morality on our personal lives, to meddle noisily in the most intimate and painful decisions, to use something this tragic as a loudmouthed political ploy, is beyond obscene. Their hypocrisy has been especially hard on the stomach--bleating piously about how "a society is judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens" after voting not to increase the minimum wage, preventing the poor from declaring bankruptcy to escape crushing debts, and gutting social programs from the budget (including some of the ones that have kept Terri Schiavo alive for fifteen years). Their pity seems reserved exclusively for fetuses and vegetables; they despise the cognizant.

My friend Chris, who has been suffering from outbursts of irrepressible rage and subjecting his colleagues on Capitol Hill to sputtering rants all week, spent the day with me on Saturday, trying to help me come up with a cartoon. We tossed around ideas about a lot of issues, but this was the story we kept returning to, the one that infuriated and engaged us the most. We could not get around it, but we also kept butting our heads against its impenetrable grimness. The best analogy I'd been able to come up with for the insanity and presumption of conservative Christians was a powerful Satanist lobby calling for the sacrifice of a completely healthy person. It took us all day and about eight beers before the breakthrough came. We were in my local bar, which was crowded and smoky and had a loud blues band playing, when Chris suddenly said, "Wait--I got it--" and bowed his head, his hands held up as if to keep any distracting stimuli at bay while he let the idea crystallize. Then we looked up, grinning with absolute certainty, and said, "It's a beer bong." I could not deny that this was genius. He said the moment if inspiration reminded him of his days as a physicist, when a complex problem would suddenly resolve itself in his head. The rest of the cartoon wrote itself between fits of horrified laughter. If it fails in the execution the fault is entirely mine.

Later, after our money ran out, a girl from Americorps named Anastasia bought us beers. If you're reading this, Thanks, Anastasia!


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