Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 4/27/05

Artist's Statement

All credit for this week's cartoon idea goes to Erik Sunday, who observed, sometime last year, that he couldn't believe no one had yet drawn a cartoon of the "Support Our Troops" ribbon as a noose. (All blame for the unfunniness of its execution, as always, is mine.) It was one of those ideas that seems so obvious in retrospect that it feels as though it must be plagiarized, but I haven't found another image of it anywhere. I resisted drawing it for a long time--not, as my regular readers will know, out of sensitivity, but because it seemed too humorless and heavy-handed, too much like something a daily newspaper cartoonist would do if daily newspaper cartoonists were allowed to draw anything true. I don't know if you urban dwellers see these "Suppot Our Troops" ribbons on the backs of cars a lot, but out here in the sticks they are ubiquitous. I still have no idea what "Support Our Troops" is supposed to mean, really. Just think good thoughts about them? Hope they don't die? Send them more armor? Get them out of Iraq, maybe?

I finally broke down and drew this this week because I had no better ideas. I was at Jim's house on Friday, my deadline, and instead of drawing a cartoon got addicted to a tabletop electronic game called Bull's-Eye Ball, kind of like tiny skee-ball, and racked up an inhumanly high score of 131 on 30-Second Blitz and ended up feeling hepped up and zoned out and jangled like I haven't since back in the day when I'd blow sixteen bucks' worth of tokens on crazy Tail Gunner binges at Replay at Tollgate Mall with Michael Kirby. The news has just been a monotonous, leaden march of evil lately, one piece of cynical, mercenary legislation after another--the bankruptcy bill for the banks and credit card companies to squeeze the little guy for every last cent, the energy bill for George and Dick's friends in the petrochemical industry to squeeze a few more billions out of the oil economy before we run out, the ongoing campaign to take back the New Deal, rewriting the rules whenever it's expedient--all accompanied by rhetoric so hypocritical it makes you physically sick. All this pious sucking up to the pushy simpletons of the Christian right. And everywhere the mean backwoods faces of liars and thugs like Tom DeLay and Bill Frist. Oh, plus--the fucking Pope! Even on days when the goddamned Pope doesn't do anything he's still on the front page, in his lovely vestments and shit. There's a whole Pope Section in the paper now. Soon, a Pope Channel. Enough! Enough with the fucking Pope already! He's not the Pope of me!

I'll be back in form next week, I promise. In the meantime, check out the cool new collage in the "News & Rumors" section.


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