This cartoon inspired by a conversation I had with my colleague Megan on a park bench in Brooklyn last week. “I’ve been meaning to ask you,” she said, “whatever happened to Donald Rumsfeld?” It seemed like he used to be ubiquitous around the time of the invasion of Iraq. He was in his foolish glory at those Pentagon press briefings, spouting his idiosyncratic brand of optimistic nonsense. In the last year or so, though, ever since it came to the attention of someone on the White House staff that there’s this public perception that the war isn’t going so well, we haven’t seen so much of Don. But my cartoon has already, as of Monday morning, been rendered somewhat irrelevant by Rumsfeld’s sudden reappearance in the public sphere on the third anniversary of the invasion, writing editorials and making speeches describing the promising vista he sees from the imaginary world where he lives, in which things are going very well in Iraq, all according to their plan.
That’s the interactive online game World of Warcraft that Rumsfeld is playing, unbeknownst to him.
Thanks to colleague Tom Hart for pushing me to get past my first unfunny idea for panel #2, inspiring me to come up with this. Enceladus, moon of Saturn, was in the news recently when the Cassini probe discovered an active geyser there, indicating the presence of a subsurface ocean of liquid water. What the V.P.’s plan here is not exactly clear, but it’s roughly analogous to Lex Luthor’s in Superman: The Movie of buying up a lot of worthless desert real estate that would be transformed into priceless oceanfront property once he detonated a nuclear warhead on the San Andreas fault, plunging California into the sea. Yes that is Miss Teschmacher in the background. In the same way that I have realized that George Bush is indistinguishable from Major Frank Burns from M*A*S*H, it occurred to me as I was drawing this that Dick Cheney effectively is Lex Luthor. Where are you, Superman?
Although the language Newt Gingrich is speaking may bear a certain typographical resemblance to Klingon, which was featured in “Scientists Riot!” a few weeks ago, it is in fact, as the cognoscenti will not have to be told, the language of the ancient and unspeakably dreadful Mi-Go from the stories of H.P. Lovecraft.
Yes that is Cinderella’s Castle from the Magic Kingdom on the big board. Readers of this cartoon ought not to have to be told to what the line “They will see the big board!” alludes.
Thanks to the beautiful woman from the Hopkins School of Public Health who sat next to me at brunch Sunday morning and lent me her pen.