Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 11/14/07

Artist's Statement

Part II of last week's. There are just so many reasons to look forward to the next terrorist attack that one cartoon could not contain them all. I drew most of this one reclining in a plush vibrating chair at my friends Jim and Sarah's in New Haven, CT, and they are hereby thanked for their hospitality.

I honestly can't imagine what the public reaction to the Bush administration will be in the event of another attack. Given the general blood-in-the-water turn public opinion's taken against them in the years since Katrina, my guess would be that they'll get savaged for failing to prevent it, the way you might've thought they would have been the first time around. But who knows?--maybe everyone will rally around the President again and support an attack on Iran. Do not underestimate people's capacity for being fooled again. We do know that the Bush administration will protest that "nobody could have predicted this," discourage us from indulging in unconstructive criticism and second-guessing--"playing the Blame Game"--and that they will blame the Democrats for opposing wiretapping and waterboarding. And we know the dingbat Christians will blame the fags. My recollection of the first time is that, after a twenty-four-hour cæsura during which the entire ceaselessly chattering media machine was stunned into welcome silence, everyone in the country from Falwell to Chomsky who could get in front of a camera or onto an op-ed page started telling us that this Only Went to Prove What They'd Been Saying All Along, and that it would never have happened If Only We Had Listened to Them. So I'm afraid we'll probably have to hear a good deal more of that next time around.

I have heard that there was a lot of desperate cathartic life-affirming casual sex in New York in the weeks after 9/11. I rue that I missed out on it. This time I am dug in here for the duration and, assuming I survive the next attack, I intend to cash in on the erotic blowback.

My friend and colleague Tom Hart makes his debut appearance in The Pain in panel 3--not a very accurate or flattering portrait, I'm afraid, but I'll get better at drawing him. Tom is an earnest and concerned person and would care if someone attacked the South. (For the record, the Bank of America Plaza is the highest building in Dallas. As if terrorists have even heard of Dallas.)

As for the giant Muslim terrorist robot, this, unbelievably, was the last idea that came to me--like all brilliant inspirations, obvious in retrospect. Jim wondered idly how the giant robot was powered and immediately answered his own question: "oil." Jim believes that this last panel is likely to earn me some hate mail, or maybe even get one of them fatwas slapped on my infidel honky ass. I, who have over a decade's experience drawing grotesquely offensive things for publication, can predict exactly what is likely to come of it: nothing at all. However, in the unlikely event that I do get fatwahed and am caught in the media spotlight, I already have my sound bite ready. (I've learned to be prepared for this sort of thing ever since I fleetingly became a national media go-to guy during the Great Plutonian Crisis of '06.) It goes like this: "Which would you say is a saner response to the possibility of another terrorist attack--trying to find some way to laugh at our fear, or being so frightened we're willing to forfeit our rights as American citizens and invade countries that weren't involved?" Yeah, that'll make 'em stop and think in Wichita!

All kidding aside, if I am killed in the next terrorist attack, please do not say, "Tim Kreider wouldn't have condoned any violence in his name. He opposed the war, and he wouldn't have wanted his death to be used as an excuse for more pointless military action." If I am killed by terrorists I want the entire Middle East blasted flat by thermonuclear weapons in retribution for my personal death. Tell 'em, "Tim Kreider says hello." I am all about vengeance these days, and, with due respect to the Spaniards, I believe it is best served piping hot.


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