Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a tragedy for Pakistan and seems like bad news for us, too, but, on the brighter side, it did give me the opportunity to use a dumb cartoon idea that’s been in my head for some time. This premise first occurred to me when I learned, after the Valerie Plame scandal had already been in the headlines for a year or more, that Valerie Plame was hot. I was shocked. Most of my usual news sources—newspapers, radio—are non-visual, and I had had no idea that she is one very attractive lady. “Oh yeah,” one of my friends told me. “Joe Wilson left his wife for her.” How did I not know this? Jeez Louise, if I were in possession of some top-secret information she wanted, I’d be fucked. I’m afraid I’d spill it just to impress her right away, inadvertently forfeiting any incentive for her to contrive circumstances for some unguarded post-coital chitchat. I’d really like to see her in one of those tight black leather Emma Peel bodysuits I understand is standard CIA-issue for lady spies.
Apologies for not drawing Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist whom Putin actually had killed. I firmly believe her to have been hot in her youth, based on photos of her and of her hot daughter, but could not find any old photos of her suspected hot young self to use as a model for portraiture. So instead I went with Yelena Tregubova, whom Putin merely tried to have killed. Her book “Takles of a Kremlin Digger” was critical of the Russian government’s suppression of free speech in the press, so they detonated a bomb outside her apartment (she was reportedly saved when she decided to stay an extra few minutes curling her hair). She has since applied for political asylum in Britain. She is also, as you see, a major babe.
I hope it shows no disrespect to the late Benazir Bhutto to mention that, as world leaders go, she was a hottie. Check out some old photos of her in her youth. She’s dreamy! Now she is dead, assassinated by those sworn enemies of sex, al Qaeda.
I’m trying to decide now whether there is any truth to this cartoon or is it just puerile and stupid. Certainly there is a lot of misogyny in the world, and it’s only been riled up since women have begun assuming more reproductive, economic, and political power. Women are well known to be the only thing Muslim terrorists fear. The religions that worship a father-god have historically been misogynistic, and it’s the countries where those are still the official state religions—not to name any religions in particular here—where you hear about the stoning of rape victims and ritual clitorectomies. But it’s not just the barbarian countries where the hatred of the female has yet to be eradicated. I suspect that a lot of the weird unreasoning vilification of Hilary Clinton in this country has to do with the fear and hatred of women in general. (Not to say there aren't sound reasons for vilifying Hillary, but they don't quite explain the rabid loathing of this hawkish, pro-business moderate on the Right, traditionally your manliest political orientation.) Beauty is something we desire, and nine hundred and ninety-seven times out of a thousand we can’t have it, and what we desire and cannot have we come to resent. Also, of course, lots of men fear their own desire. Hence the burqa. My evil friend Ben Walker always used to mutter, every time we’d walk past another hair-raisingly gorgeous woman on the streets of the East Village, “I hate them all.”
Apologies for the mixed metaphors in depicting the enemies of hotness. For thematic consistency I suppose I should have drawn Cheney as Albericht from Das Rheingold, Putin as the monster from Frankenstein, etc., but I’ve already established personas for those guys in my cartoons (Vladimir Putin is Dr. Doom). The quotes just sprang naturally to mind. (Sorry I couldn’t work in one by Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, who was also famously driven to evil acts by his unattractiveness.) I was just doing whatever felt right, a policy that has failed me far more seldom in art than in life.
My raccoon coat should arrive any day now. I intend to debut it during the first serious cold snap or blizzard of the winter, braving the envy and resentment of the less attractive. I shall be The Baron of the North.