Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
That’s Yeats, baby. Anytime I’ve ever been called upon to give a toast or recite something at a wedding I usually pull some Yeats outta my ass, since I’ve never had any idea what people who get married think they’re doing and I don’t know what to say on such occasions besides “Good luck.” And he makes the English language sound like wine tastes.
It is spring in New York, one of the most gorgeous events on the planet. The breasts and the asses are in full and extravagant bloom. A reader of mine recently told me that the Dutch have a word for the first warm day of spring when the women deploy the fearsome arsenal of summer fashions they've been accumulating all winter: rokjesdag, or "day of skirts." To those of us of a certain spiritual persuasion, this truly is the most sacred day of the year.
It may be true that the fragmentary and headless female forms depicted here are perhaps symptomatic of the objectifying and predatory Male Gaze, which reduces human beings to mere body parts, like cuts of meat. (In my feeble defense I’ll protest that I do see a one or two women a week whose faces are heart-stoppingly beautiful, but beauty is harder and less funny to draw than mere pulchritude.) To those who would level this accusation at the artist, let me 1.) plead guilty as charged and 2.) be the first to welcome you to the planet Earth.
I remember once I was talking to a female friend and a male friend of hers, who was grousing enviously about his roommate, the kind of guy who fucks three women in one weekend. “But come on—you wouldn’t really want to be that guy, would you?” she chided him. “Those guys are scumbags.” He and I did not make eye contact as he answered, “Well… I’d like to be that guy at some moments, in some moods. Not really.” Later when she excused herself I asked him, “Just to backtrack a minute—that was all bullshit about your not really wanting to be that guy, right?” “Of course,” he said.
A few days ago, though, I met up with a couple of my male friends who are in fact that guy, who torture me every time I see them with stories of all the beautiful crazy women they have been fucking, sometimes accompanied by painful visual aids on digital camera. One of them regaled me with a blood-chilling cautionary tale of craziness, evil and disgrace so harrowing that it at least temporarily quashed my wistful jealousy of his promiscuous rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. It reminded me of of a girl I got entangled with in my own more reckless years who got me stabbed and later tried to move in with me, and of girls worse yet than she.
A disclaimer: Although I am hardly exaggerating the unrelenting sexual torture that is spring in New York in this cartoon, in the last panel I am parhaps exaggerating my own despair in the face of it for comic effect. The embarrassing truth is, I currently have a lovely girlfriend in her twenties with an ass worthy of the Met, who is more than a match for my insatiable lusts.