Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 05/28/08

Note to Readers

Just a reminder that we have installed a new donation page. If you are one of those readers who encountered technical problems with our new Paypal account last week, I apologize. I ought not to make it so difficult for people to give me money. I think I’ve worked out all the bugs now, so why not poke your head in there again and send us a little somethin’. Pound notes, loose change, bad checks, anything.


Artist's Statement

A sequel, of sorts, to 2004’s “The Shithead Vote.” I began drawing this almost immediately after the primary in West Virginia, where Obama lost by a significant margin to Hillary Clinton, who in exit polls was perceived by 100% of voters as “more white.” He lost by a wide margin again last week in Kentucky—like West Virginia, another of the historical “bumfuck states.”

Kind of an awkward reality for the media to have to deal with, here. On the one hand, they have to take this factor into account in handicapping their electoral horse-race, plus any new perceived microtrend or passing interpretation of significance in poll results is fodder for rumination on the 24-hour news cycle. Once every four years they have to treat every whim and prejudice and superstition and wackjob theory of the electorate as phenomena to be taken seriously. Except the sticky part is, mainstream media also officially likes to pretend that widespread racism no longer exists, and that instances of racial prejudice are some sort of atavistic aberration, like vestigial tails or cannibalism, that can be exposed to the light of public disapproval and purged from the body politic by the ritual of scandal, outrage, reprimand, and scapegoating. The media raises a hysterical outcry, someone apologizes or gets fired, and we can all go as before. But there it is, this ugly poll result nobody can ignore: 2 in 10 voters in West Vriginia and Kentucky are citing race as a “major factor” in their vote. Now I don’t want to be a glass-is-half-empty man; 2 in 10 is better than 10 in 10, which is what it would’ve been fifty years ago. But those are still some wide margins of loss, and it’s hard to politely ignore the fact that there are still a lot of old-school racists out there. The media is torn between the imperative to take them seriously as a voting bloc and their instinct to disapprove. So they just neutrally report the numbers and avoid the delicate “issue” while we all secretly think to yourselves: crackers, hillbillies, bigots.

A few weeks ago a dining companion said she was relieved that Obama had finally given in and worn an American flag lapel pin, because it shut up the sort of people who care about such things and took that issue out of their arsenal. I understood what she was saying, but I couldn’t bring myself to feel the same way. I was disappointed that he gave it to them. I can’t believe we still have to take those people seriously and validate their idiot bleating about God and country. Do we really have to keep pretending, at this point, to give a shit what those people think about anything at all? This country is a wreck and a laughingstock today because those people got everything they wanted for the last eight years. Doesn’t it ever occur to any of these yokels who don’t trust Obama because he can’t bowl: hey, maybe I don’t want a guy like me running the country, seeing as how I can’t even pay child support or get the fucking cable turned back on? Maybe I want somebody smarter than me in charge for a change. We’re at a grave and crucial moment in this country’s history, and once again we’re held hostage by the dim suspicions of people who think Obama is a Muslim Manchurian candidate. The most powerful nation on earth, still shackled to the idiot man-child of the South. The situation is perhaps best synopsized by the Onion op-ed: “Yee-Haw! My Vote Cancels Out Y’all’s!”

There really is a Max Fightmaster, by the way. My colleague Emily’s boyfriend ships CDs around the world, and one of the people he sent an order to was one “Max Fightmaster,” who is, even more unbelievably, a soldier in Iraq. Thanks and an unironic salute to Max Fightmaster, wherever you are!



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