The Antithesis of Cool

Despite my frequent proselytizing on things you should like, I am certainly not cool. I just spent the past 12 hours watching a DVD set and taking notes. That and about a billion other things hardly make me an expert on what is or isn’t “with it.”

However, there is one thing that I know for sure. Getting a vanity plate that reads “AWESOM” is fucking lame. So shame on you SUV with Rhode Island plates. The only time this rule wouldn’t apply is if the vehicle in question was a Delorean, preferably a time-traveling model.

Chumley’s Picky Bees

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There won’t be much to say about this cartoon on account of the holiday. I’ll make it brief to make sure you have enough time go shopping and buy me things.

National Treasure is an abomination that makes me embarrassed to live in a country that would allow such a shit stain to be produced. It’s even more depressing that it topped the box office in its opening weekend. Anyone who contributed to the $35 million it took in last weekend deserves a much harsher punishment than being attacked by a swarm of bees. When will people learn that the two-headed hydra of mediocrity that is Bruckheimer-Cage will only go away if you stop feeding it?

I make references to The Long Goodbye and Midnight Cowboy in this cartoon. Do yourself a favor and rent those instead of heading to a crowded cinema this weekend. I am aware that the tone of this cartoon and posting is extremely elitist and loaded with film snobbery. It is also 100% accurate, except for the part about the bees.

A Cornucopia of Incoherent Bullshit

Old school visitors to Big Fat Whale might remember this stupid cartoon I had up on one of the random pages. And patrons to a certain crappy restaurant in Baltimore’s Charles Village might’ve been lucky enough to see the original version scrawled on a dirty table cover. This one image virtually guarantees that I’ll never be able to teach art to children.

And that’s a dirty shame. Last weekend, in a fit of insomnia, I caught a series on Discovery Science called The Baby Human. I’m a big ol’ nerd, so of course it was fascinating. But there was one experiment they performed on babies that was the most awesome thing in the entire universe. They’d have kids of a certain age, maybe 18-24 months, where they’d have them play with three toys for a while. I remember a little tikes car, Steve’s Big Red Chair, and a slide. Then they’d go away for a while. When they returned to the room with the toys, they had been replaced with miniature scale models. And here’s what makes the experiment so awesome, the kids wouldn’t realize they were scale models. They were so emotionally attached to the toys, that they kept trying to squeeze into the Lilliputian models. They had no idea how retarded they looked. It cracked my shit up.

Obviously, if given any opportunity, I will try to perform this experiment myself, just for shits and giggles. Think about that before you ask me to babysit. And if this post gets chronicled by Google 3000, of the future, I offer my apologies to any children I might have fathered and who now live in our bleak, dystopian future. Please don’t pee on my future grave, or from your perspective, my grave. If you inherited my particular gene that makes laughing at children the best thing in the world, you will understand. Otherwise, its your mother’s fault.

My Television Debut

That’s right folks, if you look very closely you’ll be able to see a small portion of my baseball cap. I was dicking around and thought I’d scour each frame of the November 2nd episode of the Al Franken Show on Comcast OnDemand and immediately recognized my filthy noggin topper.

If you care to deduce how tiny I am from this photo, I am in the same row as the straight-haired blonde woman who is looking off to the left.

This isn’t really my first time on TV. I once appeared in the background of a John Tesh interview answering telephones for WGBH. Luckily for my dignity, no record of that event exists. I hope.

And Now For Some Political Commentary…

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First off, this cartoon didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to at all. I intended to have a trio of be-fannypacked bible belters bursting in to people’s private lives shouting “Nobody expects the Christian Coalition!” I just couldn’t whittle it down to something that would fit into eight panels and be easy enough for my hamfists to draw. And for obvious reasons, it works much better as a sketch than a comic strip. Faced with a deadline, I threw this together even though it never had my full support.

Obviously, I’m a fan of Monty Python. They essentially created a whole new form of comedy. However, I’m not a fanboy. Anybody who decides to pummel me with quotes from Flying Circus or any of their movies will be subject to ridicule and forced to spend eternity with other boring people, like that one guy we all know who quotes The Simpsons in lieu of actually thinking of something of his own to say.

As for the subject of the comic, I don’t really feel like writing about the rise of the Jesus machines. After the post-election dust settled, it turns out they didn’t play as significant a role in Bush’s election as previously thought, but that doesn’t change the fact that these morality drama queens have contributed heavily to turning the current political debate into a shitpile of anger and hate.

Their incessant bleating has forced the entire country to argue about people’s private lives instead of the things that affect all of us like health care and the incredible shrinking dollar. Not to mention that thing in Iraq.

I just don’t get why they’re so intent on imposing their hilarious superstitions on godless assholes like myself. I’m completely opposed to the Amish lifestyle. But fuck ’em, let them do what they want. They aren’t bothering me. I still get to use buttons and they get to ignore my crazy future ways, content that I’ll burn in hell for all eternity. Why can’t the evangelicals do me the same courtesy? If they do that, I promise I’ll let them build their own shitty schools that teach intelligent design.

Binge and Purge

I know I promised I’d avoid politics for a while, but this article is hilarious, in a “holy shit, we’re all fucked” kind of way. It seems Porter Goss, Bush’s new man in the CIA, has been instructed to remove those from the Reality-Based Community:

“The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House,” said a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to both the agency and to the White House. “Goss was given instructions … to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president’s agenda.”

Of course, whether or not the article is true will only be determined once the resignations begin. I can understand firing people for leaking sensitive information, but leaking facts that happen to point out how much the Administration fucked up shouldn’t get someone fired. And certainly just being a liberal Democrat isn’t grounds to be let go from any place, except maybe certain belt buckle factories. This is nothing new to anyone who’s been paying attention, but sadly that’s only about 49% of us.

It’s a shame this probably won’t be stopped or even just become the subject of an embarrassing investigation now that the Republicans are firmly in control of the entire federal government. (Thanks founding fathers for giving vacant land equal representation in the Senate!) Any tell-all books the newly unemployed might write will still have to be vetted by the CIA, so it’s not likely they’ll suddenly be free to spill the beans on how Paul Wolfowitz fell in love with Ahmad Chalabi.

Maybe, and just maybe, the word ‘purge’ might get some use in the media and help people realize they put a bunch of dicks into office. We’re obviously not at the point where a purge in a government agency means someone’s getting shipped off to some gulag, but still, hirings and firings based on ideologies is something that should be reserved for those hilarious little countries that used to make us feel superior.

Hopefully the ‘purge’ meme can catch on before that he-cunt Frank Luntz comes up with a new phrase that doesn’t come with all that Stalin baggage. My money’s on “Nogoodnik Vacation Fun Time, for the children.”

TV Is A Force That Gives Me Meaning

I always mocked those poor slobs who wasted valuable time and energy trying to save their favorite shows, like Farscape, and I’ll even assume their was a movement, albeit small, to save The Golden Palace. I was almost willing to face ridicule from myself and start an angry letter writing campaign when I heard Arrested Development might get sacked in favor of some reality show where a midget is forced to live in one of Shaquille O’Neal’s shoes. (Hey Hollywood, I own that idea, sign me up for a development deal and it can be yours!) Luckily it won the Emmy and was picked up for a second season, which starts tonight.

It is by far the best comedy on network television and you should watch it. It’ll be on right after the Simpsons, which might just pull itself out of its years-long funk tonight as a little birdie told me Bill Odenkirk wrote a sizable portion, if not all, of the episode.

On an unrelated TV note, the Sundance Channel did something awesome last night. They showed the documentary Dig!, which was just released to a few arthouses a couple of weeks ago. The only Dandy Warhols song I could remember was “Cool as Kim Deal,” and never heard of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, but I thought the documentary was fascinating. Hopefully Sundance will continue to show movies that quickly after their theatrical release once Oscar season begins so all the good ones will get to be seen by more than just the good people of LA and New York.


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This cartoon seems like it’s from a million years ago, but it’s been barely a week since the Red Sox ended 86 years of futility. As bleak as the next four years may be (christ, I’ll be nearly thirty in 2008), I can always think back to a time when a meaningless game made me momentarily happy.

Assuming some of you are not uniquely familiar with the iconic photographs of World War II, this is the image the comic is based on, V-J Day in Times Square.

I’m obviously not the most optimistic person in the world, but even I got suckered in by Zogby and was convinced Kerry would somehow sail to victory on Tuesday. I only believe in jinxes when it comes to baseball, so when I sent the original version of this cartoon off to the Free Times, I was convinced its euphoric message would be warranted when it hit the stands on Wednesday. Instead, it was a grim reminder of what could’ve been. And to make it sting even worse, it was seen in the one region of Ohio that went Kerry’s way, so they couldn’t even take some sort of macabre glee in this filthy liberal’s misplaced optimism.

I vacillated over and over again about whether or not I should change the cartoon. I still believe Kerry deserves my most heartfelt thanks. He ran a campaign infinitely better than Gore, although both picked ineffective running mates. Who knows what it would’ve taken to squeak out a win, but if it involved pandering to the gay bashing, Armageddon crowd, I’d rather take the loss. But I’m sure anyone who’s in dire need of health care could abide a little hate mongering here and there if it could get them some dialysis.

In the end I chose to remove the mention of Kerry in the cartoon because I didn’t want to look at this a year from now and choke on the salty dong of Bush’s 51%. It’s my comic strip and if Lucas can have blatant disregard for his original intent, so can I.

I Guess I Have To Write This Post

The only silver lining I can find in yesterday’s travesty is that the decision was decisive enough to avoid a drawn out contest for the White House. Other than that, it is magnificently shitty. I’m generally a pretty negative person, but even I believed the majority of Americans wouldn’t buy into all the lies, fear-mongering, and propaganda. I can only compare this to a child who spent a month eagerly awaiting Christmas morning, only to find that his parents suddenly converted to Judaism in the middle of the night.

There’s nothing I can do about it now but sulk with the 48% of the country that will become even more marginalized as the constraints of re-election have been lifted from this vile administration. With a weakened opposition in congress, there’s little chance of anyone being held accountable for any of the shit they have done and the unimaginable despicable shit that’s coming down the pipe.

Most sane people would agree that there’s nothing healthy about one party government. It’s incredibly vulnerable to corruption, and stifles debate. The Republicans are dangerously close to gaining a super-majority in 2006. If that happens, everyone who made snide comments about expatriating just might follow through. I know I will. I have some great ideas for BBC TV and can speak remedial Spanish. If you’re in a position to hire Americans in a country where culture-war morals don’t trump human rights, please, get me out of here.

To keep my sanity, I’m going to try to avoid the topic of politics for a while. It’ll be all fart jokes and pop culture until I get cancer and die.

Update: If anyone cares, Patton Oswalt and David Cross submitted a liveblog of the election returns (at the bottom of the page) up on Alternet.

After a some amount of handwringing, I’ve decided to modify this week’s cartoon before I post it on Friday. Judging by the polls, no one saw the original version in Cleveland anyway. I’ll post both versions here in the blog for those who are interested.

Pre-Election Pickle

Tom Tomorrow and probably every other alt-weekly cartoonist is in a bit of a pickle this week (Click thru Salon Day Pass). Most of those papers come out on Wednesday, which means their deadline for this week’s cartoons is sometime before the result of the election is known.

My cartoons are due on Monday night or early Tuesday morning, depending on how accommodating people are willing to be towards my chronic procrastination. I apologize in advance if Wednesday/Friday’s cartoon is completely irrelevant. My ability to travel through time is limited only to Daylight Savings Time.