Hiking in a Police State

Looking back down the Beaver Brook TrailI hiked Mt. Moosilauke in New Hampshire this past Saturday with Greg. I put some photos up here and Greg has a more detailed account with more photos here. I would’ve kept this adventure to myself if it weren’t for what happened next.

On our way back, we were stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint on I-93, about 75 miles south of the Canadian border. During this unwarranted search, the agents asked about our citizenship status and our purpose for being in the Granite State. Mr. Nosy agent also took a good look around at the contents of our car. They were backed up by New Hampshire State Police, presumably to harass anyone who refused the search, as is every person’s right. Here’s a reactionary, xenophobic take on the same checkpoint and here’s a more reasonable discussion.

Convinced this was total bullshit, I did some searching when I got back and learned this has been going on throughout many of the border states. Claiming jurisdiction over anywhere within 100 miles of the US border, the Border Patrol routinely sets up these checkpoints, although usually in the states that border Mexico. Because as we all know, Mexicans are generally browner (i.e. scarier) than the Quebecois.

When the fuck did this happen? I have to be inconvenienced because the Border Patrol can’t do their job at the goddamn border? The fact that this happened in the “Live Free or Die” state would be hilarious if it weren’t so infuriating.

ATTN nosy Border Patrol agents: I’m visiting Montreal in two months. If you insist on searching me twice, I’m going to lay greasy poutine farts over all my stuff, particularly my luggage, my trunk, and naturally, my butt. Happy searching!

UPDATE: A commenter over at Universal Hub points to this Supreme Court case from 1976 that upheld this insane practice. But I’ve been a visitor to the White Mountains for over two decades and never saw this done before. Another commenter makes the reasonable assumption that it might be retaliation for NH’s refusal to comply with REAL ID.

A Tourist’s Guide to Touristing

A Tourist's Guide to Touristing

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I sent this out to the papers with a you’re/your fuck-up. That’s almost as embarrassing as getting caught riding a Duck Boat in Boston. The only exception is if you’re on one of the local sports teams and it’s part of some sort of rolling rally.

I don’t really hate tourists this much. Now that college graduations are behind us, much of the Boston area will clear out and I can walk around without getting bogged down by students. Tourists stick to the same old spots that I rarely have a reason to visit.

“Cheers” has been off the air for over 15 years, but people still make a point of visiting where they shot the exteriors. I don’t begrudge the Bull & Finch for finally relenting and changing the name. I would gladly take dumb tourist cash too. But some dummies just visit the Fake Cheers in Faneuil Hall, order a Sam Adams and a bowl of chowder, then hop back on the plane back home. That just ain’t right.

Have an awesome Memorial Day weekend. Remember, no veteran or soldier ever did anything wrong. Ever. They are angels who walk the Earth. Even Lynndie England.

Next Week: Hard Times for the Rich

My Hometown

Whenever Brockton makes the national news, it’s never good. But Atrios is right, that story is anecdotal and doesn’t really illustrate the city as a whole. Most of it is just boring suburbs, filled with people who spend too much time on their lawns. But for one week, Brockton becomes a magical place where cars crash into each other for sport. I can’t wait.

Another No Hitter!

I was working on this week’s cartoon when Jon (Sorry I called you garbage in another post.) Lester threw tonight’s no-hitter. Last September 1st, I was working on another cartoon when Clay Buchholz threw his.

Obviously, Red Sox starters should coordinate their rotation with my cartooning schedule. Maybe I have to get a cartoon done on time if they’re ever gonna have a perfect game.

This Summer, Prepare to Get Fancy

The Adventures of Captain Dandy and Kid Fop

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I like many summer blockbusters. But it sucks that all the good, thought-provoking movies come out in a two-week span in December. Spread that shit out Hollywood! There Will Be Blood totally could’ve been last year’s Iron Man.

Speaking of elitists, the “Barack Obama is an elitist!” trope still makes the rounds, despite the fact that he has finally become the presumptive nominee. I don’t know why I’m trying to shoehorn political commentary into a cartoon that mocks silly summer blockbusters, but I suppose there is a connection. A very thin one.

There’s all this complaining about elitists, but they’re not much of a threat. So what if elitists think you’re a crushing bore? It’s a free country. Not everyone has to think your bowling skills and Big Mouth Billy Bass are particularly interesting. I’m not an elitist apologist though. David Brooks is a prominent elitist and I think he’s a thin-lipped piece of shit.

I’ve been saying this for years, but once more with gusto: Dandies and Fops will become the new hipster meme. Robots and Zombies have been in Squaresville for years now and that steampunk shit has got to be winding down by now.

Next Week: A Tourist’s Guide to Touristing

For the Record…

I’m pretty busy right now, but just wanted to say Jimmy Fallon sucks. Unlike Tina Fey, there’s no way Fallon will become a beloved comedy icon. That, and Tracy Morgan hates his guts. However, Conan will be on earlier, and Leno will ride his Dorito-mobile off into the sunset, so there are silver linings to this sad, unfunny cloud.

But I’m really a hypocrite. Much like Fallon, I giggle at all my comics while I’m drawing them. I also star in shitty movies in my spare time.


Patton Oswalt‘s gonna be performing at the Somerville Theatre tonight right down the street from my place in Davis Square. Add Boston’s (Charlestown specifically) own Walsh Brothers to the line-up, and The Alternative Comedy Festival is the must-see Greater Boston comedy show of the year. I have excellent tickets thanks to the fact that my ass is in front of a computer all day long and I snatched them up right quick.

I last saw him when the Comedians of Comedy rolled into town in 2005, so it’s been a while.

I’m looking forward to the show, and maybe, just maybe, someone in his entourage is ego-centric enough to have a Google alert that will catch a post like this. If not, I can always use one of his free blurbs for the BFW book.

This Week in Innocuous Celebrity Body Parts

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Remember when everyone flipped their shit over Miley Cyrus’ shoulder? Real news outlets covered that hubbub instead of actual newsworthy events. Not much else to say about this one, except that I had to do some research about the tween idols. My original Saved By the Bell references just wouldn’t fly.

Next Week: Another Summer Blockbuster