Lifestyles of the Stealthily Wealthy

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I read this article about rich people’s tricked out cargo vans in New York City the week before and got inspired for this cartoon. Although not as gaudy as a stretch Hummer, these vans are ridiculous. They can’t even find parking in the city, so the chauffeurs just drive them around until their owners need them.

I can’t for the life of me find any video online, but it’s all very reminiscent of the Chameleon XLE ad from SNL.

Black Friday Bargains

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If you’re shopping on Friday, and it’s not online, but in an actual store, you are a moron. I’ll let my friend August elaborate. If we all practice tantric consuming, and hold onto what little wads we have left in our wallets for as long as possible before bukkake-ing businesses with our hard-earned-dollar-jizz, retailers will really freak out and start offering even better deals. And those fuckers can afford it. Corporations are sitting on billions; it’s our lack of jobs, income, and aggregate demand that’s holding things back.

I’ve owned a Pet Zune for a year now, (It bricked last fall.) and I must really like the Zune software because I now own a Windows Phone. I really do like that phone though. Please refer to this paragraph whenever someone refers to me as a hipster.

I’m probably dating myself with the Nell reference, but it’s one I still frequently use in real life. If you haven’t seen this batshit insane film, I implore you to do so immediately.

Tay ina win, Jodie, Tay ina win.

29 Cent Book Bin

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Another late BFW. This one was supposed to be up on Friday, and was already written then, so it’s just an odd coincidence that it went up the day Bloomberg kicked out Occupy Wall Street. I was inking and coloring this during the whole eviction and jotting down a few ideas. Who knows if they’ll turn into a cartoon. I’m pretty fucking tired as I write this. They could all turn out to be incoherent garbage.

The only other thing I have to say about this cartoon is that the Heaven one is based on a real book. I browse the bestseller lists looking for material for this recurring bit, and was stunned to learn Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back has been topping the charts forever. I mean, of course it’s popular; people love feel-good garbage. I just mean it was off my radar, which is odd considering the author’s last name is Burpo.

Now to squeeze out a few nuggets of sleep before getting back into the cartooning grind.

Secrets of the Super Committee

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The Occupy movement has thankfully shifted the media’s and public’s focus on jobs and income inequality. But last summer’s ridiculous “debate” about the debt ceiling, where the GOP held the country and the global economy hostage to get its way, resulted in the formation of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, AKA The Super Committee. They’re supposed to reach to an agreement before Thanksgiving, or automatic cuts in defense and social services go into effect…in 2013.

Fans of war are shitting their pants at the prospect of cuts, although they’d only go down to 2007 levels. Remember 2007? Our military industrial complex was so tiny back then; only involved in two quagmires and who knows how many surveillance and assassination actions. Surely going back to that is the equivalent of turning the military into a ragtag group of militia men, who have more money than the rest of the world’s defense budgets combined.

And fans of of not living in a third world nation are equally pants-shitting about cuts to social programs, including myself. The whole charade was conducted to cut these programs, and Obama played along instead of pointing out the absurdity of the whole thing.

Yes, the deficit is a problem. But we are in the middle of the longest fucking recession most Americans remember. (OK great-grampa, you still win at Great Depressions, for now. We’re trying real hard to top you though.) Revenues were already thrown way out of whack by the Bush Tax Cuts and all that “pro-business” shit Clinton pulled. Throw in long-term 9% unemployment, and they drop precipitously.

We need growth, and the only way to do that is through government spending. The pittance we’re arguing about now is only enough to maintain our current shit-sandwich of an economy. Individuals and businesses are rightfully holding on to what cash they have, so government is the only entity that can make the unselfish decision to spend large amounts for the benefit of everyone else. Interest rates are at an all time low, and it’s a crime to not use that virtually free money to make much-needed investments in infrastructure, education, and anything else that will pay for itself through the growth and demand it creates.

I’m honestly not too worried if the Super Committee fails. Like the comic says, anything they do, or what happens if they fail to reach an agreement can be changed or nullified by a future Congress. It’s in the Constitution! John McCain’s already working on this solution to preserve his precious defense spending. And if you think the Occupy movement is big now, wait until this Super Committee super-shit hits the super-fan.

Oh, and check out Mark Fiore’s animation about the Super Committee. I’m glad I watched it before drawing this cartoon, not only because it’s funny, but I originally sketched the title panel to look like the Super Friends Hall of Justice.

Help Pad Paddy’s Pockets

My pal and fellow cartoonist John Walsh has just ten days left in the Kickstarter campaign for his graphic novel, Go Home Paddy. It’s 75% funded as of this writing, so any little bit you can contribute will help push it over the finish line. Besides helping the project out, various contribution sizes result in assorted thank-yous including prints and original art.

And it’s not just a story for us Boston micks. Anti-immigrant fervor is still everywhere in this country, although the xenophobes’ ire has shifted from us potato-boilers to brown folks who actually know how to make food that tastes good. You can see for yourself since a huge chunk of the comic has been serialized on its website.

Don’t delay, pledge now!

Economic Executive Orders

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This was supposed to be Friday’s cartoon, but I had to put BFW on the back burner while I took care of that other comic that pays money. There will be another BFW posted on this coming Friday, or maybe Saturday morning depending on how things go. Either way, you’re getting what you pay for.

Since no piece of Obama’s jobs bill has any hope of getting through Congress, he’s been dabbling around the edges with executive orders. Pretty small stuff that will have no effect on the 9% unemployment that’s become totally acceptable to everyone who’s not hanging out in Occupy encampments.

Happy Climate Change Denial Season!

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Here in New England, the hinterland beyond New York most people forget about until some shitty movie about Southie comes out, it usually gets cold with a few flurries around the end of October, beginning of November. But last week’s freak October snowstorm that hit most of the northeast meant an early start to climate change denial season throughout the nation.

I was reluctant to do a cartoon that made so many parallels to the holiday season; I’m a post-Thanksgiving traditionalist. But Starbucks already changed their cups, and TV ads are already filled with elves and shit so I figured it’s fair game.

While reading up on climate change denial, I came across this funny song from Sydney band, Men with Day Jobs:

I also saw this great graph that illustrates how the deniers perceive the incontrovertible climate change data.