Yet Another Post About Fahrenheit 9/11

Frequent readers of the comic strip or even just the blog will realize that I’m not a big fan of society. At least on the macro level. Individually, I can talk to and get along with random strangers, even the fat ones. It’s just that in large groups, people sicken me.

In this completely warped spirit, I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 at noon on a Tuesday in a suburb thirteen miles south of Boston. It was this same strategy that allowed me to see The Matrix without having to roll my eyes at all the wannabe philosophy majors.

I assumed I’d have the Tuesday afternoon matinee pretty much to myself, but it was packed. Not just with seniors, but with all kinds of unemployed people. I can’t imagine people would take a day off from work to see a movie just a couple of days before the holiday weekend. Nervous teens, scared of separating their super squad into twos and threes, were hovering on the stairs desperately looking for twelve seats in a row, and sad old ladies had resigned themselves to sitting in that useless front row.

This is purely speculative, but given the interest in this film I personally witnessed, I suspect John Kerry will definitely win Massachusetts in November. The crowd seemed into the movie and even clapped at the end, one of my many pet peeves. Do they clap at the end of Now with Bill Moyers too? Thems moving pictures ain’t actors and don’t care if you clap or not.

Now on to the film itself. It’s blatantly obvious by reading about half of my cartoons or any blog post, but just in case this is your first time here, I believe George W. Bush is the worst President ever. I say ‘believe’ because forty percent of the country still refuses to accept this. But rest assured, ten years from now, Family Ties 2014 will feature a son who worships Dubya, and even sitcom watching mouth breathers will think it’s hilarious.

I agreed with the tone of the film, which I believe to be: “George W. Bush is an asshole who doesn’t give a shit about you so stop voting for him you fucking idiots!” And most of the information provided was old news to me, a sad nerd who reads too many newspapers. But the film was a muddled mess. Bush sucks so much that it’s impossible to cover all the reasons why he blows in two hours and make a cohesive documentary.

The film had basically the same structure as the bumper of an aging hippy’s Volvo. It jumped from point to point (all indisputable facts BTW) but didn’t go into much detail with any of them. I liked a lot of the vignettes, but as a whole it just seemed like a primer for people who haven’t been paying attention, not fine cinema worthy of the Palm d’Or.

I think the film’s box office success is because people know corporate American media has gone way too easy on this asshole. They crave anything that smells like actual investigative journalism. My favorite part of Fahrenheit 9/11 was when it focused on the media’s cheerleading in the run-up to war, but that was about five minutes.

Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone should see this movie, especially people who only get their news from the TV. But to call it the best film of the year isn’t really being honest. It’s more like a 21st century newsreel, or one of those CD compilations called, “NOW That’s What I Call A Shitty Presidency!”

The Hall of Douchebags

I have no idea how old this is, but it is just the kind of hard hitting music journalism that I crave. Not really, but this link is kind of like Fat Chicks in Party Hats, except for shitty garage bands and their press kit photos, or more accurately, their homebrewed attempts at publicity.

Maybe there will be a post of substance tomorrow. The site updates really squeezed in on my precious dickin’ around time and essentially made this week’s cartoon feel like a real job, except for the getting paid part.

To maximize what little humor there is in Friday’s comic, make sure you know what a ‘fauxhawk’ is. I’m looking at you, people who have better things to do than pay attention to ridiculous fashion trends.

Sloppy Internet Seconds

These were posted to Boing Boing last week, but if you missed it, they are hilarious and deserve your attention. Click the image for more. They were written by Jay Pinkerton, who also has a very entertaining blog, even though it’s from Canada.

The full Spiderman remix comic really screwed with the page layout on some browsers. I know there’s a way around it, but I already wasted a fuckload of time on site maintenance this week.

Weekend Roundup

President Cry Baby
Poor George has filed a complaint with the Irish Embassy against that mean Irish lady who strayed from the interview script. White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan will issue a mean review of this Irish performance of MacBeth at his next press conference.

Site Improvements
I think I’ve finally worked out all the bugs with the new site design. Thanks for the emails letting me know where the broken stuff was. Please keep it up, I only check things in IE and Firefox and I suck at web design.

I am not part of the “everything on the internet should be free” cult, and I believe advertising is essential to keeping anything of quality available on the web. If my cartoons can help sell ad space to escorts and bars in the print weeklies, there must be a similar, if not larger, market on the web.

Just a quick suggestion to anyone with the time and energy: I think something similar to Blog Ads could and should be developed for webcomics. If something like that already exists, let me know.

I turned off the blog comments. Blogger’s comment system was a pain in the ass. I know there are a bunch of good third party commenting services available, but I’m going to pass. I’ve always preferred the BFW Forum, and it doesn’t require any registration or anything to post.

It’s About Time
Sydney Blumenthal points out that Bush’s intricate tapestry of bullshit and intimidation is finally unraveling.

That’s certainly good news, but I want to know what world these people have been living in for the past three years. Showing up fashionably late in an election season is not something proper lads and lasses do.

Correspondence Vs. The Constitution

click for full comic
Click for entire comic

I’m trying something a bit different this week. A lot of people were just visiting the blog and reading the entire comic that way. That’s fine, but it was hard to read and not in color. Now with an easier to navigate site, I think this approach makes more sense and helps conserve bandwith.

I thought the torture memos would be old news by the time I posted this comic. Lucky for me, the world of shit the Pentagon and Justice Department has created continues to expand like a glorious turd blossom.

The March 2003 memo the first panel is referring to is here. It’s a lengthy PDF file and a tedious read. In short, it attempts to make the argument that all laws and treaties don’t apply to the President’s conduct in the War on the Tactic of Terrorism.

It just seemed absurd to me that some weaselly memo, probably written by one or two unelected assholes with a legal degree, could undermine Constitutional law. That generally requires lots of huffing and puffing from all the branches of government and is so rigorous, awful amendments only sneak through once every hundred years or so.

I got in my American History nerd machine and thought of other situations in time when unimportant correspondence contributed to the undermining of the Constitution.

There’s no real joke in the Lincoln panel. I just think carrier pigeons are funny. They were like primitive Bluetooth technology that could crap on you.

Lincoln really did suspend habeas corpus during the Civil War. Obviously the Civil War was legitimate and unambiguous, unlike our current adventure abroad. But there were still people opposed to it, and not just the ancestors of today’s Confederate reenactors. Lincoln had many of his political opponents rounded up and detained without charges. This was before free speech zones, so their dissenting opinions actually had a chance of being heard and weakening the resolve of the North.

I’d say the ends justified the means, but what if we had let the South go 140 years ago? Slavery was wrong, but let’s not pretend the hundred years following abolition were much better. I’m not a fan of alternate histories, but imagine what things would be like if the Civil War just ended with an “Eff yez all” and the Union split. The North and Canada would probably now be a superpower with universal health care and the South would be exactly like it is today. The only proof I need is any electoral college map.

Again, no real joke in the Harding panel, except for what I believe is the inherent humor in singing telegrams. Before Teapot Dome was a blog, it was a scandal that threatened to take down the Harding administration. As far as I know, Harding could’ve been as dumb as the guy who has his job now. Everything I’ve read about it seems to indicate that he had no idea his friend and Interior Secretary, Albert Fall was involved in shenanigans of Cheney proportions.

Oliver North is a scumbag and needed no correspondence to justify his participation in the many shitty things the Reagan Administration did.

The EPA gag is just a fart joke that I’ve disguised as some kind of political point. Or maybe it’s the other way around. I suppose it depends on you’re opinion of me.

I make fun of nerds and their dweebish hobbies because I envy them. They participate, and even revel in, some really stupid shit and don’t give a shit what any of the normal people think. I salute you, nerds with misplaced self-confidence.

I know Clinton’s imbroglio did involve lying, and that may have been unconstitutional. But I don’t give a shit. I don’t care what moist hole any politician sticks their parts into, even republicans who are into some really freaky shit. But that fucker Jack Ryan deserves all the heat he’s getting for this. He’s had a cameraman following his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama for some time trying to catch a precious nose-picking moment.

In hindsight, I made it way too small. The note on Clinton’s fridge says, “POTUS- 5 sec. rule quaint.” That’s a take on one of the torture memos that called the motherfucking Geneva Conventions quaint. Once you drop the Geneva Conventions, you might as well start using the phrase, “shock troops.”

See what I did with the Condi panel, I took what she said about the “Osama Determined to Attack Within U.S.” memo and made it about the Constitution. I’m so funny. Fart. For a much better joke about the lady who was so nice, they named an oil tanker after her, check out this comic by Tim Kreider.

Also, Mikhaela makes a better point about the torture memos than I do and in a couple hundred fewer words.

Whew! That was a lot of babbling. Next week I take on America’s true enemy, pretty boys.

Late Commentary

After months of procrastination, I’ve finally updated the website. Or it will be updated once I post the new cartoon. Hopefully the blog and the rest of the website are now a lot more seamless.

Also this week, I’m introducing the idea of advertising on the main BFW pages and selling original cartoon art.

It took me a lot longer than I expected to get everything to work. I’ll post the new cartoon on time, but the comic and extended commentary won’t be up on the blog until some time Friday.

Wonk Sabbatical

Friday’s cartoon is a daunting opus. I finished it early this morning and holy Christ does it have a lot of words and obscure references to American history. If that sort of thing doesn’t fill your banana hammock, I suggest skipping town and not coming back until the July 2nd comic is posted.

To make up for my heinous crime of comic verbosity, I’ll try to avoid commenting on all things wonkish until I post that cartoon’s extended commentary. That shouldn’t be hard, since, in a blast from the past, the news is all about the wangle of Clinton’s dangle, just like the glorious nineties. And during the entire nineties, I was so uninformed, I didn’t even know John Kerry was the non-Kennedy senator from my state. I don’t think I mentioned it before, but until around my 22nd birthday, I was exactly the kind of person I loathe today. Well, not entirely, I wasn’t a fatty. (except for the cheesesteak induced fatness of ’98-’99)

Since I’m going to avoid talking about politics, I thought I’d mention some crap that was news a couple of months ago to people who go outside. I just got around to seeing two awesome films: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and In America.

If you’re going to watch both in a row, I recommend watching In America first. Unless you’re a cold hard bastard, that movie will make you all drippy and useless at coming up with any sarcastic wry observations. A lesson I learned after watching it when I should’ve been making with the funny. But I highly recommend it. Keep in mind that I also really dug Terms of Endearment, so my opinion is about as worthless as your dear old granny’s. I don’t know if short hair is her schtick, but Samantha Morton, (Agatha the Pre-cog), is my new favorite indie actress. Sorry Thora, but that gum commercial, Lifetime movie, and Limp Bizkit video bumped you out of the prime Brian stalkin’ spot.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is another excellent Charlie Kaufman movie. Jim Carrey just acts and isn’t obviously gunning for an Oscar nod like he was in the by-the-numbers-biopic, Man on the Moon. The final chase scene through Malkovich’s head was my favorite part of Being John Malkovich, and this movie gave more of that and David Cross is in it. He’s the mark of quality indie films everywhere, Scary Movies aside.

On to the musical arts. I’ve bitched and moaned about MTV and corporate music for some time now, but I must give credit where credit is due. I gave up on music radio years ago (Air America, NPR, This American Life still rule), so the only way I get introduced to new music is if a friend recommends it, or I accidentally see a music video when I’m looking for 19-year-olds prancing around in their undahpants.

I liked their single and sheep slaughterin’ video, and through nefarious means, I’ve determined that Modest Mouse’s album, Good News for People Who Love Bad News is actually pretty good.

In an even stranger MTV occurrence, I’ve been introduced to an awesome track by the British group Faithless, and their single, Mass Destruction. I think it accidentally appeared on American MTV, because it was good and politically relevant, not like that shitty and obviously directed by a film student Incubus video. I don’t care much for their house music catalog, but Mass Destruction is an awesome Faithless track, and the video is quality too.

I drank four beers while writing this post. A gold star to whoever figures out how much time that equals.

Remembering the Fairness Doctrine

The Fairness Doctrine was long dead and buried by the time I started reading the news. I vaguely remember a few special interest programs tucked between my Saturday morning cartoons, but the media was already well on its way to becoming the content free 24 hour soundbite pipe it is today.

In celebration of this quaint custom of a once civilized society, I’ll refer you to a marvelous Bush campaign ad:

Dumb Side of the Moon

Click for more comics

This is the second installment of the Eavesdropping Avenger. His first adventure can be found here. I’m not fond of using my recurring characters or comedy bits too frequently, but I had nothing last week. Reagan dominated the news and my Gipper load was already shot.

I’ll be more detailed next week, but this cartoon was put together in a different way than the previous ones, so it helped that the writing was already taken care of a couple of weeks ago. It’s just a coincidence that it turned out to be kind of appropriate for Father’s Day.

The Eavesdropping Avenger is an outlet for my anger at the stupid things stupid people say. Much like how the Hack Comic Slayer is an outlet for my anger at the stupid things stupid comedians say and how Professor Zeitgeist is an outlet for my anger at the stupid things in popular culture. I think Massachusetts Jones is the only character I’ve created who is not entirely about my anger about something stupid, although the opposition to gay marriage is stupid and makes me angry.

That’s enough self-indulgent psychoanalysis. This cartoon is based on an actual conversation heard between a father and son. I don’t know why I remember this, probably because I knew it was wrong at the time, but that’s how my Dad explained the phases of the moon to me when I was just a wee little girl.

I don’t blame him. I can’t find any record of it now, but I remember reading or hearing an amazing statistic a while ago about the percentage of the population who believe the phases of the moon are caused by the Earth’s shadow. It’s high. Higher than the percentage who still believe Saddam had something to with 9-11. I wish I could back that up with facts, since it probably just sounds like me being an asshole and accusing a large swath of the population of being dumber than the people who persecuted Galileo.

The flashback to the Eavesdropping Avenger’s elementary school features a cameo from the actual elementary school I attended in the last half of the Reagan administration. I admit that the rest of the comic after the “poo gas” line is pretty much filler. I just wanted to use the phrase “poo gas.” I love saying it over and over again in my head.

Next Week: The impossible task of squeezing humor from the most evil memo (<-PDF file) in the history of memoranda.

The Party Bible

*Galatians 5:19-23
19 Now, the effects of the corrupt nature are obvious: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild partying, and similar things. I’ve told you in the past and I’m telling you again that people who do these kinds of things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There are no laws against things like that.

I never read the entirety of the Bible, but I think whatever version this was lifted from must be hilarious. I’m just imagining the entire text written by a Midwestern junior high health teacher who barely got a 900 on her SATs.

Don’t worry, I haven’t gotten all Bibley on you. The quote’s from a footnote in a hilarious Christian comic about the dangers of rock n’ roll, featuring the satanic rock stylings of Madonna Dahmer.

Here are the other topics available for your ironic enjoyment:

Pornography (featuring date raping daddy)
The Evils of Safe Sex (and the evils of corny football themed double entendres)
Dr. Death and the truth about Abortion
School Violence

There’s more at The Truth for Youth, including the evils of Harry Potter, but reading all that shit has made me insanely angry and I had to stop.