Required Reading

A wave of literacy has sprung unto me like a tsunami caused by the earthquake of learning. A little over a month ago I picked up the new McSweeney’s, Wigfield, and Tim Krieder’s The Pain. It was the most reading I’ve done since I was stuck in jury duty for a day, where I read my copy of Nine Stories for the billionth time and then learned what the ladies really want from a 1998 issue of Cosmo.

I admit that most of my free time is spent being lulled into ignorance by the soft blue light of the cathode ray. Reading is a rarity for me, despite what my nerdly vocabulary may suggest. I blame the futon, whose design is much more conducive to dicking around than curling up with a decent book. Damn you Sir Isaac Futon and your wretched invention!

After hearing good things from places I cannot recall, I decided to pick up the latest offering from the writers of the Daily Show. And it is awesome. It’s similar to the print offerings of the Onion, but incredibly well thought-out and even more well-written.

It’s a faux textbook, very similar in format to the books I had to read in high school. It might also be similar to the textbooks liberal arts majors are familiar with, but I was an engineering student. Our textbooks had no frills and were frequently populated by hundreds of tables that made you question the existence of a just and merciful god.

If the writers can put something like this out every year, I will abide the weeks of vacations the show seems to go on. If you like the Daily Show, seek this book out anywhere you can find it. I put the Amazon link up because I’m a whore and can use any bit of cash, but feel free to poke around for a deal. Or perhaps if you bribe me with a sandwich and don’t have a reputation for losing shit, I will let you borrow my copy.

BFW Investigative Reports

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I hope last week’s break didn’t bother anyone too much. It took me a while to get back in the swing of things, and this is all I could slap together at the last minute. I’m not even sure what my point is supposed to be.

It’s obviously a take on the CBS memo controversy that was this month’s swift boat non-story. CBS screwed up and used documents they couldn’t verify. The nitpicking of all the minutiae of typewriters and word processors got so unbearable that I swore off the political blogs and just read the real news, which treated the story more like the marginal item it was.

Bush still hasn’t accounted for his missing year in TANG. They just keep repeating that he got an honorable discharge. That’s not really proof. Anyway, the story is boring and Bush can be easily discredited by all the shit he’s pulled in my lifetime.

I didn’t even want to do a cartoon about it. But I am lazy and fake presidential doodles were an easy out for me. Before some crack journalist with a blog gets on the case, I admit that those doodles are fakes.

People often shrug off criticism of environmental policies, and filthy hippies are to blame for that. I do not care about the feelings of cows or the emotional impact of fishing on the fish. But mercury in the fish has made large predatory species inedible and created lots of kids with behavior problems. Reducing the number of annoying children with ADD running around unfettered in restaurants is an environmental issue even the staunchest global warming denier can get behind.

Except for Yucca mountain, the doodles are about the environmental issues I think any sane person should care about. Only self-absorbed douchebags feel they have the right to tool around Yellowstone on whatever toy they wasted their money on.

With the advancements in penile technology I read about in my inbox every day, gas guzzling monstrosities should become a thing of the past to all but the biggest of tiny-dicked assholes. If I saw it just a day later, the Optimus Prime parody would’ve made even more sense thanks to this ridiculous contraption.

As for Yucca mountain, I live on the east coast and I am perfectly comfortable with all our shit getting sent out there. Sorry Nevada, but that’s what you get for having half of this year’s new TV shows set in Las Vegas. Fate is a harsh critic of derivative television.

Architecture of the Damned

I’m sure this must’ve been around for a while, but I just caught wind of it. Not Fooling Anybody documents local businesses that take up shop in abandoned franchise buildings. They’re sort of like tiny little dead malls with various mediocre businesses squatting in them.

I’m slowly getting back to a cartooning schedule. I spent a week cracking wise and writing funny business without having to waste any time with drawing. It was splendificent. As comic work was ramping back up, the chore of illustrating was too much and I kept procrastinating. Time ran out so I came up with some contrivance for shoddy work in the upcoming cartoon. Things should be back to normal after that.

Larry David On Undecideds

If you didn’t see it yesterday, Larry David wrote an op-ed (sub. req’d. Bugmenot login) in yesterday’s Times. He points out that the undecideds just crave attention and it’s the unlikely voters who really are the morons. He makes the best case for voting I’ve ever heard in this last paragraph:

Not only are they lazy, they’re also indifferent. They just don’t believe that voting can have an effect on their lives. Well, it just so happens that right after I voted for the first time, I landed myself a big fat job in Hollywood, a biopsy came back benign and I met my future wife as soon as I walked out of the voting booth. Coincidence? You decide.

I’m a poor bastard who doesn’t get HBO, so I only recently got to see Curb Your Enthusiasm after it came out on DVD. Of course it turned out to be one of my favorite shows. And now that HBO is developing a series with esteemed funny man, Louis CK, I really need to figure out how to expand my basic cable horizons.

Good News For People Who Love Flogging

Just a note that Flogging Molly’s newest CD comes out tomorrow. You can sample the first three tracks on their website. One song is a kickass sea chantey about pirates! If you need any more convincing, then you sir or madam, are a wet blanket, not even fit to be distributed to indigenous peoples by Jeffrey Amherst.

Update: Rather than make another tiny post, I’m just updating this one. Both bits of information are related in that they both pertain to things that are encoded on discs.

I recently read that there are two xmas special episodes of The Office. They supposedly take place after the end of the second series and catch up with everyone at Wernham-Hogg, and Brent’s life post-redundancy as a minor reality celebrity.

I don’t have BBC America and want to know where and how I can get these episodes. The interweb is littered with many awful shows, but I can’t find these two. I’ll be willing to trade episodes of Yes, Dear and Still Standing, which my VCR accidentally recorded instead of The Dead Zone, one of my guilty TV pleasures.

One last thing about compact discs. Am I so retarded that I don’t know how to remove many CDs and DVDs from their cases without nearly snapping them in half?

I will briefly bore you with “street smarts I learned in a classroom that happened to also be located on a street, so it technically counts as street smarts even though it would be more appropriate to call them book smarts.”

I believe the plastics industry has gotten lax when it comes to tolerances. If I owned a pair of calipers, I could prove many of the DVDs I bought recently have cases designed for a press fit with the standard disc diameter, when a snap fit is what they should be using. I know what you’re thinking, “Hey Prince Dweebish, you to need to make fun of fatties, enough with the witchcraft of engineering.” Or, if you are a nerd, “Perhaps thermal expansion has something to do with it.” First, fatties are still gross. Second, sorry nerds, plastics don’t react like metals when exposed to heat.

I wrestled with whether or not I should post this rambling update. But since I’m shirking my responsibility to provide you with a cartoon this week, I owe you something.

It never ends. I ask, and somehow I received. The invaluable Thigh Master posted info on the 2hour The Office special.

The Most Cringe-Inducing Video

It’s the crappiest holiday of the year. The barrage of self-reflexive TV specials is gearing up. It made me naseous when I first saw it happen, and now they’re showing it all over again, probably throughout the weekend.

Of course, I’m talking about that corny performance on the Capitol steps when they all sang “God, Bless America.” The terrorists hate us for all sorts of stupid reasons. I hate us because there are too many people who actually love being pandered too.

15 Cent Book Bin

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This is the sixth BFW Book Bin comic, making it the longest running recurring bit in the comic’s history, if it wasn’t already. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you, but I was in a rush, and making up nonsense titles is something I can do in my sleep. I might be tooting my own flute, but I think most of 2004’s half-assed BFW cartoons are infinitely better than my most sincere and thought out efforts from the first two years.

I’m not going to dissect any of the dumb titles. I realize some may be confused by the lack of a punchline, but I find corny titles and bad poetry to be incredibly hilarious on their own. It’s a subjective thing, you either like it or you don’t, so I’m not going to try to defend the humor in “Planet of the Giant Sexpots,” “Hurricane of Rage, Tempest of Regret,” or “Police Chase on Danger Mountain.” If it doesn’t float your boat, keep it to yourself, no amount of mean-spirited email is going to change my mind.

I have nothing to say about the collection of letters to the editor and whorehouse phrases. They were jokes I wrote and I take full responsibility for them. However, I think we should shift the focus from lame jokes I’ve written in the past (last week) to the one awesome joke I could potentially write at some point in the future (ca. March 23rd, 2007).

I already made fun of Connecticut a few months ago, but I just pulled its name out of the blue. I would’ve gone with any other state if new I’d be using Connecticut again for this parody of Thomas Franks’ What’s the Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. It details how the right has convinced much of the red states to vote against their financial interests solely by advocating culture war issues, which have no real hope of being won. I haven’t read it, but he’s done enough press for it that I am confident that I got the gist of it. Of course the baseball analogy doesn’t hold much water, it is just a joke. Connecticut’s baseball loyalties are split between Mets/Yankees/Red Sox because Boston is far away, New York is close. Any similarity to Steinbrenner’s go it alone, stay the course, no matter what the cost approach to the Republican party is purely coincidental.

If you haven’t seen the Falling Grape Lady yet, just Google the phrase. You will not be disappointed. I know there’s no ratings system, but I’m sure Star Wars Kid is the most widely circulated video, BFW is not in the business of presenting accurate facts, just like the media.

Have you heard about the Swift Boat Vets? Well this take on them is nowhere near being over a month old. Nope. Not at all. I am very timely when it comes to presenting the hot political topics of the day.

This may be shocking, but I occasionally read books, but made a point not to read any of the political tomes that came out in this election year. Books I recently read and recommend are: McSweeney’s, “Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans” and the collaborative effort by Strangers with Candy crew, “Wigfield.” Both are funnier than reading something that confirms your political beliefs, which isn’t funny at all, unless you believe evolution is a lie. I’d love to read the book that advocates that, especially if it has pictures of dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark.

A Melange of Uselessness

I’m incredibly busy for the next ten days and blogging is first on my list of things I can cut from my time consuming dicking around regime. To hold you over, I’m stuffing one last post with a bunch of unrelated stuff to create the illusion of substance.

Following their mediocre June, I opted to ignore the Red Sox until I saw them in Chicago last month. They’ve apparently decided to move their August-September swoon up a couple of months, or maybe the Red Sox and Yankees both touched an enchanted skull and switched personalities mid-season.

Obviously, the Yankees are still leading the division and are likely to win, especially if their already easy remaining schedule has a couple of forfeits thrown in. The Red Sox only hope is to have the injured Kevin Brown remain in the Yankee clubhouse and give Mussina a season-ending purple nurple with his good hand following a loss.

Don’t mistake my defeatism for belief in a curse. I’m just psychologically preparing myself for the inevitable. If it’s curses you like, I have a new one for you: The Curse of the Giggling Moron. A film called Fever Pitch was filming during a game at Fenway last weekend. The Boston Globe article and IMDB are conflicting in the directing and screenplay credits, but Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon are definitely appearing in it. The NESN broadcast kept cutting to them during the game. Any harm that happens to the Red Sox post-season chances can be blamed on Fallon, who’s already responsible for causing my chronic case of misanthropy.

Speaking of giggling morons, am I the only one who finds KY’s recent advertising blitz hilarious? Every time one of those commercials comes on, I laugh out loud. It has something to do with imagining the Docker-clad male actor trying to convince the sweater-around-the-neck lady actor that a spicy lube is all she needs to make a trip to the no-no hole an enjoyable romp. I realize there are other less hilarious uses for personal lubricants, but I am thirteen years old.

Old Timey Police Blotter. Before it was part of Boston, JP had its own police department, and thanks to someone, a few choice excerpts are available for your enjoyment. My favorite is this weekend bender by Duffy and son:

Sept. 14th – Town all quiet during the night. Duffy still drunk & his son not sober.

Sept. 15th – Town all quiet during the night. Duffy still drunk.

Sept. 16th – Town all quiet during the night. Duffy still drunk.

(Via Boston Common)

All signs are pointing to no new cartoon Friday, September 17th. You will get through it. Make sure you have a week’s worth of drinking water for everyone in your household and a platter of delicious sandwiches. I recommend Ruebens, but grilled cheese will also get you through this crisis.

Clark Natural

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The spoof on the long running Mark Trail comic strip is probably a little too obscure, but I hope the joke works even if you don’t get the reference. I never read the daily version, but the Sunday comic was always one of my favorites, right behind Ripley’s.

I was shocked to learn that there are 2.6 million undecided voters in this country. According to the article, that’s a relatively low number compared to previous election years. It is very frightening that the outcome of the election depends on the voting equivalent of the O.J. jury.

I’m still not sure if the people who are willfully ignorant of even the most basic facts about the candidates aggravate me more than the people who think TV provides all the information they need. It’s a tight rope, and I’ve reconciled the issue by deciding that both groups are complete morons.

However, I don’t think everyone who votes Republican is a moron. The wealthy and those connected to big business should vote that way, it’s in their own personal financial interest. The idiots who believe a soul is created whenever two people fuck really don’t have any other options. And until the McFadden Voting Rights Only For Those Who Scored 1200 Or Higher On The SATs Act (AKA The Smarty Pants amendment) passes, they still get to vote.

I know the 5-yard chuck rule isn’t new. However, this is the first year the NFL is attempting to strictly enforce it. That’s too many words for an already crowded text box. I agree with Jeremy that it’s a dumb rule and has only been revived to placate the Indianapolis Colts’ delicate wide receivers who can’t even take a little bump n’ running from a superior Patriots squad.

I doubt any of them are reading this, but if you happen to be an undecided voter, I apologize for this week’s cartoon. Particularly for using big words like ‘ecosystem’ and ‘cognitive.’ If I inspired you to become less of an uninformed drain on our society, check out the Kerry Plan and the Bush Plan, and try to figure things out. If you’re in a hurry to catch the latest Fear Factor, here’s the answer: Kerry’s plan is better, even though you think he wouldn’t get along with anyone in your bowling league. (Memo to the Kerry Campaign, that would make an awesome slogan.)

Lloyd Dangle of the always funny Troubletown also has a cartoon about undecided voters this week.


I’m in the process of kicking a twenty year caffeine habit. I was downing a twelve pack of soda on inking days and had to quit. I’m writing this in the hopes that it will distract me from the withdrawal headache that’s taking over my soul. Booze however, is something I will quit only after finding a dead hooker in the bed. That analogy doesn’t really work since, believe it or not, I can go months without beer and I was practically brushing my teeth with a toothbrush dipped in cola.

I really apologize for the lack of posts that are more than just brief missives or the weekly comic commentaries. I assure you that a deluge of self-important navel gazing posts will pour onto this page in a couple of weeks.

With most of the decent funny stuff I’ve come up with being saved for my vaudeville act, McFadden and the Grizzly Bear, all that’s left to talk about is politics. And no sane person would want my opinions on the Republican National Convention. Anyone with a pulse knows that I’m a partisan Democrat and really have nothing to add to the conversation besides the obvious.

The obvious being that they’re lying and the media is not doing its job in calling them on it, Daily Show excepted.

Also, I guarantee that the ban on caffeine does not mean that I have become a Latter Day Saint. My underpants remain completely unsacred. And finally, I’m only sharing the whole thing because there needed to be another post. Please don’t interpret this as a call to send me your own personal stories of triumph over junk food addiction.