The Friendly Exterminator

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I really went out on a limb this week going after Tom Delay, the most loathed man in Washington. If you didn’t already know, Delay was an exterminator before he entered politics to end the EPA’s ruthless campaign against hazardous pesticides.

A lot of leftie blogs and comics make fun of his prior profession, and I hope that’s not how this comic comes across. I love exterminators. They kept me hanta virus free when I lived in the slums of Baltimore, and for that I’m eternally grateful. If anyone should be offended, it’s mice and cockroaches, who haven’t done any of the despicable shit Delay has done, except for that one mouse who left a turd on my pillow.

I would’ve done this cartoon ages ago, but it wasn’t until recently that I could’ve expected a majority of people to know who the hell he is. I might even be overly optimistic in thinking that it’s any more likely now.

Hopefully Lampson’s challenge will shine enough light under DeLay’s rock that people will no longer be able to ignore how corrupt the Republican House has become in just a decade, but I doubt it. I actually believe that Delay could take a shit in a Bible on live TV and there’d still be no chance of the shitkickers in his district voting for a Democrat.

Lastly, I’d like to point out how awesome the night vision panel is.

So Long Blogger

I’ve been miserable with a cold for the entire week, but one pleasant thing happened. My hosting provider randomly decided to increase a bunch of the site’s features. In addition to increased bandwidth and space, they gave me another database.

That means I was finally able to abandon Blogger and upgrade to WordPress. I think I worked out the kinks enough to make the conversion appear seamless, but let me know if you spot any problems. I know the permalinks have changed, but this blog isn’t exactly the most referenced spot on the web. I doubt anyone will notice.

The additional bandwidth and storage also means I can contemplate putting some fun stuff up here, like videos or mp3s (a Big Fat Podcast, mayhaps?).

Phuck Pharmacists Right in Their Shit Holes

Who knew pharmacists were such drama queens? It seems every couple of weeks, they make a big stink about some form of contraception. Having doodled about the subject twice already, I can no longer keep up.

Envious of the attention their pious colleagues in the Midwest have received, some Massachusetts pharmacists have made self-righteous proclamations that they won’t distribute Plan-B, which is about to become over-the-counter in this fair state.

I’ve said it a million times, a fertilized egg is not a person. It’s a potential person, and left to its own devices in a woman’s naughty parts, has maybe a 60% chance of attaching to a uterus and becoming a full-fledged fetus. That’s an extremely generous estimate, but ladies are welcome to let me poke around their undercarriages to find more concrete numbers for me to cite.

A starving or sick infant has a 100% chance of becoming a person. (Science Hint: It already is a person, even if it is brown.) Let’s focus on helping all of them reach adulthood before we all shit our pants over the abstract concept of a 60% chance of a pregnancy occurring. Even if the egg becomes a pregnancy and doesn’t miscarry, I’m still not convinced that every life is precious.

I have no idea why this is the one issue that seems to piss me off the most out of the veritable cornucopia of grievances I have. Contrary to the ideas suggested in this documentary, I lack the anatomical parts that require emergency contraception.

I suppose it’s the uncritical thinking these pharmacists display. My elitist ass expect Ma and Pa Shit-For-Brains to not get the point, but I still expect pharmacists, med school drop-outs they may be, to grasp the idea that something that might exist in the future doesn’t also exist in the present. Time machines aren’t real, although time traveler conventions are.

In other “Why are these assholes so obsessed with theoretical life?!” news, Massachusetts rocks the Kasbah yet again and is preparing to allow stem cell research. Hopefully this will finally lead to a cure for cognitive dystrophy, which is believed to affect nearly 51% of our population.

Therapist at Sigma House

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This is just a silly sketch. No profound commentary on the selection of Pope Benedict XVI, Tom Delay’s parade of shenanigans, or something else that happened this week. Studies have proven that cartoonists who become chained to the news cycle every week become insane fatties.

The title is a shitty play on words, which I came up with at the last minute. This comic was originally titled “Jack O’Hanlon: Manly Therapist,” which sprang forth from my original idea of a rugged elderly New England Fisherman therapist who was completely put off by the idea of people talking about their feelings. That had far too many angles to work into just eight panels, so what you get is a dumbed down, “Gosh, fraternity guys sure are assholes” approach.

I can say that because I was in a fraternity and am still a gigantic asshole. My apologies to all the emo kids, dweebs, nerds, goths, hippies, and anime club members who read BFW and are completely offended that I went with a clique that had a more lenient dress code and a better selection of beverages.

Repeating Myself Again

First off, I promise Friday’s cartoon isn’t shitty. It might be lame and unfunny, but I actually put some effort into it. Let’s all forget what happened last Friday and look towards the future, towards the bleak dystopia that awaits us all.

Word on the street is that the venerable Boston Phoenix will be undergoing an extreme makeover in the coming months. Hopefully the improvements include expanding the number of comics they offer. They currently run one excellent comic, some local issue editorial cartoons, and a couple other gag panels that are like Playboy comics, or those found in the New Yorker.

Another improvement I’d like to see is the removal of the adult classified section. I am a terrible prude and hate reading that thing on the train and having to hide that section’s racy cover. If they do change to a tabloid format, this might be a moot point. For those of you who aren’t media nerds, tabloid here refers to the fold of the paper, not the quality of journalism.

If you’ve got a hankering to help me out, let them know you’d like to see them pick up the locally made and not too awful Big Fat Whale. I dream of a day when I can tell people I meet that I’m a cartoonist and not get a blank stare that seems to imply, “You poor delusional little man.”

Sounds in the Absence of Laughter

Tomorrow’s cartoon is a stinker. To make your visit to the site this week not entirely useless, I thought I’d dabble in the pretentious act of recommending music. I have the ears of an 85-year-old man, so take my recommendations with a grain of salt.

I apologize for loading the links with my Amazon referrer tag, but I am a greedy asshole. If any of this stuff strikes your fancy, pick it up wherever you can find it on the cheap and don’t worry about me getting my crumbs from Amazon.

I’m horrible at describing music, but I’ll try. To me at least, Nic Armstrong sounds like a mix of the Kinks’ early rocking stuff and their dalliances with the blues in the seventies. He’s got a better voice than Davies and he uses that harmonica holder thing that hangs around your neck. That apparatus is so awesome, that it’s the only thing keeping Neil Young from becoming the most insufferable man in the universe.

Thankfully, you don’t have to rely on my rambling exposition to get an idea of what Nic sounds like. The site for his US label, New West, offers some full length mp3s and streaming stuff from the album, The Greatest White Liar.

There are a couple of dates where Nic Armstrong and the Thieves will be playing here in the States. He’s opening for Louis XIV, who are OK, but I don’t care for their ridiculous hipster affectations. They’ll be playing at the Middle East in Cambridge Monday, April 25th.

Things have gotten so bad with radio and music television that the majority of new music I hear comes from the musical guests on Conan O’Brien. It was during some random December show that I caught wind of Nellie McKay, several months after every critic praised her as the next big thing.

Her album, Get Away From Me, is a mix of fun songs and others that could’ve been popular during WWII.

Before she hit the big time, she attempted to break into the world of stand-up comedy. I have no idea if she was any good, but she comes across as having a good sense of humor in this AV Club interview from last year.

I just recently picked up The Kills‘ latest album No Wow. They’ve been compared to the White Stripes a lot, but I think they have more in common with The Jesus and Mary Chain.

I don’t have anything else to add about them, but don’t want to give them the short shrift. Here’s a lengthy Pitchfork review of the album.

I have far too much music for someone who’d rather lick an elephant’s balls than dance, but these are the three albums that are currently getting the most play on my mp3 player. If it turns out that my opinions were worthwhile to anyone, I might do this every couple of months, at least until the radio starts playing something other than whiny bullshit.

Yes, I entered the 21st century and picked up a Rio Carbon, a handy 5 Gig mp3 player. Note how I didn’t get an iPod. As a contrarian misanthrope, it is my duty to not buy trendy overpriced products that look like they were designed by Lisa Frank.

Flushed Down the Pilot Pipe

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Any explanation of this week’s cartoon would be futile. These are just random titles for television pilots. I did a similar cartoon last year, but wrote a premise or logline for each one. I was lazy this year.

It’s probably a personality flaw, but I find children with fake mustaches to be the most hilarious thing in the world. If they made handlebar mustache pacifiers, and you invited me to your baby shower, you’d know what my gift was going to be.

I was going to include an mp3 of the Sparks song ‘Moustache,’ but it’s too early in the month for me to risk all my bandwidth on sharing a song many of you would probably find annoying.

Programming Notes

If you haven’t seen it already, check out Wonder Showzen on MTV2 tonight at 9:30 EST, 6:30 PST. It has all the best parts of TV Funhouse combined with the most hilarious child in the universe, Trevor. It has also been running on MTV (Where culture goes to die) on the following Sunday, but I’m not sure if that will happen every week.

Also, the American Office isn’t that bad. They would’ve been better off if the show was just inspired by the folks at Wernham Hogg, instead of stretching every plot line over 22 episodes, when there were only 12 episodes of the original series. The show is definitely at its strongest when it strays from the jokes that are fused into my brain from multiple DVD screenings.

In spite of all this, I’m troubled by the canonization of British comedy. We get a skewed look at it here in the States because only the good stuff gets sent to our TV sets, with some exceptions.

My evidence? My Hero, the British equivalent of Out of This World. I’m sure there are more egregious examples, but at least the British have the good sense not to brag about them. Unlike our fair nation’s entertainment industry, which I’m sure is preparing to inflict the horrors of Life on a Stick to the already suffering people of Burkina Faso.

In spite of all this, I’m still creaming myself in anticipation of this.

Science Fact

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This is the second comic I wrote this week. The first one was called “Lame Moments in Rock,” and it was horrible. I write awful cartoons all the time, but usually don’t realize it until long after they’re done and up on the site. This one however, made its suckiness apparent to me as soon as I finished sketching it, which is the most time-consuming and tedious part of creating a BFW comic.

Despite all the time I put into it, I couldn’t bring that hideous beast to life and instead went with something slightly better that could be slapped together in the limited amount of time I had left before my deadline.

The point I was trying to make with this cartoon is that science has become so devalued in this country that science journals might as well be pulp magazines. It doesn’t come across as clearly as I intended. If I had more time, it’s an idea that I think could’ve turned into a really good cartoon, instead of one that’s just acceptable.

It’s obviously not as severe as racism, sexism, or agism, but anti-intellectualism has been on the rise for years. There was a time when those who made the effort to understand the world around them were revered and respected. Now they’re shat upon by self-righteous mouth breathing goons who would rather shove abstinence only education down the throats of children than read every study that proves it doesn’t work.

Other people who are smarter than me have written much more eloquently about this disturbing trend. I don’t have the time to find a version online, but Sarah Vowell’s nerds vs. jocks chapter in the Partly Cloudy Patriot comes to mind.

I do have a solution to put an end to the reign of the morons: merciless ridicule. People need to stop celebrating giggling twats and start praising those who are actually contributing something to society. For too long, dumb, faith-based ideas have been humored by the “cultural elites” who didn’t want to offend anyone. That noise has got to stop and they must be made to feel ashamed of their ridiculousness. This year’s Scientific American April Fool’s Editorial is an excellent start.

Do your part to prevent us from slipping into a mini Dark Age. All you have to do is mock ignorance when you see it.

P.S. This is also my strategy for curbing obesity in America.