Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Today's Cartoon: New Orleans' First Mardi Gras Since Hurricane Katrina

You know, at first when I heard that New Orleans was going through with Mardi Gras despite the fact that much of the city was still in ruins and most of the population was "out of town", I thought it was a really bad idea (and in poor taste).

But then I made the realization that for all the things that have gone wrong since Hurricane Katrina, Mardi Gras was probably the ONLY thing that New Orleans doesn't have to rely on anyone else (ie. FEMA) for. It's by far the biggest tourist "event" in the entire state; and if it means helping people get people back to work and putting some much needed money into their local economy, then I guess the show SHOULD go on.

Where my real concern lies in all is this, is (as usual) with the "Mainstream Media". The coverage seems to want to spin this year's Mardi Gras as a kind of return to normalcy, when the reality of it doesn't seem like that at all. The people of New Orleans are tired of waiting for assistance to arrive so they have taken it upon themselves to spearhead their own recovery effort, by doing it's best to put itself back to work and to get tourists to come back to the city. They are even having "bus tours" of the destroyed neighbourhoods as a way of earning more money towards the city's reconstruction.

The way I see this year's Mardi Gras is more like the city of New Orleans had to get out of its sick bed and go shake its ass, for the entire country; just so it could pay it's bills and put a little bit more food on its table.

It's kinda like a bake-sale; but instead of cookies and cakes, there are beads, booze and boobies.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Don Knotts 1924 - 2006

So while I was working on today’s cartoon about the passing of Don Knotts, I was pretty shocked to discover that Darren McGavin also passed away this weekend.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the name, chances are you are more than familiar with his performance as Ralphie’s dad (Mr. Parker) in “A Christmas Story”. It was a holiday classic at my house that we used to watch every Christmas Eve, while I was growing up. A one point I had seen the movie so many that I used to be able to recite the ENTIRE script from start to finish (seriously). McGavin’s performance as Ralphie (and Randy’s) Dad will always be special to me because it reminds me SO much of my own father, when I was a kid.

This, along with the passing of Don Knotts and Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster) earlier in the month and you really start to believe in that old superstition, that death (or at least “celebrity” death) comes in threes... Or in this case, “Three’s Company”.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Today's Cartoon: The Singapore Cell Phone Sex Video & The Winter Olympics

So, I was doing my daily rounds, checking news sites and search engines to see what the "BIG" news story of the day going to be; and to my surprise (well not really) the internet was STILL obsessing over this 17 year old girl in Singapore who had her cell phone stolen and had her videos leaked onto the internet.

Initially, I wasn't going to bother discussing it; but then it got me thinking. With the limitless amounts pornography that's already available on the web, why are people still SO obsessed by all things "Tammy" (c'mon "hit" me!) It's not as if you're going to see something you haven't seen before (especially if she's only 17). It actually reminds me of that whole "Saugeen Stripper" thing a couple of months ago (which is pretty much the exact same scenario, but in Canada)

The answer I came up with is a pretty simple one... Initially, people want to see it because they know they're not supposed to see it; but then, other people decide that they want to see it just because everyone else is seeing it and they don't want to feel left out (and so on and so on). It's like an online version of a "stampede".

"Sex videos" are the internet equivalent of "oil", everyone wants it and are willing to dig all day to find it. What surprises me is that businesses haven't tried to use this as a "marketing" model. It seems that only "celebrities" have clued into this. So, say what you will about Paris Hilton, but I think this makes her absolutely brilliant (yet, still quite "whorrible").

Think about it, if you could get product placement in "leaked sex videos" that are seen (repeatedly) and shared (repeatedly) by millions of people on the web, that sure as Hell beats forking over half a million dollars for one 30 second spot during the Superbowl, doesn't it?

And have you seen the production value of these videos? (of course you have). They don't cost a damn thing to make; just some courage (or booze), a hot chick (or any chick for that matter) and a penis (or two chicks and a desperate celebrity) and your set. So next time one of these videos gets "mysteriously" leaked onto the internet, don't be surprised if half way through it, the hot college girl getting banged in her dorm room suddenly turns to the camera and begins to tell you all about the benefits of refinancing your morgage or switching your car insurance.

Talk about getting caught with your pants down, eh?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Civil War Looms In Iraq

I guess when the "mainstream media" begins to use "Civil War" to describe the situation in Iraq, it pretty much becomes "official"; even though the actual fighting among Shiites and Sunnis has been going on for a quite a while now.

I guess all the media needed was an "event" to symbolize the beginning of this new chapter of violence in Iraq; and sadly it appears that they now have one.

I remember when the initial US invasion of Iraq ended in 2003; and the looting that took place afterwards was quickly dismissed as an "untidy" freedom. Just a part of free people being "free". In fact, most of what has taken place in Iraq has been justified simply by comparing it to America's own historical struggle to form the democracy it has today. So does this mean that a "Civil War" would also be considered an essential part of Iraq's "growing pains"?

If that's the case, then at this rate Iraq still have two World Wars, a Great Depression to look forward to by the end of the year.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Today's Cartoon: British Historian David Irving Jailed for Denying Holocaust

There are plenty of people out there who claim to have evidence and/or knowledge which disproves the belief that around six million Jews were killed during the second World War. Still, the way I see it, denying the Holocaust is more of a "personal" choice than an educated one.

I'm all for "free speech" and I believe that everyone should all be allowed to speak their minds, however... the way I've always perceived the Holocaust is that it didn't just involve the killing of millions of Jews, but it also included the destruction of personal belongings, documents and identification, thus erasing their history from existence.

This is where the problem lies for historians. The "estimated" number is between five and six million; however, it could easily be more or less than that. There is no ACTUAL number that can be provided (and relied upon) as to just how many Jews (among others) were killed. Historians are pretty much left on their own to fill in the blanks. And what they decide to fill it with has much more to do with personal beliefs (and biases) than historical accuracy.

For some, it seems that this is a history that is based much more on "want" than "fact".

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Today's Cartoon: US Hands Conrol of Sea Ports To Arab Nation

What we have here is a collision between two mighty forces, "Globalization" and the "Global War on Terror"... and it appears that the former has come out on top.

This is actually a GREAT thing for the United States, because the "fear" that America's national security has suddenly been outsourced to a foreign country, making the nation more vulnerable to another devastating terrorist attack must be completely unfounded... and perhaps even overblown, by those who (in turn) approved this deal. Otherwise, this wouldn't have been allowed to happen (right?)

The way I see it, this means either the United States is "winning" the war on terror (and I mean seriously kicking ass) or that the whole thing is not as "important" an issue as we may have been led to believe (or at least not anymore). The only ones who know for certain are those who seem to have no problems with this deal. So, I have to believe they know what they're doing (right?)

What does this mean for everyone else? Well, I don't know about you but I say it's time for Americans to celebrate the sudden defeat of "global terrorism" and the return to business as usual ;)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Israel Imposes Economic Sanctions on Palestinians

I guess this really shouldn't come as much of a surprise; I mean, it would seem awfully hypocritical for Hamas to call for the destruction of the state of Israel and while at the same time expecting them to pay their worker's wages for them.

Fortunately for Hamas, Israel seems to have recognized this "conflict of interest" and has taken the initiative to cut the funding in advance of being told that it is no longer wanted (right?)

This prevents any awkward misunderstandings in their relationship and works well for both sides; who can now focus more clearly on their distain for one another.

PS. Rumor has it that if I type the word "brrreeeport" into my post, the internet gods will grant more exposure to my blog (plus fame and fortune)... I guess I'll have to wait and see about this :)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Today's Cartoon: United Nation Calls for Closure of Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre

There seems to be a common theme in the "news" this week; "Torture". Whether it's in the form of a street beating, a hunger strike or getting shot by the the Vice President of the United States, "pain" and "suffering" seems to be the top story of every "news" program and "news" web site; and today is no exception.

Chances are when you think of "prisoner abuse" the first place you think of is Abu Ghraib, right? Well, remember that little American hideaway down in Cuba? You know, the place made out of plywood and chicken-wire? Well the United Nations sure does, and they would really appreciate it if the United States would close down the Guantanamo Detention Centre; and are even willing to go as far as to ask them really nicely, to do so.

Of course, the United States isn't going to close the place down, why would they? In their minds, they are doing nothing wrong because the "War on Terror" is only a "war" in name alone (like the "war on drugs" or the "war on Christmas"); and therefore the "rules" of war (ie. Geneva Convention) don't apply. In fact, I'm pretty sure that by now the United States has probably convinced itself (quite easily) that the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay isn't really a "prison" at all, because to say so would mean that the "captives" would be "Prisoners of War" and that can't be possible because the United States isn't really at "War", right?

So the question is, if "Camp X-Ray" isn't a "prison" then what could it be? Is it an "Internment Camp"? A "Boarding School"? A "Zoo"? or perhaps it's a Museum of "Modern History"?

My guess is that it doesn't really matter what the place is called by Americans, just so long as it isn't called a "prison"; that way, the facility can stay open indefinitely and continue to frustrate and outrage the world for many years to come.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Today's Cartoon: New Abu Ghraib Torture Footage Released

Now I know why the Bush Administration has been so slow with the Hurricane Katrina relief, they're probably planning on using the resources to build levees around the White House instead.

Just what the world needs, more fuel for the fire. This, along with the release of footage, showing British Troops abusing Iraqi citizens and of course, the ongoing outrage over those Muhammad Cartoons, and you really start to get THAT feeling.

You know? The same feeling you get when you've finally reached the top of that slow incline at the beginning of a rollercoaster, and you look down and see all the twisting and turning chaos that lies before you.

It doesn't matter what we do now because we're ALL going over, so you might as well just throw your hands in the air and go "Weeee!!!" Which is actually the perfect metaphor for my comics. Trying to find the humor in things that are totally out of our reach and beyond our control :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Saddam Hussein Goes on a Hunger Strike

I’m not too sure I understand Saddam Hussein’s strategy here. The man is on trial for his life, yet he decides to go on a hunger strike because he feels that he is being treated unfairly. Sounds like a win/win situation for the prosecution. If the court has to delay a trial over the fear that you might starve yourself to death, only then to resume the trial and end up killing you anyway; then I’m not too sure that a "hunger strike" is the best way to go.

I remember hearing that Saddam Hussein was quite fond of candies and snack foods. It was reported that “Doritos” and “Mars" bars are his personal choice (remember all those "Mars" bar wrappers the US Army said they found in his “spider hole”?). Can a guy with such a renowned sweet-tooth really stick to a Hunger Strike anyway?

I wonder if the court will employ any subversive tactics in an attempt to break Saddam Hussein. Perhaps they will order bailiffs to start opening bags of Doritos in front of Saddam; or maybe the judge will listen to testimonies while eating “Big Macs” in front of a GIANT fan. If the this trial is already considered to be a “Circus” then why not go all the way and provide popcorn and cotton candy to the courtroom? The possibilities are endless.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Today's Cartoon: "Tabloid" Video of British Troops Abusing Iraqis

The Iraq war is the deadliest war EVER for journalists. Information from the battlefield is so difficult of get out of Iraq that quite often the only news you get is that which has been provided to the press directly by the American or British Government. Independant reports/accounts are frequently dismissed by the mainstream media because: a) they either can't (or won't) be confirmed by "officials" (aka. the British and American governments); or b) the independant report has been provided by a "questionable" source (aka. NOT the British and American governments).

Such is the case with the latest round of ("alleged") Iraqi abuse footage that has leaked out of the war torn nation. Initially, most of the media attention was directed towards the source rather than the actual content of the video; but then once the attention was place upon the footage, it was more about when it was filmed, rather than the fact that the incident occured in the first place.

Tabloid or not, the footage still speaks for itself. I mean, this isn't an amateur "Bigfoot" or "Alien Autopsy" video we're talking about here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Dick Cheney Accidentally Shoots Friend on Hunting Trip

At first when I heard that Dick Cheney was shooting at quail, my first thought was that it was former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle that got shot.

It's strange how over the course of the evening the "news" has been changing it's story from (victim) Harry Whittington being a "friend" of the Vice President, to him being an occasional "hunting pal" to him just being a "fellow hunter" (who got in the way of the V.P.'s glorious killshot). I wouldn't be surprised if by the end of the day tommorow, this poor guy is accused (in the media) of being an "Al Qaeda" opperative; and Cheney becomes a hero for shooting him.

What I don't get is how he could just open fire on this guy without checking to make sure he was a BIRD first. Perhaps Cheney and his hunting pals were afraid that they were being flanked by an insurgency of vengeful pheasants and were merely shooting in self-defense. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for certain; oppenents of the the war in Iraq will be quick to draw comparisons between this accident and the "faulty intelligence", which started the war in the first place.

You know, at the end of the day, I really don't know which breed of bird to blame more here; the Quail for not getting shot (like they're supposed to) or the "Wild Turkey" that was (probably) consumed beforehand.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Today's Cartoon: George W. Bush Reveals Details of Foiled Terror Plot

Quite a few "talking heads" in the media are making a pretty big deal out of the fact that the President of the United States is only now disclosing the details of a planned terrorist attack on LA's "Library Tower"; that was foiled four years ago.

Some individuals (ie. Hilary Clinton) have even gone so far as to accuse him of deliberately playing the "fear card" in an attempt to shore up support for the Republicans, in time for the 2006 Congressional elections.

Who knows, right? But I will tell you one thing; if I had a "fear card" I would play it EVERY chance I got.

Sure, I'm familiar with the "Boy who Cried Wolf" story; but the "real" lesson that I took away from that fairy tale was that the kid got eaten because the wolf was an ACTUAL threat. Had he been smart, he would have made something up; something completely phony but every bit as terrifying. This way, he could scare the villagers without having to watch his own back at the same time. Then, whenever the villagers finally catch on to his little game, all he has to do is take a couple of days off (give the people a chance to forget) and then play the "fear card" all over again.

So, if George W. Bush was actually trying to play "fear politics"(and I'm NOT saying that he was), I think he would be much more successful at it if he were to completely make something up; rather than rely on the realities of "terrorism" to play the part of the "wolf". If you really want to scare people then the most important thing to remember, is that you have to create a scenario that is absolutely impossible for anyone to verify (because there is nothing scarier than bullsh*t). For example, instead of "terrorists" you could use "Invisible Alien Sasquatch Clones", that ONLY you can see ;)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Today's Cartoon: "Operation Slapshot"

Say it ain't so, Wayne!

To give some of you some perspective on just how revered "The Great One" is here in Canada; recently the CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation took a nationwide poll to determine who "The Greatest Canadian" of ALL time was. Wayne Gretzky came in 10th!

(For those who care, Tommy Douglas came 1st)

As ridiculous as it may seem, Wayne Gretzky is a national icon and SO much has been made (and earned) around his honest and wholesome image (the dude sells Ford trucks and plays with disabled children in his spare time) that for him to be linked in ANY way to ANY scandal, (never mind one that involves illegal gambling and organized crime) would be like discovering that Abraham Lincoln ran a prostitution ring out of the basement of the White House. Seriously, the man is like Jesus on skates here in Canada.

This has been the lead story throughout the Canadian press. While the investigation seems to only be in its initial stages and everyone is innocent until proven guilty blah blah blah; one thing is for certain, Wayne Gretzky is in DEEP SH*T! (if not from the authorities, then definitely from his wife)

When he was asked by the press if his wife was involved in illegal gambling, rather than being a good husband and "LIE", the "Great One" chose to play it dumb (really dumb) by telling the reporters "You'll have to ask her." (D'oh!)

"Innocence" may keep you out of jail, Wayne; but "ignorance" will have you sleeping on the couch for a year!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Today's Cartoon: George W. Bush at Coretta Scott King's Funeral

It must have been REALLY awkward for the President of the United States to walk into that church, knowing that 1) nobody there had signed any "loyalty oaths" and 2) despite his poor overall approval rating, his approval among African Americans is somewhere around 2%! I'm sure he was told ahead of time to keep it short, sit as close to Bill Clinton as you can and DO NOT mention a thing about "Hurricane Katrina".

As I watched some of the service on the "news" today I remember during the performance of the "Lord's Prayer" the singer kept repeating the verse " And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil." and then they panned the camera over to Bill Clinton and it appeared as though he was staring directly at George W. Bush. Now, I'm probably reading too much into that, but the visual was still quite amusing.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Iran Refuses to Cooperate with IAEA Inspectors

Hmmm... This all seems awfully familiar, doesn't it? Middle Eastern country accused of "evil-doing" is reported to the Security Council; and then for their part, Middle Eastern country refuses to cooperate with the UN and tell the inspectors in their country to f**k off.

It's like a re-run of "Saved by the Bell", it's awful, it's predictable and it's on your damn TV 24 hours a day!

I'm now starting to wonder if the term "freedom is on the march", is actually in reference to the month of March (when the last "campaign"(?) began). At this rate, the US will have their "X" in the centre square by St. Patrick's Day. Maybe they should call the invasion of Iran Operation: Jim J. Bullock for the Win!".

But, I say this time the US should "Pre-Emptive Strike" the actual war and just go ahead and declare victory now; and then take all the money and the lives that would be saved (by not invading Iran) and then declare victory for THAT too :)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Superbowl XL

You know, for all the hype and media coverage that the "Superbowl" seems to get; I bet you the people who are profiting the most off of the event aren't even football fans.

Case in point, this weekend the Canadian "news-cycle" was repeating the same story over and over about how the "Superbowl" in Detroit, would mean a financial windfall for the neighbouring (Canadian) city of Windsor. "Why is Windsor so attractive?" you ask; because of the unbridled debauchery that is available to our drunken perverted American neighbours (my media interpretation).

Apparently, we couldn't care less about the football. We can smell the booze and money a mile away (literally) and we want a piece of the action. What was once viewed as a burden in our society has suddenly become our most valuable commodity (at least for the weekend). Strip clubs, escort services, rub n' tugs... You want it, we got it. I've read that the "Superbowl" and its "related events" could generate between $60 million and $80 million into the local economy... Now that's a LOT of blowjobs.

So, come on over to Windsor Ontario, it's FUN for the whole dysfunctional family :)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Newspaper Depiction of the Prophet Muhammad Outrages Muslim World

(Note to self: Whatever you do, under any circumstance... DO NOT draw the Prophet Muhammad)

Who would have thought a "cartoon" could actually cause an international incident? Well, I guess the Muslims who were offended by it could. Wow! I NEVER knew that it was actually "forbidden" to draw the Prophet Muhammad; even "repectful" depictions are not allowed (because they believe it promotes "idolatry").

Could you imagine if the same rules applied to Christianity; and images of "God" or "Jesus" were forbidden? I mean, people make a FORTUNE off of those images. And what would the religion be without all of those referencial "symbols" and "idols" (don't say "Islam"). Hmm... I wonder if the Islamic law forbidding the depiction of the Prophet Mohammad has anything to do with Christianity's abundance of symbols and imagry? Or is that like the most "offensive" thing to say because it would imply that one relgion came before the other or one religion was created in response to another... Oh man, this stuff is REALLY confusing.

And now the BBC is getting into trouble because in their reporting of the incident, they decided to show the offending cartoons (to provide "context" for the story). At this rate, these cartoons are going to end up becoming the stuff of "urband legend"; like if you actually view them, a "fatwa" will be placed upon you... or something (anyone see the movie "The Ring"?).

I still can't believe that a french newspaper decided to print the cartoons, just to point out that they could. "Freedom of Expression" is one thing, but if you know that what you're about to do is going to REALLY piss off about 1 billion people, you may also want practice your "Freedom of Common Sense". I mean, I'm "free" and I can do a lot of things "just because I can", like for example... poop myself; I just decide NOT to.

PS. In case any of my Muslim friends (and I have tons) are reading this... Please note that today's cartoon is a depiction of Mohammed Ali... MOHAMMED ALI!!! :)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Cindy Sheehan at the "State of the Union" Address

It looks like Cindy Sheehan wasn't the only one that got the "removed" from the "State of the Union" address for wearing a T-Shirt (though she was the only one that actually got arrested). Beverly Young, the wife of Florida Republican Bill Young was ejected from house chamber as well, for wearing a t-shirt that simply read "Support the Troops" (Sheehan shirt read "2245 Dead, How Many More?")

I don't see what the problem is. I think its pretty obvious that if you are going to attend such a "historic" event, like this; a T-Shirt is hardly the suitable, "formal" attire for such an occasion. I mean c'mon, this is George W Bush; the fearless leader of the free world. When he speaks, the world listens (and sometimes laughs)... And if there's anyone's going to show up to the "State of the Union" address wearing a t-shirt, it's going to be President Bush. If he has to wear a suit, then EVERYONE has to wear a suit (read the "Patriot Act").

Still, I wonder what kind of t-shirt he would wear?... Perhaps an Iron Maiden "Powerslave" t-shirt (circa 1984) would have been the most appropriate choice for this year's address.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Samuel Alito Confirmed to US Supreme Court

Well, I guess now that the US Supreme Court has made a sharp shift to the "right", this means that George W. Bush can now begin his 2008 re-election campaign. You know what they say... "Third time's a charm".

Actually, it looks like "Supreme Court Justice" is about the ONLY career left in the United States with any sort of job security. Seriously, a lifetime appointment? No wonder they get grilled so hard at these Senate Confirmation Hearing. All the Senators are just jealous that they have to keep fighting for their jobs while some priveledge, hand picked Presidential appointee gets a free ride, right to the grave... it's just not fair!

Forget the Senate Hearings; I'd be willing to go through the "Paddy-Whack Machine" TWICE just to get a gig like that... Or is that what they have do just to get nominated in the first place?