Passing on to more important things, the feel-good movie of the year, “The King’s Speech”, won best picture at the Oscars. I’m so surprised. Other surprises included Natalie Portman for Best Actress and Colin Firth for Best Actor. Ho-hum. The most interesting moment in the whole thing (not counting Melissa Leo’s “bleep” and Banksy not showing up) was when “Inside Job” director Charles Ferguson used winning the Best Documentary award for his movie indicting the greedy bastards who caused our economic meltdown to deliver a scathing condemnation of the fact that none of them have gotten indicted by the justice system, but instead are living in the gated communities and off-shore retreats with billions of ill-gotten gains stolen from the citizenry of the United States. I hope you were watching the Oscars, Barry. Hollywood has spoken. Permission has been granted to at least get a few token bastards in jail. After all, we don’t want what is happening in Libya and Egypt and Tunisia to be happening here.
But if it does, you can bet we won’t hear about it. Seems the only backlash that gets any airplay is the Tea Party–you know, the chumps that wanted the rich bastards to get tax breaks as well? Over 100,000 people gathered outside the Wisconsin State House to protest the railroading of the unions by Governor Scott Walker and scant word was seen on the cable TV news programs. Scant mention on Fox, predictably, except for Shep Smith admitting the real issue was union-busting not a deficit, but CNN and MSNBC seemed to think that the Tea Party anniversary and Charlie Sheen’s meltdown were more important than the biggest rally held since the Vietnam war protests. The People Magazine-ification of News in America!
You know, sometimes I wonder if we get what we deserve?Well, I’ve been fighting the con crud all week and I have a doctor’s appointment in an hour and a half so I’m going to rush this in. Our favorite insane dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, certainly has his hands full this week. Seems his entire citizenry has said, enough is enough, and is not just demonstrating, but fighting for his ouster, with “rebel” forces fighting loyalist troops. Gaddafi ordered the troops to fire on protestors, bringing him not only the condemnation of the UN, but al-Qaeda and, finally, the US government. Pretty soon he’ll be down to Muammar and his all-blonde bodyguard. Now, I can appreciate a nuanced approach, unlike John McCain who seems to want to replay the Marine hymn and send them back “to the shores of Tripoli.” But there’s a difference between nuance and sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what everyone else is going to do. However, now that the world has given its permission, we are at last suggesting that Muammar step down. Before he’s given the Mussolini treatment by the populace. Despite an auspicious opening for my manga parody BLECCH! at Katsucon this weekend, this old man has to admit that the con played knick-knack paddywhack on his whole body and that he needs his head examined for taking on the grueling task of convention sales when he’s at an age when most people are thinking of doing nothing for the rest of their lives. I’m fighting off the con crud–that odd disease you get from being in close proximity to thousands of similarly under-rested people for 3 straight days–and I’m looking out at a dusting of snow here in Alexandria VA and hoping it melts before I need to go out for anything (let alone shovel it). So I’m going to be brief today so I can go hide under the covers in the hope of staving off what seems like the start of a sinus infection.
But I can’t go without expressing solidarity and support for the civil servants, the state employees, police officers, teachers, firemen and everyone else who are in danger of being totally shafted by that A–hole of a novice governor out in Wisconsin. On a personal level, my dad was a civil servant in DOD his entire career, and my wife is a recently retired one. So I have witnessed government workers being dumped on for every government shortfall and seen their cost of living increases and benefits slashed all my life as if paying them a decent wage was responsible for the national debt, instead of wars that didn’t have to be fought, paying for jet fighters that didn’t have to be made, bailing out banks that posted record-breaking profits within months of the supposed emergencies, etc., etc..
In case you didn’t know it, Rick Ungar and Mother Jones News are reporting that the infamous Koch brothers are behind the effort to destroy the bargaining power of public sector unions. Daily Kos seems to have their finger on the Koch pulse in order for THIS to get passed:
SECTION 44. 16.896 of the statutes is created to read: 16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state.
Naturally the rightwing rearguard has been trying to cover-up the fact that the only budget shortfall in Wisconsin was created by Scott Walker’s tax decrease and has been trying to stir up non-civil servants against civil servants, but no one’s buying it, thank God. I hope the democratic legislators who’ve fled to Illinois can hang tough. In my humble effort to help, I am publishing my graphic today without the ironic quotes over here so anyone who wants to use it for posters or anything else can do so. Just click on the small embedded image for the larger version. You may have to click on THAT image for the full size one depending on your browser.
Democracy! Good luck with that, Egypt! We’ve had it here for over 200 years and people have gotten sick of it. Too much effort. I mean, there we had the most perfect Articles of Confederation that we made even more perfect in the Constitution and what happened? We had to fight a war 85 years later because some silly liberals thought we couldn’t own slaves! And then they went and said that women could vote just as intelligently as men! And just because the stock market slipped a few points and good business required a few layoffs, that Commie Roosevelt started regulating banks and the stock market and putting in “safety nets” for people who were just too lazy to pull on their bootstraps and get rich parents! Then along come that Kennedy and Johnson and we start talking about civil rights for black people–and brown people–and Spanish speaking people–and women–and now even ho-mo-sex-uals! Goddammit–pretty soon there won’t be anyone left to make fun of!
No, we’re tired of all that equality. Let’s turn the clock back to the original Constitution (minus all amendments but the second–after all, Ann Coulter thinks we need more jailed journalists). Thank God for Ronnie Reagan who boldly said to our oppressors, “Tear down these regulations, Mr. Roosevelt!” It’s taken 30 years, but by gum, Ronnie would be proud on his 100th birthday, if he were alive and not chewing on the bedlinens. We’re almost back to where we should be! With the rich running things and the poor on nice clean heating grates in the sidewalk. And the rest of us with the SuperBowl and Dancing with the Stars on, eating our meat and potatos–or at least fries and Taco Bell–with mom and dad working 3 jobs between them so Grandma doesn’t have to make her “Salmon and Ocean Whitefish Feast–F L A K E D–Casserole.” After all, we have a roof over our heads, at least for the next 90 days. Just don’t get sick, kids, we hear they’re starting Debtor’s Prisons and we can’t afford an emergency room visit.
As Justice John Roberts said, (and Clarence Thomas didn’t), “Plutocracy, here we come!”
Note to ANIME FANS! I will be in Artist’s Alley at KATSUCON this weekend at the Gaylord at Washington Harbor, where I’ll be hawking Part One of my anime/manga parody, BLECCH! (Guess what manga/anime I’m lampooning!) Stop by and say hi, but if you can’t make it, check out its listing at Indy Planet. CU SOON!So the Egyptians managed to throw that poor old man Mubarak out into the cold (figuratively speaking) and get themselves a can of whup-ass democracy? Well, thank God. Now we don’t have to watch all those shots of them shaking their fists in the public square on the teevee and get back to what matters most in America–looking for the jobs that we’ve sent abroad!
BUT THE GOOD NEWS–BLECCH! Part One, will be on sale at Katsucon (manga and anime lovers can probably guess which manga/anime is the main focus of my parody ) Along with my book of reprints from my Bush era cartoons: BUSHWHACKED–The Wurst of HAIL DUBYUS! For those who aren’t going to be at Katsucon, you can get both of these at IndyPlanett, or rather BUSHWHACKED now and BLECCH! when it is finished printing.
However, it looks as if I have a LOT of catching up to do. Tea party representatives coming to free us from socialist government health care at the same time as demanding their socialist government health care. A state of the union address with Republican/Democratic mixed seating (oh, the shame! what will their parents say!). Keith Olbermann–quitting or fired? An uprising in Tunisia and *drumroll* another one in EGYPT! We’re really caught between a pillow and a mattress there–on the one hand, we have our favorite Middle Eastern dictator, the only person the US has been able to trust near not-so-shrinking violet Israel for the past 30 years, and on the other, a populist democratic uprising against the tyranny he’s unleashed against his own people. Wow, smothered with kindness–do we back the devil or the deep blue sea?
As much as we want to plant democracy in the rest of the world to make the world safe for democracy, we’ve discovered that unless we’re sitting in a country with an army of 100,000 or so, elections don’t always go the way we’d like them to. The “soon to be canonized in honor of his 100th birthday” Ronald Reagan found that out in South America where people actually voted in governments that were interested in people instead of profits–so he ignored the elections and sent in the CIA to provide money and other care packages to right wing goon squads to protect American commercial interests. More recently, we found that out in Palestine and Lebanon. And right now, Fox News is creaming in their jeans about the possibility of The Islamic Brotherhood–their current bugaboo version of the Si-Fan–turning Egypt into an anti-American/anti-Israel haven, delaying the apocalypse for a few more weeks. Or bringing it forward. Or something. In any case, as always on Fox News, it’s Obama’s fault.
With that in mind, and trying to start out to slowly figure out where the world is after my illness and publication cramola, I turned to Bill O’Reilly’s interview with our President before the that icon to American excess, the SuperBowl. Barry grants an interview to whatever network is hosting the game, so this year was Fox’s turn, so they sent over the only potty-trained member of their attack dog squad to perform the interrogation. Bill O started off by playing nice and thanking Obama for helping to get Fox News’s reporters out of perilous peril in Egypt and Obama replied that that was his job. Then the gloves came off. O’Reilly came in with, not fair but tough questions, but questions worded and designed to tempt Obama into pique or anger, for example, when O’Reilly called the Health Care package by the politically loaded monicker Obamacare. This maneuvering didn’t do O’Reilly much good against the King of Cool. Trying to bait Obama by practically being insulting to his face–at several points, O’Reilly literally tried to shut Barry up by cutting him off (I thought he was going to yell at his engineers, “I’ve had it with this pinhead, shut off his mike.”)–but the President kept it together and brought things back to what he was saying like a patient parent faced with a child who hadn’t taken his Ritalin. For Several Days.
Big O almost lost control of his narrative at one point. Explaining that he was faced with a disaster in the first two years of office, he described those years AS a disaster. One can imagine what the RW blogosphere is doing with that one! But beyond that, Bill never managed to nudge him into a shouting match, despite trying to play gotcha on health care, on the fact that people HATE YOU (They don’t hate me, Bill, they hate a funhouse mirror image of me–a nice way to describe the workings of Roger Ailes’ pet network). Finally, Bill got to the SuperBowl and asked who Obama wanted to win–of course, since the Chicago Bears weren’t playing, Obama really couldn’t care less, but he phrased it nicer. “AH-HAH!” cried O’Reilly, “you don’t care who wins the SUPERBOWL?” Finally he had it on record, Obama saying the most un-American thing short of “Jesus Christ’s mom made lousy apple pie.” Could he really be Kenyan? But Barry brought it back and said that there were two great teams and he wanted to see a great game. Offered to let Bill come and watch with him. But Bill said no, “I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone’s fun,” as he thought:
“The way you just spoiled mine.”Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks. I took off Martin Luther King Day weekend and the following weekend because I was going to be doing Artist Alley at Setsucon in State College PA, but I was also in the middle of finishing a manga parody that I wanted to have printed so I could sell it at Katsucon down here at Washington Harbor in February. Now, if you’ve ever done a publication, you KNOW that in the last week or so you’re doing nothing else but finishing things you forgot you hadn’t finished or had left for the end and FINDING PROBLEMS with the pages you thought you were already done with before you commit the whole damn thing to posterity. So, I’m running on 3 hours of sleep every night and get the mess to Ka-Blam in time to pack for Setsucon, when (ahem) KA-BLAM! another attack of whatever stomach ailment laid me up in December threw me onto a bed of pain for the day I was supposed to drive up to State College. Although the con lasted two days, it wouldn’t make much sense to drive up the next day since I’d get there in time for maybe 2 hours before I had to close the table for the day, so I sadly cancelled my plans.