Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

This week in appalling…

Students protest the football coaches being suspended--before the end of the season.

After the bowl games, heck, cut 'em loose...

Hey, did you hear about Penn State? They’re leaving the NCAA conference to join NAMBLA (ba-dum-tishhhhhh!) 2000 students rioted because of the firings, suspensions and resignations over the child rape scandal. Hey, we didn’t know this was a Catholic school! (ba-dum!)

In other news, Michelle Bachman thinks that poor people ought to give up two Happy Meals so that rich people don’t have to pay 3% more taxes. Unfortunately, that will wreck the Republican jobs program. Social safety net? We should look to the example of Communist China! They don’t do anything so socialistic!

Happy Veteran’s Day! Mitt Romney thinks you haven’t done enough to serve your country. Let’s privatize the Veteran’s Administration so that you can have the glory of paying American health insurance companies and help them make … even bigger profits. It’s only patriotic.

Waterboarding? Seven out of nine Republican presidential hopefuls agree it isn’t torture. Let’s rehabilitate those Japanese who were hung for it after WWII–oops, they did that against Americans–damn, they should have been drawn and quartered as well!

Berlusconi steps down in Italy–he wants to spend his time helping to defend Herman Cain. I was right last week, more harassment accusations popped up out of Herman’s woodwork. “My wife will tell you–she never heard of any of these things.” Right, Herman.

Last we heard from Rick Perry, he was trying to remember his name. Pick Peary? Rick Rarey? Wait a minute, I almost have it.

Frank Miller thinks the Occupy movement is nothing but hookers and rapists and thieves. Oh, my! Methinks Frank has gotten the United States confused with Sin City… and forgotten about the corruption that pervaded his creation. Things aren’t always black-and-white with splashes of color and good guys aren’t only sweaty, semi-naked men with painted-on muscles, Frank. Oops, that was 300. Maybe Frank is ignoring all those people who have extra time on their hands to protest–because they have no jobs! Perhaps he thinks they can get jobs at McDonald’s? They won’t be hiring–the word is that sales of Happy Meals is expected to go south.

Let’s really get some attention: OCCUPY THE SUPER BOWL!

President Obama killed the tradition of wearing “Aloha” shirts at the APEC summit in Honolulu. “Hey, I’m from Hawaii and even I think those things are awful!”

And finally, Penn State lost its first post-scandal game. Students said, “We knew they should have waited until after the season.”

Next weekend I will be attending AnimeUSA at the Crystal City Hyatt Regency. I’ll be participating in two panels on Saturday, one I will be giving on traditional and digitial inking at some ungodly hour in the morning, and the other I’ll be supporting my friend Alicia at her traditional post-midnight Yuri drawing panel. I’ll be in costume some of the time (courtesy of Alicia), but the rest of the time, I’ll be in my traditional purple “I NEED INTRAVENOUS CAFFEINE” shirt. So say hi, if you see me.

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Escape from New York

The politicians: Attack or Co-opt Instinct

The politicians: Attack or Co-opt Instinct

So, the #Occupy Movement decided to hold a world-wide demonstration on the weekend of the New York Comic Con. AAAaaaauuuuggghhhh! as Charlie Brown would have said. Or as Dick Cheney said, other priorities. I’d already spent mucho bucks not just for the convention tickets, but add in train fare to and hotel in New York City and oops, sorry, I have to be a cartoonist this weekend, not an activist. Please don’t hold anything important on the weekend of AnimeUSA, thank you.

I’m not sure NYCC was worth it tho. There were so many people there, it’s a wonder I found anyone I knew, let alone make any contacts–which, besides seeing the new Makoto Shinkai anime, was the reason I went for. One woman I heard talking was saying she had a panic attack from the crowd and I believe her. The convention now takes the entire Javits Center and was completely filled, wall-to-wall, with people in or out of costume. Not to mention so many exhibitors that I don’t think you could have seen all of them if you’d been there for the entire 4 days–not if you had any other things to do–like eat. Shoutouts to my friends Brad Guigar, Murder Nurse and Moxiecat–and if anyone else was there that I know: What? didn’t you see me wave?

Now, the last time I’d been to New York for any time over a hour had been 2 and a half years ago. I grew up in New Jersey. I KNEW New York was expensive. I knew what the hotel cost. I knew what the train cost. But I had no idea HOW expensive it had become until I actually arrived there. You can’t take a step outside the hotel without spending five dollars. Seriously, a little man comes up to you and collects a “breathing charge.” If you actually do anything–like buy a hot dog–you’re out 10. Down here, panhandlers come up to you and ask for a couple of bucks because they need busfare. One came up to me outside Penn Station and asked for $20 for the train.

The reason, I think, has something to do with trickle-down. All the money in the world has trickled down–to the southern tip of Manhattan. And just like in a gold rush, the closer you get to the mother lode, the more expensive things get, just because they can, because that’s where the money is. One politician said recently that $150K a year in New York wasn’t wealthy because of the expenses. It’s true. And at the same time, that’s just f#$%^& insane. He has my sympathy. But I have no sympathy for the conditions that make that true.

The Occupy Movement has reached an extremely crucial stage–it’s been going on so long and has achieved world-wide status that the politicians can no longer afford to ignore it. The robber barons and their Republican minions have started attacking the protesters as unwashed hippies, college students looking for a thrill, commies and socialists. This kind of thing is un-American (not like the Boston Tea Party). The Democrats are now trying to co-opt the movement so they can lead from behind in the hope that this will result in votes. But what they don’t get is that this isn’t about politics as they are in the US. This is about a totally corrupt culture where money talks and both political parties jump. The Republicans may be the primary abettors, but the Democrats are the enablers. After all, when the Supreme Court decided that money was speech and that corporations could not be fettered in their exercise of free speech, they legalized bribery–as long as it was disguised as a campaign contribution.

In 1984, Orwell predicted perpetual warfare. What he didn’t foresee was the perpetual election, a feature peculiar to these United States. In the UK. a national election can be held within a month of its necessity. Here, the campaign for the next election begins the day after the voting. The need for campaign contributions doesn’t end, but like a junkie’s addiction, grows as the amounts needed for campaigning grow less effective, so that you need more and more, until the purpose for holding office and the need to raise cash for it are indistinguishable. Politicians are addicted to the process and the only cure is cold turkey.

And that’s why we need to Occupy Wall Street. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the YouTube of Sgt. Shamar Thomas at Times Square, scolding the NYPD for their lack of honor :

[Occupytimessquare] 1 Marine vs. 30 Cops (Marine Wins)

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Hey, Wall Street, We’re Fed Up With Your Bull!

The Wall Street Bull drops a load on America as the NYPD line up to protect the bankers and brokers from peaceful protesters.

Errrr, not exactly trickle down is it?

Well, I’m more or less recovered from InterventionCon over the weekend. Thanks to Onezumi Hartstein and James Harknell for their work in creating this fun convention. Shoutouts to Ari Pramagioulis of Success Communications Group, Murder Nurse, Moxie Cat and all the other great people of Cosplay Burlesque. Congratulations Mookie, creator of Dominic Deegan on your impending doom, err, I mean marriage. Fellow artists Elaine Corvidae of Rivensol, Jennie Breeden of the Devils Panties, the gang at Interrobang Studios, my next table neighbors from Singed Cat and other studios. Good luck to First Law of Mad Science and Ninjas versus Vampires. Hi Andi from a table whose weblink I can’t find. And thanks to all the people who attended and especially those of you who bought something from me!

Now, back to business. I thought I might do something about the incredibly tacky game show beauty pageant known as the second Republican Debate last week with Wolf Blitzer seemingly oblivious to his role as successor to Bert Parks (There they are–the next US Presidents!) Bob Barker or Monty Hall. Was that a debate? Then I thought, oooooooo the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a much more IMPORTANT thing to celebrate. Darn, we finally will let patriotic Americans fight for their country without prying into their private lives! But then something that seemed to be slipping through the cracks came to my attention. SOMEONE FINALLY decided to protest against WALL STREET.

Due to getting ready for three conventions on three successive weekends, plus the disaster of the basement deluge (not to mention the death of my printer), the knowledge of the existence of OCCUPY WALL STREET seems to have slipped past me. As well as most of the mainstream news! As anyone with any common sense has realized, Wall Street went through a recovery after the banking bailout, but Main Street never did. That’s because Wall Street has usurped the reins of power in the United States and the common people no longer have a voice. President Obama promised to be a force for change, but his moneyed advisors led him by the nose to ignore the plight of the people. The Republican Party fights tooth and nail to protect each and every dollar of them, their true constituency, calling tax hikes on the luckiest of us “class warfare” when the REAL class warfare has been waged on the American middle-class since the days of plaster saint Ronald Reagan. The Democrats are little better, since our endless campaign season requires them to be funded by the money boys. Too long have the media paid attention to the faux populism of the Tea Party which is more intent on punishing their neighbors for a crust of bread than taking it from the bankers who have repossessed the bakery!

I am not anti-capitalist. Bankers and brokers–like the bacteria that live in the body and are necessary to digestion–they are a good thing when regulated. They provide the grease that the wheels of commerce need to turn. But when unregulated they turn into a cancer that sucks the life from the body, from the hearts and minds and hands of the American people. And that’s where we are today, and we’re dragging the rest of the world down with us. It’s about time to stop, to re-regulate commerce, to prosecute the miscreants for the crimes they have committed, to return power to the “little people” like you and me. Whether or not you agree with me, I urge you all to watch what is happening on the streets of New York.

But you might have to really look for it–it ain’t making front page. The money boys don’t want it there.

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The Decider’s Decision Points: How I Flushed the Greatest Nation Down the Toilet

George Bush takes credit for his memoir as he holds up the trophy of his presidency, a bass fish he caught.

George W. Bush relives the proudest moment of his Presidency...

Georgie Bush, our own beloved sociopathic Alfred E. Newman, has been seen sneaking out from whatever rock he’s been hiding under for the last two years several times in the last few weeks, a sighting that could mean only one thing: his ghost writers have finished authorizating his rememboirs. Last week, the book finally emerged onto bookstore shelves and boosted onto the best-seller lists by the right wing book buying machine.

It comes as no surprise that George has no regrets about any policy decisions he’d made. The invasion of Iraq? Oh that was faulty intelligence–someone ELSE’s fault (which someone else, George Tenet, was awarded the Medal of Freedom for taking the fall for cooking the dumbass intelligence the way this dumbass president wanted). His main regrets appear to be public relations errors, Mission Accomplished (Great Job or something) and that stupid photograph of him looking out the airplane over sunken New Orleans. His worst moment? Kanye West calling him a racist. Because it forced a moment of self-reflection upon him? Au contraire–because it was so “disgusting” for Kanye West to say such a thing.

Kanye has become used to apologizing for things, so naturally he has now apologized to Bush. And well he should have. Bush isn’t a racist–it’s poor people he doesn’t like. Poor people exist to be exploited–white, black, yellow, brown, red, doesn’t matter–he’s an equal opportunity exploiter.

But what did we expect from Bush? Introspection? Precise delineation of how a person who rules from his gut came to gut decisions? We chronicled the Bush years after 2003 in HAIL DUBYUS! (when I finally decided to let loose my satiric skills–see my Best of Hail Dubyus and Best Of Page 2 pages) and in all that time, it was never clear whether Bush was an idiot, a lunatic, or just plain evil. His book does not elucidate that question any further. Most probably all three. But his book does show a fourth side of Bush–a lazy sumbitch who wasn’t even content to let someone else write his memoirs, but had to plagiarize other books about him by his advisors. Just think of it–we got into two wars and a near depression (which may still become a depression if the deficit hawks have their way) because this man was too goddam lazy to think about alternatative strategeries.

Speaking of my best of pages, you can get real printed copies of 70-some of my favorite Bush era cartoons at IndyPlanet, in all their 300 dpi glory. Look for Bushwhacked: The Wurst of Hail Dubyus and contribute to a noble cause: ME! (Seriously, I don’t get paid by anyone for creating these cartoons. I do it for the satisfaction of contributing SOMETHING to the universe to help hold us back from the cliff the Lemming States of America is rushing towards. But a few bucks would be helpful.)

In other news, AnimeUSA was this past weekend and later this week, photos of cosplayers will be up on my Flickr account. So anyone that I took photos of, be sure to check that link on Thursday or Friday, by which the pics will be uploaded.

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Or maybe it’s just the hot air cloud over Rush’s studio…

Too big to nail?

Too big to nail?

Well, our natural world seems to be having its fun with us as a huge ash cloud erupts from Mount Eyjafjallajokull (Eye-ya-falafel-cul?) and cuts off Europe from air travel for several days. This is not the first time such a huge cloud has occurred: there was the famous Mt. St. Helens eruption back in 1980. The centuries have been dotted with darknesses “enveloping the whole of Europe” as the description of one 5th century eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that, curiously enough, signaled the start of the Dark Ages (although the Dark Ages could have been presaged by an eruption of Mount Etna in 417, on whose dating, I, in an earlier incarnation as an historian, wrote a paper on in 1990 (Olympiodorus’ Eruption of Mount Etna: a possible dating of 417. EOS: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 71:329-334)). Rush Limbaugh has been having fun with it, calling attention to Obama’s statement on the passing of the health care bill that the world hasn’t ended yet. I certainly hope the Almighty has better aim than to punish Europe for OUR supposed transgression, so I shall assume that Rush-boy is being ironic, should he be capable of such complexity of thought.

But with such a global disaster, it might be better to look for a more global transgression, and I think we have our candidate at Goldman Sachs. Their financial manipulations–along with other august companies–managed to pull off a global economic disaster, yet their CEO Lloyd Blankfein had the effrontery to make a positively BLASPHEMOUS statement that he was “doing God’s work” while bankrupting the entire world. Now if I know one thing about Our Lord God Jehovah, you can kill millions of people and He won’t bat an eyelash, but say one thing wrong about Him and all Armageddon is gonna bust loose. On top of all, Goldman Sachs has the sheer CHUTZPAH to announce 5 billion dollars in bonuses to be paid to its executives–you know, the ones who bet short on the world disaster they themselves engineered–and you say, enough is enough.

The teabaggers have it all wrong–the cause of our ills is not the government–tho it’s not helping by spending 20 times the amount that could eliminate world hunger on a military that has gotten itself bogged down in the middle of a desert for 8 years. It’s these bankers who think God’s work consists of lining their pockets with our money. They’re no better than the guy who is going to the track and convinces you to bet on a certain longshot that he says he has a tip that it can’t loose. Then, when he goes to the track, bets all YOUR money on the favorite and after the race, picks up one of the losing tickets off the floor to give you with the lame explanation that he’s never gonna listen to THAT TIPSTER again. It’s beyond time that they should be sued for fraud. It’s about time that they should be INDICTED for it!

In the meantime, Europe is enjoying a slower pace and beautiful sunsets. Maybe Mt. St. Palin in Alaska will explode in a few years and we’ll be the lucky ones :D


I went to a small con this weekend in Alexandria called T-MODE and had a great time. The advantage of a small con is its size–you can meet everyone and do everything. Naturally, you have a bigger selection of activities at a big con, but you always wind up missing some things you would have enjoyed. The organizers of T-MODE called it “fun-sized” and that it was. I got to hear a lovely singer Emi Meyer (also on MySpace–beautiful woman, beautiful voice, beautiful music) and hip hop artist Shing02 and DJ Icewater. I had a TAIKO DRUM LESSON from Doug Manring (Power Kix Drum Team and Real School of Rock) as well as meeting the new voice of Haruhi Suzumiya and a great singer herself Cristina Vee. Also there were our friends from the webcomic Geeks Next Door, who gave sessions ON webcomics, and Interrobang Studios, whose artist Sarah Martinez, gave a great session on surviving Artist’s Alley. I didn’t get to meet the vocal artist Mega Ran (aka Random) or voice actor Todd Haberkorn, or Roland Kelts, author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture has invaded the US–I did have to run home and feed the kitten occasionally LOL. Oh and I nearly forgot, I got interviewed for Vidgle and I hope to have up a link next week to my podcast with them :) Congratulations to the organizers–I had a great time. My personal photos will be up on my Flicker account later this week.

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