Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Revolutionary Grrl–Page 3–The Fanservice continues

Revolutionary Grrl is stopped by the sound of an approaching police car.

Page 3--Revolutionary Grrl hides from a prowling patrol car.

Ordinarily, I do not post on the Tuesday after a Monday holiday, but as Revolutionary Grrl is just beginning, I don’t want the momentum of the story to drop.

We see that the Tea Party has continued to hold the debt ceiling, and by extension, the U.S. economy, hostage. Speaker of the House Boehner is unwilling to call for a vote. The answer to the question of who he’s more afraid of, the Tea Party or his corporate masters, is settled–he’s more afraid of his own shadow. Something tells me that that man will never appear in Profiles in Courage, the Sequel–except maybe as one of the antagonists in the chapter honoring Harry Reid.

But surprise, surprise–the deck had been stacked. While normally ANY member of Congress could have called for a vote–a Saturday Night Special committee vote limited THIS issue to being called by the majority leader of the House.

President Obama is still holding steady–which is a good thing–but which is something he should have done a couple of years ago. The main reason we’re in this predicament is that Barry has wanted so much to be reasonable, to negotiate, to be the adult in the room, that he let the miscreants run wild over the good kids. It’s only now that his legacy, the so-called Obamacare that enshrines business as usual for the insurance companies with a few exceptions, excoriated as socialism by people who have no idea what the term even MEANS, has been threatened that he shows some backbone.

This week, the Congress of the United States might commit collective treason and deliberately trash the full faith and credit of the United States. Was Plato right? Does democracy always devolve into demagoguery? A few days will tell.

In the meantime, we will continue with the story of Revolutionary Grrl–a NEAR FUTURE tale that takes place in the world we are condemning ourselves to.

And, my (deleted by censor) birthday was October 12. Thanks to all for your birthday wishes and happy birthdays to all who share my date as well!

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Barrie Antoinette: “Let Them Eat Catfood…”

L'Ancien Régime. "Let them eat catfood."

"Life Among the Nobililty: The Swing" by Gregonard...

Well, Barrie Antoinette–excuse me, President Barry Obama, delivered his proposal for a budget and yes, indeed-y, there was the much hated-by-the-constituency-but-loved-by-Wall-Street “chained CPI”. According to one writer, Barry has called the Republican bluff–they have said they will brook no tax increases unless something is done about “entitlements”–you know, the money you’re entitled to because, well, you GAVE it to the Fed to invest throughout your working career! Well, the Prez has proposed chained CPI–the cost of living mal-adjustment that assumes that if you can’t afford steak, you’ll buy chicken and everything is still jake. Or if you can’t afford Chicken of the Sea, you’ll buy canned skipjack mackerel. And if you can’t afford canned mackerel, you’ll just go to Friskies.

The theory is that the Republicans will be so scared of losing their seats that they will do anything to avoid agreeing to this proposal. Except for one thing–who’s REALLY gonna get the blame for this? Why, the guy who proposed it, of course. President Obama. You know, the guy who DOESN’T HAVE TO RUN FOR ELECTION AGAIN?

Why all this “save Social Security” nonsense when it is solvent for the next 30 years? Why all this “entitlement reform” bullshit when Social Security has nothing to do with the budget? For that, we have to go back eight years (and actually more) to when President BUSH proposed “privatizing Social Security.” That’s right, this one has a long history–and the reason for privatizing SS was? So the money boys, the banks, the oligarchy, the plutocracy, could get their hands on that money and drain it from our senior citizens faster than any drug addict by stealing your Grandma’s Social Security check.

But wait–how does the chained CPI do THAT? Remember back then–the seniors, the AARP, everybody and their brother decided that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was good enough to keep them going so please do not do us the favor of letting us make bad investments, please. So the money boys–whom Barack Obama is as beholden to as any Republican, any blue dog Democrat, hell, almost every “progressive” Democrat as well–said to themselves, “If the COLA is good enough, then let’s screw the COLA. Then they’ll be clamoring to let us invest the money for them.”

And that, kiddies, is how the sky turned blue. So remember, when Grandma, when Ma and Pa, when YOU start having to eat catfood, it wasn’t just Congress, it wasn’t just Obama…

It was the banks, too big to fail, too big to jail, who wanted your money.

“Allons enfants de la Patrie, le jour de gloire est arrivé!”

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The Other Day At #OccupyDC

I WILL BE POSTING A NEW CARTOON ON TUESDAY OCT 18, TO RECOVER FROM THE NEW YORK COMIC CON.

No cartoon this week because it is the October 12th holiday (celebrated on October 10 this year). It’s not very PC to like Columbus Day anymore and for some very good reasons, like celebrating the introduction of slavery and genocide to the New World. On the other hand, it is the official start of Western civilization in the Western Hemisphere and that, for good or for ill, is something worth remembering. In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that I have an emotional attachment to the holiday since it is my birthday and I LOVE to get a day off for my birthday, even if the actual date falls on a Monday only once out of every seven years–3 out of 7 if you include the weekend. Nevertheless, I do not have any emotional attachment to Columbus himself, since he seems to have been something of a jerk, so I would not be adverse to anyone changing the celebratory intent of the holiday. Unfortunately, no one is going to call it Greg Day, so let’s call it American Culture Day. Just leave it in the second week of October, thank you. I don’t want to have to go changing my birth records to make my birthday July the 4th–you not only get a day off ON the day, but you get fireworks too! And Happy Birthday to all the other October 12ers out there–you’re special people since you partake in MY DAY!

Anyway, since I knew I was going to take some time off today, I decided belatedly to try to find out what was happening at #OccupyDC sometime BEFORE whatever it was they were going to do got done so I could actually get down there and do it with them. #OccupyDC is our local version of the #OccupyFillInTheBlank movement that is slowly gathering momentum throughout the country. The most well-known of these is, of course, #OccupyWallStreet which was finally discovered by the mainstream news the other week when some cop decided to randomly pepperspray some of the protestors on camera and then several days later when 700 people were induced to take paddywagon rides at the City’s expense. I have mentioned OWS a few times in here, but well, quite frankly I was kind of unaware of the DC branch until it had been in existence for a few weeks. This is what I get for getting so much of my news from the Huffington Post–there weren’t any Kardashians taking part in it so it never made the Front Page (THX Arianna for selling out to AOL).

Anyway, I made my way over to McPherson Square on Friday where the Washington Post had said a march to the IMF building was to start. There was a small crowd there, since, I was told, the MAIN group which was actually starting the demonstration was at “Liberty Plaza”, a place I had no idea existed, unless he meant Liberty Square in Manhattan. Which I later found out was actually “Freedom Plaza”, a place I had actually heard about in my 40-odd years in the DC area. We really need some originality in naming our landmarks and parks. What the heck, since it was starting down there, I had time to get new batteries for my camera and a chili dog–it’s my only weakness. Anyway, a few minutes after the introduction of food to my digestive system, the main group arrived and the forces swelled to about 300-400 people and off we went, alternately chanting “Occupy Wall Street, Occupy K Street,” and singing “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land.” It almost felt like the 70s–well, a hallucinogenically-deprived version thereof.

We had a big police escort–something like a dozen police cruisers and a few dozen officers on foot or bicycle. But it was not an NYPD situation–there was a respect between the protestors and the police. Partially because the group has not hit the size necessary for over-reacting and partially because, I suspect, many of the police unofficially sympathized with what the protest was about. Besides, most of the bigwigs at IMF had already absconded for the weekend, rather than face all those “people.”

Despite the snide remarks of some of the pundits and professional pooh-poohers, it is not unknown what the demands of the #Occupiers are. Pace President Obama, we are not frustrated with a system that doesn’t seem to work, we are DISGUSTED with one that only DOES work for the top 1%. We are disgusted that the banks which caused the economic mess the entire world is in because of their greed were deemed too important to allow them to bear the brunt of their sins. That they were bailed out to the tune of 3/4 of a trillion dollars while the victims of their greed were allowed to go bust and get thrown out of their homes. We are disgusted that we, the taxpayers, had to bear the brunt of this cost while the banksters themselves were not only not punished, but rewarded themselves with billions of dollars in “bonuses” and didn’t even get their taxes raised or even get regulations prohibiting their worst activities. We are disgusted with “corporate personhood” which has enshrined political dependency on corporate largess. We are disgusted that corporations are so much more important than people that so-called health care reform was formulated around the institutionalization of parasitical health insurance companies. We are disgusted that so much importance is laid on the deficit at a time when government spending is needed for the American people that important job supporting programs like rebuilding the infrastructure and education are being cut left and right to satisfy a small bunch of yahoos who want to “drown government in the bathtub.” And we are disgusted that so much of our resources are being wasted by wars that we seem to be fighting solely so that we “don’t lose.” And finally, but most of all, we are disgusted that no one is listening to us.

Anyway, here’s a few of the pictures I took while on the march. You can see the entire album at my Flickr pages. Have a great holiday and happy birthday to all my astrotwins out there!
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Shorting our future

The \'super-patriots\' prepare to blow up the government.

What would Jesus do? Who's that?

No cartoon next week because I’ll be returning from Otakon and several days of running a table on Artists Alley. I’ve got so much to do, I’ve got to keep this short to.

And speaking of short … I hope that’s the position you’re all holding, because that’s the one the big boys are. Short-selling–in preparation for the biggest manufactured sell-off in history when Standard & Poors downrates the United States thanks to our patriotic tea-partiers in Congress. Why did the deficit become so important after 8 years of Cheney saying “Deficits are not important?” So that THIS bear market can happen on Obama’s watch in the hope that everyone will vote Republican and the lads can feed at the trough again? Au contraire! They never stopped.

What happens after a sell-off? The big buy-back–with the loot gained by going short. So that the top 1% will have even more. They’ve learned their lesson from Ayn Rand’s John Galt really well–if something stands in your way, blow it up. And the something that stands in the way of the Kochs, the Murdochs, the Bushes, the Blankfeins and all the rest? The American people and the American government. And they’ve got the self-appointed super-patriot Tea Partiers to help them!

What’s the difference between a Koch brother and a leech? The leech lets go when it’s full. How many bankers does it take to change a lightbulb. Only one and he can do millions–they’re very good at screwing. What gated community will you never see a banker in? A prison–they’re too big to punish.

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‘The Aristocrats’, Take Deux–Oddly apropos after the past week.

A new punchline for The Aristocrats ... the Ryan Plan?

A new punchline for the world's most ummm anticlimactic joke--and I do mean anticlimactic

I prepared this cartoon the other week before Anthony Weiner’s little, errrrrr, big? ummmmm, well, let’s just say his problem was uncovered (ahem), knowing I’d be at AnimeNext in NJ this weekend. And oddly enough, it’s still appropriate. The real thing that people should be worried about which has taken a backseat to a more lurid and titillating story is, of course, the Republican plan to DRIVE AMERICANS TO THE POOR HOUSE to pay for Granny’s health care. Otherwise known as the Ryan Plan. Budget isn’t the biggest problem facing the country. Unemployment is. But the budget is being used as a means to undermine the social safety net in a cynical masquerade called “austerity.” Austerity is what YOU have to do without, not what WE have to do without, after all. And you have to do without social security, medicare and medicaid so we can keep troops in Afghanistan to protect Chinese mineral rights… I mean, make Afghanistan safe for democracy.

But the Koch Brothers-run Tea Party, the Republican party, and the big money-owned media don’t care about rising tides that float all boats. They only care about floating their own boats. But hell, even Europe is under the spell of this “austerity,” which is an attempt to drive out of a skid by yanking the steering wheel 90 degrees away from it to allow the natural braking effect of the trees to stop the car. But thinking about that is too depressing, Weiner’s wiener is much better to think about. Well, not really think about. Oh, god, I need to clorox my eyeballs to get rid of THOSE images!

Anyway, the Ryan plan forms an excellent ending for a certain misleadingly named world’s dirtiest (insert verbiage to separate the words so they don’t come together in search engines) joke. I say “misleadingly named” because it’s not a joke. It’s the SETUP for a joke. Why? Because there is no punchline.

That’s right. Joke analyzers have thought hard (ahem again) about “The Aristocrats” and wondered in what “context” the line, “We’re the Aristocrats,” is actually funny. Well, it’s not funny. What was funny was what went on before the line, and the stupid look on the audience/victim’s face when it goes from laughing like an idiot to “Huh?” What I’m saying is that if “The Aristocrats” ever really WAS a joke instead of an act of sadism on the part of the comedian then, somewhere along the line, the actual ending was dropped for the endingless ending. What is needed for it to be a real joke is a straightline followed by an actual punchline. In other words, “The Aristocrats? Why the Aristocrats?” followed by the badumbum line, “Because only Aristocrats could behave like this and still keep their dayjobs” or something like it (badumbum!). Which isn’t very funny–or probably wasn’t very funny once the immediate context–some particularly juicy bit of aristos acting badly in the news–was lost. But since it was a great excuse for coming up with the dirtiest story ever told, the hell with the punchline, I’ve got to get a look at the guy’s face when I tell it to him.

So I’m supplying a straightline/punchline combo which, once again, will not be very funny at all once the “Budget Crisis” is over. Either we forget the Ryan Plan like it deserves, or it actually becomes the basis for the US Budget. And one thing is clear. Once we screw up Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the sake of “tightening YOUR belts”, no one will be laughing. Except the sadists who decided it would be a good idea.

And shoutouts to Alicia/Dokudel and her bf Jean-Luc, Jasmine, Onezumi (whom I missed but whom I will see at Intervention Con which anyone into webcomics, gaming and all that other good stuff should check out September 16-18 2011, at the Hilton Washington DC/Rockville) and all the other people I met this weekend at AnimeNext. And a safe trip back to Japan to Japan’s ambassador of KAWAII Yu Kimura–loved hearing you and meeting you! And check out the rock band UZUHI–they ROCK!

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