Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

NoKo On the Mogogo A-Go-Go!

North Korea rattles its saber again

Quick--Send for Commando Cody!

I’m still having eyestrain and headaches and waiting for new eyeglasses that will hopefully stop some of them, so this will have to be short. I was considering doing an Obama/chained CPI cartoon that was evil, offensive and right on target. I decided not to do it, but I will if I have to.

So let’s turn instead to North Korea and Kim Jong-un. Rhetoric and saber rattling have been indulged in along the 49th parallel for some time and it has recently been ratcheted up several notches. Kim Jong-un, boy wonder leader of NoKo and Cartman cosplayer, has been shouting that a state of WAR exists between NoKo and SoKo, having pictures taken of him seriously watching serious operations through serious binoculars, photoshopping landing operations, shooting off his mouth…errr missiles that seem to go nowhere near their targets, and … was that seismic bloop an atomic bomb test? South Korea has shown how serious they think this is by telling us how serious it is, and serious President Obama has taken it seriously enough to send two serious stealth bombers to fly over NoKo and back just to let them know that they could be seriously obliterated without the US breaking a serious sweat.

First of all, Little Kim isn’t doing this for anyone’s benefit except his own people’s. He needs to be taken seriously by them as a dangerous warlord like his father and grandfather before him. Is Kim Jung-Un really as Ill as Kim Jung-Il? He’s hoping to wring out some concessions by convincing the South and the US that he’s as crazy as his late nutbag of a father. But…

Look at the pictures of the Korean “computing power?” Have we seen anything that antiquated since the 1950s? Look at those missile tests–if Kimmy lobbed a missile at Japan, he’d be lucky if it hit Mongolia! And those “atomic bomb tests”–all underground and only the first showed any low level radiation escaping the test area–are in such a low kiloton range that they could have easily been caused by (drumroll please) 4-5 kilotons of TNT being exploded. Right–lots and lots of those red sticks you see in the movies! Enough raw power to wipe out a neighborhood! Call Commando Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen! We need a hero worthy of a Republic serial–or defunct rock band.

Of course, our “pacifist” President Obama–a Democrat who actually makes Richard Nixon look like a liberal–has to show we mean business. So we’re again stuck in a serious military situation with a pissant dictator of a pisspot country. What wouldn’t have needed to be sequestered if we didn’t have to act like the megapower of the universe?

BTW–why hasn’t the CIA sent a drone over to Pyongyang? Or do we only do that to Muslims?

Oh well, my ranting has never affected anything. In other news, the person who with Ronald Reagan, that’s right, the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, was responsible for turning the world from the high point of Western Civilization to the crapfest we’re in today, has died. The 1980s are finally over.

Long live the Gatsby era.

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Couldn’t Have Happened To A Nicer Guy

The GOP is sure all this slut business will blow over by November

Headdesk, headdesk, headdesk...

Much as I normally hate to do a subject two weeks in a row, the swift financial retribution against Rush Limbaugh is worthy of an exception. Seems Rush has lost about 90% of his sponsors over the controversy caused by his deliberate slander of an innocent bystander, at least temporarily. As you will remember, Rush called Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute for the horrendous crime of wanting to testify to the all-male committee fulminating over contraception about her friend who was denied contraceptives when she needed them for hormone therapy. Rush leapt to judgment on the girl, in an ass-brained show of ignorance of how contraceptives work, saying she was having so much sex she needed government assistance to pay for her pills. The rightwing ditto heads have repeated these charges ad nauseam and no amount of facts can ever dissuade them from the opinions given them by the Pope of Clear Channel.

This is the way free speech works in the free market. Rush Limbaugh was, is and will be free to make any ass-brained statement he wants to make. The question is whether or not anyone has to pay to allow those statements to be broadcast to the nation and world at large. With sponsors, he can shout it loud and clear to the entire radio audience. Without sponsors, he’s still free to shout them–but unless he or Clear Channel pay for it themselves, his soapbox might be … a soapbox. Seems Clear Channel has had to run Public Service Announcements on many of the commercial spots during Rush’s show this week. Dum da dum dum!

Bill Maher has weighed in on the proceedings and has tried to argue that Rush ought not be censored by the free market. Piffle. Bill is still smarting because HIS former TV show Politically Incorrect got dumped when he expressed an unforgivable truth: that the perpetrators of the cowardly attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center were not themselves cowards. This was in the middle of US war-drum fever. Come on Bill, Americans won’t be ready for that kind of nuance before 2102, the year AFTER the 9/11 centennial. We still have people who said the Japanese deserved the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meltdown tragedy because of PEARL HARBOR! And besides, what you said was true, just unpopular. That’s a fair distance from maliciously maligning someone by misrepresenting what they’d said or done.

Free speech doesn’t mean we have to subsidize hate speech. As long as someone’s willing to pay for the plug in the socket, Rush will have a platform. But, if no one wants to pay to have a person with that much bile representing their company, screw it. Let him try to get a gig on NPR :)

And speaking of Japan, this weekend marked the anniversary of that horrible series of misfortunes. Compounding the tragedy was that although Japan is one of the most prepared nations against earthquakes, the government had let down its guard on tsunami preparedness and had dropped the ball on nuclear safety measures AND spent more time CYAing and following procedures instead of reacting swiftly enough to contain the nuclear danger. But the Japanese people have shown incredible resilience and courage in their recovery. Last year, I did a short video to Yoko Kanno’s song for the survivors and I’d like to post its URL here againhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na60p1P22rg. Links are there for several organizations that were involved in the recovery effort at the time. I’m sure they will accept more donations.

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First, an earthquake, then, a hurricane, then, a Deluge …

The author after the Deluge.

Damn, that iBook works underwater (don't try this at home)

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am sharing my studio/office with three industrial blowers and a matching dehumidifier. My wife is trying to say something to me from the stairway … WAYYYYYYY over there … I can barely hear a word. HUH? I yell. She takes a few steps closer. Now I can actually hear a stream of unintelligible wife sounds. HUH? Finally, she gets next to me and I can finally hear her question. I just can’t understand it because there’s too much @#$%^&*( noise to THINK!

Ahhhh, the last few weeks. An earthquake, a hurricane–and then a deluge. The earthquake was relatively fun for me. I’d never been in one before and I was taking a nap for a headache on a bed with one of those memory foam mattress pads. Suddenly, I awoke to find myself on a huge square of Jell-O. As consciousness seeped into my brain, I wondered if it was an explosion–nope, lasting too long, OMG is THIS what an earthquake feels like? Should I get up and stand under a doorwa…whoops, it’s over. I understand it was scary if you were in one of the highrises in the area or one of the areas with a nuclear plant, but from my vantage, it was a very brief theme park ride. Whheeeeee!

The hurricane was more serious for more people, but again, we had it easy this far inland. Over-prepared. Took more time to undo the storm preparations than the storm actually lasted. But last Sunday, the start of the Deluge from the storm in the Gulf. FOUR DAYS of torrential rain and on Wednesday night, the drain in the back stairs silted up and the water started coming into my basement–where my office is. It’s Nowell’s flood. Whose?? You’ve heard of Noe’s flood–well, this one’s Nowell’s.

Now, some people will tell you that I am all wet anyway. And I don’t wish to dampen any opinions of my work, but this week I will throw a sop to my critics and admit that my wit is not very dry at the moment. The plumber came quickly and re-opened the drain, but my new roommates have been going full blast all weekend. It sounds like an airplane hangar.

Obama gave a speech about doing something to create jobs. I’m afraid I didn’t listen because I was in the middle of flood recovery at the time. Not to worry, Eric Cantor said they would only pass the parts that our corporate overlords liked. That should really help things. That is, if you really want an unemployment rate above 10%–which the Republican party wants because they think it will all be blamed on the Democrats–and especially Obama–and more people will be willing to take jobs at ridiculously low wages–which they won’t get because those have all been sent to India. This is because the Republican Party loves America.

Speaking of loving America, we’ve just had the 10th anniversary of the horrible event that caused ten years of national insanity. For a week, everyone wrote about 9/11. We’re still fighting two wars, neither of which were particularly useful in solving the cause of 9/11. And both of which actually made our reputation worse. We’ll probably be throwing money away on both of them for the next decade. We’re still taking our shoes off to get on an airplane. Which means we’re still #$%^&*( insane.

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Too Soon? Not for our nuclear expert, Ann Coulter!

Ann Coulter takes a dip in Japan's latest hot spring, while a Fukushima engineer rails at her from the sidelines.

Dear Ann: Why don't you go over and show us how beneficial a little radiation can be?

Well, the big news about someone finally helping the Libyan rebels after they had been driven back to Benghazi has pushed the Japanese situation off the headlines. While I’m generally not very much in favor of militarily sticking our noses into other countries’ affairs, I’m even more against pussyfooting around when it’s something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time, and (drumroll) WE WERE ACTUALLY ASKED TO DO IT. I mean, instead of being suckered into it by someone who’d tell any lie to get us to attack his country to a bunch of people who’d tell any lie to to convince us we needed to start a war against it. The Libyan rebels were actually in danger of overthrowing Gaddafi a few weeks back, but I suppose, it was better to wait until they’d been hammered to near defeat so there could be a much more protracted and expensive war. Gotta keep those arms factories busy–they’re our only dependable export!

Besides, we couldn’t do anything about Libya while Japan’s travails were at the top of the headlines! We can only keep our collective national attention on ONE thing at a time! Sure enough, now that we’ve started bombing raids in Libya, Japan gets swept off the headlines–last week’s news–it’s been seven days, aren’t they out of the woods YET? Well, the situation has improved–if you can count finding a few thousand bodies and getting 2 out of 6 reactors stable improved–but there are many more bodies to be found, 4 reactors that still are in danger and Japan is in massive need of rebuilding. But don’t worry! We’ve tied up the world supply of potassium iodide so the people of the west coast and their pets won’t get radiation sickness! Never mind the people who live on the same island! Our chihuahuas must not get sick (except maybe from an overdose of potassium iodide).

Americans are known for over-reacting to everything. So it comes as a shock that Ann Coulter would seem to be a voice of reason. But no, when she said, a little bit of radiation was GOOD for you, she wasn’t thinking about the nervous nellies of California, she meant the people of Tokyo! “… the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably much less likely to get cancer,” she wrote in her Human Events column. Well, Ann, if a little bit of radiation is so good for you, why don’t you hop on over to Fukushima and lend a hand? Oh, I forgot, that would be altruistic and Ayn Rand would never have approved. On the other hand, it’d be great publicity for your next book and remember, your place as the reigning bitch queen of the right wing has been usurped by the Alaskan twitterer! So go on over for the photo opportunity–and do us a favor–take a few photos at the gate of the reactor complex. But don’t get in the way–you might keep some of those engineers who are desperately trying to save their country from getting their proper dose of Vitamin Gamma Ray.

In the meantime, everyone, please keep sending in donations for Japanese relief–I listed a few worthy causes in last week’s column and there are many others as well. With a tragedy of these proportions–over 400,000 people are homeless and in need of food, clothing, shelter and medical attention–even a wealthy country like Japan needs help in the short run and if you can even just afford a few bucks, it will help.

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Kimi de ite, buji de ite (Yoko Kanno) For the people of Japan


Song by Yoko Kanno
Images by Greg Uchrin, Translation by utadafreak22 http://www.jpopasia.com/news/yoko-kannos-message-song-to-japan::5466.html
Please give generously for Japan relief in this time of need
Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone
Text MED to 80888 from any mobile phone to give $10.
Text ‘JAPAN’ or ‘QUAKE’ to 80888 to make a $10 donation or visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.
Also
Save the Children
Japan-earthquake-tsunami-relief @ Global Giving
Doctors Without Borders
Americares
Shelter Box
Peace Winds
Operation USA
World Vision

A Personal Note

I had just finished watching an online movie late Thursday night/Friday morning when I saw the news about the disaster befalling Japan. Readers will know that I am an anime and J-horror movie fan. The images I saw were worse than any horror movie because they were real. I knew that this was what I would be devoting today’s blog to. But how to do it properly to express the fear, pain, sorrow and yet, hope for recovery that I wished to convey?

It seems that almost every cartoonist has been doing some image based on Hokusai’s famous ukiyo-e “Wave” prints, the Japanese flag, or the Wave AND the Japanese flag. So I wanted to do something different. At the same time, I was trying NOT to react to the idiocy I was seeing like CNN’s Larry David–I mean Larry KUDLOW–opining that we should be grateful that the human toll is worse than the economic toll (which I hope was just a stupid way of saying that it’s amazing that the economic toll isn’t as devastating as the human one), Rush Limbaugh’s asshole opinion that environmentalists would blame it on global warming and cheer that so many car manufacturers were hard hit by the disaster–seriously, that man needs to multiply up his oxycontin consumption so that he’s too opiated to foist his coprophagic bloviating on the world–and idiots on the web cheering that finally Japan was paid back for Pearl Harbor–an event which happened when most of them were probably not even born yet–as if being fought to an unconditional surrender 66 YEARS AGO and suffering the atomic devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not to mention the firebombing of Tokyo, didn’t cause enough civilian deaths to satisfy the bloodthirsty cretins. But I won’t mention my reaction to these.

Then I heard Kanno Yoko’s beautiful song. Kanno Yoko, or as she is more generally known in the west, Yoko Kanno, is a brilliant composer and is known mostly for her work in anime and movies, including Cowboy Bebop, the Ghost in the Shell television series, and a personal favorite, the undeservedly little known live action film, Kamikaze Girls. She wrote Kimi de ite in response to the disaster as a means of providing comfort and hope to her fellow Japanese and published it on YouTube without any accompanying video. I was able to read the touching lyrics on Jpopasia posted by utadafreak22, a young fan. Kanno-sama’s song soothed my own feelings about the aforementioned idiots and expressed everything I myself wanted to say about the sad situation.

I had two options. I could accompany the song with photos of the disaster. I felt that this might be too brutal, and I also thought that other people would take care of this option faster and better than I could. Or I could create a video that matched the tone of this song. That’s what I’ve tried to do here.

Please keep the people of Japan in your hearts and thoughts as this disaster continues to unfold. And please give to one of the above charities, or any of the others which are stepping in to help in this time of need.

Thank you.

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