Friday, November 17, 2017
Ok, so I know that tax legislation isn't at the top of your Friday night "to do" list, but yesterday House Republicans passed their shit sandwich of a tax plan. So now it will be merged in an unholy union with the Senate's shit sandwich of a tax plan, and then that shit sandwich will be served to you, the taxpayer (and, unless you're a corporation or a crazy fucking rich person, you will still be on the paying end of the tax cut. Specifically by 2025, when all of the tax cuts for folks earning less than 75,000 per year will expire. But if you're a corporation, your lowered tax rate never expires.), and you will be expected to eat that shit sandwich. And like it.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
It's certainly true that the smart decisions made under enormous pressure by both the teachers at Rancho Tehama Elementary and the local police greatly diminished the death and mayhem caused by the shooter in their town, and they all deserve all the thanks and accolades they have been given for their incredible service. It really could have been a lot worse in Rancho Tehama if not for these fine individuals. That truth can and should be acknowledged. However, acknowledging that truth does not mean we can ignore other truths that this tragedy illuminates. First, that even though this time the damage was contained, there's no guarantee that the next time this happens the right people will be there to do the right things to make the outcome not so shitty. Second, that this will happen again. And again. And again. And again. And again, until either we all die or we actually do something about America's lurid love affair with firearms. When guns are as easy to get and as plentiful as, say, ice cream cones, these things will keep happening. Every single day.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
If Donald Trump is the devil, then surely Jeff Sessions is one of his four apocalyptic horsemen (but which one? The horseman of Racism? Of Idiotic Drug Policy? Of Betrayal? Of Enabling a Total Piece of Shit Like Roy Moore to Get this Close to a Senate Seat?). Sessions had to slither over to a House hearing today to explain to everybody in attendance why he's suck a lying sack of shit. As you can imagine, he denied it. But c'mon, Jeff---the stench drifting off you tells a different story.
Monday, November 13, 2017
I spend so much time drawing the perpetrators of crimes (how many times have I drawn Trump this year?) that, given the chance to represent the people who truly represent, I'll take it every time. There was a march in Hollywood on Sunday for Survivors of sexual assault. Marches like these are great ways to keep the momentum going for an issue and for keeping the pressure on the powers that be, and in fact State Sen. Connie Leyva announced that she is going to introduce legislation to ban secret settlements in cases of sexual harassment. I have no idea if she'll be able to get that through the legislative meat grinder, but it's certainly worth a shot. If there's one thing power hates, it's transparency.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
The front page offered precious little to go on it terms of visuals today. The two photographs on view were a slope of dirt and a cloud of dust, I shit you not. Fortunately (in this instance, at least) Trump is very good at doing colossally stupid things that make for good headlines. Today's colossally stupid thing was his statement that he totally believes Putin when he tells him that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections. The man who had the hardest time wrapping his tiny brain around the idea that Barack Obama was born in this country somehow has no problem taking the word of an ex-KGB agent at face value, in spite of the fact that his own intelligence agencies believe the opposite to be true. Not that you needed one, but here's another example of America's declining stature on the international stage. Are we finally great again?
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Well, here we are right back to all of this shit. This whole affair is being dissected/unpacked by better writers than me, so I'll just add two things and leave you to your weekend. First, all you gentleman out there in positions of power, in case this has somehow not been made abundantly clear to you in the past several weeks, this kind of behavior is never ok. Have some respect for your female colleagues. And, frankly, have some self respect. Second, Louis' portrait of shame on the front page was in a circle and was framed by a border that resembles---if you kind of squinted at it---a life ring, like you would find on a boat. Like, say, a cruise ship. Possibly one made for love. Which of course made me think of a certain cornball, maritime-themed romantic sitcom of the 70s. Which, you know, is a super awkward association considering why he's on the front page to begin with. And so here we are.
Friday, November 10, 2017
Kevin Spacey was all that was going on at the top of A1 today, and it's a hell of a story (Hollywood will eventually turn it into something, you can be sure of that), but man, I just couldn't today. And then there's Gustavo Dudamel (who I have drawn twice on this project) and Frank Gehry below the fold, busily preparing for the LA Phil's Centennial, which will happen in 2019. Oh, and Frank is designing a building for YOLA. Adults being adults! I'll take it.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Perhaps the only thing funnier/more depressing than a kleptomaniacal, morally bankrupt scumbag like Trump braying about draining the swamp in DC is a Saudi Prince "getting tough" on corruption in his spoiled circle of royals by unceremoniously incarcerating all of his competition for the throne. Call me crazy, but I am more than a little suspicious of the intentions of somebody who will reap large financial benefits by throwing a whole bunch of people in jail.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
What does it say about a leader when they go abroad to visit other heads of state and they are made to feel comfortable with gifts of silly hats and are fed precisely the same foods that they get at home? It may seem at first glance like a sign of respect, but isn't it pretty much the same M.O. an adult employs to mollify a moody child. This is pretty much the world saying to Trump, "We are well aware that you are an unstable, petulant, dimwitted manchild, and we will treat you as such until you go back to your own fucked-up country and leave us all alone." And you know what? They're not wrong.
Monday, November 6, 2017
You know, let's be honest. Trump and the Republican leadership have no interest in doing anything at all about gun violence in this country. Twenty-six men, women and children were slaughtered in a church and their response, essentially, is, " Aww, that's a bummer. Hey, who wants some sweet tax cuts?!" Sure, there was some half-hearted muttering about mental health, but just this year they passed a bill to allow mentally incapacitated people to own guns, so we all know that that's a load of horseshit. But they're totally looking out for you. You can use that tax refund to buy a kevlar vest.
Sunday, November 5, 2017
I mean, if you had to have a tour poster for Trump's 10-day trip through Asia, this will do about as good as any. We have sent a charmless, feebleminded lunatic to hash out important economic and security arrangements with other nation states. I do love the report that while he was in Hawaii, there were protesters holding up "Welcome to Kenya" signs. Well played, Hawaii.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Between the ongoing revelations about sexual abuse in the entertainment industry and the Groper-in-Chief paying visits to various strongmen who currently hold the reigns of power in some nations in Asia, there's a lot of terrible male behavior on display on today's front page. What to do with all that hot air?
Friday, November 3, 2017
I think enough time has passed that we can now address the ending of the World Series. OK, in other news, allegations of abuse continue to pour out of Hollywood, and our port has incredibly poor air quality. Oh, and the Republican tax plan (i.e., the government handout to very rich citizens and corporations) seems to be specifically designed to hurt California. We're in a tough place here in the Golden State, to be sure. But hey, fortunes can reverse, and sometimes faster than you expect. Just ask Trump dancing monkey and non-scientist Sam Clovis.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Alright, it's Halloween. Take the night off. All of the sordid details swirling around Manafort and Richard Gates and George Papadopoulos (not to mention all the ridiculous statements coming from the white house) will be waiting for you tomorrow, when you've finished binge-watching Stranger Things.
Monday, October 30, 2017
Every media outlet who isn't a shill for the far right was talking about Mueller's opening salvo of indictments in the whole Russian collusion thing. Today's front page article was guessing that the recipient of said indictment would be either Mike Flynn (nope) or political opportunist scumbag Paul Manafort (ding ding ding!). And of course what we found out today was that it was Manafort and so much more, including the revelation that a former Trump aide, who in 2016 sought to broker some sort of connection between Russian agents and the Trump campaign, is now a cooperating witness. Well damn, Mueller! That's a hell of a first act.
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Our current era of casual bigotry is finding expression in pretty much every corner of modern life. Yuli Gurriel, who plays for the Astros, thought that it'd be totally cool and funny to make slanty eyes at the Dodgers' Japanese-Iranian pitcher, Yu Darvish. In the middle of a World Series Game. Yep, sounds about right for the times we live in. I'm looking forward to turning our collective attention toward the Mueller investigation tomorrow.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
It's always mildly jarring to see historic photos on the front page. Today's photo of JFK comes compliments of a story about the release of new, previously secret documents about the Kennedy assassination. Surprise, there's nothing revelatory in there! Except that the US was spitballing some pretty hilarious ways to murder Fidel Castro. Ah, the good old days, when our biggest problem was Fidel Castro.
Friday, October 27, 2017
Trump's insistence on reviving the coal industry is patently idiotic (and clearly just a way to curry favor with a slice of his voting demographic) and dangerous. To add insult to injury, it may also threaten to disrupt areas where some serious paleontology is happening. The Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument in Utah is the site of some pretty exciting dinosaur finds, and there's immense potential there for much more. There are also, however, coal seams. You see where this is going. Fortunately coal is no longer a cost-effective energy source, so this may never become an issue. Occasionally, even a lying sack of shit like Trump can't circumvent the facts. Sad!
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Looks like it's going to be one of those weeks: another obit on the front page, this time for American music legend Fats Domino. Apologies to Mr. Domino for his having to share space in this drawing with a bunch of fucking tools from China's Politburo Standing Committee. The Politburo may control China, but did any of them author the very first song that John Lennon learned?
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
For all of our obsession with food here in LA, it's still pretty rare for a chef to land on the front page of the LA Times. This is, I think, only the second time this year I've drawn a chef for this project (the first time was Mr. Fries Man). This time it is exceptionally unusual, because it is also an obit. The chef in question, Suthiporn "Tui" Sungkamee, ran Jitlada, a local joint that, by all accounts, served up some seriously undiluted Southern Thai food and expanded our collective horizons well beyond your standard pad thai plates and satay skewers. As for the other guy, well, that's Justin Turner, the Dodger who is, hands down, the most fun to draw.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
That giant puppy is, like a lot of folks in Sonoma and Napa counties, homeless. It's been a weird thing over the past couple of weeks to process pictures of the burned out sections of Northern California and photos of the recently liberated city of Raqqah. This sort of comparative topography of ruin that appears on the front page is, I think, unusual but informative. We get more aerials of bombed-out wastelands in Raqqah, more closeups of people in Northern California.
Monday, October 23, 2017
The ruling party in Japan has won a huge victory in their latest round of elections, giving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the ability to do all sorts of things unimpeded by any serious political opposition. Like reforming Article 9 in the Japanese Constitution. And in China Xi Jingping, who himself has been pretty successful at consolidating power, has dusted off the old Maoist propaganda machine and is test driving it in select Chinese villages. I mean, call me over-cautious, but the global consolidation of power (and capital) does not make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
I love everything about the story of Española, the Miguel Cabrera painting that has been missing for over 100 years. I don't want to ruin it for you with a half-assed summary here (because you're totally going to read it, right?), so I won't. It's one of those rare occasions where the paper gives you something more like a New Yorker article than a grim accounting of our troubled times, and that, my friend, is to be enjoyed.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
It's important to have these follow-up stories to incidents of cops murdering unarmed young black men. Much like plain old, civilian-on-civilian mass shootings, they happen with such alarming frequency, and they pass into and out of news cycles so quickly, that we can forget how the act will reverberate through a community in the weeks and months and years to come. Mesquite is doing their best to deal with Jordan Edwards' death. It's on us as a nation to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.
Friday, October 20, 2017
Well, the Dodgers are officially in the World Series, but it happened too late last night for their playoff victory to make it to the front page. Instead we were treated to some light local fare: a story about toll road abuse and one about a homeless piano player (did you know we have a public piano in union station?). We're experiencing one of those rare lulls in the overdriven political hell that is the typical 2017 news cycle. Enjoy it while it lasts (spoiler: it won't last).
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Ok, I never thought I’d say this, but I think I’m running out of fire-wreckage themed visual gags for the crumbling Hollywood patriarchy. Thankfully the Dodgers won tonight, which I guess means I’ll need some baseball-themed visual gags for the crumbling Hollywood patriarchy tomorrow.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
On its surface there's a lot to like on the front page: Isis was driven out of Raqqah, there may be a short-term fix in the works to keep Obamacare solvent, and the Dodgers' won game 3 of the playoffs. Still, Isis has not been dissolved, they've just been pushed back; Obamacare has not been saved (far from it), it's just been propped up for the moment. It's all equivocal triumph. Hell, I'm equivocal about the drawing I made to deal with all this equivocation.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Well, it's pretty late in the evening, so I guess I'll leave you with this picture of Trump and Mitch McConnell as an obsequious dog. And why exactly are these two idiots on the front page? Well, you see, the payments to fund Obamacare that Trump only a few days ago threatened to cut off are now going to be saved, but only for a little while, and because of this reversal Trump is claiming that he got Democrats and Republicans to---you know what? There's little to be gained by going into the details on this one. It's pointless political theater of the lowest sort.
Monday, October 16, 2017
Sometimes the biggest story on A1 never makes an appearance in these drawings. This project is as much concerned with finding a visual throughline as a narrative one. The grape pickers and the Dodgers, they all stack up pretty neatly, but then there's the story about the children in war-torn South Sudan who spend every day just trying not to be murdered or raped or struck down by some illness running through the camps that are their only refuge from the hell they escaped from, and you can see how it can be difficult making the leap from what goes on in California to what goes on in Sudan. And why it's important to know what goes on in Sudan when you live in California.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Today's A1 made the LA Times feel like a real local paper. Every story on it was solidly local---the fires in Northern California, Harvey getting booted from the Academy, the Dodgers kicking ass in game 1 of the NLCS. I know people like to mythologize Los Angeles, but we're really like most other American towns---natural disasters, powerful men acting like assholes, and the occasional home run to give you something to feel good about. So, I guess let's wrap this up with a "go Dodgers" and call it a night.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
That floating face belongs to Rose McGowan, who was calling out Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood players on their abusive bullshit long before it was fashionable. All I can say is, it's about fucking time we called out Hollywood players on their abusive bullshit. Now when can we apply these lessons to the white house?
Friday, October 13, 2017
Thursday, October 12, 2017
The front page was full of people displaced, either through no fault of their own (folks in Mexico City and Northern California), or else entirely because of their own bad behavior (Harvey Weinstein, another high-ranking individual at USC. What's up, USC? You've had, um, quite a year). No matter the reason, it feels as if everyone is being pushed out of their comfort zone, which is fitting, since we as a nation we're very roughly pushed out of our comfort zone on January 20th of this year.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Looks like that dim ray of hope for DACA kids---you know, the one where Trump agreed to work with Democrats on a solution to this issue---is pretty much extinguished. Because, you see, Trump has no actual convictions or moral compass, which means he is steering our massive national vessel through uncharted waters purely on whim, on whatever random stimulus excites his pathetic lizard brain at the moment he needs to make an executive decision. This isn't leadership, it's a psychology experiment, where every hypothetical outcome is incredibly shitty.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
The moderate middle is that slice of voting demographic that leans neither too far left or too far right. It's that centrist sweet spot that old-school, reasonable politicians courted fervently. It's also a smaller voting bloc these days than it was back when Senator Diane Feinstein, who has decided to run for re-election, first began winning elections. You know what's not smaller in California these days? The fucking fires. Stay safe, wine country.
Monday, October 9, 2017
Alright, alright, I finally got around to drawing Harvey Weinstein, who lately has become the poster child for the creepy studio executive. It's like Halloween comes around and Hollywood brings out the gropey skeletons in its closet to decorate. Can we just use regular skeletons next year?
Sunday, October 8, 2017
Looks like the Republicans are chomping at the bit to balloon the deficit in order to give corporations huge tax cuts. I guess fiscal responsibility, one of the most enduring (though not always obeyed) planks in the conservative soapbox, has been wrenched out and tossed aside, leaving---well, what's left? Stripping rights from the LGBTQ community? And women? And minorities? Is that a political platform or a Klan pamphlet?
Saturday, October 7, 2017
The front page was quite a bummer today, displaying 58 stamp-sized images of the victims of last Sunday's Las Vegas massacre. And let's face it, with Republicans controlling the executive and legislative branches of our government, we're unlikely to see any real change. The NRA calling for additional regulation on bump stocks (not banning them, mind you, just regulating them), which allow semi-automatic weapons to become fully automatic weapons (and which were used in the Las Vegas mass shooting), is exactly like---I'm sorry to say---putting a band aid on a gunshot wound. Which unfortunately means that the guy who made those heart-bedecked wooden crosses for the Las Vegas victims will most likely have many more opportunities to put his woodworking skills to use in the future.
Friday, October 6, 2017
It's been a heavy fucking week, so here at mixed media daily we're easing into the weekend with a little light reading about baseball. Of course these days it feels like there are no small stories, even in our great American pastime. The Dodgers are having one hell of a rollercoaster of a season. From what I can gather about what's going on in tonight's playoff game vs. the Diamondbacks as of 10:30 PST, that m.o. is still in effect.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
"I got 30% of the crew that's not loyal to the flag." That statement was made by Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior, to a group of petroleum industry cronies. Let that statement sink in for a second, because it's insane. I mean, I didn't realize that the American flag was literally Trump's agenda. Does this mean our flag is now incoherent scrawl emblazoned on the back of an empty Doritos bag?
The 30% Zinke was talking about are civil servants working in his department. Zinke and EPA head Scott Pruitt are both systematically undermining their departments' missions by forcing out the very people who are there to do the work the department was intended to do, and it's really fucking worrisome. Loyalty to America and loyalty to the sitting/squatting president are not the same thing, particularly when the president is a callous, kleptocratic sack of garbage. So I guess what I'm saying is, "Fuck you and your shitty Doritos Flag, Zinke."
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
The Nobel prize for physics this year went to Barry Barish, Kip Thorne, and Ranier Weiss, who developed and built a machine that can detect gravitational waves, which are tiny ripples in the very fabric of space time, caused by things like two black holes colliding. That's pretty fucking great, fellas, but you didn't write "Refugee," "Don't Come Around Here No More," or "Free Fallin'," so today's You-Got-Hastily-Sketched-By-mixed-media-daily prize goes to Tom Petty.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Normal guy/mass murderer Stephen Paddock remains something of a mystery, the victims of his unholy rampage remain dead, and Trump and the Republicans have called for unity but not solutions to our insane, uniquely American gunlust. Sounds like this thing is about one or two news cycles from being completely forgotten in the halls of power. Because they have much more important things to do, see, like cutting taxes for the wealthy and stripping poor Americans of their healthcare. I can't even get into all the ways Trump acted like a gigantic douche during his visit to Puerto Rico. Sleep well, everyone, and try not to get fucking shot.
Monday, October 2, 2017
Today at mixed media daily we had to stray from our object (the newspaper) to stay true to our subject (the news). Those numbers hovering above Mandelay Bay Casino represent the movement in value of gun manufacturers' stocks at the close of the market today. They are all up, as they often are after there is the mass shooting and murder of Americans anywhere in our country. Bill O'Reilly called todays murder of almost 60 Americans "the price of freedom," because he is a fucking idiot.
I'm pretty certain Las Vegas will dominate the news for the rest of the week at least, meaning I'll go back to using my good old trusty newspaper as a springboard for these drawings, but it felt like if there was ever a day to stray from the format, it was this shit sandwich of a day.
Oh, and RIP Tom Petty.
Sunday, October 1, 2017
That's, the Mayor of San Juan. She and the rest of Puerto Rico have been on the receiving end of some recent racist tirade action by our embarrassment-in-chief, Donald Trump. Word around town is that Trump plans on visiting the island on Tuesday, so that won't be awkward at all.
Also, welcome to inktober! I mean, I use ink in almost all the drawings I do for this project, so I don't know how much will change around here, but I'll try to fit in some special, extra-inky drawings for the occasion. In any case, there probably won't be any strictly pencil drawings this month. Which begs the question: do pencils get a month? Janupencil? Pencilvember? Maybe Leadtember?
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Tomorrow starts the (relatively recent) tradition of inktober, so today felt like a good day to do one last strictly pencil drawing before the ink starts flowing all next month long. I mean, we here at mixed media daily might not adhere totally to the drawing constraints of inktober every day next month, but we'll honor it when it's convenient, like the inktober equivalent of Xmas/Easter Catholics. Speaking of religion, today's brandisher of protest signs comes straight from the deep recesses of the Orthodox Russian Church. They are apparently upset because a movie was made that depicts one of their saints (Czar Nicholas II--that's right, he's saint and a king) boning some teenage ballerina, which is a thing that actually happened, but hey, how dare you, uh, Mr. Filmmaker, depict the truth about things. So they're doing what any rational person would do when confronted with uncomfortable truths about their revered figures--they're setting shit on fire and trying to hurt people. Clearly they're sensitive, which made me feel bad for maybe a second about co-opting one of their protestors to speak truth to American power, but then I remembered that the Russian Government basically co-opted our entire political system and its attendant media in the last election, so fuck them. And this is how we get Dirty Tom, a.k.a. self-important shitheel Tom Price, who spent close to a million dollars of taxpayer money to shuttle himself about in style on private and military planes, because he figured if an idiot like Trump could become president than surely he could abuse his access to military planes with no consequences whatsoever. Well, he's no longer HHS secretary, but not because he did the things he did, but because he got caught doing them.
Friday, September 29, 2017
Some days, occasionally, I'm like, "Ah, man, all I ever get on the front page are faces. I wish I could get something else for a change." And then a paper like today's comes, and the only thing i have to work with are cots, and I'm like, "Goddamnit front page, couldn't you give me one face?! What the fuck am I supposed to do with all these cots?" Well, I did something with the cots. Hugh Hefner has moved on to that great orgy in the sky, so there's quite a few thinkpieces about his legacy, and what it all means, and was he a good guy or not? All interesting questions to ponder and debate. But we still have all these cots to think about.