Sunday, December 31, 2017

31 December, part 2

This drawing began as a way to address the Sydney Morning Herald’s weekend edition---i.e., one paper covering two days’ worth of news---and naturally became a way to address the entire year, partly from the very local, Australian perspective of the Herald (that "Stadium Inc." sign will not make sense to many people outside of Sydney), and partly from my own experiences with the news all year (a.k.a., our more generalized, global angst). And man, what a fucking clusterfuck this year has been. I will admit that filling up the “loathed” side of this drawing was way easier than filling up the “loved” side. That seems about right for 2017. It also seems right that a fair portion (half?) of the "loved" side is made up of references to artists and musicians. I know that for me it felt like the only oasis of reason and sanity left in the world some days was the realm of Art.

Rounding out both sides required fragments of text and image from many pages in the edition, not just the front. This tactic might be slightly outside the rules established for this project, but established rules are being tossed aside everywhere on our troubled globe, so this move, I believe, is in keeping with the year's overarching themes.

Please also note that this is not an attempt to sum up the entire year in a single drawing---that would be a fool's errand. The last day of the year is a time to look back on all that has transpired over the previous 364 days, but it is also a day of its own and should be allowed to be just that, even if that means devoting the central third of your drawing to representations of fireworks.

Finally, for anyone interested in who/what everybody is in this drawing, I'll put together a key and post it in the first week of 2018. Until then, here's a quick, partial list: Prince Philip, Emmanuel Macron, Australian senator Dean Smith, who championed the legalization of gay marriage here, American jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, Australian painter Gareth Sansom, the Go Betweens, the late Annabelle Falkholt, Julian Assange, Kim Jong-Un, Harvey Weinstein, Anthony Scaramucci, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Donald Trump.

I have one other final drawing to execute for 2017, the Los Angeles Times front page for 31 December. I'd love to be the rockstar artist who completes this other final drawing and posts it with insightful commentary before the ball drops in the Pacific Standard time zone, but in reality it might be more of a Jan 2nd post. We'll see. Also, based on my initial perusal of the LA cover page, expect a lot of walls.

See you all on the other side.

31 December 2017, part 1

Alright, we’re about ready to wrap this thing up for the year! Here’s your sneak peek of the second panel of The Sydney Morning Herald Weekend Edition drawing. Tomorrow I’ll post the whole drawing, plus the final Los Angeles times drawing. And then I have to get on a plane so you won’t hear from me for a bit. Enjoy your New Year's Eve shenanigans, but be safe when you're out there shenaniganing.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

30 December 2017

Good news! The last two drawings of the year are going to be, combined, a bigger-than-usual, two panel thing. Today you get a sneak peek at one side of the panel, and tomorrow, the last day of the year, a peek at the other side. Then I’ll post the whole thing on Jan 1st, 2018, i.e., the future. This was all brought on by the fact that the Australian paper I've been drawing published a weekend edition for the 30th and 31st, meaning no new paper tomorrow (hey, reporters and editors have to rest, too). Also, I am hoping to do one last Los Angeles Times front page on the 1st here in Australia, which will be the 31st  still in LA, because time is crazy. Until tomorrow then. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

29 December 2017

The Sydney Morning Herald's front page was filled with rich people today---rich people racing yachts, rich people getting property tax breaks, rich people fighting with other rich people about swanky high rises they're all trying to build for yet other rich people--which is maybe explained better by an article that shows up on page 7, titled, "The very rich keep getting richer, adding $1.3 trillion." And there you have it: 2017 was clearly the Year of the Rich Fuck.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

28 December 2017

In America we’re currently living under the thumb of the most corrupt, morally rudderless executive branch in living memory, so it’s of particular interest to me to see how other countries deal with the criminal element in their political class. Mind you, I don’t know about every instance of corruption dealt with in Australia, but if today’s story  about the Obeid family is any indication, at least they actually deal with it. The Obeid family sounds in some ways like the Trump family---a wealthy, thoroughly corrupt clan who uses political position solely as a means of enriching themselves. The big difference is that a few of the Obeids are already in jail, whereas we're still waiting for indictments. Let's hope that the American political and media systems can be as effective as the Australians.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

27 December 2017

 I wasn’t kidding when I mentioned the other day about learning a lot about yachting from reading The Sydney Morning Herald. Man, these folks love their yacht races. I haven’t read this much about sailing since I read Moby Dick in college. Unlike Melville’s gripping tale of monomaniacal revenge, much of today’s story about the Sydney to Hobart yacht race is going straight over my head. I did, however, pick up a few interesting tidbits. For instance, the race isn’t officially over until the competitors clear Customs—-Customs in this case being Hobart’s Customs House pub, where the sailors have their first drink after finishing the race. That first drink is typically a rum and Coke, which seems like a pretty trashy cocktail to reach for when you saunter off of your 90+ million dollar yacht, but hey, whatever it takes to keep it real, I guess. I think this race, which began on Boxing Day (so many new customs to absorb!), is scheduled to conclude tomorrow, so there might be a yacht triptych in the works here.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

26 December 2017

It's Boxing Day here in Australia (and, i guess, throughout the former British colonies), a day that began as a combination of Christmas and trickle-down economics and has since morphed into the Australian version of Black Friday. I participated by going out and buying a copy of The Sydney Morning Herald, the paper that will be the focus of this project for the remainder of this trip (and this project). Today it taught me much about yachting, among other things.

Monday, December 25, 2017

25 December 2017

Despite being 18 hours ahead of the Central Pacific time zone that I call home, today feels like a good time to check back in with what's been going on stateside, and so today's drawing comes courtesy of of our old friend the Los Angeles Times. Christmas is traditionally a slow news day, and this year is no exception. It's more a recap of currently developing stories than any breaking news (it's still super dry in California, everybody is worried about Mueller, etc.), which in a normal year, I imagine, is a more frequent occurrance. This year, of course, we've been in crisis mode since January 20, so any slow news day feels like a gift.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

24 December 2017

Finally, the Sunday Mail will wrap up our three day tour of the Courier’s bizarre, demented idea of journalism. There’s a happy family on the cover because....Christmas? There’s a thing about the brother of an Isis soldier getting into the Queensland police recruit program, because no shitty newspaper is complete without some fear mongering. There’s some other stuff. Do you care? I don’t. We’ll just quit while we’re ahead here, and move on to bigger and better news sources for Christmas Day.

23 December 2017

Um, what paper that is purportedly for a grown-ass person puts Santa Claus on the front page? The Courier Mail, that’s who. I mean, Jesus—have some fucking self respect, pseudo journalists.

22 December 2017

 I’m currently on an island that has an abundance of natural beauty and a serious dearth of good papers. The only two newspapers I can find in this place are The Australian—which I drew yesterday for the first and last time, because fuck that ridiculous pinheaded conservative rag—-and today’s newest entry into mixed media's Australian tour, The Courier Mail, a tabloid both in form and content. The Courier Mail, like The Australian, is a News Corp paper, so you can imagine the level of quality we’re dealing with here. Let me give you an example: a few pages into the paper you'll find half a page devoted to the gripping story of a kid running around a local mall wearing a Deadpool costume. The main story, about a vehicle rampage in Melbourne, is splashed across the front page in the most lurid, sensationalist manner possible. This all makes for amusing drawings, but as a news source it's completely laughable. It also happens to be pretty much the only paper I can get my hands on at the moment, so the next few days will unfold into some sort of unholy Courier Mail triptych.

21 December 2017

Well, hey there, casual looky loos. After a brief hiatus where I had no internet and precious little in the way of legitimate news to work with, I'm hoping to play a big old game of catch up today and get the last four days of drawings and angry rantings posted. For Christmas day (which is right now for me, but for all you New World inhabitants is still a half a day away) I plan to revisit the Los Angeles Times via their handy enewspaper feature on their website, provided I can get the timing right. Anyway, enjoy your whirlwind mini tour through the garbage journalism of Australia; Christmas will hopefully mark a return to sanity for this project (if not for the world).


This is most definitely being posted many days late, as I am currently off-off grid. My current location has also made it difficult to find papers to draw since, you know, robust printed news distribution and  dense population centers kind of go hand in hand. An assertion supported by my foray out to get the paper today.  The only place in my sights well equipped enough to carry inked news had four papers total, three of which were essentially tabloids and one that looked legit, on the surface at least. And then you realize it’s The Australian, the ultra conservative pile of garbage published by Rupert Murdoch. The edition I looked at featured, at the very top, an article heartily endorsing a plan that Australia embrace the same draconian tax cuts that bloated shitbag Donald Trump just pushed through our American houses of Congress. And directly below that are two articles and a photo that, together, are some kind of general smear of Joe McDonald, a union official in the CFMEU (that's the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union for all you non-Aussies). This whole paper is essentially an exercise in rich-person yellow journalism. So, you know, fuck this paper. We won’t be revisiting it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

20 December 2017

Today I've opted to revisit The Sydney Morning Herald, and waiting for me on the front page were, side by side, a large photo of folks chillin' at the beach, and an article about political intrigue in Turnbull's new cabinet appointments. Clearly the beach won that fight (hey, I'm on vacation). Oh, and Christmas gets a mention on A1, because this country takes its holidays very seriously, thank you very much. Sorry, I honestly tried with the story about cabinet appointments, but I have my own dysfunctional government to monitor. Speaking of my own dysfunctional government, there's a pair of articles in the World section about those ass clowns. The article about Trump's new national security strategy essentially argues that there is so much difference between the official version of the strategy and what Trump and other administration officials say about the strategy that nobody knows what the fuck they mean. So, if you were wondering whether other countries also thought of this administration as a master class in the dissemination of incoherent bullshit---yes, yes they do.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

19 December 2017

Today is the super fun day on any itinerary involving long distance travel where mind-bending jet lag sets in. It felt like the perfect day to tackle maybe not the most intense news source I can get my hands on in this region of Australia. And this is how we find ourselves welcoming the very, very local inky the Fraser Coast Chronicle into the mixed media traveling news maelstrom. The Chronicle sports a very festive front page, concerned mostly with Christmas-related stories, specifically tips on how to improve your holiday activities. Not much of this material really qualifies as news (it has more in common with a magazine like Real Simple than with, say, The Sydney Morning Herald), but that doesn't mean that it's uninformative, particularly to an outsider like myself. For instance, did you know that there is such a thing as a ham bag, and that you should really have two on hand in order to keep your Christmas ham in tip-top shape? Knowledge.

Monday, December 18, 2017

18 December 2018

Give a big mixed media daily welcome to The Sydney Morning Herald, the latest paper to become our unwitting subject. So there's the big surprise. This project will finish out the year in Australia, where we will explore both their big national papers (like the Morning Herald) as well as smaller, local fare. And we'll probably check back in with our old flame, The Los Angeles Times, because that old love never really dies now, does it? And, you know, for project continuity. Sexy, sexy project continuity.

Initial impression of the biggest and, by most accounts, most serious journalism endeavor going on down under: I'm pretty sure that the LA Times has not had the Myanmar Rohingya crisis featured in a big way on A1 above the fold. I've been reading about it piecemeal in other news sources, but this long form piece in the Herald is certainly an eye opener. And I get it on some level---it's not like it's been a slow news year in America---but it certainly drives home the importance of diversifying your news sources.

Oh, one last thing: December 17th did not actually exist. For me, that is. Flying over the international dateline will do that. Also, while I'm getting set up in my new, temporary Southern Hemisphere digs, drawings as presented might be rescanned and updated when I get home in the name of look continuity. Sexy, sexy look continuity.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

16 December 2017

I guess you could read the phrase in today's drawing two ways. One way is that the GOP is actively, aggressively ripping apart the foundations of our democracy in order to establish the oligarchy they so clearly desire. The other is that they are relying on Trump---a person who is certifiably cruel, selfish, bullying, dimwitted, and prone to incoherent rage---to get their own selfish wants met. You wouldn't be wrong on either count, and the fact that they are actively trying to disrupt and prematurely conclude Mueller's Russia investigation counts as evidence (evidence-based!) on both counts.

Housekeeping note: Posting for this project will be spotty for the next day or two, and then will resume but probably look/feel somewhat different. More on that as events unfold!

Friday, December 15, 2017

15 December 2017

It's the end of the year, and so the idea of endings being front and center in the collective mind is not unusual. But man, it was REALLY front and center (and then front again) today. Today's headlines were all about endings--20th Century Fox being swallowed whole by Disney; the death of net neutrality; the death of AIM, AOL's pioneering instant messenger service; Dababneh's resignation (sorry---if you don't live in Los Angeles you're like, "who?"),  the death of, uh, basic science vocabulary in the CDC because of some stupid command handed down by our shit-for-brains (and that is an evidence-based assertion, btw) president.

We are almost at the end of this drawing project, and you might expect me to coast through the last two weeks of the year. But nothing could be further from the truth. Things are going to get pretty weird around here in the final two weeks of the year, starting Sunday.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

14 December 2017

We're all still clearly riding the Doug Jones victory high, and we're still talking about how incredibly united and motivated the African American women of Alabama were during this election. It's nice to have nice things to think about during the holiday season. But get ready for the repeal of net neutrality (as a side note, fuck you, Ajit Pai, you fucking fuck). And the steaming pile of pig shit known as the GOP tax bill. And hell, we're so late in the year, get ready for the 2018 midterm elections, when we can possibly turn this shit show around.

13 December 2017

Like many of the spikes on 2017's political seismograph, we owe this week's political moment to women---the courageous women who stepped forward and call out Roy Moore (pictured in the sauce pan) for his shitty, criminal behavior, and then for African-American women, who turned out in large numbers for Doug Jones, catapulting him into a deep red Senate seat. And, you might ask, why the hell are we referencing Steely Dan in all of this? Because it makes sense, that's why.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

12 December 2017

Well, well, well well well. It looks like the Senate will not have to worry about admitting a pedophile into their ranks. We'll get into more (but not Moore!) of this weird, wild special election tomorrow, you can be sure of that.  Until then I would like to say, to the people of Alabama, thank you for your good sense.

Monday, December 11, 2017

11 December 2017

Well, Tuesday's special election in Alabama to fill Jeff Sessions' vacated senate seat probably won't end in sexy cyborg eagles carrying him off to his doom, but we can dream, right? Right? Anyway, do the right thing tomorrow, Alabama (hint: the right thing is to not vote for Moore, because he is a racist pedophile).

Sunday, December 10, 2017

10 December 2017

The California wildfires seem to be losing their hold on the front page (for now. let's just hope they disappear IRL too), thus making room for other local headaches, like misbehaving deputies, and more international stuff, like Afghan commandos and french rock and roll idols. It was one of those rare news days of 2017, the kind that don't make you seriously wonder if humanity can possibly survive until the end of the week.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

9 December 2017

What up, Dre? Below the fold, down past all the stuff about the wildfires that still dominates the front page, was a vintage photo of N.W.A., there to lead you back to the Calendar Section to read a piece about them. It's a classy, black and white image of the storied group. Hell, they look like they could be a band that was just starting out today.  But then you notice Dre's acid-washed jeans and you're like, nope, this is a photo from long, long ago.

Friday, December 8, 2017

8 December 2017

I appreciate the Times offering a little distraction, in the form of an article about the newly minted world heritage site Okinoshima, from the unrelenting wildfire news. It helps a little. I mean, not as much as the story about the LAPD cadets who stole patrol cars, because that story is still hilarious. But serious! Don't steal cop cars, kids; it'll end badly.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

7 December 2017

Here in California all the talk is of wind speeds and humidity levels, dry brush and embattled homes. Stay safe, everybody.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

6 December 2017

While large swaths of Southern California were occupied with putting out fires today, Trump was busy setting one in the Middle East. It's not at all clear what purpose is served by moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, unless your purpose is to foment unrest, and possibly a war, in that region. And I guess if you're Trump (and thank god that you're not), and Mueller is dishing out subpoenas to Deutsche Bank, maybe you're looking to stir up a little more than your standard twitter-driven distraction.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

5 December 2017

Trump invited coal, oil, and uranium interests to come on down to Utah and shit all over the Grand-Staircase Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments this week. Because he's looking out for the little guy, you see. Also, freedom? And I guess because Jesus would've wanted it that way? I'm having a hard time figuring out the reasoning here. Besides, if you think increased coal mining is a forward-thinking answer to energy independence, you're a fucking idiot.

Monday, December 4, 2017

4 December 2017

The Ghost Ship fire was one of a series of horrible stories to come out at the end of last year (remember what a bummer 2016 was at the end?). If you don't live in California, however, you might not have heard about it. The other two stories about displacement that are on the front page today--namely, folks losing their jobs as collateral damage of the seemingly endless series of sex scandals being unearthed in Hollywood, and Afghan families fleeing their homes and trying not to get killed by U.S. airstrikes---you probably have heard about. In fact, 2017 has been a year of displacement. The year began with reason, ethics, and good taste being tossed out of the white house that they occupied for the previous 8 years. They're still out there somewhere, I suppose, warming their hands over a barrel fire. Let's hope one day we can find them and bring them home.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

3 December 2017

It's looking like Mueller's investigation is closing in on the comically incompetent Jared Kushner. I'd say his head was the next on the chopping block, but then Trump decided to out-stupid his son-in-law by tweeting, essentially, that he fired Flynn because he lied to the FBI. Eventually one of Trump's lawyers put out a statement that he wrote that tweet. Also, he has a bridge he'd like to sell you if you're interested.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

2 December 2017

Surprise, it's not a drawing of Michael Flynn! That case is certainly heating up, but let's redirect our attention for a minute to the hideous tax plan that senate republicans just passed (and that now only needs to be reconciled with the just-as-shitty House version to become the law of the land). Much has been written about how flatly terrible this bill is, and what it really is, but it does bear repeating: this bill essentially takes money away from the poor and middle class and transfers said wealth to the already deep pockets of giant corporations and the very, very rich. It is a gigantic "fuck you!" to all of those poor (and middle class) saps who voted Trump into office.  The sad thing is, republicans have been doing this shit for almost 100 years now, and every time they get their way they fuck up the economy. The GOP may be drunk with power now, but they're in for one hell of a hangover come the 2018 midterms.

Friday, December 1, 2017

1 December 2017

I know, I know. There's the tax bill, and the whole Michael Flynn shitstorm. A world of horrors out there. The physical press sometimes exists in the spaces between the grinding gears of the modern news cycle. Say goodbye to Jim Nabors. Consider the complexities of transnational family life.  We'll get to that other stuff tomorrow, I promise.

And if you really need to laugh at a picture of Michael Flynn being served up for dinner, I'll refer you to my drawing from 24 November.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

30 November 2017

Yes, that's Matt Lauer. Not to be outdone in disgusting behavior (as if), Trump decided now is a good time to retweet racist videos from Britain First, just to remind you all that he is still, and probably ever will be, the most repulsive sack of shit to ever slither across this earth. And even though I know you are itchin' to blow your whole rage budget on these two stories, the one you should be saving it for is the tax bill that Republicans are trying to cram down the throat of America so that they can justify all those fat donations they've been getting for years from assholes like the Koch brothers.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

29 November 2017

The Grammy nominations are officially out/reported on in this here paper. As a help to their older/less with it readers, the LA Times provided pictures on A1 of all of the folks up for album of the year. Except Donald Glover. That's just weird, LA Times. What do you have against Donald Glover, man? Anyway, I drew Kendrick (not very well! Sorry, Kendrick).

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

28 November 2017

I would expect to have to draw certain categories of events no matter what year I do this project---there's always wars, there's always natural disasters, there's always shitty politicians doing shitty things, and, because I'm dealing with American news, there are always mass shootings. British royal weddings, however, are not one of these things. But here we are. In 2011 I drew William and Kate (twice, I think), and this year it's Harry and Meghan. well, their engagement anyway. You get the idea. In other news, the grammys will never be interesting, but the story of how those statues are made? Well hey, that's pretty interesting.

Monday, November 27, 2017

27 November 2017

Michigan Democratic Congressman John Conyers Jr. is stepping down from his position on the House Judiciary Committee while he faces an ethics investigation for alleged sexual harassment. At the same time, sexual predator Roy Moore is being heartily endorsed by fellow sexual predator Donald Trump to take over a senate seat. Clearly neither side has a monopoly on virtue, but come on.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

26 November 2017

Boy, nothing says "your long Thanksgiving holiday is over" quite like a picture of California's lethal injection chamber on the front page of the Sunday paper. We get it, LA Times; tomorrow is Monday. If you're in need of further reality check to wrench you from the sweet, narcotic embrace of a surfeit of free time, dive into the piece about the disaster that is Mexico's housing market.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

25 November 2017

Back when I did this project in 2011 I was drawing Egypt-related things all the time---it was the year of the Arab Spring. Remember that? And today is, I think, one of maybe two times I drew anything about Egypt this year. And to have it be for such a horrendous terrorist attack---well, this is sort of the tenor of the news cycle this year, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Friday, November 24, 2017

24 November 2017

Oh Michael Flynn, you mean-spirited dumbass, 2017 has been quite a rollercoaster for you, champ. How could you ever think that doing grunt work for a foreign government while you were involved, at high levels, in the machinery of our own government wouldn't ever come back to bite you in the ass? Is it hubris or are you just fucking stupid? I imagine, in your case, a little from both columns.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

23 November 2017

Happy Thanksgiving, casual observers. Fittingly, the main news item above the fold today was about Native American tribes using their newfound political and financial capital to reclaim the remains of their ancestors that had been dug up and sold/put on display/left in unmarked boxes in storage rooms by the descendants of those first pilgrims. It's worth a read: it won't help you digest that big meal you just consumed, but it'll be good for you.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

22 November 2017

There were a lot of public figures sliding out of public view on the front page today---John Lasseter, Charlie Rose, Robert Mugabe (finally!). Oh, and guess what else is sliding out of public view these days? Net neutrality. There's a vote scheduled next month to decide whether to keep the Obama-era net neutrality rules in place or chuck them and, you know, trust that giant telecommunications firms will not overcharge/throttle traffic for/fuck with anybody who uses the internet, which is pretty much everybody. I mean, if there's one thing we know from history, it's that companies always do the right thing when left to their own devices.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

21 November 2017

I think it's interesting to note that Charles Manson was on the front page again today. I didn't find it interesting enough to draw him again, because fuck that guy. You know what's interesting? The  impeachment of Mugabe going on in Zimbabwe. It doesn't look like it'll be quick or clean or painless, but Zimbabweans seem pretty fucking determined to see it through, because the alternative--living under authoritarian, kleptocratic rule--is simply unacceptable. As it should be, always, everywhere.

Monday, November 20, 2017

20 November 2017

I'm getting toward the end of this yearlong project, and so I'm doing sort of an informal mental assessment of where it has been going, and one idea that I keep coming back to is that one of the stark contrasts that this year has with the first year of mixed media daily (that would be 2011) is that this year has been one of incredibly dark subject matter, pretty much wall to wall. And then, as if to punctuate this thought, who shows up on the front page? Charles fucking Manson. Not for any new horrendous thing he did, but simply because he died. And so we get his obit, and by extension, his life story, which is essentially a shit show from the day he was born. It's certainly a cautionary tale about the dangers of an utterly broken social welfare system. If we, as a country, don't take care of our institutions, be it the juvenile justice system or our system of free and fair elections, they are more likely then not to breed some monster.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

19 November 2017

We're now a few days shy of the Thanksgiving holiday, and thus we're in the home stretch for a year that has been almost completely devoid of any good news whatsoever. It's tough, I know. But hey, good citizens stay informed. The fewer people that are truly paying attention, the more likely the chance that a conniving piece of shit like Trump gets his hands on the wheel. So do a little something for yourself on this day of rest---read some poetry, meditate, smoke a joint, whatever---and when you're ready read up on the sorry state of the State Department, and the heartbreaking homicide statistics in Harvard Park, and, if you can stomach it, the whole miserable Russell Simmons/Brett Ratner story. And then, I guess, you should probably go take a shower.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

18 November 2017

Africa, though it is still a continent rife with political problems, is doing what it can to end the "Big Man" era, which is defined mostly by postcolonial rulers who develop extreme autocratic and kleptomaniacal tendencies. And, hey, good for them. They'll be better off. Kick those fuckers out, Africa. We, on the other hand, seem to be sliding ever deeper into our own "Big Orange Man" era, and it's anybody's guess as to if and when this already year-long national nightmare will be over. Maybe Mueller can give us a timetable?

Friday, November 17, 2017

17 November 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

16 November 2017

Why yes, that is Dame Judi Dench with the cannon from one of the Zimbabwe army's tanks nested in her hair.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

15 November 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

14 November 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

13 November 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

12 November 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?