February 9, 2006
When I first imagined being a cartoonist in Kingman Junior High School, I pictured people going crazy over my cartoons. And one of the first attempts at a strip was an end-of-the-world prediction. With that said, I never really dreamed I would live to see people dying over a cartoon.
And the irony is that the Danish cartoons that have set off the destructive and violent clashes are over a dozen cartoons that supposedly make light of non-violence. Kathy and I were watching the Daily Show last night and Jon Stewart did a brilliant parody of the situation showing Billy (or was it Jeffy?) from Family Circle comic strip fame doing his famous dotted-line trip around the neighborhood, only in the Daily Show version he?s carrying an AK-47 and setting fire to buildings, yet still stopping to swing on the swingset.
Syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker said it for me: "The cartoon implosion rocking the Muslim world is based on equal parts fake photographs and a default riot mode looking for an excuse. Extreme propaganda and a lack of fortitude have brought us near the brink of extinction through a global act of accidental self-mockery. The world isn't mad over cartoons; the world is a cartoon."
Or, as one of my generation's best cartoonists, R. Crumb (Keep On Truckin?) put it, "Hey folks, it's just lines on paper."
And while the world burns frame by frame, some old friends still light me up.
Mike Lacey Takes His Standup to NYC Department
Ex-New Times staffer and friend Jerry Joslyn forwarded me this piece on our mutual old boss:
Lacey to Voice staff: Drop dead
By Tim Redmond
"The merger between the nation's two largest alternative newspaper chains was finally consummated Jan. 31, and the very next day, Mike Lacey, the new owner of the Village Voice, was in New York City giving the staff the facts of life.
Lacey met with Voice staffers Feb. 1, and, according to sources who were present at the meeting, announced that the Voice news section was too soft because it was full of commentary and criticism of the Bush administration. He said he didn't want any more commentary--just hard news and long-form human-interest stories.
He also insulted the entire news department by saying Voice reporters 'need to stop being stenographers' and, the sources told the Guardian, warned the staff ?to be ready to say goodbye to some of your friends.
When one participant said the description of the staff as 'stenographers' was unfair, Lacey reportedly responded, 'So, I'm unfair.'"
A Report From the Front Lines
"Eldon Lawson of Bay Village, OH called to renew today. He said he has
subscribed for 40 years and has always enjoyed True West."
An Email I Forgot to Run Yesterday
"My wife read in some medical journal or magazine that using aluminum
cookware and drinking from aluminum cans has been linked to Alzheimer's
Too Close to The Truth Department
Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.
Favorite Onion Headline de Jour
Kids In Bus Accident Mocked By Kids In Passing Bus
"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence."
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