Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 02/19/03

Artist's Statement

Of course all public political pronouncements are elaborately coded so as to avoid any allusion to the speaker's actual agenda, but the current debate at the U.N. is the most transparent example of this I've seen since the 2000 election controversy, when Gore's handlers and apologists were talking about making sure every vote was counted and Bush's dad's friends were talking about the need for a speedy resolution, while the real content of the debate was as sophisticated as two toddlers screaming at each other over a tug-of-war for a plastic toy in a sandbox. The one thing about which nobody on either side of this debate disagrees--that Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator--is also the one thing about which neither of them gives a shit.

So I was at the antiwar protest in New York this Saturday. I realize this is not strictly related to the artist's statement, but I figure the more eyewitness accounts that get out there the better. First of all I have no idea how many people were there, but I can tell you that First, Second, Lexington, and Third Avenues were all closed and flooded with crowds for over twenty blocks. Cars were abandoned in the middle of the streets as they would be again the next day in the blizzard. It was actually fun. It was the first time I've ever gone home from one of these things not feeling like, well, that was pointless. Protests on the mall in D.C. are like drawing something on pieces of paper the teacher gave you to keep you occupied; protests that occupy major cities are more like doodling in Algebra class, or drawing graffiti on the bathroom wall.

I mistrust conspiratorial thinking as reductive and wacky, but I can't help but find it creepy how the corporate-owned media (What? I know I sound like shrill leftist but that's what they are. Corporations own them.) try not to allow these events to have happened by declining to cover them. The front-page photo of the Sunday edition of my own hometown paper, The Baltimore Sun, was of a massive antiwar protest--in London. Those fickle, cowardly Europeans, ready to surrender to the next moustachioed dictator who comes along! Mention of the protest in New York was relegated to page 16A.  I find this depressing. If there's any reason why I keep going to these protests, or drawing cartoons like this week's, it's this pathetic, irrational suspicion, surely a vestige of my eighteen years of enforced churchgoing, that it somehow matters when the truth gets spoken, even if nobody's listening.