Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 07/16/08



ANNOUNCEMENT: I expect to publish my collection of the last four years’ cartoons and essays, Fuck Them All: A Chronicle of the Era of Darkness, Volume II, sometime next year after the Bush regime has been driven from office. In conjunction with the release of this book I am planning a promotional speaking tour, which will hopefully take me abroad as well as around the country. If you have at any time rashly offered lodging, liquor, or less savory forms of hospitality to Tim Kreider and have not thought better of it since, please reiterate those offers now so that I can plan my route. And if you know of a good bookstore in your vicinity that might be interested in hosting a slideshow and reading, please recommend it.


Artist's Statement

DISCLAIMER: Neither this cartoon nor its author condones cheating. You will get caught so do not even think about it.

Thanks to my trusted humor consultant and spiritual advisor Boyd, upon a conversation with whom this cartoon is based. He strongly urged me to draw this cartoon on the theory that it would cheer up his girlfriend, Berkeley. We will see.

A little Golden Age Tim Kreider here, harkening back to the days before the insults of the Bush administration drove me to the unworthy theme of politics. (If you enjoyed this cartoon you really should buy my first book, which collects years of hilarious and depraved drawings not available on this website, including such beloved classics as “Graveyard Shift at the Pussy Juice Factory.”) And why not a summer break from politics? What’s passing for news these days, aside from the complicated and boring collapse of the economy, is so much ephemeral gossip, trivial gaffes and scandals that no one will remember in a month. There won’t be any real news until fall, barring something horrendous and unexpected--which come to think of it I may use as the premise of next week’s cartoon.

The very feeblest aspect of this cartoon is its tired “men vs. women” stand-up routine conceit. Hopefully the details of its execution compensate for the stale premise. Needless to say the cartoon depicts men’s beliefs about what constitutes cheating on their own part, not on women’s. Men may be no more rabidly jealous than women, but they do seem to be far more unforgiving of transgressions. I’m foolishly venturing into a hazardous area of speculation here, but this may be because a lot of women grudgingly recognize that men’s infidelities, while no less hurtful or inexcusable, do not necessarily represent the same kind of emotional betrayal. Then again maybe it's because they're more often economically dependent and have no choice. Or because men are bigger babies about it,and are known to be violent. But men are infamously better able to dissociate sex from intimacy—or, to put it more accurately, they learn much later (or in many cases never learn) to integrate them. (As an ex-girlfriend of mine and I once agreed, when a man and a woman sleep together on the first date, the man thinks, “Excellent—she’s just as into casual, no-strings sex as I am!’ while the woman thinks, “Wow—he really, really likes me!”) Men often seem to cheat for the sheer sake of variety or opportunity—as Big Bill put it in his Presidential memoirs, “just because I could” (words that seem likely to go down in history as his version of “the better angels of our nature” or “nothing to fear but fear itself”)--whereas women’s infidelities usually indicate some serious problem or lack in their primary relationship–or, to put it in the unsentimental terms of evolutionary psychology, it’s a move to keep their options open or trade up to a mate with higher status or resources. But let me hasten to add, before my female readers start writing in to protest, that these are very broad generalizations to which there are countless exceptions. I’m sure many of you ladies are straightforward and uncalculating skanks who just like to get a little action on the side now and then. With regard to all matters of women, relationships, and the sexes, I do not know what I am talking about. And as Wittgenstein said, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” (Then again, he also said that “if people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done,” and it is on the side of silliness that I have historically chosen to err.)

Apologies to B. Kliban, whose cartoon “Eating Pie” served as a rough model for panel 2 in the first column.

About the anal sex panel: I actually changed “upon Thy Countenance,” to “in Thy Womb” for the print version, because the former was just too filthy, even for me. But several friends have prevailed upon me to reinstate it, arguing that "countenance" is funnier. I was describing this cartoon to my friend Lisa over sushi last night, and she surprised me by reinforcing my decision to make anal sex the one sacrosanct act for men. She reasoned that anal sex is, after all, something that only happens after you’re well into a serious relationship,* reserved for very Special Someones indeed. It is the ne plus ultra, the final frontier. “It’s like drilling in the arctic wildlife refuge!” I declared, and then we both spit sake out of our noses.

*Or else on a first date with someone who will shortly prove to be insane.


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