Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 11/19/08


Artist's Statement

Note: Our “writings” and “photos” pages have been updated, with new interviews and some lovely shots of Election Night.

Maybe not a lot to be said about this one. It is a very silly, stupid cartoon with no real political relevance. Just a little more post-electoral giddiness before we all must settle down to the daunting business of reconstructing America based on what fragments of the Constitution they might've boxed away in the attic of the National Archives and our hazy collective memory of the country before the catastrophes of Bush v. Gore and 9/11.

I always had the sense that, on some level, John McCain didn’t really want to be President, even if he’d convinced himself he did. He just didn’t seem to be trying enough. It reminded me of Bob Dole’s more genial but equally feckless run in 1988. Maybe I’m wrong about this; my friend Myla, who is Nobody’s Fool when it comes to sizing people up, thinks he looked like he’d been sobbing before his concession speech. And yet I can’t help but believe that, after the initial disappointment sank in, he must’ve felt some secret, shameful shiver of relief that at least he’s not going to have to run the country for the next four years. It’s hard to imagine how anybody could want the job at this point. I kind of hope he’s just kicking back, loading up on Viagra and fucking his brittle trophy wife eight ways to Sunday. (I’vee always pictured Cindy McCain as incapable of bending, like a cigar store Indian.) The costumes were inspired by a rather lovely little film I saw on Youtube titled “Super Powers.” Why exactly it had to be Fred and Wilma I cannot say. I realized too late that I should’ve made them Pebbles and Bam-Bam, if only for the bone through the hair. Possibly this would have been wrong.

Ah, John Edwards--if I ever get to buy you a drink we’ll swap some stories.

Doubtless you have heard Sarah Palin’s ominous pronouncement that she is awaiting a sign from on high as to whether to seek higher political office in the future. I myself have little doubt of the answer she will receive. I sometimes wonder whether, except for Noah, Abraham, and Jesus, God has ever once told anyone to do anything they didn’t already happen to want to do anyway. Doesn't He ever tell televangelists or politicians to quit their parasitic jobs and go work in a soup kitchen or an AIDS ward--or do they just not listen? We should be so lucky as to see Palin violently killed in a freak accident in the next four years. My optimistic prediction is that she will run in the Republican primaries in 2012 and crash and burn in a humiliatingly early Giuliani-like flameout. I know she’s considered “charismatic” by the same sorts of people who consider Rush Limbaugh “eloquent” and Thomas Kinkaide paintings “beautiful,” but her appeal seems likely to remain limited to that same bug-dumb 35% percent of the electorate who still support George W. Bush. And yet even I have been known to underestimate the stupidity of the American People before. If they can manage to teach her the names of some countries in the next four years—a doubtful proposition, but they’re working miracles with flashcards and mild electrical shocks these days—watch out, America.

“Ass-suck” is a phrase I heard uttered aloud for the first and only time circa 1987, by a classmate of mine in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, in reference to another classmate of mine who shall remain nameless but later became a successful documentarian and independent filmmaker. I was awed by its vileness and filed it away in my mental repository of invective. Years ago, while watching Paul Simon’s concert in Central Park on TV, I pictured Art Garfunkel sitting alone in a cheap motel room, grinding out his cigarette in a half-eaten cheese steak in bitterness. It pleases me now to be able to transpose both these fragments onto this vision of Hillary Clinton. Though it looks likely that Hillary is going to get to be secretary of state, which will be a nice consolationj prize for her. I still can’t imagine that she’ll be able to look Obama in the face and call him “Mr. President” without her stomach knotting up into a little neutron star of jealousy and resentment.

I got a piece of bad news today when Steve called to tell me that Joe Lieberman’s going to get to keep his chairmanship on the Homeland Security Committee. I’ve unhappily had to accept that there are never likely to be any war crimes trials for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft, but now we don’t even get to see that treacherous little Wormtongue get his comeuppance? I suppose those of you who believe in the power of prayer might want to beseech the Lord to smite his prostate. As it used to be said of people that they weren’t worth wasting a bullet on, Lieberman’s not worth wasting a cartoon on, but I did want to insert this note to vent about his once more slithering out from under the heel of justice, and to sincerely wish him ill.


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