FLAG-BURNING  12:54 pm July 7, 2006

Cartoon Violence Watches O’er The Ramparts

by Alex Pareene

Today’s Cartoons aren’t gonna mercilessly mock themselves. No, that’s why every Friday we invite respected cartoon expert the Comics Curmudgeon over for a barbecue — well, to make fun of cartoons and to burn flags. Just because we can.

In this very special patriotism-choked edition of Cartoon Violence, we celebrate our nation’s independence by mocking its weight and its iconic historical, mythic, and pop cultural figures. Fun in the sun, after the jump.


You may think we’re a bunch of sneering cynics here at Wonkette who wouldn’t know a patriotic feeling if it bit us on the behind. Well, that’s simply not true! Just this week, on Independence Day (or the “4th of July,” as some call it), we got all patriotically choked up and began contemplating our treasured national symbols and icons. “Oh, our treasured patriotic symbols and icons!” we said. “So rich with meaning! Perhaps someone could use these icons in a drawing that makes some sort of political point!”

America’s cartoonists have us covered, apparently.

01fat.gifTreasured national symbol: Uncle Sam.

Status: Obese.

Assessment: The real tragedy with Uncle Sam’s rapidly expanding waistline is how hard it is for him to hide it. I mean, there aren’t really a lot of people wearing red and white striped slacks in this day and age, so even if he sneaks online to buy ever-larger pairs of pants, the underpaid Web order processing agents in Bangalore know it’s him. And you know his tailor talks. Our starving Darfurian refugee, meanwhile, looks conflicted: on the one hand, he’s embarrassed to be participating in this over-the-top display, but on the other, he’s hoping some of that mayo is going to land where he can get at it.

02flag.gifTreasured national symbol: The flag.

Status: Commercially exploited.

Assessment: What would our Founding Fathers (including “honorary father” Betsy Ross) say if they saw the many uses to which modern Americans put the greatest flag of the world? I think they’d look at this scene and say, “Forsooth! Some soft of mechanism for flying in the air, and they use it to cheaply hawk their wares? And prithee, when did respectable women begin going to the sea-shore clad in nothing but undergarments that would shock a common harlot?” Then, I dunno, they’d probably be upset about the flag or something. Incidentally, while the fat guy and the bikini and the advertising are prime instances of American flag desecration, the beach towel isn’t: It’s the flag of Liberia! So, yeah, fuck you, Liberia! Our hot babes are gettin’ sand all up in your flag! What’re ya gonna do about it, huh? U-S-A! U-S-A!

03fat.gifTreasured national symbol: The Statue of Liberty.

Status: Delicious.

Assessment: Apparently people are bored waiting for the opportunity to fight about Christmas, because I heard a higher than usual number of diatribes this year about how we shouldn’t view the Fourth of July as just another day off where we can barbecue and drink, but should honor it for its historical importance, which apparently involves killing English people for some reason (along with “Hessians,” whoever they are). That’s why I like this cartoon. It seems to be saying, “Declaration of Independence, Schmeclaration of Independence. It’s hot! Lady Liberty wants you to have some delicious ice cream!” Mmmm … ice cream.

04flag.gifTreasured national symbol: The flag (not pictured).

Status: Constitutionally unprotected from burning.

Assessment: I enjoy the fact that to get to the incredibly convoluted punchline of these two casually discussing an act of flag desecration, the dialog had to include the painfully non-idiomatic “burn some burgers … hot dogs…” Uh, yeah. The goatee on Flag Burner #1 and the earring and tattoo on Flag Burner #2 are clearly meant to indicate that these guys are America-hating hipsters, cargo shorts and suburban backyard barbecue pit location notwithstanding. While I can’t pretend to actually explain this cartoon, its artist also produces The Middletons, which has similarly odd views of young people and their beliefs and practices.

05gay.gifTreasured national symbol: Superman.

Status: Homosexual.

Assessment: I thought this was a bunch of hooey when I first heard about it, but I actually just got back from seeing Superman Returns, and, frankly, he really is pretty gay now. He’s also Jesus, as near as I can tell. So, yeah, gay Jesus Superman. Yep. And they say Hollywood doesn’t hate America! –THE COMICS CURMUGDEON

 

Hola wonkerados.

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