By the Comics Curmudgeon
Is there any more poignant word in the English language than “avuncular”? Literally meaning “in the manner of an uncle,” it has come to denote the sort of interactions that you might have with a relative of an older generation, a relative that you’re fond of, but not really close to: there’s a certain chummy pleasantness, combined with perhaps more license than one expects from someone your parents’ age, masking an underlying lack of true intimacy. Thus it is not inappropriate that our national symbol is not a father or mother figure, but rather a stripey-pantsed Uncle, with whom our relationship might be somewhat ambivalent. It’s still sad to see him get tasered or sewn to a French dude, though!

These comics look small, but click on them and they shall be enlarged!

President Obama: he’s a handsome man, am I right? The ladies, they can’t get enough of him. Well, have you ever considered how much pressure that puts on him? Bill Clinton was a lovable hillbilly and could get as fat as he wanted and still get all sorts of intern ass, but Obama’s sexiness brand is pretty much focused on him staying trim and athletic. Thus, you should be unsurprised to find out that he’s developed a terrible eating disorder, all because he thinks you only love him for his tight buns, you awful beasts. He spends his nights barfing up state dinner after state dinner, all for you and your unrealistic beauty standards.

What was I talking about? Oh, right, Uncle Sam. Yeah, so Uncle Sam, like everyone else in America, can’t be bothered to dress in his traditional eccentric but still formal outfit anymore. Instead, he just tucks his t-shirt into his belted, pleated khaki pants, like the rest of you slobs with no class. He’s even wearing a baseball cap. A baseball cap! There are few things more depressing than seeing an elderly man wearing a baseball cap, but seeing your beloved national symbol doing so may be one of those things. Anyway, he’s lost all claim to our respect, so frankly nobody is going to speak up when he’s viciously tasered because he failed to show proper respect to some bored, surly rent-a-cop.

Supposedly a “mild” electro-stunning from a taser doesn’t have permanent effects, but ol’ Uncle Sam never was the same after that incident. He pretty much lost whatever initiative he had, let his beard grow out all hobo-like, never washed his clothes, and basically just sat around shooting the shit with one of his foreign friends. It was sad, really, but everyone felt kind of bad for him, so nobody would speak up about it.

Still, nobody expected things to end quite as unpleasantly as they did: with Uncle Sam and his Euro-bud getting so fucked up on moonshine that they got into a vicious fight that left both so injured that doctors had only one desperate recourse to save them: combining the non-mangled body parts to create a single merged organism. Since this did not entail Human Centipede levels of horror, a jaded populace mostly ignored it, but you have to admit that it sure would be traumatic to wake up after a bender to find the be-bereted head of your foreign frenemy permanently attached to your shoulder.

It’s probably almost but not quite as upsetting to wake up in your dingy, lower-middle-class apartment to find that you and your flabby, slovenly wife/aged, decrepit husband (choose as needed for the role in which you as a rule visualize yourself) have apparently just had a three-way with a donkey. I mean, yes, all of us in long-term relationships, even those whom the coastal media elites might dismiss because they wear the wrong clothes and watch the wrong TV shows, need to do what they must to keep their relationship fresh, but donkey-fucking? (Or, in the argot of liberal extremist and elderly Mormon Harry Reid, donkey-making-love-to?) This is a sad place to be at in your life, and I’d imagine that you’d mostly sit around reading the paper together in awkward silence until the donkey finally decides to get up and leave.

Oh, in case you were wondering, this right here is the greatest political cartoon published in 2010 so far. It is from China, and it features a jet plane, sporting the top hat and cane and bow tie one associates with comical plutocrats and Mr. Peanut, getting punched in the face by a volcano, twice. The panels are numbered, in case you’re unsure of the sequence of events.

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  1. “Welcome to Air Monocle. Please keep your ascots in a fixed and upright position for the duration of the flight. In the event of an emergency, we may require your assistance shoveling coal into the infernal combustion machine in the rear of the plane.”

  2. The right-wing obsession with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is so ridiculous, and they’re still doing it. The companies were a small side part of the mortgage crisis, and their role was as victims, yet wignuts just can’t allow criticism of the mega-banks that were actually to blame, or that the Free Market failed, so they just stone cold made up this story that somehow Fannie and Freddie were magically responsible, and that they were still entirely government-controlled.

  3. One approaches our Wonkette Overlords, particularly the avuncularly-named “Josh,” (whose own blog is a source of much hilarityevery single day) with trepidation in asking: Would it be possible to have the clicky-linky things open in a new window when you clicky on them? Because right-clicking and selecting “Open in a new window” is soooo much trouble.

  4. I was wondering if that was Charlie the Tuna, or maybe Europe was being represented by the noble cod, the very staple of so many diets and the actual impetus for discovering America, and delighting in the possible metaphorical possibilities of such an erudite metaphor. But no, it’s an airplane. Wheee.

  5. [re=582579]V572625694[/re]: I hope not; I hate new-window links, because while you can always right-click if you want a new one, there’s no option to avoid getting stuck with a new window/tab if the link is set to so automatically.

  6. It’s nice to see Jabberjaw has slimmed down for summer. Too bad about getting his ass kicked by a mountain, though. Fucking volcano bullies.

  7. So, our economy has the same animus and intelligence as a teenage prankster trying to outrun security while wearing low-riding pants?

    Sounds about right.

  8. Also, that dumbass Ramirez cartoon is more confusing than it needs to be, since (and apparently it’s my day to misread cartoons) Uncle Sam and Cap’n Trade look like they’re side-by-side instead of one running away from the other. So I stared at it for a while thinking it was an unfinished poster for some new buddy-cop film, and wondering why the usually obvious Ramirez was reaching for some obscure point. Of course expecting him to be subtle is like expecting King Kong to play the oboe, so I soon realized my error.

  9. Josh, are you sure that last cartoon isn’t showing a comic giant plutocrat *shark* (who lives on land), being punched out by the rough, working-class-type volcano?

    Because that would be the best comic of the Millennium!

  10. One of these days, I’m going to have to find out what cap and trade actually means. In the meantime, I will continue to operate on the working assumption that since the teatards are against it, it must be a good thing. And what’s with Greece, etc…The cartoonist couldn’t think of any other countries, so he just figured…all of them.
    And I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that airplane was some sort of sea creature.

  11. Reading back, apparently I wasn’t alone in seeing a shark. And reading those post gave me a new interpretation, this is clearly a veiled threat to the U.S. from the ever-sneaky-and-subtle Chinese supervillains.

    To wit, the U.S., used to be fairly wealthy and saw itself as a real “shark” on the geo-political scene. But now it’s been made so poor, by the economic collapse and everything, that it can no longer afford to pay the salaries of the pack of sharks (it’s military) it used to travel with for protection, so it’s alone and vulnerable.

    And if it’s not careful, China will use their awesomely powerful super weapons to call on the world’s volcanoes to erupt and destroy the U.S., after knocking them around a bit with giant fists made from clouds of ash.

  12. That would be a flop hotel in the second-to-last one, actually. See the checkout sign?

    But it’s OK, I thought the last one was Charlie Tuna as well, somehow representing…Iceland?

  13. [re=582618]gurukalehuru[/re]: I like that – a universal “Teatard Test”: “If the Teatards are against it, it must be a good thing”. There are worse rules to live by.

  14. [re=582579]V572625694[/re]: You could try “middle-clicking.” This opens the link in a new tab without having to right-click and then choose from the context menu.

    If you don’t have a three-button mouse, odds are you have a scroll wheel between your two buttons, and odds are, this will work as the middle button, just by pushing on it.

    Takes a few times to get in the habit, but it is truly wonderful once you build the muscle memory.

  15. [re=582605]SayItWithWookies[/re] and [re=582630]Josh Fruhlinger[/re]: You need to keep up with your quasi-sports news more, Nerdlingers.

  16. [re=582630]Josh Fruhlinger[/re]: [re=582639]ArkansasFred[/re]: Oh, okay — I had only seen the footage from the home plate angle of that incident. And since we’re being fair to Ramirez (what, did he threaten to behead someone?) — I do like his artwork. Also, he probably has his papers.

  17. I got the Ramirez allusion right away because the photo was in the paper, and so few of us still read them.

    Last cartoon however – Charlie Tuna all the way. I had to open it three times before I saw the hint of airplane-related features.

  18. [re=582599]Josh Fruhlinger[/re]: “Things to Electrocute And/Or Shit“?

    [re=582703]the problem child[/re]: As someone who’s actually MacGyver’d a small magnifying glass to various art implements — pencil, brush, blade, penis — when doing super-detail work, I find this comment absolutely hilarious.

  19. [re=582618]gurukalehuru[/re]: As far as I can figure, Cap And Trade is code for taking the white people’s money and giving it to the brown furriner peoples. Or so I was informed by a Tea Bagger that felt the need to scream that in my face.

  20. You ignore the true horror of that fourth cartoon — Cap’n Euro HAS NO PULSE! He’s DEAD! Imagine looking over at your conjoined twin and finding him DEAD.

  21. I can only imagine that had Ramirez been alive and kicking during the sixties (confirmation that he was?) he would have drawn the Cap ‘n Trade nonsense like such

    Fat Rent-a-Cop: Civil Rights Act

    Uncle Sam: American Business

    Lookit me! I’m Rand Paul!

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