October 25, 2014
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

Grayson

Grayson550Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) has been an outspoken critic of the GOP and their comatose status on health care.  Here’s a portrait for tomorrow’s NY Times Week-In-Review,  concerning times when pols speak out, and when they don’t.

The Trouble with Harry

After Harry Reid finally announced he would send up a bill containing a public option regardless of who didn’t like it, he called his doctor in the middle of the night in a panic.  The doctor told him to relax; it was only late-onset spinal growth.  And that it wasn’t a pre-existing condition.

Reid

Barrage O’Bomber

ObomberInvestigative reporter Jane Mayer of The New Yorker magazine reveals the number of US drone strikes in Pakistan has risen dramatically since President Obama took office. During his first nine-and-a-half months in office, Obama authorized as many CIA aerial attacks in Pakistan as President Bush did in his final three years in office. At any time, the CIA now has multiple drones flying over Pakistan, scouting for targets. Mayer writes, “there is no longer any doubt that targeted killing has become official US policy.” David Kilcullen, a former adviser to General Petreaus, says that the propaganda costs of drone attacks on civilians have been disastrously high. He recently wrote, “Every one of these dead non-combatants represents an alienated family, a new revenge feud, and more recruits for a militant movement that has grown exponentially even as drone strikes have increased.”

Strike Me Pink

observer coverRudy Caesar smallIn this week’s Observer a fun piece by Steve Kornacki on Rudy’s recent debacle: his idea of running for governor.  When he sized Paterson up as a political non-entity he was right, says Kornacke, but too right.  Soon Cuomo became the fave in a Democratic state leading now by over 50 points.  Now you’d have to be emotionally disturbed to run the next year as a Republican. So, this makes sense.
It’s my first cover for them (and honored to be a part of the great tradition, while Victor takes an enlightened time off).  The big discovery is that pink  paper matters.  And how.  One of my informal rules is to allow for even the tiniest bit of 100% white and 100% black in a piece, to cue the eye to the full range of contrast.  Not possible here!  So the paint tends to vanish and the drawing remains.  Especially if you use, duh, pink. Duly noted. Thanks to Tom McGeveran for the great article and how perfectly he gets what we do.

This Week in Boredom

Green DayI’m a (dead) Soul Man

In the accelerating race to the top of the boredom pop chart we have the NY Times review of “American Idiot”, a rock opera by the Berkeley Reperatory Theater.  It’s based on the album by Green Day.  The Times spends hundreds of words trying to describe the phenomenon of young people emerging from a shrink-wrapped suburban life, disconnected by the mind-numbing screens that surround them.  To them nothing has meaning.  Words and action are meaningless. Everything then is a joke or a joke based on a joke. Can we see the perceived hopelessness in the economy, the wars, the social fabric of America as having an impact on the psychology of young people today? The “Idiot”, then, as a hero in a kind of war on human sense and sensibility, makes perfect sense . . . as in: “no sense”.

Here’s the song “American Idiot”:

Don’t want to be an American idiot.
Don’t want a nation under the new mania
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mind fuck America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Where everything isn’t meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow.
For that’s enough to argue.

Well maybe I’m the faggot America.
I’m not a part of a redneck agenda.
Now everybody do the propaganda.
And sing along to the age of paranoia.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Where everything isn’t meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow.
For that’s enough to argue.

Don’t want to be an American idiot.
One nation controlled by the media.
Information age of hysteria.
It’s calling out to idiot America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Where everything isn’t meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow.
For that’s enough to argue.