Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry War-on-Christmas!

I'm taking a break from e-mail & the Web until Wednesday, but in the meantime, enjoy this Christmas song.
Merry War-on-Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Town Hall Defends Foxxx News from Candorville

An amused reader sent me an e-mail about a conservative blogger who took issue with a recent Candorville strip (and, though he didn't mention it, he probably wasn't too happy with the previous day either). From Town Hall:

The liberals hate Fox News with a passion because it is fast proving that Americans prefer not to be lied to [*ironic-licious link added -D. Bell*]. Fox brings both sides of political issues and probably have more liberal commentators on staff than do most other news services. Thus, they do not bring us only the liberal side. The liberals just can't stand that and try to trivialize them as often as they can. More evidence that politics should be kept out of comics is "Candorville's" Dec. 7 comic strip, which attempts to trivialize Fox News because it has many "foxes" on its staff who wear short skirts and show much cleavage, and they think that's the reason why Fox is "whipping up on" all the other Cable stations and networks. As if all of them don't have many foxes with short skirts and cleavage. Does this artist (and other liberals) really think we are so ignorant as to not be aware of this? Notice they also refer to it with three xes, as if the whole network is "triple-x." Subtle. Too bad. When he stays away from politics, I actually enjoy this strip. (Candorville, 12/7/07)

All I have to say to that is...

Oh, and this...

Oh yeah, there's also this...

(I probably should've warned you I was posting clips from Foxxx, they could probably get you fired if you watched them at work. Seriously.)

Yes, I'm sure just like Lemont, all those people who somehow think we found WMD in Iraq watch Fox News for the accuracy of their reporting. I don't know how I and "the liberals" could have been so wrong.

In fact, that's enough blogging, I have some accuracy to go watch...

Reader accuses Candorville of RAPE joke

It takes a certain kind of person to read today's Candorville strip and conclude I'm joking about rape. It takes the kind of person who can read Candorville for any length of time and still conclude that its author would find something like rape funny. It takes the kind of person who thinks the words "rape" and "pillage" are interchangeable (if they were, the usual phrase describing the horrors of war wouldn't be "rape AND pillage").

It takes this kind of person:


Funny strip most the time. Racial commentary and all that.

But todays strip (12-20-07) appalled me. Unless I am reading that wrong, it seems to be a blatant and casual reference to rape. Who calls that humor? Rape is not something that should be include in anything labeled as “comic”.

I’m sure you are aware of racist issues. Try to be aware of sexist issues. They are not that far apart.


I can't believe anyone who's read Candorville for any length of time would even entertain the notion that its author would find rape funny. If any other readers out there jumped to that same outlandishly offensive conclusion, please don't bother me with it. I spend hours each week going back and forth with irate or confused readers about the topics I raise in Candorville, and I do it gladly. I love that part of this job. But this misinterpretation is just way too insulting to comment on any further.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This just in: Huckabee is Jesus

According to Mike Huckabee, his recent surge in the polls is due to divine intervention. But now we know Huckabee himself is divine, because the bookcase dressed to look like a cross floats right behind his head. I guess they thought stringing christmas lights around his forehead as if they were a crown of thorns would've been a little over the top.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Movie: The Jerk

Sometimes revelations that the President's been lying about WMD again and "can't recall" hearing about the CIA's torture-tape coverup make you want to write out a long, detailed, link-filled post. Other times, it can make you want to tune out and watch Steve Martin:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Somebody get Larry Craig off the Computer

Several weeks ago, Candorville commented on the amusing phenomenon of gay-hating Republican politicians who turn out to be gay themselves. In response to this hairy issue, some hardcore conservatives shot off no less than two dozen e-mails assuring me I had it all wrong. Looks like they're right: not all gay-haters are secretly scouring airport men's rooms looking for a good time.Some of them are sitting at home in the dark, frantically researching their gayness on Conservapedia.

(As of this writing, every single one of the most-viewed pages has something to do with homosexuality, from an alleged increased risk of disease to gayness in Scottland).

Now this is why I think they should teach about homosexual behavior in Health class, so the Larry Craig's of the country wouldn't have to rely on shady, agenda-driven websites when they're worried about catching hepatitis.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Citigroup and the Bush Economy

As Resident Bush continues to tell us the economy couldn't possibly, in any way, be better, and that in fact American money will henceforth fly out of our ATMs accompanied by flowers and candy, here's further evidence that he's right. The Bush economy is doing very well. Foreigners love it!

From Bloomberg

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, will receive a $7.5 billion cash infusion from Abu Dhabi to replenish capital after record mortgage losses wiped out almost half its market value.

Citigroup rose 2.6 percent in New York trading today following acting Chief Executive Officer Win Bischoff's statement late yesterday that funds from the state-owned Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will help ``strengthen our capital base.''

Abu Dhabi will buy securities that convert to stock and yield 11 percent a year, almost double the interest Citigroup offers bond investors, underscoring the New York-based company's need for cash. Fourth-quarter profit will be reduced by as much as $7 billion because of losses from subprime mortgages, which led to the departure of CEO Charles O. ``Chuck'' Prince III and a 46 percent slump in its stock this year.

``Clearly, Citi has a problem with capital adequacy after the subprime crisis,'' said Giyas Gokkent, head of research at National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, Abu Dhabi's biggest bank by market value. ``ADIA has seen an opportunity to get cheaply into a blue-chip stock.''

With the purchase of a 4.9 percent stake, Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates and its capital, would rank as Citigroup's largest shareholder ahead of Los Angeles-based Capital Group Cos. and Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Message for 2007

I'm too busy nursing an upset stomach from too much turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato, greens, fruit tort, and ham - and too busy preparing to spend money I don't have on whatever this week's commercials convinced me I need to buy tomorrow - to post a Thanksgiving message. So, I thought I'd let one of America's most crotchety novelists, William S. Burroughs, say it for me:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Looking on the Brighter Side, part 1

With all the talk about unsafe amounts of lead in Chinese-manufactured children's toys, toothpaste, etc., nobody ever mentions the positives. For instance, there is some evidence that lead-lined diapers can, on rare occasion, bestow superhuman breakdancing ability.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Clinton follows Bush's lead on the Media

This is exactly what we need -- four more years of this crap:

Reporters who have covered the hyper-vigilant campaign say that no detail or editorial spin is too minor to draw a rebuke. Even seasoned political journalists describe reporting on Hillary as a torturous experience. Though few dare offer specifics for the record--"They're too smart," one furtively confides. "They'll figure out who I am"--privately, they recount excruciating battles to secure basic facts. Innocent queries are met with deep suspicion. Only surgically precise questioning yields relevant answers. Hillary's aides don't hesitate to use access as a blunt instrument, as when they killed off a negative GQ story on the campaign by threatening to stop cooperating with a separate Bill Clinton story the magazine had in the works. Reporters' jabs and errors are long remembered, and no hour is too odd for an angry phone call. Clinton aides are especially swift to bypass reporters and complain to top editors. "They're frightening!" says one reporter who has covered Clinton. "They don't see [reporting] as a healthy part of the process. They view this as a ruthless kill-or-be-killed game."

Despite all the grumbling, however, the press has showered Hillary with strikingly positive coverage. "It's one of the few times I've seen journalists respect someone for beating the hell out of them," says a veteran Democratic media operative. The media has paved a smooth road for signature campaign moments like Hillary's campaign launch and her health care plan rollout and has dutifully advanced campaign-promoted themes like Hillary's "experience" and expertise in military affairs. This is all the more striking in light of the press's past treatment of Clinton--particularly during her husband's White House years--including endless stories about her personal ethics, frostiness, and alleged Lady Macbeth persona.

It's enough to make you suspect that breeding fear and paranoia within the press corps is itself part of the Clinton campaign's strategy. And, if that sounds familiar, it may be because the Clinton machine, say reporters and pro-Hillary Democrats, is emulating nothing less than the model of the Bush White House, which has treated the press with thinly veiled contempt and minimal cooperation. "The Bush administration changed the rules," as one scribe puts it--and the Clintonites like the way they look. (To be sure, no one accuses the Clinton team of outright lying to the press, as the Bushies have done, or of crossing other ethical lines. And reporters say other press shops--notably those of Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards--are also highly combative.)

So far, the strategy has worked brilliantly. In the current climate, where the mainstream media is under attack from both conservatives and liberals, Clinton may have picked the right moment to get tough with the press. But, as the murmur of discontent among the fourth estate grows--and Hillary's coverage has taken a sharper tone since a widely panned debate performance late last month--even some Hillary supporters fear that the strategy may produce a dangerous backlash.
Assuming Clinton wins the presidency, I'd just like to thank the Clinton team in advance for providing "Candorville" with at least four years of material.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Harry Potter" Disapparates from Catholic School

...Last month, students [at St. Joseph's Catholic School] found that their favorite series had "disapparated" from the school library, after St. Joseph's pastor, the Rev. Ron Barker, removed the books, declaring that the themes of witchcraft and sorcery were inappropriate for a Catholic school.
"He said that he thought most children were strong enough to resist the temptation," said one mother who asked that her name not be used because she did not want her family to be singled out. "But he said it's his job to protect the weak and the strong."
Way to go, Reverend Barker. Good thinking. Why, if you let some of your more feeble-minded students read Harry Potter, the next thing you know they're all going to be flying around on Norwegian Ridgeback dragons, trying to coax angry giants out of their caves, or shooting patronuses out of their wands at Dementors, left and right. It would have been utter chaos.

Next I propose they ban Dr. Seuss, just in case any of the slower kids get it into their minds to discriminate against un-starred Sneetches.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Stephen Colbert Meets the Press

Decent satire, but Colbert should think about studying the renowned performance artist Tom Tancredo. Nobody does absurdist humor as well as that guy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Readers swear they're not closet homosexuals

Recently, Candorville brought up something that's become a phenomenon: stridently anti-gay Republican politicians who turn out to be gay themselves. Some readers responded to that as people often do -- with irrational fear.

From a very religious Candorville reader (an excerpt):

I oppose same-sex marriage and I believe my reasons are very logical and not hypocritical at all, but I doubt you'd agree. In every society, every culture, every country, throughout all time, marriage has been commonly accepted as being between a man and a woman and usually involving procreation. Same-sex marriage, then, is an aberration, something unnatural and abnormal. It messes with the basic building blocks of humanity--the nuclear family--which therefore also makes it dangerous. I don't oppose it because I'm against homosexuals having fun or being happy, I oppose it because I'm convinced it's damaging to humanity. For me to hold that belief and not do anything about it, THAT would be hypocritical. I'm sure I've enraged you by now, but I sincerely believe that with my whole heart. And I'm not a closet homosexual.

I could respond to this by saying that someone who's a closet homosexual, by definition, is not going to admit he's a closet homosexual, but that would be kind of flippant. I could respond by saying there's no actual data to show same-sex marriage impacts "the nuclear family" in any way (I could add that gay people aren't going to stop being gay and become Ozzy and Harriet, no matter how many anti-gay laws are passed). But people ruled by fear are rarely moved by data, or by its absence. I could argue that "common acceptance," no matter how deeply rooted, doesn't dictate what's natural or normal, since slavery, for instance, was commonly accepted for millenia. But that risks becoming an argument about analogy, and all analogies break down at some point.

The notion that gay people enjoying the same rights the rest of us enjoy would somehow harm us and "mess with" the nuclear family is based on nothing but fear, and it's just plain ridiculous that people are fixated on that when there are so many more real threats to the nuclear family out there. Crime, unemployment, housing costs, health insurance, presidents who don't think poor KIDS should have health insurance...

Steve and Jamaal choosing to marry each other doesn't affect my marriage, your marriage, or anyone's marriage, but the financial, security and political dangers arrayed against us do. Poverty, or even milder financial insecurity, tears marriages apart. Domestic violence and crime tear marriages apart. You want to worry about something, worry about that.

But that argument turns into a rant and I'm sure "common acceptance guy" would just turn off halfway through. Maybe I'll just let the guys from one of my favorite shows respond for me. I think they know better than I do how to tell homophobes that there are far more tangible threats on which they should focus their fears.

Um... sorry, wrong clip. Here's the one I meant to post:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Penguins are always stealing jobs from Latinos

If you live in Houston, you may have noticed that the Chronicle, in an effort to provide entertainment geared toward Houston's large penguin population, has replaced the comic strip La Cucaracha with a strip about a group of penguins living in the Arctic Circle -- a subject that's obviously far more relevant to Houston readers than a strip about Latinos and immigration. The Chronicle has one of the largest comics sections in the nation. Surely they could've found something else to cut (maybe something whose creator died during the Black Plague).

If you're a Houstonite (or if you're not but you still read the paper) and a La Cucaracha fan, let the Chronicle know what you think about that by emailing or calling 713-362-3222.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The South's Gayest Comic Strip

Bad timing can be a very funny thing.

This week, Candorville debuted in the Raleigh News & Observer on a trial basis. They'll be testing it out for four weeks. The Raleigh News & Observer is one of the largest papers in the South (Mason-Dixon line and geography notwithstanding, it is the South - you're not fooling anyone, "North" Carolina).

Naturally, the week with which we introduce their solidly-conservative readers to Candorville happens to be a week that discusses civil rights by lampooning a closeted Republican Senator who trolls for gay sex in public restrooms. The readership is predictably amused.

Apparently "Candorville is a hog farm lagoon" is some sort of affectionate Southern colloquialism.

Check out all the other praise, and add your own (ONLY if you live in North Carolina and read the News & Observer) in their online forum. And again ONLY if you're a local News & Observer reader (no cheating, please), the News & Observer wants to hear from you. Write to them and tell them whether you want Candorville at

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Harry Reid: the paper tiger roars

Harry Reid remembered his backbone today when he warned that Ted Olsen, the man who made the argument that convinced the Supreme Court to stop Florida from recounting its votes and hand the presidency to George W. bush, won't be confirmed as Attorney General (if Bush nominates him). Fearing that "Ted Olsen" is merely English for "Alberto Gonzalez," Reid rightly insists Olsen isn't the right man to clean up Gonzalez's mess. Apparently "highly partisan" is no longer an asset on one's résumé when they come before the Senate for confirmation. We'll see if Reid sticks to that.

I can think of nine Republicans who would make great candidates for Alberto Gonzalez's old job.

Same movie, different actors

I don't know about you, but I'm sick of remakes. I don't quite get the purpose of remaking old films with different actors. They remade "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" for no damn reason, Keanu Reeves is remaking the classic "The Day The Earth Stood Still," again for no damn reason. They're remaking "The Hulk" just three years after the last time they released it. And is it just me, or have we already seen this movie:

Israel believes that North Korea has been supplying Syria and Iran with nuclear materials, a Washington defense official told the New York Times. “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” he said.

The official added that recent Israeli reconnaissance flights over Syria revealed possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials estimate might have been supplied with material from North Korea.

If only there were some way to know when it's real and when it's fiction. If only we had some sort of, oh, I don't know, let's call it "News Media" for lack of a better term, that would reliably and doggedly seek out the truth and tell us what they've found. Somebody should invent something like that.

Ghetto Fabulous

Time was, people wanted to leave the ghetto. Once upon a time, American ghettos were bottomless pits of hopelessness and danger where nobody in their right mind would choose to remain if they had half a chance of moving somewhere better. And if they did choose to stay, they stayed to try and change the ghetto into something else. Somewhere along the line, record companies started telling people to stop trying -- to wallow and embrace rather than escape or transmute. To keep it real. To internalize the ghetto instead of fighting an uphill battle to transform or escape it.

Record companies didn't create that notion. Rap and Hip Hop didn't even create it; you can find strains of mysogeny and odes to surrender as far back as you're willing to look. Black people who reject the ghetto as it is have always had to face other black people who think they're sell-outs, who say they're trying to be white -- People who think they're not black if they try to move beyond what they think is their station in life. Record companies didn't create that idea, but they did realize it's easier to sell. They did realize depicting the ghetto as a glamorous lifestyle that people should aspire toward would hook more customers.

Maybe to us, every dollar we spend on this stuff may simply mean it had a good beat, but to them, every dollar we spend proves them right. Maybe to us, this is about self esteem. Life on the stoop isn't usually "Boyz n the Hood." Life in the "ghetto" is like life anywhere in a sense: much more good than bad in it if you pay attention. But is it something to aspire to? Unless you have Snoop Dogg's money to throw around, the ghetto can't be all that fabulous. At what point does self esteem end and stagnation begin?

On the positive side, that's not to say this is all that's out there. I'm currently playing this song into the ground. I'll be tired of it by next week:

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A letter to hip-hop

C-Dog would not be pleased...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Losing as an art form

From Rolling Stone.

In head-to-head polling against the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, Clinton and Obama have managed to post only modest leads. Edwards, by contrast, not only bests every Republican candidate in the race, he trounces them -- by an average of twelve points.
Naturally, that means the Democrats won't nominate Edwards.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

If we have universal healthcare, the terrorists win

I recently received an angry e-mail from a reader who was sure I'm a supporter of universal health coverage. He was right, but what struck me was his suggestion that this makes me a terrorist-hugging jihadist. I suspected the genius didn't come up with this brilliant notion on his own, and sure enough, a quick Google search turned up the likely culprit. It was no surprise...

Monday, August 27, 2007

"And now, for a moment of Zen"

Came across this on This Modern World. Thanks to the Internet, our most embarassing moments can now live on forever:

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Senseless and Stupid

It didn't take the Oakland PD long to find Chauncey Bailey's assassin. If only Kennedy's real killer had been this stupid.

A suspect in the daylight ambush shooting death of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey was being formally booked today on suspicion of murder, authorities said.

Devaughndre Broussard, 19, was in the process of being booked at the Alameda County jail in downtown Oakland in connection with Thursday's slaying of Chauncey Bailey, 57, at 14th and Alice streets.

Broussard was a handyman at Your Black Muslim Bakery who confessed to police Friday night that he ambushed and killed Bailey with a shotgun because he was upset with the journalist's coverage of the group...
Did Broussard think murdering the reporter was going to lead to better coverage of the group?

He couldn't have been more wrong.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Chauncey Bailey Assassinated in Oakland

When Al Gore ran for the presidency, his opponents mocked his military service, because he had carried a journalist's pen, not an AK-47, through the jungles of Vietnam. But the mounting death toll of journalists serving in Iraq should serve as a reminder that being a journalist in a war zone is a service every bit as dangerous. Some war zones are closer to home.

Oakland Post reporter Chauncey Bailey was struck down by a masked assassin on a busy intersection in broad daylight this morning. I lived in Oakland for 7 years and I only met Chauncey once, in 2004 at the New California Media convention. He was an Oakland Tribune reporter at the time. What a character. A no-nonsense "just the facts" kind of questioner, but at the same time, his writing showed a person eager to point out the larger picture facts sometimes obscure. That probably describes most journalists, but with most journalists I know, that's the hat they put on when they go to work, or else it's just one tool in their trade. With Chauncey, it seemed from our brief meeting and the e-mails that followed, that that was who he was. A reliably double sided coin: all business, but on the flip side, all compassion.

Chauncey was a race-conscious writer - a man who obviously wanted to use his talents to encourage the black community in Oakland and California to confront uncomfortable truths and to participate fully in society rather than remain balkanized and demoralized. Sometimes I disagreed with the conclusions he drew in his writing, but I never disagreed with his motivation or his idealism.

Chauncey became interested in helping Candorville gain the attention of the Oakland Tribune. It isn't easy for a new strip to break into new markets, even when it's your hometown paper. Oftentimes, editors won't look past the cover of the sales brochure, let alone read far enough to realize the cartoonist lives just 28 blocks from them. Chauncey gave my wife the publisher's phone number, and we called and introduced ourselves. About a year later, the ANG, which owns the Tribune, added Candorville. This was after my syndicate's editor flew out to encourage ANG to take a good look at the strip, but I don't doubt that Chauncey's help played a role.

He profiled me in 2004 and wrote an article about my work for the regional black press. Actually, he sent my wife Laura a list of questions (I guess he knew who the efficient one was), I gave her my answers and she e-mailed them back to him. I never did see the article, because we were out of town when it ran and I didn't want to bug him for a copy. But Laura and I looked through her old e-mail file and we still have the questions, and my answers. These pretty much sum up my impression of the man. Each question is concise, no-nonsense. All business. In that, you see Chauncey's mind. But if you look at the subtext, you see the man's heart.

===== Comments by (Chauncey Bailey) at 6/09/04 3:08 pm
I can do a feature on (Darrin) for the regional black press. tell me (50 words or less per question)

1. His background.

Darrin: My father's black, and my mother is Jewish (white). I was born in South Central L.A. and raised in East L.A. and the San Fernando Valley. I was bused 40 miles per day to magnet schools. I graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a BA in Political Science in 1999, and chose to stay in Oakland.

2. How he got started?

Darrin:I edited my high school paper and continued pursuing journalism in college. I drew editorial cartoons and comic strips for the Daily Cal, and when I felt I was good enough I started faxing them every day to the LA Times, Oakland Trib and SF Chronicle. They all eventually started running them.

3. Why?

Darrin:I want to show a more developed view of Blacks and Latinos than I've seen in the comics pages. They're either angry about injustice 24-7 or they're the Cosby's. Reality is a mix of all that. I want to show minorities with a wide range of thoughts and goals.

4. Successes?

Darrin:To my knowledge I'm the first and only Black cartoonist to have two comic strips in syndication, and the youngest (of any race) to do so. At 20 (in 1995), I was the youngest editorial cartoonist to be published regularly in
the LA times. My work's been on CNN, and other television news broadcasts. I won several awards in college.

5. Setbacks?

Darrin:My first comic strip, "Rudy Park," focused on the dotcom revolution until that revolution crashed in 2000. Most of the magazines that ran the strip went out of business. Then it was syndicated. Editorial cartooning setbacks came when papers began using more syndicated work and less freelance work. "Candorville" hasn't had any setbacks - yet.

6. Goals?

Darrin:To reach as many readers as possible and present them with an image of African-Americans and Latinos that doesn't gloss over the downsides of life, but that never loses its appreciation for the good in life. I want to show you don't have to be angry to be passionate. You don't have to be disrespectful to get respect.

7. Tips for young Black artists

Darrin:Practice. Have something IMPORTANT to say and figure out how best to say it, whether it's visual or performing arts. But don't wait for someone to discover you. You've got to take initiative. Enter contests. Even if you don't win, you're getting your name out there. Submit your work in a professional manner to as many people as you can. Network - meet people in the industry you want to be part of, and do not be afraid to ask them for advice. Usually, they'll be glad to help you.

What I want to know is, what was Chauncey working on, what had he already written, or what else was he involved in, that may have gotten him assassinated? But this is Oakland. Who knows if the investigation will go farther than a fruitless sweep of the East side and a shrug of the shoulders.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

If the Media were Liberal...

If the Media were truly Liberal, this (minus the sarcastic bookends) is the kind of thing we'd see during the day after Oprah, instead of after Midnight on a Saturday:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Stephanie Miller Show" goes slumming with Candorville's Darrin Bell

For some unknown reason, Elayne Boosler, guest hosting the Stephanie Miller Show on Jones Radio Network (& aired on many Air America affiliates), decided to spend a few minutes interviewing yours truly this morning. I didn't post about this beforehand or tell friends or family because it would scare the hell out of me knowing that people were actually listening to me live. "They" say most Americans fear public speaking more than they fear death, and for a cartoonist who's used to spending his days alone, half-naked in a tiny studio with only his characters to keep him company, death would be #3. #2 would be having to wear pants.

Still, I sit for interviews whenever I'm asked because, hell, this is a dream come true for me -- creating cartoons that strangers (who don't owe me anything) spend a few precious, irretrievable seconds out of their days to read -- and when someone asks me to talk about that on the radio or TV or a panel discussion, it's a reminder that it's actually happening, that that little kid who "wasted time" drawing Optimus Prime and Snoopy in his textbooks actually became what he wanted to be.

Here's the interview. Behind this buffer of time, it isn't so scary. From today's Stephanie Miller Show:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why Bush should be Impeached

I still have no idea why Barack Obama believes the current administration's violations of our Constitutional rights do not constitute "grave breaches." I'm sure his desire to not be impeached himself, should he win, has nothing to do with it. Watch this recent Bill Moyers special (in 5 parts) for a less self-interested assessment:

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's cool, but is it an editorial cartoon?

Editorial cartoonists are dropping like flies, in concert with the declining health of the newspaper industry. The Internet is the most likely culprit. As people increasingly turn to to their computers for news, some cartoonists, like Mark Fiore, are adapting as well -- becoming animators. This year's Pulitzer winning editorial cartoonist won partially for his body of animated work, and members of the AAEC are asking themselves: If it's animated, is it still an editorial cartoon?

Check out this animation by Nick Anderson of the Houston Chronicle. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Michael Moore injures Wolf Blitzer in cage match

When Laura and I walked out of the Arclight in Hollywood after seeing Michael Moore's Sicko, I scanned the floor ahead for rusty nails, sharp-toothed dogs, falling satellites -- anything that might necessitate a trip to Kaiser. Laura would probably tell you I'm a bit of a hypochondriac. That couldn't be further from the truth. It seems to me hypochondriacs like going to the hospital, whereas I avoid the hospital like the plague since I'd surely catch something in the waiting room. It's not that I have some pathological aversion to germs, it's that like most self employed, non-unionized people, I have to fund my own health insurance and I can only afford basic coverage. That means I have high deductibles, high prescription fees and while I haven't checked, I'm fairly certain I have to pay for that paper gown that won't close in the back. That gown, by the way, is representative of my insurance: if I think my ass is covered, I'm wrong.

Anyway, over green salads at the Arclight's Charcoal Bar & Grill, Laura made me promise that if anything were to happen to her, my second call would be to 9-11 -- my first would be to Kaiser (the HMO Nixon fell in love with -- just go watch Sicko already), so we wouldn't end up like a woman in the film whose ambulance ride after a car wreck wasn't covered because she hadn't first called her insurance provider. While she lay unconscious in the street (or the mangled car, it wasn't clear which).

Imagine my relief when CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta dispelled all the horrible myths Michael Moore had subjected us to:

What relief! What glorious deliverance from fear and anxiety! Thank you, thank you thank you, CNN, for reminding me that while we don't live in the best of all possible health care systems, it couldn't get all that much better anyway. While I may despair at the high deductibles and live in fear that they'll count that skinned knee I had when I was four as a "pre-existing condition" should I ever need a knee replacement -- at least I don't have to live with the frustration that comes with knowing we could have a much better system than we have if we'd only cut out the profit motive. I love you, CNN.


...Oh, wait a sec, Moore can't prove any of this, can he? Of course he can't. Dr. Gupta, after all, is a journalist, and CNN is the most trusted name in news. I'll just go check Moore's website. No way he could have posted the so-called "evidence" he promised Wolf.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Obama's odd reason for opposing impeachment

Barack Obama on the incompetence and secrecy of the Bush administration, and on why impeaching them is unacceptable:

"There's a way to bring an end to those practices, you know: vote the bums out," the presidential candidate said, without naming Bush or Cheney. "That's how our system is designed."
-USA Today
Well, no. Our system was actually designed so that we can remove criminal officials through impeachment.

He goes on:
"I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breeches, and intentional breeches of the president's authority," he said.
Illegally spying on millions of Americans in violation of the Fourth Amendment, holding American citizens without providing access to counsel for years, torturing captives, evidence of felonious vote caging (aimed at denying Blacks their right to vote), etc., don't constitute "grave breeches"? Exactly what would constitute a "grave breech" in Obama's mind? And what does he mean "intentional breeches"? Does he think Bush spied on Americans by accident?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

CNN is dead to me

Like most Americans, I care whether I live or die -- which means, by extension, I care about the state of our nation's health care system. So when I heard Michael Moore was going to appear on Larry King Live to discuss the failings and possible fixes for that system, I dutifully set my TiVo. What did I find when I tried to watch it? They'd bumped Michael Moore off the show so Larry could waste an hour chatting with Paris Hilton.

"CNN: the most trusted name in nonsense."

...Yeah, that was so much more relevant to our lives than what we could have gotten.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Of course they let Paris out of jail

Just more proof that the rich and famous live in a different world than the rest of us. Imagine the average inmate being allowed to spend the bulk of her sentence in a luxurious mansion because she didn't like the prison food.

Paris Hilton was let out of jail Thursday morning, days after she began serving what was to have been a 45-day sentence for violating probation, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

Hilton must wear a monitoring bracelet and remain at her home for another 40 days, said sheriff's department spokesman Steve Whitmore.

Medical considerations "played a part" in the decision to offer Hilton home confinement for the remainder of her sentence, Whitmore said. (Watch Whitmore detail Hilton's deal )

He said privacy rules prohibited him from giving details about the medical issues, but celebrity Web site earlier quoted sources saying Hilton was refusing to eat much of the jail food served her.

Whitmore said that after "extensive consultation with medical personnel" it was decided to offer Hilton "reassignment" to home confinement, which she and her attorneys accepted.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I Love LA

My wife and I decided to move back home to LA (after 14 years in the SF Bay Area), and then just a few weeks before we drove all our worldly belongings down the I-5 in a rented Penske truck, the LA Times canceled Candorville. We got a great apartment overlooking Griffith Park, and then just days before we move in, Griffith Park burned down. I was beginning to sense a pattern.

But as my Grandfather always says, "it's important to have faith. Everything works out in the end. And why isn't my cable TV working?"

In any case, as I was pedaling along the Santa Ana River yesterday, losing myself in the lazy dips and rises of the bike path and the warm desert breeze, thinking about faith, I realized one thing: I didn't know where the hell I was. So naturally, I kept going. This is the Southland, after all, I was sure to run into something that'd be familiar: a Carl's Jr., a Honda dealership, a mugger -- Something. Faith. Then it caught my eye...

A big halo fifty feet in the sky, and the familiar International Orange-colored "A" holding it up. Angel Stadium was just ahead, like a big, dilapidated anchor on the horizon. I crossed over the freeway overpass and looped down to the other side of the river-bank, and headed straight for the big A.

I'd been riding for nearly two hours, and as I sat under a tree next to the A, I began to relax. I began to think. I thought about how the last time I'd seen the Big Red A in person, I couldn't have been more than seven or eight. We'd driven down to catch an Angels game, and managed to lose our car. My dad, my brother and I wandered around the huge parking lot in the middle of the freezing night with no jackets, no light, and - for me at least - no hope. Hours later, when all the other cars had left, we saw ours, parked right under the Big A. I thought about how important it is to believe everything's going to work out, because it usually does unless you sabotage it yourself with doubt and anxiety (And if not, it just wasn't meant to be). I thought about how someday Griffith Park would be just as beautiful as it was three days earlier, when I'd hiked from Fern Dell Road to the observatory. I thought about how it's not a good idea to sit on a nest filled with red ants.

After shaking my clothes out and shrieking like a little girl, I crossed the river and headed for a restaurant I'd spotted earlier. Acapulco, by Century Theaters in the City of Orange. I ordered my shrimp enchilada and then checked my e-mail on my phone. There was a message from Sherry Stern the LA Times' Deputy Features Editor. The header read "Good news!" After nearly choking on my chip con guacamole, I closed the phone. I opened it again, fully expecting the message to have disappeared - it had to be a hallucination brought on by the Anaheim sun. It was still there. I closed the phone again and looked at it to make sure it was mine. I opened it again, expecting the message header to read "Just kidding." But it didn't. The LA Times had reconsidered its decision to cancel Candorville, she said. Candorville would return on Monday, with Sunday strips to return on or after June 3.

I resisted the urge to hug the waiter as he delivered my beans and enchiladas.

Someone else at the Times told me a couple weeks ago that the response from readers had been tremendous. Hundreds - maybe billions (but probably closer to hundreds) - of readers wrote in, called, and voiced their opinion about the cancelation. I'm sure that made all the difference. "Thank you" isn't enough, but then I know it wasn't for me. People didn't want Darrin Bell back, they wanted to continue to hear a young, dissenting voice in their newspaper - something Candorville provides with annoying regularity.

Score one for patriotic dissent, zero for the corporate media's dastardly plan to silence alternative viewpoints. Well, I guess that would be score 289,975 for the corporate media, and one for patriotic dissent, but you get my meaning.

As I waited at Acapulco for my wife to pick me up with the bike rack, sipping my Sierra Mist and downing a forkfull of sautee'd vegetables, I thought about faith. I thought about how hard it was to leave the SF Bay Area, the friends and the life we'd made up there. I thought about LA, the city where I was born and raised, and about how the city seems to have welcomed us back home. And I knew everything was going to work out in the end. Then I checked my socks for red ants, just in case.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Amazing animation: A patrol in Iraq

This is simply incredible (animation and handling of the subject matter):

Thursday, April 19, 2007

McCain jokes about bombing Iran

"Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb [Iran]..."
-John McCain

All I have to say about that is:

Thank God this guy has little chance of winning the primary, let alone the election.

Monday, April 16, 2007

LA Readers - how to follow Candorville

LA readers are continuing to write to the paper and myself asking how they can follow Candorville. Some have sent passionate e-mails, some have sent poems, which I truly appreciate. Some have threatened to cancel their subscriptions (which I think is a bad idea - not only do papers not listen to non-subscribers, but there's no point in cutting yourself off from a news source). I wish I could thank you all personally, but if I do that I wouldn't have time to write the strip.

Please keep writing or calling (calling is best, because it lets them know you're a real person) if you want to read Candorville in the Times, and keep in mind it sometimes takes months, or even years, for a paper to change its mind. In the meantime, if you'd like to continue following the strip, you can try writing or calling other papers you might be reading in the LA area (Daily News, Daily Breeze, OC Register, etc. - which are all open to running Candorville depending on reader requests). In the meantime, you can follow it online, at the Candorville website. You can sign up for a daily e-mail notifying you when a new comic has been posted.

Thanks again, everyone.

Friday, April 13, 2007

No really, it's brilliant, let's ANNOUNCE our coup

Billionaires do everything differently, including telegraphing their violent palace coups:

The Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has told the Guardian he is plotting the violent overthrow of President Putin from his base in Britain after forging close contacts with members of Russia's ruling elite.
In comments which appear calculated to enrage the Kremlin, and which will further inflame relations between London and Moscow, the multimillionaire claimed he was already bankrolling people close to the president who are conspiring to mount a palace coup.
Of course, this could all be some publicity stunt for a Russian version of "The Apprentice," in which a kooky billionaire violently deposes a different Russian leader every week.

Candorville In The Loop

From today's In the Loop column (Washington Post):

Speaking of the House oversight committee, it's not often that someone below the rank of Cabinet member can merit a cameo appearance in a syndicated cartoon. But General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan, apparently to the amusement of some folks at the GSA, has won that unusual distinction, becoming a thinly disguised amnesiac in the cartoon Candorville.

Doan won the high honor after she repeatedly told the committee on March 28 that she could not remember details of a Jan. 26 videoconference presentation for top political appointees at her agency by White House deputy political director J. Scott Jennings, who works in Karl Rove's shop.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I don't think "robust" means what Bush thinks it means

From the people who brought us such hits as "Uraniam Tubes from Africa" and "Saddam Hussein blah blah blah 9/11" comes a new classic: "This economy sure kicks ass."

Apparently the White House feels its policies have created a more robust economy than existed during the late '90s. We all must have just imagined we were better off. Sure, the amount of people living in poverty has skyrocketed, but what does that matter?

If you keep in mind an early quote about the Bush administration's governing philosophy, allegedly from a White House aide, it all makes perfect sense:

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

Another quote that may be helpful when listening to the White House tell you why it's technically not such a bad thing that you've gone from working on a Ford assembly line to working at a Wal-Mart checkout line:

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
-Mark Twain (or possibly Benjamin Disraeli)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Changing Course on Illegal Immigration?

Real life continues to make comedians look like prophets.

From Yahoo News:

Two executives at a company that once helped build a fence to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the Mexican border were sentenced Wednesday to six months of home confinement for hiring undocumented workers.

Mel Kay, founder, chairman and president of Golden State Fence Co., and manager Michael McLaughlin had pleaded guilty in federal court to knowingly hiring illegal aliens. U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz ordered each to serve 1,040 hours of community service and spend three years on probation.

Kay, 64, was fined $200,000 as part of a plea agreement, and McLaughlin agreed to pay $100,000.

Federal prosecutors took the rare step of seeking prison time after the men acknowledged hiring at least 10 illegal immigrants in 2004 and 2005. The charges carried a maximum possible penalty of five years in prison.

However, prosecutors were unable to find a previous case in which an employer had been sent to jail for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

"Prosecution is long overdue in this area," Moskowitz said. "Honestly, the government's efforts have been at the border, not with the employer. Obviously, the government has signaled a change with this case."
...either that, or the sheer amount of irony involved in a company using undocumented immigrants to build a wall to keep out undocumented immigrants was just too much to ignore. One set of prosecutions could just as easily signal a prosecutor who had nothing else to do or a prosecutor with an aversion to blatant, arrogant crimes as it could a substantial change in policy.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Image Over Substance

Perusing the conservative blogosphere this morning, this caught my eye. To an extent, all candidates are chosen based on their image. It's why Barack Obama or Rudy Giuliani may someday be President, and Dennis Kucinich never will. What I found interesting is that these people at one of the leading Conservative blogs apparently see nothing wrong with that, and are in fact downright giddy about it:

In a sense, then, [Fred] Thompson looks like the perfect blend of the Allen/Frist/Romney/Gingrich and McCain/Giuliani "factions." He seems to combine the conservatism of the former cluster with at least some of the popularity and stature of the latter pairing. This is not to suggest that Thompson is a national hero like McCain and Giuliani. But in addition to a long and distinguished record of public service, he has the good fortune to play a distinguished public servant on television. Millions of Americans see Thompson exercise sound judgment every week as the district attorney on "Law and Order." I'm reliably informed that the show's creator, Dick Wolf, developed the persona of this fictional D.A. specifically for Thompson, and that the actor/politician protects his image by pushing back when he thinks his lines don't portray him in the proper light. But the point isn't whether we're seeing the real Fred Thompson on the show; the point is that, if Thompson runs, millions of America will see the character when they see the candidate, and to that extent will like what they see.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Clinton spins the war vote

Oh, please...

From The Hill:

Former President Bill Clinton yesterday complained that “it’s just not fair” the way his wife, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), is being depicted for her controversial Iraq war vote.

Speaking to hundreds of supporters on conference call, the former president said, “I don’t have a problem with anything Barack Obama [has] said on this,” but “to characterize Hillary and Obama’s positions on the war as polar opposites is ludicrous.

“This dichotomy that’s been set up to allow him to become the raging hero of the anti-war crowd on the Internet is just factually inaccurate.”

The ex-president’s aggressive defense of his wife’s position revealed frustration in the Clinton camp over how the issue is playing into the already-overheated presidential campaign.

On a conference call with Hillraisers, Sen. Clinton’s biggest donors, which The Hill listened to after being provided the call-in information, the former president said there was a stark difference between those who voted for the Iraq resolution and those who wanted to go to war.

In response to a question from one of the supporters on the phone about explaining Hillary Clinton’s Iraq vote to undecided voters, the former president jumped in front of former Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe, saying, “Let me answer this.”

He said he had re-read the Iraq resolution last week, and that his wife had voted only for “coercive inspections.” Clinton justified his wife’s refusal to apologize for her vote by explaining that she was acting out of concern that future presidents might need similar language authorizing “coercive inspections to avoid conflict.”

“It’s just not fair to say that people who voted for the resolution wanted war,” Clinton said.
Does he think anyone's going to buy that? Technically, he's right. Congress voted to authorize "coercive inspections," and for the President to return to the UN Security Council for approval before launching his invasion, and the President did neither. He pulled the inspectors out (and then claimed Hussein expelled them) and did not return to the UN until after he'd invaded to demand the UN retroactively give him authorization. Nobody would've expected the President to do that, right? Nobody except the millions of Americans who were sure he was going to war no matter the evidence or excuse. If the Democrats in Congress who voted for that resolution were among the segment of our population who didn't accurately assess Bush's intentions (which couldn't have been more obvious), that casts serious doubt on their judgement.

Either Bill Clinton is wrong and Senator Clinton did suspect this was a vote for war, or he's right and she was too naive to realize it was a vote for war. There's no way to put a good spin on this, so please, Mr. Clinton, stop trying.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Plame was covert, but Fox won't let go of the myth

...Yet Fox News continues to rely on Victoria Toensing, the woman who, as far as I've been able to learn - has never spoken to either the CIA or Valerie Plame and has never seen any of the classified information regarding Valerie Plame's work or role, as an "expert" commentator.

And by the way, pay attention to the last minute and a half, where Hannity and Toensing try to tell us how it's Plame's and Wilson's fault that Plame's cover was blown. Plame apparently donated $1000 to Al Gore's campaign in 2000 and attended some (gasp) Democratic meetups. In Toensing and Hannity's warped world, Plame should've known that doing so was a dead giveaway that she was a covert CIA agent specializing in monitoring the proliferation of WMD. And Joe Wilson writing that op-ed exposing the lies the President told about uranium tubes from Niger? Well, he should've known better. Naturally the White House was going to expose the name of a covert CIA operative, as well as her entire network of contacts, seriously damaging our ability to follow WMD and possibly resulting in the killing of other undercover operatives - all to discredit a critic. Who wouldn't have expected them to do that?

Also, note how the "Fair and Balanced" network doesn't invite anyone to dispute Toensing:

Friday, March 16, 2007

Jay Kennedy is Dead

Woke up to find this in my inbox:

King Features has the sad duty to announce that Editor in Chief Jay Kennedy died yesterday in a drowning accident while on vacation in Costa Rica.

We do not have the full details yet, but wanted to be in immediate communication with the cartooning community. We will notify you when funeral arrangements have been completed.
When I was just starting out, Jay was one of the big, important, untouchable editors who took the time to write me a personal rejection letter and to talk on the phone with me, give me pointers, and encourage me to keep trying. He was the head of the largest syndicate with the most iconic features (Popeye, etc.), but he took time out of his day to talk to people nobody had ever heard of before. And he was just the same in person. I first stood in the same room with him in 2003 at the San Francisco NCS convention. He introduced himself, told me was sad about being too late to get Candorville (he'd been out of town when I sent him the submission, and wrote to me about it a few days after I'd already signed with the Washington Post Writers Group). And then we just talked for a while. One of the nicest, most genuine pony-tail wearing guys I've ever met. What a loss.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More Conservapedia Wisdom: Marriage

Today's random bit of wisdom from Conservapedia:

Recently there has been a push by liberals for "same-sex marriage" however this supposed form of "marriage" has no basis in scripture, common law, the constitution, biology, or American social tradition. Then again, interracial marriage was considered to be taboo 40 years ago.

I didn't realize there was a basis for heterosexual marriage in biology. I suppose that would explain the abundance of "just married" signs on dog houses. It's "Rex" and "Daisy," not "Rex" and "Spot."

I also didn't realize there was a "basis" for heterosexual marriage in particular in the U.S. Constitution. I really need to learn to read that document between the lines, since that's where so many Americans seem to find support for their theories.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Conservapedia Reality Check

Sometimes you just want a reality check. You call your Mom to make sure she still loves you, you taste a strawberry to make sure it's still as sweet as ever. You glance at your fingers and toes to make sure they're all still there. I guess that's why I just stopped by Conservapedia, the allegedly "fair and balanced" alternative to Wikipedia. Sure enough, there is still not a single mention of the words "Iran" or "Contra" on the Ronald Reagan page.

All is right with the world.

Monday, March 05, 2007

What's going on with the LA Times?

Readers are writing in today to ask why they don't see Candorville in the LA Times. They also note that La Cucaracha and Mallard Fillmore have been dropped. Honestly, I don't know what's going on and neither does my syndicate. We weren't informed of any change in status, and usually when papers make such a change, they do us the courtesy of informing us beforehand. If you'd like an answer today, or want to talk them out of whatever madness is going on, you're going to have to contact The Times directly.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Candorville Nominated for the Glyph Award (again)

Candorville's been nominated for a Glyph Award. Awards are ridiculous popularity contests signifying nothing. Unless Candorville wins, in which case awards are proof of quality and merit. Here's the list of nominees, as reported by Editor & Publisher and The Comics Reporter:

"Best Comic Strip"
Candorville, Darrin Bell
The K Chronicles, Keith Knight
Templar, Arizona, Spike
(th)Ink, Keith Knight
Watch Your Head, Cory Thomas
Smart money's on an upset by Ziggy.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tim Hardaway and the Senseless Crowd

Tim Hardaway can't stand gay people. Sensible people can't stand Tim Hardaway. Unfortunately, there are an awful lot of senseless people in this world.

Look for cartoons on this next week here, or in your Candorville-carrying local paper.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

George Washington's Mojo

Having lied, invaded, occupied and vacationed away his honor in the eyes of about 70% of Americans, George W. Bush tried to borrow a little bit from George Washington yesterday.

That reminded me of this cartoon I published back in '06, when the Congressional leadership first tried (and failed) to use the nifty "cut and run" slogan to tar and feather those who opposed the ongoing occupation.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Work for us, and you don't even have to pay for the privilege!

Great news, movie fans! Now you can work as an extra in a new Wil Ferrell/Woody Harrelson/Andre 3000 movie, and you don't even have to pay them for the privilege! And look how fun they make it sound! You get food! Maybe, if you're really really lucky, you'll win a prize and get to catch a glimpse of some dudes you've already seen on TV! Did I mention you don't even have to pay them for the hours of work you'll be doing for them?

There's no shortage of ways to get screwed in this world.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Fox's Obama obsession: If it walks like racism and talks like racism...

I saw something on YouTube the other day (I've posted it below) that I found disturbing. But luckily, I had the foresight to pull out and leaf through my tattered copy of The Modern American's Guide for Interpreting Other People's Behavior: Women/Minority/Gay Edition™. I carry it with me everywhere I go. It comes in handy in department stores, for instance.

Just a few months ago at Target, I found myself wondering why a security guard seemed to be following me at a distance as I perused the cargo shorts aisle. I started to feel nervous. I kept walking, and the nerves turned to incredulity, the kind where the world sort of slows down and you start to feel detached, like your'e watching something absurd instead of living it. I saw his eyes poke around the corner behind the socks to look at me looking at black boxer briefs. I started to feel my ears burn as the detachment faded into anger. That's when the manual saved me. It was right there on page 92, under "The Target Security Guard." It said "He's not suspicious of you because you're Black/Mixed/Whatever-the-hell-you-are, he's suspicious of you because you're a teen-ager." That would've made sense years ago, when I first bought the manual, but what the hell, I'm not old yet. It could still apply.

Now that was a relief. Life is easier with the manual. People seem much less ridiculous. Sunsets are rosier. The air even smells fresher, somehow.

So when I saw a link that had the words "Fox" and "Obama" in the same sentence, I immediately reached again for that manual. I sure am glad I did. Watch this clip, and then I'll tell you how The Modern American's Guide for Interpreting Other People's Behavior: Women/Minority/Gay Edition™ helped me put it all in perspective:

Now, according to The Modern American's Guide for Interpreting Other People's Behavior: Women/Minority/Gay Edition™, there was absolutely nothing racist about any of this. Here's what it said, right there on page 18,978:

Clip from Fox News' allegedly satirical take-off on The Daily Show: "The 1/2 Hour News Hour"
1. Time index 01:01- Masses of dancing Africans are shown while Fox mentions Barack Obama supporters.
This is not - we repeat, NOT - Fox News intentionally trying to scare White viewers with the thought of hordes of unruly dark people taking over the streets. They probably just couldn't find any other footage on such short notice.

2. Time index 01:14- "BO Magazine"
This is not Fox using racial code words & concepts in an ongoing campaign to help as many of their viewers as possible get back in touch with their inner bigots. This is not - we repeat, NOT - Fox News dredging up the age-old stereotype about Black people smelling bad. That stereotype hasn't been widely used for at least several decades. Several years. Well, at least several months. So it's unreasonable to think anyone at Fox has heard of that stereotype, much less that anyone there would intentionally employ it.

2. Time index 01:37- "Organize Your House - and your Senate"
Fox News is not trying to conjur up the image of a Black housekeeper. In fact, this is more evocative of magazines aimed at housewives. So maybe they're complimenting Barack Obama's wife. Have you ever stopped to think of that?

2. Time index 01:46- "Barack vs. Tiger Woods: Who's More Diverse? "
This is not an example of Fox News mocking the very existence of mixed-race Americans in order to reinforce deep-seeded White resentment. They're actually praising diversity - showing how grateful they are that we live in a country where anyone can marry and raise kids with whomever they want ('long as they're not queer).

2. Time index 02:03- "Don't tell Mama, I'm for Obama"
Nothing to see here.

Thanks for making life more bearable, The Modern American's Guide for Interpreting Other People's Behavior: Women/Minority/Gay Edition™!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fox News: Oh no, Obama (gasp) SMOKES!

A few questions to keep in mind while watching the latest salvo in the Faux News bombardment of Senator Obama:

1. So we haven't seen Obama smoke. Since when have we seen any politician smoke? Do they expect the Senator to fire up a Marlboro while he's on camera with Wolf Blitzer?

2. Why does the commentator who's apparently on this show because they want a Black man to comment on Obama make the argument that America only cares about the Senator because he's Black? Is this guy Fox's resident Irony Expert?

3. Where does the Media get off calling him "Barack?" Where do we all get off calling Senator Clinton "Hillary?" Do we routinely refer to White male Senators as "Trent," or "Edward," or do we give them the respect of using their title or at least their last names?

4. Since when does not smoking in public make someone duplicitous?

5. "Mammy?"

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fox News: Barack Obama, Sex Offender?

Faux News affiliates sure are subtle, aren't they?

Don't think subliminal crap like this works? Take a look at how well it works even on people who make their living at it (watch it through to the end for the payoff):

Thursday, February 08, 2007

What's this guy done, really?

So Rudy's in.

In the days after 9-11, America needed a hero and it picked Rudy. Talk of "President Giuliani" began just a few days after 9-11, and I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me just what Rudy Giuliani has done to indicate he deserves to sit in the Oval Office. He was an unpopular, scandal-ridden mayor known mostly for his police department's torture and murder of unarmed Black men. But then the terrorists brought down the towers. He didn't soil himself and hide under his desk on 9-11 (or even fly around aimlessly like our current President). He kept his cool and did his job. That's expected, not extraordinary.

**UPDATE: Doug comments,

Darrin, I don't know where you are getting your information about the NY police "torture and murder of unarmed Black men." Truthfully, it sounds like something that was reported in the National Enquirer, rather than a legitimate source!
For some reason, I'm not able to respond in the "comments" section right now, so I'm updating the main post with my reply:

Here you go. This (and his arrogant response to it) is what Giuliani was known for until 9/11:

The Diallo and Louima cases

Giuliani took credit for falling crime rates, but crime rates fell in all big cities at the time, due in no small part to Bill Clinton's COPS initiative, which put 100,000 new cops on big city streets across the country. Other Giuliani achievements:

• He tried to have Yasser Araft booted out of NYC (despite Arafat having been invited by the UN), nearly causing an international incident.
• He decided, over objections, to place the anti-terror command center in the World Trade Center, which was as smart a decision as placing an earthquake response center on the San Andreas Fault. Perhaps the constant video we saw of Giuliani bravely roaming the streets of Lower Manhattan were due to his having no command center to go to.
• He caused a big stink about a museum that hung an African artist's painting of the Virgin Mary that was made with elephant dung (insisting on mischaracterizing it as a deliberate insult, despite elephant dung being sacred in that artist's culture -- I don't know about you, but politicians who mischaracterize to score political points lose points with me).
• He tried to use 9/11 to advance his own political career when he proposed cancelling the mayoral elections so he could stay on indefinitely.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Best way to ruin your astronaut career

Police said Nowak drove 900 miles, donned a disguise and was armed with a BB gun and pepper spray when she confronted a woman she believed was a competitor for the affections of Navy Cmdr. William Oefelein, an unmarried fellow astronaut.

Oefelein, 41, piloted the space shuttle Discovery in December. He and Nowak trained together but never flew a mission together.

Nowak told police that her relationship with Oefelein was "more than a working relationship but less than a romantic relationship," according to an arrest affidavit. Inside Nowak's vehicle, which was parked at a nearby motel, authorities found a pepper spray package, an unused BB-gun cartridge, latex gloves and e-mails between Oefelein and Colleen Shipman.

They also found a letter "that indicated how much Mrs. Nowak loved Mr. Oefelein" and Shipman's home address, the arrest affidavit said.

Police said Nowak told them that she only wanted to scare Shipman into talking to her about her relationship and didn't want to harm her.

"If you were just going to talk to someone, I don't know that you would need a wig, a trench coat, an air cartridge BB gun and pepper spray," Jones said.

And that's not all.

Nowak raced from Houston to Orlando wearing diapers in the car so she wouldn't have to stop to go to the bathroom, authorities said.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

SF Mayor Proves He's Not Gay

Ever since Mayor Newsom bravely fought for civil rights when he allowed gay couples to marry in 2004, the country's knuckledragger population has been speculating he's gay. These are probably the same dimwits who assumed that if you doubted Hussein had WMD, it meant you were secretly the founder of the "I Want Saddam's Love-Child" club. Anyhow, Newsom seems to have chosen an odd way of dispelling the rumors. Next time, he might want to try using someone who's not married to a good friend.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Washington Times disavows Insight over Obama story

Like alcoholic parents trying to disavow their crack-whore son, the Washington Times is attempting to distance itself from the bogus Obama-madrassah story -- a story that they and Fox News had amplified.

The Washington Times, which is also owned by the Unification Church, but operates separately from the Web site, quickly disavowed the article. Its national editor sent an e-mail message to staff members under the heading “Insight Strikes Again” telling them to “make sure that no mention of any Insight story” appeared in the paper, and another e-mail message to its Congressional correspondent instructing him to clarify to Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama that The Washington Times had nothing to do with the article on the Web site.

“Some of the editors here get annoyed when Insight is identified as a publication of The Washington Times,” said Wesley Pruden, editor in chief of The Washington Times.

But can the Washington Times disavow itself?
Barack Obama announced last week he was forming an exploratory committee to explore whether he can really be as fabulous as the media say. And happily the answer is: Yes. He is young, gifted and black, and white and Hawaiian and Kansan, and charismatic and Congregationalist, and Muslim. He rejects the way "politics has become so bitter and partisan," he represents "a different kind of politics." He smokes, which is different.
He was raised in an Indonesian madrassah by radical imams, which is more than John Edwards can say.


The madrassah stuff was supposedly leaked to Insight Magazine by some oppo-research heavies on Hillary Rodham Clinton's team. If true, that suggests Hillary is losing her touch. It's certainly the case that a foreign education doesn't always assist in electoral politics: John Kerry didn't play up the Swiss finishing school angle. But look at it from a Democratic primary voter's point of view, the kind who drive around with those "CO-EXIST" bumper stickers made up of the cross and the Star of David and the Islamic crescent and the peace sign. Your whole worldview is based on the belief that deep down we would all rub along just fine and this neocon fever about Islam is just a lot of banana oil to keep the American people in a state of fear and paranoia. What would more resoundingly confirm that view than if the nicest, most nonbitter, nonpartisan guy in politics turns out to have graduated from the Sword of the Infidel Slayer grade school in Jakarta?
Maybe someone at the Washington Times needs to circulate another memo.

CNN, through the rare implementation of something called "journalism," debunked this nonsense last week::

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Get ready for President Clinton

Dick Cheney, the man who's been consistently wrong about every major prediction, took a break from gathering flowers and candy from the Baghdad streets to weigh in on the '08 election:

US Vice President Dick Cheney said that Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton will not win the White House in 2008 and would not make a good president if she does.
I guess this is proof positive that Hillary Clinton will win the White House in 2008 and will make a good president when she does. I'm not much for dynastic presidencies. I think it's dangerous when running the country becomes a family business, so somebody, anybody, tell Cheney to shut up before his astonishing bizarro-powers jinx another Clinton into the White House.

By the way, if the President is serious about the need for less polarization in Washington, he might want to mention that to his hatchet-man:
Cheney, who in October had called Hillary Clinton a "formidable candidate" who "could win" the race to replace US President George W. Bush, told CNN television "I don't" think she would make a good leader.

Asked why, Cheney replied: "Because she's a Democrat. I don't agree with her philosophically and from a policy standpoint."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

RSS subscribers, you need to resubscribe

If you're a Candorville Courier subscriber, you may have noticed that the Bloglet RSS feed hasn't been delivering the blog since... well... ever. Naturally, I never got an error alert and the blog's status says "working" on their site. I've replaced the Bloglet service with Feedburner, which seems to be working. So if you'd like to keep receiving the Courier in your inbox, you'll have to re-subscribe by entering your e-mail address in the Feedburner field to your right.

Lib'ral Media Covers Up for Obama

Nice try, Chicago Sun-Times:

Barack Obama's week-old presidential campaign has been hit with a smear. Hillary Clinton's White House bid, launched Saturday, has been attacked with an unfounded accusation.

Contrary to what was reported in Insight magazine and then repeated on Fox News and in other news outlets, including a column that ran in the Sun-Times by free-lancer Mark Steyn, Obama was not educated in a radical Islamic school when he was an elementary student in Jakarta.

And there is no evidence whatsoever that Clinton's campaign had anything to do with spreading the damaging rumor that Obama hid a Muslim background.

The source for both slurs started in a report posted on the Web site of Insight, a conservative magazine published by the Washington Times. The article with no named sourcing alleged that researchers connected to Clinton dug up information about Obama as part of a "background check."

You mean Obama didn't attend a radical Islamist madrassa when he was six? Are they trying to tell us he didn't plot the destruction of America between nap-time and Play Doh lessons? Next the Lib'ral Media's going to try telling us he never actually burned the flag while cross-dressing when he ran that abortion clinic in San Francisco. They must think they're dealing with idiots.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

And now, for a moment of Zen...

That would be great for the Daily Show.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Finally a comics poll that makes sense

I'm sure they're paying more attention to the people voting by paper or online, but if I'm wrong -- if polling random people in a bar late at night (watch the video clip) is how the Hamilton Spectator is choosing its new comics, I think it's revolutionary. In fact, I think newspapers should choose all their features by showing them to clueless drunk people in some bar. The advice columns alone would be worth the price of a subscription.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Silence is Betrayal

It's important to notice when these settings are used to preach something other than the virtues of supply-side economics, pre-emptive wars and homophobia. There was a time when the religious movement in this country was characterized more by Martin Luther King, Jr. than by James Dobson.