Monday, July 28, 2008

Kiefer Sutherland Regrets His DUI Conviction, and Fashion Sense Regrets His Role in 24

Kiefer Sutherland recently called his DUI conviction a "dumb mistake," but Fashion Sense thinks the real mistake is his role on 24, because his character Jack Bauer is a torture role model. In The Dark Side Jane Mayer shows how some psychologists have also made the world safer for torture. [Click on the image for a larger version of this cartoon. The text reads: 'Tamee asked me if I wanted to join the Kiefer Sutherland fan club, and I said, "No. I dislike him," and she said, "Why? He said he was really sorry about that DUI thing and really grateful to be on 24," and I said, "I dislike him because he plays Jack Bauer, who is a torture role model for some of our soldiers," and Tamee said, "That's not Kiefer's fault," and I said, "Not exactly, but he did choose to play a torturer," and Tamee said, "It's a free country," and I said, "That's debatable," and Tamee said, "Besides, it's not like he tortured anybody himself; he doesn't control the people who are influenced by him," and I said, "That's like saying Martin Seligman didn't torture anybody and can't help that people are influenced by him," and Tamee said, "Who's Martin Seligman?" and I said, "He's a psychologist who did experiments on dogs in the 70s where he abused them into what he called 'learned helplessness' and then they had no will to resist," and Tamee said, "So what?" and I said, "Seligman lectured to the CIA right before they started using torture interrogation techniques," and Tamee said,"That doesn't prove a connection any more than it does with Kiefer," and I said, "Seligman gave them the science, and Kiefer makes it seem sexy," and Tamee said, "Kiefer makes anything seem sexy," and I said, "I don't think it's a coincidence that prisoners are being kept in dog cages and on dog leashes and being made to bark like a dog and do tricks like a dog and being threatened by dogs -- any more than it's a concidence that soldiers that are fans of 24 start acting like Jack Bauer," and Tamee asked my dog what he thinks about all that, but he was too afraid to answer.']

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bush Wants Offshore Drilling; Oliver Stone Wants Answers

President Bush says he lifted the ban on offshore drilling for the good of the American people, but it will do little to lower the price of gas in the near future. (We need alternative sources of energy, not increased oil dependency!) Meanwhile, Oliver Stone is making a movie called W. (And Josh Brolin, who plays Bush in the film, was recently arrested during a bar fight.) Stone claims the movie will offer a fair portrait of Bush, but he wonders outloud how such a man ever came to power. Fashion Sense does, too. [Click on this image for a larger version of the cartoon. The text reads: 'I don't have any companion animals, but I like bird-watching, and I was just standing here with my binoculars when that gull came right over and was, like, What's all this I hear about more offshore oil drilling? and I said, "President Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling because he says us poor Americans have suffered enough from high food and gas prices," and the gull was, like, Bush should pursue alternative energy sources, so us poor gulls don't have to die covered in oil after a big spill, and I said, "Bush says every extra dollar spent on gas is one that should go toward food or education," and the gull was, like, But isn't he the one that started a multi-trillion dollar war in Iraq, even as he cut taxes, making the economy go into a tailspin? and I said, "Yes, he's a very warlike President and not very smart," and the gull was, like, So how could this man be president for eight years? and I said, "Maybe Oliver Stone will tell us; he's making a new movie about Bush, called W," and the gull was, like, A little bird told me that Josh Brolin, who plays Bush, and some other cast and crew, got into a bar fight recently and were arrested, and I said, "What do you think that's about?" and the gull was, like, I don't know, maybe they're Method actors trying to get a real feel for what it's like to be Bush, and I said, "Stone says he wants to know: 'How did Bush go from being an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world?'" and the gull started laughing that weird gull laugh and flapped away.']

Friday, July 11, 2008

Katherine Hamnett's Organic Cotton T-Shirts with Progressive Slogans Make Fashion Sense

Designer Katherine Hamnett is making a comeback with her organic cotton T-shirts with progressive slogans on them. While the idea of an "ethical designer" is questionable in a world in which many people can't even afford food, the idea of organic cotton clothing made without sweatshop or child labor makes fashion sense to me. [Click on the image to see a larger version of this cartoon. The text says: 'I've always hated T-shirts, especially oversize T-shirts, and most especially oversize T-shirts with slogans on them, but Katharine Hamnett is making a comeback with her slogan T-shirts, which were big in the 80s, and even though the fashion industry is usually slow as my tortoise to adopt anything progressive, the fact that Sarah Jessica Parker wore a slogan T-shirt in the "Sex and the City" movie is proof of the trend, and there was recently an "annoying" slogan T-shirt fashion show in Australia as an anti-Pope protest ("The Pope is Wrong, Put a Condom On") before his visit there, and Hamnett also uses organic cotton in her shirts, which she says adds only 5% to the cost of the T-shirt but gives 50% more profits to poor farmers, so I bought this shirt with the slogan "Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve, Buy Organic Cotton," because I thought it was a Katherine Hamnett design, and then I found out it wasn't, so I was mad and I decided to give the T-shirt to my sister Gloria because she'll wear anything – she still has a mullet, if you can believe that -- and then I decided that I do like the slogan, so I'm wearing the T-shirt, but now my tortoise and I are in disguise because I don't want to admit to my friends that I paid designer prices for a cheap knock-off.']

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Was Cheeta Cheated Out of a Star -- or His Rights?

Cheeta was cheated out of his star on the Walk of Fame yet again, but if the Spanish Parliament had its way, he would never have had a movie career in the first place. (Fashion Sense says that would have been a good thing.) [Click on the image for a larger version of this cartoon. The text reads: 'My monkey Peanut and I were at Ceci's house watching Bette Davis movies, and just before we got ready to leave, she asked Peanut,"Did you know they refused to give Cheeta a star on the Walk of Fame again this year?" and I said, "Are you talking about the chimpanzee that was in Tarzan movies? I heard he's 76 years old and living in Palm Springs, so he doesn't have it so bad," and Ceci said, "You know in Spain they wouldn't be able to use a chimpanzee in movies any more because their Parliament has called for rights for great apes -- people can't use them for experiments or in circuses either," and I got a little defensive because I know Ceci doesn't think I should have a monkey as a pet, so I said, "Spain is just trying to annoy Britain because Britain wants to cull the 'apes' on Gibraltar, and Spain thinks they should get Gibraltar back, and why should apes have rights when so many people don't have them?" and Ceci said, "Theoretically, every person has rights, and it's just a matter of enforcement, whereas other animals need protection," and I surprised myself by saying, "A bunch of stupid monkeys don't need rights!" and now Peanut isn't speaking to me at all.']

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

We Need Sensitivity, Not Stereotypes (Are You Listening, Don Imus?)

It's hard to believe there were good intentions behind Don Imus' insensitive question about Adam Jones (i.e., when he was told Jones had been arrested again, he asked, "What color is he?"). Al Sharpton said he'd keep an eye on Imus, Jones said he'd pray for him, and I decided to take the opportunity to comment on the problem of stereotyped thinking. [Click on the image for a larger version of this cartoon. The text reads: 'I was hurrying out the door, and I bumped into my neighbor, and she said, "What's the rush?" and I said, "I need to find a new place to board my rescued Premarin mare," and she asked why, and I said, "The woman I board with has been arrested," and she said, "What animal group did she belong to?" and I said, "None," and she said, "Those animal people keep getting arrested for domestic terrorism," and I said, "As a matter of fact, she was arrested for tax evasion," and she said, "So it's an antiwar thing?" and I said, "No, and you're starting to sound like Don Imus," and she said, "That poor guy. He can't say anything without being persecuted," and I said, "You really think it was OK to ask 'What color is he?' when he heard Adam Jones was arrested? He claims he was being sarcastic, but he’s not very sensitive" and she said, "Black people have to stop being so sensitive and just get over the racism thing," and I said, "Racism is still very real so it would be hard just to 'get over it,' and Don Imus is part of the problem," and she said, "He's always wearing a cowboy hat, so maybe he likes horses, too. Anyway, tell me about this animal rights antiwar woman that was arrested for domestic terrorism," and I pretended to get a phone call from my horse so my neighbor would stop interrogating me.']

A Fifth and Final Ekphrastic Essay About Our 2022 Road Trip: the Prairie and the Dust Bowl

  Erosion No. 2, Mother Earth Laid Bare by Alexandre Hogue When Greg and I were planning our 2022 road trip, our goal was to visit friends a...