Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bailout Bars and Senate Zombies

Halloween 2009 Cartoon, originally uploaded by rbtenorio.

Halloween is here, and Satan and Frank Faust are ready to go trick-or-treating in Washington, DC. Join them as they visit the Senate zombies in thrall to the insurance industry and pick up some government-sponsored "Bailout Bars" in an All Hallows Eve version of "The Devil Made Me Blog It"!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Moore exposes vacancy of capitalist system

Michael Moore's new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story," drew applause from the viewers at the Kendall Square Cinema Sunday night. Despite the note of guarded optimism at the end, most of the scenes in the film were hardly cause to cheer. A family burning their possessions after getting evicted from their home in Peoria, Ill. ... blue-chip companies cashing in on life-insurance policies when their employees die ... a window worker in Chicago choking up when he and his colleagues lose their jobs when the company folds ...
Like a latter-day Dickens, Moore shows us the inhumane side of capitalism, and the very visible damage that the invisible hand of Adam Smith has wrought lately. It's perversely appropriate that the front page of the Boston Metro Monday morning is devoted to an auction of abandoned property in Detroit -- an amount "so massive it would fill all of the Hub."
Moore reveals the human faces beyond the statistics (including his own father, who discusses the better days of Detroit's auto industry), and while the New York Times criticized him for being short on solutions, he shows several examples of communities coming together to fight for the victims of capitalism in Chicago and Florida. At times the film seems longer than its two-hour, six-minute length, and at times it ignores history (Moore fusses over the crossover between Goldman Sachs and the Treasury Department but doesn't mention the tradition of such crossovers, as was the case with former Treasury boss/plutocrat Andrew Mellon in the early 20th century).
Still, Moore deserves praise for another timely expose, this one of the timeless problem of human greed.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New book, Boston Comic Con and NPR appearance!

Busy couple of days, faithful readers. I've got a new book out, "The Devil and Sarah Palin," an illustrated look at the political career thus far of the 2008 GOP vice-presidential nominee. It contains selections from my "Devil Made Me Blog It" strips plus previously unpublished material, chronicling Palin's path from John McCain's running mate to her resignation as governor of Alaska to her "Going Rogue" on death panels.
"The Devil and Sarah Palin" is on sale at three locations in the greater Boston area of Massachusetts:

I'll also be selling copies at the Boston Comic Con in the Back Bay this weekend.
And yes, that was me you heard talking about Boston's influences on budding writers on the NPR program "Radio Boston" today!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pro Football and Patriotic Perceptions

Looks like not everyone in the US is following President Obama's example of a more conciliatory tone toward the United Kingdom and the international community in general.
Next week, the New England Patriots of the National Football League will make a transatlantic trip to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London. Yet on Monday the morning crew on WROR-FM wondered how the Brits would react to a team named after the colonials who defeated the mother country in the American Revolution. (The team eagerly promotes this image, as witnessed by the "Minutemen" in colonial garb who fire their muskets at Gillette Stadium after the Pats score.)
As opposed to a friendly Obama giving an iPod to Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year, the Pats seem more emblematic of everything the international community loved to loathe about America during the George W. Bush presidency, especially its perceived arrogance. On Sunday, the Pats humiliated the Tennessee Titans, 59-0, tying an NFL record for the largest margin of victory in a game.
Let us hope that when the New England Patriots tour Old England, they will at least prove gracious guests and not make their hosts think too much about their team name. Then again, their opponent -- the Buccaneers -- derives its name from the pirates who once plundered English shipping. Whoever wins this game, it goes down as a defeat for international relations.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Liberals, Love Your Laureate!

Liberals aren't unanimous in supporting President Obama for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The New York Times noted in an editorial that the Left may feel uneasy about a wartime Commander-in-Chief winning the award, and several letter-writers to the Times identified themselves as Obama voters who nevertheless had misgivings about the peace prize going to Obama. Mephistopheles urges these liberals to stand by their man in the latest episode of "The Devil Made Me Blog It"!
Merci to my muse for her help with the last panel.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Palin's Next Stop: Harvard Square?

Palin Hong Kong Cartoon, originally uploaded by rbtenorio.

Sarah Palin impressed an audience of investors with her speech in Hong Kong last month. Now Mephistopheles suggests Palin take her oratorical gifts to the Hong Kong Restaurant in Harvard Square, in the latest episode of "The Devil Made Me Blog It"!
Merci to my muse on this one...