Category Archives: Movies

USO Camp Trip

Team-KukwaitWelcome to Team Kuwait. I spent the dying days of August with the guys above drawing service men and women in Kuwait, Djibouti, and Incerlik Air Base in Turkey. The trip was sponsored by USO. The picture above was provided by our fearless leader Bruce Higdon. Bruce is a great punster, cartoonist, and former army colonel. Not that we would follow him into battle.

USO

Left to right: Illustrator and Disney animator Chad Frye, Eddie Pittman of Phinneas and Ferb fame, Paul Combs a fire fighting editorial cartoonist (he’s a real fireman), Sam Viviano art director of Mad Magazine  and caretaker of Alfred E. Nueman and Spy vs. Spy, the guy in the middle is Col. Bruce, Rick Kirkman draws the comic strip Baby Blues and came up with the name Wanda for the lead character because he thought it was funny – that’s my mother’s name, Ed Steckley a Mad contributor and Mad Men advertising artist in New York City, Michael Ramirez a fire breathing 2 time Pulitzer winning IBD editorial cartoonist, in full battle dress for some reason,  dork at the end – me.

The two happy guys at the top own all the oil.

djibuti-drawingThe trip was a hit with the troops and their families and rewarding for us.

They shouldn’t have let us into the Chief Petty Officers Club. We drew on the walls (note Alfred E. Neuman’s head peering over the guy on the far right).

chiefs
gallows

We like gallows humor but this is a real gallows outside the base in Djibouti.

Men in Green

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I Googled Obama-Robin Hood and got 10,400,000 links . Obama-Peter Pan brought 1,800,000. Obama-Fantasy was good for 51,600,000.

I’m guessing he’s one of the men in green.

The popular Robin Hood story is that he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Except the real Robin Hood – the legend anyway- stole from the Sheriff of Nottingham who taxed the poor.

In that story President Obama wouldn’t be Robin Hood. He’d be the Sheriff of Nottingham, except he taxes the rich. Well, the poor too if you want to get into the Obama Care weeds.

He’s obsessed with fairness. In 2008 Charlie Gibson pointed out that when Clinton and Bush cut the capital gains tax, revenues increased. He asked Obama if he would increase the capital gains tax even if it meant less revenue to the government. The future president said he would – in the interest of fairness.

Dan Henninger in Thursday’s WSJ Wonder Land column wondered about fairness:

Other than the president, the one other slice of the American population that obsesses over fairness everywhere is children. Every parent knows that about the age of four, kids in groups start saying, “That’s not fair.”

If you have a birthday party and cut pieces of the cake for all, one of them will say, “Her piece is bigger than mine. Why is she getting a bigger piece? That’s not fair.”

And parents, ever since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, have felt obliged to instruct their children on the reality. Life isn’t going to be “fair.” And the path into the future requires more than envy, tantrums and grabbing what belongs to others.

Cradle-to-grave fairness may be infantile, but the idea lives on, especially in politics and most of all in Mr. Obama’s mind.

Even Jimmy Carter knows life’s not fair.

Anyway, in President Obama’s mind it doesn’t matter if he’s Robin Hood or Peter Pan. We’ll always be the serfs.

Innocence of Muslims Review

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The Interview is a satirical movie in which North Korean leader Kim Jong-un gets whacked. The N Koreans allegedly took great offense at this. In retribution they hacked Sony Entertainment. So they say.

One thing the Hermit Kingdom and many critics agree on is that the movie stinks. Sony agreed to pull it from theaters. President Obama was quick to criticize Sony for this. That only increased the appeal of the movie and now it’s a pirate hit.

When the US Embassy in Benghazi was hit by terrorists the White House was quick to blame the attack on another lousy movie, Innocence of Muslims. Our own Dear Leader’s passion for free speech blazed less fervently in those days. The movie’s producer was thrown in jail.

 

Arctic Sea Ice Challenge

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UK Mail Online published satellite photos that show this summer’s arctic sea ice increased from 2012’s all-time low. Slate was quick to point out, with its usual annoying habit of answering a question you didn’t ask, that “No You Can’t Claim Arctic Sea Ice is Recovering”.

Sea Ice Challenge

The increase represents a change in weather not climate. Like the Lake Superior ice that wouldn’t leave until June. Or the drought in California. Oh wait, that’s climate not weather.

Anyway, maybe you can’t claim arctic sea ice is recovering, but you might say polar bears are. 091030boklores

Mad Mad World of Comic Genius

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Jonathan Winters was a mentor to Robin Williams. Both were tormented comic geniuses. Russell Brand calls it a “divine madness” in this essay in The Guardian.

I was surprised to learn Jonathan Winters spent 8 months in a psychiatric hospital just before his brilliant performance in It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. He wasn’t doing research. He managed to outlast his demons and died of natural causes at age 87.

Update: Here are some thoughts from Ben Stein on comics, depression, and suicide.