October 21, 2006

Taco mail

You're welcome, Tina.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:27 PM

Just... just don't ask

David Rees alerted me to the show he and John Hodgman will be doing in D.C. next week. To get a ticket, you had to go to Olsson's books and buy a copy of Areas of My Expertise (which I'd been meaning to buy anyway.) So I bump into one of Campus Progress' interns at Olsson's trying to do the same thing, and it turns out there's a book signing going on at the same time.

Long story short, this photo is 1. thanks to intern Joseph having a camera, and 2. in some way all David Rees' fault.

Don't ask. Just don't.

That's all I have to say until Monday when Joseph gives a full report over at Campus Progress.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:59 AM

October 20, 2006

Not happening

Okay, once again: Joe Lieberman is not switching over to become a Republican. Nor is he going to take a cabinet position and allow Jodi Rell to swap a Republican in his place. The logic behind this is based on nothing but the belief that Lieberman will trade all his clout and seniority in the Senate for the sake of "pissing off" the people who didn't vote for him, like some bizarre madman with nothing to lose. Lieberman has vast amounts to lost by bolting the Democratic Caucus, and once again, here they are:

1. Tradebacks. When Jeffords went independent, within an hour GOP operatives had people like Lieberman, Zell Miller, and others on the phone to see if they'd switch their side as well and give the GOP the Senate back. It's ludicrous to suggest this won't be a possibility on the flip side. And unlike Jeffords, there is a serious issue for Republicans with the moderate-left Republicans, primarily the ones wavering on war. If Joe can be offered a chairmanship to switch, so can Olympia Snowe.

2. 2008. In two years, 12 Democratic Senate seats will be up for grabs. 21 Republican seats will. Even with the shoe-ins, that's a hell of a lot more ground for the GOP to hold, meaning short of a 1980's-style sweep there are going to be net losses of GOP seats in two years. Joe can sit down and shut up and stay a Dem or he can switch to the GOP and face the most unholy of retributions when the Democrats take over the Senate in 2008.

3. What's the friggin' point? Really, gnashing and wailing aside what really is the friggin' point of Lieberman going Republican? To make Kos angry? Really? How does becoming a Republican change the way Lieberman moans about "changing the tone," shoots down any major progressive Democratic proposal, leaps for a spot in front of a television camera, or votes for one of Bush's appointees?

4. It's called an election, people. Of course Lieberman's pandering to Republicans, and of course Bush is hyping the more right-leaning feasible candidate in the race. Bush wants a more supportive Senator for his nominees and policies, and Lieberman wants Republicans to vote for him. Why is the pandering so surprising? It's almost like he's trying to get the votes of people who need convincing to vote for him or something.

Long story short, Lieberman bolting the Democratic Party simply does not give this guarantee of massive power- at least not for the long term- that people seem to believe is possible. It would be a huge risk for Lieberman's career and stature in the Senate which I would find amazing if he took when everything he wants- media attention and voting power- he already has. Seriously, folks- face it, we're stuck with the little bastard.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:36 PM

Chickenhawks: the movie

This has been on the interweb for a few weeks now, which makes my posting it almost an act of nostalgia, but I cannot go any further without acknowledging the pure genius that is War of the Words: the Story of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders.

In short, it's a five-part documentary, Ken Burns-style, about the online right-wing punditry and how they were completely wrong about pretty much everything. My favorite part is how the voiceover for Ben Shapiro is similar to an underpants gnome. It's like when you read a book and then see the movie and go "they sound just like I'd imagined!"

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:39 AM

October 19, 2006

Later, it is sent back to PROTECT John Connor

Remember that sentient, self-aware autonomous Elmo toy from a few weeks back? Here it is when set on fire.

(Thanks to reader Matt Connors)

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:04 PM

October 18, 2006

The young stupids

I know it's been a while since we've had a chance to observe young right-wing idiots in their natural habitat, so I'm happy (?) to provide a report on the latest exploits from the Young America's Foundation, who decided to have a "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day" at the University of Michigan. Similar to today's occasional Klan rally, YAF got a lot of attention by being outrageously racist, sending out a press release, and then being too cowardly to actually follow up on their event.

And just to be clear about the photo, yes. The costume one YAF member chose to represent an "illegal immigrant" was to dress up like a Native American Indian. I'll let you roll that one around in your head for a while.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:14 PM

October 17, 2006

Apple: we're assholes

I loves me my iPod, but excuse me?

We recently discovered that a small number - less than 1% - of the Video iPods available for purchase after September 12, 2006, left our contract manufacturer carrying the Windows RavMonE.exe virus. This known virus affects only Windows computers, and up to date anti-virus software which is included with most Windows computers should detect and remove it. So far we have seen less than 25 reports concerning this problem. The iPod nano, iPod shuffle and Mac OS X are not affected, and all Video iPods now shipping are virus free. As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it.

"Upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses?" You know what? This is exactly why people think Mac people are assholes. Apple- a company currently marketing itself on how much better and safer their product is than PCs- messed up and shipped a product from their contracted manufacturers without ensuring it was safe and they're blaming Microsoft? Look, you can whine about "M$" all you want, but I'm gonna lean toward the blame being the fault of the company that shipped a damn virus out to customers.

By the way, Apple, we're all upset at Home Depot, too, for not making desks hardy enough to withstand the blast of an exploding Powerbook battery. Ass.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:07 PM

But... but... he loves puppies!

Congrats to Michael Steele, who picked up lucrative endorsements from a convicted murderer and a convicted rapist in the same day.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:52 PM

October 16, 2006

"Right-wing catch 22s"

Latest comic - click here!

You might notice a slight change in today's comic, and it's one of many. I had a lot of fun at SPX this year, but also a lot of conversations with some people whose opinions I value highly... and when all of them give the same opinions about what could make the cartoon better, I listen. So the first thing you'll notice is the size... from now on, the strip is going to be a more standard format similar to most political cartoons. I'm still going to play around with the full-page format, especially since I want to do a large comic sometime soon, but it's time to adapt to what most readers (and most editors) want to see.

The next change is one that's a lot more drastic, but at the same time one that's been coming for a while. You might have notice that this strip's titular characters have made less than five appearances for the entire year. Well, they're making no more appearances this year, or any other year for that matter. The strip is no longer going to be called XQUZYPHYR & Overboard.

This was a really tough decision, but it's the most sensible and logical one... the characters have really outstayed their context to a political cartoon. I'd like the opportunity one day to put them in a place where they fit better... for example, there will continue to be a X&O Christmas comic. But as far as a political cartoon goes, XQUZYPHYR & Overboard, both in character and title, just don't fit in the stuff I'm writing right now. Over the next few weeks you'll see me phasing out all the old stuff, and by the start of next year there will be a complete redesign of the site, some re-edited versions of earlier strips, and an official new title.

Finally, if you buy some crap, the next few weeks will be your last chance to buy some CafePress stuff. The Cafepress stores simply don't sell well, and my profit from them is miniscule. By the end of the year, I'll be removing those stores entirely.

Apologies to everyone that this may upset- primarily long time readers who love my two original characters, and of course the great people who spent all that time on a Wikipedia entry they're going to have to make a LOT of revisions to, but also thanks in advance to everyone who will look forward to the new direction for the strip in the months ahead.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:24 AM

October 15, 2006

Goddamit, Conroy

I'm back from SPX, with a lot on my mind... more on that later. However, a great thanks to everyone who stopped by, showed their support and love for CWA, and picked up some books. In fact, this was probably the best show I've done... and it would have even been my first profitable show were it not for events I totally blame Chris for.

Yes, Chris, I finally picked up a copy of Scott Pilgrim #1 on Friday. So naturally I had to run back to the Oni Press table on Saturday to buy volumes 2 and 3, my eyes tearing at the instant loss of the precious singles I spent the day begging convention-goers to shell out for my own wares, my addiction to the greatest single comic I've read in years instantaneous. You were completely and 100% right, you magnificent bastard, and now I have no money. I will make sure I continue to blame you for this somehow.

Also, the season finale of The Venture Bros. is tonight. It continues to be the most brilliant show on television, and if you disagree, shut up.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:44 PM