Madness on the Interwebz
Ethan Persoff's personal website is one of the best rationalizations for the existence of the Internet. In addition to being a talented cartoonist himself, Persoff has compiled a fascinating archive of comics history that includes some incredible specimens of pop culture that typically falls through the cracks. His collection includes a complete set of comics produced by Alcoholics Anonymous between 1968 and 1974; a propaganda comic released by the Reagan Administration in 1984 about the invasion of Grenada; the ongoing series of "Comics With Problems" in which, among other things, we learn that Spider-Man was sexually abused years before he was bitten by that radioactive spider, get the low-down on "the siff" and are told of George C. Wallace's selfless devotion to the cause of racial segregation. One of the dark gems of Persoff's collection is an infamous propaganda comic drawn by Milton Caniff, creator of Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon, called "How to Spot a Jap."
The beauty of Persoff's site is that he's compiled a genuine history of the American psyche through the twentieth century, one that preserves all our fears and neuroses about sex, about drugs, about the racial "others" who are invariably coming to destroy our lifestyle one way or another. The stuff that he's preserved and made available is indispensable to an honest look at who we are and how we got here and what kind of stuff is still squirming around in our cultural group mind. So much of the recent election cycle makes so much more sense if you look through the propaganda and health comics on Ethan Persoff's web page and realize that paranoia in American discourse isn't the exception. It's the rule. Which is why I hate to say this.
Damn you, Ethan. Damn you to hell. You've really gone too far this time.
The latest item on the site is one of those pieces of forbidden lore, something on a scale with The Necronomicon, which Abdul Ahalzred allegedly wrote with human blood on vellum made from human skin, and which is said to drive strong men mad upon reading it. Already, after glimpsing Ethan's latest, I feel that I might have to hie me unto the asylum in Arkham.
Ethan claims to have found a long-lost Tijuana Bible, a "Lieberman Squeezer" from 1934, starring George W. Bush and John McCain. I don't know where he found it, but it certainly captures the modern relationship between the two men accurately, and I don't know that that's a good thing. Look at the link only if you are of strong mind and moral character, otherwise you put your very reason in jeopardy.
Yes, the comic really is ugly and distasteful, but honestly, it's nowhere near as ugly and distasteful as the face the country has worn for the last eight years. I'm tired of living in fear and hating the way my neighbors and family keep trying to twist the worst parts of America into the best. I can't think of any better way to respond to Republicans than obscenity.