Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hell In A Handbasket

Posted on Thu, May 18, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Hell In A Handbasket
Publishing House: Tarcher
Rated: NONE
WorkNameSort: Hell In A Handbasket
In an uncannily frank moment along the road to Iraq, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card explained the war's timing to a reporter as follows: 'From a marketing standpoint, you don't roll out a new product in August.â?� Say what one will about this approach to governing ' let alone war ' it offers comics a rich vein of material. In fact, the Bush administration's packaging of its policies is so elaborate and Strangelovean, a whole new type of comedy has developed around it ' the fake news show. While Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have taken the lead on television, Tom Tomorrow has been leading the charge with his weekly comic strip, This Modern World, which he has brought together in a collection titled Hell in a Handbasket.

The characters of the strip are Bush, Cheney, their cabinet and occasionally the Democrats ' none of whom is up to any good. Each week Tomorrow cleverly re-reports the most outlandish or alarming events, exploiting them for their comic potential. Occasionally, simply repeating the news is enough, like when the army expelled six Arabic translators because they were gay ' at a time when the U.S. sorely needed their expertise. Tomorrow knows there is only so much of this we can take before 'outrage fatigueâ?� sets in, so Hell in a Handbasket often veers toward outright silliness. In one panel, Saddam and Osama are characters in an action movie called Lethal Buddies, directed by George Bush. Another features Karl Rove suggesting the president man a mission to Mars, to which Bush replies: 'Can I wear a space suit?â?�


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