Sunday, March 19, 2023

'The Con in Silicon' Funnies

Somehow, right-wingers were able to turn news of a bank failure (or two) into a conversation about “wokeness.”

As you’ve probably heard by now, a combination of too many treasury bonds, greedy bankers, dumb tech bros — and bipartisan legislation that weakened banking regulation — turned into a big scary bank failure that sent shockwaves through global financial markets.

The failure of Silicon Valley Bank can be explained by reviewing actual numbers and examining a paper trail of poor financial decisions made at SVB and in the halls of Congress.

Instead of talking about that, right-wing media and politicians are pointing the finger at Silicon Valley Bank’s supposedly excessive (and financially risky) wokeness.

If that makes no logical sense to you, don’t worry, it’s not supposed to. It’s just another example of Republicans trying to distract you from uncomfortable facts. Nothing more than another load of linguistic misdirection from the right.

Think of them like a deep sea anglerfish, only much uglier.

Watch Mark Fiore's animated video "Freedom-from-Woke Bank" here.

I was only a few years into my cartooning career at this point, and cannot overstate how appallingly one-sided the news coverage was during the buildup to the invasion. I didn't have cable at the time, so I watched a lot of NBC, which featured an endless parade of hawkish "experts." For those who've forgotten, or weren't old enough, Phil Donahue was a rare TV personality who dared to criticize the invasion. MSNBC fired him, citing low ratings -- even though his was the highest-rated show on the network.

memos surfaced that he was in fact canned because NBC execs considered him a "difficult public face for NBC in a time of war."

Last, from 1922: Origins of the Sunday Funnies.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Spring Forward into Madness Funnies

"March Madness" usually involves a loss of sleep.

Though he talks a good humanitarian game, President Joe Biden keeps cracking down on people fleeing danger and persecution in their home countries. One of the most galling examples of this is the recent requirement that people who are seeking asylum in the United States must first download the “CBP One” app to arrange an appointment at the border.

If you want a real-time window into the frustration and hopelessness of the situation, just check out some of the heartbreaking reviews of the app in Apple’s app store.

It’s been widely reported that the buggy app crashes regularly and — even though you’re required to take a short video selfie — for some reason the app has been having difficulty handling darker skin tones.

Let’s hope that’s a bug and not a feature of the app.

It’s absurd the United States is requiring people who have uprooted their families and may very well be fleeing past (and current) violence to download an app on a smartphone they may or may not have. (And be sure you have at least 178.6 megabytes of space free on your phone as you hike across the desert!)

While an app requirement may not seem like much, it sure appears like it’s intended to be nothing more than a new technological hurdle to avoid dealing with people who have a legal right to seek asylum.

Meanwhile, if you’re an “unaccompanied minor” who has made it into the US, there’s a very good chance you’ll be absorbed into a shadowy world of exploitative child labor.

Watch Mark Fiore's video, The Killer App, here.

Sunday, March 05, 2023

Black History Month Funnies

It’s possible for cis people to make pronoun jokes totally innocently – maybe they’re not very hooked into the current political culture, and they don’t realize that pronoun jokes have been weaponized by the right as a way of saying “fuck trans people.” But we should learn better, because whether or not we all realize it, these jokes have been weaponized and come off as deliberate disrespect.

And for many, it’s not so innocent. For right-wingers, pronoun jokes aren’t about being “cute or funny”; they’re a form of virtue signaling (for the peculiar form of contempt that right-wingers erroneously consider virtuous). A pronoun joke is a way they recognize each other. It’s a way of saying “I’m with you, I’m in the in-group, I hate all the same people you hate.”