Category Archives: Frustration & Complaint

Heroic Lies and Other Black & White Untruths

Stanko & Tibor - Heroic Lies


Dateline: Mid-August, it's a heatwave and simultaneously election season. It's too much for a bear to soul.

Heroic Lies

As the thick, dare I say pasty fog of sleep cleared and I managed to roll out of bed, turn on my iPad and read with some amazement the latest Chump von Trump zinger about who’s really a hero (clearly not that sissy pants John McCain III), I started to understand a bit about universal truths and universal lies. You just can’t have one without the other.

I won’t get into the “death & taxes” universal truth argument because you can avoid paying taxes as long as you’re heavily disassociated from reality due to a pill or heroin addiction, have a crafty and crooked accountant who makes you look poor, or you have a printing press. Kind of like Greece pre-Euro crisis/national emasculation.

And what of death? Is it a universal truth? Or a universal lie? Is it all darkness? The big sleep? Or is it just a phase before we boogie on down to Hades for some eternal, unpleasant sun-bathing with only half a tube of Bain De Soleil SPF 4? To be honest, I am not too keen to find out personally, given my genetically built-in fear of it, and the fact that I am a bigger sissy than John McCain or that delicately prune-like Herr Hair von Trump.

Infallibly Fallible

Having coincidentally thought long and hard (maybe 15 seconds or so) about the lying as a coping mechanism and the infallibly fallible politicians we have to choose from in democracies when election time rolls around, I have decided to use my web-based bully pulpit to give this installment of the comic that now is down to a readership of three — one of whom is heavily medicated to prevent unintended and unscheduled naked jaunts through the park again, and the other two, conjoined twins battling fiercely over gets to wear the sole part of pants they own before head off for a job interview as a WalMart greeter — a message!

It is universally true that politicians will lie any chance they can get. They can’t help it. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t vote for them. No one really wants to hear the truth anyway. So deal with it. We get lied to all the time by people in power. It’s the basis for a functioning political system and the accompanying bribery machine that makes it all work so smoothly.

Let’s be honest about lying for a moment. We non-politicians aren’t a whole lot better. We lie every minute of every day. We lie to our lovers (‘Of course I’ll leave my wife for you’), our spouses (just ask the members of Ashley Madison), our bosses (‘Oh it wasn’t me. Frank in Accounting must have screwed up the TPS reports. I heard he’s off the wagon again’), our children (‘Of course you’re as smart and pretty as your sister’), our religious mentors (‘I have no idea who peed in the holy water, Father Mike’), and especially to cruel dentists when they ask if we floss regularly. Of course, I do.

Donald The Don

Well, maybe not everyone lies. Maybe that walking piece of chum Trump is telling it like it is. Maybe all Mexicans are drug lords and/or criminals, John McCain isn’t really a hero and all of the women on The Apprentice flirted with him – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected. Could it be that Donald, future ruler of the world, has stripped away the veil of lies to tell it like it is?

More likely his hair dye has pickled his brain.

Lovingly exhausted,

Ombudsman Druker of the 3rd Precinct

Your Guide to True Crimes, True Idiots

Stanko & Tibor - Crimes & Idiots Galore


True Crimes

Driving home this evening in my creaky, achy minivan, trying not to notice the criminally exorbitant price of gasoline in my fair city, I heard on the radio that the national bureau of statistics had calculated that the rate of violent crimes in the country had dropped to its lowest point since 1991. Well, I thought, that is a pretty good sign of a society that is not totally going into the porcelain crap collector.

Yet that was followed by a more sobering fact that non-violent crimes had indeed increased in number and frequency, and showed a mild yet consistent trend upward. What made the report truly interesting and surreal was something I hadn’t really considered as a crime statistic before.

A Little Extra Death

Let’s differentiate between non-violent crimes, such as fraud, property damage, identity theft, excessive fruit fondling, and the violent ones, like breaking-and-entering (which sounds vaguely sexual), robbery, Pope-pestering, rabbi-rousing, wearing a pink polo shirt with checkered slacks, manslaughter, murder and pet-kicking.

But we now we have a new category of crimes being counted: terrorism. Just think, blowing up people and places is considered a crime that’s counted among the stats now. When I was growing up writing your name in pee in the snow was considered a violent act. Especially if you misspelled your name or only used lower case letters. Now it’s the ideologically-driven, indiscriminate murder of civilians that police have to count. Like they don’t have enough paperwork to do and African-Americans to physically abuse, now they have to deal with terrorists when they file a report.

Etymology and Cheap Segues

Interestingly, the etymology of the word idiot is Greek: idiōtēs (“person lacking professional skill”, “a private citizen”, “individual” – if that last descriptor is true, then we’re all idiots. Seems about right).

More critical to this fractured, late-night rambling, I thank the literary gods for that etymological deus-ex-machina because I had no clue how I could segue in the next paragraph from crime to the Greek tragedy occurring in Europe, and the subject of this inane comic some of you read when questioning whether you want to continue living or not. (Coincidentally, in a recent Reuters poll it was revealed that the expressed desire to commit suicide and/or vomit after reading my blog/comic has stayed steady between 99-100% among my loyal readers.)

Actually, come to think of it, now that my sugar levels are spiking, if we are speaking of true crimes and true idiots, Greece’s inhabitants and especially its politicians, and most of Europe fall under those descriptors.

Corruption Matched Only By Idiocy

Marvelling at the complicated corruption and financial extortion and ineptitude that is Europe and a bankrupt Greece, one has to wonder who is the bigger idiot, Greece or Germany, the bankroller of the EU.

If we had to define Greek attitudes toward paying taxes, acceptance of bribery monies, nepotism and backroom deals, we could generalize and say they wilfully and knowingly committed fiscal self-fornication for many a decade. When they entered the Euro Zone, they now had a rich Onkel to bail them out.

So when the proverbial περιττώματα hit the fan, some German banking sucker would fork over some cash at exorbitant and usurious rates figuring Greece was good for the dough. Little did those fat, corrupt German bankers know that the Greek skill and penchant for pissing away the money of others was comparable to that of drunkard on heavy diuretics at an ouzo factory. (Btw – I love hurtful national stereotypes. They make writing this crap much easier.)

Simple, Idiotic Answers to Complex Questions

Now that we have all watched this criminal Greek tragedy while Iran was negotiating a sweet deal to continue funding terrorism and simultaneously build a nuclear bomb pretty much unfettered, a simple yet moronic solution presents itself in this episode of the comic once referred to by Pope Francis as “the devil’s dung.”

Bomb everything, pave it over and put up a Wal-Mart. Violent, arbitrary, Neanderthilic and a wholly unnecessary overreaction? Sure. But so are Fox News and shopping at Wal-Mart on a Saturday.

No, I say we follow the simple, direct, armed approach. It has specific, measurable and attainable goals, as was taught to me in management classes. Which I mostly faked my way through as I was playing with my phone.

Everlastingly exhausted and mentally dull,

Alexis Nikos Druker

The Pause That Refreshes

Stanko & Tibor - Pause From Reality


A PAUSE REFRESHES. SOMETIMES.

Contrary to what most of you think, I have not published anything in months because I was in “pause mode” – which sadly doesn’t mean vacation. I was working darn hard at my job. A job that has me traveling far more than I imagined. So the enforced pause from the world of cartooning, blogging, and as some call it “spewing out crap onto the Internet” has slowed my output of witty observations, crooked drawings and sometimes hurtful commentary.

Did the pause refresh me, recharge my will to cartoon and blog? Did this enforced creative hiatus do wonders for the material I have lined up for future episodes of this crudely crafted comic? Not really. I’m still sleepy and I have gained weight from eating hotel food and indulging in vats, heaps, bushels of chocolate when I was anywhere within spitting distance of a vending machine or airport lounge. But that isn’t such a bad thing because what I saw while traveling the globe, and stopping to eat chocolate bars, made me realize many things about humanity, inhumanity and chocolate.

Cheaper By The Billion

Like the absurdity of repeatedly cleaning the gunk out from between my toes –deemed by international podiatrists as a proper measure of good foot hygiene and a sign of latent pathological fetishes– I saw many absurdities in my most recent travels. Each time I was in a cab stopped at a light (rare in Mumbai – traffic rules are the mere notions of a fevered, frustrated motor vehicle bureaucrat), or driving on somewhere elevated to avoid a local flood due to the passing monsoon, or to swerve violently around a dead animal or injured beggar, I had time to pause and think about what passes for humanity.

One key theme repeated itself as I went east: Life is pretty cheap. That isn’t meant to say human life isn’t important in Asia. Not at all. It’s just as important there as it is here. Seeing how we treat each other, and more importantly, the declining quality of baked goods that use oils and carob to substitute for butter and chocolate, everything and everyone on this planet is a commodity, especially when you’ve got millions and billions of them (or it).

My theory of cheap life is economic in nature. With well over one billion people in India, and China having its 1.5 billion and another half a billion or so scattered in and around the region, when a monsoon, earth quake, volcanic eruption,  maniacal dictator or just a plain old, run-of-the-mill plague comes along, suddenly you’re down a million humans or so. No one bats an eyelash except maybe the media, unless it interferes with the cricket/soccer scores. Someone else will aways come along and fill in the void. When you pause for a moment, especially when you’re trapped in a taxi in a colossal traffic jam, the source of which is most likely someone being stupid enough to cross the road assuming drivers will actually stop, you realize that makes life pretty cheap.

Gay Marriage – The Pause That Refreshes

You know what isn’t cheap? Divorce. Once the Supreme Court of the USA decided to make same-sex marriage legal, that country had to take a pause. Some hugged, some recoiled, some wept, and some rejoiced. A small but I am sure influential group triple rejoiced: Divorce lawyers.

I bet divorce layers across the 50 states of the USA took a moment to reflect, to pause, to opine, to ruminate over the implication that gay marriage, now finally legal, would be the impetus for many costly, prolonged, anger-soaked legal proceedings that will fill the courts and subsequently the coffers of many in the family law community.  Many a golf club membership or over-priced Autobahn-cruising, German luxo-barges –mit Leder– will now be funded due to the legalization of gay marriage in the USA. What horrible sitcom will arise from this that we haven’t thought of yet?

In actuality, the moronic, semi-sentient, troglodytic judges of the Supreme Court got the decision all wrong. They shouldn’t have legalized gay marriage. Sheer and utter foolishness. They should have made marriage, civil, religious or underwater, altogether illegal. Gay or straight. Or hermaphrodite. Your sexual preference shouldn’t determine whether you can marry or not. Marriage should be outlawed. For several shallow yet meaningful reasons (so I can beat a dead horse while I wait for my coffee to steep in the French press).

  1. It would eviscerate the profession of divorce lawyering thus forcing them to get real jobs like a McDonald’s burger-flipper or Walmart greeter. They could be replaced by ice hockey referees who make split second decisions, and are unionized, wear helmets and have blades on their feet so they are less likely to allow fights to linger.
  2. It would virtually eliminate the so called profession of wedding planner. Has anyone ever met a wedding planner they liked? That didn’t overcharge them for something a software program or an iPad app could effectively do for a fraction of the price?
  3. When was the last time you were at a wedding where the wedding cake tasted half as good as it looked? Never, that’s when. Sure, the hors d’oeuvres are tasty, and if it’s an open bar, a wedding can be fun. But wedding cake? The gross overuse of “fondant”, the dearth of real cocoa in the chocolate icing, the millimeter-thin layer of marzipan between the layers of sponge cake. It’s a sham. The wedding cake is the the triple-decker tower of sugary false promise that inevitably is given to the janitor or taxi driver hanging around at the end of the night looking for freebies. Was there ever a greater confectionary deception than the wedding cake?

Conclusions and Naps

So what are you, the reader of this absurdist rant, this fantastical (hey, that rhymes with ‘testicle’) work of art going to take away from this instalment of the irregular periodical visually chronicling the foibles of humans, and its author/creator? Will you pause, for a moment, before hitting the delete key in anger, index finger cocked and ready, and think about what I have said here? Or will you take a vacation hoping that when you come back, I will have come up with something about the financial Greek tragedy that’s the subject for the next comic? Or will you take a nap and wake up refreshed?

Don’t bet on it.

May you never step in elephant droppings,
Mentally Malicious Mogul Druker of Maharashtra

Permissiveness, Marriage and Aliens – It’s Obvious

Stanko & Tibor: Permissiveness Is Badness


Societal Permissiveness

I was watching the American news the other day. In between the earthquake in Nepal, the regular horrors in the Middle East, the Apple Watch, the beginning of spring and another stupid cat story, there was a vitriol-filled discussion in those states allegedly united and free, about gay marriage. And the right to ban it or allow it, or something with colourful cut flowers. I wasn’t paying attention too closely. All I do specifically remember was a gentleman with deep religious convictions and nigh-on perfect, bulletproof hair complaining about “cultural and societal permissiveness” and then some sausage commercial came on and I got a hankering for products high in salt and fat.

After the commercial ended, and I had time to think about the effects of religion and marriage, it was clear to me that I had discovered something very fundamental about the human race, across the entire earth and pretty much at any point in history. Using the trident-like prongs of logic, caffeine and a genetic code damaged by being left near the microwave as a child, I finally made the connection that neither science, nor religion, nor even Hollywood has dared to utter.

When humanity and organized society were in their infancy, we were exposed to, and most likely colonized by, a bunch of interstellar, gay, cross-dressing and/or transgender space aliens. I swear it’s true.

Facts

Before any of you readers who aren’t incarcerated call the cops on me or have me then hauled away by the men from the loony asylum, hear me out. But first down a jigger of gin or smoke some medical marijuana, or delve deeply into your arsenal of mood-altering medications, as it will make this highly rational and scientifically shaky justification that much more plausible.

Let me start with some facts. How many religions are there on the planet, both dead and living, that don’t or didn’t have major religious figures who were or are wearing something akin to a dress and with a lot of makeup? Let’s examine the facts, shall we?

The ancient Egyptians priests? A fashion show on the Nile. Buddhist monks and high priests? Flowing robes, dainty ankles, very bright colors and a hint of catwalk excess. Japanese royalty? Please, if that society wasn’t influenced by a bunch of marauding space alien fashionistas, I’ll eat my sushi roll cooked. Let’s not forget the Pope and his cassock. Somewhere in the Vatican there is a cabal of secret, hip-swishing Catholics with a taste for dress-making and gender-bending we really haven’t begun to comprehend. I certainly haven’t, and I am the one who came with this stupid idea.

We won’t even go down the path of other major and minor religions and societies.We certainly do not have to delve into the French wigs and heels to know the fashion-forward space aliens ran the French court back in the 16th century.  I could go on for hours about the Brits, but really, just watch Little Britain and you’ll know that’s where the alien cross-dressing colony finally set down permanent roots.

Why the dress-up? Well, it is clear that alien designers, seamsters and seamstresses found it much easier to make a flowing dress than to go with a tailored 3-piece suit or a pair tapered slacks and sports jacket. There’s no fiddly inseam to worry about, and who needs a zipper? Heck, look at the Scots? Practical kilts have held up for centuries, perfect for keeping warm and for molesting unsuspecting sheep right in the Highlands, as it were. But I digress.

Getting Ugly

Am I trying to make this an ugly argument? Not at all. It’s just that these otherworldly fashionistas have been with us for so long, since cavemen days no doubt, that’s it’s pretty much a fact not worth fretting over. Yelling, screaming, protests, banners, vitriol. What for? Gay marriage? So what. Let them marry and suffer the indignities and cruelty of monogamy and forgetting your significant other’s birthday, and the subsequent hell there is to pay for said memorial omission. Let’s not forget permitting them to share the wallet-busting and infuriation of wedding planners. And figuring out what to serve at the dessert table and the f—ing font on the invitations. Enjoy!

Legal Aliens

Perhaps more chilling than this fact-laden argument I just presented is that no one in honest society is willing to admit is how the concept of marriage came about. The history behind it murky and twisted, but the aliens are behind it. Trust me.

Another race of interstellar, booty-seeking, rape-and-pillaging professional pirates came along after the cross-dressing spacemen had outfitted and tarted up our ancestors. Their race is ancient and fraught with strange languages and customs. It is insular and aggressive. They profit from the ills of humankind. Their name is whispered in night time stories to scare children to sleep. They are called “Lawyers.”

This second wave of spacemen used their superior powers of linguistic manipulation to convince us that pairing up under the guise of a religious or civil official (and buying a house and getting a mortgage) was key for societal cohesion and stability. But when the feces hit the fan, we now had to use their services to permanently solve marital distress — at $350 an hour, including $26.00 for a stamp to mail that subpoena.

Where do you think the term “legal alien” came from? They somehow convinced a jury of their “peers” that O.J. didn’t do it. They have special mental powers of obfuscation.

In Summation

How does this clearly constructed set of arguments and facts related in any way shape or form to the comic above, that was cited in a recent edition of The Farmers’ Almanac as “only being useful for wiping out cow stalls and chicken droppings?” Give me a minute here while I pull something out of my derriere.

Ah, got it.

The universe is a strange place. Each has his or her own view of it, and everyone thinks they are right. They believe they are right, otherwise life would turn into a doubt-filled free-for-all like at Costco on a Saturday when you’re unsure whether to buy the 8kg block of cheese or the palette of condoms that’s on sale. We all have things we see as right and wrong. As sacred and profane. And in the end it doesn’t matter, because a) as my history teacher once said “I respect your opinion, but it is wrong” and b) the lawyers will win anyway because they made killing illegal.

Incapably yours,

3rd assistant to the Prelate of the Believers in Nothing, Jonny Dribbler

 

Meat-A-Mucil: The Ailment for What Cures You

Meat-A-Mucil: The Ailment for what cures you


Magical Cures

Watching international darts the other night while I procrastinated heavily with regards to my other work (taxes, filing, laundry, child-harassing, dish washer-filling), I was amazed and mesmerized at how Chisnell skillfully and deftly defeated Whitlock in a duel between overweight, sweaty, tattooed, proletariat, brush-cut, high functioning alcoholic, white males in the O2 arena in Dublin, Ireland. The call of “One hundred and eighty” (three treble 20’s for the uninitiated) rang out repeatedly throw after throw, as litres, gallons, pints, and no doubt kegs of beer were inhaled by the dart tossers. More amazingly, thousands upon thousands of people, all –including children– under the influence of vats of booze, with pickled livers, and at best possessing double-digit IQs had piled into an arena to watch what the commentators called “true sport.” All I could think was this fermented yeast bread-and-circuses diversion cures the daily misery that is the life of those who are dart-obsessed.

I won’t get into the slippery slope of an argument about darts being ‘sport’ any more than poker is, but for reasons unbeknownst to me, they are both are frequently broadcast on sports channels across the globe. How competitive knitting hasn’t made it on to the roster of programming still eludes me.

Ever More Slippery Slope

How did we get from the topic of darts to the idea of “Meat-A-Mucil”? Well, truth be told, it’s an idea I borrowed from my friend Lars, who will no doubt sue me at some point for mentioning his name, or more likely for having electronically acknowledged our friendship in a public forum that no one reads, except for the mentally ill, the socially outcast and the genetically corrupt. But I digress.

As I was watching the aforementioned dart spectacle, there was a commercial for yet another miracle cream that will make your joints healthy, free you of pain instantly, give you a longer life, make you handsomer, taller, etc. As always it was pitched by some guy who claims to be a doctor, but looks like he was recently released from medium security prison for something akin to selling stolen goods. Trustworthy he was not, but people seeking a cure for anything, be it baldness, bladder control, belligerence, or birthmarks shaped like a South Pacific atoll, will give into the pain and lay out cash for something of dubious origin usually in a tube. Heck, if some company made a tube of Oreos or my mother’s lemon squares, and its side effects included instantaneous human combustion, I’d lay out cash for a tube now.

New Products

With that millimeter-deep thought in mind, I thought that the world could use a new kind of product to counter all the bad press vexatious vegans and vile vegetarians give meat-eaters. Hence Meat-A-Mucil. Sounds vile? Sure it does. But so does “processed cheese spread” and that stuff sells by the boatload among people with broken tastebuds and 22 chromosomes. Look, meat-eaters can’t help themselves. Their incisors need honing and chewing on a steak bone, or a bacon cheeseburger, or an ostrich steak with fries. And maybe a little cheese cake as chaser. It has been clinically proven in a remote lab with little or no peer review, or actual scientific equipment, that carnivorous activity answers a need as primordial and ancient as watching TV to avoid talking to your spouse.

Sure, carnivores could rationally give up ingesting huge quantities of flesh-based protein in an effort to save their bowels, or maybe reduce the effects of run-off from industrial cow factories. Or to impress that free-loving vegetarian honey with low standards. But why start now? I’d have to write about something else.

It’s late and I am cranky.

Heretically yours,

The Swami of Salami, the Guru of Goulash, the Maven of Meat

The Internet Of Things Will Kill Us

Internet Of Things and Sex Toys


The Internet Of Things Strikes Again

I think it was a frigid Tuesday, the temperature ricocheting around between -18ºC and -25ºC (mind-numbingly cold even in Fahrenheit), the ice and snow pelting me by the evil, arctic winds it was carried upon, when someone asked me how I felt. Truth be told, I felt old. Old and creaky. Like a wooden chair, all finely carved and poorly assembled, and somewhat squeaky. And when weight is applied in any measure, quite creaky and a little unstable. This led me to think, ‘how should we really calculate our age?”

I am sure there is some Internet site that can tell me my age just by the shows I watch. Or by the expressions I use. Or by my fondness for sugary, mass produced confectionaries that were banned after the Vietnam war, yet appear regularly in my supermarket with misleading nutritional information (like 3 essential vitamins and minerals). But it can’t tell me how old I feel.

You see, while there are brilliant algorithms to determine much of what life is, how we will behave, what shoes we’ll buy, how we will not clean our toe nail clippers properly before giving them to our loved ones, etc., I don’t think those crafty mathematicians and scientists have come up with a method to determine the age you actually feel. That particular day, with the remnants of kidney stones tearing their way through my lower innards and an achy back from exerting myself too much on the ski hill, I certainly felt older than my current age would dictate.

My Smart House

If the Internet Of Things came to my house, and made my low IQ house even a little “smart” as the great minds of today promise it will, it could detect what kind of mood I am in, or how much pain I am working through after having schlepped the laundry upstairs while trying to balance an iPad, a glass of water and maybe some dry, sugary cereal I claim as my dessert. All the sensors would talk to each other, scan me, record and break down the decibels of my grunts and frequency of my “oys”, cobble together some kind of mathematcial result and spit a response on a screen with a synthetic yet soothing female voice saying “Mr. Druker, after deep data analysis and excruciating calculations our sensors and flawless programming believe that you should really update your will in the next hour because the statistical likelihood of you making it down the stairs without smashing your head is 0.0002%.”

My Internet-enabled house would begin to offer me a cane when I try to get off the toilet or have 9-1-1 on speed dial just in case I can’t open my various and sundry pill bottles and wind up losing my temper in a fit of rage. Again. It would probably have a flashing sign out front saying “Old fart lives here.”

Do the Math

Still that wouldn’t answer my question of how old I feel. To be honest, there is a simple way to calculate age that has nothing to do with what’s printed on your birth certificate or driver’s license. Currently, I have the  kidneys of a 70-year old boxer who has taken more than body blow. Add to that the knees of someone who has skied recklessly for decades, so let’s put those joints at 86 years of age. Bowels and the digestive system are well into the 60’s if you count the frequency of antacid pills I have begun to take with every coffee or remotely spicy food (say goodbye to Tabasco). The excess of body hair in places where it shouldn’t be, and the desert-like dearth of where body hair should be would indicate my telomeres and other assorted genetic material have begun unwinding like poorly tied French braids, or a cheap shoe lace with a crappy aglet. Let’s say that puts my general physique at 67 going on 90.

However, we have forgotten to account for my near OCD fondness for cartoons, comics, just about anything animated and detached from reality, which would put my viewing tastes at 11 years of age. Add to that my fondness for fart jokes and other sophomoric toilet humor and maybe I have the maturity level of a 14 year old boy just as his voice is cracking. Cap that off with my industrial-sized addiction to sugary foods and keen eye for the crappiest cereal in the breakfast aisle at the supermarket, and my dietary direction is that of a 13 year old.

If we also account for solar flares, the gravitational pull of various back holes, and my dangerous exposure to lead-based paints my parents painted my toys with when I was but an infant to see if I would turn out “low normal” then we could reasonably conclude that I am in 40’s.

But Sex Toys?

So what does any of this have to do with comic that has sunk a thousand ships and let to the creation of various moral bodies dedicated to condemning me on the Internet and radio shows? In frame 4 there is mention of some sex toys. It’s there for shock value and I wanted to work it into the story line because I am sleep deprived. It also got me to thinking, if EVERYTHING becomes a smart device, and is Internet-enabled with sensors and chips, that means no one can trust anything, not even their sex toys. You’ll need to worry if they have been talking to each other about your, uh, habits. No more privacy. Even your sex toys know how awful you are — and worse, they’ll talk to each other about how frequently you use them (you filthy pervert) and with whom, and why insufficient use of alcohol wipes is still an issue.

Well, on that note, let’s try and relax, go to sleep knowing that iPad or smart thingy next to you probably knows more about you than your significant other. Chances are your play with it more often that your significant other too. You all make me sick.

Exuberantly achy and parsimonious in handing out wisdom,

White Plum Asanga, Buddhist Rebel Druker

Je Suis Charlie – But Of Course

Je Suis Charlie
Je Suis Charlie – Click to enlarge

Je Suis Charlie

After this week’s gut-wrenching attacks in Paris, we all had to take a moment and reflect. So many issues, so much pain. Of course —  I’ll keep lampooning anything I see fit. It’s the least I can do.

Faithfully yours

Jon Charlie Druker

Holiday Laziness and The Internet Of Things

Stanko & Tibor: Holidays and The Internet of Things


Dateline December 26th, perilously close the freezing toilet, 
despite temperatures upsettingly close to global warming theoretical models

Internet of Things = Holiday Laziness

So if you dared to read the previous previous episode of this epistemological equivalent of recycled toilet paper from a Third World Communist-era country with high dysentery, you know full well that my thoughts of winter and cold led me to explain to you the prevalence of technology, our addiction to it, the impending tsunami of the Internet of Things. And, if you read between the lines, you know I’m not a very good hair stylist or theoretical physicist. But you really had to be paying attention for that one.

So as you can see, the holiday spirit has made me lazy too and I crapped out and came up with this easy to make and even easier to read episode of the comic that should be banned by authorities. But that has given me time to spend with my kids, my family and most importantly, myself. Mostly unconscious and on a couch, warmly cuddling my iPad like the child I always wanted. (It has an off switch. Just saying.)

So with the holiday season in full swing, and ever more ways for the marketers who control the Internet of Things to tell us what to buy, and why we need it, and subsequent ads custom tailored to trigger our deepest, darkest, most perverted desires and convert them into purchases, we have not only become grand and gross consumers, but lazy ones as well. One click, and it’s purchased and delivered to you by a human, a drone, or a drone human. This my friends, my Romans, my fellow slack-jawed readers is progress! (By the way, I got new ski boots, thus satisfying a four year desire/need that ranks close to food and sex.)

Not Progress

However, in this age of ease, laziness and three-toed sloth, technology has brought some dangerously unintended consequences, and I’m not talking about North Korea and China hacking my Twitter feed so that I am accused of calling the President of the United States a “running dog lackey of the cesspool of narco-porno-terrorism” — again. I am, however, talking about the technological scourge of our visual world known as High Definition TV, and the even more perilous and insidious 4K TV. That’s right, I said it, ultra-high definition TV is a bad thing because it allows us viewers to see the world as it is, and not as how it could be with gauze sheathed glasses.

Why such a scourge you ask? (Actually, since no one reads this comic/rant, no one sane is really asking. I am really the one asking. Besides most of my unwilling readers are actually bound and restrained, like Hannibal Lecter.)   Well, there are certain combinations that shouldn’t occur in nature, and one of them is pornography and high-definition TV. I know the imprisoned among you think this would be a good thing, but why would you want to see all those appendages, scars, tattoos, entry and exit points in such graphic detail? Don’t you have a hard enough time looking at yourself in the mirror in the morning, up close, to know that humans look pretty damn hideous in detail?

Not The Face and Definitely Not the Logic

Let’s skip the sexual appendages and areas for a minute and concentrate on the human face. Unless layers of makeup are applied, hairs are plucked just so, sleep has been had in adequate time increments, the lighting is just right, and the alcoholic content of the wine you guzzled is just short of jet fuel, it turns out that human faces aren’t as nice as we think they are. In fact, the human brain adapts to survive by deceiving itself so we believe that perfect he or she across the room is beautiful. Our brains shield us from the reality of the crooked nose, the pitted skin, the greasy patina on the nose, the uneven eye placement, the gummy smile, even the thin lips so we don’t have to deal with the reality that 4K and HD TV grant us.

So, if we logically extrapolate this hideous face architecture coupled with our inherent brain deception, and drop a couple of quadrants to the human private parts, and now think of those “bits” in super-mega-quintuple high-definition, not counting the aforementioned tattoos and scars, why the hell would you want to see “the piston scene” in ultra-high definition? Porn stars really aren’t that good-looking, because if they were they’d be in Hollywood.

Technology has given us too much, I say. I really don’t want to see a monkey’s hairy butt in that much detail, so why would I want to see a woman’s woo-hoo being invaded like Poland by some guy’s obscenely large wing-wang (yes, I always feel inferior) with a mind-boggling, vomit-inducing detail revealing “things” the human mind makes a dedicated effort to conceal, smudge, gloss over and otherwise make palatable through neural deception? We need the gauzy filters and lighting effects. We need special effects and makeup artists and regular definition TV so as not to see the high definition horrors of low production values that could lead to procreation. The logic of visual hyper-reality has no place in the bedrooms of the nation or the porno sets of Hollywood, Prague and Tokyo.

It almost makes me want to give up gettin’ funky with my significant other. That would be incomprehensible.

Incomprehensible Logic

Which brings me to the next thing beyond comprehension. Child-rearing. You see, my thoughts of the cold snow and ice reminded me that my car needs to have its winter tires put on, and thus I realized I would be sliding, swerving and slipping sideways and forward to my destination hoping I don’t crash and/or incur more costs or penalties. Traction control be damned, it is dicey out there.

Just like parenting. If I may use an automotive analogy (translation: this author is not a deep thinker), your offspring are kind of like an adrenaline junkie lead-footed driver in a car with bald tires, while you, the stupid, impetuous parents, are like stability and traction control, airbags and anti-lock brakes, doing everything you can to prevent or at least reduce the likelihood of massive fish-tailing, skidding, crashing, hydroplaning, uncontrolled sliding, rollovers and unintended off-road misadventures with drug-addled, tattooed people of the opposite or same-sex.

Your job, quite simply, is to get your children — legitimate, illegitimate, adopted or kidnapped, natural birth or from a test tube or as otherwise defined by the law and social conventions — to their destinations in life, somewhat safe and sound with as few scratches, replacement parts as possible, no blown gaskets, and most of their critical fluids intact.

Leaky Fluids

Sure, there will be episodes where “fluids” will leak, the airbags will figuratively deploy and the dashboard warning lights will light up the instrument pinnacle like a baboons behind in heat (usually after the child has experimented with acid in said parents’ basement, or gotten a tattoo with the name “Midge” in an all too prominent place). But what would a journey be if it didn’t include inclement weather, roadside assistance, more than a few blind curves, pot holes and running up on the sidewalk of life?

The biggest problem isn’t even so much keeping your kid on the road to adulthood despite the likelihood of he or she winding up in jail for public nudity. Rather, it’s that you as the equivalent of the automotive safety net also need to be a mechanic. As we know many are crooked, few are competent and most are high on paint and gasoline fumes. Which isn’t such an awful thing, it just makes social engagements and job interviews more difficult to complete without graphic profanity and dropping your pants for sheer shock effect (dad).

Being poor mechanics on top of being a safety net means we often cheap out on maintenance and replacement parts to ensure we have some profit margin to be able to save for retirement. The result usually is parenting that involves quick fixes (e.g. “go ask your mother, I’m watching cartoons”) or psycho- and electro-convulsive therapy.

Last and Least

Penultimately, your offspring, as represented by the vehicle in this story, slows down, wears itself out, kills the battery every so often, gets into an accident or gets a flat tire, and sometimes admits maybe a paint job is a good way to hide the damage. (Unless of course, said vehicle and driver are turning 50, have a collective midlife crisis, get a paint job and fender extensions, and modified parts, and then leave home to have an affair with another “dealer” so to speak.) But I digress.

Ultimately for the parent, you want to steer the vehicle and its occupants so that at some foolish point they can err fatally, not use birth control and then wind up being the safety net/mechanic to their own (un)planned adrenaline junkie lead-footed driver in a car with bald tires.

So it is with these random words, these unstructured, tangentially and loosely linked thoughts, these bumper car-like mental occurrences translated into key strokes that I bid you, the mentally degenerate readers of this chronicle a happy holiday season. Spend some time with the ones you love, or if you can’t do that because of the restraining order, buy more crap as a means to short-term happiness and self-fulfillment. It does work, I know from experience.

Subtly stubbly and monkeyishly hairy,

Guido the Christmas Mechanic

The Mangling & The Battle of Kidney Stone Ridge


20141104_BearUnion


Inappropriate Pain

I recently described to a friend in a text message that my most recent battle with my kidney stones was something akin to the German army marching on Poland, except in this case, the march of destruction trampled barely impeded though Gonad City, followed by the laying waste of Urethraville. Safe to say there was much teeth gnashing and tear shedding, but the survivors are all that much stronger for it. Or mildly addicted to Dilaudid. The jury is still out on that one.

After suffering through what I could only describe as an extended period of painful living punctuated by involuntary spasms when a blade-like stone decided to slash its way a millimeter or so down the canal, it dawned on me that comparing the passage of my kidney stones to a WWII nightmare was a bit callous. Then again, I am one of – if not two of – the worst people I know. Such a reckless use of language is certainly a sign of splintered chromosomes and missing moral centrality. Or, again, the aforementioned mild addiction to Dilaudid.

So to survive the battle of Kidney Stone Ridge, I was forced to consume vats of water, juice, coffee and soup. This gave me time to stop and think, due to peeing frequently, which led to some reading of car magazines while dashing to or hanging around the commode.

Painful Realizations

One particular passing was rather eventful as the pain killers hadn’t kicked in yet. After clenching the door frame in the bathroom as a method of pain transference, I came to realize that there may well be sufficient words in the English vocabulary to describe my levels of pain and discomfort, not to mention the frequent body twitching these stones cause, but I don’t possess them. I do possess Ninja-like skills in the application of the F-word since this whole episode started.

Since expressing myself would bore the crap out of all of you, I’ll just tell you what other realizations I came to while doing some bathroom reading and peeing.

First of all, the history of automobile marketing says a lot about what an impatient society we have become. Back in the 1920’s and 30’s cars had really long names, like the Bugatti Type 57 S Atlantique, or the Talbot-Lago Drophead Coupe Elegance, or the Alfa Romeo Stradale Tipo 33. They were full, long, elegant names that required a degree to read. Or glasses. They sounded like expensive meals with appetizers. Either way, it’s clear a long name meant prestige. However, along the way, car model names began to shorten. The Cadillac Eldorado, the Ford Granada, the Honda Civic, the VW Golf. It seems shorter was better for marketing, I’m guessing because we had become too impatient to read.

After that, some genius, a German I think, decided it was way easier for the rich and powerful to just use alpha-numeric names. A6, G35, F12 and so on. Or the 3-letter acronyms are popular, like TSX, GTI and GLK. It seems we have so little attention span and such an inability to express ourselves with actual words, we have resorted to calling our creations by the shortest names possible. Does this connote prestige and mystery? Or is it way cheaper because you use less ink on the expensive glossy brochures?

I wonder if we’ll start naming things based on the fewest number of syllables, like laundry detergent. You know, Tide, Gain, Cheer, etc. Or will it just be reduced to naming products with grunts. Maybe the GMC Grunt. The Cadillac Oy. The BMW Nein. The Ford Qué? The Nissan D’oh. The Dodge Feh. The Volvo Snø. The single syllable possibilities are virtually endless. Any idiot could market a car. Like me.

The Mangling Continues

However, this wave of abbreviations is nothing like the language mangling I hear at work every day. How many times have I heard about being “on the bleeding edge” of technology. Sure, the aeronautically derived “being on the leading edge” wasn’t good enough. No, we had to be on the bleeding edge to show just how far we are at the forefront of whatever. Blood loss and leakage means progress, it seems.

Topping the bleeding is the other linguistic train wreck that I hear daily. Describing a concept that is not completely worked out in detail, the resulting action is to “flush things out.” No, not “flesh out” but flush out. I could recommend a session at the proctologist office to complete  this flushing, but I can’t see how that would really make a person work out the details of a concept. It would make you all weak and dizzy I think. And why are we flushing things out anyway? Aren’t the literal and metaphorical toilets of our lives already clogged with enough refuse and excretions that we now have to add this? I think we should do less flushing and more fleshing. Or eating flesh.

Which is nothing compared to the wonderfully mangled “see what’s coming down the pipe”, to refer to future occurrences. The proper expression is “coming down the pike” (short for “trunpike, a highway of sorts). When I hear people say that — educated people, no less — all I can do is think to myself “You know what comes down my pipe? Well it ain’t those damn kidney stones, I’ll tell ya!”

I’m not here to list the millions of malapropisms people say. That will be a different episode and my uncle has a list longer than his hairy arm. It’s really all about a cheap idea to steal from someone way more literate than I could ever be, apply a dash of twisted humor, and then beg you readers to not report me to the authorities.

What does this pain-racked rant have to do with this installment of Stanko & Tibor, once described by Aung San Suu Kyi as “a reason to abandon pacifism in favor of taking up arms with a fully loaded Uzi” and by the Pope as “indisputable proof the Devil exists”? Well, if you are too thick to get the blatant Shakespeare rip-off in the comic, then maybe you should do us all a favor and “shuffle off your mortal coil” — or is that “shuttle off your mortal boil?”

I can never get that right.

Achingly handsome in very poorly lit rooms,

Jon von Jon

The Devil’s Food

The Devi'ls Food


 

Devil Wins Latest Round

Dear Readers of chronically incorrect and incorrectly chronicled,

Some two long weeks ago, I read the latest article about genetically modified organisms (GMO) that claimed they are definitely safe. Tested, tried, true and having no effect on us humans. Of course there are those who stridently oppose this fact, saying these GMOs are the devil incarnate and creations of mad, money hungry mega-corporations, out to find yet another way to make a buck off buckwheat, barley and most likely the junk food I so religiously eat largely because I am so horribly addicted to the mega-refined sugar that tickles my taste buds and singes my synapses with each bite.

Which Side Are You On, Boy?

So if you’re asking me which side of the divide do I fall on, either the anti-GMO, firmly-entrenched-with-spikes camp, bearing teeth, fangs, gums and dyspepsia, or the pro-GMO, white-lab-coat-wearing, intellectually-superior-finger-waving science types, the answer is I don’t care. Not because I don’t want to. I do, I really do. Oddly, my not-caring is NOT the result — as many of you dissenters suggest on public forums and on placards left on my front lawn — of sugary foods, deliciously smoked pork products, or excessive butter intake.

My apathy (or devil-may-care attitude) toward making an informed choice on the GMO matter is the result of a fair number of pills taken to ease the symptoms of a cold that invaded all my sinus cavities, put down roots and then marched like the Chinese army down to my chest where the siege of Lung Ridge took place. If that wasn’t enough, a recent bout with ninja-blade-like kidney stones shredding their way through my dilapidated man-plumbing forced me to resort to pain killers that normally are reserved for people who just had something amputated with a rusty saw in a war zone.

A fog has settled that still hasn’t completely cleared, the stones, neither. So I can’t really care too much about matters of a worldly nature when my focus is just trying to get to the fridge to pour a glass of orange juice so I can try and float away my troubles down the yellow stream.

Sugar & Meds

All that orange juice led to a lovely sugar high, whereupon I read yet another fascinating article about the rampant use of genuine pharmacological mood-altering substances used on zoo animals to help them deal with their stress and depression issues. It seems they have many, chiefmost among them is the quality of their living quarters, being trapped an all, go figure.

It’s amazing what they have been fed to deal with their filthy animalistic ways. It’s a veritable Glaxo-Smith-Kline-Eli-Lily-Roche-Novartis cocktail the likes of which you’d have to go to a dozen different crooked or morally compromised and financially indebted doctors to get this many tranquilizers. I don’t think there are heroin junkies with this many psychotropic chemicals racing through their veins and brains.

And of course, after the juice, I ingested a coffee (to follow up my fruit danish extravaganza I neglected to mention). It got me to thinking what a horrible bunch of animals we are to treat animals that way.

The gist of the article is, these normally wild animals are freaking out over being trapped in cages for so damn long, contrary to their genetic urges to be wild animals. Most humiliating is that they are gawked at by slack-jawed city slickers and filthy, snot-ridden children who torment the animals by sticking their hands in the cages, like an appetizer, only to be yanked away at the last moment by a semi-sentient parent. You’d need a few liters /pounds /vats /gallons of Zoloft, too if you tormented thusly. It’s not far off from being stuck in a job where you sit at a desk all day pleasing your overlords, with the only difference being you have to leave one metaphorical cage to go back to the other metaphorical cage every day, except for weekend, vacations, holidays and those sick days you call in when you know full well you are just sitting at home eating bonbons.

Moneys and iPads

The gross irony in all of this is that we are nothing more than slightly less hairy monkeys with lawyers and cars and iPads.

In fact, many humans are just one missed body hair waxing appointment away from devolving back into the forests we once crawled out of and keep keep decimating. I won’t go into detail about all the wars and conflicts going on to prove of my point about us humans being animals. Nor will I dwell on some people’s eating habits at fast food restaurants and other sit down establishments that border on hunter-gatherer-slaughterer in cargo pants and a t-shirt with a printed slogan to announce one’s feelings toward alcohol, sex, cats or political leaders. Just watching some people eat confirms my theory that we just aren’t as evolved as we like to think we are, even with space travel and Star Wars, the movie.

(However, if you’re going by hairiness to determine our animalistic quotient, the Nordic countries are an anomaly. But I believe I heard somewhere from a guy at a bar, who knows a disgraced scientist with a gambling problem and a limp or a lisp that all that heavy alcohol consumption by the Nordic folks has killed off the body hair growth genes from all those distilled toxins. But I digress.)

Furthermore, that we feel the need to drug our caged animals is a sign that we want them to be more like us to some degree. Less violent, less emotional, hooked on the Internet and pharmaceuticals. It’s actually a meeting of the minds. (Or the mimes. I can never tell those apart.) Yet, I am troubled by neurotic polar bears hooked on phenobarbital and Paxil.

The Solution

Perhaps the answer lies before us. Put the animals back in the wild where they are meant to be. Where we can kill them, ruin their populations and their environments — naturally — and not in some gilded prison with a drug drip. Those drugs should be reserved for animals who need them, like high-strung, cocaine-addicted personal injury lawyers or investors. Or butt-heads who drive aggressively in trucks because they are deficient in their reproductive parts. Either way, leave the drugs to us humans and let’s give GMOs to the animals, because chances are they have a nasty hangover and need to come down gently.

I need some sugar.

Mirthfully merciless
Vlad the Inhaler Druker