Speaking of old cartoons … it was a very strange thing, to have my job in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. I mean, obviously everyone was freaked out, but conservatives just lost their fucking marbles. And this was back before the liberal blogosphere, before liberal talk radio networks, etc., etc., so there just weren’t that many targets for their fury, which might explain why a relatively obscure cartoonist was the recipient of such an avalanche of inchoate rage. Anyway, I was thinking about this when I was looking for the cartoon link for the post below and ran across this one, which appeared in Salon on September 10, 2001, and ran in many of my papers throughout that week. Man were conservatives pissed. A lot of them didn’t understand lede times and deadlines and thought that this was a cartoon that I had written and drawn after the attacks — okay, we’re not dealing with hugely bright people here — and were ready to lynch me, or better yet, flay me alive, for talking shit about the Preznit in a Time of War. Looking back on it, it’s an incredibly mild piece — but at the time, you would have thought I had committed high treason. Actually from the virulence this one inspired, you would have thought I had personally gone into the homes of the rightwingers who were emailing me and pissed on their carpets and defiled the family pet. It’s easy to forget the insane hysteria of those days. There are still plenty of lunatics who equate criticism of this failed Administration with treason, but at least for the moment, they’re no longer in the ascendency.
… maybe even more appalling were the jackasses who were fixated on debating this cartoon with me after 9/11. I suggested to one moron that I really wasn’t in the mood for some whiny email about tax policy, given that I’d recently witnessed the death of who-knew-how-many thousands of people, probably including friends of mine. (As it turned out, not, but at the time, who knew.) He waited a day or so and then wrote back and said, “I’m sorry about your friends. I hope you are calmer and more rational now. Now about that cartoon …”