…And other things, my own. Stuff that I thought might be worth sharing. Where relevant, the titles associated with each image point to the original blog entry from which it’s drawn. (So to speak.)
This is a full-frontal assault on McDonald’s, because they deserve it. There’s a PDF version that’s set up for printing on two sides; it has the cartoon on the front and nutrition data on the back.
The Imaging Center at the hospital had a grand opening recently, and I was asked to make postcards announcing the event.
Actually, we have reason to be proud. We’ve got a 3 Tesla imager, which is more or less capable of sucking the bumper out of chrome at 50 feet; we’re one of the few facilities in our part of the world to boast such a device. That’s why nonprofit hospitals make sense; we didn’t open the Imaging Center to fatten the offshore accounts of a CEO. We did it to make life better for the people who live here.
Well, anyway, say it with humor.
This was another postcard design for a lecture series on cardiology. Unfortunately it wasn’t used. (Philistines! I work with philistines!) But even as a rough sketch it’s pretty damn funny anyway.
There’s a series of questions here, the simplest of which is where the hell did he get the jumper cables from?
Most Things Don’t Happen Overnight
We’re expanding our cardiac cath lab, which means a lot of construction work and noise (as well as jackhammering) at the north end of the hospital. I was asked to make a sign/flyer that could be distributed to let patients and visitors know what was happening; here’s the cartoon portion of it.
The Miracles of Easter
Rude — of course. This was a series of toons that began on Good Friday, which is a damn weird thing to call the day you use to mark your god’s murder.
This second item in the Easter miracle is actually a mock advertisement. I like it for a few reasons, mostly having to do with the way Christianity seems to be such a commercial, for-profit endavor — one which, in the US, is also tax free.
I think I’ll be doing more with Holy Toast eucharist in the future. It seems like it could be rich in satire.
This final miracle emerged, of course, on Easter morning.
Doesn’t it seem incredibly fatuous that white men feel they have a right to tell black people they’d better worship their white deity — or else?
Given where he lived, assuming he existed at all, the person we call Jesus Christ would have been distinctly brown. Brown enough that some American Christians would view him with distrust and worry about being the victims of a mugging … or a terrorist attack.
This is something I drew back in 1999, and is probably too geeky even for the Larson crowd. It’s really only funny if you know about the differing ages of loa and what it means.*
* The more recently-erected loa on Rapa Nui are the crudely-made ones. They also tend to lean or fall over much more often than the old-timers.
The cognitive dissonance of the radical right-wing Christist fringe never ceases to frustrate me. It’s bizarre, to me, to claim that one set of holy writs is false — or, more arrogantly, mythical — while at the same time holding one’s own ideas as sacred.
Usually it’s familiarity, and that alone, which lends a taste of authenticity to the things we like to believe, or at least which are woven deeply into our social tableau.
That does not, however, constitute a basis for determining truth.
I’m particularly pleased with the fellow in the last panel. I wanted to express the essence of empty-headed mindless enthusiasm for something of a fairy-tale nature, and I think I managed to capture it pretty well. It’s the eyes especially that do it, I think.
True to form, here’s a PDF of the file in case you want to print it and pass it out or something. Strange Beliefs (460 KB)
Creating a terrible pun at Ken Ham’s expense.
Ham is what’s called a YEC — a Young-Earth Creationist. Not only does he believe this planet is a mere 6,000 years old; he’s willing to distort, twist and warp his view of the world sufficiently to make it seem sensible.
The problem is that he’s willing to mentally rape thousands of others as well; he recently opened a Creation Museum that features, among other things, exhibits showing humans co-existing peacefully with dinosaurs.
Ham famously claimed that Tyrannosaurus rex was a vegetarian — its six-inch dagger-teeth were used, he said, to open coconuts.
The man’s a fucking idiot.
Someday I hope to have a son like the one in this cartoon: I set ’em up, he knocks ’em down.
Here’s the toon as a PDF. Use as you see fit, but do keep the attribution intact. Thanks. Ham Boned (PDF, 200 KB)
Jack Chick Tracts
This is called Darwinism: The Devil’s Religion. The idea (insipiration is too graceful a word for what I feel when I read a Chick tract) is obvious.
The mini-essay that precedes the actual tract began as introductory comments to sectional posts of the material, but since there’s a common thread running through the subject it was easy to string it together into a coherent statement.
Following the graphics is the tract in PDF. Suitable for printing and distribution.
Darwnism: The Devil’s Religion
Jack Chick is famous to fundamentalist Christians for creating a library of incredibly narrow-minded tracts which present an almost Jihadist view of right-wing ultra-fundamentalist Christianity.
Everything’s there including paranoia that God will cast you into hell at the drop of a hat; the complete Caucasian-ness of God, Jesus and angels; and of course gargoyle-like aspects on anyone non-Caucasian.
Chick tracts are also easy targets for parody because of their over-the-top batshit lunacy. This is one bandwagon I decided to try on for size. The results follow.
Us Vs. Them?
I find it striking that right-wingers seem to define the entire world in terms of religion; I’ve been accused more than once of making science my “religion”. The notion is foolish in the extreme, of course; religion relies on inerrancy, received Truth and unreasoning appeal to authority.
Science is, of course, imperfect; the history of science is rife with examples of arrogance, willful stupidity and even outright hoaxes. The difference, though, is that science is self-correcting. Hoaxes in science are always found out and — usually — quickly debunked. The perpetrators are ridiculed and lose all credibility, and no one takes any of their claims seriously any longer.
Yet we still hear of religious statues weeping tears, or oozing blood, or leaking milk — and even though these are shown to be cheap parlor tricks, still the faithful line up to see the next occurrence, seeking after a miracle to try to affirm something that is ultimately nonsensical.
Think about it. If you really did create the entire universe, wouldn’t you find a better medium to leave a signature than a burn mark in a tortilla? I mean, come on — even Slartibartfast managed to put his face into an entire glacier.
On the Question of Origins
One of the eternal questions faced by religion, philosophy and science is where did it all come from?
This is a damned good question and should occupy any thinking person’s mind from time to time. It’s one of those queries that may well never be answered, because we’re within the system that has caused us to be. In order to really understand it in all its complexity, we might have to be entirely beyond it — but the idea of being beyond the entire universe raises another set of equally unanswerable dilemmas.
So we come to the question of probability — or, more accurately, improbability. Which sounds less improbable to you?
1. The cosmos came into existence by a process we don’t entirely understand just yet, but we think that in the first few moments of its emergence most of the laws of physics and matter we consider de rigeur now were somehow coalesced into a reasonably predictable set of steady states. Following those simple rules all the heavier elements past hydrogen fused in the hearts of ancient stars, and some of those elements coalesced into compounds which developed a means to remain internally coherent and, eventually, a way to replicate their patterns with a reasonable degree of verisimilitude. However, the processes involved in that replication were so complex that occasional errors crept in, some of which caused replication failure but most of which had no apparent effect — until the setting changed somehow, forcing certain erroneous patterns into a state of greater success at replication. After several million years of such errors and successes, eventually some of the universe’s elements developed an emergent property called consciousness, contingent entirely upon a niche position in an otherwise entirely-reactive and nonstochastic field. Of course, this current understanding could well change with further iterations of discovery and refinement; science is a lot like a calculus approach to a limit, always working toward complete understanding but always bafflingly, tantalizingly just falling short — which is frustrating to many, but beautiful to some.
— or —
2. God did it. Now eat the cracker, drink the wine and stop asking so many questions.
Dawkins’s question is cogent here: Who made God?
It’s Not About Hate
As a professed atheist I’m sometimes confronted with a question that strikes me as being, on the face of it, silly: Why do you hate God?
I don’t hate God. I just don’t believe there is one.
I don’t hate unicorns, or dragons or Shiva or the Easter Bunny or Allah; I simply don’t believe they exist. My world doesn’t lack wonder, joy or happiness, but when I feel those emotions I don’t also feel a need to attribute them to some kind of Higher Power. Denying something exists does not equal hating it; I can say with perfect equanamity that hydras are mythical beasts. The idea of hate doesn’t enter into the equation, any more than I hate a concept such as the square root of a negative number. I can think about it, sure, but I know that such a thing simply cannot be.
But to someone who believes in a god, the declaration that such an entity doesn’t exist is a direct threat to his point of view; when he hears me say I don’t believe what he does he interprets that as hatred of his ideas and projects that hatred onto the thing of which he’s so fond.
If you believe in a god, then, the denial of that god’s existence feels a lot like hatred.
I don’t hate God, nor do I hate those who believe in God; what I hate is the blind pig ignorance that some people suffer from when the idea of God is brought up.
The fact is that belief in God causes airplanes to fly into buildings. The fact is that belief in God causes the murder of abortion doctors. The fact is that belief in God causes gay-bashing, enables slavery and useless wars, and allows choirboys to be raped.
If this sounds terrible, perhaps we should ask ourselves why we allow an institution to continue committing atrocities — not why we sound so hateful when we sit in judgment of it.
After all, which is obviously worse: A few cartoons on the Internet, or a cadre of believers incinerating themselves — and their children — rather than bow to the will of a secular government?
You have a brain. For God’s sake, USE IT!
As promised, here’s the PDF of the entire tract. Darwinism: The Devil’s Religion (600 KB)
n.b. I updated this a little since posting it earlier today (2 May 2007, revs same day; see the original four posts in the blog proper for the unaltered contents). I added subsection headings and a little more clarification on a couple of points. The “imaginary number” ref quibbled with by Bronze Dog I left intact for context.
I also added outsite links to reference some of my commentary.Well, one so far. But I’ve a hunch there will be others.
The reference comes from a story posted by Pam about a bio of Condoleezza Rice, wherein she embarrasses herself by prattling giddily about the intellectual depth of George W. Bush. And she’s not being ironic.
Intellectual depth … well, let’s just say you won’t need water wings to plumb those waves.
Anyway, the original post will eventually be lost to the sands of time — or at least buried deep in the rolling archives — so to make it worth it I’ve added two panels to the end that did not appear in the original. Enjoy.
As with the original post, here’s the PDF as well. Inquisitive Mind.PDF (480 KB)