Miscellanea and Ephemeron
03/17/2005 Archived Entry: "Adult Comic review: Ménage à Trois, Number 6"
Review by Ginger Mayerson
Someday, in the future... if we live... some clever curator will collect all the lefty comics in one show, and thus show all the world how well we fought... and lost anyway.
Well, the good Lord, or deity of your choice, knows we tried. I think we just didn't know the depth of what the Left and all us free-thinking, peace-loving, live and let live types were and are up against. I have never been afraid of my government until now. I have never felt as much hatred directed my beliefs and desires until now. I have never felt that things can only get worse for my country until now. I have never stopped believing that we can all live in the same country until now. I have never felt this angry at Republicans until now.
2004 was a sucker vote, a fear vote, a vote against gay marriage, peace on earth, reproductive rights, freedom of expression, progress, true compassion, and economic justice. Bush voters voted the hate ticket, which is not in their best interests. On my good day, I think they didn't realize what they were doing. On my bad days, which are many, I think they did realize they were voting against themselves, but that's okay as long as they could believe the gays, uppity women, and black and brown people would be worse off, too. And their vote against compassion is really paying off in spades: I no longer care what happens to Bush voters; this is still sort of a democracy, this is the kind of dog-eat-dog country they voted for, let them try to live in it.
I suppose future generations... if there are any... at the museum show I envision, and looking at the collection of protest comics, and know how hard Mike Wellman, Carol Swain, Brad Rader, Carol Lay, Mack White, and even good old Roger Wormburper, author/artist of "Ménage à Trois, Number 6," to name only a very few of the hard-working cartoonist polemicists fighting the good fight with everything they had, who tried to get the word out on what bastards the hard Right was and continues to be. And they did get the word out; the other side just couldn't be swayed into sanity. It's not that the Rightwingnuts didn't know; it's that they didn't care. Somehow denying gays marriage is more important than keeping BSE out of the food supply; invading Iraq is more important than 44 million citizens without health insurance; government power is more important than government accountability and competence, and remember, folks, it only took four years, one, maybe two, stolen elections, and the Bush administration allowing the WTC terrorist act to occur either through incompetence or cynicism for the United States to get this close to a dictatorship. The scary and infuriating part is that the alarm was sounded and is being sounded everywhere, including Eros comix, but the powers that be have such a stranglehold on the government, formerly our government, has no incentive not to grind us all under their heel. The bankruptcy reform bill that just became law will do more damage to our economy than anything I can ever remember and, as Warren Buffett (who makes more sense than not) said recently, it will create a sharecropper society. No, I'm not 100 percent sure what that is, but I do know it's not good for most of us. Especially those of us with incomes under one million USD per year, which is MOST of US.
And yet, in all my outrage, "Ménage à Trois, Number 6" cheered me up a little. Yes, we lost, but we, all of us except the DNC and the Kerry campaign, put up a helluva fight.
"Ménage à Trois, Number 6" is chock full of quotes from the likes of Walter Cronkite, Barbara Tuchman, Nostradamus, and Al Franken. I've never seen such informative dialogue over so much sex, well, anywhere. One of the main arguments against the extreme Right agenda is laid, if you'll pardon the expression, out very clearly: the pursuit of happiness can be many things, and as long it's all between consenting adults, it is no one's business but their own. It is especially not the government's or the court's business. Wormburper also goes to bat for freedom of speech and gets the Dixie Chicks naked with Michael Moore (who is not naked, so it IS sexy), and constitutes a very amusing take down of Toby Keith. The bad guys don't get any in this comic, or if they do, they don't get to enjoy it. GW, Laura and Barbara Bush all get trashed, along with Dick Cheney, who gets his comeuppance from a certain blonde Senator from New York. "Ménage à Trois, Number 6" is sexy lefty didactic laugh riot cross between a protest song and a blue movie. Too bad it's a relic of defeat, instead of a novelty of resistance. Adult comics should never have a tragic air to them, but this is merely a manifestation of the way we live now.
So, at this future museum show of pro-democracy comic books and graphic novels, "Ménage à Trois, Number 6" would certainly be there. I can only hope this show will take place in an enlightened future where we still have the freedoms we have now, including the freedom to read as many naughty comics as we can stand, and not in a future where such a show would be labeled "Degenerate Art."
And if our and democracy's best and brightest hope is Howard Dean (whom I sorry I didn't support, switching to Kerry after Clark dropped out), then Dr. Dean, I just want you to know that Wormburper and Mayerson are right behind you. Don't freak out.
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