Parody has often used as one of the few ways to express protest without getting your head lopped off. If you recall the super-heated rhetoric that was flying around the country in late 2001, perhaps the first constitutional rights to effectively get the boot was the right to free speech and free protest. Many felt that objecting to President FAIL was tantamount to treason and were more than happy to conflate the two.
Despite the air of paranoid nationalism, from the FAIL Bush Administration’s declaration of war on abstract ideas were two online comics. The War on Terror Trading Cards were hewn from that classic American spirit of free expression, reminding us that some of our “allies” in hegemony were actually former enemies. The once-unknown Vladimir Putin went from “EVIL” to “GOOD,” and former Hated Enemy Saddam Hussein was actually quite the friend of the United States just back in the 1980s. Granted, he did make that royally stupid move of invading Kuwait, but in many ways that invasion (and the Cold War) brought us to where we are today. A kinder way to put it is that these cards illustrate the shifting sands of contemporary foreign relations. (If the president was a Democrat, such changes would likely be labelled hypocritical flip-flopping that endangered national security.)
[BTW: The web site goddoubleplusblessamerica.org apparently was recently the target of malicous hackers, as Firefox has identified it as potentially bearing malware. Either that or it’s a clever conspiracy by The Man to repress the righteous expression of free speech, maaaaaan…..]
Perhaps better known than the war on terror trading cards is the online comic strip Get Your War On. Constructed from old clip art, GYWO suffused righteous anger at what was committed by outside forces with rightful anger at what was committed by domestic forces, namely the federal government.
Some seven years later, not much has changed. We’re still in two wars with no end in sight. But we can look on the bright side with one of the few non-depressing things to come of all this: an animated Get Your War On! Based on the comic by David Rees, the new series from 23/6 will be coming at us once a week with true-to-form animation that bring the simple GYWO line drawings to life. The premiere episode is called “The Watch List.” Enjoy.