Cartoon mr. fish

The Writing’s on the Wall

Mr. Fish
Mr. Fish

Dwayne Booth (a.k.a., Mr. Fish) is a cartoonist, freelance writer, and ScheerPost’s artistic director, and he has been published in many reputable and prestigious magazines, journals and newspapers. In addition to Harper’s Magazine, his work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones Magazine, the Advocate, Z Magazine, the Utne Reader, Slate.com, MSNBC.com and various European newspapers. He has also written novels, screenplays, short fiction and cultural criticism collections, and several volumes of political cartoons.

15 comments

  1. With due respect, (if indeed any is due), Mr. Booth, (aka: Mr. Fish), seems curiously proud to exhibit his absurdly simplistic and child-like analysis.

    As if anyone couldn’t throw the Left’s most toxic BS at the wall, take a picture, and then falsely claim the picture is a representation of the entire Left, in general. Whether deliberately through intellectual dishonesty, or just because his emotional maturity level won’t allow him to ‘see’ beyond his own blind bias,

    Do our worst moments represent who were are? When we are raging at an unfair boss, or an untrue spouse, do we want notes taken of every foul curse we cast, and then have them published ‘on the wall’ to expose the demons that dwell in each of us, in ALL of us?

    As one who, like most Americans, would wish a pox on both these Mob Houses, it sure seem to me that the Left is, by FAR, the most virulently hateful, and the most overtly totalitarian (Stalinist). The Left is FAR more nakedly Fascist than the Right.

    Lesser evil? The more powerful evil, the DPM Machine, is NOT the ‘lesser’.

    Trumpty-Dumpty is a lone-wolf clown. The Democratic Party is a well-honed fascist machine. The Left is a collection of ridiculous preening pretenders, dancing like idiot puppets to their own Enemy’s tune.

    Does this ‘Mr. Fish’ not present the posture of a dishonest advocate? Or else, does he really have the emotional maturity and self-awareness of a grade school child?

    Doesn’t he remember from those halcyon playground days? “The pot and the kettle got into a nettle and called each other “black”. (Clap pat. Clap back, Clap pat). Each could see the other but neither one could bother to see their own self-lack”.

    Is Mr. Booth 12?

    1. While I agree with some of your comment R Zwarich, I think you’re being a tad imperious in your critique of Mr Fish.
      Verbosity is an almost impenetrable wall between the have and the have nots.
      Art, whether it’s in the form of cartoons, graphics, poems, songs and even graffiti, is an honest and legitimate means to undermine and mock the smug. On both the Left and the Right.
      There is great virtue in simplicity.

      1. Indeed, simplicity can be among the greatest of virtues when it helps us penetrate a degree of complexity that had us confused, to capture the simple essence at the root of the complexity. If the simplicity helps us ‘see’ the essence of what we are looking at, it is a great virtue.

        But when it only distorts reality into a simpler form, simply to serve our Desire, simply because we demand that this complexity conform itself to our smaller capacity to understand, is it a virtue then?

        Did Alexander enhance his reputation when he used his razor sharp sword to ‘untie’ the fabled knot? I think when Diogenes heard the story, he likely shook his head sadly, and already knew poor young Alexander’s ignoble end, (to die in habitual baccanale, in drunken whoring stupor), but I’m only guessing.

        There is much ugliness attributable to primitive human tribal instincts. Graffiti will always be on the ‘walls’ of public bathroom stalls. When it blooms to take over our lives, when such ugly phrases occupy our thoughts, in real time, it is no less distressing to see it from the Left, than it is to see it on the Right. In fact, the opposite. Much more so … When your friends betray the cause they pretended to advance, that they pretended to share with you, does such a cut not hurt even worse?

        Many of us, many fellow humans, are not sophisticated enough to sort their way through the propaganda that assaults them. They grasp at ‘simple’ explanations to complex puzzles because that is the limit of their capacity.

        We find plenty of such people on both the Left and the Right.

        We have all accepted, as a self-aware culture, the premise, as an unassailable pillar of our entire moral belief system, that “all people are created equal”.

        Surely we all know that by this we mean ‘equal’ in moral rank. No citizen is more ‘important’ than another in the eyes of The Law. A religious person would say, “God loves us ALL, smart or dumb, short or tall, He loves us ALL the same”.

        But our innate capacity, as individuals, is FAR from equal. Some are smarter, some less. I’ve known quite a few dogs that were a good measure smarter than quite a few folks I’ve known.

        Depends on what we mean by ‘smart’ ‘a course. My Grampa taught me the difference between raw intellectual capacity and practical (functional) intelligence. “There’s smart, Raymone, and then there’s ‘horse sense’. You ever have to chose, boy, take the horse sense most every time.”

        Plenty of REALLY smart people are dumber than you would believe. Why? Because they believe what they WANT to believe. All their powerful capacity to reason is so easily dominated by their Desire.

        Ya see … ‘Stupid’ and ‘Intelligence’ know each other real well, living as they do, crammed together into tiny little human skulls.

        C’mon … Good citizen Fair Dinkum, (Fair sounds Persian?) Are you telling me you don’t ‘get’ the moral of the fable of the Black Pot denouncing the Black Kettle, for being black?

        Really?

        C’mon, folks … We’re ALL ‘on edge’. We’re ALL a little ‘bent sideways’ right now. Couldn’t we maybe start cutting each other a little slack?

        Maybe we could (GASP!!) even start to listen to each other? (Whew! … Is such a proposition more daring or more ridiculous? Yea … A wise man once said, “People who should be allies must first stop being enemies”.

        If I set aside my own subjective concept of political correctness, (and I would never conceive of the notion that anyone else’s version of political correctness could ever be imposed on me, nor mine on anyone else), if I set aside my own orientation of agreement with proposed political policies, (which are leftist, which favor the interests of the Common People, regardless of race or heritage, against those of The Ruling Elites), to judge the Right and The Left by other standards, by more common standards of decent human conduct, the Right wins, ‘hands down’. It’s not even close!

        O sure … When you get far enough out on the fringe of either ‘pole’, the people on both ends start to look, and think, and feel, pretty much exactly like each other. They know that life is a rigged deal for them, they don’t have the capacity to understand how this complex Machine works, and they hate most everyone ’cause ‘a that.

        So … Which are ‘we’? What you mean ‘we’, kemo-savee?

        Which tribe must we choose, other than that of Humanity itself?

        I don’t care which tribe you’re in. We (Humanity) have had 10,000 years worth of lessons. We’re playing out the same tragic story, yet again? We already KNOW how the story ends. We hose it down. The bay runs red for a few days, but the tide carries it away … It’s been told so many times.

        If we believe that we own ‘truth’, which we keep in a cage, to roll out as needed as if it were our own weapon, we are VERY much a BIG part of the problem, and not ANY part of the solution.

        I’m tellin’ you folks … I’m a carpenter, and unless you are as well, you have no idea what the very concept means to me … I worked side by side with many rugged men. No man could do what we did every day, without a degree of discipline that could bear up under the hottest sun in July, or the coldest winds in January, doing things that hurt, that constantly injured your hands so much that they grew thick, like leather. If you made gloves from the skin of the hands of some of the carpenters I’ve known, they’d last a hunnert years, in the roughest conditions.

        What does the American Left, to which Caliban affectionately refers as the Marionette Left, expect these men will do, when you demonize them asa sub-human, and will not even listen to anything they say? Lot of ’em like Trump about as much as most folks on the Left like Biden.

        “People who should be allies must first stop being enemies”.

        What does this OVERTLY racist and OVERTLY fascist Identitarian Left think it stands to gain by demonizing HALF the nation’s Common People?

        Ding Cukoo! ??

        “There … See boy?”, my Grampa would say. “Some ‘a the smartest people can be as dumb as all the other beasts in the barn”.

        Black Pot, to Black Kettle, “I HATE you for being black”.

        “I can hire half the working class to kill the other half” –J Gould.

        More true this day even than in his.

        People who should be allies must first stop being enemies.

        Caliban

  2. Gandhi’s statements and actions were almost always straightforward and plain, because he knew he was talking to/with millions of mainly poor, uneducated people.
    The difference between those folks and the American underclass is the surfeit of advertising (and mind numbing trash that passes for entertainment) that has suffocated the innate wisdom we are all born with.
    Educated people are often only educated in a highly specialised field, so many live in a state of tunnel vision.
    Ever since the ideals of Socialism were co-opted by the middle class, the underclass have been ignored in favour of the ‘Green Dream’.
    As the old Chinese curse says:
    ‘May you live in interesting times’
    (Fair dinkum is Australian slang for honest or genuine).

    1. Well … interesting thoughts here. Certainly very smart people can be very stupid. I don’t know too much about the cultural conditions among poor people in India. I know there were deadly deep divisions between Hindu and Muslims, as there are to this day. (Gandhi met his fate at the hands of a devout Muslim). In his ‘diaper’, Ghandi influenced Indian politicians, like Nehru, to take off their western business suits and ties to don native Indian dress.

      But many people don’t really seem to understand ‘the American underclass’. We have tens of millions of people who are living in poverty so deep that the very institution of The Family breaks down. People have to try to understand what that means. People are culturally deprived of their human birthright.

      C’mon, folks … Civilization itself passes from one generation to the next in the context of loving nurturing human families. “Share your toys. Don’t hit your brother. How do yopu like it if he hits you? Or won’t share with you?”

      These are the lessons that comprise what we call “civilization”.

      Some folks are culturally deprived. They are deprived og their human birthright. No one teaches them those things. Mama’s lonely for some company. Her check just came in that day. The men put on their finest. They know when the women get those checks.

      See how it is? Lotta kids grow up wild. They get to school and they have no idea at all what ‘discipline’ means, or is.

      This is a moral crime that, as a nation, as America, we maintain these horrific conditions. Schools can’t fix this. This is sway deeper than schools. Way before. This is something that’s gotta happen when the boys and girls are sizing each other up. A man ain’t got a dolla’ t’ buy a pretty girl a flower, what he s’posed t’ do? What’s a girl s’posed t’ think?

      This is a moral crime on our nation’s soul, that people live in such conditions. We made this mess of our nation, and now we can sit and cry, and curse the black kettle, or we can set about and fix things.

      If we would only look at the known established realities of ‘conditions on the ground’, we would ALL be able to figure a lot of things out right away.

      Poor Mexican immigrants are rich in culture. Many are rural people. Like all ‘the simple folk’, they cherish the love of their families. They honor their ancestors, and would work or die to protect their children’s dreams.

      Poor rural whites are much the same. Ma and Pa Joad coulda’ been my Ukrainian grandparents. The simple folk, working the land, are largely the same anywhere.

      But many urban poor whites are as culturally deprived, of their human birthright, of the loving nurture of family and community, as urban blacks

      Poor African Americans live in conditions that paint our nation in moral shame. The term ‘the ghetto’ isn’t really used that much anymore. Nor is ‘the inner city’ a relevant term anymore, as city centers are being gentrified, and poor blacks are being pushed into run down suburban housing that they can’t earn enough to maintain.

      Mold is the predominant smell of urban poverty. When the roof leaks, does the slumlord rush over to fix it?

      People don’t really understand the differences between ‘chattel’ slavery, the owning of humans as ‘cattle’, and wage slavery, the renting of people’s time.

      In the antebellum South, a strong male slave was worth the equivalent of about $25,000, in today’s dollars.

      Yes … It is a moral horror that humans would be considered as ‘cattle’, but they were VERY valuable cattle. Only the most foolish farmers would not take excellent care of his valuable cattle, his valuable property. They were well fed. Well cared for. Well housed. If the land was rich, and its owner owned them, chances are if they were willing to work hard, many slaves lived in some degree of security, and even (gasp!) happiness.

      But wage slaves are expendable. The mill owner who rents their time (with wages that people can’t live on) has no reason to care about a wage slave’s welfare. One breaks down. Kick him t’ the gutter. Keep the bodies out of the way. There’s always more being unloaded from ships every day. Indentured slaves themselves in Europe, they fled to become wage slaves in America.

      The cotton was grown in the South, but it was spun into thread, and then woven into cloth, in the stream driven textile mills of New England. These torture chambers, these same brick buildings, still line the landscape in small towns tucked into rugged rocky New England valleys, round these parts where I live.

      Children, girls and boys both, went to work at eight or nine years old, to work 12 hour shifts, for a bowl of gruel, a bug ridden bed, and a hole to shit in out back. The lint was so thick in the air in the mills that visibility was limited to a few feet. The din of the clamoring clattering steel was so loud that even shouting in someone’s ear, it was hard to be heard.

      People worked 25 years or so, then died, choking on lint like miners on black coal dust, in their mid to late 30s. Long enough to reproduce. More wage slaves for the mill.

      C’mon, folks … All of Human History is a tale of the courageous Common People bearing up under every misery and woe. No one people’s suffering is ‘unique’. It’s not even ‘unusual’, fer crissakes.

      This reflects the influence of Jewish Bolshevism. It’s deeply rooted in their culture. Cry. And Moan. And wail like old women. And claim that YOUR suffering is ‘unique’? YOUR suffering is MUCH worse than ANY other human suffering in all of Human History.

      C’mon, folks … Lotta folks here and there gotta try t’ ‘get over themselves’. Most white folks in Europe were slaves. Most slaves in all History were probably white people. My heritage is Slavic. Where does our word ‘slave’ come from? There were still nine year old kids working in hellish New England mills for generations after massa’ Lincoln ‘freed the slaves’.

      C’mon, folks … We all love our families. We all cherish children’s dreams. We all yearn for love. We ALL want to ‘be long’.

  3. You outline a tragic tale RZ.
    The insidious crimes and genocide of the ruling class are almost incomprehensible. They are certainly unforgivable.
    Writers and historians brave enough have exposed just a small part of their psychopathic bloodlust and avarice.
    Unfortunately most of their words are not seen by most of the people.
    Anyone who shines the light of Truth, whether it be a historian, journalist, cartoonist, poet, artist or songwriter is helping in their own way to diminish collective ignorance.

    1. Unforgivable?

      Okey doke, then … What’s the plan. We going to try to somehow punish them all?

      Did you know that when Fidel took Havana, and all Cuba was his, he presided over summary executions in the street? His rationale, calmly explained at great length, (the man could sure talk), was that the people’s anger and bloodlust was so ferocious that he had to slake it, to give them enough, to prevent them from rampaging in hysterical death mobs.

      Ya ‘see’? When you set the raging beast loose, it’s not going to easily take to the leash again.

      The Enemy owns and controls the Mass Media. This imparts the power to enrage people into mobs, and then orchestrate their behavior.

      Anybody who is ‘awake’ to actual reality can see that this is what is happening. The power of Mass Media is being used to keep people whipped up into a state of mob emotional turmoil, the state that immediately precedes crazed mobs rampaging violently in the streets, inflicting hatred on any they meet.

      We ALL, each of us, hold the leash in our own hands. That beast lives in EACH of us. Look in the mirror. She, or he, is looking back at you.

      Self-awareness is a real bitch. But it is the ONLY path that leads to our objective. I’ll forgive any who are willing to forgive me. We are all just poor dumb humans. Shall we make currency of our sins, measuring them against each other?

      So many rocks. In so many hands. Who’s first? Who will cast the stone that will set every stone flying? The Nuclear Demon stretches its ever more brittle chains. Shall we cast blame? Shall we exact revenge? And then let the cockroaches have their chance?

      People who should be allies must first stop being enemies.
      Caliban

  4. That is why we must aim for Anarchy (rules WITHOUT rulers).
    Police, prisons and laws would still exist in an anarchist society, but they would not be under the control of vested interests.
    There is no alternative.
    Everything else has failed.
    It’s anarchy or Armageddon.

    1. You’re arguing in a circle you cannot even ‘see’. Prisons, laws, police, courts, … They all require hierarchy.

      A court must have ‘authority’. The police are para-military in function. Someone is ‘in command’. How does that authority, as vested, arrive in the hands of those it does? Who chooses them? How are the chosen? Etc … Etc …

      Anarchy leads to good order? Maybe that makes sense to some, but it sure sounds cockamamie screwy t’ me.

      1. Anarchy is cooperative not competitive.
        There are no leaders, no Generals, no judges etc.
        Hierarchies demand top down decisions.
        In an anarchist society decisions are made from the bottom up.
        Control freaks, narcissists and the born to rule brigade cannot comprehend or are shit scared of it.
        It’s how Mother Nature works (mutual aid) and it’s how evolution works.
        Competition will destroy most of humanity and cooperation, via anarchy, will be the next stage of evolution.

      2. Yea … Okey doke, then. Did ya hear ’bout them fist-fights that started breaking out at the Occupy General Assemblies, right after the chairs started flying back and forth?

        How ’bout ‘dat Seattle Frree Commune, eh? Wasn’t it a marvel?

        Look, cowboy … We have freedom of religion, and you have every right to ‘believe in’ Anarchism with religious passion and conviction, but that’s a whole side discussion.

        You’re going to have magical courts and police and jails but no hierarchy? Uhhh … Yea … yea ..okay … that’s sure a concept to consider. What? All of us gotta do jury duty all the fracking time?

        Can you go worship someplace? The grown-ups are trying to deal with a cruel and difficult reality here.

  5. Getting a tad testy RZ?
    It may have escaped your attention, but the ‘grown ups’ have brought us to the edge of oblivion.
    When something doesn’t work for two thousand years or more, you don’t patch it with duct tape and a lick of paint.
    You throw it in a deep dark pit and start again.
    Lateral thinking borrows from itself. Creativity is brand new.

    1. No … Not the least testy good citizen Fair Dinkum … A wit can be sharp, can it not? … You always yelp like a pup when wit stings ya? …

      I confess, you’ve left me far behind. “Throw it all in a pit and start again”? Okay. Interesting proposal. Mr. Dinkum says we must throw all the legacy of 10,000 years of accumulated human wisdom aside, no, more than just “aside” we must “throw it all in a pit and start again”.

      So …. You want to like go back to the stone age?

      I’m all ears…… I’ll try to dull me wit a bit fer ya, good Fair Dinkum……. (Hint: Try not to make it so easy).

      1. Thank ya well, good lad Fair Dinkum. Ya want t’ ‘go’ do ya? Okay … First snowy night, I’ll met ya ‘outback’. And I’ll take a ‘Gansett over Fosters fer flavor any day … but they all make us merry … do they not? …

        Fair Dinkum wants to measure the value of reading speed? I guess I’m s’posed t’ know what the lad means?

        Have I misread something from reading too fast? Can he explain? Or does he think his odd punctuation is so cute that he does not need to?

        Aye … well … He does have a pretty smile … Fair Dinkum … (I like ‘sayings’ with amorphous meanings. The concept of “fair dinkum” seems to even include the concept of ‘tit for tat’. leads directly to ‘eye for an eye’.

        I’ll be yer huckleberry, fair dinkum jack. You first, cowboy.

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