Gone But Not Forgiven

It’s hard to determine if the condemnation of Robert McNamara is fully deserved or merely convenient. Mind you, I’m no Bob apologist. McNamara was instrumental is selling the Gulf of Tonkin incident as Congressional justification for the war in Vietnam, even though the evidence that U.S. Naval ships had been fired on was flimsy, and was eventually concluded to be non-existent. The Left despised McNamara for his technocratic number-crunching, which treated body counts as negotiable overhead, with apparently no grasp of the moral implications. In due course, the Hawks blamed him for the design of limited police actions in lieu of full and decisive military victory. Regardless of your view of the Vietnam conflict’s ultimate failure, Robert McNamara shoulders the blame. And maybe he should.


Half-Mast: Jesus of Neverland

I hated Michael Jackson. I hated him in the way every young sophisticate turns his nose up at popular culture when he enters his teens. Jackson was the cherry on top of a huge mound of ‘80s mall culture; Pac Man, Care Bears, New Coke, Rubik’s Cubes, parachute pants and Casio keyboards, kiddie crap now all sun-faded and broken on thrift store shelves. He was the King of Pop, anathema to a kid embracing drugs, punk rock and adolescent alienation. He was the definition of “heavy rotation”, his 15-minute Thriller video being the one bit of MTV programming that could force video-addicted youth to change the channel. He was a media-inflicted rash that wouldn’t go away.


A quickie portrait of Karl Malden, dependable character actor. I managed to throw this one together on the fly, scratching out the drawing in ballpoint and utilizing the scanner and good old MS Paint at work. Pablo Lobato suggested he needed a "butt nose". I tried it, but I just can't do that to poor Karl, whom I liked. I try not to engage in cruel and unusual caricature. If you're looking for that, hit up some of those guys at Disneyworld.


Escape from the Planet of the Angels

Even in 1976, at the height of her stardom, it was considered trite and superficial to like Farrah Fawcett. But everyone did, of course. All the guys had that ubiquitous poster, all the girls were blow-drying their hair to Farrahesque perfection. And how cold-hearted would you have to be NOT to like her? She was thin, blond and cute, with an impossibly toothy smile and a twinkling, little girl charm – the perfect blend of innocence and sex appeal that has forged America’s Sweethearts for generations.