Again at a loss for a good incentive sketch idea, I decided to depict myself as another well-known muckraker, Geraldo Rivera! Click here to see the image (and dig that crazy reference to UHF as well!)

I found myself at a crossroads with today's comic. Even though a lot of people are talking about it, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 could be perceived as damaged goods for a web site that traffics in making people laugh with funny pictures. Without even seeing it, we've been made aware that the film is unapologetically ANTI George W. Bush and this is something that can dramatically split an audience.

But on the other hand, NOT tackling a film that has generated so much advance buzz would just be sloppy content management on my part. Why should I deny what's current in the culture because of a little controversy? Ultimately, I think I reached a fairly inventive solution in regard to discussing the film without directly mentioning it's politics or its bias.

Even if I had to break every law regarding The 4th Wall to do it! ;)

Now before anyone gets their knickers in a twist and thinks that maybe what I'm saying in the third panel are my personal politics... well, I'm here to tell you that's not the point of this comic strip.

Things will become more clear after Friday (this is a two-part strip) that what I am choosing to lampoon is not the movie, the conservatives, the liberals or the independents. Instead what I'm gunning for is the response to works like Moore's and what it says about America as a whole.

I'm sure you've read reports about conservative groups sending e-mails to the C.E.O.s of large movie chains petitioning them to ban Fahrenheit 9/11 from their theaters. Whatever your politics are, I find it decidedly UN-American to censor another artist's work - no matter HOW strongly you disagree with it.

Sure, picket the theaters. Hand out pamphlets denouncing Michael Moore as a one-man liberal propaganda machine. There's nothing against free speech or the freedom to assemble going on there.

But outright censorship - trying to prevent art from reaching the masses, denying them the right to choose FOR THEMSELVES if this is material they wish to expose themselves to - is just plain wrong. As an artist myself, I take particular notice when stories like these break because who is to say I won't be next if you happen to disagree with something I say?

In any case, I plan on watching Moore's film when it comes out this Friday. And like all of Moore's work, I intend to take it with a grain of salt. When I get home, I plan on taking the information I've gathered and researching it myself to get a balanced perspective on the issues.

And IF ANYTHING ELSE, that is the beauty of Moore's chest-thumping. He gets people THINKING. And in an election year where 50% of the populace chooses not to express their given right to have their voice heard, a little extra thought tossed into the political arena is never a bad thing.

:: steps off soapbox ::

If you have comments about today's comic, please leave them in the THorum (Rational discourse ONLY, please!) and expect a follow-up comic on Friday.