Archive - Jul 2008

July 23rd

The Rinehart Wigout Corporation

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Memo to Brent Rinehart: YOU! ARE! DUMB!

I will admit, sometimes, chronicling the omnipresent stupidity of the human race loses its shine. There are only so many times John McCain can talk about nonexistent borders, or Debbie Schlussel can fire off her latest hate salvo against Muslims, before I start to wonder if the stupid have lost the will to truly innovate.

This is why Brent Rinehart is my new best friend. You see, Rinehart is fighting a tough reelection battle to remain an Oklahoma County commissioner. A battle made all the more difficult by his upcoming trial for allegedly breaking campaign finance laws in 2004. And that's why Rinehart spent two months making a 16-page comic book that looks for all the world like a Chick Tract whose mom was given an extra Thalidomide shot "just in case".

I shit you not. I've seen a lot of gutsy campaign moves in my time, but sixteen pages of crude drawings portraying the candidate as a fearless crusader for Christian values, not to mention a freakish, macrocephalic Airplane Man, while depicting his enemies as Satan-loving homosexuals? That's genius-level stupid. That should get him some kind of award.

Philistines and art critics have, understandably, complained that the comic is homophobic, not to mention the lengthy paranoid ravings of a madman who couldn't draw Tippy the Turtle on the back of the matchbook to save his life. But Rinehart is having none of it, and is preparing to mail all sixteen pages to his constituents. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I'm proud of it. It's a novel way to tell a story about the last three and a half years. It's informative, entertaining, and a good read." - Rinehart, who is, I must remind you, an INCUMBENT county commissioner.

And, to be fair, the comic is all those things. It's definitely informative. For years, I've thought homosexuality was inherent at birth. Thanks to Rinehart, I now know homosexuality is caused by a half-sized bat-eared Satan, who points his pitchtrident at small children. Any child that welcomes Oompa Lucifer with open arms becomes gay.

It's definitely entertaining. I was on the edge of my seat when Rinehart illustrated the conspiracy between the homosexuals, represented by a man in a trenchcoat, fedora, and blackface; and the "liberal good ol' boy politicians", represented by, um, a man in a trenchcoat, fedora, and blackface. The pitchfork, in case you were wondering, is a bit of Satanic overlap. Strict panel layouts are the tool of the homosexual agenda.

And it's a good read! Well, if by "good read" you mean "spends two pages calling gay people pedophiles, while somehow never managing to spell 'pedophiles' correctly. Or the same way twice. Which is certainly a literary achievement, though probably not the kind of thing that will get your name mentioned alongside Stan Lee, Todd McFarlane, and Rob Liefeld.

It's a work of art that, like all great art, raises many questions. Like, when Rinehart constantly refers to "liberal good ol' boys", is he talking about Bo and Luke Duke joining the Sierra Club, or does he actually mean "old boys' network"? And if he does, the possibility of a liberal old boys' network in rural Oklahoma is even more ridiculous than Rinehart's grasp of anatomy.

The whole thing reads like an eight-grade revenge notebook. Opponents are caricatured, to the extent that you can tell the difference between an honest, upstanding Oklahoma citizen and a freakish-headed monstrosity done up that way on purpose. Enemies hold signs saying "Gay Rights Now!" An allegedly brutal prison guard, nicknamed "The Gladiator", is portrayed as an eight foot tall, muscled man wearing nothing but a helmet, shield, and banana hammock. Let's not even contemplate the psychological issues THAT reveals, shall we?

So thank you, Brent Rinehart, for the strange combination of idiocy, insanity, and eclecticism that spurred you to move campaign literature into an entirely new medium. When Election Day comes, you may win. You may lose. Or you may be in jail. But you can rest assured that no matter what happens, your place in stupid political history is assured.