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Jack Kevorkian is the most successful serial killer in history

Harold Shipman probably has a higher body count, but they didn’t make an HBO special gushing about what a swell, compassionate guy he was, did they? I don’t fucking believe they made a sympathetic Kevorkian biopic. Yeah. It won a Golden Globe last night.

Look, I’m not set against euthanasia. That’s a national conversation we’ll have to have some time. It has absolutely nothing to do with that sick fuck Jack Kevorkian.

In 1956, when he was still just a resident, he picked up the “Dr Death” moniker. He asked to be notified when any patient was close to death so he could stare into their eyes while they died. Sometimes he took pictures. He said he was searching for a way to pinpoint the exact moment of death.

What is the medical need to know the exact moment of death? There isn’t one. Who knows how many friendless people he robbed of dignity in their last moments of life.

He didn’t start in the assisted suicide biz. What he really wanted was permission to vivisect death row inmates. I’ve never read exactly how he thought medicine could be advanced by killing people under general anesthesia. I get the impression he just thinks it would be kinda neat to paddle around in people’s innards until they die.

When permission wasn’t forthcoming, 1987 he advertised himself in Detroit papers as a physician consultant for “death counseling.” By 1991, he’d lost his medical license.

He named his death machines Thanitron and Mercitron. He killed 130 people between 1990 and 1998 and was acquitted of murder five times. When authorities gave up prosecuting him, he forced one more arrest — he taped himself administering a fatal shot and walked the tape over to his friend Mike Wallace, who aired it nationally on 60 Minutes. He videotaped all his killings, presumably to enjoy again and again. He spent eight years and a bit behind bars.

Equal parts ghoul and attention whore, then.

Oh – about three quarters half [70 out of 130] of his victims weren’t terminally ill, just depressed and in pain. Five of them weren’t sick at all, their autopsies showed. He hadn’t bothered to find out; medicine wasn’t part of his deal.

He ripped out the kidneys of one of his assisted suicide victims and offered them at a press conference, “first come first served.” The “surgery” was so crude that the Oakland County Medical Examiner called it out of a “slaughterhouse” and a “bizarre mutilation.”

Say, have you seen his paintings? One of the pigments is his own blood. Isn’t that nice? And the captions show an absolute Loughnerian grasp of the English language.

So, basically, somebody who should have spent the last thirty years (at least) in a hospital for the criminally insane. A perfect hero for Hollywood. They called the film You Don’t Know Jack.


January 17, 2011 — 7:22 pm
Comments: 21

Gumby and Clokey

How did I miss this? Art Clokey died a year ago.

Yeah, you know — the man who gave us Gumby and Pokey. Among other psychedelic horrors.

After undergraduate work in geology and a stint in WWII, Clokey studied film under surreal filmmaker and master of the montage Slavko Vorkapich.

Cokey’s USC graduate project was a short clay animation called Gumbasia — a play on Fantasia. Watch it; it’s worth three minutes of your time.

The president of the Motion Pictures Producers Association saw Gumbasia and funded Clokey’s next project, which turned out to be Gumby.

Oh, and lest we forget, Art and his wife Gloria created the doll-based animations Davey and Goliath (admit it, the words, “oh, Davey” just went through your head in Goliath’s goofy-ass voice). Yeah. That’s weird, because Clokey was a Buddhist or some shit, and D&G was a product of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

I read that Davey appeared in a late Gumby cartoon acting like a dick, but I can’t find a copy of it online.

Gumby’s wonk-head was inspired by this picture of Clokey’s dad, who died in a car accident when Art was nine. As tributes go, that’s a weirdy.

I’m fascinated by Clokey’s work in particular and clay animation in general (the term “claymation” was trademarked by Will Vinton in 1978), mostly because it skeeves the hell out of me. In 1975, I sat through the Fantastic Animation Festival, like, seven times, mostly to see the short Closed Mondays over and over.

I tried my hand at stop-motion animation in my teens, but all I had available was a video camera. That’s no good at all — you get a little jump and snow whenever the heads start and stop, which is every frame. I soon gave up, so you’re spared that horror.

Anyhow, RIP Art Clokey. Here are some links:

The intro to Gumby Dharma, a documentary about Art Clokey. Mandala, another Clokey film for adults (really, really stoned ones). Clokey’s animated credits for Doctor Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965). A print interview of Art and Gloria from Omni. Part one of a six-part interview with Clokey. And finally, Marv Newland’s famous 1967 student animation Bambi Meets Godzilla — just because.

January 14, 2011 — 9:37 pm
Comments: 30

Flap harder, Hillary! You’ll make it!

A brief moment of amusement. Oh, c’mon — you didn’t expect me to let this one go. Me?

I went to the Rhode Island School of Design, which is built on the side of a steep hill. One morning on my way to class, I hit a rain-slicked manhole cover and went down.

I didn’t so much fall as come in for a landing. My left foot went out from under me, my drawings went airborne and I instinctively attempted the save — ran sideways for about twenty feet, gradually lower and lower, until I slid full length into Angell Street.

First class of the day, so hundreds and hundreds of my peers looked on. I had people coming up to me for weeks afterwards.

There. My moment of solidarity with Hillary Clinton is at an end.

January 13, 2011 — 7:27 pm
Comments: 16


I was going to play with Loughner’s mug shot, but I couldn’t deal. Never mind the smirk, that boy’s head is full of battery acid and rusty razor-blades and there’s nothing but a long lifetime of prison and scary meds ahead of him. Let him be.

Dupnik, on the other hand, has some ‘splainin’ to do. If Loughner had come to the attention of law enforcement many times — including the morning of the shooting — did they miss any opportunities to get him evaluated? Maybe not. I accept that — maybe not. But my mother used to say you could smell schizophrenia — by which she meant something about the behavior of a psychotic rings every THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG HERE alarm bell you’ve got. Apparently, anybody in Arizona can get anybody else carted off for a psych eval.

And Dupnik sure is yelping like a scalded hound.

January 12, 2011 — 8:28 pm
Comments: 39

A Public Service Announcement from Paul Krugman

Yep. Because restoring civility begins with accusing your opponents of mass murder.

I’m gonna have an outbreak of Tourettes over this. I swears.

January 11, 2011 — 6:57 pm
Comments: 35

Attempted incitement

If you weren’t on Twitter over the weekend, you’re smarter than me. The instant there were reports of a shooting in Arizona, the Left went ugly trying to pin it on the Tea Party. It was a wonder to behold. A giant steaming wonder.

I couldn’t take much. After a while, even the pushback from our side began to feel a little opportunistic, so I just shut Twitter down for a while.

This is part of a pattern since the rise of the Tea Party (helpfully recalled by Legal Insurrection): the Left blamed them for Bill Sparkman’s suicide, Amy Bishop shooting up the University of Alabama, the Fort Hood shooter, the IRS plane-crasher dude, the cabbie stabbing and the Pentagon shooting.

When every one of those perps turned out to be politically neutral or even avowedly liberal, the left stood down…but didn’t substantially back down. I finally worked out why (besides crass opportunism): they really and truly believe their own narrative. They are so absolutely certain-sure the Tea Party is inherently violent, whenever they hear a report of gunshots, they think to themselves, “well, finally. What took them so long?” They must be utterly bewildered when it isn’t true. Again and again.

Look again at my favorite picture of Nancy “Hammertime” Pelosi, walking through the Tea Party crowd carrying a giant gavel. She didn’t have to do that. As I understand it, Congress has a subterranean entrance to the building. She was hoping to start something (I can’t think why else she and Steny Hoyer would be holding hands with…John Lewis, is that?). Give that imaginary hair trigger a tug.

The awful thing is, Jared Loughner sure reads paranoid schizophrenic to me. Which would mean not even the shooter is responsible for the shooting on this one (I’m skeptical of the insanity plea, but not in the case of demonstrable schizophrenia…brrrr that’s an evil-ass disease). Still, his parents may not bear much real blame either. It’s damn near impossible to “get help” for an adult until he clearly crosses the line into batshit dangerousness.

Well, if this is true, maybe Sheriff Douchenozzle has some culpability.

January 10, 2011 — 8:25 pm
Comments: 25

It’s back!

As promised, the all-new Catsophone 2.0!

For those unfamiliar, the Catsophone is a theoretical instrument played by puffing air across a cat’s anus.

I have confessed before that I thought of the Catsophone in a dream, but I’ve never explained why I was dreaming of puffing air across a cat’s bottom.

I was lying on the floor watching television one day (for reals) when my cat Damien got between me and the TV and did one of those long feline stretches, the kind where their claws go forward and their backends go up in the air. Shoved his butt right in my face. So I blew air at him thinking it would startle him into moving.

He loved it.

He waggled his ass and started backing up into the stream of air.

I thought to myself, “Ew, little bastard. Creepy. I must never, ever tell anyone.”

It’s just us in here, right? 



January 7, 2011 — 11:21 pm
Comments: 24




England’s probably the only country in the world that issues warning labels in case of embarrassment.

Warning, warning! Danger, Will Robinson! Really awkward social situation ahead! 




January 6, 2011 — 11:38 pm
Comments: 12

On her last day in office, Nancy Pelosi crashed my new computer

Oh, man. I’d been working all afternoon on a video, when the software crashed. Hard.

I’d load the program, it would sit there for ten or fifteen seconds. Then Windows would pop up and say, “there’s something wrong with this thing — seeya!” and shut it down.

I guess it’s an improvement on the Blue Screen of Death. I mean, the program didn’t crash anything but itself. But it sure was off-pissing.

Anyhow, I finally figured it out. There was something in the Nancy Pelosi folder that was freaking it out. When I moved the folder out of the default spot, it worked again.


I wanted to do a lot more with this, but spent most of my free time trying to fix the computer instead. Still, here’s my little goodbye to Nancy Pelosi on YouTube.

G’bye, Nan!

— 12:44 am
Comments: 34

Planning for Retirement

I made a short, stupid movie about the 112th Congress (click the pitcher, Sherlock).

I have a love/hate relationship with video, leaning toward hate. I had to work with it a bit back in the day, and I was always screwing up some codec or frame rate or something. The technical side makes me crazy. But the graphics side was pretty fun.

And now that I have an extremely good machine, I figured I’d poke a toe in the water.

January 4, 2011 — 7:08 pm
Comments: 31