Laughing Matters: Tom the Dancing Bug, “The N.R.A. of Counter-Earth!”

Sometimes comedy illuminates hard truths with a pointed urgency that other means can’t quite achieve. Sometimes comedy is just funny. This series of posts is mostly about the former instances, but the latter is valuable, too.

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If the only thing Ruben Bolling ever signed his (fake) name to was Super-Fun-Pak Comix, I would still be prepared to call him the finest cartoonist working today. Happily, he also does more than that. His weekly comic, Tom the Dancing Bug, is the home of sharp, astute political and social satire, devising consistently novel ways to expose the absurdity of our most heated current debates. Few installments made me more likely to inundate helpless friends and acquaintances with email blasts linking to it than “The N.R.A. of Counter-Earth!” which recast the nation’s most ludicrously powerful lobbying organization as the National Rhetoric Association, stalwart and uncompromising defenders of the First Amendment. Let’s pretend for a moment that the Second Amendment was ever intended to confer an individual right to bear arms. It clearly wasn’t, but let’s pretend. Even if that’s the case, the notion that there can be no incursions on that right in the name of public safety, when the far clearer First Amendment has a bevy of exceptions to it written firmly into law, is preposterous in the extreme. In five splendid panels, Bolling makes this argument, with insight and fiercely effective humor. One of those panels appears above. The whole thing is available at Boing Boing, currently the primary home for Tom the Dancing Bug.

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Laughing Matters” tag.

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