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The worse physical pain I ever felt in my life was a mysterious pain in my left forearm, searing and throbbing at the same time. This was many years ago; at the time, I had no primary care physician, and that was very bad, because there was no one who would just say “hey, let’s giving his arm a cortisone injection.”
(The week or week and a half of this pain is very blurry in my memory. Did I go to the E.R.? Surely I must have, and apparently they didn’t help me. But I have no memory).
Anyway, I finally managed to get an appointment with my brand-spankin’-new primary care physician, and he gave me a cortisone injection, and an hour later the pain was magically gone.
And now I can’t remember the pain at all. I remember the fact that I was in pain, but the pain itself is beyond recollection.
I wonder if the current political moment will be like that. Decades from now, we’ll remember the fact that it happened, but it’ll be hard to really remember how it felt. Or for people who were born after this moment to understand.
So this cartoon – which, unlike most of my cartoons, isn’t issue-oriented – is my attempt to capture, in gag cartoon form, something of the way things feel to me right now – of the feeling that the world is in a state of perpetual crisis, and yet perpetual crisis has become our new normal.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels.
A woman with glasses and dark, shortish hair, sits at a desk, an open laptop on the desk in front of her. She’s turned her head away from the laptop, and is responding to an off-panel voice.
OFF-PANEL VOICE: What’s going on in the world?
WOMAN: I’ll check the news.
The woman checks her laptop.
An enormous, violent blast of bright force shoots out of her laptop screen, pushing her so hard her hair streams out behind her.
The woman again turns back to speak to the off-panel voice, but her head is now just a skull, still smoking from the blast.
OFF-PANEL VOICE: Anything going on?
WOMAN: The usual.