Tag Archives: political cartoon

(Comic) How The War On Drugs Works

(Comic) How The War On Drugs Works

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Illustrated Parables
An Old Man From Jersey Explains Life

An old man sits on the steps to his apartment and explains life to an eight-year-old boy.

This Was Your Life

Loki and a friend taunt the dead at the Pearly Gates to the Underworld

TRANSCRIPT

 

A woman is standing in front of a judge in a courtroom.
JUDGE
Order in the Court! This case is now in session. Will the defendant please state her name?
DR. JUSTICE
My name is Dr. Michele Justice.
JUDGE
You’ve been charged with growing ten marijuana plants in your house. Tell the court how you
plead before the prosecution states their case.
DR. JUSTICE
Before we go on, tell me who this “prosecution” person is.
JUDGE
That’s the person whose job it is to make sure you go to jail for as long as possible and pay as
much money in fines as possible.
DR. JUSTICE
I’d like to call a mistrial. There’s no reason or justice in having someone here whose sole job it is
to ruin my life.
JUDGE
Don’t worry. We’ll lend you a person whose sole job it is to fight the prosecution and defend you
even if you’re guilty.
DR. JUSTICE
What if my representative is an idiot with no experience and the prosecutor is a sociopathic
genius with decades of experience?

JUDGE
Then you’ll be going to prison for a long, long time, and after you get out you won’t be able to
get a decent job for the rest of your life because of your criminal record.
DR. JUSTICE
This is absurd. I demand better protection from this villain.
JUDGE
Don’t worry. Twelve of our peers will listen to both sides of the case and vote democratically on
your fate.
DR. JUSTICE
Isn’t it a conflict of interest to have my peers judge me?
JUDGE
By “peers” I meant, “total strangers.”
DR. JUSTICE
Are they experts in the law?
JUDGE
No, not at all. A lot of them aren’t experts in anything. They’re pretty much failures in life.
DR. JUSTICE
What are the chances they’ll be sympathetic to my case?
JUDGE
Not good, because the prosecutor will get to screen them and remove any he doesn’t think he can
manipulate into voting to send you to jail and ruin your life.
DR. JUSTICE
So you’re going to put my fate in the hands of a group of people who have been stacked against
me, have no legal training and don’t want to be here? Then on top of that you’re going to let a
highly skilled, manipulative sociopath twist their perception of me?

JUDGE
When you put it like that it really does sound bad, but I can assure you it’s a great system.
DR. JUSTICE
Has anyone innocent ever been found guilty? Or has anyone guilty ever been found innocent?
JUDGE
Both literally happen every single day.
DR. JUSTICE
I’ll tell you what, why don’t you let three impartial detectives investigate my case, and I’ll let
them have the final say on my verdict.
JUDGE
You don’t have that option.
DR. JUSTICE
What options do I have?
JUDGE
None.
DR. JUSTICE
So how do I get options?
JUDGE
First, you go to prison, and if you survive then you spend the rest of your life learning the legal
system and spend your life savings appealing your case until it goes to the Supreme Court, but
the legal system will try to stop you every step of the way.
DR. JUSTICE
Is it the Supreme Court’s responsibility to objectively stand up for human rights and challenge
the system when it fails to serve the interests of the people?

JUDGE
For every case where that happened, I can point to three where it didn’t.
DR. JUSTICE
What about you? I’m talking to you right now. Can’t you help me?
JUDGE
I don’t have the authority.
DR. JUSTICE
But you have the authority to destroy my life and by proxy the lives of my family?
JUDGE
That’s correct.
DR. JUSTICE
How is that justice?
JUDGE
That’s how it’s always been done. So it must be right. Now, you were caught with ten marijuana
plants. How do you plead?
DR. JUSTICE
Before I answer that, why is it a problem that I had ten marijuana plants?
JUDGE
Because it’s against the law.
DR. JUSTICE
But 
why is it against the law?
JUDGE
Because it’s bad for you.

DR. JUSTICE
I’ve got 30 tobacco plants growing in my backyard. Why don’t you arrest me for that?
JUDGE
Because it’s not illegal.
DR. JUSTICE
Why not? Millions of people die every year from tobacco, and nobody has ever died from
marijuana. In fact, marijuana has medicinal properties.
JUDGE
Can you prove that marijuana is medicinal?
DR. JUSTICE
Until you prove that tobacco is medicinal I don’t see why I need to.
JUDGE
Well, marijuana will also get you high, and anything that makes you feel euphoric has to be
illegal.
DR. JUSTICE
Cigarettes and alcohol get you high too.
JUDGE
Alcohol was legalized because prohibition led to an unprecedented rise in organized crime, and
the majority of Americans wanted it legalized.
DR. JUSTICE
Everything you just said is true about marijuana, and there are tons of academic papers written
about it.
JUDGE
Too bad this is neither the time nor the place to have this discussion.

DR. JUSTICE
I’m about to be sent to prison…by you. This is exactly the time and place to have this
conversation. In fact, I’d say this conversation is long overdue.
JUDGE
I’m sorry, but you can’t question the law in a court of law.
DR. JUSTICE
Can I at least pick my punishment? I’d rather get whipped than go to jail.
JUDGE
We can’t whip you. That would be cruel and unusual punishment.
DR. JUSTICE
Will I suffer any inhumane treatment in prison?
JUDGE
You’ll almost certainly be beaten, stabbed and raped. You’ll live in constant fear. You’ll barely
get enough nutrition to survive, and you’ll get as little medical care as possible. And you’ll be
coerced into working in a sweatshop.
DR. JUSTICE
Is there any way I can improve my odds of surviving in prison?
JUDGE
Since you’re white your best bet is to join the Arian Brotherhood.
DR. JUSTICE
So your solution to crime is to force criminals to join organized crime rings?
DR. JUSTICE
Uhhhh.
JUDGE

How much would it cost to send me to prison anyway?
DR. JUSTICE
About twenty-four thousand dollars a year.
DR. JUSTICE
I’m a doctor. I’d pay that much in taxes if I were able to go back to work.
JUDGE
Well, that’s all the more reason why you shouldn’t have broken the law. You’re costing the taxpayers
twice.
DR. JUSTICE
No.
You’re costing the taxpayers twice by sending me to prison for no reason.
DR. JUSTICE
There is a reason. Marijuana users have to be arrested to keep society safe.
JUDGE
Smoking marijuana is a victimless crime. Absolutely no one gets hurt by it. Even if it were as
dangerous as alcohol or cigarettes, it still wouldn’t be as dangerous as prison. Sending people to
jail for marijuana possession is like shooting them in the head to stop them from shooting
themselves in the foot. Wouldn’t people’s taxes be better spent enforcing victim-full crimes and
rehabilitating violent criminals?
DR. JUSTICE
Honestly, as long as I get a paycheck every month I don’t really care.
DR. JUSTICE
Doesn’t it bother you at all that this system is designed to set people up to fail, not to facilitate
justice?
JUDGE
People who can afford a high-priced lawyer aren’t set up to fail. Neither are politicians.

DR. JUSTICE
That’s completely and utterly unfair. That’s not justice.
JUDGE
Not my job to care.
DR. JUSTICE
Reason is dead here. Well, why don’t we just skip this charade and send me to your for-profit
human kennel you call a prison.
JUDGE
Fantastic. Send in the next victim in the war on people.

THE END


(Comic) How The Economy Works

(Comic) How The Economy Works

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An Old Man From Jersey Explains Life

An old man sits on the steps to his apartment and explains life to an eight-year-old boy.

This Was Your Life

Loki and a friend taunt the dead at the Pearly Gates to the Underworld

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Near an apple orchard, a little boy riding a tricycle is talking to a man in a business suit. 

Man #1: Hey, kid.

Boy: What’s up, mister?

Man #1: I’ll pay you $1 if you pick me 10 bushels of apples.

Boy: Awesome! I’ll be Oprah rich!

Man #1: But first you’ll have to pay my friend here $300 to go to apple picking school.

Just then, another man walks up.

Boy: I can’t wait to learn about apples.

Man #2: You’ll probably learn more about your teachers’ lives… that and how to be poor. The second part will be surprisingly useful.

Boy: But I don’t have $300 to pay for apple picking school.

Just then, another man walks up.

Man #2: Don’t worry. My friend here likes to do favors for poor people. He can give you a loan.

Man #3: I don’t actually have $300 either, but I can create it out of thin air and let you “borrow” it. After interest, you’ll only owe me $700 of actual money that you actually have to work to make.

Years later…

Boy: Here’s your 10 bushels of apples. It took half my life to gather. In that time I’ve watched seasons pass, friends die and nations fall. Yet I’m no closer to my dreams than when I started.

Man #1: Now pick me 11 bushels, and do it twice as fast or I’m only giving you 90 cents. I’m going to sell these for $100 a bushel to a country that doesn’t have apple trees. I’ll be so rich I’ll buy shit I don’t need just because I’m bored.

Boy: My rent is 95 cents. Fuck my life.

EPILOGUE

Boy: My retirement plan is death.

Man #2 and #3: Until then you’ll work for our friend and sign your paychecks over to us.

Man #1: Just be glad you didn’t take out a mortgage.

THE END

 


(Comic) How The Housing Market Works

(Comic) How The Housing Market Works

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This Was Your Life

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TRANSCRIPT

 

Every scene in the comic uses the same picture of a young, scrawny white hipster and a well-dressed businessman standing across from each other in a bland office. There’s nothing on the walls, and the only piece of furniture is a bland, wooden desk between them.

Man: How can I help you?

Hipster: I just turned 18, and my parents kicked me out of my home that I’ve lived my entire sheltered life in.

Man: So you need to rent an apartment then?

Hipster: I’d rather buy than rent. I’ve been saving all the money I made working at my high school job. You can run my credit check.

Man: That won’t be necessary. I can tell you right now that you can’t afford to buy property. Your only two choices in life are renting and dying homeless in the streets.

Hipster: Those are my only choices in life?

Man: Well, no. You could go to jail or join the military. Both are very popular choices for people like you.

Hipster: I guess I’ll rent. How much does that cost?

Man: It costs as much as possible.

Hipster: I can only afford $100 per month. What can I get for that?

Man: You can’t rent a parking spot in the city for $100 per month.

Hipster: So how do I survive?

Man: Not that anyone cares, but you could rent a room from someone who can’t afford their mortgage and has been forced to sublet.

Hipster: That sounds confusing. Which government office handles that?

Man: It doesn’t really work that way. You just have to look in the classifieds.

Hipster: What if I’m not good at this?

Man: Then you deserve to die in the streets.

Hipster: Well, I’d rather have my own place anyway so I can live by my own rules and establish my own space in the world. I don’t want to live with psychotic strangers. Isn’t there some kind of low cost government-owned young professionals dorms I can live in? I don’t need a space bigger or fancier than a prison cell.

Man: You mean like projects for white people? No, that doesn’t exist, and even if it did I’d sponsor a politician’s career and get him to privatize it.

Hipster: Why would a politician privatize a social service?

Man: Because he owes his career to me. Of course, he’ll tell the voters who think he represents them that I’ll be able to provide a better product at a cheaper price.

Hipster: Will you?

Man: Of course not! There’d be no point. I’d charge the highest price possible for the cheapest product.

Hipster: Why?

Man: Obviously, so I can keep as much money as possible for myself personally.

Hipster: Huh. I guess it’s a good thing the government doesn’t offer affordable housing to young professionals.

Man: Come to think of it, maybe I should get my representatives to have taxpayers build those so they could privatize them and then sell them to me for pennies on the dollar….hmmmm.

Hipster: At least if you ran a slumy privatized young professionals dormitory then I’d be guaranteed to have a place to live.

Man: No, you’d still be in the same position you are today because I can’t get exorbitantly rich without charging exorbitant rent.

Hipster: But you won’t get any of my money if I can’t afford rent.

Man: But I’ll get more from the people who can pay. So the cost/benefit analysis adds up.

Hipster: I’ll just rent from someone else.

Man: Everyone charges as much as possible.

Hipster: What the hell? Is everyone evil?

Man: Most property owners have to take out a 30-year loan. So if you’re renting from someone you’re probably paying their mortgage. And the banks have set the interest rates, taxes and meaningless add-on fees for buying a house so high that everyone ends up paying twice what their property is worth in the current housing bubble.

Hipster: So since everyone got charged twice what their stuff was worth they have to charge twice what it’s worth when they sell or rent it.

Man: …to break even, but it’s standard procedure to try to make a profit.

Hipster: So the system is designed so that everybody has to shank their neighbors just to get by?

Man: See? It’s nothing personal. Your land lord’s not evil, just stupid.

Hipster: Now that that’s settled, you mentioned earlier that we always pay twice what a house is worth in the current housing bubble.

Man: If you take out a standard 30-year mortgage, yes.

Hipster: But what do you mean current housing bubble?

Man: Nothing costs as much as its worth. Everything costs as much as people will pay for it. So as long as you’re living anywhere worth living you’ll pay more than what your property is worth.

Hipster: Why does this process have to be so confusing and complicated?

Man: Businesses exist to make money. Banks are businesses. The only way banks make money is by taking it from their customers. So it’s in their best interest to take as much money from their customers as possible. That’s why it’s so hard to buy property.

Hipster: How do banks get away with that?

Man: Because that’s the way the entire economy works. Every time you open your wallet to take money out or put money in someone is going to take as much of it from you as they can.

Hipster: That sounds like a recipe for poverty and homelessness.

Man: Well, you don’t become the richest man in the world by factoring that into the cost/benefit analysis of your actions.

Hipster: What about Bill Gates? He’s like the richest man in the world, and he cares about people.

Man: Well, after I earn my first $70,000,000,000 selling the cheapest product for the highest price while paying my workers as little as the market will allow I’ll give away a few billion I’d never have used anyway to buy my way into Heaven too.

Hipster: With that much money you could sponsor every politician’s career in the country.

Man: With that much money I’d be above the law and wouldn’t care what politicians do, but yes. If the need ever arose I could make the government dance.

Hipster: I guess I won’t hold my breath on getting those government-owned low-cost young professionals dorms.

Man: Well, if you can’t afford to rent in my economy then you can count on going to jail. So in the end, you’ll get a room after all.

Hipster: At least you won’t make any money off of me.

Man: Actually, I own the prison, and the company I own it through is traded on the stock market. So the government pays me for every person I have in prison, and the more people I have in prison the more my stocks go up. It’s a win/win situation!

Hipster: The prison system is a privatized social service? Does that mean you provide the cheapest product at the highest cost?

Man: Let me put it this way. There aren’t enough vitamins in a prison meal to keep a sea monkey alive, but my kids eat steak and lobster twice a week.

Hipster: At least when the police send me to your human kennel I won’t have to work 40+ hours at an unfulfilling job I hate for minimum wage.

Man: Actually, I got your political representatives to waive the basic human rights of prisoners. So inmates work in sweatshop conditions that would otherwise be illegal.

Hipster: I don’t remember voting on that.

Man: Why would I put that up for a vote? That’s not in my best interest.

Hipster: Well, I’m not going to work in your sweatshop. It’s not like I’ll need money in prison.

Man: You’d think that, but I’ve made it pretty damned hard to live without money…even in my prisons.

Hipster: So it’s even expensive to live in a prison?

Man: …as expensive as it can be.

Hipster: Damn. How much does it cost to die?

Man: Ha. Ha. It’s like anything else, as expensive as it can be.

Hipster: Can I ask you one more question.

Man: Sure, but if this takes much longer I’m going to start charging you. Ha. Ha.

Hipster: What do you think the meaning of life is?

Man: It’s like anything else…

Hipster: …to pay as much as possible because life is as expensive as it can be?

Man: Ha. Ha. Well put, but I was just going to say, “Fuck you.”

The End


(Comic) How The Stock Market Works

(Comic) How The Stock Market Works

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An Old Man From Jersey Explains Life

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Loki and a friend taunt the dead at the Pearly Gates to the Underworld


(Comic) How Bank Greeters Work

(Comic) How Bank Greeters Work

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An Old Man From Jersey Explains Life

An old man sits on the steps to his apartment and explains life to an eight-year-old boy.

This Was Your Life

Loki and a friend taunt the dead at the Pearly Gates to the Underworld

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Banker: Hello, Buddy. Welcome to the bank that loves you. How are you doing today?

Customer: Not too good, I’m afraid.

Banker: Really? What’s wrong, friend?

Customer: Well, I just hate coming to your bank, because I know I’m going to have to exchange cheerful greetings with four employees not doing any work before I even get to the counter. Then your receptionist is going to ask about my day and try to make small talk.

Banker: Whoa there, Negative Nacy. We’re just being friendly because we love you so much. Don’t blame me because your daddy didn’t love you.

Customer: If you look at the bigger picture, you may be surprised by how logical it is for me to be nauseated by your behavior. For starters, what if I don’t feel like conversing? I can’t walk past for people and dismiss them without looking like an asshole.

Banker: Well, why not just be a nice person and return their greeting?

Customer: The thing about that is, it’s not your place to ask. But every time I come into this bank, I have to act how you want me to or else I’ll look like an asshole. You set me up to look like an asshole… for not doing something I don’t want to do. Which is why I always just return your exaggerated greetings. But that just means you’ve succeeded at manipulating me into acting fake.

Banker: I’m sorry you feel that way, but I’m not going to apologize for expressing my love for you.

Customer: Then apologize for lying to my face. Did every single employee here independently come up with the idea to get in customers’ faces and pry into their personal lives?

Banker: Heck, no. Everyone is ordered to be aggressively friendly. It discourages bank robbers, and it makes most customers feel important.

Customer: And what happens if your employees aren’t aggressively friendly?

Banker: They get in trouble, and we threaten to fire them. If they don’t conform their behavior, we throw them out in the street to starve to death.

Customer: The fact that you force your employees to act like impossibly happy cult members makes me not want to say hi to you.

Banker: But all businesses do that. So it must be okay.

Customer: By the way, how profitable is this business, and how does it make money?

Banker: This bank is extremely profitable, and we make all of our money by taking it away from our customers through ATM fees, late fees, hidden fees, etc. We even charge customers for not having enough money. But the big profits come from high-interest rates. And the poorer you are, the more you’re going to pay for everything.

Customer: So basically, every time I come here, you lie to my face and force me to kiss you on the cheek before you fuck me in the ass. How on Earth can you not understand why I’m underwhelmed with you?

Banker: Oh, I’m totally with you on this. I hate my job too, but I’m a slave to money just like everyone else. So, we do what the master tells us and find our own way to cope with living in an Orwellian world where money is more important than people.

Customer: Hmmm. Now I kind of do feel like an asshole for rubbing the cold reality of your hollow existence in your face like that.

Banker: Nah, I deserved it.

THE END


(Comic) Intervention With A Pop Star: Part 2

(Comic) Intervention With A Pop Star: Part 2

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TRANSCRIPT

 

A girl named Pop Star and her friend are standing in a hallway next to a door.

Friend: Okay, Pop Star. This is where we’re going shopping.

Pop Star: Hey, I know this place. The last time you brought me here I had an intervention with Dr. Philpot about how anti-intellectual my music was.

The two girls go inside the room. It’s a professional office with a couch. A man is sitting in a chair across from the couch.

Dr. Philpot: Welcome back, Pop Star.

Pop Star: Damn it! I knew it. This is another intervention. What gives?

Friend: I guess you’ll find out. I’ll be back later to pick you up.

The friend leaves.

Dr. Philpot: Why don’t you have a seat, Pop Star?

Pop Star: I’m not sitting down. I don’t need another intervention. I already stopped singing songs that glamorize co-dependency.

Dr. Philpot: This is about something else. Please have a seat. I promise you’ll benefit from what you’re going to hear today.

Pop Star: Fine. Whatever.

She lays down on the couch.

Dr. Philpot: Your friends asked me to have an intervention with you about how you handle money.

Pop Star: What’s wrong with how I handle money? I don’t have any debt. Oh, I get it. You’re going to try to tell me I spend too much on partying, right?

Dr. Philpot: Sort of. To illustrate my point, let’s talk about some of the uplifting songs you’ve written since your last intervention.

Pop Star: Well, there was, “Man in the Mirror,” “Another Day in Paradise,” “Heal the World,” “Where is the Love,” “Walking on Sunshine,” “What a Wonderful World,” “That’s What Friends are For,” “You Get What You Give,” “Never Surrender…” The list goes on. I’m on top of the charts right now.

Dr. Philpot: Yeah…about that.

Pop Star: I believe the word you’re looking for is, “congratulations.”

Dr. Philpot: Yes, congratulations. You’ve filled the world with an unprecedentedly positive message of hope and change. Tell me now, have you seen that change in the world?

Pop Star: Totally. It’s like a whole new world out there. It’s like living in Disney Land.

Dr. Philpot: There’s not any poverty, gangs, drugs, domestic violence, war, famine, fear or collapse going on anywhere in the world?

Pop Star: Well, if you count that stuff…

Dr. Philpot: Yes. Yes, those count.

Pop Star: Well, that’s just all the more reason to stay positive.

Dr. Philpot: And what do you do in your personal life to stay positive?

Pop Star: Bitch, I’m rich. I guarantee you that money can buy happiness. I can make all my wildest fantasies come true with the snap of a finger. When I’m sad I throw money at the problem.

Dr. Philpot: So it’s pretty easy for you to stay positive then?

Pop Star: The fact that I only sleep with models who will let me do anything helps too.

Dr. Philpot: …of course. What would you say if I told you it’s harder for some people to stay positive?

Pop Star: I’d say they should hold on and persevere no matter what.

Dr. Philpot: Would you tell slaves to hold on and persevere no matter what?

Pop Star: There’s no such thing as slaves anymore.

Dr. Philpot: Let’s pretend there are.

Pop Star: I’d tell them that help is on the way.

Dr. Philpot: What if help isn’t on the way?

Pop Star: I’d tell them to keep on believing.

Dr. Philpot: Believing in what, exactly?

Pop Star: Themselves? Their leaders? God? I don’t know. Something inspiring like that.

Dr. Philpot: How is your message supposed to help them if your message is vague to the point of being useless?

Pop Star: Who cares? The whole situation is hypothetical anyway.

Dr. Philpot: If it’s hypothetical anyway, then humor me, and tell me what you would tell your fans if they were slaves on a plantation owned by Superman and in fact, everyone worked in slave plantations owned by a different superhero. So nobody had any hope of rescue since their heroes were the ones enslaving them.

Pop Star: I’d sing the world a song about respecting yourself, holding your leaders accountable and standing up for yourself in the name of truth, justice, and the human spirit. Hey, I think I’ll use that idea for a song in my next album…even if it’s based on a hypothetical premise.

Dr. Philpot: What would you say if I told you that you were a superhero?

Pop Star: Thank you. In fact, that’s what I’ll call my next song, “Hero.”

Dr. Philpot: You don’t understand. You’re one of the heroes in the hypothetical slave world…except that it’s not hypothetical. It’s metaphorical.

Pop Star: That’s ridiculous.  I don’t own any slaves. Ask my accountant.

Dr. Philpot: And what is a slave, exactly?

Pop Star: A slave is a human being you own and have a receipt for.

Dr. Philpot: Does the mafia need a receipt to force a girl into sex slavery?

Pop Star: Okay, fine. No, but it doesn’t matter because I’m not forcing girls to have sex at gunpoint.

Dr. Philpot: True… but it raises the question though, what exactly is a slave? At what point would you call yourself a slave? Suppose your manager kept 100% of the money you made and kept you in his dog house. Would that be slavery?

Pop Star: Yeah, that’d be slavery.

Dr. Philpot: What if he didn’t keep you in his dog house? What if he left you to sleep in the streets and expected you to show up and work for him every day?

Pop Star: I’d kick him in the nuts!

Dr. Philpot: Okay, calm down. What if he let you keep 1% of the money you made him so you could afford to buy your own house, raise a family and make all your dreams come true?

Pop Start: 1% isn’t a favor, that’s an insult.

Dr. Philpot: Well, what if it were 3% or 7 or…

Pop Star: If I’m doing all the work I better get all the money.

Dr. Philpot: Well, your manager is doing a lot of work booking gigs and such. Doesn’t he deserve a fair share of the profits?

Pop Star: Sure, as long as it’s fair and I have my freedom.

Dr. Philpot: What if he gave you a fair share, but in order to buy anything you had to buy it from other slave drivers who charged you 100% of your wages so that you didn’t get to keep any money for yourself? Would you still be a slave then?

Pop Star: I guess not, but the end result would be the same.

Dr. Philpot: Well, that’s the reality of life for most of the human beings on this planet.

Pop Star: Yeah, I know. I wrote the song, “Heal the World,” remember? Anyway, what’s the point? Are you trying to guilt trip me into giving more money to charity?

Dr. Philpot: Well, if your manager kept 90% of the profits you made and it cost 100% of your wages to survive, do you think it would help much if your boss gave 1% of his savings to charity?

Pop Star: No, but I’m not a slave driver. So I don’t know why you’re asking me.

Dr. Philpot: Hmmm. How many people does it take to put on a concert and make and sell all your merchandise?

Pop Star: Uhhhh. Dozens?

Dr. Philpot: How many people do you work with you are so filthy rich they have to do drugs to get creative enough to come up with ideas how to spend all their money?

Pop Star: …just me…and my manager.

Dr. Philpot: How many of your employees are drowning in debt just trying to put a roof over their heads and send their kids to school?

Pop Star: …most of them.

Dr. Philpot: Well, in your song, “In the Air Tonight” you sing about watching a man drown when you have the power to save him…

Pop Star: Yeah, that’s not what that song is about.

Dr. Philpot: Whatever. The point is, would you consider it manslaughter to let someone drown when you have the power to save them?

Pop Star: Yes, I would make a categorical imperative out of that.

Dr. Philpot: Well, your fans and your employees are all drowning, and the only reason you’re not is because you’re standing on their heads.

Pop Star: Wow. You’re so pessimistic. You need to be more optimistic.

Dr. Philpot: I’m not being pessimistic. I’m being realistic, and you’re not being optimistic. You’re being apathetic.

Pop Star: You’re so mean.

Dr. Philpot: If the truth sounds ugly it’s not because of the way the messenger looks.

Pop Star: What what? You want me to give away all of my money? You said yourself, if everyone else is being greedy then charity is just pouring blood into a sieve. It doesn’t address the underlying problem.

Dr. Philpot: If you believe that then I want you to ask yourself, what can you do to address the root cause of poverty and wage slavery other than throwing a fraction of your blood money at the problem…like you’ve been doing.

Pop Star: Can you just tell me what to do instead of asking me leading questions?

Dr. Philpot: I ask leading questions because patients tend to automatically argue with anything they don’t want to hear, and the reason they see me in the first place isn’t because they need the obvious pointed out to them but because they refuse to acknowledge the obvious without coming to the conclusion themselves…but I trust you. So I’ll tell you the truth, but it will be the end of our session. I don’t want to give you time to argue with me. I want you to go home and rethink your life…objectively.

Pop Star: Deal.

Dr. Philpot: You’ve already answered most of your questions anyway.

Pop Star: I have?

Dr. Philpot: You should pay your employees more and charge your customers less.

Pop Star: But they’ll still get overcharged by everyone else, and I’ll be lowering my head closer to water.

Dr. Philpot: But you’ll be setting a precedent and sending a message that can be amplified if your songs reflect your actions.

Pop Star: Will that be enough to make a difference?

Dr. Philpot: If nothing else, you won’t be a brazen hypocrite anymore. Your question is moot anyway. What you can do, you must do. Even if it doesn’t change the world, it’ll still help those within your broad sphere of influence.

Pop Star: Wow, you really know how to guilt trip a girl.

Dr. Philpot: All I did was state the truth. If that makes you feel guilty then that’s your conscience trying to tell you something. And with that, I think we should end your intervention. Will you promise to go home and think about the things we’ve talked about?

Pop Star: I do, but I have to confess… I’m scared to risk what I’ve got on one man’s guilt trip.

Dr. Philpot: If you have enough money to make your dreams come true and your dream is to find answers then hire someone who answers questions.

Pop Star: I guess two minds are better than one…hmmm. Maybe I’ll hire a whole monastery full of intellectual monks.

Pop Star’s friend walks back into the room.

Dr. Philpot: I suppose that’s a start. Well, your friend is back. Looks like our session is over. Good luck, Pop Star.

Pop Star: Thank you, Dr. Philpot. I promise I’ll make the world proud.

The End


(Comic) Intervention With A Pop Star: Part 1

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TRANSCRIPT

 

Two girls are standing in a hallway next to a door talking. Then they go through the
door where they meet a psychologist.
FRIEND
Okay, pop star. This is where your fan club meeting is.
POP STAR
This is a weird place for a fan club meeting.
Pop Star and her friend walk through the door. Inside is a psychologist’s office. A man is sitting
in a chair.
POP STAR
Oh no! Only one fan showed up?!?! And he’s old!?!
DR. PHILPOT
This isn’t a fan club meeting, and I’m not a fan per se. My name is Dr. Philpot, and I’m a clinical
therapist. Your friend brought you here today for an intervention.
POP STAR
Is that like a total make-over?!?!
DR. PHILPOT
If it helps you can think of it as a make-over for the mind.

POP STAR
Are we both going to get a make-over?
FRIEND
No. I’m good. Call me when you’re done.
The friend leaves.
POP STAR
Okay, so how does this work?
DR. PHILPOT
Just lie down on that couch and get comfortable. Then we’re just going to talk.
Pop Star sits down.
Why did you change your name to “pop star?”
POP STAR
Because that’s who I am, and that’s what I do.
DR. PHILPOT
So you feel your new name is more honest and straightforward? Is that the message you’re
trying to communicate?
POP STAR
Sure. That and it tested well with focus groups.
DR. PHILPOT
Let’s talk about the messages you’re communicating in your song lyrics.
POP STAR
Like, almost all of my songs are about relationships.

DR. PHILPOT
Your target audience is mostly teens who are preparing for the rest of their lives while wrestling
with big decisions and big changes. So why is it that most of your songs focus almost exclusively
on the topic of relationships?
POP STAR
My songs totally prepare teens for life. It’s like one of my earlier songs said, “All you need is
love.”
DR. PHILPOT
In another song you said, “You ain’t got anything if you ain’t got love.” Do you believe that?
POP STAR
I backed that up in the song, “love lifts us up where we belong.” I mean, it’s where we belong.
How can I make that any clearer?
DR. PHILPOT
Have you ever considered that this extreme emphasis on love might be oversimplifying life a
little and possibly distracting or confusing the younger and more impressionable members of
your audience?
POP STAR
Distracting them? From what? What else would I sing about?
DR. PHILPOT
For starters, what about education? You could implore young people to travel, to question their
beliefs, to think logically. In a word, self-improvement.
POP STAR
That’s not romantic!
DR. PHILPOT
Actually, it’s the foundation of romance. How can you know who will make a compatible life
partner if you’ve never defined or refined who you are? Furthermore, the less you’ve defined

yourself the harder it is to achieve happiness because you haven’t defined your wants, goals or
expectations, which makes them impossible to fulfill.
POP STAR
Whatever. Self-help books don’t complete you. Finding the perfect person does.
DR. PHILPOT
Two incomplete people can’t complete each other. And again, how will you know who you’re
compatible with until you fully understand yourself?
POP STAR
When you meet that perfect person you just know.
DR. PHILPOT
But upon first meeting someone you don’t know anything about them.
POP STAR
Why do you need to know everything about them? So you can judge them? So you can measure
them? Love is blind. The whole point of love is you accept the other person just as they are.
DR. PHILPOT
See, the message you’re sending to children there is that they don’t need to improve themselves,
and they should endure any manner of neglect and abuse by their partners in the name of a fuzzy
ideal. This is not a solid foundation to build lasting, meaningful, healthy relationships on. I mean,
do you believe a woman in an abusive or unfulfilling relationship should get a divorce?
POP STAR
Uh, duh? Obviously. Any man of mine better walk the line.
DR. PHILPOT
Have you ever considered writing a few songs that define the preconditions of a healthy
relationship or set useful boundaries? Maybe even songs offering advice on how to achieve
compromise?

POP STAR
You’d have to be stupid not to know that stuff already, and why is it my responsibility to teach
them that anyway?
DR. PHILPOT
Because you’re a pop star, and Children see you as an authority figure. Also, remember that
people listen to your songs over and over again. So your words get pounded into their memory.
And when the only thing they hear from you is that the only thing they should be focusing on in
their life right now is getting in a relationship and staying there, it can have a profound impact on
their priorities. The fact that some of them might not be smart enough to see that makes it all the
more important for you to shape your message responsibly.
POP STAR
You’re acting like I’m killing people. What’s the worst that could happen?
DR. PHILPOT
People may rush into unhealthy relationships, stay in abusive relationships, neglect other
responsibilities, kill themselves after a breakup or simply feel incomplete when there’s no reason
to.
POP STAR
Do you really think so? People will always think with their genitals, which is what love songs are
ultimately appealing to. How will that ever go out of style?
DR. PHILPOT
Culture is always evolving, and it’s evolving faster now than ever before. Counterproductive
norms are becoming obsolete in a fraction of the time it took before the invention of the internet.
Codependency can’t remain the norm forever. Ignorance is becoming more and more taboo, and
it’s only a matter of time before enlightenment goes mainstream. The only question is whether
your career will be riding that wave or be crushed by it.
POP STAR
You’ve given me a lot to think about. I’m going to have to talk to my manager about this. Before
I go though I have one question. You said you weren’t going to bother appealing to my emotions
or my sense of right and wrong. What would you have said if you thought that would help?

DR. PHILPOT
Tonight I want you to spend an hour gazing at the stars and contemplating the beauty, scarcity,
and value of life in this universe. Then ask yourself, if you had a chance to make your brothers’
and sisters’ lives even a little better. then how could you possibly pass up such a profound
opportunity?

THE END


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