February 23, 2018
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

The Empty Chamber

For George Packer’s brilliant piece in today’s New Yorker.  The broken System in all its horror.


  1. Victor Juhasz says:

    This wretched Congress in all its horror and Brod in all his glory. A fabulous image, Steve.

  2. Steve says:

    Grazie Maestro.

  3. Jay Blackburn says:

    Thanks for the heads up on all the recent great art Mr. Brodner. And thumbs up for the Kim Jong Il piece accompanying the New Yorker article on N. Korea. What a surreal and screwed up place. And what a creature KJI is. And now the son is coming down the pike. Yes Virginia, it can get worse.

    But speaking of surreal and screwed up, we have our own back yard. I have started turning off NPR, (it’s my only non-online source of current info), when I hear guys like Sessions, McConnell, Graham, Palin, Nelson, Feinstein… and the list is growing. For all of the passion and concern that some folks bring to trying to present a path to improvement, there’s a group that is just as passionate about destroying the whole damn thing to spite their own faces and show a liberal how serious they are as they go down with the ship just to be able to watch the liberal drown too. While the plutocrats just smile on their yachts and sail around the wreckage.

    The stupidity is overtaking hope. Rather than my being surprised, a solid chunk of this country is living up to my most matter of fact expectations. As crazy as Angle and Rand Paul are, they are giving their competition a fight. Both races are almost even. There’s no outraged repudiation of those two by a significant majority. They could get elected and their every utterance is extreme and nonsensical. At what point is two steps forward and one step back going to turn into the opposite? We are on the cusp if we’re not already there. And I think we could be. I think we are. The power of greed and the greediness of power is driving this country insane.

    I’ve quit writing at blogs for the most part and to be honest, I’ve restrained myself from commenting here because I just turn into a cranky old guy. I haven’t read the article on the Senate yet. I’m going to because I’m sure it’s excellent and your illustration is fantastic as always. But I am so tired of contemplating that both the destructo buffoons and myself are versions of Homo sapiens and I just don’t know how that works. I really do wonder if we aren’t actually separate species that physiologically are pretty similar but psychologically we’re just wired different.

    Whatever institution you can name that makes this country livable and socially harmonious is under attack. And I really don’t know if the intellectual side is going to stand by and wonder why we can’t all get together and make it work, (while giving away the farm time after time trying to placate the ever whining and threatening opposition), or if there’s going to be push back commensurate with the destructive force of the opposition.

    It’s always a treat to see your work, whatever media format it arrives in. It’s a gift to be able to take such absurd, and demoralizing, craziness and make it look so cool.

    Best regards,


  4. Steve says:

    Thanks Jay for the always extremely thoughtful and sensitive reply. Maybe the world is going too far off the deep-end for sensitive people to survive anymore. When you consider the alternatives and the severe conditions and sacrifices people made who built this country I don’t think we have any choice but to die trying. Telling the truth is powerful and the darkest days of the past eventually passed away and light was able to enter. I don’t think FOX and Beck are as powerful as the Nazis. All it takes is the commonsense middle to start to work again. They did in ’08. They will again. But whether they do now or not we must stay involved. Even if we are only Schindlers. Small victories are victories. And when the truth slips out we have to be there with an alternative. Don’t think the BP disaster won’t change the debate. An expensive opportunity I know. Stay tuned my friend.