Ron Callari and Jack Pittman describe themselves as "two '60s sympathizers who have traded in their peace signs for Florsheims but still want to give peace a chance." Callari writes the commentary and Pittman creates the illustrations. Together, thanks to their fertile imaginations, they take political commentary, irony and satire to new heights. The star of their joint effort is Kidd Millennium, a sly, wisecracking, bediapered baby who delivers "platitudes with attitude." Callari, Pittman, and Kidd have a devoted international following and it's no wonder. But I suspect the politicians skewered by this feisty Kidd and his pals are less than thrilled by Callari and Pittman's war of words and images. If this book does not make you smile or make you mad, or both, nothing will.
Both commentary and illustrations are excellent so I had trouble choosing review content. A few of the highlights for me included the following commentaries:
· the electoral college -- where party cronies elect the president and not the voters;
· continuity of government -- better known in the beltway as the Shadow Government -- where only Republican members of the Executive Branch are allowed to survive to govern in a post-apocalyptic America;
· zealots in training -- whose families are paid because their loved one agrees to martyr himself or herself in the name of jihad and Allah;
· strange bedfellows -- the evildoers who are anathema today are the "informers" the U.S. paid handsomely for information and favors yesterday.
All the illustrations were equally thought provoking, but among my favorites were:
· a parody of Men in Black, with the President wiping out our collective memories of past missteps, with the kidd asking "How do you think he's maintained his popularity rating?";
· the President reprising Swarzenegger's role as the Terminator, starring as "the Preemptinator". The critics gave this debut two big thumbs up, but as Kidd Millennium astutely pointed out, they did not say up where;
· a poignant and powerful illustration of Kidd Millennium comforting a weeping Statue of Liberty after 9/11;
· the President in an Iraqi foxhole asking "Is it still a standoff?" with Kidd as his lookout saying, "No. Rumsfeld has successfully transferred his high level blame to low level prison guards."
Most of us already know our government plays fast and loose with taxpayer money. It also comes as no big surprise that we are shut out of the decision-making loops and circles in D.C. Despite that, Callari and Pittman shed new light on the Iraqi war while educating and entertaining. Sun Tzu, as the originator of "shock and awe," said several thousand years ago that the best way to win a battle was not to fight it. In Uncle Dubya's Jihad Jamboree, Callari and Pittman wonder how we got that message wrong, and question all the many reasons why.