Picture This

Huge by Aaron Lange, Underground Comix.


A Poem

The shame.

The fear.

The rage.

The provocative fat.

The odious orange.

The quicksand-suck of utter revulsion.

In 1972 Hunter Thompson revitalized political reportage by bringing “scumbags” and “swine,”“madness” “stench,” and “swill” into the discussion.

But words only carry you so far.

HUGE goes a bridge beyond, which the good Doctor Gonzo would admire.


We have read and heard so often that our president-elect is “racist,” “misogynist,” “xenophobic,” “unprepared,” “unqualified,” “unfit,” “unstable,” “erratic,” “incoherent,” “ignorant,” “dangerous,”  “narcissistic,” “mendacious,” “cruel,” “corrupt,” “empty” that even the most odious adjectives rattle emptily against each other, smoothing edges, eroding substance, numbing us to his loathsomeness.  It takes the visual to strike our vitals.  We came upon this earth armed with sight before we mastered words.  We learned how to react and what to react to  before we could describe what provoked us and what we did.  Something primitive within accounts for the punch of the outer image still.  The visual is what strikes guts and gold.

So Aaron Lange lands blows that pinwheel eyes and make us wince.  With his cum and shit, his blood and mouth and bestial teeth, his oozing pustules and scourged flesh, his gaped vaginas and seeping mutant penises Aaron Lange has taken the political cartoon onto transformative ground. Obscenity outdoes op-ed, both chilling and revelatory.  Profanity out-rivets reason.


This, we recognize, is the monster loosed upon us, crawled from swarming fog and fetid swamp.  A monster, more frighteningly, to which our selves have given creation.   Each warted phallus.  Each canine-like incisor.  Each sopping, soiling bodily excretion. Created, so to speak, in our own image.  By our votes, if not this election, then in the sum of all elections which preceded it. This is what, in a near-250 years, we have brought upon ourselves.  This is what our striving has returned us.


Shriek, sure.  Flee, why not.  But recognize it issues from within our selves. Robert Kennedy said, “Every society gets the kind of criminals it deserves.” The same is certainly true of its presidents.

So shudder at what has crept from it-can’t-happen nightmare into reality.  On paper and the White House.

Adapted from Levin’s afterword to Huge.