By Вen Li
At first glance, it would appear Ron Callari and Jack Pittman try entirely too hard to fit in with the radical left by taking meaningless potshots at George W. Bush and Co. with their book Uncle Dubya’s Jihad Jamboree. Upon further inspection, this proves correct. The book is nothing but a failed attempt at conveying any insight whatsoever on the subject of its critique and is cloaked in blind and self-destructive partisanship.
After an unwarranted comparison of the book’s Elmer Fudd look-alike in diapers with a funny historic comic character, Uncle Dubya’s Jihad Jamboree comes to a grinding start by praising Bill and Monica’s legacy of funky smells left in the Oval Office. In 144 chronologically sequential pages of what appear to be Internet blogs and web comics rivaling the best Microsoft Paint masterpieces, the authors somehow manage to say absolutely nothing of conclusive value. Their original Internet content dating from 2000-2004 gained nothing being put to paper.
Instead of providing new, or indeed any, insight on the war on terror, the reader is left with a pittance of 23 Internet links to such prestigious and unbiased news sources as cnn.com, commondreams.org, envisionsoftware.com and altermedia.info. The book’s 23 chapters are based on one link each, an incredible timesaver for both the reader and the authors, to be sure.
Sixty-one de-contextualized comics grace the middle of this tome–each less insightful than the last–and have their original punnerific captions further explained by an even lamer cliche-quote of a kicker. One particularly awful zinger on page 74 features late California defense attorney Johnny Cochrane prosecuting Saddam Hussein while repeating butchered versions of his lines from the OJ Simpson trial, such as the caption “Fit to be tried” and the addendum “He’s electrifying.” From time to time, the authors even bless us with a comic that puts kidd millennium on top of poorly PhotoShopped movie posters and downloaded Internet graphics, such as their portrayal of Bush as the “Preemptinator” on page 92.
This book is faulty to perfection. Copious grade-school humour and pointless cliches conspire to permanently bury any deeper meaning or insight the authors may have had. Ad copy on the book jacket promised “a hard hitting, incisive, comical perspective of how one leader has merchandised terrorism for his own political gain.” Zero out of three isn’t bad for this pair of aspiring ideo-blogs.