Welcome to the United States of Dysfunction

True believers of Norm Shatterd’s OOlala Movement

Is this 2020 deja vu? Feeling in a bit of a time loop? This past week seems like we jumped back a year to a return to those mask wearing, good old pandemic times! But this time around with the added fun of inflation all around! Whoopee!

Thanks to all you ignorant anti-vaxxers we get to go through another round of hell in America, even those of us who made the responsible, principled and wise decision to get a vaccination. Thanks to you ignorant anti-vaxxers we have to continue to wear masks indoors and distance ourselves, and continue to wait for a return to normal conditions in which we can go out at night and have a good time. Sitting in a public place such as a bar or restaurant or show with a mask is NOT my idea of a good time. Thanks to you ignorant anti-vaxxers people who can’t get a hospital bed are dying.

So either get vaccinated or soon there will be a wave of businesses that demand vaccination before one is allowed to be employed by them, along with restaurants, bars, entertainment venues requiring vaccination or a same-day negative test. To think that getting a vaccination that maybe one person in a million has a poor reaction to, is more dangerous than contracting a disease that kills one in ten thousand, at the least reveals poor math skills, if not outright stupidity. Do what is right for your own health, the health of others, and the health of our society in general and take the less risky option. How can anyone rationalize delaying vaccination because the government hasn’t passed final approval on it and at the same time constantly complain about how they don’t trust anything the government tells them? This is insanity, folks! Get vaccinated.

Now take a minute away from the Monday morning routine and read the comic, you might get a laugh or it might make you mad or it might make you think. For best viewing on mobile devices, go to onthefencecomic.com for Webtoons format. Follow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook & Ko-fi.

The Workers of America are Looking For a Better Job

I was raised in the Detroit area in the late 50s and the 60s, when it was the manufacturing center of the country. Back then I would have never believed economic conditions in Detroit could be brought so low by the time I reached middle age.

Lately I’ve been hearing pundits and prognosticators in media saying that it’s time to bring well paying jobs back to the USA. The new administration wants to create better jobs for the future. I sincerely hope they are able to follow through with this because it’s well past the time for the government to support working people instead of enabling the richest to get richer at the expense of the rest of us.

Life was pretty good in this country as long as you were willing to work hard and be sensible with your spending habits. Then came the 80s and too many Americans buying into the Greed is Good BS. That’s when actual work became devalued and the good jobs started moving out of this country. The value was placed on “entrepreneurship” or a fancy way of saying wheeler dealer, somebody who manipulates and exploits other people and capital to amass personal wealth and power. Our heroes became opportunists and no one wanted to work anymore, everyone wanted to be a yuppie. When I started seeing “He who dies with the most toys wins” bumper stickers, I drove to the mall, went to the custom T shirt shop and had a “Die Yuppie Scum” T shirt made.

This was all at the cost of what we now recognize as essential workers. The people who built and manufactured things were no longer appreciated for their contributions and good jobs were shipped to other countries. My father worked and a tool and die maker, and except for the recessions he had steady skilled work at decent enough wage to raise a family. That started to change with cost of living going up, my mother started working in the mid 60s. But that’s not the point, life got generally more complex at that time so people needed more income to make ends meet. In those days manufacturing was the engine of the American economy. There were HUNDREDS of tool and die as well as metal fabricating businesses in the Detroit area. Now they number in the DOZENS.

Computerization and robotics are the cause of a large part of the devastation of the small to medium sized tool and die businesses in manufacturing. But the flight of big industry to other countries in search of cheap labor is the real culprit. Now when this country faces new challenges on just about all fronts, our capacity to work on solutions to these problems has been gutted, hollowed out for decades.

I cycled through a series of jobs, descending in inherent worth, in Michigan because the one rule there was every job eventually ends in a layoff. The economic race to the bottom has caused the wealth inequality we now inhabit. I left Michigan in 2008 because the jobs had been disappearing for many years. I was a little too late because by the time I left, the national economy was crap and has been for regular working people ever since. The only people doing well are those who have managed to hold on to their “good jobs” still existing from the old economy. Jobs with decent pay and benefits. The dinosaur jobs that went extinct. And, of course the rich are getting richer.

I have taken a lot of flak for daring to criticize the Boomers. Most just deflect what I’m saying by declaring they have solar powered homes or electric cars or don’t eat red meat. While all being admirable positive efforts, the real question about the Boomers is what were you doing in the 80s and thereafter? Were you unscrupulously amassing a fortune with no thought about any negative consequences for your actions? Were you assisting to move jobs out of the country or to lay off working Americans?

I realize I’m nowhere near normal, but I spent years agonizing over how to make a living by doing something positive. To be precise, I spent years thinking how to make a living without making a negative impact. The closest I could come to that is working as a graphic artist without being involved in advertising or marketing. The last thing I ever wanted was to advance the interests of an unprincipled for-profit corporation. So I worked in jobs that avoided doing that for years. And sacrificed financially because of it. Then after 2008 the economy permanently changed to be so much worse for people who actually produce something for a living at the ground level. I can’t expect anyone else to live according to my standards. But I do believe that if you made a conscious contribution to Big Corporate America—who do not care about workers—then it matters. You deserve criticism.

I have never minded paying taxes. Taxation is the basis for a civilized society. But when my taxes are going into the Defense Dept. black hole and subsidies for the rich while the wealthy and large corporations pay little to no taxes? Then I have a problem with 25% of my meager resources going towards that kind of corrupt nonsense. I will get around to writing about the history of how negatively incorporation was viewed, early in the history of this country, for those who love to refer to founding fathers. But all rational beings know that this country is way out of whack and it’s past time for corporations and the super rich to COUGH UP THEIR FAIR SHARE!

They are so fantastically disgustingly wealthy because they have played our system to their advantage, now they need to pay that society back. Working people need better wages because we are living in a society that has been optimizing every conceivable method to milk the workers, for a period of forty years. A system in which wages have plummeted in relation to living costs. The vast majority of this country is BROKE! It’s time for the rich to pay their share OR it’s time to EAT THE RICH.

Somebody Has Got To Go

Good morning, I hope everyone had a restful and safe weekend. Because now it’s time to pay the taxman! I’ll be going over bills, invoices, bank statements and all that other fun stuff we get to deal with once every year. I realize the date has been moved to May, but taxes are one thing I like to get over with.

Meanwhile, things in the bigger picture continue on the road to weirdness, more shootings, police violence, and to me perhaps the most aggravating development is that the former guy continues to spout egregious lies that will cause yet more damage to the country. Let’s be honest, all the disruptions in the social environment are due to the liar’s lies about the election, the pandemic, the vaccine, etc. We have ongoing threats of violence and foolish people protesting basic public health procedures that have been proven to be effective for not just years, but centuries! We have many people who I have spoken to, who to my surprise are rejecting any thoughts of being vaccinated, thanks to the liar’s lies about COVID-19. The dangerous lies continue, so my question is, Are there ANY consequences to the filthy rich elites in this country for crimes carried out in PUBLIC?

EVERYONE knows TRUMP IS GUILTY of inciting a violent insurrection in which people were KILLED! And yet, has he paid any significant price for all the damages he continues to inflict on this nation? No instead he’s griping, like the petulant child he is, that “they didn’t name the vaccine after me! Wahhh!!!” OK let’s call it the Trumpccine, to treat the Trumpdemic and the Trump Depression caused by the Trump Virus. Then let’s bring the liar to justice and throw him in a cage. I hope you enjoy my comic, once I get this site set up correctly, I’ll soon begin posting my previous graphic novel. Have a great day!

Time for Spring Cleaning

I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about how for-profit corporations should be contributing a lot more in taxes, and since they got a nice fat tax reduction a few years back, it’s time they pay for a post pandemic infrastructure upgrade. But I’ll get into that in more depth maybe next week. This week is time to begin a transition to a “new normal.”

My greedy property managers raised my rent for the third year in a row, I don’t know why they think a 8-10% annual increase is fair or tolerable. So I’m doing a spring cleaning on steroids, training a harsh eye on all my belongings and jettisoning everything I don’t need. The first step in finding a new place to live.

Also, it’s Tax Week! Yippeee! I mean Ugh. So I’ll be getting out all the receipts, going over my bank records, and figuring out how much I owe to the system that takes my money every year and apparently directs most of it to people who don’t need more money. I have no problem with paying taxes as long as the money goes to things that help people who work for a living.

The most obvious sign in my life that things are heading back to some version of normal is the guys in my band are anticipating playing in public and we’re getting enthusiastic about learning new songs. So I’m memorizing lyrics and practicing riffs between shifts of working on cleaning up some of last year’s mess. In preparation for a return to life after a long stressful year of isolation! Have a great week!

Celebration at Vaccination Station


Happy Monday, another week begins. I received my second COVID vaccination last Friday, thanks to an amazing effort by the new administration. I don’t even want to speculate on where things would be if the Idiot’s Inch Erection, Oops, I mean Idiot’s Insurrection, had succeeded. Then the effort to vaccinate the country (as well as the entire globe) could be measured in years instead of months.

I was quite impressed by the well-organized administration of the vaccine. It’s a colossal task that from my experience, is being carried out remarkably well. It’s my hope this effort will be an example to prove that good government CAN accomplish necessary goals. Perhaps we can hope for a new, more active stretch of government advancements in citizen’s rights and infrastructure. .  I’m not encouraged to see that Republicans are still pushing their pack of big lies and attempting to, basically, keep the country in a state of instability. They don’t seem to have a strategy other than stopping any significant progress in the USA. And they’ve done a pretty competent job at propagandizing their base. The optimistic hope is in the fact that most former sane and honest Republicans are now supporters of the new administration. We still have the crazies to deal with.

I spoke to 2 people I know this week who always seemed sensible, who both told me no way am I getting that vaccination! I replied that even if you’re not nervous about becoming ill yourself, shouldn’t you do it to protect the overall population? One told me they never get any vaccinations, including flu shots. Okay, I admit to never having a flu shot. But I had the flu probably 8 or 9 times as a child and never again since. It’s a little different situation. Try to convince skeptics using the example of smallpox and you’ll probably get blank stares.  I mean make up your mind. I was under the impression their Feckless Leader was all for herd immunity. I guess they’re just for herd mentality!