Conservapedia administrator Karajou – who would appear to be immune from their “use your real first name and initial” block reason (after all, there’s no possible permutation of ‘Brian MacDonald’ that gives you ‘Karajou’) – fancies himself as a bit of a cartoonist. However, before we go into that, it’s probably best to have a quick refresher course on what we know about the man behind the myth.
Karajou is CP’s resident navy veteran, something he confirms on his user page. Where he tells us which countries he visited, what courses he took, but is strangely silent on his rank achieved after 20 years’ service. Then again, given his passive-aggressive anger issues, hair-trigger temper and generally grumpy temperament, it’s likely he kept getting busted down to seaman, for punching out his OC. Probably because the latter wasn’t conservative enough. Personally, I’ve always pictured him as a weird hybrid between Capt. Haddock’s bushy beard and pipe, Capt. Sobel’s (from Band of Brothers) people skills… and Colonel Kaddafi’s eyes. This is best displayed by his reaction to a (probably false) letter from a mother of a gay son – blocking her whilst calling her a bigot.
Now Able (?) Seaman MacDonald is a natural for the post of CP admin. When you combine the above mentioned personality traits with his biblical literacy (if it’s in the Bible, then it really happened that way) and his firm-held belief that CP is at war with the worldwide liberal conspiracy to have Andrew Schlafly’s blog closed down (after which the liberals will celebrate by eating every baby they can get their hands on), and he’s the perfect blustering, paranoid bully ready to see the worst in every editor and blindly follow Andy’s lead. Actually, he did have one moment of lucidity, when he edited the Barack Obama article, removing most of the junk and leaving it in a state resembling an encyclopaedic article. However, once Andy had reverted the lot, citing “liberal vandalism” or some gunk, Brian hasn’t put a foot wrong since. The words “assume good faith” are not in his vocabulary, but then one can assume that a lot of big words aren’t, unless they’re accompanied by a picture. In Brian’s world, you’re the enemy until he decides otherwise… and even then, he might block you – normally because you had the misfortune to share an IP address with a previous user, who might have edited years ago (The concept of static IP addresses appears to be as alien to CP admins as, say, the 10th and 11th dimensions of string theory).
A particularly funny exchange occurred when an editor complained that the entry on Jane Austin’s “Pride & Prejudice” was not encyclopaedic. Brian stormed over, like a demented drill sergeant, and – engaging mouth before brain – demanded to know if said user had a degree in “encyclopaedia science.” When said editor said no, seeing as no such degree could possibly exist, Brian replied with, ”That’s right, you do not have such a degree, and therefore you do not decide what is or is not ‘encyclopaedic’ on this site.” However, it would appear as if the CP admins have indeed completed such a degree, seeing as they often delete articles for being non-encyclopaedic. Maybe it’s offered by Andy, in his church basement classroom? Full marks, however, to the editor who – prior to being blocked until the entropy death of the universe – chirped, “Right, that’s Ed Poor’s job.”
However, I digress.
Brian took it upon himself to draw a weekly politically-themed cartoon, and plaster it on the main page. Because, as you well know, all good encyclopaedias use cartoons to get their political point across. Hmmm. Do they seriously still belief they’re working on a conservative Wikipedia, and not propping up Andy’s personal soapbox cum echo chamber?
Now I’ll say this for Brian – the man can draw, as can be seen from his rendition of a sabre-toothed tiger. Given his deep-seated resentment of anything liberal, however, from which nothing good, nor beautiful, nor positive can possibly sprout, I’m sure he’ll chomp down on the stem of his pipe (there’s that Capt. Haddock thing again) and mutter “humph!” as the talentless hacks (and I confess that I am – my artistic abilities never progressed past matchstick men) dare to critique his work from afar. Of course, it’s impossible to critique them up close, seeing as your average Conservapedian’s response to constructive criticism, is to block said critic, and then revert and oversight said criticism, to make sure that it never happened. Thus is the illusion of sunshine and happiness maintained on CP.
However, he does tend to get stuck in a rut when it comes to subject matter (I think we had more Oslo summit cartoons than there were actual days of summit, and more than one about how he can’t understand evolution using a formula. Maybe if it had pictures…) and to be honest, his punch lines need work. A lot of work. Then again, maybe we are expecting too much from the man. Even if Andy does think Brian’s one of the greatest living cartoonists (this should not be taken as high praise, however, coming from a man who thinks girls are mentally inferior to boys and that nobody should get less than 98% for one of his “exams” – unless they’re a filthy liberal who doesn’t repeat back parrot-fashion what Andy has said), he ain’t no Carl Giles. He’s not even an XKCD.
This is where the good folk of RationalWiki come in. In the spirit of reconciliation, a number of editors took Brian under their collective metaphoric wings and tried to show him how to add some zip, or punch, or anything, to improve his cartoons. Actually, that’s a damn lie – we just wanted to twist his cartoons to serve our own nefarious need for self-affirmation and laughs. However, it did prove that Brian’s cartoons, when given a little love and affection, could indeed be funny. I’ve chosen the three funniest (as voted for on RW), but you can see all of them here, and Brian’s originals here.
As for a disclaimer, I’m claiming “fair use for purposes of commentary, or parody” for all the images appearing here. Seeing as that’s the default disclaimer for all the copyrighted images that CP uses, I’m sure they won’t complain. Oh, an the thumbnails will all open in a new window when you click on them.
- 1. Obama’s World Tour
There’s a certain wonderful irony to this cartoon, showing then newly elected President Obama (yes, the same guy who very likely handed Andrew Schlafly his ass in the HLR presidential election, not that Andy holds a grudge, of course) apologising to the world. The fact that he’s apologising for all of George W Bush’s screw-ups, seems to have escaped Brian’s attention. Then again, being conservative means never having to say you’re sorry. Be that as it may, there’s actually nothing funny about this cartoon, which is strange when you consider that according to Andy, Jesus was a) conservative, b) big on Hell, not that forgiveness crap c) dressed in the then equivalent of Armani suits and d) invented comedy.
The RW version does a very nice job of applying the CP administrators’ collective worldview to the same map of the word. Besides the tiny stronghold of true conservatism in New Jersey, the rest of the world is full of nasty liberals and internet terrorists (courtesy of Terry Koeckritz’s ongoing attempts to make CP appear even more bizarre). Full marks for transplanting Kenya to Hawaii, given that CP is the home away from home for the combined “Obama-is-a-Muslim-born-in-Kenya” whack-jobs.
- 2. A Conservative vs. Liberal Christmas
Now here’s a pretty good insight into just how Brian sees the world. Given that he’s plastered the liberal’s house with all those signs, I’ve been trying to think if I’ve ever seen bumper stickers that say things like, “We’ll take your gun when we pry your cold, dead fingers from it,” or “Give me HealthCare or give me death.” No, I think you’re far more likely to find stickers and signs spouting similar messages on conservative houses, cars and websites. Most liberals, even the atheist ones, are quite happy to celebrate Christmas – or whatever pagan festival the 25th of December was neatly plonked on top of – as it means a day off work and distant family members, whom you don’t really like, show up and give you socks… again. (That said, I still want to kneecap the whiny little shit who complained when RW stuck a Santa hat on their logo last Christmas.)
All of the above is nicely accommodated in RW’s version, which also portrays a far more accurate picture of the conservative mindset. Remember these are the people with the “Don’t Step on Me” flags and stickers, as well as the Psalm sticker, which appears to be calling on God to kill Obama. Such nice people.
- 3. Climategate
Brian jumped feet-first into the whole Climategate thing, conveniently forgetting that this was the same sort of hacking that had him (and everybody else on CP) frothing at the mouth when Sarah ‘You betcha’ Palin’s e-mail was hacked. He also shows his complete ignorance concerning what it was all about. (Interesting aside, I see that regardless of what was said in the e-mails, the underlying data has since been found to be correct).
Now admittedly, the RW version was done by yours truly, but the people voted for it, so here it is. It’s more of an in-joke, so unless you’re familiar with Ken DeMyer / CP user Conservative’s blathering stupidity and insane writing style on CP, you might not get the joke. However, it appears as if quite a few people found the idea of Ken transplanting his “talents” into the world outside of the basement in which he most probably dwells, quite funny. Which makes me happy, even though I have the strange sensation that Colonel Kaddafi is staring pointedly at the back of my neck…