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I was walking to work, enjoying my last few moments of feeling Not Entirely Crushed Between The Cogs Of Industry™, and I passed a fellow wearing what I presume he believed to be a very politically-charged t-shirt. It was an image of Gollum, the spindly creep from Lord of the Rings, digitally altered with George W. Bush's facial features. Bush as Gollum. No further explanation provided.

I see a lot of this. Every liberal, moderate, or non-ultra-conservative (so wait? who likes bush right now?) seems to be taking swipes at Bush these days, and for good reason: HE'S A DUMMY!! (sharp political humor.) But I think the messages are getting confusing. Bush as Gollum? I don't get it. When degrading the President's image, make sure the metaphor fits. Otherwise, it's an arbitrary character assassination or, in the case of the gentleman I saw today, an excuse to wear a Gollum t-shirt and feel sort of like an activist. If your George W. Bush-as-Other Thing metaphor requires any explanation beyon the simple image itself – for example, "You see, the oil in the Middle East is like the One Ring and Saddam is Sauromon, and I guess that makes General Tommy Frank that guy with the red beard and um, Bush, you see... – you've probably chosen poorly.

In fact, if you're thinking about putting George W. Bush's face on a t-shirt and feel like a simple red slash across his face or a "BUSH LIES" message beneath it just don't make your point salient enough, here are some Do's and Don'ts for depicting our current President as a villainous character on a t-shirt, beer cozy, sombrero, etc..


  • Rambo
  • Forrest Gump
  • The Sling Blade guy
  • Hagar The Horrible
  • A Persian cat
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy
  • A chimp on a toilet, confounded by toilet paper
  • the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz
  • Alfred E. Newman
  • Dig Dug
  • Predator (from Predator 2 only)
  • Napoleon
  • Udo Dirkschneider, lead singer of heavy metal band, Accept
  • Vincent Gallo


  • Hitler (The sentiment is appreciated, but the analogy is a bit misguided. Save it for former NYC mayor Rudolph Giuliani and my dad.)
  • A Playboy Bunny
  • Cobra Kommander (or Destro)
  • the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy experts
  • Baby Huey
  • Doctor Octopus
  • Alien (unless it's the Alien from Alien 3)
  • A Chelsea Boy
  • Howdy Doody (not relevant)
  • Wendy Carlos (not mainstream enough)
  • The Hee-Haw Donkey
  • Ming the Merciless
  • King Koopa
  • Eggplant Florentine
  • A half-tank, half-futuristic ninja experimental weapon
  • A sentient truck
  • A Half-and-Half single serving plastic cup resting in a puddle of blood

WE FIRST MET ON 08.24.2004

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