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There’s not much useful commentary to be offered when tragedy strikes, particularly a tragedy as appallingly nihilistic, senseless, and evil as Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon. Even by the standards of terror, this was an act so utterly bereft of even the barest pretense of politics or symbolism there’s really nothing to engage with intellectually, and no emotion to express beyond sympathy for the three dead innocents and over 150 other victims.

Perhaps in time, once we have more insights about the perpetrators, there will be more to say. For now, we can only mourn.


  1. Zak

    Glad you aren't interested in any kind of cynical or contrarian commentary this time, JJ. I like that you've gone more abstract this time, you should try it more often. It's always fun when a political cartoon actually needs some analysis to understand.

    However, in this case, I'm stumped: what exactly does each panel represent? The only thing I'm getting from this is that each item represents the revulsion one feels from senseless acts of violence.

  2. Nemo

    Pretty sure he's saying that terrorists are the equivalent to the mold you find in your shower, slugs, garbage, and vomit.

    Comparing terrorists to slugs though is really an insult to the slugs.

  3. Kyle

    Pretty sure the terrorists are the scum exuded by the slugs to make the ground slimier and easier to cross. You know, something not even the slugs would mourn.

  4. Zak

    That's a really good interpretation, and honestly, I think that idea on it's own merits an entire political cartoon.

    I mean that's just a great visual metaphor: the slug can't get anywhere without making the ground it moves on more "slimy," and that slime for terrorism is destabilization!

    Poor, poor slugs. They're getting so much undeserved hatred in the crossfire!

  5. Steve

    He is calling them Scum, Slime, Trash, and they make him Vomit

  6. Technicality

    It’s OK, folks. Those aren’t slugs but GEODUCKS. They deserve it.

  7. OldsVistaCruiser

    This should be called the Second Boston Massacre.

    March 5, 1770: 5 dead, 6 injured.
    April 15, 2013: 3 dead, nearly 200 injured.

  8. Colin Minich

    No it shouldn't because the pretenses are entirely different.

  9. Jake_Ackers

    I'm as patriotic as the next person if not more so. But the first one in 1770, the term "massacre" was more so political. Mob mentality lead to the shootings. IIRC, it was incidents like these (the 1770 one) that scared the founding fathers.

  10. Colin Minich

    And considering I was there when it all went down we here in Boston are still trying to find rhyme or reason behind it along with trying to ID the suspects that the BPD, FBI, ATF, and MA National Guard (I was currently working with them on call for a couple days as a Guardsman) have seen through surveillance footage from a department store, Lord & Taylor. Yes…a department store and about a hundred cameras zoomed in on all of this and are helping.

    Now who did this? That's the worst part as speculation is rife not to mention trying to think about as many factors as possible:
    – Boston Marathon, an internationally known event with many foreign nationals running it, whereas Fenway Park and the Boston Red Sox game prior went unmolested.
    – April 15 is not only Tax Day nationally but Patriots Day in the state of Massachusetts.
    – The bombs used were of crude design and Fagor pressure cookers mixed with metal fragments, BBs, nails, etc. Pressure cooker bombs are particularly known amongst Nepalese Maoists and Afghan insurgents but in all likelihood the suspects were neither.
    – Current American right-wing paranoia behind gun legislation and taxes, egged on by Grover Norquists, Alex Joneses, and Sarah Palins in the media.
    – Current geopolitical situation amongst Islamic nations.
    – The location and timing of the blasts being AFTER the well-known foreign runners and more amongst the regular runners with numbers.
    – No secondary attacks, gunmen tactics, or suicide tactics.

    And the list goes on…

  11. Iokobos

    4/15 is also the birthday of North Korea's founder and the anniversary of Israel's creation. Who cares?

    Speculation doesn't matter. We just need to catch the people involved. We don't need to give them a soapbox afterwards.

  12. Colin Minich

    Right but the speculation is natural no matter how you look at it. Law enforcement and military intel need to do the same thing weighing in all the factors in order to establish motive and modus operandi for future events.

    What surprises everyone is that they're Chechen.

  13. Jake_Ackers

    Yah it is surprising but it might just be a coincidence (being Chechen) if it is the radical Islamic angle. I'm sure there are Chechen Muslims. They did train in Turkey though. What baffles me is, how did the US not spot this. Who goes AWOL from society for what 1-2 years or even months and the US not go hmmm. If this was before they came into the US, it should of be accounted the time. If after they came, even more so. You cannot be a resident in the US and go AWOL for months or years abroad (non-citizen resident). Someone dropped the ball in the DHS and/or Immigration

  14. Guest

    Most Chechens are muslims, actually, and some radicalism has taken hold in the region in recent years. As for the training in Turkey… ehhh. Turkey is just about the most secular Islamic country around, aside from Albania.

    That said, it's not exactly clear if this was even related to radical Islam. We just don't know with these guy.

  15. Jake_Ackers

    Well there are reports of them getting training in Turkey. Again my point was what you said. We don't know enough yet. The Chechen point was that, being Chechen was probably irrelevant to the attack. It wasn't some pro-Chechen patriotic thing. But rather some radical Islamic thing or it could even be something completely different.

  16. Jake_Ackers

    Also who is to say that other targets weren't also attempted. Wasn't it originally 4 bombs at the marathon? Police got two of them, I think. The US thwarts hundreds of acts per year and never talk about it. I know in one interview with a security guard in some CA port, forget which one, he let slip that they stopped a dirty bomb once. He was told to be quite, immediately.

  17. Michael McDorment

    The shame in such act is the actual in your face America,on our turf for which number of times.I know the police forces are actively pursuing the criminals at large who perpetrated such a gruesome and heinous disregard for us citizens.I can not phantom the mind set behing such.I guess its in high hopes that those will be brought to justice and our prayers go out to the victims.

  18. Simon

    There are now reports out that the perpetrators were Caucasian Muslims, so it may well have been political.

  19. Colin Minich

    Actually they are Chechen…so the reports are true.

  20. Jake_Ackers

    Chechen trained in Turkey. I think they are Muslims as well. There could be all sorts of reasons. After all, people at first misjudged the OKC bombings.

  21. Golgot

    Turkey is a really secular country.

  22. Jake_Ackers

    I know that but there have been reports they went into Turkey to get trained. Again reports. We don't know. Turkey is the most secular Muslim country but that is because of the strong check the military has on the country. There has been problems with religious parties trying to form in Turkey. So even though Turkey is secular this might be something new emerging. Maybe that's why they weren't caught.

  23. Guest

    The Chechens are a subset of Caucasians, as in the actual term for people from the Caucasus region, named for the mountains.

  24. Jake_Ackers

    Thoughts and prayers with those affected by the bombings in Boston. Btw very well done comic, JJ.

  25. Jake_Ackers

    Okay I know everyone is thinking it so I'm going to say it. How long before some gov't official goes around trying to legislate chemicals (the ones in your bathroom) or explosives? Yes I know the bombs were pressure cookers but that is my point, politicians seize on everything. Schumer wants to legislate laser pointers because people keep aiming them at planes. Good luck trying to legislate that. So who is to say, what DC tries to do. I know Congressman Peter King is demanding more cameras already.

    We never hear anything about limiting or regulating explosives, yet it is so vulnerable. And then there are household chemicals, which are nearly impossible to regulate as you don't need much to cause damage. Wonder how long before the pigs in DC turn this massacre into a sideshow as usual and end up doing nothing constructive. Hollywood is already blaming the second amendment.

    The gov't already dropped the ball on these guys to begin with. You can't drop of the grid and go abroad for a few months or years, whether its before coming to the US or while a non-citizen resident in the US.

  26. Michael McDorment

    Upon further reading,my digression of such commentary is a trivial waste of breath.

  27. Thaddeus

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