Short Story Month: Right-wing sedition

The Wizard of Id (Short Story Month #5)

If the conservative mindset has an outlet on the comics page, it’s The Wizard of Id.

Set in the fantasy kingdom of Id — although clues suggest that Id is likely located within the borders of Florida — The Wizard of Id is primarily known as a wasteland of bad puns, insipid artwork, and humour the lowest of brow. Yet despite the near-universal assessment that Wizard is several artistic tiers beneath public urination, it continues to haunt newspapers.

And why? Because The Wizard of Id is no mere cartoon: since its inception in 1964, Wizard has served as a covert vessel for coded communiqué between conservative leaders and their operatives who slink about the fringes of society, inciting unrest, racial mistrust, and homosexual panic. Acting under the direct orders of Nelson Rockefeller (who felt the comics page to be the pinnacle of literary excellence), The Wizard of Id was scattered throughout the newspaper system, acting as a cancer of sorts, disseminating subliminal messages from the Goldwater campaign to the unsuspecting American public and slowly eroding our faith in government institutions.

Setting its punchline as a not-too-subtle nod to the easy dangers of voter suppression, this particular strip released a few months prior to the 2008 American elections, when Barack Obama was facing off against the GOP patsy of choice, John McCain. The cartoon’s mix of juvenile humour and near-grotesque artwork is intentional, meant to drive the eyes of the undiscerning away to other things. Those who purposefully sought out the comic (and could withstand the punishing headaches and nosebleeds prolonged exposure to Wizard brings about) were rewarded with a subtextual missive; Today is the day. Thus declared, a concentrated attack on American voter rights began in earnest, all efforts aimed at derailing the democratic process and pushing Senator McCain into the White House.

Luckily for McCain, the scheme was ultimately unsuccessful, for a never-published Wizard of Id cartoon (unearthed in an Anonymous attack on Id headquarters) proved what many had long suspected: that McCain was ultimately a cat’s-paw in a deadly Manchurian Candidate-style game that would have culminated in assassination, resulting in the halfwitted stoogepuppet Sarah Palin taking the throne and proclaiming America a new theocracy.