Chester Brown’s politics have changed since Ed the Happy Clown

Reading the notes in the latest reprint of Ed the Happy Clown, Chester Brown’s comic book from the 1980s —

— first of all, it’s good to see the old pretentious foreword gone.  It trended toward a sort of a rationalization for the pygmie depictions — surrealism and that’ll get anything racist or not — all toward getting something into a surrealistic tradition that was borne out of initial jabs at crude scatological humor.

Chester Brown states that his political philosophy has changed since doing Ed the Happy Clown.  He’s moved from being dumbly and fairly vaguely “leftist” to being Libertarian.  (Actually the top vote getter of Canada’s Libertarian Party).  So he half apologizes, or explains, his sticking Ronald Reagan on Ed the Clown’s penis — even though it could’ve been any political figure, and note the differences in the fictional universe of this comic where, for instance, Nancy Reagan is a sexy figure with even less resemblance than Ronald Reagan to this universe.  The sort of half bemused point of putting Reagan on the penis was shock value.  For a more concerted political point Brown would’ve found a Reagan Administration official firmly and specifically tied to the anti-pornography cause — was it Edward Meese? — but things falls apart quickly: you have to go with the big Right Wing figure here.

Anyway, Chester Brown today calls Reagan America’s best President since… drum roll please, please… Coolidge.  I’ll just have to do an eye roll.  Curiously, the more contrarian anti-government big wigs (The Koch Brothers, for instance) go with Harding.

The other semi-apology Chester Brown offers is on the inaccuracy of sewage concerns as, indeed, municipal problems instead of federal issues.  This one is a little weird, weirder than Reagan on the Penis.  It’s not even the point of surreality that draws this away from being firmly in what level of government concerns itself with what issues and problems.  And while I gather Chester Brown’s current politics might bring power concerns down from a centralized location to more local points, hopefully down to the individual as much as possible…

I’m pretty sure when confronted with the fecal problems in Ed the Happy Clown that President Reagan and the Federal Government would step in to figure this one out in the “Real World”.

This leaves us with Chester Brown’s endorsement of the fictional Nancy Reagan’s suggestion that human waste be used as fertilizer.  He has a book recommended that affirms his view, a view which has its champions and detractors.

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