Peter Bagge's Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me (And Other Astute Observations)

Reason's own beloved Peter Bagge has a fantastic collection of political cartooning spanning nearly a decade coming out from Fantagraphics.

You can order Everybody is Stupid Except for Me And Other Astute Observations now from Amazon for the stunningly low price of $11.55.

And check out the reviews so far (the last one included to be fair and balanced):

How to describe Peter Bagge? Cartoonist? Cynic? Little ball of human rage? All of the above. Also satirist, raconteur, concerned citizen, and critic. And finally, Libertarian. But one from the realist branch of that political tree.

For the past eight years, Bagge has been producing regular strips and features for Reason, the scathingly brilliant libertarian journal that's the secret guilty favorite of Washington insiders Left and Right. Now the best of that work has been collected by Fantagraphics. Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me is as combative, iconoclastic, and embittered as its title suggests it would be. It is also smart, thought-provoking, and funny as hell. Disconcertingly, you'll agree with at least half of what Bagge says. Then, gratifyingly, you'll realize that everybody is stupid except for you, too.—Tim Heffernan, Esquire

Everybody Is Stupid, overt political concerns aside, is pleasingly consistent with Bagge's earlier work: As mass-population stupidity (tax-dollar boondoggles, sports-arena and shopping-mall mania and so forth) escalates, so do Bagge's abilities to hold it up to razor-edged ridicule.

Bagge cartoons himself as a confused Everyman, perpetually attempting to make sense of a society-gone-senseless. If Bagge is a curmudgeon, he tempers the attitude with a willingness to laugh at everything—even himself. If a documentarian, he is an interpretive and exaggerative one. If a social critic or polemicist, he brings to the table a rare combination of backhanded affection and rambunctious humor. No "ifs" as to the matter of his being one terrific cartoonist, with a keen constancy of purpose.Michael H. Price, Fort Worth Business Press

First of all, sorry to bury the lead, I'm getting to the point.  Second of all, Iggy Pop wouldn't suffer shit like this from smug, vodka-swilling liberal arts majors at a bar.  Third of all, is it all right if I draw from this isolated incident with a moron, that all libertarians are idiots?

If Everyone is Stupid is any indication, that's totally fine.  This bloated collection of Peter Bagge's work is just a series of similar encounters, through the lens of libertarianism.  The book would have you believe that the world is comprised of bleeding-heart pinko Democrats who want to tax you to death and take away your assault rifles, and the GOP's flock of sexually-repressed bible-thumping rednecks.—Ashley Cardiff, CC2K

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  • ||

    Seattle Weekly had a little blurb about this and the book-signing here. It was very positive, and even mentioned Reason and libertarianism without negativity.

  • ||

    AV Club had a review too:

    http://www.avclub.com/articles/july-24-2009,30852/

    Back in the '80s heyday of Hate and Neat Stuff, it didn't seem like Peter Bagge would be the one indie comics artist of his era to become a political cartoonist. And yet here we are in 2009, with Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me And Other Astute Observations (Fantagraphics). Collecting 10 years' worth of cartoons originally done for Reason magazine, as well as a few odds and sods, the book finds Bagge as sharp and irate as ever, and his art has improved while still being recognizably his own. Bagge is also, thankfully, still possessed of a great sense of humor, especially about himself-even the title reveals an element of self-mockery among all the self-righteousness. But don't get it twisted: Bagge is hard to pin down (he's a soft left-libertarian, a species that's getting harder and harder to find in the wild), but reader's individual reactions to the strips collected here depend on how much they agree with his choice of targets. And since those targets are fairly wide-ranging, almost anyone reading it is bound to get offended somewhere, which is certainly exactly what Bagge is hoping for…B-

  • Cal Lipigian||

    That Ashley Cardiff exchange really gets me. First the guy claims to be a Stooges fan, so she calls his bluff and finds out he doesn't know the first fucking thing about Iggy Pop. Then he expands it to Rock n' Roll, and again she is skeptical. Then he mentions that he is a libertarian, so she assumes that he is the prototypical libertarian and she can tar the lot of us with his brush.

    I guess it shows how quickly people accept those who back up their prejudices and reject those that don't.

  • ktc2||

    "The book would have you believe that the world is comprised of bleeding-heart pinko Democrats who want to tax you to death and take away your assault rifles, and the GOP's flock of sexually-repressed bible-thumping rednecks."

    Doesn't that pretty much sum up the base of the two parties?

  • NeonCat||

    You know what? Libertarians should just say fuck it and tell people that we really are evil. They already believe it, they just don't respect us for it. Tell them that we not only caused the stock market bubble to burst, but we're already setting up the next three as well. Every terrible thing is our fault. Our laissez-faire principles caused hurricane Katrina and secretly hid the WMDs in Iraq. In fact, all of us libs in the US secretly smuggled them in and if they are ever discovered we're going to claim the 2nd Amendment allows it. Not only will we not allow abortion but we will forcibly abort babies for stem cells, depending on how we feel that day. We're going to round up all the people on medicare and medicaid and put them in taxpayer funded stadiums and tunnels, seal them in and leave them there. We're Libs, we're evil and we're FREE!

    OTOH, I guess believing in minding your own business and not being overtaxed doesn't really fit most people's definition of evil, unless you're a liberal or a conservative or a pundit.

  • ||

    The book would have you believe that the world is comprised of bleeding-heart pinko Democrats who want to tax you to death and take away your assault rifles, and the GOP's flock of sexually-repressed bible-thumping rednecks.



    Pretty much sums up the view from where I'm sitting.

  • Anonymous||

    OTOH, I guess believing in minding your own business and not being overtaxed doesn't really fit most people's definition of evil, unless you're a liberal or a conservative or a pundit.

    That's because you believe the social democrat cause is righteous. The venom in the rest of your post indicates as much.

    So you think you're right, and you'll respond with contentless sarcasm to anyone disputing that, which might mirror Bagge's own tact, if only he weren't implicitly advocating continued compulsory collectivism.

  • T||

    Can we just truncate the title at three words and call it good? It fits pretty well with my experience. Everybody will, sooner or later, act like a dumbass.

  • NeonCat||

    Quoth Anonymous, "That's because you believe the social democrat cause is righteous. The venom in the rest of your post indicates as much."

    I DO?!?

    I am pretty sure that I do not. No, Anny, I am simply sick of hearing how libs are teh suck and how we are responsible for a bunch of junk that we are not, in fact, responsible for, not to mention the idea that we all believe the same things even if one of us is demonstrably a dumbass, whether it's the dude that pushed yonder Ashley's buttons or various pundits who say they are libs but don't really seem to be.

    No, I was advocating a policy of (claimed) evil as a marketing ploy, you might say, for libs. I don't think we're ever going to get anywhere politically as a bunch of tweedy weirdos, and I say that as a tweedy weirdo.

    So I forgive you for calling me a social democrat. Don't do it again, please. You might have taken a clue from when I referred to libs as "us" and "we", but perhaps you thought I was an agent provocateur or something. You probably still do, but I have no way of convincing you otherwise.

    Venom. I like that.

  • robc||

    Cat,

    You are causing a problem thru improper abbreviation. libt is short for libertarian, lib is short for liberal. Duh.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    "You are causing a problem thru improper abbreviation. libt is short for libertarian, lib is short for liberal. Duh."

    robc,

    Don't you see, it's all part of his evil plan.

  • NeonCat||

    My apologies, but don't you think it's time we reclaimed lib? Libt sounds like a Swedish detergent. Maybe libts can call libs libls, which sounds like libel and would probably help non-libs in the long run.

    Granted, it's a problem of Latin prefixes. Those bastards have spoiled things for millennia.

    We could call ourselves Libbys, but then people would say we were full of beans. And franks, too.

  • ||

    I guess believing in minding your own business and not being overtaxed doesn't really fit most people's definition of evil,

    But that's not what most people think of when they think of "libertarian." A libertarian in the public mind is a person who believes that there is no common good, freedom means the freedom of the strong to exploit the weak, all government is bad except when it's waging war on Muslims or subsidizing oil drilling and chopping down trees in national parks, Obama was born in Kenya, and in the future we can all have sex with robots. You can see libertarianism unfortunately has quite an image problem, and I blame Glenn Reynolds.

  • ||

    Since we're all stupid why don't we pay retail?

  • Spencer||

    Use "libr" as an abbreviation.

    Or just scrap the name "libertarian" in general... maybe Freedicrat? Libuplican? there's gotta be something better out there.
    We're in need of better branding.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Libt sounds like a Swedish detergent.



    Could be worse...

  • Anonymous||

    maybe Freedicrat? Libuplican? there's gotta be something better out there.

    Spooner. Short for the obvious and also, "Not free yet. Supposed to've been sooner."

  • ||

    I agree that libertarianism has an image problem. But is its image worse than that of progressive liberalism and conservatism? A populace that was paying attention wouldn't vote Republican or Democrat again, given their respective images and actual behaviors in office.

    Freeniks? Pissoffs? Limited governmentarians?

  • ||

    Egaders?

  • robc||

    I like pissoffs.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I don't know robc. Personally, pissoffs sounds like a soccer hooligan club. Nothing wrong with that til someone takes the namesake a little too far and headbutts someone. Then you got legal troubles.

  • ||

    The déjàvuers? WTFers? The Appalled?

  • NeonCat||

    I wish we could go with the Winners. "Winners want you to be free." "Winners want you to keep your money." "Winners believe in individual responsibility." Then we could frame liberals, conservatives, populists and progressives as the Whiners. "Whiners want to raise your taxes." "Whiners want you to pay for their mistakes." "Whiners are going to bankrupt your grandchildren." "Whiners think you're dumb enough to fall for anything."

    Be a Winner, not a Whiner.

    Cue some Whiner to tell us why Libertarians aren't Winners…

    I will grant it would be good if Libts won more often. Or, as astute politician Nixon put it, "I have to establish a winning image. That means I have to beat somebody."

  • Anonymous||

    Indeed, NeonCat. "Libertarian" just isn't generic enough.

    Maybe "The Party" would work.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Ok. So I ordered the fucking book. Now get off my back!

  • Meta4||

    I think The American Party would be a good rebranding.

  • ||

    How about the Not Evil Party?

  • ||

    Define each party by what they tend to yell knee-jerkily.

    Republicans could be the "VALUES!" party.
    Democrats could be the "CHILDREN!" party.

    Libertarians could the the "NAZIS!" party.

    I don't see a downside.

  • ||

    Someone at Reason got published. Yea!! *

  • ||

    Aw god damn it.
    stupid HTML

  • ||

    How about the MYOB party? (Mind Your Own Business) That pretty much sums it up for me.
    Some people want to push their religion (or PC multiculturalism) down my throat, others want to tell me what kind of light bulbs I have to buy (or toilets !!!, my pet peeve that something that parts of the country with water shortages adopted and then it gets applied to 300 million people) or tell me I have to support Art or Family Values with my tax money.

    Don't get me wrong, I have 3 kids, I use low energy lightbulbs (to save money), and I am very multicultural, I just don't want someone else telling me what and how I need to do it.

    Mind Your Own Business is now my official motto. But the Golden Rule would actually apply here as well. Maybe "The Golden Rule" party but then we would be mistaken for a religious group of some sort.

  • ||

    It would be appealing to everyone who would show up and they could start chanting "MIND YOUR OWN! MIND YOUR OWN!" but then, when told that they should also mind their own business, they'd say "shit, the two other parties let me tell everybody else to mind their own business except on issues of Social Import where I can tell everyone else how to live. I'd rather do that."

  • ||

    Libertarians could the the "NAZIS!" party.

    Umm, Drink?

    /Hey Everybody!

    FWIW, I say we go with The Libertas Party. That way we can be the ta-tas.
    Everyone likes boobs, right? Then, if we can get some topless freedom-loving women at the rallys we could attract more people, no?

  • Amber Waves||

    Apparently, shit floats.

  • A T||

    How about no kind of tag, so the others can't handle you too easy? Like we are the normal people and the others are groups of idiots who need party names, secret handshakes and such.

  • Amber Waves||

    It's brown,
    Flush it down.

  • ||

    ENOUGH!

    Stop beating it.

  • ||

    Amazon.com Sales Rank: #24,462

    Only 22,067 behind Horton Hears a Who (at 2,395).

    Ouch.

  • Anonymous||

    Stop beating it.

    Dude, I'm almost there, and I have a tissue ready. I can't stop now.

  • ||

    The book would have you believe that the world is comprised of bleeding-heart pinko Democrats who want to tax you to death and take away your assault rifles, and the GOP's flock of sexually-repressed bible-thumping rednecks.

    ...and your point is...?

  • Elemenope||

    The book would have you believe that the world is comprised of bleeding-heart pinko Democrats who want to tax you to death and take away your assault rifles, and the GOP's flock of sexually-repressed bible-thumping rednecks.



    Pretty much sums up the view from where I'm sitting.


    Well, there are also some wild cross-pollinations between the two groups, though the resulting abominations of nature are no better.

  • ||

    (Eats gun)

  • zero||

    K I love reason as much as the next guy, but this practice of bumping the same post 50+ times has really got to stop.

  • P Dier||

    does somebody at reason stand to win a new boombox if they sell enough of these through their amazon merchant account?

  • ||

    Dear Reason shithead(s) that keep reposting this,
    Fuck off.

    Loyal Reader
    Warren

  • ||

    I'd let the staff know via Twitter, if only I knew where to find their contact information.

  • ||

    Of course, what I'd let them know is a secret. Preview is our friend.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    I my name were in essence "peter" and "bag", I'd go with a penname.

  • Tomcat1066||

    Wow. Never seen THIS post before!

  • ||

    YOU SEE! YOU SEE!
    You repost this worn out old advertisement. And what happens? Two squirrels go belly up!
    Let it go Reason. Let it go.

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