Earth Attacks!

Raging Moderate, by Will Durst

Got to admit, didn’t find the Icelandic volcano spewing its guts over the last couple of weeks very upsetting. Of course, if you were one of the thousands forced to get up close and personal with airport terminal linoleum for days on end, I heartily apologize, but encourage you to consider it a small price to pay for our species’ conceit. The belching of Eyjafjallajokull was a cautionary notice to not take humankind too seriously. We may think we run things around here, but we don’t really run things around here.

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Buffalo News (click to run it in your publication)

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Buffalo News (click to run it in your publication)

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I kind of like it when the planet kicks back. Jogs our memory. Re-establishes who’s the real boss. Our seemingly somnambulant landlord may appear to have nodded off in the midst of our noisy shenanigans but we should never forget it’s a light sleeper, ubiquitously omnipresent and equipped with weapons that make atomic bombs look like dime-store novelties.

What’s most surprising is the lack of terrestrial retaliation. We’re perpetually plundering the home of our host. Poking and prodding and stripping away the upper crust and excavating precious jewels and minerals hidden within. I would have called the entire human population a cab and kicked us out a couple of eons ago. No, really. Eons. A Sherwin-Williams lava flood during the Mesozoic Era would have done the trick nicely. We could easily have been the first victims of Colony Collapse Disorder.

All we do is pillage. And loot. And ransack. And turn up the thermostat without permission. So a wake-up call like this is kind of bracing. A reminder that we’re all just fleas on a rock. Very busy fleas running around a highly volatile rock perhaps, but still tiny mites clinging to a roundish boulder hurtling through space at fantastic speeds trying to hold on and not poop our pants.

It’s a relief when the evidence that our planet is a sentient being and capable of throwing poison into our air and turning villages into pools of fire and hurling stones the size of houses a mile across the sky is only an inconvenience. You can be a tertiary curmudgeon, and still not a huge fan of people dying in large numbers like with a hurricane or an earthquake, or a tsunami or another Billy Crystal movie. All of which seem to be happening a bit more often than what should be normal as of late, or is our ability to instantly view those disasters in high def on YouTube just freaking me out?

And wasn’t it a bit of the old ironic that with all the airports the ash cloud shut down around the world, Reykjavik’s Keflavik International Airport, situated just west of Eyjafjallajokull, stayed wide open — safe from the east-spreading, engine-clogging cloud. Or was this simply Iceland playing out its financial death rattle and scattering the ashes of its economy over Europe?

Or maybe the planet has finally grown weary of our poaching thievery and is demanding a series of human sacrifices. And speaking of unspeakable larceny, I’d like to nominate the CEO of Goldman Sachs to be jettisoned into the caldera by golden parachute. Lloyd Blankfein, who deserves the grateful thanks of a nation for finally giving a face to smug. And then to be safe, we humanely capture Bjork, tag an ear and ship her back up north to soothe our savage landlord. Lady Gaga?


Will Durst is a San Francisco-based political comic who often writes. This being a conspicuous example. Catch him hosting “The Green Collar Comedy Show” on Showtime all this month. Funnyfest. Calgary, Alberta. April 29 – May 2. 403.228.7888. New CD, “Raging Moderate” from Stand-Up Records now available on both iTunes and Amazon.

Copyright ©2010, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate. Call Cari Dawson-Bartley at 800-696-7561 or e-mail [email protected]. Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at [email protected]. Check out for the latest podcast. Will Durst’s book, “The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing,” is available from Amazon and better bookstores all over this great land of ours. Don’t forget to check out his rooftop comedy minutes at:

Comedy For People Who Read Or Know Someone Who Does

As the sacred cows set themselves up for slaughter each night at six, America cries out for a man with the aim, strength and style to swat the partisan political piñatas upside their heads. Will Durst is that man. Sweeping both sides of the aisle with a quiver full of barbs sharpened by a keen wit and dipped into the same ink as the day's headlines, Durst transcends political ties, performing at events featuring Vice President Al Gore and former President George H.W. Bush, also speaking at the Governors Conference and the Mayors Convention cementing his claim as the nation's ultimate equal opportunity offender. Outraged and outrageous, Durst may mock and scoff and taunt, but he does it with taste.

A Midwestern baby boomer with a media-induced identity crisis, Durst has been called "a modern day Will Rogers" by The L.A. Times while the S. F. Chronicle hails him as "heir apparent to Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory." The Chicago Tribune argues he's a "hysterical hybrid of Hunter Thompson and Charles Osgood," although The Washington Post portrays him as "the dark Prince of doubt." All agree Durst is America's premier political comic.

As American as a bottomless cup of coffee, this former Milwaukeean is cherished by critics and audiences alike for the common sense he brings to his surgical skewering of the hype and hypocrisies engulfing us on a daily basis. Busier than a blind squirrel neck deep in an almond sorting warehouse, Durst writes a weekly column, was a contributing editor to both National Lampoon and George magazines and continues to pen frequent contributions to various periodicals such as The New York Times and his hometown San Francisco Chronicle.

This five-time Emmy nominee and host/co-producer of the ongoing award winning PBS series "Livelyhood" is also a regular commentator on NPR and CNN, and has appeared on every comedy show featuring a brick wall including Letterman, Comedy Central, HBO and Showtime, receiving 7 consecutive nominations for the American Comedy Awards Stand Up of the Year. Hobbies include the never-ending search for the perfect cheeseburger, while his heroes remain the same from when he was twelve: Thomas Jefferson and Bugs Bunny.

Look for Will's new book "The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing" at bookstores and

Will Durst's performances and columns are made possible by the First Amendment.