Bus Route of Tears

Bus Route of Tears

The gag in this cartoon references the famous Keep America Beautiful “Crying Indian” anti-litter PSA from the ’70s. This commercial has of course been referenced countless times on countless television shows over the last few decades, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people are familiar with it despite having never seen the original ad before. It’s like a Web meme 30 years before the Web and 5 years before the word “meme” even existed!

The bus in the first panel is based on this vehicle. In addition to making the name a little funnier, I’ve also changed the words written on the side of it, though they may not be fully legible online. I have them saying the following:



I wanted to also include “DRILL, BABY, DRILL” and have the final line conclude “…NOT IN WHITE HOUSE,” but there wasn’t room.

Oh, and before anybody points it out: I do realize Iron Eyes Cody, the “Indian” from the ad, wasn’t actually a Native American. I’m not sure if this fact enhances or detracts from my cartoon, but either way, I didn’t think it made enough of a difference to merit throwing the joke out.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 19th, 2010 at 8:33 am and is filed under Cartoons & Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Bus Route of Tears”

Your history is a bit off. The ad came out only 5 years before the word “meme” was coined.

As always great work…

But I did have to lean in real close to read ‘teabaggers’ to get it…

Oh and I’m linking to your work here:


Thanks, I edited my article to reflect this fact. For some reason, I thought Dawkins coined the term in ’96, rather than ’76.

By » Kathy Kennedy (February 21st, 2010 at 10:06 am)

Are the misspellings on purpose?

This is very nice, although it’s a pity that the text on the side of the bus can’t be seen (and even “Teabagxpress” is hard to read). Perhaps a different angle on the bus would have made that possible?

@ Kathy: No, I really think that Mr. Nowicki suddenly slipped up and accidentally made a bunch of errors all together in an otherwise error-free paragraph of text. And I don’t think that the misspellings were meant in any way to relate to the intelligence of teabaggers.

“ARE” heheh.
This one really touched me.

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