Culture: More Powerful Than a Chunk of Tofu

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, August 1996

Culture: More Powerful Than a Chunk of Tofu

Live from Washington, a new breed of bleeding heart
By John Galvin

A new comic-book hero boldly invades the nation's newsstands this month: Liberal Man, a tree-hugging crusader out to rid the world of nettlesome problems, including its mounting environmental ills. Looking like James Carville on steroids, Liberal Man relies on a modus operandi more akin to Linus than, say, Clark Kent. Freed from the pen of Marcus Pierce Jr., a Costa Mesa, California, ultraconservative, Liberal Man and his fey aide-de-camp Equal-Kick can't right any PC wrongs without tripping over themselves. Which, of course, provides much fodder for the duo's conservative archenemies, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, whose corporeal selves translate remarkably easily to cartoon form. A pat formula perhaps, but Pierce hopes it will keep his not-so-liberal target readers trickling-down their $2.95 every month to follow Liberal Man's misadventures. We checked in on the caped crusader to see whether he'll be a force to be reckoned with or merely a thorn in the e-movement's side.

Who were you before Liberal Man?

Just a lowly Democratic campaign worker. My job was finding out which Republicans hunted cute little animals or placed aluminum cans in the wrong container. But the 1994 election was devastating, so I retreated to my Watergate apartment and mourned.

Then the transformation came?

Yes. I was in my apartment wearing the crystal that guides my life when I experienced a cataclysmic New Age explosion. When the dust cleared, I had become this powerful creature.

Can you explain your costume? Is it, for example, environmentally friendly?

Most assuredly. It's from all natural products: cotton, wool. The boots are made of reprocessed high-top basketball shoes-unfortunately, they smell like old sneakers.

OK, a purely hypothetical conundrum. What would you do if you saw a spotted owl swooping in for the kill on a Tipton kangaroo rat?

A difficult question, to be sure, but as a superhero I can resolve it. First, I would engage the parties in conflict resolution. Then, I would send the owl to cooking classes to transfer her feeding interests into, uh, mouse-flavored tofu chunks.

[Insert belly laugh from Newt Gingrich here.]

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