Dr. Sheik Rabbit Highway Star Burqa

Bizarro is brought to you today by Super Mistakes.

It’s been a week since I’ve posted because I had to get ready to leave town for my show in Washington D.C. over the weekend, fly there, do the show, then come home. I’ve done all that now so I’m back at headquarters and blogging like a chimp with a new laptop.

The show in D.C. went very well, all things considered. Because many airlines exist to torture their passengers, my flight to D.C. was canceled on Saturday and I had to spend the rest of the day at LAX trying to chase down a new, last-minute flight. United Airlines was the company that broke their customer contract with me and were no help whatsoever in finding me a new flight. After making me stand in line for TWO HOURS (yes, I’m shouting that) to talk to an agent about rescheduling, they told me there were no flights left on any airline before the next afternoon, which wouldn’t get me to D.C until after my show. Arriving in a city after your show is bad for business, as you might have guessed. So, after being foolish enough to believe United Airlines’ LIE about no other seats on any airline being available, I accepted a refund on my original flight and left the counter. Shortly thereafter, I found numerous openings on other airlines and could only conclude that when they said “no flights until tomorrow,” they actually meant “no flights for a price that we are willing to pay.”

It is now my personal opinion that United Airlines sucks. Let’s all boycott them, shall we? I know I will.

So I found an expensive overnight flight on Virgin (a terrific airline in my opinion, in spite of its lack of sexual experience) and arrived in D.C. the next morning with red eyes framed with black circles. After only a couple of hours of sleep, I arrived at the comedy club that afternoon to battle through several hours of technical problems between my computer and their projection system. The tech guys at the Riot Act Comedy Theater were terrific, however, and creatively found ways to solve the problems well before show time.

The show itself was tons o’ fun for me. I got to try out a bunch of new material and the audience was smart and cool. In spite of the auspicious travel adventure, the show was a terrific experience. I had invited President Obama to come to the show but he couldn’t make it because of some kind of scheduling conflict. Newt Gingrich showed up, however, without being invited. He was abruptly ejected from the room, of course, when his disguise became dislodged and I recognized him. 

I’m working on some West Coast dates now and will announce them when they are set. These shows get better and better as you finesse them, so I hope to see jars and jars of you Jazz Pickles having a blast at my upcoming gigs.

One side note about a cartoon that ran last week––the “Trannysaurus” gag that appears below. I got a few emails from various people who find the word “tranny” to be derisive. I shouldn’t have to tell regular readers this but I’m not bigoted toward anyone for their sexual wiring. Furthermore, I have never thought of the word “tranny” as an epithet; if I had, I would most certainly not have used it. To my knowledge, the word itself was originally a shortening of the word “transvestite,” and used by those in the GLBT community long before anyone else much knew what it meant. “Transvestite” is not derogatory, so I fail to see how shortening it is. Yes, it is likely that bigots use the word derogatorily, but they do the same with the word “gay” and I find no reason to change that term as a result. Since certain people will always use any word in an invective manner to describe people they dislike, I believe it is up to the rest of us not to give in to that kind of childish behavior as a result. Additionally, I’ve long believed that using alternative lifestyle themes in my cartoons, which appear in hundreds of newspaper markets worldwide, is an effective way to normalize the people involved. Just because I have a gay, transsexual, transgender, or transvestite character in a cartoon does not mean I am criticizing them. In fact, I am always trying to do the opposite.

If you were offended, I’m truly sorry. I never aim to offend my Jazz Pickles. Otherwise, thanks for understanding. Let’s all agree to forge ahead together for a better world and not fly United Airlines unless we are willing to delay our travel plans indefinitely and be lied to in the process!

Happy week, BJPs!

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60 thoughts on “Dr. Sheik Rabbit Highway Star Burqa

  1. Pingback: Dr. Sheik Rabbit Highway Star Burqa « Humor

  2. i don’t think “tranny” is offensive either, but there’s plenty of examples of shortened forms of non-derogatory words that are considered offensive: Japanese -> jap, Gypsy -> gyp (verb), handicapped -> capper, Pakistani -> paki… moral of the story: only usage, not etymology, can tell you if a word is offensive or not.

    • Okay, yeah, you’re right. But I still hate giving in to PC language. It should be the use and not the word that is offensive. Or something like that. Thanks for your comment. :o)

  3. I see that your Mar 8 comic is not posted on this blog. I know why. The one in my paper was a RERUN from just about a year ago. I was delighted to see it then, as I am an interior designer, and it was one of two furniture-oriented frames you published last year. I did not resent that you reran it; I DETEST (shouting that) that it was redated 3-8-12 in YOUR HAND (that’s how I know it wasn’t just the paper that reran it). This deception is the reason I won’t be reading you any more. Oh, that, and the fact that the word “it’s” in your commentary this week is used as a possessive, ignorantly. The possessive is “its”.

      • This is a brilliant line….. I need this one.. It ranks right up there with Jack N. line in ‘As good as it gets’…. “talk crazy someplace else…. I’m all full up here.”

      • Oddly enough, March 8th was the tranny panel. Perhaps Ann’s local paper found it offensive and substituted in an old panel. Or Ann is being silly. Just a thought ;-)

        BTW, Dan, back in an old comment I asked about where to find your wide panels. I found them on the Houston Chronicle site here. It’s fun to see how you play with the layout in the alternate size.

        • You might be right about the March 8 panel. Papers do that sometimes and don’t tell me.
          I remember promising I would post more of the strips but I’ve not been doing it. Thanks for the reminder.

      • Ann is upset because a comic from last year ran again on March 8th with the date 3-8-12. She is not aware when a comic is a rerun that the date is the date it runs; not the original date. Because the date was in your handwriting, she thinks you’re trying to pull a fast one and passing off an older comic as a new one. She is also pissed that in the fourth paragraph of today’s post, you used the contraction it’s (in spite of it’s lack of sexual experience) instead of the possesive its. Hope this helps.

        • Except 3/8/12 is the Trannysaurus cartoon and was not a rerun. Thanks for the tip about the typo on “it’s”. I looked for it and couldn’t find it. The mind is blind sometimes. :o)

    • You are a kook and I aint kidding. Its not nice for you to rag on Dan. Just dont read the cartoons if you dont want to. No one gives a shit.

  4. …a terrific airline in my opinion, in spite of it’s lack of sexual experience

    Should be “its” in this sentence. But wtfc? I don’t. Until this last commenter mentioned it, wouldn’t have noticed.

    And she thinks that you were using an old cartoon on purpose, but you were out of town, so things like that happen.

  5. The term “on purpose” is incorrect. What I meant to convey is that I think she thought that you were trying to pull a fast one by repeating it. She thinks you hand letter your dates, didn’t you have a font made?

  6. I despise United (even though the company I work for seems to love them) and only fly Southwest for personal travel.

    I’m gay and also don’t find “Tranny” to be offensive, especially since the guy got fired for being a complete idiot about both dinosaurs and transvestites. The folks who find the term most offensive are usually Transgendered and when applied to them derogatorily, it is. Still, for the most part, people just need to lighten up and learn to laugh at life’s absurdities. Which is why I am a fan of yours, Dan. You remind how ridiculous life is, every day.

  7. i have many friends who are drag queens,they all use the term “tranny” it’s not offensive at all,unless someone is intending to use it in an offensive way.i don’t find it offensive.my first thought was,HA i need to send that to my queens.

  8. Ya know, some folks live to complain.. it’s their life choice. If some one doesn’t get your humor, it’s ok. LOVED the highway and the rabbit ones.

  9. The meaning the person meant when using the word is important, but there’s a couple issues with that. For one, it’s not always possible to tell what way a person means it in. Communication is a very imprecise thing, and small cues as to intention can easily be missed, contexts misinterpreted, etc. Secondly, using the intent as the main judge of its usage makes it extremely easy for people to use words in hateful ways and just claim they “didn’t mean it that way”. If we all just agree to not use words with histories of hate when asked, it makes it easier to weed out the really hateful people. Finally, the people described by the slur have heard it used in hurtful ways so many times that it becomes a conditioned response to be hurt by it. It’s just like if you slap someone every time they listen to a certain song. If someone plays the, they’ll still get sad or pissed off even if they don’t get slapped. Hope this comment was helpful!

    • Very helpful, thanks. As I said in the post, I was not aware of “tranny” being used negatively but now I’ll add it to my list of words not to appear in cartoons.

  10. …..too quickly I read Trannysaurus, because I never noticed the ‘you’re fired’ part….. all my little grey cells registered was you were using the word trannysaurus as a play on grannysaurus (given the boney creatures atire)….also I’m a grandma and i think that’s funny : ) …..I’m also an environmental /social rights activist including a member of PFLAG and am unaware of the word TRANNY being offensive…but i will look into that. I do think PC has its place….for example the comment NUTCASE by an NPR affiliate was ignorant and cruel. ( i just happened to write a very good essay about that today)… also my “aquaintance friend” on occasion uses the word dirty hippie even tho she knows I dispise that. I have explained to her why it’s derogatory,but her view is to take back the word and use it in a positive way….her example was “such as how queer is now”….. the point is I’m offended and she should stop….but we have the same conversation everytime…she is delusional and thinks her point of view is ALWAYS RIGHT!!!!! Dan, you have the courtesy to listen to what your readers have to say and I like that about you…AND the fact that you said you’re sorry if anyone was offended. I always say we must be careful to be gentle with one another. I think you are a terrific cartoonist. You’re intelligent, balance many current issues cleverly and mostly a happy friendly place for me : )

  11. oh and I enjoy all of todays comics…. Love the guy sitting with his hiway….the sweet gentle look on his face… that’s totally something I would do…… Tranny is funny no matter how you read it……a dino skeleton is wearing a wig, dress, heels and carrying a purse!!!!!!!! LOLOLOL

  12. When I saw the panel, given the way you dressed the fossil I thought it was a play on the word “granny”. But what would I know. Would love to see your show in the Seattle area.

  13. Wow, what a crappy flight experience for you. You should send Richard Branson an invitation to your next show as a thank you for having a decent airline!

    Dan, do you ever do shows in Canada? You’ve got a lot of faithful BJP’s up North who would enjoy a show…would you consider it?

    Glad you’re back and updating the blog…and for what it’s worth, I LOVED the Trannysaurus (but s/he should have been wearing a pearl necklace)

    Pamela

    • I’ve performed in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, but not for many years. I’d go back to any of those three cities if someone were to put some money up to make it worth my while. I love my Canadian Pickles. Overall, I think the average Canadian gets my humor more than the average American.

      • I don’t have money to make it worth your while to come to Vancouver, but I have a futon in the solarium and I can make a tofu herb scramble that will make you cry. Out of joy. Not because it’s too hot and I served it directly to your hands.

  14. Just a quick FYI that might explain why some folks took issue with “Trannysaurus”: “tranny” is most commonly used as a derogatory term not for transvestites, but for transgendered or transsexual people. Not to say that changes your argument about “PC” language, but that some may have seen the strip as a double-whammy that both used an offensive term and seemed (because of the seeming misuse of the term, to conflate transvestism and transgenderism, a misconception folks in the trans community fight quite often.

    Dunno. I let the individuals I know in minority communities tell me what words do and don’t bother them. Most of my trans friends tell me “tranny” is a no-go, so I don’t use it. As a cisgendered person, it’s not my place to reclaim words on their behalf, any more than I would say I’m “reclaiming” the N word for my PoC partner or the k word for my Jewish relatives.

  15. Bedouin, Baath and Beyond – very funny!

    Just minor quibble though – Baathists are leftists and don’t make women wear tents. Although the news from Syria shows they are just as happy to kill women and kids as the Taliban.

  16. It’s my understanding that, within the Jewish community, many are now finding fault with the use of the term ‘Jew’ as a singular description (“I am but a humble Jew”). I can’t say I have any idea why, but I know of a Jewish author who was chided for doing so by a number of his own fans. Indeed, offense, like so many other things, is in the eye of the needle.

  17. One other note – consider this as an admittedly unlikely contender for Sunday Punnies, but, your March 12 cartoon above reminded me that (lie begins now) when Saturday Night Live announced that J-Lo would be hosting the show, Jon Lovitz naturally assumed his agent forgot to inform him of this!

  18. Funny that people think “Tranny” is derogatory.

    It’s too late now, but Trannysaurus might have been funnier without the boss & “you’re fired” — just the curator going about his business dressing him/her maybe with little whistle-while-you-work notes or a “hum-de-dum, dee-doe…” type of thing.

    Excellent stuff, as always. Thanks! :)

  19. Dan Savage got glittered recently for saying the word Tranny, so you got off lightly. That stuff is *impossible* to get rid of.

  20. So is the “super mistake” the fact that the artist who created this little piece didn’t know that Superman would just fly through the planet instead of bloodying his face?

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