Stolen Babies


Bizarro 01-03-16 hdrWEB

(To achieve enbiggenation of any cartoon, squint your eyes and click it.)Bizarro 01-03-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Scary Logic.

I haven’t seen one of these absurd, invented-crises daytime talk shows in years and wasn’t sure they still existed but recently, while watching something sophisticated and intelligent, I happened to see a commercial for The Jerry Springer Show. Apparently, it’s still on the air with recent episode titles like “Played by a Transsexual,” “Wives Battle Mistresses,” “Stripnotized,” “Battle Royal for Cheese,” and “My Father is My Mother.” Only one of those titles is fake, see if you can guess which one. I’ll put the answer at the end of this post. The larger point is that sometimes it scares me to be trapped on the same planet as people who participate in these shows (onscreen or as viewers) and scares me even more that most of them are allowed to vote. I know that makes me sound like an insufferable elitist but I have long condoned requiring people to pass a simple IQ test before being allowed to vote. Nothing complex, maybe just one or two multiple choice questions like––

Complete this sentence: Donald Trump is a…

a) reasonable choice for president

b) carnival barker who embodies the worst of human nature

That’s all there is to it. If you can’t answer that correctly, you likely have trouble differentiating between an “a” and a “b” and, in my (not very) humble opinion, should not participate in the future of our country.

bz panel 12-28-15

Speaking of being frightened by some of the people you are sharing the planet with, few things will give you that feeling faster than a ride on a New York City subway. I lived there for ten years and have a few stories the retelling of which could send me into a shivering fetal position. These kinds of characters are fun to draw, however. I’ve often said that my favorite time to ride the NY subways is Halloween because it is the only day of the year that it is acceptable to ask a total stranger, “What are you supposed to be?” It’s not the only time you want to ask that, just the only time that it’s safe to do so.

bz panel 12-29-15

I had two dogs once and when one of them died, the other kept running away. It really broke my heart and eventually led to this cartoon. Not really the same scenario, but a way to get a little humor out of a situation that still makes me sad when I think about it. I presume she was looking for her missing friend because eventually she settled down and lived happily ever after.

bz panel 12-30-15

My favorite kinds of cartoons are ones that look like one thing but turn out to be something else. This is one of those and it tickles me. But also, what happened to this hammock that it needed to be rinsed out?

bz panel 12-31-15

Here’s a scene from the Garden of Eden that is missing from the book of Genesis. But it most certainly happened, as evidenced by the 7.3 billion humans (at this writing) doing their damndest to make the Earth uninhabitable by our species. Or at least extremely uncomfortable. If you like to be scared, have a look at this world population clock. This link is not for the faint of heart.

bz panel 01-01-16

I got a bit of hate mail about this alarm clock cartoon. Here it is in its unedited entirety:

“Idiot, liberal comic over exaggerates and misrepresents others opinions for comic strip!”

I assume that since this reader was offended by this cartoon, he considers himself to be an alarmist; if you’re not who the cartoon is talking about, why get offended? I also would like to point out that my comments about a few of the cartoons above qualify me as an alarmist, as well. I’m just alarmed about different things.

One thing I’m not the least bit alarmed about is terrorism. A quick perusal of articles like those on this page will tell you that the statistical odds of being harmed by a terrorist are lower than the threat that your own household furniture poses. Fear is the actual weapon here, far more than violence.  Terrorists, politicians, and the media know this. Many politicians (other than Obama, who has actually been criticized by media and other politicians alike for not playing the fear card enough) exaggerate the threat of terrorism in the U.S. because fear motivates voters. The media does it because fear heightens ratings. Fox News Channel has consistently used fear (terrorists, homosexuals, immigrants, refugees, socialism, pedophiles, etc.) to drive ratings for years.

Terrorists also know that far easier than sneaking terrorists into the U.S., they can use racism to recruit Muslims already living in the U.S.  If they can get enough “leaders” to condemn American Muslims and fuel fear, they can get average Americans to despise and mistreat Muslims living legally in the U.S.  If a large part of society mistreats an entire people long enough, a few of them are going to turn against society. Poof! You’ve created a “self-radicalized” Muslim. Well done, Fox News Channel and virtually every Republican candidate for president.

Thinking that every Muslim is a potential terrorist is like thinking that every Christian is a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s inaccurate and fairly foolish.

Sorry for the soap box speech. I’m an alarmist when it comes to institutional idiocy.

bz panel 01-02-16

As a person over 50, I admit that I often scoff at people who are addicted to electronics. The most obvious example are those who are willing to sleep on a sidewalk overnight to be among the first to buy a new version of a device. I’m a big fan of Apple and have used Macs exclusively for years, but I find that their products work just as well a month after they are released as they do the day of. So here’s a cartoon for readers of “a certain age”.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s comics and were able to tolerate my political rants. I always get a few complaints when I get political and try to mostly stay away from the subject, but sometimes I can’t resist. I know I have some readers who identify with the Republican Party and that’s great. I’ve no wish to disenfranchise you. It is my opinion, however, that not many serious conservatives identify with Donald Trump, so he seems fair game.

BTW: The phony episode title from the first paragraph is “My Father is My Mother”.


41 thoughts on “Stolen Babies

  1. Regarding the hammock, it should be obvious that it needed to be rinsed out because it had been filled with fish.

    • Not bird poop because it was tied to a tree? But I really wanted to comment on today’s. It only works for those who hear themselves read. If you read for sense and meaning, you’re sunk. Apparently I hear voices.

  2. I agree with almost everything you say here – especially that the real problem in the world today is that there are too many people.
    The only thing I don’t agree with is that it should be spelled “embiggenation.”

  3. You & I share the same political views. Unfortunately, there are a lot of the people who should not be allowed to vote living in my state.

  4. Phew, I was really worried that “Battle Royal for Cheese” might turn out to be my favourite ‘Springer’ that never happened. If anyone got offended, it’;s because they chose to ;-)

  5. I’ve sent a few hipsters to that location, I’m alarmed they took the bait and I see they also took the pie. I’m so glad you are of the blueberry persuasion and not the Android pie type.

  6. Let’s review, Dan.

    You are a fairly competent cartoonist even if you don’t always put the gag across. At the same time, Bizarro — although ripping off the general sensibility — is no Far Side (but then again what it.)

    What you don’t have is any internal instinct for, or valuable insight into, the political situation in the US today. You’re just virtue signaling that you are a fine upstanding cartoonist with all the right ideas. That’s why your “political” cartoons and sentiments aren’t making it. You are working with a good but limited talent and you shouldn’t reveal your limitations.

    • Vanderleun,

      I find your comment just, well, bizzaro. Not to mention pretentious as hell. I think Mr. Piraro understands what’s happening politically in the US today just fine. He nailed it with his Alarmist Clock cartoon. Faux News fans the flames and, gee, guns sales skyrocket.

      I’m sure he doesn’t need me to defend him, but I found your comment so annoying I felt the need to respond.

      • Vanderleun just has different political views, and he’d rather be spiteful than be honest. It goes with his politics. He liked Bizarro before he disagreed and chose to get upset, else he wouldn’t have been here, would he? ;-)

        • Maybe it was the same during other time periods, I can’t say for sure, but I think it’s disheartening how far we’ve drifted from the concept of civilized discourse. I think it’s important to recognize that it’s to everyone’s benefit that some people have different political views and that when these differences present themselves, it doesn’t automatically mean someone else is wrong or doesn’t have valuable insight into the political situation. Now, it may not automatically mean that, but I’m not suggesting that it’s impossible to be wrong; plenty of people seem to validate their opinion by being louder and angrier than those around them rather than by researching facts. Those people are wrong. And my opinion, as biased as it may be, is that Mr. Piraro has used facts and objective reasoning to arrive at his conclusions.

          (On a separate tangent, I find it equally disheartening how frequently some people consider their subjective reasoning to be objective.)

          • I guess those arenas full to the brim all across the country for Donald Trump are all full of blithering idiots. I support Trump, denounce Obama, and have an IQ of 143 and a Doctorate degree.

          • Unless a person is a bigot or a selfish millionaire, I can’t think of a single reason to support Trump for president unless that person has bought into his empty, childish, schoolyard talk of strength and patriotism. He is less qualified than George W. Bush was and we all know how well that turned out. If you are willing to hold up his “well-attended” rallies as evidence that popularity equals substance, does it concern you at all that candidates like him make Americans a laughing stock among all other developed nations? Or are all of our allies blithering idiots?

            You would be very hard pressed to find many of the world’s prominent minds (who are not selfish, power-hungry millionaires) who think that President Donald Trump would be anything but a catastrophe for the United States, and in extension, the world.

  7. Thanks for another great edition. While I don’t always agree with you (but usually do), I always appreciate and enjo your humor and wit. And there definitely needs to be an IQ test for voting.

  8. OK. I now know that my television is out to get me. If watching it doesn’t turn my mind to mush, it’ll crush me.

    I’m keeping my distance and I’m not turning my back on it — ever.

    Thanks for the heads up!

    PS I thought the fake title was the cheese one. I’ve been watching far too much TV so “my father, my mother” sounded about right. Silly me!

  9. I loved the “rinsing out the hammock” cartoon because, subconsciously, I realized a net and a hammock look very much alike. I also loved the “alarmist clock”, so very true!

  10. I’m loving your cartoons [just as I always did], but I’m particularly enjoying your commentary. Checking out the world clock was a little scary, watching those numbers change so quickly. A reminder of my own mortality since I will be one of those little clicks since I’m not being frozen in the hopes of immortality.

    Thanks for drawing it as you see it.

  11. Dan, there’s no need to apologize for speaking your piece. I only wish a lot more people would read it than just us hardcore fans.

  12. Happy new year Dan!

    I’m writing to you for the first time, although I’ve enjoyed your cartoons for a long time. First in a tabloid India called Mumbai Mirror and then online. I really enjoy the wit in your cartoons and the fact that they completely live up to the name of the strip/panel.

    I’m writing this because the second panel with the near-death experience reminded me of an old Arabic tale called ‘Death Speaks’. Jeffery Archer placed it at the beginning of one of his books. Maybe you’d like to read it.

    Thankful for the Bizzaros and looking forward to many more
    Mumbai, India

  13. You, Sir, made my week…yet again! But I am wondering… What happens when you hit the snooze button on your alarmist clock?

  14. As a person with Slovenian grandparents, I loved today’s cartoon! We always watched Lawrence Welk’s show after having dinner with Shobar grandparents.

  15. Just a few technical questions. Do you use old fashioned pen-and-ink or a graphics tablet? If the latter, what software do you use?
    When I was a cartoonist, I was using ink pens and stick-on textured film for the half-tones. Now, of course, I use a tablet and Corel Paint.
    The advantage of the latter is that you can easily edit the drawing.
    I want to comment about the New Yorker. I sent in a batch and they did not even acknowledge them. Looking at their cartoons, they, like the British magazine Private Eye, use very simplistic drawings. I, like you, take pride in the art as much as the joke. I get the impression that cartoon editors divide into Doodlelists and Artyists. Is there such thing as cartoon fashion? I like to adapt the art to suit the subject matter. A silly joke gets a simple drawing. If bizarre, Ronald Searle mode. If very serious, then I like to go into David Low mode. Low was a leading WW!! political cartoonist. I’ve seen his originals. They would make your eyes water.
    And of course, there is the difference in taste. When I first started, I took a batch into a top Fleet St. cartoon agent. Basically, he said they were crap.
    My world fell about me. So I walked into the newspaper office directly opposite. The newspaper baron happened to be there with the editor. They signed me up as resident cartoonist on the spot. All within the space of one hour. Show Biz!!
    You may (or may not) wish to know why I am no longer a political cartoonist.. I had terrible censorship from my editor. I’d rather die than do a pious cartoon. If I had to depict Obama heroically riding a noble horse in the sky, I would ensure that the hoss was doin’ what a hoss hasta do. I did manage to get one on a quarter-page front spread. But clearly the editor took it to be pious. Too subtle I guess. I was not the only one. “Vicky” (Victor Weisz), although one of the top cartoonists of his generation, had the same problem. I would see the poor little man shamble dismally towards the editorial stairs with at least 6 cartoons in the hope of the editor liking one.
    It became too much. Both he and another cartoonist of my acquaintance committed suicide. Both struck me as depressives. Satirical humor makes great demands on lateral thinking and we tend to see things we would prefer not to see. The latter’s newspaper style seemed to be stick-men drawings and I looked down on them But I met him and saw his beautiful paintings on the wall behind him. I guess he wanted to be known as a fine artist rather than a scribbler. So I got out. I regret it now.
    Art is a strange thing. For example, my sister is a leading wild life artist and educationalist in the UK. She can paint a bird and you can see every feather in fine detail. But she is representational. When she wanted to make a site for kids, she had to ask me to supply the cartoons. So to be any kind of fine artist, you need not only graphical skills but imagination and sense of drama. You must see the painting like a film director sees a film.

  16. I don’t agree with your views on religion, politics, world population, or what’s frightening, but your cartoons are damned hilarious. Keep up the great work to keep us laughing.

  17. I am just now catching up on some past cartoons, I agree with you wholeheartedly on the Alarmists Clock, my poor 94-year-old Beautiful Grandmother is thoroughly convinced that ISIS is going to break into her home and murder her, anytime anything unusual happens she panics, a couple of weeks ago a lamp malfunctioned and spontaneously came on, she told me she sure was glad that didn’t happen while she was asleep, she would have thought “ISIS had broken in and were coming to get me” it makes me both sad and angry that at the twilight of her life, this is what she is worried about.

  18. I love your sense of humor and comics!

    We are totally opposites politically. Well almost. But unlike other commenters apparently, I am not inspired to say mean things to you for any reason. Everyone has a different perspective, and it is the blend of those differences that balances things out. Otherwise all those people smart enough to avoid that train-wreck fuschia, given sole rein, would turn out to later send us over the cliff of that-bozo mauve. It takes all kinds.

    Comics are awesome and humor makes the world a better place. Thanks for sharing yours with us. :-)

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