Faux Flood

(You can embiggenate these images by clicking on the cartoon with largliness in mind.)

This popular comic of mine is on a T-shirt again until Jan 11. Different styles and sizes available under the pulldown menu button thing.

Bizarro is brought to you today by Telltale Signs. 

I missed my weekly post last Sunday because of the holidays and some family who were visiting us at Rancho Bizarro’s new location in Mexico.

As regular readers know, my beloved Olive Oyl and I permanently relocated to Trump-Free America in early December. We decided to do this months before the “election” so politics weren’t the biggest factor, but given the current poisonous political atmosphere of the U.S., we’re super happy not to be there enduring the daily headlines and other shenanigans. We also consider the U.S. to be a fairly dangerous place to live during the Trump administration, to be honest. Historically, his kind of personality and political style encourages more terrorism and hate crimes, and increases the chances of war––only a few of the myriad reasons why the smarter members of his own party didn’t want him to win the nomination.

Meanwhile, our lives have been upended in numerous fascinating ways. We’ve met some very cool, eccentric gringos (here’s Olive and I with our friends Richard and Anado, who live in an amazing art house just outside of town) and have enjoyed some amazing countryside, festivals, sights, sounds, food, and local color. We’ve also found out that Mexico is a nearly non-stop party culture that celebrates with music, fireworks, and various other kinds of noise making almost nightly and sometimes all night long. Between that and the regular onslaught of church bells, it’s not the easiest place to get a good night’s sleep. We’re starting to get use to it, though. Standard foam rubber earplugs weren’t quite enough so we’ve also begun putting our heads inside of hollowed-out pumpkins when we go to bed and that seems to do the trick.

I wish I had more photos to share with you but the camera on my cell phone has been broken for a couple of weeks so I’m having to borrow pics from the people I’m with. Here’s a nice one of one of my 1/6th-of-a-dozen sons-in-law and myself sitting on some Mexican rocks in a Mexican park. And here’s one with some tall things that the locals call “cocktooses”.

And now the real fun begins. The cartoon above got a fair amount of unexpected hate mail. It was unexpected because I didn’t think that satirizing the simple fact that most affluent people in the United States are white males was particularly controversial. (The women and children associated with white males are often affluent, too, but that is usually only by association.)

The hate mail I got was from white males calling me a racist and excoriating me for using my comic to stir unrest in the population. Seriously? The mere fact that white males have enjoyed so many advantages in our society for so many centuries now that we don’t even realize how privileged we are isn’t enough to stir unrest? People are waiting for a cartoon about it to start a revolution?

Here’s my favorite example of the kind of mail I got this week:

“Saw your comic strip dated 12/26/16. Your [sic] a RACIST using a Comic [sic] strip to to [sic] divide the country. You have to be a Democrat!! Sore LOSER!!!”  –– Angry Reader

I normally don’t like to give in to being shitty to jackasses, but sometimes I can’t resist. I replied with this:

“For future reference, Mr. (name withheld by me), in this case it would be “you’re” not “your a racist”, there is no reason to capitalize “comic,” and you typed the word “to” twice. Had you not so carelessly ignored your education, you’d likely know these basic elements of English grammar and possibly even the definition of racism.”  ––Me

Here are a couple more favorite snippets from other letters:

“Why do you hate white people?” and “What do you have against families?” (sigh)

Another reader hit me with this typical Fox News straw man argument:

“…if there was a comic strip like yours and it red [sic] black or any other race The [sic] bleeding heart liberal in the mainstream media would make a federal case out of it and call everyone called [sic] a racist.” ––Different Angry Reader

There is a simple premise in the world of satire: You can attack the people at the top but you don’t attack the people at the bottom. Simply saying that the opposite of a statement would have a different reaction isn’t an argument against the original statement. If a person says, “All robbers should be locked up,” it makes no sense to dispute it by saying “If you said all victims of robbery should be locked up, the mainstream media would make a federal case out of it!” Yes, they would. And for good reason; it’s idiotic.

I was raised in a part of the U.S. that is commonly called “Tornado Alley”. People not from areas where tornados are common may not know that they have a reputation for hitting mobile home parks. Some say the abundance of metal attracts them but my guess is that it’s a false perception. Mobile homes are not particularly sturdy so if a tornado is anywhere in their area, they’re going to sustain more damage and displacement than a permanent house. But the guy in my cartoon believes the attraction theory and is using the mobile home as a decoy to entice tornados away from his house. I applaud his cleverness.

(P.S. While proofreading, I researched this and found an article that claims some researchers found that tornados actually do hit trailer parks more often than other places but it is because they are typically and unwittingly placed in areas that tornados naturally hit. Here’s the article if you should happen to care.)

If you’re the kind of person who fears or is at least made nervous by clowns, you might enjoy this cartoon. Or, if you’re a person who is a clown and is tired of being called “creepy” or “scary,” you might enjoy it. Or, if you’re a person who just loves the combination of the colors aqua and orange.

As long as I live I will never understand the appeal of watching cars drive in a circle. NASCAR has been around for many decades and for ages was only popular among low-income, rural folks. Then, for some reason I must have missed, it became HUGE all over the nation with all kinds of people. It’s as mysterious as the thing about tornados being attracted to mobile homes. (By the way, I found photos of the top folks at NASCAR and tried to make the two guys on the left look like two of the guys who run it or whatever.)

I like treating Mickey Mouse as a real celebrity on occasion. I’ve done it a few times before. Oh look, here’s one now.

This cartoon was inspired by a routine I’ve been doing for years in my live comedy shows and talks. In the song “Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan, he sings “Hey, mister tambourine man play a song for me”. How does a person play a song on a tambourine? In my comedy shows, I play a version of the game “Name That Tune” by banging out famous songs on a tambourine and asking the audience to identify the song. Pretty much all songs sound alike on a tambourine, of course.

That’s it for the cartoons I normally would have posted last Sunday. Here now are the cartoons I would normally (and am) posting in today’s blog.

We’re not having a lot of snow here in San Miguel de Allende this month but I figure lots of you Jazz Pickles are living with snow and tasked with shoveling it from various surfaces, so maybe this hits home for a few of you. There are five secret symbols in this one but one of them is a bit harder to find that usual. Although plenty of you will spot it quickly.

(Insider Jazz Pickle trivia: though I have a snow globe from Carlsbad Caverns that is just like the one shown here at left, the rest of the furnishings do not look like anything in my home. Except for maybe the hand.)

If you were a cannibal, would you eat someone who wears tacky holiday sweaters? Would it matter if they were wearing it ironically or seriously? Here are fewer than four pictures of my two wonderful daughters, Krapuzar and Krelspeth, who once gave me the gift of intentionally bad holiday photos. I laughed for a good half hour after receiving them.

The above pun was donated by a longtime Jazz Pickle named Ed and I thought it was funny so I used it. There have been other versions of this pun used in other forms of comedy (like songs) but I didn’t know that when I drew it. It’s still worth a chuckle and that’s the important thing.

One of my favorite things about this is the backstory about the phrase, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too”. This phrase is commonly used to describe a situation wherein a person wants two things that are mutually exclusive, like getting a promotion at work but not having any additional responsibilities. They can’t have it both ways, so you say that cake thing to them. BUT WAIT––the expression makes no sense because you CAN have your cake and eat it, too. That’s how it is done. Somebody gives you cake, then you eat it. Here’s where the interesting part comes in––the original phrase was the reverse of how we now say it: You can’t eat your cake and have it, too. Because if you eat your cake, you no longer have it. Suddenly, it makes sense!

This cartoon got some hate mail, too, but it was completely expected. Believe it or not, there are readers who love Bizarro but also intentionally voted for Donald Trump to hold the most powerful office in the world. These kinds of people always say a version of the same thing, which includes phrases like “your political humor isn’t funny,” “your readers want to be entertained and aren’t interested in your political opinions,” and “even people who agree with your political views don’t think your political cartoons are funny”. Those statements apply to some readers, of course, but not most. Many of my readers love my political commentary and thank me for giving them a smile in such a dark time in our nation’s history.

Again with the scary clown thing. I got some hate mail from this one, too, in the form of a woman admonishing me for making fun of Jesus, who will surely judge me harshly in the afterlife. Maybe she’s right, but what if god isn’t a childish, vengeful, narrow-minded, thin-skinned brat who brutally punishes people who don’t bow unquestioningly to his amazingness (like our current president elect, Donald Trump) but instead is a wise, all-knowing, open-minded, compassionate being with a sense of humor. Maybe he’ll process it like a mature adult and won’t be all that upset with me.

Got the same predictable admonishments from right-wingers on this one, too, of course.

By the way, I know that not all spiritual believers or Republicans are as narrow-minded and ignorant as the folks who write these kinds of letters to me. I have friends and family who belong to those categories but still have a reasonable view of the world. To the best of my knowledge, none of them voted for Trump.

I was on such a hate mail roll last week that I am disappointed I didn’t get any hate mail about this cartoon asking what I have against walking, treadmills, gym memberships, and mirrors. It doesn’t mention Christmas in any way, so perhaps this cartoon is part of the imaginary “War on Christmas” that Bill O’Reilly likes to whine about. Surely it is offensive to someone for some reason.

That’s it for this week’s double-wide trailer of offensive cartoons and commentary. I hope that 2017 goes very well for all of us in spite of all evidence to the contrary.  Be well, be happy, and be nice, Pepinillos de Jazz.

Final thoughts: In my ongoing efforts to make ends meet in a world where more people every day read and share my cartoons on the Interwebs for FREE, I’m selling an awesome book of fantasy art under the guise of being an adult coloring book. It’s completely appropriate for all ages and can be found here for only $6. No, I did not leave digits off of that price. It really is that insanely cheap.

My buddy Jim Horwitz does a very creative web comic called “Watson”. He was one half of a pretty entertaining interview recently which I think you might enjoy, that includes a humorous photo of the two of us. Find it here.

79 thoughts on “Faux Flood

  1. LOVE the dam drawing! Did you do something similar years and years ago? I’m a long time fan and I think I remember liking it back then.

    PS. I gave my daughter your adult coloring book as a gift. It’s great.

  2. The 5th snow globe symbol was indeed tricky. Before I found it I stared at the middle of the candlestick trying to see the crown. But of course once you see them they are always obvious, and the candlestick crown is stylized, which is not your style.

    It seems I should include hate mail, since they are ore likely to get quoted in future blog posting. So I will say that the final bedroom comic offends me because two of the four symbols have eyeballs and appear to be staring at the couple in bed. You are obviously some kind of peeping tom pervert living vicariously through your comic. Or maybe I am just jealous that you escaped the country in time.

    • Sir Dave, I don’t believe there is a candlestick crown. You might have missed the K2 hidden as a test for colorblindness in the base under the rooster. SECRET SYMBOL SPOILER ALERT: Five signs from the upper left, counterclockwise are Spaceman, Rabbit, Eye in eggquarium, Boom in Carlsbad Caverns and K2 under rooster.

    • The candlestick is not one of the 5. There are 5 standard ones, though. I don’t want to list them, because I know you’ll enjoy the hunt.

      • Mary Ellen and Gary, thanks for the info, but as I said I did find them all on my own before posting, so life is (and was) good.

  3. Dear Sir,
    You are a hoot. I start every day looking forward to reading your work.

    I love the clowns, the subtle digs, the overt jabs. Thank you for sharing your craft.

    And if you are ever in Oakland California, keep going, our city is nuts. 😎

    Thanks again Amigo

    G David

  4. Have enjoyed your comics for years. Scary to,think how long! Enjoy Mexico and when you ever come to Canada, let us know!

    • Thanks, HFL. And thanks for your longtime readership, which I only aware of because of your memorable nom de plume. :^}

  5. Do people not realize that if you can afford to fly, you’re affluent. Poor people are the ones who take36-hour bus rides because that’s all they can afford.

    • Good point, but there are more categories than just “affluent” or “poor”. Virtually all middle class folks in the U.S. take commercial flights from time to time and they’re not what you’d call affluent.

  6. Perhaps the best response to hate mail is no response at all. Most of them are simply looking for you to inflame their already warped egos with a response anyways. Besides, why waste your time? You’ve got more excellent comics to work on, right?

  7. Thanks, Dan. I especially enjoyed your commentary (and the snow globes) this week. As far as being losers, I think all Americans will be losers before the year is over. Sad, but true. Best of everything in your new home!

  8. I got a kick out of the “tambourine” comic; my wife told me that, growing up, her grandfather would stomp out “tunes” with his feet and want her and her sisters to guess the song. They didn’t have much success, either.

  9. I actually found the white male vs. families with children strip to be very funny. My wife and I experienced an angry white male with our three year old. Although I couldn’t tell if he was affluent, I was able to figure out that he was an asshole.

    By the way, many of your cartoons have become “teachable moments” for my 7th and 8th graders. I tell them that comedy requires a bit of cultural knowledge. Sadly, too many of the students get very distracted by all the symbolism ls you hide in the strip. Thanks for sharing your gift.

    • Thanks for your comments, Doug. I’m always thrilled to hear about teachers who use my cartoons with their students.

    • An interesting point, Mr. Jones. I think the principle that regular exercise benefits a person’s health is solid but I would agree with you that the vast majority of what people call “working out” is about narcissism. I begrudgingly go to the gym these days to keep my mobility and strength up but I can’t deny a part of it is wanting to beat the effects of aging and look younger than I am.

  10. Regarding all the hate mail- in my opinion ( humble as it never was), if your work doesn’t illicit strong reactions (good and bad), then you’re not doing it right! Thanks for bringing a smile to my face :)

    • I agree with the general principle that if your art isn’t offending someone, it probably isn’t impressing a lot of people, either. :^}

  11. I missed you last Sunday! With nasty winter weather and the looming 4-year disaster, aka das ende der welt wie wir sie kennen, we really need the laughs. I’ll see what I got in my PayPal account, sorry it’s never much.
    My LOL moment was the Clown that finds a new way to be scary. And also your commentary, always wise, funny, and sometimes too forgiving.

    • The hate mail for that cartoon was from Trump supporters who accurately discerned that I was talking about adults who were devastated by the U.S. presidential election outcome.

  12. My husband and I have been faithful Bizarro fans since we first discovered it. LOVE the clever, sometimes edgy, sometimes outrageous humor! Please keep doing what you do…there are many more of us out here than the poor (obviously miserable in general) detractors you cited in your blog.

    • Thanks, Nancy. Knowing that there are more readers like you than like the detractors is what keeps me doing this. :^}

  13. Dan – As we draw ever nearer the official birth of the U.S. Idiocracy on January 20th, your humor becomes that much more important. Keep up the good work.

  14. My partner and I constantly ponder moving out of the country for many of the same reasons you and Olive Oyl did ( we’re tired of daily life in a consumer culture full is spoiled and ungrateful humans, plus Trump). My question about Mexico, I know the safety level must depend on the area, but is it generally safe for gringo Americans to live there with the dominance of the cartels? I see a lot of Americans moving to Mexico, but always wonder about safety aspect. Please enlighten me, wise one.

    • From what we’re told by gringos who’ve lived here more than a decade, the cartels are only violent toward people who compete with them or get in their way. On the contrary, they see gringos as customers, so they tend to leave them alone.

      For the most part, locals tend to appreciate the money that gringos bring to their economy. I’ve been here for about five weeks and have visited a few times before, of course, but I’ve never had any Mexican be anything but friendly and kind to me. My local gringo friends report the same experience.

      The way we look at it is that there are criminal organizations working behind the scenes of any community. You learn how to steer clear of them and where not to go after dark and you’re probably fine. We estimate that the chances of us being targeted in a violent way in Mexico are no higher than it is of being caught in some violent crime or insane shooting event in the U.S.

  15. Great collection this week. The clown one in particular made me laugh. Thanks so much for your work and your sense of humor in these crazy times.

  16. Having planted my tongue firmly in my cheek (what is the origin of that expression? I know, I could look it up and probably will), let me say this: I really dislike your politics, but hey, they’re your politics and everyone is entitled to his/her own beliefs. I seriously doubt the USA will be in any worse shape over the next 4 years than it has been the past 8 … or 16 … or 32 … or 241 years. But then, I don’t believe that government is the answer to any problems.

    Meanwhile, keep writing/drawing the cartoons – even the political cartoons. Try making fun of all politicians. Some of the best comics I’ve seen during my life are able to poke fun at people from all points on the political spectrum.

  17. Anyone paying the slightest amount of attention will find your views on race, privilege, etc to be true. It seems you cannot go anywhere online without running up against low-info peeps that get their talking points from Fux “News” or another segment of the Hate Media…..or just simply parrot the drunken rantings of their Uncle /Dad Jimmy. I also try and ignore (or at least not feed into the fray but sometimes things need to be said in return. Silence being complicity, and all that. Dan, good on ya, keep on doing your thang and we look forward to next week’s batch o’ grins.

  18. I’m a very, very long time fan! Just wanted to let you know that I got your coloring book as a Christmas present, and it’s even better than I thought it would be. Thanks for being awesome.

  19. ¤ I am very much impressed that Angry Reader figured out how to spell “loser” with only one “o.” There might be hope for the world yet!

  20. Mr. Piraro,
    Thank you for linking to the Jim Horwitz interview. Hope you liked it. (He’s a fun guy to work with.)
    And, if you ever feel the need to vent all over the internet, please keep me in mind.

    • My pleasure, Curtis. I thought the interview was very entertaining. Since you mentioned it, I’d be happy to do one sometime if you like.

  21. I guess that if you didn’t get hatemail it would be because they missed the point. Please accept this as an example of the opposite. I love your work and find it to be continually clever and witty.
    I teach the rudiments of medical physiology to dental students and (I hope you don’t mind) share your relevant comics as teaching aids, the ones on stress and side (special) effects are particularly useful.

    • Happy to hear you’re using my cartoons for good and not evil, Pete. I’m always amenable to educational use. The only time I object is if people alter my cartoons in any way or use them for commercial enterprises or profit without permission. :^}

  22. The Santa cartoon made me laugh because I read the cartoon as a parody of the over-reaction of many on the political left to Trump’s election.

    If we can survive 16 years of Bush and Obama, surely we can survive 4 years of Trump.

  23. I wonder how many of the people who accused you of racism voted for a certain orange clown, noted for many things but not his racial tolerance…
    Hey, seeing as you live in Mexico nowadays, you simply must come up with a definitive cartoon about the proposed wall…
    Kind of funny how people will compulsively read things they find offensive, as if they enjoy being offended all the time.

    Mickey Mouse makes a good point, but standing on that kind of balcony, I am usually too terrified to think of much other than the gaping chasm in front of me.

    I can think of another reason why tornadoes seem to go for trailer parks: in such a park, the trailers are usually packed fairly tightly, so if a tornado hits one, it hits all, thus perhaps creating a worse scene of destruction than when it hits a more isolated house.

    I wonder if color-blind people will be able to find the 5th secret symbol in the snow globe cartoon. Say, have you ever done a cartoon in which the secret symbols act as participants in the action, instead of just sitting there, looking secretive?

    And thus I conclude my comments. In short, as usual I am humorified rather than offendized.

    • I wondered about the color blind thing, too. As I was coloring it I thought it resembled one of those tests.

      Yes, I’ve done a cartoon or two wherein one of the secret symbols is part of the action but I can’t remember what they were at the moment.

  24. I can’t quite get my head around people who get offended by your humour. Even when I was a believer, I found your religiously themed cartoons hysterically funny. Mind you, I was always a fan of the Wittenburg Door (now archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20161008090628/http://wittenburgdoor.com/) and the Ship of Fools (www.ship-of-fools.com). I figure that if you’re so precious about your adopted clan that you can’t recognise the absurdities inherent in any given institution made up of members of the human race, you’ve no business even registering to vote. So, more power to ya!

  25. The following is not intended for posting, but it is your call. I love this joke and hope you do too. If you can do a Mickey Mouse falsetto, so much the better…

    The scene is an attorney’s office and a lawyer is explaining a fine point of the law to Mickey Mouse. “So you see, Mickey, you can’t divorce Mini just because she acts silly.” “Who said anything about acting silly? I said she’s fucking Goofy!”

  26. Since you quite rightly pilloried the grammatical incompetence of some of your hate mail, you might want to clean up the typo (and I know it was just a typo!) after the cryogenics comic: “voted for Donald Trump to the hold the most powerful office”

    • Thanks, Anne! I hate typos and even though I always proofread my posts multiple times I virtually ALWAYS miss at least one!

    • Thanks for the note, Doug. The Rude Pundit himself sent me a notification about it yesterday. I read it and agreed with him. :^}

      P.S. I agree about Oakland. I have a few friends there and almost moved there a few years ago myself.

  27. With the airport one, you could have included something pre-boarding people who need extra assistance. Often enough, this means forcibly pre-boarding people with disabilities. Generally speaking, no, the gate attendants don’t care if you have and aisle seat and would like to board later (so as not to have to get up several times) and flight attendants don’t care that your chosen seat is very close to a restroom because, apparently, 20-25 ft isn’t “all that far” for anyone. It’s… odd.

  28. My sister is really going to enjoy that snow globe cartoon at her home in the hills above Lake Tahoe, where she is snowed in and shoveling has become futile! How’s the weather there?

    • The weather here where I live is very temperate. Houses here don’t have heaters or air conditioners. But this time of year it gets down around 40˚F overnight, so getting out of bed in the morning can be a challenge. Not much to complain about, really. :^}

  29. Sorry to say this but shouldn’t it be ‘anthropomorphised’?
    Or may be I’m wrong with my British spellings…

    Anyways, I finished whole archives and I love your work.
    Saving money to buy a jazz pickle pin… Or an art may be.

  30. I absolutely love the “Poplar Mechanics” comic. Very clever wordplay and execution, and the included “articles” described on the cover are great also. I’m a big fan of your work and hope you will continue for years to come.

  31. re. “Pre Boarding”

    I just can’t stop being astounded by how some folks continually slander and demean others but are quickly angered when they are the butt of a clever well crafted joke.

    Instead of Death Threats you should have received thousands of “Touché, Well Done” messages.

  32. “UNIVAC: a device, which contained 20,000 vacuum tubes, occupied 1,500 square feet and weighed 40 tons; there was also a laptop version weighing 27 tons.” — Dave Barry

  33. Re: Laptop Computers: There is an issue with the heat in the lap area affecting fertility. I guess it was worse in the early days.

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