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Holiday High Jinks

Nowadays, virtually everyone knows that Christopher Columbus was not a hero, but a despot of the first order. Here’s what I was taught in public school verses the truth:

1. Columbus was trying to prove the world was round. TRUTH: In CC’s day, Europeans knew the world was round, the debate was how big around it was. Some thought it was very large, which was correct, others thought it was quite small and you could get to Asia more quickly by sailing west. CC was in the wrong camp. (more…)

Stupid Heat

Bizarro is brought to you today by I’m Out Of Town and Trying To Do This Quickly So I Didn’t Take The Time To Find A Clever Picture.

Damn, it’s hot down here in Texas. Today we go to Oklahoma where it is even hotter. It’s miserable, but I do take some comfort in knowing that Oklahoma is the state of  Senator Jim Inhofe, the single most outspoken opponent of  Climate Change and all things scientific (I can’t swear to it, but I’d bet he believes in the creation story of Genesis), and one of the singularly stupidest people holding any kind of office anywhere. Except for Michelle Bachmann and if Sarah Palin is ever elected again. I hope he’s frying is ass off. (more…)

Irish Gay Smoking Hatred

Bizarro is brought to you today by Hybrids.

It is St. Patrick’s Day today and to commemorate it, I’m spending most of it worrying that Matthew McConaughey will star in a movie that I really want to see. Not only does he have far too many letters in his last name (blame the Irish) he reminds me of the sort of arrogant rednecks I grew up with in Oklahoma and Texas. He may well be a terrifically nice person, but I can’t watch him on screen. It hurts. (more…)

>Hate Humor?

>Bizarro is brought to you today by The Elephant Boy.

It’s been hate mail week here at Bizarro International Headquarters. I got a few letters on each of the first two comics posted here.

Several people thought that the Elephant Snowman cartoon was insensitive to people suffering from deformities and found it incomprehensible that I made fun of them in this way. I politely explained that I was not making fun of deformities, but simply finding a funny way to lampoon a famous line from a movie, David Lynch’s The Elephant Man. It was suggested in strong terms that I apologize to all of the people who suffer from so-called “Elephantitis” (Proteus syndrome) and after a little research I found that there are about 100 such people living in the world today. If any of them are readers of Bizarro, I hope they understood the cartoon the way it was intended. I’m kind of guessing there aren’t any but you can never be too careful.

A side note: I did not receive complaints on either of these two cartoons on the same subject. One. The other.

I thought the hate mail fest was over, but then I got a couple of letters about this spoof of the La-Z-Boy recliner. Apparently people who are related to people suffering from mental disorders, like schizophrenia, object to the term “crazy.” That makes sense, I suppose, but I would contend that this is not a joke that perpetuates the poor treatment of those with mental illnesses, it’s just a silly pun on “lazy”. As with the PC language movement in general, I don’t believe changing what people call people does much to change the way they react to them. I think it’s a chicken-or-the-egg situation: the term “negro” was polite until bigots used it with enough frequency that it became a slur. “Black” wasn’t derogatory when African-Americans chose it for themselves in the 1960s, it became derogatory because it has been standard for decades and bigotry is still common. Eventually, “African-American” will be thought of as derogatory as well. Etc., etc., and on and on. A large percentage of us are jerks, no matter what language we are taught to use.

For the record, I’m not a jerk. I don’t knowingly discriminate against people for things that are beyond their control like appearance, ethnicity, mental or physical disabilities, sexual orientation, height, etc. I often discriminate against people for their beliefs and behavior, however. I’m a discriminating discriminator.

Looking for a smooth segue? How could you ask for a smoother one than from that last discussion to this cartoon about gay horses? I’m so glad that our government has finally joined the 21st century and repealed the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. If someone is willing to wield a gun to defend me I don’t give a damn what turns them on. Of course, it won’t end discrimination, but it’s a baby step in the right direction.

In summary:
I apologize to victims of Proteus syndrome if my joke bothered you.
I apologize to the mentally impaired and their loved ones if my joke bothered them.
I’m a bigot toward bigots and I don’t apologize.
And while I’m at it, it occurs to me that this post wasn’t very funny so I apologize for that, too.

So very, very sorry for so, so much.

If you’d like to peruse many fine products with the above cartoons emblazoned thereupon, click the cartoon.

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>NY Giants

>
I’m a sports fan, though not fanatically so. I was writing to a friend of mine about the hideous loss by the NY Giants yesterday, a game which they led by a score of 21-3 at halftime. I thought some of you might enjoy it. You will find it funnier if you have a good understanding of football, but others might enjoy it, too. Let’s begin.

Eric,
I watched the Giants/Eagles game yesterday and was severely injured. The onslaught of utter idiocy by several members of the NY Giants football club in the second half was more than I could bear. I closed my eyes, covered my head, crawled underneath a heavy piece of furniture, held my nose. But still, the tempest was too great and my entire body was crushed by the debris that was their 2nd half performance. Even with my nose pinched closed, it filled my lungs. Now I have Stupid Lung Disease.

When I watch pro football, I often find myself exclaiming, “How can you be so stupid as to jump offsides on 4th and four? Shouldn’t you KNOW by now that that’s what the other team is counting on? They are NOT going to hike the ball. They’re going to wait until time runs out, take the penalty and punt. Just relax, wait for 15 seconds, doze off if you like, the whistles will wake you. Or, if these concepts are too abstract for you, look at that ball that is right in front of you. Don’t move unless it does.”

Or sometimes I say, “How did you get this far in the NFL and not know that the people wearing costumes different than yours are going to try to take that ball out of your hand? They aren’t chasing you because they like your cologne, it’s the ball you’re holding loosely, away from your body. If you want to save your body a lot of wear and tear, just hand it to them. But if you, like them, want to keep the ball, you should consider holding it snugly, perhaps with both hands.”

And I frequently say something like, “The whole reason those big numbers are on the front and back of everyone’s blouse is so participants can be identified. See that number? That belongs to their best receiver. You, or someone dressed like you, will want to stay close to that person in case the ball comes near them. It’s the ball you’re after, remember?”

And when the Giants play the Philadelphia Eagles I often find myself exclaiming to the people in blue on my screen, “See that guy who gets the ball first thing on every play? He can run real fast. May I suggest you put someone who can run real fast up close so they can stop him? Those huge, fat guys don’t seem to be able to touch him unless he stands stock still. I doubt they could catch me either, and I’m 5′, 7″ and 52 years old.”

So during yesterday’s ass-raping defeat, I wondered why the coaches have so much trouble drilling these simple principles into their players’ heads, concepts that are the sort of thing that anyone should be able to manage, athletic ability notwithstanding: Hold it tight, don’t move until the ball does, don’t let that one guy run around by himself. It seems so simple, but then I remember that it is professional football players they are talking to. Some of them are smart enough to understand deeper concepts than “hit anyone wearing different clothing than yours real hard,” but there are always plenty on any team who couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for the coaches. Like trying to teach a dog not to bark when someone knocks on the door, or teaching a cat to purchase her own cat food online. Some of these guys are only using a small, primitive part of their brain that the rest of us have abandoned for all uses except illicit sex in an airplane toilet.

I can’t help but feel sorry for the smart people on a team, but then I remember that that is why I dropped out of football in Junior High, even though I was still pretty good at it. Success depends on a team effort and there were just too many drooling idiots on the team. So I suppose smart NFL players got what they asked for by sticking with it.

I won’t get started on how much money some of these neanderthal primates make. Anyone who thinks life on earth is a meritocracy is a big enough boob to play pro football.

Thanks, I feel better.
d

“This is why I don’t carry a gun to games.” –– Tom Coughlin, NY Giants head coach

>Sexy Children Dogs

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Contraceptive Fashion.

People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive issue comes out on November 17th and if they don’t pick me this year, I say SCREW THEM. I have all of the qualifications they list: I’m alive and I’m sexy. (Says CHNW) So what is the holdup?

If they pick some damn vampire actor again, I’m going to the deli across the street from my apartment and turning over the magazine rack. Seriously.

On to more pleasant topics, here is a cartoon about witches who eat children. So she’s heading out to pick up lunch with an empty stroller. Get it? What’s funnier than eating children?
(Note to children reading this blog: Ask your parents if they have updated the anti-witch security devices in your home. Firefighters recommend changing the batteries on January 1st each year.)

Finally, from the archival vault (trash bags in my basement) comes this ancient Sunday comic from October of 1998. This was before I started coloring on computer, hence the colour de crapola, as they say in French. You can click on it to achieve biggerness, which will enable you to read it more good.

Dogs are so cute. By the way, where can I get one of these for my very own?

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>Zilla Math Cell Phone

>Bizarro is brought to you today by No One Zilla.

Today is a special presentation of Unusual Mail From Unusual Readers. The day after the Godzilla cartoon at left ran in the paper, I was copied on the following email, sent to the Tacoma News Tribune editor. The author allowed that I may post this letter here as long as I do not edit it in any way, including his “job title.”

October 19, 2010

Dear Tacoma News Tribune Editors:

I would like to correct a misperception that Dan Piraro, creator of the
“Bizarro” comic panel, has introduced with his 10/18/10 panel. In it he shows a
Godzillan instructor before a blackboard on which the populations of Tokyo and
Wyoming are written (12,790,000 and 493,782, respectively), explaining to a
couple of lecture attendees that “As you can see, the caloric density of Tokyo
is more than two dozen times that of the entire state of Wyoming.” While
technically correct, this vastly understates Tokyo’s superiority as a homo
sapien meat source over Wyoming. Piraro has made the simple error of dividing
the two populations to obtain his “two dozen times” figure. Caloric density,
however, is a function of food source population divided by the food source’s
geographical area. Tokyo covers 844 square miles while Wyoming covers 97,814
square miles, meaning that the caloric densities of Tokyo and Wyoming are 15,154
humans per square mile and 5 humans per square mile, respectively. Thus the
caloric density of Tokyo is more than 3,000 or 250 dozen times that of Wyoming,
not 24 or two dozen as Piraro states. For any species dependent in whole or
part on human flesh for its survival, that is a huge difference. (Why the
difference? Overconsumption of human stock in Wyoming by Tyrannosaurus Dick.)
I don’t wish to unduly criticize Dan Piraro, who is a fine cartoonist, but I’m
sure that if Gary Larson were still covering the animal husbandry beat, this
error would not have crept into the pages of your newspaper. I hope you will
publish this letter to properly inform your readers of Tokyo’s true magnificence
as a food source. To reassure readers unable to afford transoceanic passage to
Japan, I note that the caloric densities of Tacoma and Seattle are 4,107 and
6,799 humans per square mile, respectively. While Seattle-area metropolises
don’t offer as calorie-abundant an environment as Tokyo, Seattleites’ rich diet
of liberal hypocrisy, complacency, and arrogance make them some of the tastiest
eating on the planet.

Sincerely,
Brett Landgraf
The Pink Nigger

His math is correct, of course, and I regret the error. Mr. Landgraf and I have corresponded on another occasion, which I will not post in its entirety here, in which he explained why he insists on being called “The Pink Nigger.” His answer, paraphrased, is that his skin is pink (caucasian) and he is, at least in part, a slave to property and labor markets. My guess is that he is fiercely libertarian, but I could be wrong. Whatever his philosophy, I found his letter amusing and wanted to share. (Note: I’m not one to believe that words are taboo, only context. If I thought his use of “nigger” was meant to promote racism, I wouldn’t have posted it here.)

On to the next cartoon: I thought of this gag when trapped in public on my cell phone during a difficult conversation. I wanted to scream but did not wish to abuse the others around me. And no, it was not a conversation with CHNW.

For today’s blast from the Bizarro archives, click on the No One Zilla link in the first sentence of this post.

Cheers. (salutation, not sit-com)

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>Cancer Fuss

>Yesterday’s post garnered some criticism about my assertion that there would be less cancer if people ate vegan diets. I don’t want to start a never-ending war of comments and I normally would answer this kind of thing in the comments section itself, but this seemed important enough to post about. As requested, here is a link to one of many articles that supports my comment:

http://www.pcrm.org/resch/edresources/nutr_curr/nutr_curr_2.html

There are many other studies cited on that site, which is run by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, not fringe animal rights activists. I just wanted respond to the accusation that I am spouting off irresponsibly or without evidence. Each person’s ethical code is their own business, of course, but mine does not allow the intentional victimization of another for my own benefit, except in cases of self defense against that other being. So I don’t believe in torturing others to cure ourselves. That’s just me, your results may vary and objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

In short, according to medical information I’ve read: yes, cancer has numerous causes, susceptibility is genetic, and diet can strongly affect your chances of getting it and recovering from it.

>3-fer Saturday

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Religious Interpretation.

Today’s extra special 3-fer is a jam packed full of various things that are sure to amuse somebody somewhere for some reason for at least a few seconds. I hope you’re one of them.

The first comic includes a reference to Tarzan’s Hollywood sidekick, a chimp named Cheeta. Cheeta’s shirt is a satire of the popular middle-American saying, “WWJD?” which stands for “what would jesus do?” Popular with Christian teens, I suppose it was invented as a way to keep reminding teenagers that a vengeful god is watching them and they’d better not try to get away with anything. I didn’t see this cartoon as a slap at religion but one reader did, telling me I owed him an apology and that my cartoon likely angered Jesus, which he insinuated was not a good thing and something I should be afraid of. I’m not inclined to believe that if some kind of god does exist, it would be so petty and insecure as to be insulted this easily.

Cartoon #2 is a simple illustration of a different meaning for the common claim that something or someone is huge in Japan. Nothing much to say here except that googling images of sumo wrestlers for reference reminded me of how utterly weird humans are.

Our final cartoon today is a Sunday panel and employs one of my favorite cartoon gimmicks – leading the reader to think one thing at first glance only to reveal after reading the caption that the picture is not what it seems. Here, most people’s first assumption is that the horse is running when in fact, he is hovering in place. I particularly like the way the drawing came out on this one. The looks on both horses’ faces adds to the joke and the cowboy on the hover-horse looks appropriately goofy. I also love doing this kind of desert background. Be sure to click on the image for a larger view.

Enjoy your weekend. That’s an order.

>The Flood

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Human Ingenuity.

Every thinking person has considered at one time or another how the world will end. By “the world” we always mean humanity, of course, as if the entire existence of the planet were about us. It is a common religious tenet that the world was created for humans but this self-centered idea is one that I believe to be born of ignorance and superstition.

I was indoctrinated with this concept, too, and believed it for most of my life; it’s difficult to let go of things ingrained in us when we are very young. But acquainting myself with the body of knowledge about the earth and the universe that humans have gathered with our nimble brains over the past several thousand years, it became increasingly obvious that nothing could be further from the truth. We are but passengers on a ship along with millions of other species of plants and animals, all of which balance rather delicately upon each other.

There is also human arrogance in the idea that we will end it all with some amazing invention like the atomic bomb – killed by our own awesomely ingenious amazingness. Oh, the tragic drama of it all. In fact, it looks as though the end of us will be at the hands of a leaky pipe.

As T. S. Eliot said, “Not with a bang but a whimper.”

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