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>Glory To The Internets

A reader pointed me to this extraordinary page. I pass it along to you without comment, for now.

Placing the cursor over a person will provide a description of that character on the right. Be sure not to miss the group of people in the lower right corner.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.

>Scary Health Care Reform


(click on the image to enlarge)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Two Sides of the Aisle.

Because of the cartoon above, I got a lot of hate mail from readers who are against government-run health care and/or are regular viewers of Fox News. I thought I’d spend a couple of minutes today explaining my position on health care reform, not as any kind of expert, of course, just from my vantage point as one who cannot afford health care in America.

I make a decent amount of money, but I’m not rich. I’m also self employed, so no one provides any kind of insurance for me, I have to buy it. Health insurance costs vary from state to state, but here in NYC, the cheapest I can find for my wife and I, with a large deductible, is over $1000 a month. That’s another mortgage payment each month, into the pockets of super wealthy insurance execs, in all likelihood for nothing. Statistics show that if I ever want to use that insurance there is an excellent chance they’ll find a way to deny me. That’s how they make their profits. My wife had serious brain and heart surgery when she was 20, so just about anything that happens to her now will be called a “pre-existing condition.” You can bet on it.

So here I sit, a reasonably famous guy who makes a decent living, unable to afford to get sick. Sure, I can afford the occasional doctor’s visit or prescription, and do, but if either my wife or I are ever in an accident or get a serious disease, we’re out of luck. We can’t afford insurance and we can’t afford to pay for the care. So we die.

This is clearly an unfair system tilted heavily toward the corporations running it. This dilemma does not exist in any other wealthy nation. Government run health care does. And it works. It’s not perfect, but anyone who has spent any time going through America’s current health care system knows that it is far from perfect, too. Most people describe it as a nightmare.

Yes, it is popular in the U.S. to be fearful of the government, and throwing around scary words like “socialism” is a very effective way to herd people in the direction you want them to go. There has virtually never been a time in human history when this kind of tactic did not work. But all of the top nations in the world are a combination of socialism and capitalism, including ours. Medicare, Social Security, VA hospitals, welfare, public schools, road repair, anything you pay taxes for is a form of socialism. Some people imagine it would be better if none of those things existed and we all got to keep all our money and just “pay as we go” for these services, provided by private companies. But history shows that private industry is just as likely to screw up and cheat the consumer as any government. A combination of socialism and capitalism works best, which is why it is so prevalent worldwide.

A public, non-profit health plan provided by the government is socialism, yes, but no moreso than Medicare or Social Security (which have worked well for decades, despite Fox News’ inaccurate reports of their impending bankruptcy), and will not interfere with your option to pay a private insurer through the nose and take your chances when you make a claim, if that is your choice.

If you’re getting your information from Fox News, that is your right, but you are kidding yourself if you think it is anywhere close to “fair and balanced.” Any number of independent agencies and studies have invariably clearly shown FN is guilty of habitual misinformation, routine and obvious inaccuracies, and a consistent support of the will and benefit of a handful of the world’s most powerful corporations, who already have far too much influence in Washington.

Simply put, Fox News is not journalism, it is propaganda. And not because their opinion disagrees with mine, because much of what they say is demonstrably false, and always supports the narrow interests of a small handful of the uber-wealthy. Millions of Americans are being tricked into fighting for the very corporations that threaten our freedom and welfare. When every other large news agency in the world is saying something is bright and Fox News is the only one saying it is dark, especially when the ten wealthiest and most powerful people in the world are selling light bulbs, be very suspicious.

People opposing health care are afraid the government will control their lives. Right now, huge corporations control our lives by controlling our health care and virtually every other aspect of our lives. At least I can vote against a government. I have no recourse against CEOs.

Your opinions may vary, that’s fine. I’m just hoping there will be a way to afford to go to a hospital before I actually need it.

>We Are All Hitler

Bizarro is brought to you today by The Truth.

If there is one thing the children of America are learning it is that if you don’t like something, compare it to Hitler. I wish I had known this when I was a kid. So many times I was told to go to my room and think about what I’d done (just like Hitler used to do to the Jews!) and even though I was angry and felt I was being treated unfairly, I did not know to compare my parents to Hitler. Live and learn.

The political discourse in our beloved U.S. of A. has become so ludicrous that it can barely be satirized. Still, I hope I’ve done a decent job here. The sort of things some Americans are teaching their children with the dreck they plaster on signs and march up and down the streets with is appalling, and we will all suffer the consequences of these drones when they grow up and inflict their warped sensibilities on society in more robust ways. Many will even have their own TV shows.

I think most Americans are still relatively sensible and don’t equate Obama’s efforts to help people other than the uber-rich with Hitler, but they don’t get the media coverage. So it’s the media’s fault. The media are Hitler.

To be honest, I’m not sure who is Hitler, but I’m sure he’s out there. Lurking, waiting to make his move. Get ready for mandatory mustaches, people.

NOTE: Good news at Bizarro Headquarters: I did not die yesterday afternoon. So there will be no theories about whether yesterday’s post was a prophecy or a suicide note in disguise. I’m not planning to leave the house today, increasing my chances of living another 24 hours, so everyone can relax. If I get to feeling woozy or anything, I’ll post an emergency paragraph or two before I call 911. Stay tuned.

>Beat It?

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Surprising Products.

I grew up in the South where pinatas are common at children’s birthday parties. Consequently, for many years I believed that if you beat an animal hard enough, you would get candy. This was a lesson that did not serve me well in my later years.

Therefore, I propose that we replace the common subjects of pinatas – donkeys, bulls, superheros, skinless toddlers – with more deserving targets like Rush Limbaugh.

IMPORTANT NOTE: While I despise Rush Limbaugh and do not wish him well in any sense of the word, I DO NOT advocate physical violence against him or anyone else that you happen not to like. This is a humor blog, so DO NOT take my musings as prophecy or advice. (A defense that Rush himself has used countless times when advocating immoral, illegal, or treasonous behavior.)
In summary: Busting open Rush Limbaugh pinata = candy and laughs.
Busting open Rush Limbaugh himself = jail and drug-tainted bodily fluids and organs.

>Anatomically Incorrect

Bizarro is brought to you today by The King’s Colonoscopy.

Speaking of which, it is time for me, once again, to pay a stranger to shove things into my rectum. Yes, I am overdue for a colonoscopy, the medical equivalent of prison rape.

I had one about ten years ago, when I turned 40, and after complaining to my friends about how it was the worst, most painful day of my life, they all said, “But you’re not supposed to remember it. They give you that amnesia drug.”

Huh? They gave me no such drug. I guess they forgot. Perhaps they took it themselves.

Now I’m (over)due for another and I don’t want to do it because:
A. The last one was a nightmare
B. I don’t have health insurance and it’s expensive
C. I don’t know where/who to go to. Am I supposed to pick someone randomly from the Yellow Pages and pay them to shove things into my butt? Sounds like more like Craig’s List than modern medicine.

A reasonable blog reader might ask, “Why don’t you have health insurance, Dan?”

Because in NY it is phenomenally expensive when you are not affiliated with any group or employer. The cheapest I’ve found is through the Freelancers Union (which isn’t really a “union” but a group of freelancers who buy insurance together so it is cheaper) and it’s still over $1000 a month for minimum coverage for my wife and me, and of course, that doesn’t include “pre-existing conditions” or anything else they decide they don’t want to pay for. I’d literally rather die than pay $12,000 a year to an extortion corporation, only to be denied money back later when I really need it. It is the definition of organized crime.

I Twooted this last night, but how is it that even the dimmest Americans cannot see these two simple facts:
1. All politicians who oppose government-run health care actually HAVE government-run health care.
2. All politicians who oppose government-run health care are taking huge amounts of money from the insurance industry and big pharm.

Will this country ever wake up, or do I see residency in Europe in my future?

>Visiting A Broad

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Vixen Travel Services.

I like this cartoon for its simplicity. The absurd lack of geographic proficiency of Americans is embarrassing and reflects our arrogance. It is yet another item on the “Why They Hate Us” list, and who can blame them? Far too many Americans are too self-absorbed and intellectually lazy to find out what is going on outside of our own borders. Or inside, for that matter. That’s how the network calling itself “Fox News” gets away with passing off their absurd propaganda as “news.”

On a less stressful note, with all the excitement of yesterday’s first Bizarro contest I barely got any sleep last night. By the time the Western press was finished with me, around midnight, the Asian press started in. It was exhausting.

This morning, the winner, a reader indentifying himself as “t. tex,” wrote to me and I was surprised to find out he is a guy I knew way back in my squandered youth in Texas. When I was front man for The Doo, Tex was at the helm of the infamous Dallas punkrock band, The Nervebreakers.

Tex is in Austin now, (good choice) and has a pretty interesting blog about music and other odd things. I got lost there this morning, applying my eye bones to the many peculiar photos and sundry art, to which I will be linking in the future. Always fun to find a new source.

Gotta catch some shut eye now. Conan wanted me on his show tonight to talk about the contest, but I just can’t make it all the way out to the West Coast on such short notice.

See you in dreamland, kiddies…

>Join the Club

>Bizarro is brought to you today by The Talent Portion of Our Competition.

What’s funnier than caveman violence? A lot of things, but today’s cartoon is about caveman violence anyway.

I guess this joke comes from the recent economic catastrophe, known in some corners as The Bush Legacy, and while there is nothing funny about so many people being out of work, maybe a recently laid off employee might look at this cartoon and say to him or herself, “well, at least I didn’t get clubbed or speared.” Or perhaps even, “At least I don’t have to go around in a one-shoulder dead animal skin and get an uneven tan. At least not yet, anyway.”

Keep in mind that during the Great Depression, things were even worse than this and FDR brought us out of it with government spending, which Republicans (who pushed us into that one, too) decried as insanity. Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it and here we are again. But things are beginning to turn around. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a quick recovery. It took 8 years to bury the country this deep, it’s going to take more than a few months to dig it out.

P.S. I think I used that photo that is beneath the “Talent Portion” link above before, but it’s so great, I decided to use it again.

Until tomorrow, smile with every lip on your face…

>Zombie Therapy

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Fashion Police.

Monsters who feel remorse for their behavior is a regular theme in vampire dramas – HBO’s “True Blood,” the film, “Twilight” – so I thought it might be fun to extend the same feelings to a zombie. He eats people’s brains, then feels bad about it. If only Karl Rove were capable of such emotion.

A libertarian reader told me recently that he believed government should stay out of our way because most people are basically good and will do the right thing without government intervention. He called my view that humans cannot be trusted, “cynical.”

He’s absolutely right, it is cynical. I also happen to think it is realistic and accurate, as witnessed by recent human history. (By “recent,” I mean the past 100,000 years.) While most “individuals” might be good, groups of idividuals in power cannot be trusted. Corporations are amoral by definition – their sole purpose for existence is to make money, not serve humanity – and the very small percentage of people who rise to the top of corporations are very often as unethical and unrepentant as a zombie. That’s how they get there. Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay, Dick Cheney, everyone on Wall Street, etc.

People who rise to the top of government usually have the same problem, of course; power almost always corrupts. But the difference is that government is not amoral by definition and in a republic such as ours, the politicians eventually, in some way, must answer to the rest of us. That is to say that if things get out of hand we can fire them, as we did to so many Republicans in the last election. (Of course, people have to be smart enough to figure out they are being screwed, which sometimes takes a while, but that’s another story.)

It’s not perfect, god knows, but it’s better than letting markets police themselves and not screw the rest of us (see Wall Street, last eight years), and corporations not to pollute the planet and sell toxic goods to the rest of us (see last 60 years), and people to treat each other fairly and not seek to destroy those with more skin pigment. (See Civil War, civil rights movement, “birthers,” current town hall hooliganism over health care, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Rush, etc.)

Stories about zombies and vampires are popular because they are a metaphor for our actual lives as we struggle to avoid the bloodsuckers and braineaters at the top. What discourages me most is when the monsters find ways to scare their prey into fighting for them, instead of against, as they have done so often in the past decade and most recently with health care reform.

Enough seriousness, now this.

>Hateful Wino

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Alien Observers.

I like this gag a lot and assumed it was a harmless little play on words. Not to one reader, apparently. Below is one of my favorite bits of hate mail in a good while.

Your’e obviously a Liberal- it’s noticeable in your comics- in the regular little jabs at conservative Americans.
Bet this just blows your ass that your favorite Facist, B.O., Nobama; Owebama-whatever you want to call the lying, racist, piece of shit he is -is dropping like a boulder over a cliff in popularity.
People are finally waking up- Thank GOD- oh, sorry- you probably don’t like that word- too bad.

I do like your work- most of the time. So go ahead ,if it makes you feel better-and continue with the pathetic little jabs at Americans-like your piece today, you poor thing.

Bless your heart.

Aside from her blatant, Fox News zombified view of current events, my favorite part of this is the condescending “poor thing” and “bless your heart” at the end. I replied with a polite note in response saying, truthfully, that I wasn’t sure what she was talking about. What does this cartoon have to do with politics or conservativism? Her response:

Dan- thank you for responding. It is obvious by your cartoon that you feel anyone that carries a gun is an extremist. B.O. said as much during his campaign with his “clinging to guns and religion” remark- in the process offending and insulting a large population.
And obviously you are making a joke-albeit a sick one -that Al queda is conservative because they carry guns- no, they hijack planes and murder 3,000 men ,women and children-but “that’s another topic”.
That you support a lying, racist ,spineless, cry-baby Facist that doesn’t have the balls to take responsibilty for his own actions- [no one forced him to run for president, did they?]is your business.
You, Janine Garafolo and the other liberals just can’t
understand why almost 50% of this country despise this man- so ,we must be racists? His poll # ‘s are dismal across the country,and you blame the south? He is deliberately,systematically destroying this country-that’s quite enough for us to run this pig out of office.
The arrogance and ignorance of your statements are stunning. The racism coming from your “president”-he’s not mine- and the elitism from you just reaffirms why the country is turning against you and yours.
Let me guess- you LOVE Msnbc, Chris MathewsJon Stewart, Letterman, Daily Kos,etc ,right?
Keep drinking the kool-aid-we’ll talk again in 3 1/2 years.

I do like most of your comics-your’e just misguided-bless your heart.

Again, with the heart blessing. So I’ve been set straight at last. I wish she had written sooner.

>Darkness and Despair

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Crappy Internet.

I’ve been without Internet and Cable TV for two days, living in the dark ages like Attila the Hun. I sat in damp darkness eating bugs, totally out of touch with the world, no way to find out what’s going on, no way to find out what “Weeds'” Nancy Botwin‘s latest kerfuffle was, and worst of all, kept away from YOU, by beloved blog friends.

I’m back now and can’t believe all I’ve missed. Republicans have aired a TV commercial linking Sotomayor with Puerto Rican terrorists and infamous unrepentant domestic terrorist, William Ayers. WHAT?!!

Okay, that was about all I missed, I think. I’m back now, until the tiny plastic box bulging with wires and rubber bands and globs of hot glue that services my entire neighborhood in Brooklyn with cable and Internet is bumped by a squirrel again. Keep your cyber-fingers crossed.

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