Shame on Me

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

bz panel 10-24-13bz strip 10-24-13Bizarro is brought to you today by A Good Deal.

According to my unofficial poll, many people (+/- 100%) did not understand this gag. The key is the definition of “palindrome.” Read that, then you’ll get the joke.

Now on to a more amusing topic: HATE MAIL!

Jazz Pickle Empire, I present to you one of the best bits of hate mail I’ve received in quite some time. In italics below appears the email I received this week, unedited and in its entirety. My running commentary is in bold, not-italic, whatever that’s called. WARNING: this letter is not suitable for readers with a low tolerance for idiocy.

Good Morning!

Right to the point.  Our family does not enjoy the dark nature of most of your cartoons, especially the “sick” looking colors.  [Seriously? The colors are “sick”? What is a sick color, besides pale green?] Yours is one of the cartoons we generally skip over.  Yeah, your title is Bizarro…but there are bizarre things that are not sick or sick looking.

Have you looked around at the majority of today’s young people with no moral values, family disfunction, [sp!] and the general deterioration of our society leading to the deterioration of our country? [Yes, and I’m sorry I did that. I really should have been more careful with “today’s young people”.] Of course you have. Then……

•  Why have sexual overtones in a cartoon that all ages read? [Please send me a list of all of the “sexual” cartoons I’ve published in my 28-year career. Just jot it down on a sliver of confetti and recycle the rest of the piece that you didn’t use.]

•  Why have sexual overtones at all in your work?  There is plenty of that kind of humor to find if one chooses to do so. [Because sex is a natural and enjoyable part of life that is often pretty hilarious. Teaching your kids about it in a normal, biological way at an early age will help ensure that they have a well-adjusted, balanced view of it, as opposed to the self-loathing, superstitious mythology that you’re likely instilling in your children as you attempt to contain and oppress their sexuality before it even gets started. Good luck with the teenage pregnancies and other poor choices that you’ll be dealing with soon.]

•  Gutter talk is called that for a literal reason.  Step up and be above that. [“Literal” gutter talk would be the words that gutters speak, or the things people say as they stand in gutters. I’ve not seen either happen with enough frequency to be alarmed about it.]

•  Cartoons, or comics, or funnies as they used to be called, are supposed to be funny!  I will repeat…FUNNY!  [Thank you for shouting, you typed that word so quietly the first time I couldn’t tell if you said “funny” or “bunny.”]  To make us laugh and lighten our day.  To make us smile and see humor in everyday living.  To be a positive reading experience…..not to make us say, “Ummmmm, better hide that from the kids.” [Newsflash: Unless you are raising your children in a soundproof box, you’re not hiding anything from them. Oh my god. You are raising your children in a soundproof box, aren’t you?]

•  Cartoons, or comics, or funnies as they used to be called, [Where have I seen those words before?] are not supposed to be bullying, insulting, dark, scary, sick, immoral or degrading….ever.  Even Disney movies have become degrading and immoral. [I could not agree more! It all started in 1937 when Snow White, an attractive, unmarried virgin decided to shack up with seven old bachelors in the woods! No wonder they sang on their way to work in the mines every day. Disgusting.]

•  There are other cartoons with the same desperate, sick attempt at humor.  They are getting my concerns too. [Indeed! Let’s start with Garfield and his obsession with gluttony and sloth! Can the other five “deadly sins” be far from his heart?]

Please do your part to make people feel happy, have self-worth, and have hope for a better world.  We sure need it. [I’d love to do this but cannot afford that much marijuana.]

Thank you and I sincerely appreciate your consideration of these thoughts.

Best regards, [Name withheld]

This lady’s letter is very polite and I normally answer polite mail politely. But I honestly don’t know what to say to this person. She may be writing from some religious compound out in the woods somewhere, which would explain why she thinks that Bizarro is “dark,” “sick,” “sexual” and contributes to the disfunction (sic) of the American family. If she does, in fact, live among the rest of the modern world, I can’t figure out how she picked newspapers cartoons as a target for her mission to clean up the world. One can’t help but wonder if she also writes to people in the TV, film, music, video game, fashion, and advertising industries, or if she confines her efforts to drawings of talking animals.

Whoever she is, I would like to thank her enthusiastically for her contribution to today’s blog. You just can’t invent this kind of comedy.