Optical Collusion

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

(To make a whole big thing out of the cartoon below, click Picasso’s big toe.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Something To Do With Jesus, Possibly?

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot more time on fine art than I have in many years so this cartoon was a labor of love, to be certain. Escher and Picasso were both geniuses but at completely opposite ends of the art spectrum: Escher was first and foremost a draftsman whose precision was remarkable and at times breathtaking; Picasso was all about raw creativity expressed with passion instead of precision. I would guess they could appreciate each other’s talents but I found it easy to imagine a friendly put-down session––in the way that some men have of “busting each other’s balls” as a sign of affection.

With the direction that America is going, it won’t be long before corporations begin requiring their serfs to wear dog suits and get spayed/neutered to alleviate any pesky maternity or paternity leave. Discipline will likely come in the form of being hit on the nose by rolled up IRS tax forms, which they will no longer need now that the Republicans have legally excused rich people from paying taxes.

Quick commercial break: we added some stuff to the Bizarro store this week. 

If recent political headlines and the impending American Civil War Part 2 have gotten you down, you may find this short article as calming and comforting in a philosophical sense as I did. I’m a big fan of Maria Popova and highly recommend her blog for those of you living an examined life.

I know Starbucks has millions of loyal addicts and that’s why you can’t fall asleep driving without crashing through the front doors of one, but I’m one of those who thinks their coffee tastes like the liquefied remains of an old trailer park that burned down. One of my readers suggested they burn their coffee on purpose in order to encourage customers to go for the more elaborately flavored coffee drinks with lots of bells and whistles, which are more expensive. It’s as good a theory as I’ve heard; nothing like caramel, chocolate, whipped cream, pumpkin spice and sprinkles to disguise the flavor of charred mobile home carpeting.

Cartoons about complaint windows used to be as frequent as those about desert islands but they went out of style ages ago along with the windows themselves. Still, I thought this meta version of a complaint window cartoon might be worth a smile. You can still complain online, of course, but the motif isn’t very suitable for cartoons.

This cartoon stirred some controversy, as I knew it would. Someone mentioned that SNL did a skit about this very thing last week and I hastened to inform them that I submitted this cartoon for publication four weeks ago, so technically, I was first. Being first is important in the world of comedy writing.

After so many centuries of being treated like property, I am encouraged to see so many women speaking out against abusers and having some success with making them pay a price. Although this kind of reckoning is long overdue, these kinds of movements always gather their own momentum and innocent people get lynched in the process, and that concerns me.  I’m also disheartened by the fact that the “president” of the U.S. is a prime example of the kind of scum that deserves punishment (for sexual harassment and an almost unfathomable list of other sins against decency) but will likely never receive it. It’s enough to make me wish the Hell I was indoctrinated with as a small child were real.  (I’d better go back and read that Popova article again.)

I know it’s morbid but all my life I have been curious about what a human brain goes through after a beheading. Are there a few moments when you are aware of what happened but are not yet dead?  How long does it take before one loses consciousness? Is it painful? I’ve no doubt I could google this question and get all kinds of information, scientific and otherwise, but I think it might disturb me so I don’t. I’m content to just wonder and shudder.

My calendar tells me tomorrow is a major holiday. If that’s meaningful to you, I wish you a happy and fulfilling Christmas. If not, I wish you a happy and fulfilling Monday. If you’re into some other holiday at this time of year, I wish you a happy That Thing.

I’ll be back next week with more cartoons and commentary and I hope you’ll join me. If you’d like an email each time I post something here, drop your email address into that slot in the right margin of this page. I’ll never share or sell your contact info, nor will I send you creepy emails asking what you’re wearing. (I’m not very presidential in that regard.)

Also, if my efforts have brought you joy this year, please consider tossing me a buck or two to help keep the lights on at Rancho Bizarro.