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.
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.