"Saw your comic strip dated 12/26/16. Your [sic] a RACIST using a Comic [sic] strip to to [sic] divide the country. You have to be a Democrat!! Sore LOSER!!!" –– Angry Reader
I normally don't like to give in to being shitty to jackasses, but sometimes I can't resist. I replied with this:
"For future reference, Mr. (name withheld by me), in this case it would be “you’re” not “your a racist”, there is no reason to capitalize "comic," and you typed the word “to” twice. Had you not so carelessly ignored your education, you’d likely know these basic elements of English grammar and possibly even the definition of racism." ––Me
Here are a couple more favorite snippets from other letters:
"Why do you hate white people?" and "What do you have against families?" (sigh)
Another reader hit me with this typical Fox News straw man argument:
"...if there was a comic strip like yours and it red [sic] black or any other race The [sic] bleeding heart liberal in the mainstream media would make a federal case out of it and call everyone called [sic] a racist." ––Different Angry Reader
There is a simple premise in the world of satire: You can attack the people at the top but you don't attack the people at the bottom. Simply saying that the opposite of a statement would have a different reaction isn't an argument against the original statement. If a person says, "All robbers should be locked up," it makes no sense to dispute it by saying "If you said all victims of robbery should be locked up, the mainstream media would make a federal case out of it!" Yes, they would. And for good reason; it's idiotic.I was raised in a part of the U.S. that is commonly called "Tornado Alley". People not from areas where tornados are common may not know that they have a reputation for hitting mobile home parks. Some say the abundance of metal attracts them but my guess is that it's a false perception. Mobile homes are not particularly sturdy so if a tornado is anywhere in their area, they're going to sustain more damage and displacement than a permanent house. But the guy in my cartoon believes the attraction theory and is using the mobile home as a decoy to entice tornados away from his house. I applaud his cleverness. (P.S. While proofreading, I researched this and found an article that claims some researchers found that tornados actually do hit trailer parks more often than other places but it is because they are typically and unwittingly placed in areas that tornados naturally hit. Here's the article if you should happen to care.) If you're the kind of person who fears or is at least made nervous by clowns, you might enjoy this cartoon. Or, if you're a person who is a clown and is tired of being called "creepy" or "scary," you might enjoy it. Or, if you're a person who just loves the combination of the colors aqua and orange. As long as I live I will never understand the appeal of watching cars drive in a circle. NASCAR has been around for many decades and for ages was only popular among low-income, rural folks. Then, for some reason I must have missed, it became HUGE all over the nation with all kinds of people. It's as mysterious as the thing about tornados being attracted to mobile homes. (By the way, I found photos of the top folks at NASCAR and tried to make the two guys on the left look like two of the guys who run it or whatever.) I like treating Mickey Mouse as a real celebrity on occasion. I've done it a few times before. Oh look, here's one now. This cartoon was inspired by a routine I've been doing for years in my live comedy shows and talks. In the song "Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan, he sings "Hey, mister tambourine man play a song for me". How does a person play a song on a tambourine? In my comedy shows, I play a version of the game "Name That Tune" by banging out famous songs on a tambourine and asking the audience to identify the song. Pretty much all songs sound alike on a tambourine, of course. That's it for the cartoons I normally would have posted last Sunday. Here now are the cartoons I would normally (and am) posting in today's blog. We're not having a lot of snow here in San Miguel de Allende this month but I figure lots of you Jazz Pickles are living with snow and tasked with shoveling it from various surfaces, so maybe this hits home for a few of you. There are five secret symbols in this one but one of them is a bit harder to find that usual. Although plenty of you will spot it quickly. (Insider Jazz Pickle trivia: though I have a snow globe from Carlsbad Caverns that is just like the one shown here at left, the rest of the furnishings do not look like anything in my home. Except for maybe the hand.) If you were a cannibal, would you eat someone who wears tacky holiday sweaters? Would it matter if they were wearing it ironically or seriously? Here are fewer than four pictures of my two wonderful daughters, Krapuzar and Krelspeth, who once gave me the gift of intentionally bad holiday photos. I laughed for a good half hour after receiving them. The above pun was donated by a longtime Jazz Pickle named Ed and I thought it was funny so I used it. There have been other versions of this pun used in other forms of comedy (like songs) but I didn't know that when I drew it. It's still worth a chuckle and that's the important thing. One of my favorite things about this is the backstory about the phrase, "You can't have your cake and eat it, too". This phrase is commonly used to describe a situation wherein a person wants two things that are mutually exclusive, like getting a promotion at work but not having any additional responsibilities. They can't have it both ways, so you say that cake thing to them. BUT WAIT––the expression makes no sense because you CAN have your cake and eat it, too. That's how it is done. Somebody gives you cake, then you eat it. Here's where the interesting part comes in––the original phrase was the reverse of how we now say it: You can't eat your cake and have it, too. Because if you eat your cake, you no longer have it. Suddenly, it makes sense! This cartoon got some hate mail, too, but it was completely expected. Believe it or not, there are readers who love Bizarro but also intentionally voted for Donald Trump to hold the most powerful office in the world. These kinds of people always say a version of the same thing, which includes phrases like "your political humor isn't funny," "your readers want to be entertained and aren't interested in your political opinions," and "even people who agree with your political views don't think your political cartoons are funny". Those statements apply to some readers, of course, but not most. Many of my readers love my political commentary and thank me for giving them a smile in such a dark time in our nation's history. Again with the scary clown thing. I got some hate mail from this one, too, in the form of a woman admonishing me for making fun of Jesus, who will surely judge me harshly in the afterlife. Maybe she's right, but what if god isn't a childish, vengeful, narrow-minded, thin-skinned brat who brutally punishes people who don't bow unquestioningly to his amazingness (like our current president elect, Donald Trump) but instead is a wise, all-knowing, open-minded, compassionate being with a sense of humor. Maybe he'll process it like a mature adult and won't be all that upset with me. Got the same predictable admonishments from right-wingers on this one, too, of course. By the way, I know that not all spiritual believers or Republicans are as narrow-minded and ignorant as the folks who write these kinds of letters to me. I have friends and family who belong to those categories but still have a reasonable view of the world. To the best of my knowledge, none of them voted for Trump. I was on such a hate mail roll last week that I am disappointed I didn't get any hate mail about this cartoon asking what I have against walking, treadmills, gym memberships, and mirrors. It doesn't mention Christmas in any way, so perhaps this cartoon is part of the imaginary "War on Christmas" that Bill O'Reilly likes to whine about. Surely it is offensive to someone for some reason. That's it for this week's double-wide trailer of offensive cartoons and commentary. I hope that 2017 goes very well for all of us in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Be well, be happy, and be nice, Pepinillos de Jazz. Final thoughts: In my ongoing efforts to make ends meet in a world where more people every day read and share my cartoons on the Interwebs for FREE, I'm selling an awesome book of fantasy art under the guise of being an adult coloring book. It's completely appropriate for all ages and can be found here for only $6. No, I did not leave digits off of that price. It really is that insanely cheap. My buddy Jim Horwitz does a very creative web comic called "Watson". He was one half of a pretty entertaining interview recently which I think you might enjoy, that includes a humorous photo of the two of us. Find it here.