(If thou desires embiggenation, thee must no more than click the image of thine desire.) Bizarro is brought to you today by Dangerous Magic. It was another wild week at Rancho Bizarro. One of my cartoons caused an uproar of praise and condemnation from both sides of the trench ("aisle" seems too civilized for today's political atmosphere) but more about that in a bit. And also my new home country of Mexico gave us a surprise gift in the form of this thing that popped up spontaneously in one of the flower pots that was already on our patio when we bought the place. I believe they call that a "volunteer". Thank you, Madre Naturaleza. Today's super-size Sunday comic is about the dangers of magic. I have no doubt that this cartoon occurred to me entirely because I grew up watching The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, during which Bullwinkle would regularly pull dangerous animals out of his magician's top hat. (Click the "Dangerous Magic" link above for an example.) But in a larger sense, belief is a very strange and powerful thing in humans. We clearly need to believe in things that comfort us––hence the very existence of religion––but it also benefits us in many ways. Countless studies consistently demonstrate the power of placebo; that is to say that if you believe you are taking or doing something that will heal you, you very often will actually get better. The effects are somewhat limited in many ways and you may not be cured, but your belief about your illness or injury (and your treatment) are undeniably of major importance with demonstrable results. There is no point to my bringing this up other than that it interests me. The genesis of this cartoon was that Olive Oyl and I were at Chris and Mitchell's house and Chris gave O2 some sesame seeds for a recipe she was planning, but they weren't toasted and we realized we didn't have a sesame seed toaster. We chuckled over it and Chris said something about it perhaps making a good cartoon. You be the judge if Chris was right. This cartoon about the Foundering Fathers caused the stir I mentioned in the opening of this post. Mainly, it got a LOT of likes and positive comments but it also got some negative responses both from expected and unexpected places. Generally, the responses can be placed in three categories:
- People who have compassion for members of society who have historically been pushed to the edges thought it was a funny, clever way to say that everyone in the U.S. should enjoy the same rights.
- People who wanted to critique the cartoon as though it were a history textbook wanted me to know that the men who wrote the Bill of Rights dressed that way because it was the style of the day and not because they were trans-anything. And others in the same general camp wanted me to know that the Founding Fathers would hate modern day liberals and that everyone already has the same rights and people should stop whining for special rights and privileges, and just be who God intended them to be.
- People who are for transgender rights but criticized the cartoon and me because it isn't an accurate representation of transgender people, and that it leads people to believe that transgenders are nothing more than men who like to play dress up, which is a common misunderstanding by many people in group 2 above.