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bz panel 09-02-13bz strip 09-02-13Bizarro is brought to you today by Hot Chicks.

This gag by my buddy and collaborator, Andy Cowan, seems appropriate in light of the recent scandals regarding Manning and Snowden. Up until a few years ago I followed politics pretty closely and got just as aggravated as everyone else. In self defense, I abandoned following politics any more than I have to because it was ruining my peace. I now am only aware of major headlines that stick around for months; the sort of stuff I cannot avoid hearing about in social conversations. So while I’m anything but an expert on current politics, I’m not a fan of the U.S. government’s invasion of its own citizen’s privacy in the name of “security”. In my view, the world is a dangerous place and there is no such thing as complete security. In a free society, we take our chances. Every time I have to take my shoes off to board a plane or put my belongings in a clear plastic bag of a predetermined size (NFL stadiums are now requiring this of fans at games, too) I say to myself, the terrorists have won: they’ve taken our freedom. 

Before the criticism of my stance begins in the comments section, let me reiterate that I don’t know what I’m talking about regarding these specific cases. This is a philosophical opinion about the general way that the U.S. government has handled modern terror threats. Seems to me that Americans are in more danger from crazy American nutjobs like Timothy McVeigh than from super-scary foreigners. That’s the price of life on a planet run by primates with mutant brains: human beings.

PALEOZARRO: bz 01-02-96 HolidaysThis prehistoric Bizarro cartoon is from 1996 and displays a different side of the same issue: how humans can rarely agree on what’s right and wrong. It’s a good and bad thing, a double-edged sword, a dog with teeth at both ends, a chocolate desert with Ex-Lax in it.

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35 Responses to Tweet

  1. Museum Guard says:

    I like all the layers of meaning in this one. (I also like the signature presentation on the strip version.)

    As for the politics, I’ll leave that to Facebook.

    (And no credit for the blond woman?)

  2. Brian Leahy says:

    YES! In a free society, we do indeed take our chances; perfect safety is neither possible nor desirable.

    When those guys signed the Declaration of Independence, they made the explicit choice for freedom over safety.

  3. Renee says:

    I agree, and I know we are not alone on this. Our own government (DHS and TSA especially) has become a terrorist organization. They made me cry the last time I flew out of DFW. WTF is that?! It’s pure insanity. Snowden and Manning are exposing the ugly truth. Which is worse–being embarrassed by our nation’s actions, or criminalizing those who try to make things right? Our forefathers were more like these guys (Manning/Snowden) than most of our illustrious elected “representatives.” It’s tragic, really.

    • Chris Cowan says:

      Snowden shed some light on some really important stuff, but he’s gone way overboard.

      The more power we give to our government, the greater the likelihood of terrorism from within. A good example is this definition of permits I heard: “A permit is when the government takes away your right and then sells it back to you.”

  4. Foye Lowe says:

    I defend your right to be right on, as you are . . .

  5. Mikel says:

    Loved your phrase “primates with mutant brains: human beings.” Never heard it expressed precisely that way before, and it’s quite true!

  6. Packy says:

    A chocolate desert, or dessert (with Ex-Lax)?
    Either way works, I guess.

  7. Chris Cowan says:

    When people say “freedom isn’t free,” they’re usually talking about soldiers, but it also applies to the fact that freedom means risk! Unfortunately, risk seems to be something that we’re less and less willing to allow.

    Freedom to have a private life that the government doesn’t need to know about means there’s a risk that some terrorist communications won’t be intercepted. Freedom to ride an airplane without the TSA looking at my gonads means there’s a SLIGHTLY increased risk that the terrorists will be able to hi-jack a plane (even though no terrorist plot has ever been stopped at the TSA check point). Freedom to choose my own food means that I might get fat, unhealthy and die.

    When I was a kid, I rode my bike without a helmet and would practice crashing it and doing stunts. I would climb high into the top limbs of a tall tree, knowing full well that I could fall and break a limb or worse. I would jump from the roof of my garage, and I would play king of the hill and get scratched and bruised and dirty.

    Nowadays, it’s illegal to ride a bike without a helmet, and if I allow my kids to do any of that other stuff, I’d probably be accused of child endangerment.

    My sister-in-law was recently reprimanded by a stranger for allowing her kids to roll down a grass hill, because there were bushes near the bottom of the hill, and what if the kids were to roll into those bushes? Thankfully, those kids narrowly avoided rolling into the bushes and getting a few scratches and building some character and experiencing life outside of a bubble of overprotection! Phewf! Close one!

    • Chris Cowan says:

      …wow… that was way more of a rant that I intended. Sorry about that.

    • Piraro says:

      I agree with you on all of this. It’s become ridiculous. I wear my seat belt in the car because it is smart. I do, however, resent that goddam chiming cacophony that assaults me if I want to move my car from the street to the driveway without a seat belt.

      • Museum Guard says:

        I don’t know how I survived the days when we didn’t even have seat belts in the back seat. And now putting on the seat belt is required by law (in addition to that alarm thing).

        • Piraro says:

          My sisters and I grew up sliding around on the metal deck in the back of a Chevy station wagon. When my dad had to hit the breaks quickly, we slid around like air-hockey pucks. Still, we lived to tell about it.

          • Dorian Snow says:

            My dad was a dentist who, in the late 50′s, would not take a new car off the dealership lot unless they installed belts. The service guys thought he was nuts. My dad was an early adopter. He had seen and treated more than his share of torn-up faces and broken teeth that had survived flying through windshields. And those were the lucky ones. We kids, when very little, before car seats, could sleep in the way-back of the station wagon on long trips, but my dad had fashioned harnesses so we would not fly around the car, in case he stopped short. He never did slam on the brakes, but we did bump our heads on he back of the back seat. Pillows were essential.

    • Dorian Snow says:

      It’s the rise of the “Helicopter Parent,” made up of Baby Boomers, Gen-X and soon, Gen-Y, who are proportionately as frightened as Infotainment and overly-scary news hope to make them. These parents are disproportionately afraid of abductions, injuries, scrapes, and allowing their kids to develop a sense of direction by allowing them to carry their own bodies from Point A to Point B. This young generation lacks a level of creativity that can only be gleaned by being allowed to use one’s imagination, and they lack a level of responsibility that only comes when given responsibility and independence at an early age. The hovering as created a generation of young whiners and cry-babies who whither if they are corrected, advised, or criticized, who demand a gold star just for showing up.

      I’m a Baby Boomer with no kids….but if I had had them, there is no way I would have hovered over my kids the way so many of today’s parents do. If my parents had micromanaged my every move, I swear there would have been a murder!

  8. oneiric says:

    Whistleblowing! A chocolate desert would be a gooey mess—unless it were antarctically located. Do I win a vegan dessert?

  9. Maria says:

    I agree with your philosophy regarding politics. I’ve no idea whats going on and I just try to live my life as a positive example. ie: Consume less, make sustainable purchasing choices, eat closer to the earth etc. and most importantly, do no harm and help when and where I can. If everyone did just a little, the world would change in a heartbeat.

  10. Britt says:

    Dan, you stance on the political reality of a world where the government is trying to make everybody “safe” is dead on – nobody is really safe, and the government can’t create a safety zone without trampling on constitutional rights. One one hand, taking off my shoes is an inconvenience and a slight invasion of my toes privacy, but I also have the right not to fly anywhere. Is this practical? Not even remotely. The terrorists have indeed won… the financial crash was much worse than the planes crashing into the Trade Center, and they knew it would be that way. We live in a crazy world; please continue pointing out the craziness in your own bizarro way.

  11. Richard says:

    What we can’t see from this perspective is that blondie has a tramp stamp tattoo of a stick of dynamite, and the fellow is whistling at that, ‘cuz he’s a jazz pickle.

  12. You are absolutely right. I can’t watch news because 99 percent of it is voyeurism. Plus people seemingly forget that these terrorists aren’t supermen. Everyone needs to calm the F down and read some Steven Pinker.

    • Bob in Chico says:

      This is spooky. I swear to the FSM that I had just finished reading chapter 6 of Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of our Nature and put the book down to come catch up on my favorite blog. And what should I read, but HFL’s comment that I am sure is a reference to that very book and chapter. It’s a great book.

      • Piraro says:

        That is creepy, indeed! You know what they say, “There’s no such thing as coincidence.”

        (Except when two things just happen to happen around the same time and our brain struggles to connect the two incidents and jumps to conclusions about the “meaning” of it.) :o)

  13. Doug Clegg says:

    Amen Dan… thanks for throwing some humor on the issue!!!!

  14. EC, Portland OR says:

    Bravo for this “toon” and Ur comments!

  15. HolierThanThou says:

    Is that a pie repair shop? :)

  16. “I say to myself, the terrorists have won: they’ve taken our freedom.”

    Beautiful statement..

  17. Joshua Chung says:

    I want to whistle too~

  18. John R says:

    “PIE REPAIR”. I imagine a useful establishment like that gets loads of business.

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