Sins of Comedy

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bz panel 09-11-13 volcanobz strip 09-11-13volcanoBizarro is brought to you today by Visions.

Here is another of my cartoons that points out the biological need for superstition in the human primate. I realize this is an unpopular view in America, but I intentionally don’t shy away from gags that may lose readers––just one of the many reasons I am not rich. Any one person’s personal beliefs, whether they are in traditional ideas of “god” or in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, are not my concern but when viewed from a rational position, they are rather hilarious. They also have a powerful effect on society as so many people worldwide make important decisions based on what they believe their own version of the “invisible magic person in the sky” wants them to do. When they believe their super hero is telling them to help the sick and poor it’s one thing, when they believe it wants them to fly planes into a building full of people (this is 9/11, after all), it’s quite another. And that skips all of the middle-range offenses that people use religion for: bigotry against various races, creeds, sexual orientations, etc.  Admirably, comedian Ricky Gervais has made a very public practice of poking fun at religion, but he waited until he was as rich as God to do it.

So as I continue to alienate a certain number of potential readers with my own brand of atheist humor long before I’m wealthy and when I still have much to lose, at least I can look myself in the mirror and feel proud. Albeit it a 99¢ mirror with a plastic frame from the local dollar store. I’m just that kind of an idiot.

bz GodHead 05-06-08JAZZ PICKLE JAR: This cartoon from 2008 is perhaps the boldest example of the kind of cartoon I’m talking about. Many believers will still find it funny and thanks for that. I’ve always said that if you believe in God with a capital “G”, you certainly must believe “He” created the human sense of humor, so why not use it and enjoy a smile?

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89 thoughts on “Sins of Comedy

  1. Okay, I’m one of those people that you consider to be a fundamental Christian and I do believe in God with a “G”, but honestly, I find these both to be really funny. You’re right, I believe God gave us a sense of humor and the ability to laugh with it. I have enjoyed your comics for many years and appreciated your wit. Thanks for your work!

  2. (lol) I’d say She-sus works in mysterious ways, but really, it’s the luck of the draw (or the roll of the dice) that Piraro just posed this right after I posted the following to my FB status:

    Quote –

    I remember in middle school some yahoo tried to get me to take up Pascal’s Wager. But for me, it doesn’t compute when drawn out like a flow chart with the first question: “Is there a god? – Yes or No?”

    So, right out of the gate there’s a 50% chance of no such being(s). And then to consider each & every god/goddess and other polytheistic/monotheistic being(s) becomes infinitesimal, approaching 0% for any definition / characterization of a “higher being(s)”.

    Thus, I remain in my firm belief that She-sus, that drunken drag queen biatch that plays dice with the universe despite Einstein’s consternation, saves with coupons, Groupons, and other weekly circulars.

    Simply put: her chances of being are as good as any.

    ; )

    – End Quote

    And after this, too: If She-sus ever went by any other name, it would be Billy.

    “… the prettiest thing in the city, … ”

    http://www.allmusic.com/song/mt0000712386

    • Well, only a few religions actually have a downside to disbelief. So that cuts down the list…

      We could probably filter the list more by additionally limiting it to potential-deities that provided enough information that we can even consider them (i.e., they have taken action in the human world in a way that draws attention to them ). Because if they care that much about whether we follow them or not, then they probably are also trying to draw your attention. If they don’t do that, then there is no way to take action on them, and pragmatically speaking, we’re best off presuming they don’t believe.

      Of course, that filter still allows enough noise to make Pascal’s wager less significant to applicable religions such as Christianity, Islam, or their offshoots. But Pascal’s wager is at its core a pragmatic argument, and pragmatic limitations make it inapplicable to made up religions such as “She-sus, that drunken drag queen biatch that plays dice with the universe despite Einstein’s consternation, saves with coupons, Groupons, and other weekly circulars.”

      There are other ways to filter the list, or adjust their probabilities at different weights.

      ——————–

      And I’m sorry if this was intended as a joke, but I’ve come across enough people have made similar arguments. If one were aware of no forms of religion, then maybe all religions would be equal, but even then Occam’s razor would favor atheism in that case.

  3. Looking at the design and balance of the universe leads me to believe that there is a Creator.

    Looking at someone like Steve Buscemi leads me to believe that He has a sense of humor.

      • For decades I believed the same thing about the complexity of the universe and the likelihood of a creator. But then I read something that turned that on its ear. (Can’t remember where, doesn’t matter.)

        If it is logical to assume that great complexity MUST have come from greater complexity, where does the “greater complexity” come from? The only answer is “magic.” At that point, the logic fails. Just food for thought. :o)

        • I’ve always felt that question applies more aptly to atheists than theists.

          Everything must have a cause that has a beginning, but if the cause of the universe has no beginning, it necessitates no cause for itself.

        • Complexity is a word,

          it’s Linguistics ,

          it’s a concept made up by humans ,

          to describe an idea of a human .

          “For Nature there’s no complexity” (that could be a valid assertion no?)

          Don’t know if I ‘m helping at all, or if I’m making matters more complex.hah

  4. While I did find your drawings very humorous I feel it necessary to point out that The Flying Spaghetti Monster is real while those other religions are just silly superstition.

  5. I’ve had the ‘Is this someone’s idea of a Joke?” hanging on my desk for years. Still makes me smile, even if the paper is yellow now.

  6. I just got a bur on my butt to search for your first blog post, which led me to “Refugees Unite!”

    And a thot knocked on my noggin: why not call your older material “Smooches” – because that’s how you closed “Refugees United!”? Also, “Bizarro Smooches” works for me, too. (lol)

    : X

    • I like it but it makes no obvious reference to the past, which I think new or very occasional readers will need. But thanks for the thought. Come to think of it, I’d like to go back and read my first blog, too. I haven’t seen it since it was published.

  7. To me the volcano cartoon is just as much “theist humor.” Given the choice of a God with a personality at least somewhat analogous to yours and an impersonal geotectonic mechanism, to which one would you feel safer entrusting your future?

      • And what would Freud say about choosing a volcano as an ‘object’? :) It also reminds me that I once saw in some news stand a gay magazine called ‘Gayser’ :) I wish there was a magazine on volcano-like tits… And I want them to be visible and not from the sky… That would be ‘magmatic’… Just a ‘loose’ ‘satyr-ical’ comment…

  8. You’ll probably get lots of hate mail for that “volcano” strip… but you made my day! I clipped it and put it in place of honor on my refrigerator. Keep up the good, rational work!

  9. This is one of my absolute favorites! I treasure this and have the original newspaper-clipped panel at my desk at work. I had another favorite (the dog relaxing in his den, with his personal mementos hanging around him) but it was RIPPED OFF! Outrage and heartbreak! I bow before your creative brilliance – You are a GOD!

    • I draw my cartoons in the vertical rectangle (panel) shape, then use the elements to create the horizontal strip format. Often, I have to draw a little extra around the edges for the strip version. Bizarro is offered to all newspapers in both formats, which makes it easier for their layout department to fit it in.

  10. Hey Dan!!! It’s ur ol’ buddy Mike from Booker T….

    I have no problem with your atheistic humor and I’ve been a right-wing, Bible thumpin’, pew jumpin’, Christian for many years. Of course God invented humor and I’m sure without a doubt, that He laughs at your art on many, many days. There are days I don’t laugh because, my friend, even you aren’t funny all the time. (Not very often I have to add). I did find today’s semi-amusing… :-)

    Keep being Bizzaro my friend!!!

    The world needs it…

    Michael (Mike) Walker

  11. I love those two cartoons. God gave me a sense of humor and I’m gonna use it dammit! If I don’t laugh at my beliefs I may take them too seriously and that just mucks things up for everyone….

    • Good approach. I was going to say that when eating my Bizarro kibble, I gobble up the vegan bits, enjoy the everyday bits, and leave the atheist bits behind. Honestly, sometimes I appreciate them and sometimes I could leave them, but I hardly ever waste my time being offended by them.

  12. A very sincere thank you for the link to Joe Smith and the FSM. I am an atheist who was raised Mormon, and you have no idea how often I had to stare at the original of that painting. Oh. My. God. It brings me great happiness to see it modified to reflect a more likely event. (And by more likely, I mean: http://xkcd.com/1252/)

    Whom should I credit if I should share the Real Joe on a social media site?

    CHEERS!

    • I have no idea where that illustration came from. I Googled “Flying Spaghetti Monster” and hit “Images” and found it. You can do the same and try to trace it if you like.
      LOVE the cartoon at the link you posted, by the way.

  13. I don’t see why you think you’d lose any readers by this cartoon! I am an atheist too, but not in a very ‘I am proud for it’ sense… just in the sense that it seems like the most rational of all options.. On the other hand, I wouldn’t ‘preach’ my “atheisty” in any case .. and I don’t think you are doing that by this cartoon at all. I understand and respect the human need to believe (in something) and I find this cartoon quite rational, as you said. Everybody follows what’s been suggested in the cartoon I reckon, it’s no new knowledge, it’s not offensive, it’s witty and accurate and if I were you I wouldn’t stress about losing my readers. If you do lose readers though, then you should start doubting about their IQ (and maybe create cartoons that will make them actually Think) — English is not my native language btw so I might be expressing myself with harsh expressions, excuse me —

  14. Personally, I like to point out that not long ago, human history-wise, most people believed in multiple Gods, serving a variety of functions, while today, most people are down to One God… or less. An encouraging trend.

    I remain tickled by your humor targeting religion, much as I was delighted many years back by a line in the National Lampoon parody “Deteriorata”: “Make peace with your God, no matter what you conceive Him to be – Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin.”

    Still, one of the disadvantages of Atheism is how you don’t have the option to tell someone who really bothers you to “Go to Hell”. I’ve tried saying “Go to a Really Bad Church”, but it doesn’t have nearly the input.

    But speaking of Bizarro-From-The-Past, I clipped a panel from your very early days which incredibly has stayed with me through 5 desks at 3 employers and is now located by the desk of my home office. Not to spoil it for everyone, but it’s the one with the guys in scuba outfits in an elevator. I really would appreciate if you’d feature it sometime because I’d like to retire that old newspaper clipping that has become so yellowed with age, cars speed up when they pass my window thinking it’s about to turn red. (And isn’t it interesting that this particular gag, which was a total fantasy twenty-some years ago, may actually come true in some coastal areas in our lifetime? Not funny, but interesting. And while I first put it up in an office on the 7th floor, since then, all my desks have been in places that don’t need elevators at all. Anyway, now that I’ve confused the rest of your readers, you HAVE to post it here.)

      • It almost disintegrated in my hands, but, the tiny print in the lower right hand corner it looks like “11-8″ and the lower left hand corner looks like (and I mean this sincerely) CHRONICLE FEATURES 959”. That’s even older than I thought…

  15. 32 comments so far and no hate mail, except for bubba’s comment, which is more ironic mail.

    Usually your posts involving atheism generate many more… and more spirited… posts, don’t they?

    And… so far, no hat mail either!

  16. Pingback: Godhead | Broadsheet.ie

  17. I think a lot of the hate mail you get about this (and apparently, many other topics) revolves around a belief that people (especially white, middle-upper class American men) have an inalienable right to never be confronted with anything they find even remotely offensive. Sure, other people might live with poverty, disease, hunger, warfare, and racism. That’s life. But it’s outrageous that I might glance at a cartoon that questions my religious beliefs without actually injuring me in any material way. How dare you?!

    • Yes, Americans have become injustice collectors. (I borrowed that terrific phrase from a comment on my FB page, by the way.) It seems most people are looking for some reason to be indignant and demand an apology. It’s a sad way to live, in my opinion.

  18. Of course, the problem is that just regurgitating the same thought-terminating cliches that every atheist says isn’t really funny. I’ve heard the “invisible man in the sky” strawman before. Give me something NEW.

  19. I love religious humor. What better way to show the utter stupidity of Faith, harsh I know, vs reasonable thought.

    Like the Creator of the entire universe would come to earth and talk to only one person. That all persons, Earth bound, would have to follow the Laws he brought down from the mountain top, but he throws the two tablets down and breaks them. Then he would Exile all to the dessert for 40 years without spreading the News worldwide.

    Keep in mind that Moses was brought up in the Pharoh’s family to be a leader of the people of Egypt. He was educated and schooled in the ways of leadership, but as an Isrealite he could not rule the People of Egypt, and as a person of Egypt, he could not rule the Isrealites. What a conumdrum? So he goes to the mountaintop and creates a New World Order and a set of laws to follow, setting himself as the new leader. Problem solved? Not really. Who wants to be an Isrealite and what is the punishment for breaking the Ten Commandments? Answer….no one and death. And you tell me that this is the best the Creater of the Entire Universe can do? Pitting one belief system against one another. Thank God for hindsight, the only thing he got right.

      • I don’t think it’s a problem, depends rather on whether you’re a pleasant pain in that ass or not ;) In any case, there are painkillers available over the cun… err counter ;)

  20. Because the Koran, I mean the Gita or the government says so, I freely give my power away to fit in, get approval, and besides, don’t you kind of like thinking your neighbor might spend his/her “eternity” in a fire & brimstone kind of hell, while you get all the beautiful virgins you could want. Stop being a kill-joy & join in the fun of puritanical, self-righteousness & accept your sacred responsibility to uphold the moral code of…love one another.

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