Friday, September 17, 2010
Bizarro is brought to you today by Nut-Gathering Robots.
I'm proud to present to you today one of my favorite cartoons in ages. The 21st Century Freakshow is brilliant, and I can say that without fear of immodesty because I didn't write it. (Damn!) I think I did a good job of drawing it (be sure to click it to see the larger version) but the original idea and sketch, pretty much in this form, came from my brilliant friend, colleague, and occasional collaborator, Wayno. I hate his guts. And I love him for donating this idea to Bizarro. He's a mensch.
The first state fair I ever attended was in Tulsa, Oklahoma around 1972 or so and back then they still had the old-school freak shows which consisted mostly of deformed people in cheap costumes. The "Abominable Snowman" was a guy with elephantitis of the feet, wearing a fake-fur caveman outfit and holding a big club. The "Alligator Girl" was a very old woman in a bikini whose entire body was covered in a scaly skin disorder of some kind. They sat all day in a plywood cubicle sort of thing inside a tent and you paid your money and went up and looked over the wall to see them. The look on their faces could be described as zombiesque and who could blame them? It's also worth noting that one of the attractions was invariably "The Fat Lady." At the time, a 300 lbs. woman was a rare sight, but they were no bigger than the average Walmart shopper of today.
Though still not to my taste, the freak shows of today are much more interesting, for my money. They are primarily people who do really weird things, like picking up a Buick by connecting a chain to the loop in their pierced tongue, or someone who has tattooed their entire body with all 44 presidents of The United States. I'm glad the old freak shows are gone, but I'm also glad I got to see one before they disappeared. I'm not sure why, just one of those odd experiences that one can appreciate in retrospect. At the time, however, I found it sad and haunting.
Speaking of freaks, next up is this gorilla cartoon which probably isn't all that funny to non-vegan folks. When you tell people you don't eat any animal products, the first question they often ask is "where do you get your protein?" The idea that humans need mounds of bloody animal protein to be strong and healthy is medically untrue; a myth perpetuated by the meat and dairy industries. There is plenty enough protein in plants to be healthy and strong, as any of the many huge, strong herbivores can attest: gorillas, rhinos, giraffes, cattle, etc. Children raised on vegan diets (after they finish their own mother's milk, of course) are many times less likely to develop most of your big diseases like cancers, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc. And they grow just as tall (but not as wide) as their burger-eating peers.
Don't forget to tell your NY area friends to come to The Steam Powered Hour on Sunday night where I'll be doing some music and comedy. Empty rooms are not good for comedy.