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The decline of the comic strip.

by Dear Jon
August 16, 2001

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75th Sort (In Case You Lost Count)_Dear Jon-The decline of the comic strip. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

I've been cheating on my wife with her best friend's sister, who used to be a lesbian, who was dating a man who had a sex-change operation. I know telling my wife about the affair would devistate her, so I think the best way to let her know is to go on public TV via "The Jerry Springer Show," and make a complete buffoon of myself. What do you think?

A. Redneck

Dear A.,

I think a Redneck would spell "devistate" the same way you did, so your letter must be authentic.

That reminds me of other questions I ponder at night in the dark while I'm waiting to go to sleep. Questions like:

If a homosexual male transgenders and changes to a female, then could he feasibly fall in love with a transgendered former lesbian who is now a male? If so, why couldn't both persons have stayed the same and fallen in love before? Suppose he fell for a male cross-dresser? Would that make him a lesbian? Would a transgendered male-to-female complain that all his guy friends are either married or gay?

When an effeminate gay man meets a butch lesbian woman for dinner, what's on their minds?

Couldn't a gay man fall for a butch? Couldn't a butch fall for an effeminate male? If they were cross-dressers anyway, wouldn't they get confused? What would they tell their therapist? "Doctor, what's wrong with me? I'm in love with someone from the opposite sex!"

If a gay cross-dressing male fell in love with a butch cross-dressing lesbian, and they decided to get married, with the man in a dress and the woman in a tuxedo, would a Catholic Priest be able to perform that wedding? What about a Southern Baptist? Would they be villified by James Dobson, or celebrated? Would the state of Vermont void their license?

For the answers to these and other questions, I suggest that you watch all the Jerry Springer you can.


Dear Jon,

How come newspaper comics aren't funny anymore? Seems like since the end of "Calvin & Hobbes," comics just aren't laugh-out-loud funny anymore, and mildly amusing strips are replaced by even duller strips. Is this part of the "dumbing-down" of America? Are Japanese and European comic strips going to take over newspapers, providing laughs at a much more economical rate while the quality of American strips continue to take a nose-dive? Where will all this lead to?

Funnies Reader

Dear Funnies,

You are correct. "Dumbing-down" is taking place everywhere in America, including advice columns. You do not have to worry about Japanese or European comic strips, however. As long as they erect trade barriers against our corn, we will continue to place prohibitive tariffs on their comic strips. Smuggled European comic strips continue to plague us, and of course, provide just another reason for government at all levels to regulate the Internet, but on the whole the readers of European comic strips are hard-core addicts.

With NAFTA, the greatest threat to domestic comic strips comes from Mexico. One such strip centers on the adventures of "Skimpita," a voluptuously drawn teenager with visual humor emphasizing mishaps with her mini-skirt and a gawking Gringo who ends up poking his eye on his drink's umbrella. Happily, the Sunday strips from Mexico usually feature such bright pastels that Anglo readers of newspapers, much more used to subdued earth-tones, are blinded.

More likely than that English-speaking Americans will actually read Mexican comic strips (The idea! It's THEIR responsibility to learn ENGLISH before they have ANYTHING to say to US!) is that syndicates will unemploy American strip artists and employ Mexican cartoonists at $1.50 per panel. To get around licensing and copyright laws, it will work like this: The Mexican cartoonist will draw three panels of, say, Dilbert look-alikes for a strip called "Delwin." The panels will be driven by Mexican trucks to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a committee of under-employed third-tier night-club comedians will distribute a joke through the balloons. Then it will be shipped to the syndicate for publication. Savings to the syndicate, as opposed to paying Scott Adams for the right to publish the real Dilbert, will approximate $14,000 per comic strip per day. The cost of our newspaper subscriptions, however, will not go down.

By the way, movies are not as good as they used to be either, and neither are television shows -- the PO's defense of "Reality Television" notwithstanding. But video games are getting better all the time.

[The Webmaster clarifies: The PO does not defend ALL Reality TV shows, just some. Let the reader beware: for all you know, Dear Jon considers "Three's Company" to be a good TV show.]

(Note to readers: Please don't go looking for "Skimpita" on the Internet. I made that all up. For those of you dumbed-down Americans, it is called "satire.")

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Dear Jon Letters: Tips for Dating and Mating
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