Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Johnny Hart's a jerk

I remember reading B.C. 30 years ago and laughing my butt off. Well, it was funny then: there were really good jokes, some good characters, and snappy dialog. But in the last 15 years or so, Johnny Hart's become a world-class jerk. Apparently, he's become some sort of vastly conservative Christian fundamentalist, the type the makes me think "Jesus called; he wants his religion back." (Oddly enough, the instant I finished writing "Jesus called," the phone rang. It wasn't Him.)

His strip on May 1 was ranting about evolution being (a) wrong and (b) anti-Christian. Well, if you're a literalist, then yes, I suppose it disagrees with both of the different creation stories told in Genesis 1 & 2, but if you're a literalist, you've already got much bigger problems on your hands, so wotthehell? As far as wrong, um, no, it ain't, but again, if you have no idea what a "theory" is, then you'll never understand why it's more important than a creation myth.

But actually, the thing that I object to Johnny Hart about--apart from the rather misogynistic view of women, apart from the touting of a brand of Christianity that is peculiarly American in its vulgarity and its proud, peasant ignorance, apart from the occasional slams of Judaism and Islam--is that he isn't funny anymore. (The Wizard of Id, which Hart co-authors, has suffered a similar fate of being dull since Gawd talked to Johnny through the Bible and the PTL club in 1989, but it's not particularly obnoxious in its promotion of his religion. It's just tedious for the most part.) Johnny's said he views his comic strip as a ministry. Well, that's certainly his right, but why couldn't we have him print this drivel in Jack Chick pamphlets and leave the space in the funny pages for funny comics? I'm writing a note to the Eugene Register-Guard and asking them to dump his strip in favor of something that's actually funny. If they want to keep running B.C., they might put it on the religion page. I encourage you to write to your local papers and ask them to dump B.C., too.

Johnny's a Christian, so I'm sure he'll understand.

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1 comment:

Trapper said...

Amen, amen, Brother Hedtke! Ahem. As comment, I offer my experience from several years ago after a particularly noxious B.C. in the Sunday Times/P.I. Incensed, I emailed them. The reply I got was, "So, don't read it." sigh. Fortunately for the Sunday comics, they did drop it a couple of years ago. The daily remains, however, a small thorn in the side of my paper reading.