Letters to the Editor

Don’t stigmatize Zero

I have been reading the funny papers since I was a little kid some 70 years ago. Good humor should always make fun of the commonplace in life, possibly even offending those who can easily defend themselves. For example, some of the best humor can be found in editorial cartoons against politicians.

However, it is not funny when a cartoonist attacks those who cannot defend themselves because of their stature in life -- the needy, poverty-stricken, mentally handicapped, the outcasts.

I found the Beetle Bailey cartoon of June 2 particularly offensive. In it, Zero, a character who is always the butt of jokes about his lack of intelligence, is laughed at by the audience when his yo-yo string becomes entangled about his body. He says plaintively, “It wasn’t supposed to be funny!”

Could this character also be the “artist’s” idea of a country person, i.e., hillbilly?

It’s not funny.

William E. Ellis