BC Comic thinks setting dogs on fire is funny

And the strip has kept on trucking, one by his daughter and grandson.

They’re actually funny from time to time again.

Ever notice that the politician who gets caught screwing a 12 year old boy is officially all about family values?

And the Evangelist who is exposed as having a decades long “struggle” with overcoming hookers and blow beseeches us the loudest to put our souls in Jesus’ hands?

Makes me wonder about the people who can’t just let a dud like this episode hit the floor with a thud like it deserves and move on to see what’s going on with Garfield. My money says we’ve just identified a handful of closet animal abusers.

But if he was going to use kerosene, why would he need kindling?

Kindling is the cat’s name.

Because he was going to save the kerosene by using kindling. But a dog won’t really get going without help.

Okay, if they work that into the strip, it’s funny. :smiley:

I didn’t think the strip was hilarious OR particularly offensive.

But my hunch is, a lot of the people complaining about “BC” wouldn’t have been bothered at all if the same (or a similar) joke had been used in “Get Fuzzy,” or “The Far Side,” or “Pearls Before Swine.”

I think this strip primarily bothers people already presdiposed to hate Johnny Hart for the way he’s used his strip to promote Christian fundamentalism.

Hey, they gotta learn how to make a fire sometime.

I hate dogs. Seriously. Cannot stand them. This is no secret to my friends, and they frequently make jokes about it, along the lines of me doing something horrible to a dog. That said, I have never actually done anything to a dog, nor do I have any desire to do so, but if something bad does happen to a dog, I really don’t feel bad about it at all.

From that perspective…

…it still isn’t funny. There just doesn’t seem to be a joke here.

Is B.C. still largely a Christian comic strip? Or did that stop when Johnny Hart died?


Because he lacks tinder and good firemaking skills. Something a smart dog would have known about him.

Not funny - in fact it’s like they didn’t even try to be funny - but not offensive either.

I cannot recall anything vaguely Christian for the past few years in BC.

Humor without mean spiritedness is generally only puns.

The bad part is, the dog’s name is Sparky.

BC manages to make me mad at least once a year.

Smoke! Smoke!
Sign of the devil! Sign of the devil!
Dog on fiiiiire!


But yeah, I think years of “The Far Side” have already warped and hardened my heart to anything that BC can (non-ideologically) try to offend me with. :smiley:

I’m pretty confident that’s wrong. Pearls regularly gets complaints about its humor, if Pastis is to be believed. Meanwhile, I know people who will protest any animal abuse or comment about same anywhere, any time. Currently they’ve protested the Vegetarian Times for not being vegetarian enough. It’s characteristic of that sort of issue-driven person to be unafraid to call his own side for its errors.

And they kind of have a point. I don’t think this strip was advocating animal abuse specifically, and I’m only annoyed, not panicked, by the unnecessary use of a dog – a buddy would have worked just as well (could have hidden the kindling as a prank).

But it’s a world in which people do tell these sorts of jokes at some level, and animal abuse does happen, and society has chosen to largely turn a blind eye to said abuse. Only the very worst cases get prosecuted, and those generally result in probation (Michael Vick going to jail was a change, but since he got insufficient time, not that big a change). No one prosecutes chicken processors, for example, and chickens are specifically exempted by law from abuse laws.

While I don;t think a joke like this is the end of the world, remember that, historically, human minorities have often found themselves the butt of jokes as part of a larger social trend to dehumanize and abuse them. Think of the racist jokes rolling easily off the tongues of Klansmen, some of whom thought they were being funny, and some of whom were probably consciously spreading hate. I know for a fact that some racists like to make racist jokes and wait for my response – they’re co-opting me into being complicit or speaking out and “starting” a conflict.

At the risk of Godwinizing the thread, the same thing happened in Nazi Germany when first Brownshirts, then Party officials, then the state-run media began telling jokes and stories about the dirty, shifty Jew.

Am I saying BC is part of a deliberate political movement to harm animals? No. Am I saying society sometimes reinforces its own prejudices so that people don’t have to feel bad or face changes they don’t want to think about? I don’t have to say that – you’ve all seen “People Eating Tasty Animals” bumper stickers and jokes, which wouldn’t be made about the Red Cross, but are made about PETA. Am I saying that jokes about animal abuse add a tiny bit to the coarsening of the culture? Maybe.

It wasn’t very funny. I personally didn’t get into high dudgeon about it. But I can see how someone might be mad at the casual hack writer for unnecessarily using an animal in his unfunny joke.

So it’s offensive and coarsening to the culture to joke about a dog set on fire, but it wouldn’t be had it been a “buddy” set on fire?

Honestly, no. This particular strip was simply unfunny because the writer had no concept of what a joke was.

Today’s Dilbert (7/22 - I don’t know if that link will point to the same strip tomorrow) was unfunny in the same way. If the idiot boss couldn’t work the prototype making it idiot-proof “again” would be funny. But he says it works great. Even a non-idiot would think that. So the set-up ruins the punchline.

Same as B.C. Nothing about fundamentalism and no knowledge about someone who hasn’t been writing the strip for years is needed to understand this.

People are up in arms about the comic B.C.

God help us.

Mason is keeping up with the annual Easter strip but that seems to be about it.