Enter your address below to receive free email alerts when a new comic or a blog post is published:
You may unsubscribe easily at any time & your email will never be shared with anyone!
Explore the current collection.

Category: Humans

There is some provocative news out this week from the Environmental Protection Agency. If all goes to plan, they will soon be releasing 2.5 billion freshly hatched mosquitoes into our skies here in the homeland.

The creatures will be difficult to distinguish from any of the multitudes of mosquitoes already thriving in North America. One difference, though, is that the new breed will be of a species — aeges anopheles aegypti — that is known to spread dengue, yellow fever, and the dreaded Zika virus.

It is understandable that you would have questions about this program. Why is our government trying to kill us? would head the list, followed by Has the world gone mad? Since you and I trust our government completely, however, we know there must be a perfectly reasonable explanation for this seemingly hare-brained scheme.

And wouldn’t you know it? There is! Thanks to the insect breeders at Oxitec, Ltd., there will be some fine-tuning before the release to God’s Grand Plan. Oxitec’s vast new army of insects will actually be waging war against the even vaster army of their disease-carrying cousins by…mating with them! Passionately, wantonly, indefatigably! In every position imaginable (for a mosquito).

Okay, this still looks like a hare-brained scheme, but there is more to the story. After the mass coupling has taken place and all these fully sated insects have moved on with their lives, something wonderful happens. Our mosquitoes, the ones who were released by the EPA, are free to seek fulfillment in any way they choose. Did I mention that they are all males, by the way? Their co-copulators, for their part, will soon thereafter lay their fertilized eggs someplace moist, and the whole process would ordinarily begin again.

But not this time. The offspring from these unions will all follow in their fathers’ footsteps. That is, they will all be males. And so will their offspring, generation after generation, until there are no more generations because there are no more female mosquitoes.

Fiendishly clever, you’ll have to admit. What’s more, there is another interesting side effect. None of the 2.5 billion EPA mosquitoes will be able to sting you, nor will any of their sons. Not because of genetic manipulation, but because males — whether natural or engineered — do not sting. Only the females thirst for your blood…and infect you with dengue fever or the deadly Zika.

We should be careful here not to blame the females in any way for this. They need our blood as part of their role in the reproductive process. If any mosquitoes are guilty here, then all of them must be. The same goes for those viruses. They’re just doing their jobs…like the dedicated engineers at Oxitec.

I’d say that the whole thing is part of God’s plan, but I cannot. The existence of mosquitoes in the first place is itself proof that He does not exist.
Hope or Fear; I Just Can't Decide
I’ve been getting these little emotional rushes here recently. They’re quite pleasant, but they worry me. I think they might be flashes of hope that things are getting better.

I Know, I know…what in the hell is wrong with me? We’re in the middle of a pandemic, man! Ignorance and cruelty are having their way with the world. Putin is poised to unleash a blitzkrieg into Ukraine and we are on the brink of World War III!

Well, yes. I know all those things, but I can’t help what I feel. Surely cooler heads will prevail, and there will not be a Russian invasion. It would be a lose/lose/lose move, and they’d be nuts not to find a way to climb down from this trumped-up crisis.

And the COVID plague? It’s killed a lot of people, no doubt, but doesn’t it seem like it’s trying to go away now? Sort of? With a little help from us? Maybe omicron will be it, and now we can move on to that new normal we’ve been waiting for.

Okay, now I hear you saying, “Hope is for suckers. chump!” To which I can only say, “Wow. Really, dude?” Don’t we have to consider that our cynicism is just a defense mechanism to protect us from the frightening turn in human behavior? Have we lost all trace of our innocence?

I have come to believe that the surge in cruelty will fade, by the way. People are drawn to it now because they are afraid — the same reason we are drawn to cynicism. But all that is changing. For the better!

At least that is how I am starting to feel. It’s a good feeling, as I say, but it does concern me. I worry that my flanks might be unprotected if I get too swept up in a hope high. I'd be naked, you might say. Any one of those dangers we face could suddenly metastasize and devour me. Putin, the crazy stupids, or the next bad-ass variant coming along could bring me down, and I would be helpless to defend myself.

On the other hand, that would happen no matter how I felt. So what’s the diff? Better to go down smiling, I say.

Assuming my teeth don’t get knocked out.
Control Experiment
Nic Stone, who wrote the novel Dear Martin, could have let it fly when a North Carolina school district banned her book from being used in a local high school. The book is aimed at kids of that age, and besides its frank depiction of racial profiling, it contains a few unspectacular “bad words.”

Ms. Stone might have called racism over the incident, but instead she chose a gentler analysis. “In times like these,” she said, “we are all looking for something we can control.”

That calm assessment, delivered with a smile, has stuck with me. She might have singled out any of a number of the players in this story for criticism: the parents who showed such over-the-top outrage, the school administrators who acquiesced so swiftly to the demands, the leaders who fostered the climate of fear and ignorance that surrounded these events. But I think her insight penetrates more deeply to the heart of the matter.

Books are an easy target. They don’t fight back, at least not in conventional ways. All they have are the strength of their ideas and the actions and voices of their characters. Viruses and catastrophic weather are more daunting as foes. So are imaginary bogeymen like the Deep State. How could there be a more hopeless war than one waged against an enemy that does not actually exist?

There will always be uncertainty and real danger in the world. Reality is scary enough. With the recent rise in disinformation, though, we have seen the fright level inch up a notch. These kinds of lies, coming as they do from the highest and most trusted sources, only make our feelings of helplessness worse. And now that the rot of mendacity has spread down to street level, lying for gain on any subject has become a cottage industry.

So we are all a little on edge. Norms and ways of being that used to be taken for granted are suddenly under threat. The foundations of our way of life appear to be weakening — all across the political spectrum.

Fear and rage and even irrationality are perfectly appropriate responses to all that. But emotionality is something we can live with. What we can’t abide is oppressing one another. If we are looking for something to control, that seems like a good place to start.
This Guy I Know
There’s this guy I know — just met him recently, actually — and he is a puzzling dude. I like him, but there is no doubt that he is more than a little strange.

Not in a bad way, really. He’s got a great personality and is always ready with a quick smile. He and I also share an interest in music and sports…and in enjoying life while we can. All of which makes him fun to hang with. If you try to engage him on something like the virus, though, or global warming or the state of the economy or anything really serious, he kind of glazes over and clams up.

He’s more of a good-times guy, I guess. A party animal. It’s almost as if he’s not even conscious of all the strife and worry in the world. On the other hand, I’ve never seen someone who is so quick to tears. Even over the smallest of things, I’ve seen him break down and cry like a baby.

I suppose that’s because he is a baby, but still. Strange.
first  previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  next  last
Yes, voting matters. Polls do not.
~ H, Santa Cruz