Doonesbury Outrage Flow Chart

Are you offended that someone may have the opinion that a woman should be legally allowed to have an abortion under at least some circumstance?

  • YES ——– Congratulations: you are Rick Santorum.  Good luck in the primaries.
  • NO ——— Continue on.

Are you offended that someone might express the opinion that a woman should be legally allowed to have an abortion under at least some circumstance?

  • YES ——– Too bad.  We have freedom of speech in America and abortion is legal in America. Buy a helmet.
  • NO ——– Continue on.

Are you offended that someone might express the opinion that a woman should be legally allowed to have an abortion under at least some circumstance… in a newspaper?

  • YES —– I’m pretty sure you meant to say “Yes” to the above question also.
  • MAYBE —- Was it in an editorial or Op/Ed?
    NO, BUT WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN OFFENDED?

    • YES —– Well, feel free to cancel your eighteenth subscription this year, provided you even subscribe in the first place.
    • NO  —– Continue on.
  • MAYBE —- Was it in a letter to the editor?
    NO, BUT WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN OFFENDED?

    • YES —– Feel free to reconsider your answer to question #2.
    • NO —— Continue on.
  • MAYBE —- Was it expressed in a news story without having been attributed to a person relevant to the story?
    NO, BUT WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN OFFENDED?

    • YES —- Me too.  Continue on.
    • NO —– Congratulations, you’ve become evidence of a liberal media bias.
  • NO —— All right. We’re done here.  You wouldn’t have been offended by the Doonesbury strips.  You may want to review the above information about “expressed in a news story” though.

But WAIT!  You didn’t say anything about cartoons! (Well, I was getting to that.)
Are you offended that someone might express the opinion that a woman should be legally allowed to have an abortion under at least some circumstancein a print cartoon?

  • YES! CARTOONS SHOULD BE ABOUT CATS WHO LOVE LASAGNA AND HATE MONDAYS — I weep for you.
  • MAYBE —– Was it a political cartoon?

    • IF IT’S ABOUT SOMETHING POLITICAL, ISN’T IT A POLITICAL CARTOON?
      • YES —– So was it in the political cartoon section?
      • WAITWho’s asking the questions now?  I’m confused. Let’s try this…

Are you offended that someone might express the opinion that a woman should be legally allowed to have an abortion under at least some circumstance in a POLITICAL cartoon?

  • YES —– Perhaps you don’t understand what the purpose of a political cartoon is.
  • YES, IF IT’S WITH THE REST OF THE COMICS —- Here’s an idea: don’t read it. Feel free to skip right over Doonesbury and go straight to the comic where Sarge swears and punches Beetle Bailey in the face or Dagwood punches Herb in the face, or the Lockharts get drunk and bitch at each other or Andy Capp and his wife gamble and engage in spousal abuse, or the one where Crankshaft willfully vandalizes his neighbor’s mailbox again or the one where Mallard Fillmore high fives Rush Limbaugh or whatever cartoons you dub morally acceptable.
  • NO —-

Well, there you have it.  Doonesbury is a political cartoon, and it has used satire to cast an unflattering gaze on political and societal idiocy for over forty years now, and it’s not going anywhere any time soon.  You want to cancel your subscription?  That’s fine.  That is the other side of freedom of speech: the awareness that while you can express your opinion, there may be consequences to it based on where and how you do it.  Trudeau knows it, your newspaper editor knows it, and they’re willing to take the risk if they printed it.  You are free to disagree.  You are free to get angry at what you may perceive to be an unfair portrayal of a touchy subject.  But a difference of opinion is not sufficient grounds alone to claim offense, and even less sufficient grounds to demand an apology, or for a comic to be pulled, or for an artist to be punished for doing their job.

For what it’s worth, I agree — abortion is not funny. It is very serious. But even (or perhaps especially) the most serious subjects can trigger the most irrational reactions, and what is humor if not an examination of the irrational?

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Author of over sixty children's books, as well writer of textbook materials and standardized exam text. I may have helped teach your children...

Posted in Semicoherent Rambling
One comment on “Doonesbury Outrage Flow Chart
  1. Gary Glaser says:

    This whole thing illustrates one of the big problems today. If you express an opinion and someone deems it not politically correct, you can get into trouble. One example that comes to mind is the student who expressed his opinion that he thinks homosexuality is wrong. To me that’s just an opinion and he didn’t attack anyone, but the school punished him anyway. My thought on that was that in the real world not everyone is going to like you, so why get offended if someone takes an opposite view. And as far as reading material goes, I always figured that sometimes it is a good idea to know what the opposition is doing.

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