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Whatever happened to funny?

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By John Pawlak

I love peanuts. That is to say, I love “Peanuts.” Charlie Brown was always my hero. Fighting off kite-eating trees. Pitching for the world’s worst baseball team. Having a dog that fought to keep the skies safe from WWI enemy aces. And never, never, never giving up on kicking that football held by our favorite sadistic nickel-a-session psychiatrist.

Most of all, I love Charlie Brown because he makes me laugh. Whether it’s watching him get outdone by his dog’s Christmas decorations or having to deal with arguments over the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a true comic. And what a coincidence that his strip is in the “comics” section.

But these days, so many comics have little to do with funny. Go to the so-called comics or funny pages and suddenly you find yourself dealing with the trauma of life’s realities. One strip had a family’s dog die after saving their daughter from drowning. Another had a character die of breast cancer. And another had someone die of AIDS. If I want to see disasters and family tragedies, I’ll watch the morning news. I read the comics in the hope of finding something to laugh about.


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