Well played, Dr. Obvious

The rule on the "Daily Random Panel" is that I post only one panel with no explanation other than the title. I like the challenge of the headline interacting with the panel to make humor; it doesn't always work and like any rule can be overly restrictive, but I like it.

I'm making an exception today because, first, both panels here are necessary for maximum humor value. I find it funny because you see the curse being leveled and then immediately in the next you have the diagnosis by the doctor, who clearly has one of the least communicative patients in history. "Oh really, a curse by an evil one you say, how interesting. Nope, no clue how that could've happened!" Check the preceding panel, pal!

I dithered over whether or not to post it, though, because clearly part of the horrible curse is that the family would forevermore be forced to have Little People children, though back in the Forties they used the term of the day, "Midgets". That seemed offensive to me, because a person's physical stature shouldn't be equated to the status of their soul (here, they're little because they're greedy). And something about the term "midget" sounded an alarm bell.

So it being 2011 and all, I used The Google and came across this interesting email exchange between Roger Ebert and Daniel Woodburn, better known as Kramer's buddy on "Seinfeld". As I suspected, "Midget" is considered an offensive term by a significant chunk of the Little People population.

Which put me in an awkward position.

Should I go ahead and re-publish the panels, even though they are pretty offensive by modern standards, taking into account that in 1944 there really wasn't any other term? However, that doesn't really get around the issue that language aside, the panels are making the explicit point that being small (at least, if you've been cursed by an evil wizard) means you have a shriveled soul.

On the other hand, what makes the panels funny doesn't have anything to do with the language, it's the obliviousness of the doctor that made me laugh.

So after thinking about it for a while, obviously I decided to go ahead and re-publish it. I thought that it might be a good opportunity to highlight some of the history of the struggle of Little People, and to highlight the fact that "midget" is an offensive term (which I suspected vaguely but didn't really know).

Hopefully the good done here outweighs the harm. If any Little People are reading this and want to chime in, I'd sure love to hear from you.

(From "Heroic Comics" number 28, 1945.)

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