Our friend Zero is at it again. While technically the least intelligent of the denizens of Camp Swampy, Zero tends to demonstrate a certain foolish wisdom. Last week, he used this wisdom to teach us about the Bible. Today, he uses it to draw our attention to the fact that War Is Wrong. His wistful question, emerging from so childlike a brain, comes at us with the same visceral impact as "Is there a Santa Claus?", "Don't you love me any more?", or "Why would they discontinue my favourite chocolate bar?"* O Zero, accept me as a disciple. Teach me the path of truth.
Looking at the comic outside a medieval context simply does not work. When one does, one has to take into account the fact that Beetle's comment in panel one is the comment of a soldier. It is, in fact, the comment of a soldier whose country is at war. Zero's reply is the reply of another soldier. The whole comic dissolves in a big steaming vat of silly nonsense.
No...I shall stick with the medieval interpretation. I have faith. I shall cling to the following thought:
Angry Kem, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Angry Kem, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Angry Kem, there is an intelligent Beetle Bailey. It exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no wisdom in this comic! It would be as dreary as if there were no Angry Kems. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which comics fill the world would be extinguished.**
**Yes, you have seen these two paragraphs before...or something like them, at any rate.