To The Daily Sun,
I respectfully question The Daily Sun's editorial judgment to publish the cartoon "B.C." on Tuesday, June 2 (page p.18). Over many years of my reading "B.C." cartoons I've never had problem with its off-beat, whimsical, humorous content, but this particular cartoon on that particular day featured a supposedly comical definition of "schizophrenia" which was in poor taste, I believe.
It's one thing to use the word "schizophrenia" in everyday language to attempt to explain something which appears disordered or divided, and I don't take issue with such usage. However, it's another thing altogether for a well-known cartoon to publicly offer a dictionary-style definition of schizophrenia, as "B.C." did, with the clear aim and intention of making people laugh by making light of something.
Schizophrenia is not a joke — it is a severe mental illness that affects people from all socioeconomic levels. My girlfriend suffered horribly from schizophrenia, despite taking psychiatric medications and working closely with her doctor, and she ended up dying by suicide 10 months ago in a confused and terrified delusional state caused by her mental illness — an illness which she did not cause and which she could not control.
It would be in equally poor taste, I believe, for a nationally-recognized, widely enjoyed newspaper cartoon such as "B.C." to use the issue of breast cancer, for example, or even Ebola, to attempt to make people laugh, all while failing to consider the suffering experienced by people with such life-threatening conditions.
I respectfully ask that The Daily Sun consider providing ongoing and well-balanced coverage of the stigma of mental illness.
Alex J. Boros