I’ve enjoyed reading “Beetle Bailey” for several decades, but I was put off by the lame attempt at irony in the Feb. 16 installment. Sneering at honest work that needs to be done — and at the people who do it — is neither funny nor a good message.  

Borrowing Sarge’s line — “Think how doing a good job will help you succeed in life . . . work toward a career!” — one might even imagine that conscientious work actually would make one a better person. The presumption of an elitist perspective is palpable and troubling. I hope that perspective is not as widespread as the comic strip’s authors seem to think it is.

Patrick Sullivan, Herndon