Tag Archives: psychology

All Apologies, My Bad

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This is a true story, which happened in the mid-’90s when people still wrote letters.

Nothing is funny and nothing ever will be funny again. With the announcement of Neil Gorsuch, a man who seems to believe that human beings only have value if they own large corporations, as Supreme Court nominee, a man who, as a Supreme Court judge, would likely continue his pattern giving businesses free reign to stomp on human rights in the name of profit, I just don’t see how anyone can pretend that this administration’s sole aim isn’t to screw the American people hard from behind, take the money, and run away laughing while we’re still wondering where they came from.

I don’t have compassion fatigue, or activism fatigue, or outrage fatigue. I have stupidity fatigue. I think Ani DiFranco put it best when she sang, “If you’re not angry, you’re just stupid; you don’t care.” Unless you are a large corporation, you are the one who is going to get stomped on while these thieves line their pockets with the natural resources that are your children’s inheritance. You’re the one who’s going to be paying $5 for a gallon of water that Nestlé’s pumped out of your back yard without even reimbursing you. If you don’t die of your totally treatable pre-existing condition first.

At the rate they’re dismantling democracy, I won’t be alive to see any of that, because they’re probably going to start rounding up dissenters in a year or so. Maybe I’ll care then, but it’s hard to care now. I don’t want to live anywhere but America, and I don’t want to live in this America. I love that so many people are so passionately opposing each egregious abuse, but I hate that so many people are just rolling over and taking it. Remember checks and balances? Where are the people whose jobs are to prevent the federal government from executing a coup? Everyone’s talking about the 2018 election. How do we know there’s even going to be a 2018 election? Our new corporate overlords don’t seem to respect any other aspect of American government. Why would they bother letting us vote?

Sorry. I’m just pessimistic. And I keep wondering what we could have done differently. And I really did used to make that joke about offering Trump free therapy all the time in the mid-’90s. And, in hindsight, it’s not funny at all.

Hail Hydra.

Progress

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Does anyone still get psychoanalyzed? And where does one buy a psychoanalysis couch? Do they sell them at Ikea? And, if so, do psychoanalysts fight about them in the middle of Ikea?

Sometimes I do feel like I’m cursed. I’ve lost track of the number of times I had reason to believe my ship had come in, only to find myself running off the end of the dock and falling into the frigid sea. At this point, I have zero reasonable expectation of success in my lifetime, and yet, even when I know that failure is imminent, I can’t seem to shake this stupid optimism that tells me, no, this time it will work out. This time you’ll get where you want to be.

I have a lot of respect for people who manage to work as therapist 40 hours week (maybe not for Freudian analysts, although you have to hand it to people who manage to hold onto a perspective that’s long been discredited) because it’s really emotionally draining work, listening to people whine day in and day out, most often about the same thing, week after week, with no intention of actually changing their circumstances. For a while, I thought I would be happy doing that job, but 2 internships and a practicum in mental health convinced me otherwise. Now I just give advice for free. People seem to think I’m good at it. Even strangers on the internet thank me for my insight, and if you’ve been on the internet, you know what a big deal that is.

Another thing I was thinking about was transference/countertransference. To do therapy, a therapist has to get the patient to like them in a certain capacity. I’m frankly astonished at the number of people who go to therapy for months or years and are afraid to tell their therapists the truth. I know it’s a goodly percentage of people, because people tell me things, and then, pretty often, add, “I’ve never even told my therapist that.” And I say, “Why not?” Because therapy is freaking expensive and it seems silly to pay someone $150 an hour to not tell them the truth (and then tell it to me for free). But people are filled with shame.

Anyway, you have to get your patient to like you, in a sort of parental way, where they trust you and feel safe with you, and you have to like them back, but not too much, because you can’t be emotionally involved with your clients, even if your entire relationship is about your emotions. You’re supposed to develop feelings for one another than you can then use to open up discussions about those feelings and how similar feelings affect their lives outside the office. But pretty often people aren’t that comfortable with their therapists, and I think it’s safe to say that some therapists don’t like their clients, and sometimes it shows. And people get discouraged and assume therapy doesn’t work, when it’s really the therapeutic relationship that’s not working, and they should just cut their losses and find a more appropriate therapist.

I can’t afford a therapist. But if I could, I would definitely be talking about the 101 examples I could give of moments in my life when I had every reason to believe things were going to unfold in a way that would improve my life, and instead didn’t unfold at all. I swear, it’s not a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s why I drew this comic, instead of not drawing a comic.

The Mountain Where I Make My Stand

Baby, I was born this way. And I plan on dying this way.

Baby, I was born this way. And I plan on dying this way. But, I promise, not in the immediate future. 

This script took almost 2 weeks to work out, and the last 2 panels weren’t resolved at all until tonight. It’s hard to talk about. So this is a source of contention in some of my relationships, i.e. those people who have to deal with me when I haven’t got enough spoons to even fake it.

Visually, this one pleases me. I’m never sure whether the story hits until someone else appreciates it, though. As for the subject matter, there’s nothing left to say. The comic is the statement.

Funny comic tomorrow 🙂

And here’s the link to my article on Panels, “3 Webcomics for People Who Find Kinky Sex Hilarious.”

Your Marital Narrative

We'll also be exploring mace as a therapeutic option.

We’ll also be examining the efficacy of pepper spray as a therapeutic option.

Hey! I drew a comic about going to therapy. Can I be in the New Yorker now? Or is my wit not dry enough? I tried to draw the therapist’s smile kind of forced and tight-lipped, but she still looks kind of happy, so maybe the art isn’t there. Yet. The Man believes it’s getting there.

The therapist comic seems like such a staple. So, whenever I have an idea for a comic, there’s always this voice asking if I’ve really had an idea for a comic, or if I’m just remembering something that someone else did years ago, that I read and forgot about, but which has been hanging around in my subconscious for all this time. How do you know? It’s not like there’s a big database of comic ideas and you can type in keywords and see whether or not someone’s already thought of the same gag. In face, I’ve seen different artists do essentially the same joke lots of time, and they’re probably not stealing, intentionally or otherwise.

If a musical genius like George Harrison can commit “subconscious plagiarism,” what hope is there for anyone? Am I funny, or am I just repeating someone else’s joke?

That’s the one-panel gags, obviously. The big comics about my bizarre life are mine alone, of course. And maybe if I get a Patreon and/or a Kickstarter and start making money off of comics I could do long ones every day. Still, the one-panel form is an important one.

I guess the secret is to make everything absolutely as personal as possible. No one else has my life experience. Not even remotely.

Probably, no one’s done quite this comic. Originally I wondered if the man and the woman shouldn’t be the banged up ones, but implications of domestic violence seemed like they would detract from the joke. They’re not trying to hurt each other. Things just got out of hand and the therapist got in the way by mistake.

Special thanks to The Man for his suggestion that the glass on the diploma be shattered.