Sometimes it’s hard to remember: love is an act of resistance in a culture of hatred. Why should it be easier to turn against strangers than to find a place to meet in the middle? I wrote the script for this comic in the early afternoon but didn’t actually finish creating it until well after midnight, and now I have nothing left to say for the blog. I’m tired.
According to Facebook, I was wrong, and some people did notice my lack of comics, but I guess they were all people who were too polite to say something about it. And I missed my comics. I miss expressing myself in a public forum where I can see that my words have been read by 100s, and sometimes 1000s of humans/sentient creatures trapped within humans. And the people who like my comics the most seem to prefer Dragon Comics to my better-illustrated work. I actually wrote a not-Dragon comic earlier in the week, but it will keep until Dragon works out some of Dragon’s issues.
The line about the kitty litter also went over very well on Facebook, where I used it, in a slightly different form, to describe what middle age could go do. Seriously, when you are still about 9 1/2 inside, it’s disconcerting to hear the words “shingles” and “astigmatism” from 2 different medical professionals in the same week. Also shingles medication is terrible. The pills are 800 milligrams and the side effects can also eat a bag of kitty litter. (Yeah, shingles are bad too.) I declined the prescription to correct the impending near-sightedness because I can still read books without issue, and I can barely afford prism lenses, let alone bifocals, and because I am in denial about this middle age thing.
Everything’s off-kilter, and being angry about it doesn’t seem to help. In fact, I feel like my attitude is probably starting to annoy people, so I tried to shift back to something resembling my previous brand of humor without completely abandoning the perspective that the United States of America is completely screwed up right now. I cannot authorize a federal investigation into Russian interference with the US election. I can’t force John McCain to rally Congress around the goal of restoring sanity to politics. I can’t protect my own health coverage. But, here and there, if you look around, you can fix little things, sometimes.
Of course, if we had just done a better job of teaching schoolchildren to recognize and reject logical fallacies for the last 30 years, we wouldn’t be in this situation. Ditto germ theory and the role of vaccinations in preventing the spread of infectious disease.
Organizing books is my personal meditation. You don’t have to break into people’s houses to do it. Public school libraries will usually let you just come in and do it for free. Some places actually pay you to do it!
This is my friend Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, the Liberian-American poet, in the first panel. We went to graduate school together. She came to America as a refugee, one of a million people displaced by a war that killed 200,000. There were only like 2 million people in Liberia before the troubles. She knows something about how bad the world can get.
Most of my poet friends seem to write Facebook statuses that are also poetry, and when I saw this update, it felt like it had the same rhythm of some of my 4-panel comics, so I asked her if I could adapt it and she kindly said yes. I love the line, “If you ain’t start writing poetry this year, you might never.”
If you’re unfamiliar, panel 3 is Harry Carey, a popular sportscaster whose catchphrase was “holy cow,” and panel 4 is an iconic picture of activists Gloria Steinham and Dorothy Pitman Hughes illustrating solidarity.
At the Women’s March last month, packed, unmoving in the park because 15,000 people showed up when they expected 2,000, I overheard an old leftie explaining to her companion, “Every time we won a battle, there was always another battle. There will always be another battle.” I don’t know if the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice or not, but I do know everything always changes all the time. Wheel of Fortune. Tides of history. No kingdom lasts forever, nor any joy, nor any suffering. And if the end of the world ever does come, it won’t worry anyone. If it’s really and truly over, there will be nothing to worry about, and no one left to worry.
Or, as Edgar says in King Lear, “The worst is not/So long as we can say ‘This is the worst.'” So rejoice! You’ve lived to fight for your life another day. Rise up and give thanks for the opportunity.
It’s a testament to the power of the human ability to heal from trauma and go on going on that I drew that little corner of the Twin Towers in panel 1. The last time I referenced 9/11 in QvD, it required a screen grab cut and paste because there was no way I could bring myself to draw it.
Panel 2 is the second time I’ve referenced King Lear. King Lear never gets stale.
Life is trauma. Over and over. You just keep getting up and going on because if you don’t, you’re not alive.
Seriously, though, I’m feeling burned out already.
First of all, I don’t know that guy, except inasmuch as we all know that guy. But no one reading this should think that guy is a parody of them particularly. At least not anyone who knows me.
It’s not that nobody leaves. My very own sister went to Canada in 2002 and never came back. I also know some guys who went to New Zealand, but those guys did come back. But you know the people I’m talking about. They won’t go. But they will help to further polarize the issues by seeing everything in absolute black and whites.
Anyway, this comic cracks me up, meaning that either the Fox or the Owl will appreciate it, and everyone else will hate it. Ha ha. I am killing this public opinion thing, as usual.
The concept got a mild chuckle out of The Man. He helped me with the last panel. After I considered on Firefly and Star Wars, I couldn’t think of a third fandom with a resistance, even though there are dozens because speculative fiction is all about sticking it to the man. The Man suggested Battlestar Galactica, but I never really watched that show. Then I thought about using this symbol of electromagnetic resistance, but The Man said that was too obscure, and that an actual resister was a lot more recognizable. So there we have it. Begin with the abysmal state of American politics and end with a silly sci-fi fandom slash technical nerd joke.