Tag Archives: trolls

Wrong on the Internet

Despite my best efforts, wrong people continue to be wrong on the internet.

This is a little comic I scribbled on an envelope last summer, but I was too busy with volume 4 of Bonnie Jo Campbell Comics and the pandemic and a bunch of other life changes to clean it up and post it. I’ve thought about it a lot, though, and have, in fact, gotten much better about arguing with strangers online. For the most part, I can walk away from a clearly pointless discussion with an obvious troll or someone who lacks the intellectual capacity to understand the subject at hand or isn’t going to change their mind despite an abundance of evidence disproving their belief. It’s made my life better.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get caught up in those stupid arguments from time to time, especially on Reddit, which isn’t so bad because it’s obviously all strangers, but sometimes on Facebook, which really isn’t great, because there’s a good chance that I’m fighting with someone I know and possibly like, or at least someone that knows the people I know and like.

So it happened again this week: a person I know, with whom I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME last summer trying to explain systemic racism and Black Lives Matter at their request (not that the amount of time I spent was excessive in light of the subject matter and its importance, but it was too much time to spend trying to explain things to someone who didn’t want to learn, but rather to have his opinion validated), posted some incredibly ignorant and hateful things about rights for transgendered people and I started to get into it. Eventually I remembered this comic and my promise to myself, for my own mental health, to stop getting into these arguments. I walked away. The information he needed is widely available online, for those who care about human rights. There was no point in wasting my time explaining.

Today that same person posted some very horrifying remarks about reproductive rights, and I opted not to get involved.

I comfort myself with constant reminders that conservatives are het up because they don’t want enlightenment. They’ve been taught that progress is the work of the devil and that thinking about equality could actually damn their mortal souls, that progressives are in thrall of Satan and that true education is a tool of evil. It’s weird to think that people have been trying to make this world better for hundreds of years, and a bunch of very powerful and stubborn institutions are out there actively working to stymie any action that could lead to people being happier in this world. Obviously, people don’t need the promise of the next world if things are nicer here.

I also comfort myself with constant reminders that enlightenment is happening anyway, that Black lives do matter, that trans people are valid, and that even if some nutjobs make it harder for women to control their reproductive capacities, the world has come too far. We’re never going back. No matter how many hateful laws get passed, we’re not going back.

But I still need to add: if you have a lot of negative beliefs about, say, Black people or trans people, and you don’t really know any Black people or trans people, you might consider educating yourself before you draw (and post) any conclusions based on your nonexistent knowledge. And you might also consider that if people are willing to do vast amounts of emotional labor on your behalf to help you understand a subject, they might have reasons for their point of view that you have yet to understand.

Dragon Comics 137

dragon comics 137_edited-1.png

Because I’m in a hot air balloon! Also, I’m not sorry. 

Turn everything on its side.

Let’s just say that Dragon cannot let anything bring Dragon down. Dragon needs to rise about the trolls. Dragon has buoyancy, and will continue to rise. Today I sold some more copies of my book, just a handful, and also some merchandise in my shop. I made $16, give or take, on my art. If I could do that every day, it would make a huge difference in my lifestyle.

Also, some self-styled art critics on Reddit told me my  book cover sucked, but, based on their non-critical criticism, I doubted they had any idea what they were talking about, and sure enough, today, an experience writer who has published MANY books and does not know me personally or have any reason to offer me false compliments, said my cover was great. So I think I will believe the non-anonymous, non-rude, successful person with visible credentials in the field versus the trolls hiding behind their troll mantles.

That’s why Dragon’s smiling in panel 4. Dragon can’t hear your negativity.

Wrong on the Internet

wrong on the internet_edited-3

This is how I draw when my head hurts. 

Generally speaking, I do my research, and look up new or confusing ideas, and maintain a healthy sense of skepticism toward concepts that seem unlikely to be true. Usually, I try not to say anything unless I’m 100% certain it’s right, and will make a persuasive contribution to the discussion will be. usually, I know what I’m talking about. Usually.

I can admit when I’m wrong. I might not choose not to verbally concede minor points when arguing with strangers about larger issues, though. There is no way that you can reframe the discussion to persuade me that the American military budget is not bloated, monstrous, and an offense to humanity. And then right after learning the difference between discretionary and mandatory spending, I had a nice chat with a lawyer friend about why the first amendment doesn’t prevent rabid lunatics from screeching that you are going to hell while you attempt to enjoy yourself at happy, peaceful, family-friendly events. Because community standards only exist at Antioch. In the real world, jerks have a protected status to continue their jerkiness.

Ultimately, that’s the problem with any system of governance: the jerks. If people could just wrap their minds around Wheaton’s Law, we literally wouldn’t need any other law. People would just think about how their actions would affect others before they did them, and then they would choose not to do jerky things. Even if bad things happened by accident, Wheaton’s Law would persuade those with the power to fix the problem to the best of their ability. Even if people didn’t like the outcome, they would accept that they needed to work toward their own goal without being jerks about it.

But I’m just being silly. If human beings could wrap their minds around any of that, we wouldn’t need laws, or government for that matter. Sometimes I’m a jerk on the Internet, too. So, it’s all just a fantasy.

At least this comic got done. It looks simple, but it’s taken several days, primarily because every time I sit down to work I get a migraine. I have a migraine now, but I was determined. Clearly, I need some kind of course in cartooning, like The Trickster’s Hat, with a couple month’s worth of exercises. Even though I love how easy they make it, the tablet and Photoshop alone can only take me so far. Only a lot of hours of sketching on paper will take me to the next level.

 

 

Dragon Comics 120

dragon comics 120_edited-3

There are trolls everywhere. You can’t avoid them.

Pretty straight forward here. Usually I ignore the trolls, but every once in a while it amuses me to troll one back. Only if they start it. Clearly, I’m adept at arguing, but I try not to exercise that skill. After the immediate thrill of pointing out how terrible another human being is passes, it doesn’t feel good to engage in that kind of exchange. Once you realize someone is deliberately baiting you, versus just possibly being uninformed, you have a choice about whether or not to wallow in the mud.

That said, there may be more trolls in Dragon Comics.

Yesterday: best ever traffic in a single day on this blog, almost 5000 page views. Even my RedBubble store is seeing some bounce. Appears that I am doing some things right. Feeling hopeful and fortunate.