Saturday, June 09, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #271 (June 9th, 2007)


Fifteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast That Make You a Good Feminist

1. A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.

2. It makes great sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society.

3. A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus.

4. So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice.

5. A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.

6. It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be women only environments from which men are excluded.

7. Because it involves taking jobs away from men and giving them to women, affirmative action makes for a fairer and more just society.

8. It is important to have lower physical standards for women firepersons and women policepersons so that, one day, half of all firepersons and policepersons will be women, thus more effectively protecting the safety of the public.

9. Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be maintained now that more women than men are being enrolled, in order to keep from giving men an unfair advantage academically.

10. Having ensured that there is no environment for men where women don't belong (see no.6) it is important to have zero tolerance of any expression or action which any woman might regard as sexist to ensure greater freedom for everyone.

11. Only in a society which maintains a level of 95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women can men and women be considered as equals.

12. An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the time that she married a baseball player earning $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 million for each year of the marriage and probably more.

13. A man's opinions on how to rear and/or raise a child are invalid because he is not the child's mother. However, his financial obligation is greater because no woman gets pregnant by herself.

14. Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you anti-woman and/or a misogynist.

15. Legislature Seats must be allocated to women and women must be allowed to bypass the democratic winnowing process in order to guarantee female representation and, thereby, make democracy fairer.



"I got talked into another play, BUS STOP. Here's how it happened as I wrote on a blog about the theatre:

I play Dr. Lyman in BUS STOP. And it is true that I played several roles in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Just to illustrate to you how the casting process went for BUS STOP, I'll tell you how I got involved. Although I enjoyed being in A CHRISTMAS CAROL, I found that it took a lot of time away from working on my movie, so I refused to be in BUS STOP. I thought I was going to be in cheerlead mode. Everyone who showed up to audition got a part. That was four people or less. The rest we made phone calls. Actually I mean Rosie made phone calls. We talking Dan into doing it right at Dr. Judy's during New Year's Eve. Then Dan made phone calls and we got Damian. So it was like, "Hurrah! We have a cast! People willing to show up!" Forget about favourites. These were the only ones willing to do it. Then Dr. Lyman guy backs out. Stupid me keeps showing up:

"How's things going?"

"Will you be Dr. Lyman?"


Then I leave. I walk if I have to. I visit Brianna in the hospital. She's going to understudy Elenor for the dates Elenor can't do it. She in her little hospital bed and she says, "Brian, won't you please be in BUS STOP?"

"Oh, man! AMBUSH!"

So now I'm in BUS STOP for one more weekend at the Warehouse Playhouse. Come and see it please. And all you bloggers, get off your computer to try out for BELL BOOK AND CANDLE. I'm not doing it! I don't care how many kids in hospital beds you wave in front of me."

See, Brian, it's not really that I'm complaining about not having friends. The way I look at it, if you have friends eventually someone is going to wave a kid in a hospital bed in front of you and she's going to talk you into…pretty much darned near anything just by asking. I like keeping company with people but staying at arm's length from them just to keep those sorts of thing from happening.

"This has bumped back my completion date again. If I don't finish this movie soon I am going to be known the world over as a Great American Liar with no social graces what so ever. I apologize for the wait, but we military types are suckers for kids in hospital beds. I am sending you a DVD of my performance in BUS STOP as Dr. Lyman as a poor substitute for the finished movie you expected. I have been able to use this theatre thing as a way to make connections, though. Thanks to this theatre stuff, I am finally going to get the elusive gas station location. I don't have it yet. But it's the first time I did not get my face injured by that door slamming. My new theory on a completion date is somewhere between May and June. The Chicago International Film Festival has its deadline around July, so I will be fine because they were always my target film festival anyway. Not yet done with the Sum Burger shirt and hat yet, but you'll get them. You are the only one that wants them."

Oh, well, THAT isn't true. Cerebus is on them. If Cerebus is on them, you can be guaranteed that Jeff Tundis and Margaret Liss will also want them. I'm not sure if they're quite at the point of bidding on "pieces of paper that say Cerebus on them" (the joke I did with Star Trek in THE GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING) but I don't think they're far off from there. And Cerebus' only appearance on a Burger logo in an indy film – yeah, they'd probably bankrupt each other bidding on those. Might be the only two, but that's the great thing about eBay – all you need is two people determined to get whatever it is and the price goes through the roof.

"I've been a part-time soldier for about eight years now and I still don't think of myself as a military guy. First and foremost, I have always thought of myself as a storyteller, a writer. I am also a film-maker and by default I have become an actor. Of course in my mind's eye I still think of myself as a weak 150-pound nineteen year old, but the 210-pound war veteran stares back from the mirror with his receding hairline. Oh, well. The baby face is still there. It's a great mask of youth diminishing."

Hey! I remember being that age. The Dorian Gray Years. "I'm having an awful lot of fun – any sign of corruption setting in? No?" And then, one day, you realize that your eyes have been eroding at the same time. "Why don't you put your glasses on and look at yourself in the mirror, Dave?" No, that wouldn't look like me. All of my features being a little bit fuzzy because of my near-sightedness – THAT looks like me.

"One of the owners of the theatre has a drunk friend who hangs out there drinking and is rarely sober. They were all trying to compliment me on my acting and he chimed in. He had two cents and plenty more. He brought his piggy bank to the theatre it seemed. `As soon as I met this guy, I realized, `This guy's not military! He's an actor!'' Then I gotta listen to this guy brag about how he got his dishonourable discharge from the Army so that he could draft dodge the Viet Nam war. How much more of this do I really have to listen to before I start telling people where to go in a less-than-eloquent fashion?

"So maybe I am a military guy. I did re-enlist while we were engaged in what can be described as an unpopular war. I have left the desert, but the desert hasn't left me. I can still feel the heat of the August sun on my face. It rained the day before Buckley's funeral. It rained for less than five minutes and I can still smell that dirty brimstone smell that comes with a desert rain. This new guy at the theatre says that Iraq is all I ever talk about. I suspect that to be only a recent phenomenon. I've achieved a healing in my soul these last three years while working on DEMON JOE.

"I've seen bodies ripped apart in husks of what used to be vehicles. And I had a mild incident where our camp was attacked with mortars fired from the back of a Nissan pick-up truck that did drive-bys, but other than that my personal experiences were mild. What really affected me over the long term is that I became a type of sin-eater for the others. Although unknown, I was a trained entertainer, a one-man USO show in uniform. I would tell jokes and stories. Soldiers would stop by my cot to listen. Many would tell me their stories. For every incident that happened to soldiers in my company, I had heard at least four versions. I thought I was Bob Hope, but I was also their father confessor. I looked into the soul of this nineteen-year-old boy holding back tears as he told me how he killed another human being and my heart broke.

"I bring in the steel and concrete for a new heart that is willing to accept the brutality of all mankind and embrace it without hypocrisy. I've been watching Sam Fuller movies and I realized that, with expert cruelty, he was the most honest of all film makers. I am still heavily influenced by the Pythons and, in particular, Terry Gilliam, but the escapism will not be present in my next work. I am going to write my war epic next. As soon as I finish DEMON JOE, I will give up all distractions – plays or otherwise – and just write my war movie. I envision it as two parts: An Illiad and an Odyssey. They are two movies – like CHURCH & STATE in two volumes -- but I think of them as the same movie. THE WEEKEND WARRIORS: AN AMERICAN ILLIAD and BETTAFISH: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY.

"Right now I'm flat broke. I owe my landlord $1500 for back rent. My car's transmission broke down. I owe $60,000 in student loans. I desperately need to find a day job because the re-enlistment bonus was spent a long time ago, but I don't care. My movie is almost done. This is going to be my year. Delay or no delay.

"May God bring you happiness."

Hey! You, too, Brian. I just got another letter from him dated May 1 which isn't really a letter, it's 12 stills from the movie! "Almost done. Just a little longer. Sorry for the wait." Sounds as if he's right on schedule. I'll let you all know when and if there's a place you can go on the Internet for an advance look.

All right, that's one letter from March 7 and another from May 1. Maybe I can whittle this here pile down from both ends!

If you wish to contact Dave Sim, you can mail a letter (he does NOT receive emails) to:

Aardvark Vanaheim, Inc
P.O. Box 1674
Station C
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2

Looking for a place to purchase Cerebus phonebooks? You can do so online through Win-Mill Productions -- producers of Following Cerebus. Convenient payment with PayPal:

Win-Mill Productions

Or, you can check out Mars Import:

Mars Import

Or ask your local retailer to order them for you through Diamond Comics distributors.