Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #288 (June 26th, 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.


Sad but true. Darrell Epp got laid off!

"Dofasco got bought by a French company that's going to be tightening things up, cutting back big time. Long-term, all the steel manufacturing jobs are leaving Hamilton and they're never coming back. At the same time Arcelor was buying Dofasco, Arcelor was being bought by Mittal Steel, a company from India run by Lakshmi Mittal. He's the world's third richest man and this move gives him control of something like 90% of the world's steel. Lakshmi Mittal spent $65 million on his daughter's wedding. Yes, you read that right. It looks like I'll be getting a good job with CN Rail, now…"

Bob Corby and I talk about steel every time I'm in Columbus. He's an architect and he says it's become almost impossible to get steel and every time you do get it the price is through the roof. He also says most of the steel being bought and sold is scrap steel. What I don't get is why capitalism works with oil (the price goes through the roof and it suddenly becomes worth the investment to do things like extracting oil from the Alberta Tar Sands) but it doesn't seem to work with steel (the price goes through the roof and you should have, relatively speaking, a lot of Mom and Pop steel mills opening up. Why don't you? Why is it still just this little clique of Mel Brooks' Silent Movie-style "Engulf and Devour" Steel Corporations – "Our bathrooms are nicer than most people's homes" – engulfing and devouring each other? How expensive does steel have to get before it makes sense to start making NEW steel?

Anyway, Darrell shifts gears:

"It seems like the library can't make up its mind, or it WANTS to love comics but doesn't know HOW. They have a shelf full of graphic novels, some really good stuff, but the shelf is sequestered at the back of the young adult section, so if a librarian sees you going back there she'll look at you funny. The shelf might have [Joe Matt's] THE POOR BASTARD placed right next to SAILOR MOON…"

Now there's a hot combo to conjure with!

"…or a GARFIELD collection right next to MAUS. And every graphic novel has the word `TEEN' taped to the spine, including SAFE AREA GORADZE. Like teenagers love reading non-fiction books about Balkan politics. If only it were true!"

Yes, I think the Graphic Novel Revolution is once again running out of steam in mainstream environments like the Library. There's an inherent bigotry in libraries against anything that isn't a book. However, first music "got" them and then movies on videotape and DVDs "got" them. Since there are no forms of expression more degraded than those two, that basically means the library has to carry everything or appear to carry everything. We've all noticed the same thing at the library and in the mainstream bookstores. The really BIZARRE juxtapositions and the really BIZARRE selection of titles. If you consciously sat down to make the LEAST attractive and LEAST interesting graphic novel section imaginable at, say, Barnes & Noble you couldn't have done a better job than they have already. It looks not so much like a graphic novel section as it does a manifestation of deeply rooted Acute Pop Culture Psychosis. You feel (as at the library) as if you want to sit the buyer down with a nice cup of tea and some soothing music and a box of Kleenex and try to find out what colour the sky is in their world. A lot of comic book stores were worried about them but now most stores look at graphic novel sections in libraries and mainstream book stores as living, breathing advertisements for Why We Need Comic-Book Stores (i.e. just LOOK at what non-comic-book store environments do. I mean, just LOOK!). In a world where the last thing you want to have said about you is that you don't "get it" (particularly when a multi-national corporation has hundreds of millions of dollars at stake), these places are absolute poster children for "Don't Get It R US!" It's enough to make a comic-book person feel downright sophisticated.

Tomorrow on The Blog & Mail: Darrell Epp, The Poverty Era


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.