Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #337 (August 14th, 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.


Apologies for yesterday's inexplicable Hanna/Barbera flashback right at the end there. Mike Kitchen checks in:

Dear Dave

On March 2nd I did it. I quit my day job (sort of) to get this comic done. Here is the story:

Back in February when I wrote you last, a series of events had me questioning the choices I was about to make. In the end, I was able to break the dilemma down to "what is the right thing to do?" I figure when using that as a moral compass, I couldn't stray too far from the mark. This way I could just go down the list of hard choices to be made and know that what I ultimately decided to do, no matter the outcome, would at the very least give me peace of mind that I tried to do the right thing.

In the case of the Toronto day job: I had made a commitment to the company last year to work on this movie project. So my decision was that the right thing to do would be to honour that commitment. The job in Montreal was a much better all round deal, allowing me to work from home, which is better for my comic, better for my family, better for my bank account and could lead to future opportunities. My decision here was that the right thing to do would be to NOT turn down this opportunity. APE was coming up in two months. Should I abandon the comic or do I make a push to get it done? I had been using APE as my target date for the last year. My decision here was that the right thing to do would be to stick to the game plan, because as far as my labour goes, even though it pays nothing, this comic work has to start taking a priority if I have any hopes of turning this into a career some day. Now the conundrum. How to deal with this situation?

"Do the right thing". Though the world may blow up in my face, I can at least take comfort in the fact I tried to take the moral high ground.

Going down the list, the solution seemed to involve a lot of compromise. Finding a way to meet all commitments. My solution was to split my week, and work two jobs (and finish the comic). I figure if one job didn't like this solution they could always fire me. So that was my plan. And you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Turns out the Toronto job would rather have me quit than make the compromise of reduced hour work week. And I was prepared to, however on top of that they wanted two weeks' notice. Is that the right thing to do? Yes. Two weeks notice would be the right thing to do. Could I get the comic done by commuting to Toronto for another 2 weeks? No, I couldn't. Would it be right to abandon the comic to work another 2 weeks? No, it wouldn't. So, in that case, what are the options? What is the way out of this scenario? Could I get the comic done in two weeks? Yes. I think so. In fact it would HAVE to be done in two weeks for Lebonfon to print it in time for APE. Can I work two jobs after the comic is done? Yes. It would be a lot of work, and would burn me out, but yes, it is possible. Plus, in theory, I could earn some extra cash to fund the printing bill. Now, would this one job agree to having me take 2 weeks off, and then come back to the movie project after those 2 weeks are up? Turns out the answer was "yes".

So that is what I decided to do. I took 2 weeks off from the Toronto job, saving me a commute, where I was able to work from home for the Montreal job, allowing me to pay my real world bills while finishing SPUD & HARRY #1 in time for APE.

But then this story gets really interesting. The sort of "interesting" that makes you begin to question if God is trying to teach you a lesson, or if God's Adversary is trying to usurp you. While everything was seemingly going "according to plan" a series of miniature life disasters seemed to be happening on a regular basis all around me. Everything from the car breaking down and needing repair (twice); the computer breaking down and needing to be replaced; the family cat breaking a leg (in four places); my own health problems most likely related to stress. The list went on.

This is when I begin asking myself "is God trying to teach me a lesson to NOT take on so much work?" or "did God give me this much work because he knew I would need it to pay for this series of miniature life disasters?"

At this point, there isn't much you can do, because it only leaves you questioning God's plan. And this is the moment when, especially, comfort can be taken because in each miniature life disaster, I attempted to deal with them the same as the above dilemmas. "Do the right thing" and hope to not stray too far from the mark.

I mean, what else can you do?

Tomorrow: My best assessment of where Mike Kitchen's plan went wrong


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:

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