Dave Sim's blogandmail #386 (October 2nd, 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.
Okay, picking up speed now. I actually managed to get all of the remaining mail and TCAF books INTO the file drawer, so this too is progress of a kind.
June 20, Jason Trimmer writes and sends along a copy of his letter to Nelson Dona of the Festival Internacional da Banda Desenhada in Amadora Portugal offering him YE BOOKES OF CEREBUS for exhibit. Here's hoping. They sounded interested when I loaned them the "Zelda Café" pages from RARE BIT FIENDS #1 for their Dream Comics exhibit. Too late for this year. Maybe next year? Anyone interested in the exhibit with an actual temperature controlled environment and art gallery bona fides is welcome to contact Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey, it's our ol' pal, J.B. Toner. Sorry folks, Sunday's coming a little early this week. He writes:
"'Lo, Dave. I was just re-reading your conversation with Alan Moore on FROM HELL and it reminded me that I wanted to make one more pestersome point to you regarding the Christian Church."
Go ahead. Take your best shot.
"Somewhere around issue #185, you made a remark about poor misled Mother Teresa `crooning' over a newborn baby in an overpopulated country. Even at the time (and I was only in high school), it struck me that Mother Theresa was likely to turn out morally right in the end. And indeed – even leaving aside such practicalities as P.J. O'Rourke's smashing of the Malthusian fears in ALL THE TROUBLES OF THE WORLD or the sudden 180-degree media panic about "population explosion" in the West – if we were commanded by God to be fruitful and multiply, then that command is just as absolute in a place where food is scarce as it is anyplace else: as you surely know, Dave, without needing me to tell you."
Well, yes I'll definitely admit to secular folly on that score. If you don't understand that there is A Universal Intelligence behind everything that's going on, it's very easy to fall for all of the Chicken Little theories secular humanists come up with – which I did: the idea that the world has a fixed number of resources and if we use them all up, we're doomed. Having gotten people as panicky about that one as they could, they're now onto global warming. Fifteen years from now they'll be onto something else.
About all that I would retain from the vicinity of issue 185 is that the world population is increasing exponentially. Birth, for the first time in human history is still outstripping death by a wide margin and that's why we went pretty quickly from 3 billion people to 8 billion or whatever it is now. But "where we're going" isn't mass starvation, it's the extermination of non-believers in favour of believers. The USA will become an Hispanic Catholic country if it isn't already. Muslims will take over most of Europe. Muslim Palestinians will out-populate an increasingly secular Israel and win that way. "Be fruitful and multiply" or knock yourselves out of the game.
I do think that society trying to treat men and women as equals (rather than treating them equally) has created a separate requirement: a segment of the population made up of thinking men (like myself) who stay outside of the construct to try, on behalf of society, to retain some connection to reality. If women go back to being women and men go back to being men, then I think the need disappears but as long as most women are trying to be men or men-like and men are being talking into being women or woman-like then you need a counter-balance to that. I don't think it can be done from within the mutated marriage construct. So, consequently, no being fruitful and multiplying for me. Could be the biggest mistake of my life, but until I see more than a handful of other folks going, "This is not WORKING, people" then I think I've found my calling in life.
"…but the reason I instinctively saw back then that Mother Teresa was right and you were wrong, was that I accept the authority of an ecclesiastical hierarchy which speaks in absolutes. I don't actually know exactly what flag you're flying right now (so to speak), but it seems to be sort of a "non-denominational" theism; which is fantastic – infinitely better than secular humanism – but it really does get even better."
Abrahamic monotheism: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. "Non-denominational" usually suggests Christianity exclusively. And it's not really a flag that I fly, it's a balance I try to maintain. Sorry, I interrupted. Go ahead.
"If you accept the teachings of an institution, that is. I know it must run a little against the grain of a self-publisher to submit to the Universal Editor (if you will), but after all it has been around for quite awhile and has gathered a great deal more wisdom than any single person is likely to be able to do. Of course, that wisdom still needs to be interpreted by the individual person, which is why we're not robots or cogs; but the most OVERT act of the Holy Spirit in our history was precisely the creation of a core group of priests (Pentecost) to help us with our interpreting processes."
Yes, but in order to join the Catholic Church, I would have to believe in ALL of its dogma. I couldn't, by my own nature, be one of those people picking and choosing what I wanted to believe and what I didn't want to believe and still partaking in the host. I would be there under false pretences. I have real problems with the way the Gospels have been interpreted. I don't think they say what the Christian Church has been teaching that they say. I understand why they THINK they say what they maintain that they say, but – at least as far as Matthew, Mark and Luke go – I think that has more to do with a wily adversary, YHWH and some EXTREMELY artful phraseology than it has to do with any overt, specific expression. If you take sincerely ambiguous expression and make it say definitively one thing then, to me, you are misinterpreting it. Sure it COULD mean that, but the way it's phrased it COULD mean half a dozen things. Particularly when you completely invert the meaning of a word. Your motives are the best. You want the Son of God (for such you believe the Synoptic Jesus to be) to sound good. You expect him to sound good. But what he is saying isn't definitively good. Most of the time, it's ambiguous at best.
That really grates on the Judaic part of me, where there is very little ambiguity. There is mystery in the Torah (what is the point of this story? Why does Moshe's wife call him "a bloody husband" because of the circumcision? Where did that come from?) but very little ambiguity. And they don't try to pass off additional chapters as scripture. The earliest copies of Mark only go up to here but later copies add this bit. Some copies of John have the chapter with the harlot and the "he who is without sin…" reference. Some of them don't. WHAAAT?!
I can listen to the litany in the Catholic Church or the Anglican Church and literally get whiplash reacting to it: Agree with that, don't agree with this, this part is technically true but not in the way they're saying it, this is blasphemy, this is substituting YHWH for God, I agree with this, I definitely agree with this, no this is blasphemy again. To me, it became obvious that if that's what you're standing there thinking, then you're in the wrong place. That was why I wrote my prayer. THIS is what I believe in. I can recite it five times a day and say, definitively, this is my Contract With God. Every word. That's what you're doing in the Catholic Church: identifying your beliefs and reiterating them. As it says in the Koran: You to your religion and me to mine.
"Anyway, I dunno. I'm no evangelist, but you seemed interested in the passage from GK [Chesterton]'s EVERLASTING MAN, so I thought I'd try to explain what I was trying to say in sending it to you."
Oh, I definitely picked up on that. I was not only interested, I agreed with it, but within limits. To the extent that it explains very eloquently that Christianity wasn't just some happy, inexplicable accident – and cites self-evident truths that there could be nothing else but The Divine Will behind it for it to have been as successful as it was, yes, it was a beautiful piece of writing and I thought it well worth passing on for exactly that reason.
But the fact that The Divine Will was behind it in no way refutes, for me, that Matthew, Mark and Luke (again, for me) are really an extended variation on "Duck, Rabbit, Duck" played out on an infinitely higher plateau. God is Bugs Bunny and YHWH is Daffy Duck. Daffy believes that he's building a New Tabernacle (like the first one, but this time he's going to get it right) and in doing so he's just going to knock Bugs completely out of the game and finally have people acknowledge that YHWH is God. As with Bugs, there isn't a single moment where God doesn't know exactly what He's doing. He doesn't even have to break a sweat. Daffy will always beat himself, all you have to do is keep the argument going and Daffy will blow his own head off every time. To me, one of the primary reasons that Christianity spread so quickly and so thoroughly across the face of the earth is that YHWH thought he/she/it had won. So both God and YHWH were actively spreading Christianity. In fact, just because of sheer Daffy-like egotism, I don't think YHWH figured out just how badly he/she/it had lost for, literally, hundreds of years. ("Hmmm. PRONOUN trouble." Ka -BOOM! "Heh, heh, heh. Wotta Maroon. Wott an ULTRA Maroon.") Christian Churches seem to me to be The Sacred House of Bugs Duck or of Daffy Bunny. And that's just TOO weird. Dump the duck. Stick with the rabbit. Doc.
"I wonder what poor Mr. Moore is up to these days?"
All I know is what I read in the papers. Last I read, he was winding everything else up and sticking with LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Then I read something about someone suing the producers of the film and serving Alan with a subpoena to testify where he got the idea for using the various fictional characters or something like that. That was it. And that's going back a while now.
"I myself believe only too fervently in the reality of demons and magic (quoth he, making the sign of the cross), and I'm well aware of how easily they can lead a yearning mind into believing it has somehow transcended the pedestrian moralities and sagacities of all normal humanity. But I don't expect I'd make a great deal of headway proclaiming the Gospel to an occultist; nor do I suppose Alan Moore probably answers much of his own mail. Alas. Well – in any case, I hope you're well and that the Light continues to shine on your path. And hey, did you ever read the book I sent you awhile back, THE BENT WORLD? There's sort of a sequel to it now, if you have any interest. Lemme know. Vaya con Dios!
Love always, J.B. Toner"
Actually, I just went down and looked at my pile of books to be read that people have sent me and there was no sign of it and it doesn't sound familiar.
Anyway, thanks for writing and I hope to hear from you again, soon, J.B.
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