Hiatus Hernia

An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest.

From “Prince Variant: Seller of Collectibles”, BIUL #2 (2015).

More accurately, an object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless a force acts upon it. This is Newton’s law of motion. It applies to the average blogger thusly; if you’re having a good posting run, it will continue until some force acts upon it.

Like reality.

Currently, I am working towards getting back in the swing of webmastering, after a long summer of bullshit. That’s life. If running a site were easy and convenient, it would be a Facebook page. When your world is crumbling around your ears, the last thing on your mind is writing another thousand words about pop culture from thirty years ago.

Both you and I are living in a different world from last month. We are struggling to keep up. This feels bad, but is actually good. Keep up, don’t give up. Keep your mind’s blade sharp. For example:

  • I consider making fun of Trump to be low-hanging fruit. Everyone is doing it in the media, so it’s also played out. This is why MAD magazine and New Yorker cartoons aren’t funny anymore. They exist to pander to readers who hate Trump. They don’t have to be funny. Meanwhile, I have to be funnier. Funnier than playing with dangly fruit.
  • Fascism and political violence are normalized now. Thanks to the billionaire lich with the palindromic name, anti-American gangs are living large, and children are gleefully indoctrinated against their home soil in school. So if I want to rightfully criticize “Antifa”, I must sidestep the Socialist programming that infects many of my friends and acquaintances. Otherwise they become violent and attack, because at heart, they know their ideology is rigid and incongruous with the free society that birthed and berthed them.

For the first time in my life, my peers have turned away from sophistication. Instead, they are hunting every conceivable chink* in the armor of everything they or anyone else have created. They do this to display their imagined virtue, and to get something for nothing. One no longer needs create something of merit; now you can tear down an established work, and appear smarter in the process. Briefly.

*Even this phrase gets second-guessed. Can’t you see that by doing this, you admit that your intentions were racist in the first place? When does it become thoughtcrime?

When everyone is looking for “gotchas” in entertainment, rather than being entertained, what is the fucking point?

Four websites that suck shit so badly that I must name them here: Vice, Buzzfeed, Salon and Slate, have all paid contributors to write fabulist rhetoric about racists and/or rapists in the entertainment world. They have made prejudice analogous to violent sexual assault. Because it’s words on a computer screen, no one ever thinks twice about validity, or credibility. It doesn’t matter if it’s removed. It can’t be unread. You looked.

There are billions of people in this world; my city now has 6.6 million. Neither you nor I can deal with more than a couple hundred people, before we start to confuse them.

Think about that. Now think about a politician, or a celebrity. Or a president. They hit their people-limit a long time ago. You are faceless to them. A number. It’s nothing personal. It’s reality. Our brains are not equipped to handle more than a couple hundred people on a face-to-face basis. It’s our inherent vice, to save us from the vagaries of megalomania.

Now think about how many people you’ve met through social media. I bet I can guess.

Too many.

Too many for you to keep straight. I enjoy having a lot, because it offers a broad spectrum of disparate opinions, but your mileage may vary. My internet usage borders on sadomasochism. I push my own boundaries to the breaking point, then utilize the energies released, in a creative manner (ideally). I have to be aware of world events and culture, for material. You don’t. 

I’ll put it this way:

  • I couldn’t squeeze any humor or satire out of the Mandalay Bay Massacre, and I had to learn all about it in the process, and it kind of broke my brain
  • I don’t derive any joy from being right about Harvey Weinstein and Quentin Tarantino, and frankly I’m sickened that the whole thing took this long to come out, and that some people have chosen to aggrandize themselves through the rape of another person
  • Making any commentary about rape whatsoever is lose/lose.

In drawing comics about an event, you memorialize that event. If I truly don’t want something to exist, I ignore it in toto. I don’t draw cartoons about how unjust its existence is, under the guise of protest. My internal editor nullifies it. “It’s pandering,” he says. He sounds like Lou Grant. “And it’s lazy. Another cartoon about Trump being dumb? How long are you gonna draw from that well?”

“I’m lookin’ at you, New Yorker.”

Then I forget what my point was, and Lou throws me out of his office. Murray Slaughter pretends to look busy, and won’t meet my gaze.

Anyway,

  1. I’m struggling to get back into the groove but it is happening
  2. I have returned to default setting, which is angry, and I am mystified as to why this would surprise anyone with even a superficial knowledge of my existence
  3. I accept that I am a naturally furious person (really, I’ve been joking about it since high school), a solipsist, and more than likely a sociopath, and that at 45 these things are unlikely to change
  4. Anyone who’s ever written a decent novel possessed the same qualities, and you know it
  5. Next year is the 20th anniversary of Bands I Useta Like, and you would have surrendered to madness long ago were you in my shoes

I’m an American free speech absolutionist. I take this responsibility very seriously. It requires an editorial conscience. A sense of cultural wisdom. A humility for the forces that shaped you. A love for the soil and the people of home. A fire in the belly.

I’m an angry, patriotic, American humorist. Do not ever consider me an enemy. Should you classify me as such, you have fallen to the wrong side. More’s the pity.

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