A final performance, product, or accomplishment before someone or some-thing stops creating work or products, as due to death, retirement, closure
etc. From the ancient belief that swans issue a beautiful song-like sound just before they die.
The above comic strip was made available weeks ago on my Patreon. Even though I have fewer than ten Patrons, they are my paying customers, and they get the benefits. As well, the above comic strip was contracted for pay, for print publication. Even when it no longer exists here on the internet, it will still exist in the form of physical detritus.
I’ve wasted years of breath trying to inform people of the frailty of my life as an artist, and the natural vulnerability artists have toward political enmity. It’s clear to me now that people, who occupy the same country and world that I do, have forsaken freedom of speech out of terror. Our lives are now infested with finks who would jump at the chance to surrender me for corporal punishment, so they could gain imaginary and intangible clout. I now deal with people who consider violence, treason, murder and election fraud totally acceptable, if the ends justify their means.
I am a Constitutional Absolutist because that document is the only thing keeping me from rotting in prison due to something I drew, wrote or said. It’s partly why my head is still attached to my shoulders, even though I rendered Mohammed in a 2010 animated cartoon. If the Constitution goes, I go. To my grave, or prison. I don’t know how to make it any clearer to you people. I thought we were all on the same page with this. I was wrong. Fatally, catastrophically wrong.
I no longer have room in my life for anyone who supports any politician who favors murder, riot, fraud, or censorship. The past five years have taught me how to divorce myself from any entity with ease. I’ve seen every single entertainment property I ever loved burn to the ground. I’ve had to give up every single thing that ever brought me joy. I’m alone and most of my friends have abandoned me for stupid reasons. I don’t give a fuck about your problems.
At the same time, I understand if your attitude towards me is cavalier. I can’t tell you how many artists and entertainers I’ve lost every shred of respect for since 2016, because they openly spread propaganda against their own interests. I know how many cartoonists sold out. My eyes have been wide open all year. What can I say, some so-called artists and entertainers gave in to fear, because they’re weak-minded. Some people are just too young to know better. Some people are just contemptible pussies.
I invite you to peruse the last four years of this website and point out where I (without sarcasm) spoke against my own artistic interests. Show me where I argued for any form of censorship, or limits to free speech. I tell you whut; print out every page of this website and lock it in a drawer for ten years, then read it. Make sure you have a government-approved highlighter so you can mark all the statements that are now punishable.
Here’s another “fun” activity; search this site for any instance where I supported Trump. There aren’t any, but here’s the thing.
I like Trump. I don’t know if I like you.
You want to talk fear? I’m afraid of you, because I said I like Trump. Because now you’re coming up with reasons to hate me. Now you’re looking at my work through a far more critical lens. Now all my humorous excesses are assaults. Now I’m uglier. You’re thinking I should’ve kept my mouth shut, and imagining scenarios in which I am brutalized in public. I didn’t even say I voted for him; I just said I like him. That was all it took. And yet you speak of forgiveness and acceptance when the person involved suits your purposes.
You’re fucked up. I can’t have you around anymore.
I don’t care what your opinion of Trump is. Two wrongs don’t make a right. And here’s the plain truth: Trump won. I was paying rapt attention. We all were. I’m not going to argue this with you any more than I will argue 9/11. I know what I saw, with my own eyes.
I know a dozen people in whom I saw new optimism, because where at first they had detested Trump, they finally came around after seeing some great new benefit in their lives. I myself am alive right now thanks to the CARES Act. I was on the verge of going belly-up again when Trump took over. Once the COVID hysteria unfolded, it was almost the final deathblow for me. I had already sold all my original Garbage Pail Kids and Transformers to survive.
Thanks to demonstrable economic recovery, I’ve been able to rebuild my business while quarantined, for when the PUA wheels come off eventually. I will be a better-functioning part of society than I was four years ago. Because I believed in the dream, that I can make great art and entertainment in this country that will endure after I’m gone. Since I didn’t have to worry about money for food, I even learned how to cook finally, in my late forties. Despite the psychotic environmental circumstances, at times during the past year I have been happier than I can remember being. I did my best to embrace and rise above the chaos. I recently remarked to a therapist that I feel ten times stronger mentally, compared to just a year ago. I’ve seen different people coming together in a way that I hadn’t witnessed since the late 1990’s.
I saw real hope and inspiration in others. That fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. I saw what HST wrote about, in other people.
I felt it. I felt hope.
I’m gonna start to couch my words here, because I know that by this point in time, you’ve seen the light go out in the eyes of someone you love or care about. Maybe even your own. That’s what happens when the very real threat emerges that the ones who want you broke, dead, your children raped and brainwashed and think it’s funny, will win. The ones who actively seek to destroy your country are gonna get to do it. We’re not just gonna die. We’re gonna be written out of the history books.
Maybe you understand now why when so many were being openly hateful, I was pleading for acceptance. Maybe you understand now why I tried to discourage witch-hunting, and blacklisting, and applying hateful labels to undeserving persons. Maybe you understand now why I warned you about the corrupted news media, certain politicians, and the whores who supplicate and promote them. Maybe you understand, now that you’ve seen for yourself the infringing of rights that these monsters execute, as casually as shitting.
Based upon the existing evidence, I fear you never will.