100 Hour Tour: The Sequential Tarts Forum Part 2

What follows are the posts from Dave Sim made to The Sequential Tarts Forum as part of his "100 Hour Internet Tour".

posted 02-19-2008 10:32 AM: Okay, I'm back.

I just want to mention that pretty much all of the stores now have the COMICS INDUSTRY PREVIEW EDITION of glamourpuss No.1 in-house (it came with Diamond Dateline for February 13) so you should be able to walk into just about any comic store in North America at this point and be able to ask to see their copy of glamourpuss No.1 and do so.

There's certainly no shortage of comic books out there competing for your consumer dollar, so if you DO end up taking time to check out glamourpuss No.1 -- win, lose or draw -- I'm very grateful that you were willing to do so.

I'd especially like to thank the stores that have made the special effort to make their customers aware of my new bi-monthly title since "spare time" and "comics retailer" aren't things you're apt to find in the same sentence very often(if at all).

In fact, this morning I got my first faxed overture from a Hollywood producer interested in the movie rights to glamourpuss. He asked the retailer if he'd mind if he just sat down and read the whole thing right there and, evidently, the retailer said "By all means." He read the whole thing, loved it and here we are.

That's a spirit of cooperation that you aren't going to find in too many creative fields I don't think.

And I'd like to thank a specific retailer: LOOKIN FOR HEROES here on Ontario Street South in downtown Kitchener right across from the Grand River Transit Terminal who have been graciously hosting me for the last three weeks and (at least so far) show no sign of throwing me out in the snow for the "remaining dates on Dave Sim's '100 Hour Virtual glamourpuss Tour". Eight of 'em by my reckoning -- possibly eleven if I do Panel & Pixel, MillarWorld, IMWAN and Comic Forums on the last day.

There's been an adjustment to the countdown clock counting down to the announcement of the URL for the website for Secret Project One which will now be taking place (God willing) at 8 pm EDST February 28 on the advice of the project's Technical Director in order to give interested bloggers a chance to mention it before the end of the week.

5 pm EDST that night (again, God willing) I should be doing a live podcast out of Vancouver with Robin M. to mark the end of the glamourpuss 100 Hour Virtual Tour on his star-studded INKSTUDS broadcast. Veteran Canadian comic artist Colin Upton should be in on that as well. As soon as I've got a phone number for my hotel room in Columbus, I'll be calling them and, again, it should be live starting at 2 pm in Vancouver and 5 pm in Columbus.

Okay, let's see if I can find where I left off here a few days back and start answering some questions.

02-19-2008 10:41 AM: All right. Major clue three weeks in: LOOKIN FOR HEROES closes at 6pm on Mondays so all I had to do was look for my post the closest to 6 pm and that would tell me where I left off.

Pretty basic but, as Mike Kaluta said to me once, so's the wheel until you have to invent it yourself.

Thanks for posting and I apologize to you and Ralph and Jim at Cosmic Comics (and Bill Willingham for that matter) for forgetting that Ramadan falls in September this year, thus negating my chance to attend the Diamond Retailer Summit there and do signings at your two stores.

I hope we can reschedule before the end of '08 (Las Vegas in December: now THAT sounds like an idea).

02-19-2008 10:44 AM: Well, thank you for the hospitality, Lee. Here I am back again. That has to be the fastest two weeks on record as far as I'm concerned. Store closes at 6 pm but except for prayer times I'm in for the duration!

02-19-2008 10:59 AM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: Hello, Dave. Welcome to the board, and thank you for being civil in the discussion. If I might address some of the things that were discussed? (I hope so, seeing as the discussion is taking place on home territory, so to speak.) I can only speak for myself, of course, so please don't think I presume to speak for any of the other Tarts.

Well, no, of course not. Although I do think that most modern female viewpoints fall along a few pretty typical lines. I know women rebel against that: a core female nature appears to be the tandem urge to assert that everyone is an individual while also asserting that there's no significant differences between the genders (everyone is different but everyone is the same). It's an interesting way of looking at things, but one that I don't share. As an example, you can say "men are extremely interested in cars". I'm a man and I'm not interested in cars (except if they're drawn by Al Williamson) but that in no way refutes the Reality that men are extemely interested in cars. I also don't feel wounded if someone says that "men are extremely interested in cars" as if they are doing a disservice to my individuality or trying to force me to belong to a group that I don't belong to. At the same time, while I wouldn't own a car and I wouldn't go out of my way to take in an Auto Show, they do have an event here in Kitchener every year called CRUISIN' which involves cars from all time periods on display by their owners. It's right on King Street where I can't miss it. So I'll usually walk down the street and look at the cars when I have some spare time. If I see a car that I think is a particularly nice looking car, I'll think to myself "Nice looking car." I don't, however, think that the City of Kitchener is trying to convert me into a car lover or trying to offend me because I'm not a car lover or pigeon-hole me into a category that I don't see myself as fitting and using my property taxes to do it.

I think it only makes sense when you have a minority viewpoint to accept that what you have is a minority viewpoint and accept that the majority viewpoint is always going to be more widely represented in society. Society doesn't mean anything by it, in my experience.

02-19-2008 11:18 AM: First of all, let me express my sympathy for the terrible medical crisis you experienced at such a dramatically young age (I'm 51 -- a 32-year old isn't much different from a teenager from this end of life).

I think that sense of "share the wealth" is changing on the men's side of things, actually. I don't think it's just philanthropy or generosity. In my view men are hardwired (by the grace of God) to be protectors and providers. However with the...I'll be diplomatic here... "innovations" in family law over the last few decades, I think most men are starting to see that marriage is an enormous nonsensical risk. With pretty close to 50% of marriages ending in divorce and most of them not lasting any significant period of time, men are starting to see that they are being dealt out of the family context as they conceive of it more often than they are being dealt it.

Structurally, with all of those divorces, most men are ending up without access to their children or with severely restricted access to their children while still being required (in most cases) to provide material support. It tends to represent a lose-lose situation when a serious disagreement means you lose not only the spouse you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with, but half of your income indefinitely and then to have to fight in court to see your children.

Up until recently there has been a "benefit of the doubt" on the part of many husbands: the belief ran deep that the reason husbands get divorced is because they are bad husbands -- if they had been good husbands, their wives wouldn't have divorced them. I think more husbands are starting to see that even good husbands get divorced and even good husbands and fathers end up without access to their children and with a large part of their income garnisheed because they wouldn't do things the way their wives wanted them done.

You can't really fault the wives, in my view. If I got married and I knew if my wife didn't do things my way I could walk away with the kids and half of her income, I'd probably be a lot more inclined to get married.

02-19-2008 11:35 AM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: I also personally feel that *not* having children should be encouraged, and that the rearing of children should be left to those who have an inclination for it, regardless of sex. And then the rest of us should all pitch in to help those that do -- they shouldn't bear the burden alone.

Well, with all due respect, I think there's a definite problem right there in defining the rearing of children as a burden. It's certainly a new way of looking at things but I don't think it's particularly helpful.

Children aren't stupid...well, okay they are when they're very, very young but before you know it they are picking up on very subtle non-verbal information. And I think that's a core problem. If a child knows that they are a burden and if they are treated as a burden that needs to be "shared around" to others, then I think they are more apt to grow into adults who don't want children: because children are a burden. Within a generation or two you have what we have now: individuality as absolute. What's in it for me? That doesn't sound like much fun. And so on.

As you say, most of the evidence indicates that there is an enormous difference between a wanted and an unwanted child -- in no small measure because the way we used to do things, selflessness was the core attribute of the adult. Have some fun, sow some wild oats and then it's time to get down to the business of rearing the next generation. We've certainly lost or are in the process of losing that as a society.

But as I pointed out elsewhere, the same tends not to be true among Evangelical Christians, Muslims, devout Roman Catholics. I think all we're seeing is secular humanists taking themselves out of the game by eradicating their genetic lines.

I suspect that's fine by God.

Personally, I think we need more secular humanists with a solid birthrate that will maintain their presence in society in order to keep theocracy at bay. I don't see any sign of that happening, though.

02-19-2008 11:44 AM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: That I think, is the key to a "better" society -- fewer children, who can get more individual attention (from teachers as well as parents & extended family), regardless of the gender they are getting the attention from. (And less crowding). I don't think it's a lack of mothering so much as a lack of parental supervision in general that is the problem, and I don't think a woman is inherently more qualified to provide that supervision. I've known some absolutely wonderful fathers and some truly horrific mothers (and the horrific mothers, interestingly, are just as common from my grandmothers' era -- one of them being one of the worst mothers I have ever encountered, truth be told). In fact, I would say a fifty-fifty gender split in the care would be the ideal. (But then, perhaps I take the notion of my name too far to heart. ) k.

Well, yes and -- if you'll forgive me for saying so -- that's about the commonest female viewpoint in our society: the idea that we need complete gender interchangeability. All women and all men do what all women and all men do, no demarcation. There are certainly a lot of androgynous men in our society and great efforts made to raise them as males rather than men but masculinity runs very deep and the idea of being a co-mother and a co-wife as opposed to a husband and father looks a lot better on paper than it does in practical application. A lot of men are a lot more masculine than they suspect.

I think women are by nature nurturers and that it is a core value in our society that there is a homemaker in the home so that there is a concept of home beyond just "the place we all go to watch television when we're done with school and work". Either you have a birth rate high enough to replace your societal members as they get old and sicken and die or you don't. Secular humanists don't. They're just petering out. I don't think that's healthy, but I understand that women's highest priorities are setting the course for our society and I don't see that changing.

Do you?

Okay, I have noon prayer time in a few minutes. I should be back to address the rest of your post around 12:40.

02-19-2008 12:50: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: I notice that very few of my close friends have kids, and of those that do not have them, none of them want them. Their biological clocks aren't ticking any more than mine did.

Oh, well -- don't get me wrong. I never said that biological alarm clocks can't be disabled through industrious gender-wide effort. Obviously we just have to look around our society to see that intentionally disabled biological alarm clocks are far more the rule than the exception these days.

I don't think it ends happily. I think women -- as my mother did -- attempt to change the workplace into a "different kind of family". Family, if you put your efforts in there (which, I'll grant you we no longer do), tends to endure and you get to see the next generation grow up and produce the generation after that: you are genuinely a part of something as most women tend to have as a core reality.

The workplace endures as long as you work there and when you no longer work there it is a very exceptional circumstance if you remain even an indirect part of it. If you don't plan on living past the age of sixty-five, it isn't a problem. But I think we're just beginning to see what is happening to the first generation of feminists when they realize how transitory and ephemeral most of what they have relied on to get them through is when they hit their forties and then their fifties.

You're 32. At 32 it seems like your forties and fifties are decades in the future. They'll be here before you know it and I think if you asked most women if family becomes more important or less important as they go along most of them will say more important. As in "the life raft they cling to when all else is gone".

But your choices are fully protected under the dictum of free will, no doubt about it.

02-19-2008 01:02 PM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: When people would tell me I would "understand" things when I had my own kids and I would respond that I didn't want any, they would insist I would change my mind, and I *hated* when people told me that, *hated* that I was *expected* to have kids one day, like I would be some incomplete being if I did not. Like I didn't know my own mind. I still had people saying such things to me even right before my hysterectomy, and I had never waivered, not once, in the decision I had made back when I was just fifteen!

If you'll forgive me for indulging in what is called in the Diplomatic Corps "a frank exchange of viewpoints" I think you've touched on one of the key problems in our society that what we today call being "a strong and independent woman" is what used to be called, pejoratively, being headstrong and willful.

There are a lot of things that you don't know at fifteen that, formerly in our society, would get corrected by the presence of an extended family any number of whom were over the age of fifteen. The mere fact that you use the term *hated* with the double asterixes (sp?)for vehemence in reference to wisdom which comes of experience would seem to me to be a bad vital sign when it comes to decision-making. Scarlett O'Hara is a wonderful icon in the female literary and filmic pantheon but an unhappy reality to actually go through.

I mean, it does come from experience. They aren't telling you that your experience will be different what you think it will be to hurt you or to insult or to establish their own superiority.

Don't you think you should check some of your *hatred* long enough to look at the fact that there are very, very, very few women who regret choosing to have a family?

I mean, if you don't, no problem. *Hatred* as decision-making focal point is as protected a free will choice as any other.

I'm just suggesting.

02-19-2008 01:24 PM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter:If I could have children, though, and wanted them, why would I expect a man to work himself to death to support me and said child? Why would I want to be stuck at home all the time? Why shouldn't he get the chance to play apart in rearing the child?

I'm not really suggesting that a man work himself to death (at the risk of causing offence, this seems to me another instance of being willful and headstrong, framing the commonplace in histrionic frames of reference so as to skew an argument in one's favour: i.e. "No one wants to work someone else to death, ergo, a man being a breadwinner is ethically wrong"). At one time in our society working hard was a badge of honour worn proudly. Myself I work six days a week and observe a Sabbath of rest as our great-great grandfathers did. In our society that would probably be seen as "working yourself to death." I see it as making myself as useful as I can and finding favour in the sight of God.

There is an intrinsic nobility for a man in working hard to provide for himself and for his family, to improve their lot and give them every advantage in life. But I think I'm safe in saying that for most husbands and fathers, The Job was the means to the end, The Job was not an end in itself. The end was the home and the family. "This is why I work this hard." And on the part of the wife and mother there was an ancillary motivation. He is working terribly hard to provide for us, so I, too, will work terribly hard to make A Good Home with all that that entails, a place of rest for him from the dog-eat-dog world. This is what he is doing it for, so I have to do my part to live up to that.

Your grandmother and your great-grandmother didn't see it as being "stuck at home all the time." The idea of "stuck" and "home" being used in the same sentence would have struck any good Christian woman as ludicrous. How dare you say about My Home -the home I have made for my family, with all that that entails with regards to aesthetics, decor, cleanliness, craft, cookery, etc. etc. etc. that it is a place to be "stuck" in? It is a never ending challenge to maintain and improve, certainly, but "stuck" in? Never.

Of course our grandmothers and great grandmothers had centuries of tradition that were handed down carefully: how to do this more effectively, cooking and baking secrets and so on. They couldn't have conceived of being "stuck" at home: every season had its own attendant problems and disciplines to enact as they had been enacted for untold generations.

It seems to me that the huge success of Martha Stewart illustrates that those instincts are dormant, not dead. She certainly never seemed to run out of things that could enhance, maintain or improve the home. Of course she was preaching to a generation who just wanted to know where they had to go to hire a Martha Stewart to do all that stuff for them.

As to your last question, he is doing his part inthe rearing of the child. He's the breadwinner, the provider of the resources. He's also the final arbiter and the disciplinarian because women as a gender are too instinctually compassionate to be good disciplinarians. That's why the black ghetto which is composed almost entirely of single mother households is in the shape that it's in, in my opinion. If you insist on trying to change men into women as a prerequisite for domestic tranquility, you are basically driving your men away and then you have a worsening discipline problem that proceeds to worsen from generation to generation.

The home doesn't work like that. That's not a home. It never was and it never will be.

It is, however, a completely protected free will choice.

02-19-2008 01:36 PM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: I hate housework. I have no "instinctual" need to do it, nor have I noticed that I am better at it than males in general. I do it because it needs to be done, and I would expect anyone to do an equal share of the labour. When I lived with roommates, males and a female, we split the work. We taught each other things. Housework's a necessity -- if anything is being lost or forgotten in the "art" of homemaking, I think it's because modern convenience has made them unnecessary.

Well, as Ronald Reagan famously remarked to Jimmy Carter, "There you go again." You hate housework (thank you for leaving off the asterisks this time).

There's a world of difference between housework -- desultory pushing of a vacuum cleaner across a few carpets, every third day washing of the dishes, popping things into the microwave to eat in front of the television -- and homemaking.

If housework becomes the sum total of homemaking and everyone pitches in and does some of it to a bare subsistence level, then you have exactly what you describe: roommates. That was the context I grew up in. My mother did housework so she could go be the secretary of Forest Hill School, Laurentian School and Queensmount School (successively). Consequently that was what we had, four roommates with roughly the same DNA all living their own autonomous lives, each completely oblivious to the other three.

The tendency there is to produce people who work very hard so they never have to have roommates again: they can live alone. But that's not a family and that's not a home.

I think the dramatically escalating divorce rates speak for themselves. And I would also offer for conjecture the opinion that if women, in toto, had been told back in 1970 "Okay we're going to try something new here, but the number of successful marriages is going to go down by half as a result" I think you would have had a job getting a quorum let alone a majority vote.

WHAT? A 50% divorce rate?

Hardly the gossamer winged fantasy of which the dreams of little girls of all ages worldwide are composed. 50-50. You feel lucky today?

But, once embarked upon, a completely protected free will choice.

02-19-2008 01:51 PM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: I never felt it was my obligation as a femenist to join the workforce. I joined the workforce for the same reason any of my male companions did -- because life is expensive. It's necessity, not femenism. In fact, I wouldn't even call myself a femenist. Maybe a peoplist. It just so happens that my personal beliefs seem to fall under the heading of femenism.

Well, again, at the risk of giving offence, all women today are saying these same things. I know it's critically important to you to be completely unique, but you really aren't. You're all pretty much saying the same things. It is a core belief of women that men and women are interchangeable. Thus your "peoplist" reference.

These are not newfound revelations. Again, at the risk of causing offence, you are doing what my mother, a first generation feminist, always did: keep repeating herself if you didn't capitulate to her feminist opinions. "Mum, it's not that I don't understand what you're saying, it's that I disagree with you." Whereupon she would just repeat what she already said as if I had agreed with her -- and the move forward with what she has as complete unanimity with her viewpoint.

The definition of a feminist is of a woman who believes it is universally sensible for women to work outside the home just as men do, for them both to be breadwinners and pay someone to rear their children for them.

I tend to side with Marcus Lusk and his wife who said that when they sat down and calculated the expenses -- particularly daycare -- most of the money from the second job was going to pay to make the second job possible. I don't think that's unusual, but I applaud them for seeing that clearly.

Although Gail Simone has been the most vocal opponent on this go-round, we reached the odd point on Saturday where she was saying that feminism was, in effect, leveling off and women working outside the home were at the same numbers they were in 1996 having peaked in (I believe) 2001.

Of course on this very website two weeks ago, she and Rev Smooth were both toeing the feminist party line that you enunciate here: that life is expensive so ALL women have to work either to support themselves or to provide that critically necessary second paycheque.

It has been my experience over the last fourteen years that women are always telling me that feminism is changing, feminism is in retreat, feminism is accommodating the traditional family.

My experience and certainly from what I read in the papers feminism is always marching forward to whatever future it envisions for itself and that the Core Necessity of All Women Having To Go Out And Work yet prevails in our society.

Of course that too is completely protected free will choice: to believe as a given, to act upon and to teach to each generation of women as they attain their age of majority.

All I'm saying is that I don't think it's a good idea and I don't think it will get women what they think it will get them.

02-19-2008 02:18 PM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: I don't like anyone "telling" me what I think. I wouldn't like it any better if I were a guy than as a girl. But it just so happens that I *am* a girl, and that people do say that I am in a minority, so my voice doesn't mean anything. Or that my opinions are overreactions brought on by hormones. Or that I should keep my nose out of the clubhouse, so to speak.

Well, I hope that isn't what you think I'm doing here. I'm not telling you what you think -- on the contrary, YOU'RE telling ME what you think -- but I am telling you that you are saying pretty much the same thing that everyone else on your team is saying these days and what everyone else on your team has been saying for pretty much the last forty years.

I do find that inexplicable: the way that women act as if the notion of gender interchangeability -- that men and women are basically the same and that consequently we should all be doing the same things -- had suddenly come down from Olympus a week ago Thursday. Men and women are the same: Alert the Media!

And I hardly think you're in the minority. That's another inexplicable aspect of this to me that with (let's use Gail's figure) 60% of women working outside the home somehow women working outside the home are still able to portray themselves as a minority being pushed around by people telling them what to think. As far as I can see you're mostly being told that you have to go work outside the home to pay for yourself or to pay your half of the joint expenses of you and your husband. I can't remember the last time I read an article telling women they should be homemakers and mothers...and that includes all the fashion magazines I've been reading as glamourpuss reference.

Hey, I managed to mention glamourpuss! Did you know that virtually all stores have the COMICS INDUSTRY PREVIEW EDITION of glamourpuss No.1? Go in and ask to see it and I'm sure your local retailer will let you take a look. Okay, sorry: five minutes out of the last four hours. I don't know what I was thinking !

If you are in a minority, hey, welcome to the club. I'm the only person in the comics field, Kitchener, Ontario and/or Canada that holds my opinions. Everyone else seems to agree with you.

Your opinions may well be brought on by hormones but that doesn't mean you aren't entitled to hold them and defend them. A small piece of advice: stay calm. You won't make much headway if you attach *hatred* to your opinions. Of course speaking from personal experience you aren't going to make much headway keeping *hatred* OUT of your opinions (if you aren't a feminist) but it's still a good idea, I think.

02-19-2008 02:21 PM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: Do you want to know why I object to the image of a June Cleaver-ish housewife?

I'm breathless with anticipation, WolfenMoondaughter.

02-19-2008 02:27 PM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: Besides the fact that I would make a terrible mother, I mean?

Uh, well...I think that was what your friends who were wives and mothers were trying to tell you: if you haven't had kids you're going to think you would make a terrible mother, just as they thought that they would...when...uh...they were, you know...fifteen.

Okay tell me: besides the fact that you would make a terrible mother, what do you hate about the June Cleaverish image, WolfenMoondaughter?

02-19-2008 02:40 PM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: The fact that the women of her day, and any of the days before that, were told that they weren't smart enough/knowledgabble enough for their voices to matter. They were expected to do what they were told, and had little say in their fates. Even if a woman *does* want to be a homemmaker, she should still have a voice that is heeded. But I'm not *just* about women having a say or wanting her to the chance to do what she wants. Hell, if a woman wants to be June Cleaver, she should have that right, and I know women who *have8 chosen that life. BUT. That choice should be just as available for a *man*.

Well, to be honest -- and by the way I apologize, you said you "object" to June Cleaver not that you "hated" June Cleaver --June Cleaver is a fictional character on a television show from fifty years ago. Most women then and I suspect most women now are more interested in home, family and children than men are. I think women are (please pardon by blunt diplomatic language again) contrarians by nature. If you tell them they can't go out and work, automatically they will all go out and work just to prove you wrong.

And that's all going back a long ways. With 60% of women now working outside the home, I think I'm pretty safe in saying that feminism is here at least for the foreseeable future and that as a society we have decided that every woman 100% has the choice between staying at home and going out and working. Do you see anyone stopping you? I'm not stopping you. No one else is stopping you. I don't think it's a good idea for the reasons that I've outlined, but I'm very big on free will.

Men have the 100% choice to turn themselves into Mr. Mom if they want. Who do you see stopping them? I'm not stopping them. There was one of them here the other day and I wished him well with his laundry (which he had to get back to).

02-19-2008 02:48 PM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: And neither of them should expect that life to be handed to them. If there is no one willing to care for you, you must care for yourself - pull your own weight somehow in society. Being a woman doesn't give anyone girl some divine "get out of supporting yourself" free card. And personally, even if I could have kids, I wouldn't want to be with anyone who would think it was my duty to bear and raise their children for them, as my primary job, with my own career dreams being secondary.

Uh, yeah, I sort of picked up on that. See -- time was, it wasn't THEIR children it would have been YOUR (the two of you together's) children.

We'll see what happens, but I suspect your friends or family with children will prove to be right: you'd have been a lot happier with a family than a career.

During one of my mother's many illnesses after she retired, there was a woman in the other hospital bed who, I think, was going through the same thing. She used to be a nurse but as soon as she retired her health just went to pot. She tried to make the women and men she worked with into this huge family and when she retired she found out she didn't really have a family -- just a lot of people she was related to all busy with their own things. Which is what my mother found as well.

Okay, prayer time. I'm determined to get through this one post if possible before the store closes at 6. Let's see if I can do it.

02-19-2008 03:49 PM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: And neither of them should expect that life to be handed to them. If there is no one willing to care for you, you must care for yourself - pull your own weight somehow in society. Being a woman doesn't give anyone girl some divine "get out of supporting yourself" free card.

Well, I have to say that one of the problems that I've seen with feminism for some time is the absolutist extremes of its assertions. "If there is no one willing to care for you, you must care for yourself". I think if you start with the supposition that someone being "willing to care for you" (as you seem to) is an instant gratification commodity: Okay, I'm standing here waiting for someone to care for me and when they get here they better have the RIGHT ANSWERS to my Top Ten Feminist Questions, then what you have done is engineered a situation where failure is implicit. Any number of men might have cared for you, but if you subject them to a "my way or the highway" approach that you yourself wouldn't stand for a New York minute, then who's to blame when you don't have someone to care for you?

I'm just asking what I think is a pertinent question. I've been celibate for ten years and have no plans of changing that between now and the day I die. I have no vested interest in your answer.

But you might.

02-19-2008 04:01 PM: Originally posted by WolfenMoondaughter: I want everyone to be free to pursue their dreams, regardless of sex, without anyone forcing their own expectations on how they should make their lives worthwhile. And it's what I personally feel, what I have *always* felt, not what someone else has *told* me. It has nothing to do with modern social expectations, and everything to do with my own sense of personal responsibility -- something that has nothing to do with my gender. I love my muses -- they come before all else. *That* is why I pursue a career in lieu of having children or being a wife. I hope that helps shed some light on why some women may take offence to your outlook.

Mm. Not a great deal, I'm afraid. It's really not a concern or an interest of mine "on why some women may take offence" to my outlook. My outlook, unlike the outlook of so many men in our society, doesn't hinge on the approval or disapproval, offence or non-offence of any woman individually or women collectively. No, what you effectively did was to reiterate what has been expressed to me, pretty much verbatim, since 1970 when I was fourteen years old.

The paragraph above that?

Well, unless I miss my guess, as a society we're here. Everyone is doing exactly what they want. Everyone is 100% free to make their own choices and decisions and assessments. Including me.

My best assessment is that this isn't working so good. If it was working good the divorce rate would be a lot lower than 50%. My best advice is that we (as a society, I mean -- I don't delude myself that feminism's dominion in our society is going to experience any serious reverses within my lifetime that would cause me to revisit my celibacy decision) go back to a time when things worked better or at least find some way to advocate that as a sensible choice among other sensible choices rather than denouncing it as an heretical abomination against absolutist secular-humanism.

Thank you for your lengthy post.

02-19-2008 04:09 PM: Well, to be honest, this is a big reason why next Wednesday can't come fast enough for me. All I can do is respond to the columns that Rick Sharer faxes to me which is what I did.

I don't have foot soldiers. As I've tried to explain at considerable length, my interest in gender politics has been just about zilch for some time. If people want to read what I have to say about gender politics in COLLECTED LETTERS volumes one and two, or at cerebusfangirl's website in my essays that she has collected there or in the CEREBUS letter columns, they're welcome to do so. This is pretty close to three full days that I've spent on a subject in which I have no interest which I think, under the circumstances, is pretty open-minded of me.

If you want to do a google search or a search of any kind, I don't think you will find a single negative word on my part about you or Colleen or anyone else. I don't think the same can be said on the other side.

But that's why they call it free speech.

Thanks for posting.

02-19-2008 04:17 PM: Hi, Gene. I've got your letter here with me where you printed out Bryan Talbot's response on tcj along with your response. I haven't had a chance to mention it but

I appreciate your, not so much taking my side, as at least making an effort to keep me from being demonized.

I have a pretty good sense of humour about myself and have laughed off a lot of criticism and jocularity at my expense in my time. Cowardice isn't in that category. I'm a little surprised that Bryan, being of the generation that he is, seriously thought that I would consider an accusation of cowardice to be a laughing matter...

...but I do take him at this word that he intended no malice in reviving the charge and now consider the matter closed (at least as far as my interest in discussing it is concerned). So, evidently, that makes two of us. Me and Bryan.

And just for the record, I think that perfect equanimity is the absolutely most desirable human state and that's what I aspire to. As a consequence, I can't remember the last time I was actually angry with anyone and even longer the last time I expressed anger.

Differences in people I guess.

Thanks again for your continued interest. The document makes a nice addition to the Cerebus Archive.

02-19-2008 04:24 PM: I don't get insulted, Gail. Believe me, the last thing you can afford to be when you are not a feminist and you try to give Judaism, Christianity and Islam equal weight is insulted. I would be nothing else 24/7 if that was the case.

The Yahoos know that I'm amenable to discussing just about anything people want to discuss but they're also aware that I don't launder my opinions to keep people's feelings from being hurt. As a result they only ask me a question if they really want my answer to it. And they accept the fact that 99.9% of the time they're going to disagree with what I say.

02-19-2008 04:40 PM: Originally posted by Gail Simone: That's kind of you to say, Dave. Talon's been a troll at my board for some time, and I've lost all patience with his nonsense. I won't say I've been kind, because I haven't, but this is the kind of person he is at his core. And I think Dave would want to know that, being his number one footsoldier in the war against, well, people like me. Gail

I'm not at war with anyone. I'm opposed to feminism as I'm opposed to a lot of things: Marxism, atheism, anti-Zionism. I oppose them verbally or in print if and when the subject comes up. That's the only way I oppose them. Consequently I don't need foot soldiers. I was told that TM Talon was on the tcj website "riling people up". He faxes me (faxed me?) his columns from Comics Village so I tend to comment on them -- usually to say keep the emotion out of the discussion.

I'm not on the Internet a lot for the reason that this kind of content exists on the Internet. I can't say that I have any more response to it than I do to anything else. It's ca-ca poo-poo writ large. When that's what it is, that's what it is.

I think if you look at the correspondence between Rick and myself and the exchanges between us through the course of this virtual promotion Tour, he's been on his best behaviour, asking intelligent questions and making intelligent comments.

To a far lesser degree the same holds true for Gail. Rick sent me a print-out of her comments on her own website which were certainly a good deal less polite and intelligent on the subject of Dave Sim than were her comments here and on Comicon.

I tend to take people at face value -- when I take them. It's one of the big reasons that I don't have any more human contact than is absolutely necessary. I've been called paranoid for believing that people are polite to my face but venemous behind my back. I think if you go forward and back at, say, the Gail Simone vs. Dave Sim thread you will find that I was correct in my assumption. Loathsome commentary directed against me behind my back that vanishes into thin air when I show up.

If anyone believes that TM Talon has directed a comment towards her that she sincerely believes that it is a genuine threat of physical violence, then it's a police matter. Threats of physical violence are not protected free speech.

And I'm not a policeman.

02-19-2008 04:46 PM: I'm not going to defend TM Talon. I have only read what he sent me which was incredibly tame stuff.

I do think that people invest animals with human characteristics that aren't actually there. Dogs and cats engage in different kinds of behaviour that appear human but which are actually just animalistic. Unlike most people in this day and age, I consider animals to be lower life forms not people just like us. And I do think this is a pretty recent development. I don't think Aesop actually believed that animals thought, but I do think most people in our society believe that animals think.

I think it's more likely that there is some kind of visceral similarity between human emotion and what...and how...animals express themselves. But I do think too much is made of it.

I don't know if that answers the question.

02-19-2008 04:52 PM: If what I am doing here is deemed to require bravery then I think that's about as sad a commentary on the state of bravery in our society as you could hope to find.

It isn't my "crusade" it's my opinion. We've gone the wrong direction and I think we need to turn back.

I wouldn't have "felt" I was being unfairly characterized. I may have thought it but if that's the case, as I've done for the last fourteen years, I just take what the person turned upside down and turned it rightside up again.

02-19-2008 05:03 PM: Originally posted by Reverend Smooth: I can understand how intimidated he might become, in a debate, when asked to meet the burden of proof. However, I was really looking forward to him answering difficult questions with data, facts. Indisputable proof of his views.

I think it's reasonably self-evident that all we're going to do here is, at best, define the differences in our viewpoints in a handful of anecdotal areas. I've got forty-five minutes until my next prayer time. I'm willing to be late with my prayer time in order to keep doing this up until 6 pm EDST.

To be honest I'm far more concerned with preserving things that I see as being in serious jeopardy -- Alex Raymond's legacy on RIP KIRBY being a good example where there are a handful of people who are even apprised of what is going on (I'm certainly not one of them) that has led to the strip not being in print or available anywhere in North America for decades for what I assume to be legal reasons. Likewise I'm hoping that I can rescue photorealism comics from the unhappy little box they seem to have been dropped into and kicked out of the way a few years back. I like to think that -- everywhere besides here and Comicon -- I've been able to make some tentative steps in that direction.

With women working outside the home at 60% of the population and women being admitted to university at a 60-40 ratio over men, I have a great deal of difficulty in seeing feminism as being in the same category.

I'm not a feminist. I think feminism will somehow muddle along.

But I certainly hope that when I go to the remaining sites on this Virtual Tour that there might be some discussion about something that is in jeopardy, but if Comicon is anything to go by, I don't think that's going to be the case. I think what I -- and unfortunately those people who are interested in my work -- have to look forward to is six more days of "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the anti-feminist party."

I answered yes the first time. I answered yes the second through the twentieth time. If you ask me a year from now, the answer will still be "Yes, I am a member of the anti-feminist party."

Don't you think it's time to either charge me with something and have me arrested or just accept the fact that not everyone in the world thinks like you?

Just wondering.

02-19-2008 05:06 PM: Originally posted by Gail Simone: You and me both. But I still appreciated the answers he did give, I found them interesting, if somewhat off-topic. Gail

That's because I'm not a feminist, Gail. To a feminist the only "on topic" answer is "Feminism is right in all particulars."

Again, all I can do in this extremely limited space and time is to define the differences between us in very narrow anecdotal terms.

Your comments seem off-topic to me, because you are a feminist.

It's only common sense that that would be the case.

02-19-2008 05:12 PM: Originally posted by Talon T M: Gail, You spin with the best of them...I have referred to both males and females as "Sim's spurned lovers", a dramtic use of imagery that gets the point home.

Well, I think at this point it's time to admit that it has an emotionally-loaded way of expressing it because -- unless you know what TM intends metaphorically -- it looks as if he's saying

that Colleen is my spurned lover. And just for the record, Colleen is not and has never been my lover, spurned or otherwise.

So I think the only diplomatic and gentlemanly thing to do is for you to withdraw the comment and look for another metaphor that doesn't have such an emotionally-loaded literal construct.

And I do think your comments on the Yahoo Board are indefensible if you actually made them (which you apparently did) and criminally actionable if they involve threats of violence or rape or anything else of the kind.

02-19-2008 05:19 PM: Originally posted by Talon T M: Now, as long as you want to drag posts from original sources, here are a few of yours about Dave yesterday: "Yeah, I don't mean to be harsh, but he sure folded like a cheap suit in no time at all. Then the "oh I know how this is going to go!" thing. Yikes. I don't know what I expected, but it sure wasn't THAT."

I don't think I folded like a cheap suit. I enunciated my viewpoints as Gail enunciated hers. I had been writing about feminism off and on for fourteen years. I think if cerebusfangirl was to add up the total number of words I've devoted to the subject, it would be considerable.

It begs credulity that I would be able to "sum up" fourteen years of writing in a space that, while it takes seven hours to fill, takes all of fifteen minutes to read.

I'm always glad to answer "Here's what I think" with "here's what I think." I don't expect to convince a life-long feminist to change her views just by explaining where my views differ from hers. Nor do I think my explanations will satisfy a life-long feminist. In my experience the only thing that would satisfy a life-long feminist is abject capitulation. And ... trust me... that isn't forthcoming.

No offence.

02-19-2008 05:23 PM: If there were such a thing a Sim apologists, I might agree with you. When you are the only one who holds the opinions that I do, every night is a bad night -- if it matters to you what other people think of you and your opinions. Which it doesn't. Matter to me, I mean.

02-19-2008 05:36 PM: Well, at the risk of being completely ungentlemanly here, I really have to wonder where all this comes from. Towering intellect? When has anyone said that Dave Sim is a towering intellect? I thought the consensus view was that my knuckles were dragging on the ground and I was a throwback to caveman days.

Self-vaunted irrefutable logic? Well, I certainly made an attempt to keep the discussion on purely factual matters (i.e. feminism now constitutes the majority view in our society -- twenty percent more women work outside the home than are homemakers using your own figures; twenty percent morewomen are admitted to university than are men). I mean, I think those figures point in a certain direction but there's nothing I can do if people won't look at them and see what the figures are saying.

60-40, 60-40, yes I suppose you can call those "silly rationalizations" on my part. To me they look like hard numbers.

Really, Gail. There's no need to pity me. When I'm not discussing gender politics and am, instead, doing interesting things, I'm as happy a chap as you could hope to find.

ALL of my opinion pieces are unreadable tripe? In that case isn't it interesting that so many people still read them ...and refer to them ... often a decade or more after I wrote them? There isn't usually a decade or more of longevity in unreadable tripe. Unreadable tripe tends to disappear pretty much as soon as its published.

"The guy WHO wrote HIGH SOCIETY", Gail. I may be a heterosexual male, but I'm still (at least technically) a human being and consequently a "who" not a "that".

02-19-2008 05:44 PM:

I don't remember ever spending $100 K a year on limousines and, if I had, I certainly wouldn't have bragged about it. I did donate $100 K to the COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND -- the entirety of my royalties on SPAWN 10. Could that be what you were thinking of? Because it's the only "$100 K" I can think of in my personal history.

And if you'll forgive me being so ungentlemanly as to contradict you, I really don't think I was "whining" about percentages. I was citing percentages. 60% of women working outside the home. I've even adopted your figures. In fact you assured me that the figure had leveled off to 1996 levels and was set to decline further. I don't believe it, personally (what would cause it to happen when according to you and Rev Smooth ALL women need to be out inthe work force because of the sheer enormity of personal expenses in 2008? Wouldn't that imply that we're going the other way? 80%, 90%, 95% as quickly as we can get there?)but I'll take you at your word and adopt your own figures in the discussion.

02-19-2008 05:56 PM:

Believe me, I had lost all interest in gender politics. My computer seized up around Christmas and I took that as a sign that I was done: 30 years exactly of CEREBUS: twenty-six years and three months on the book and then three years and nine months answering thethree year backlog of mail that became COLLECTED LETTERS (12 more volumes to come), The Blog & Mail for over a year and so on. Now I'm done. Rick Sharer sent me his columns which I didn't think were particularly good and I critiqued them where I thought they weren't particularly good. "You want to do this, fine do this" but here's where I think you're undercutting yourself.

It seemed pretty transparent to me. I stop, somebody else starts. It's the way things tend to go.

But I don't think I was "yapping". I tend to enunciate my opinions pretty lucidly and tend to avoid pejorative terms like "yapping".

If by "pimping" you mean promoting glamourpuss, which is the reason that I'm here: I promised the retailers I would put in 100 hours promoting the book on the Internet, well, I don't think "pimping" is the nicest way of putting that.

But, then, what do I know? I tell people to their faces the same thing I say about them when they aren't there.

Silly old misogynist me, eh, Gail?

Okay. It's 6 o'clock and John wants to lock up so we can go home.

Hope to talk about glamourpuss and comics tomorrow on the Comics Forum message boards. Hope everyone caught the Melmoth interview on Comics Geek Speak. Bye.