Thursday, 17 January 2019

Turning South to the River

A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

Dave Sim's twenty-fifth notebook was last seen in July of 2018 in Drink a Gallon Jug of Soda Water. The notebook covers Cerebus #213 through 241 with only 96 pages scanned.

Looking through it, I could see some issue numbers on page 62:

Notebook 25, page 62
It looks like a chapter outline, and how many issues for the F. Stop and Ham character arcs, and for each book. That got moved a bit, as the first book last until 250 instead of 248, and F. Stop appeared in 11 issues, not 8.5, and Ham appeared in 9 issues, not 8.5 (only including the Going Home and Form & Void phonebooks). The Like-A-Look does show up in issue #233.

The next page has more of a break down, and bit more detail on how the issues would go:

Notebook 25, page 63

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Revised 2019 Checklist

Benjamin Hobbs:

I faxed Dave the 2019 checklist and he replied with this:

So the revised checklist looks like this:

Although this arrangement splits up the FIRST EVER CIH? TWO PART EPIC!  (Tales of Sophistication and Iron Manticore)  So there may still be some rearranging to do.

Next Week: More CIH? fun!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

TL:DW, Please Hold For Dave Sim 1/3/2019: the Transcript

Hi, Everybody!

First, the bizness: Comiclink auctions.

For anyone who missed the Kickstarter for the Birthday card, there's a Indiegogo live

Thanks to your pal and mine, Sean Robinson, I have a digital copy of the remastered Volume 1. (You can get a digital copy for $9.99, if you're so inclined.)

Okay, On. With. The. Show!

Well, sound the horns and start the applause, 'cause we got the FIRST AMOC Special Friend Of The Day of 2019!

Jesse Lee Herndon!
Suitable for framing...
Check out that sexy new logo. That's a David Birdsong exclusive...

So, how'd Jesse win such a Prestigious Award?

He transcribed Please Hold For Dave Sim 1/3/2019.

And here it is:

Jesse says:
Hi Matt,
Here's everything. I was way too literal to start, including all "uhhs " and "umms" like this was a frickin court transcript or something, but I eventually eased off as it went on. I bolded the names of the speakers, and did underlines initially but gave up when I realized you were probably gonna reformat it all yourself.
Anyway, if you need anything else transcribed, let me know.
Take care,
Jesse Lee Herndon

Please Hold For Dave Sim, 1/3/2019 recorded by Matt Dow. Transcribed by Jesse Lee Herndon, transcript reviewed and corrected by Dave Sim and Matt Dow.

Jesse also transcribed the first two Please Holds, but this one was ready for today, so this picture ISN'T the third one, and therefore isn't as funny. I apologize for nothing!

Matt: Should be good!
Dave: Okay, you're kinda fuzzy on this end, but uhh... as long as it's good on your end, that's all that matters.
Matt: Yeah! I can hear, I can hear fine. Hopefully... you're right by the camera, so hopefully that should work right. Ahem.
Dave: Okay, so umm, Hot Wacks.
Matt: Right.
Dave: I was uhh, looking at the uhh, at the second issue, and uh, I had to-- I had to laugh, because it, uhh... record-- the record hotline section, "Nobody believes this bullshit Department: The following insult was printed in Rock N Roll News, Creem Magazine." Which was the huge rock and roll magazine at the time, March 1980. "Nobody can keep a secret department. Bruce Springsteen scraps his plans for a live album after discovering that most of the tapes intended for the LP were lifted from right under his schnoz and bootlegged. But that's not all! Plus, Bruce was also dismayed slash outraged at having his studio tapes stolen, bootlegged, and blatantly sold at his show. Talk about an inside job." And uhh... (laughs) Kurt comments, uhh, at that point, uhh, "Talk about a snow job! You're such a ‘street kid’, Bruce. How you ever managed to convince people of that and be such an ass at the same time is beyond us. You don't want your tapes getting out, why the fuck do you broadcast them over FM radio?”
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: "JEEEEEESUS", and it's like six E's. Which was definitely Kurt, when Kurt wanted to let you know that he was disgusted, it was "JEEEEEESUS!” Nobody had to steal them, they just taped them off the air. Just to prove the point below are all your live bootlegs we've listed in Hot Wacks and Hot Wacks Quarterly, along with the source." And then, there's like 15 of them. Uhh.. and then he goes, "Obviously, none of the above are stolen tapes. Even if they were, it would be a stupid argument not to put out a live album just because a few fans had in their possession a bootleg. A Bruce live would still sell over a million copies. Does this mean there won't be a studio album by Bruce, either? Ha ha ha. Say goodnight, Bruce." Umm. It-it was... it was very weird because, uhh, I don't think people even understood what it was that Kurt was talking about. He-he- he was, uhh, a collector of all kinds of records. Picture discs, colored vinyl, foreign imports, umm, and all of the other records. Uhh. But with Kurt’s particular fondness for bootlegs. And umm, he did a uhh, discography. The-the-the earliest bootleg, evidently, was a 1969 uhh Bob Dylan concert. So… it was, it was really more like the Overstreet Price Guide without the prices. It was just, “Here’s all this, the bootlegs that exist”, because if uhh somebody said to him “Uhh, you didn’t have this one on the list”, it’s like, “Well, I didn’t know about that one. What one is that?” But umm. Because it was bootleg records, then it um, the belief definitely circulated that umm what he was doing was selling bootleg records. And it’s like… I think he was. Like he-he-he would, he would buy bootleg records uhh and document them, and sell them to record stores or uhh, have them on consignment at record stores. Uh, he definitely had a bunch of them at uhh, Now & Then Books, downstairs where I was working uhh. Which is where I got to know about all of this. Umm. But then it was, he wasn’t putting out, the uh, the discography often enough to include all the new bootlegs coming out. So then he started putting out Hot Wacks Quarterly, which was the magazine. And the magazine seemed to have gotten to a lot more people than the discography ever did. And they went, “My God! This is uhh a 150 million dollar empire built on illegal recordings.” Uhh. And, as far as I know, and he talked about this a lot, there were usually only about 100 or 200 copies of a bootleg at the most, because they weren’t using very good pressing equipment. So, you could only use whatever copy you were pressing X number of times, and then it just became unlistenable. So uhh, he decides… anyway, he decided “okay, I’ll put out this magazine” and uhh asked me if I’d do a logo for it and do a comic strip in it, and I said, “Sure”. Uhh, as far as I remember, I didn’t get paid for it, but I traded him for uhh Rolling Stones’ concert video, of which he had, (laughs) I think… 200, 300 hours, 400 hours of Rolling Stones concert footage? Uhh, so… I remember getting Knebworth, which I think was 1970, which was an illegal recording of the concert with… the whole concert, but most of the time it was from just one fixed position. Wherever the guy’s shooting it from. And umm, the picture quality was like really dark. But then uhh he also traded me at some point, a Rolling Stones 1981 Simulcast, that had been done, I think uhh, one of the last stops on the 81 tour in Virginia. With George Thorogood as the warmup act. And uhh the quality on that was great! Because, obviously, it was authorized and broadcast with backstage footage of, ya know, the guys horsing around with each other and stuff like that. But uhh, by the time I had those two (laughs) I was really starting to wonder about this whole videotape thing. It’s like, “Wow, I own Citizen Kane! I can’t believe it!” Ya know. “I have Citizen Kane on videotape.” And I found out that I wanted to watch Citizen Kane about as often as it came on television.
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: Same thing with the Rolling Stones. Like, I love the Rolling Stones, but uhh if you, if, let’s say that I had Kurt’s collection. I had 300 hours. What are you gonna do, spend every waking minute of your life watching Rolling Stones concert footage?
Matt: Right.
Dave: So, here I am, taking a breath to uhh… I figured we wanted to cover as much of this as possible before we got to any questions that you might have about it. You said that Jeff Tundis mentioned Hot Wacks material?
Matt: Years ago. I think from the Yahoo group. There was, there was a post, it was all eight covers with your work, and what work was in each issue. With scans of like, the letters to the editor, artwork, uhh, the Hard-Boiled Dick stuff. Which I discovered is actually on AMOC back when Tim was in charge there was a post, which had. All four pages, or eight pages, whatever it was.
Dave: There ya go. That’s another one of those, when you have way too much Dave Sim stuff in one place, you're probably not gonna know all the stuff that you got.
Matt: Well, and that’s… I.. I’ll go… and there’s a behind the scenes thing that nobody can see but me or Tim or anybody who’s a contributor. And there’s a list of all the posts and you can type, there’s a search box, and I typed in “Hot Wacks”, and up popped, pops Hard-Boiled Dick, and I’m like, “Oh! Okay we do have it!” We just don’t have a link on the main page to whatever post that was.
Dave: Right, right. Umm. It is odd for me now to have umm… Dave Sim artwork be a draw for Hot Wacks, this is why you would want to own these and this is credited uhh on the eBay auction or whatever it is. Uhh. What happened eventually was, oh again, I wasn’t especially interested in owning too much more Rolling Stones material. He did give me another tape that was all of uhh… their videos to that point. Well, not all of their videos, but pretty much all of the ones they had done. That were on umm the various music video stations that existed. Uhh, but very clean copies, and um when the video was over, it’d freeze on the last image, so it could be uhh.. you could add text and stuff like that to it. So that was, that was kind of cool. That was probably an inside job at Rolling Stones records. I don’t know how much illegal stuff Kurt Glemser did, it always seemed gauche to ask, ya know, “Do you press umm bootleg records yourself?” Umm. One of the problems was, okay, whose problem is this? And that, as far as I could see, came down to a question between umm the artist and uhh the publishing company, and the music company itself, the record label. Who’s going to sue this guy for illegally recording your concert? It’s like, well, that depends on whether the artist actually owns their songs. I mean, uhh, and if they didn’t own their songs, or if they only partly owned their songs, well uhh, does the guy who actually owns the songs want to sue the guy? And it’s like uhh, he’s only pressed like 200 copies, no I’m not gonna spend the money on the lawyer for that.
Matt: Right.
Dave: So, it’s a weird time period because it was just before CDs were about to come out. Early 1980s, and uhh, vinyl was still king. They were experimenting with picture discs and colored vinyl and stuff like that. And like I said, Kurt had a lot of connections all over the world of, “Yeah, I’ll buy your EP of Beatles 1966 on an unauthorized Japanese picture disc, or whatever. Here’s a check. Send me 50 of them, send me 100 of them”, and then would be able to sell them for a good buck around southern Ontario.”
End part one


Matt: Okay.
Dave: So, uhh, I didn’t kn… it was Steve who asked about it, asked about Hot Wacks, and I didn’t know, like, from the way he phrased it he sounded like he thought this was a project of mine.
Matt: No! No, it was… it was… he was on eBay and typed in “Dave Sim Cerebus” and up pops all these copies of Hot Wacks and then he checks Margaret’s list of everything Dave’s done, and she’s got two issues listed. And, apparently, he’s checked the list time and time again and he’s never noticed that Hot Wacks was listed, and he’s like, “Well, what’s going on with this?” And it came out, uhh… it came up when “The Face on the Bar Room Floor”, somebody asked about that of, “Can you post that?”, and I’m like “I don’t have a copy of that but if someone sends it in, yeah, I’ll post it!” So I did. And, it was one of those were like, “Hot Wacks? That sounds vaguely familiar.” So I did a search of my email and all of a sudden this message from Tundis popped of, here’s all the covers, here’s what’s in each issue, ya know. And uhh he prefaced it by saying that he thought Hot Wacks might be the softcore T & A book Deni said that you worked on right as Cerebus started. There was, there was…
Dave: The umm… try that again? What is it, Deni theoretically called it?
Matt: Deni in… it was the Blake Bell interview with “I Have to Live With This Guy”.
Dave: Oh, right, right.
Matt: She said that you had a done a softcore T & A book.
Dave: Uhhhhh…. nooo, I don’t think…
Matt: Well, that was… looking at the covers of Hot Wacks, and looking at the…. cause Tundis also has the ads for the t-shirt with the girls wearing the shirt.
Dave: Right.
Matt: And looking at the ads, looking at the covers, I can see where somebody would look at it and go “this is a softcore t & a book”. Even though it’s not. That’s what it looked like.
Dave: Right, and, the first issue was sort of the most like that, because of the Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics just had this really, really sleazy look about her. So that I think that’s what probably attracted… the RCMP ended up busting Kurt and seizing all of his property and just really didn’t know what they were looking at. They thought Hot Wacks was a catalogue this was, ya know, selling these bootlegs. They couldn’t tell the difference between a bootleg, and a counterfeit, and a pirate copy. Which makes it very difficult to prosecute somebody for that. And ended up after… they seized all of his subscription list and everything else, and ended up having to give them all back and not charge him with anything. But it did cause a kerfuffle. I don’t… do you know how many issues of Hot Wacks there were?
Matt: (sighs) I… I looked on eBay, I think it went up into like the 20s.
Dave: Really?
Matt: It’s… it’s one of those, cause it’s quarterly, so it’s issue 3, but it’s actually the January whatever issue. And it’s, so, they were listed kinda weird. And I was only looking for the first eight just to see what the price range is, because they’re going for 25, 30 bucks a piece. At least, that’s what people are asking for on eBay.
Dave: Right. It’s probably US too.
Matt: But I swear there were some issues, I thought… I thought there was one that was number like 20 something. Because I also think there’s like a book that compiles a bunch of issues, and it’s, the cover is all the covers of the various issues together, and there’s got to be at least… I want to say, it’s five per row, and there’s five or six rows?
Dave: Right.
Matt: So I would assume, that yeah, it probably got up into the 20s. Maybe 30s.
Dave: No I have to say, I don’t know what Deni would be thinking of in terms of a softcore T & A book. I did softcore pornography commission stuff in 1970s before I met Deni, I did the Elf story, would probably qualify as softcore porn.
Matt: (Stammers) I mean, I know it’s the Blake Bell interview, where it’s, ya know, it’s been how many years, ya know… recollections fade and/or get replaced by something else.
Dave: Yeah. Okay! Uhh… Have we covered Hot Wacks?
Matt: I think so, I mean… what Steve was asking for was, “did you have the original art? And what’s the story behind it?” And ya know, you did it to get Rolling Stones, so we know that, and I posted everything that Tundis had the other day, cause I’m like, “Hey, I found it, I’ll put it out, make a post for it, and now Hot Wacks is covered.”
Dave: Yeah, the only two that I’ve got with Hard-Boiled Dick in them, the first one’s actually pretty good, I thought. I was trying to do a good job on it. The second one, not so much, it’s like, “how quickly can I get this done and still have it as semiprofessional enough to fool Kurt with it?”
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: The umm… what was the… there was something else that you just said about what he was asking about-- oh, do I have the artwork?
Matt: Yeah! And the…
Dave: No, that was one of those… if I was just doing it because someone else needed it for their commercial purposes. It was really work made for hire. You don’t do a logo for somebody and then say, “And I’d like to have the original artwork back. I want 50 cents every time you use the logo.” It’s like, uhh, no, he’ll just go and get somebody else to do the logo.
Matt: Right.
Dave: But looking at the logo, it’s like I… didn’t put much more thought into the logo than I did into anything else. It’s more professional than what he had before he got me to do the logo, but that’s about the best that could be said for it.
Matt: What uhh, I believe the way Tundis phrased it was, “stereotypical Studiographics logo”.
Dave: Yeah, yeah. Which really went with the content. Like he was really just taking photos and slapping them on the page. He definitely didn’t have a proofreader for the text. And he was nobody’s idea of a rock and roll journalist. Really about the only thing that would get you flipping through it is the pictures of the girls. The descriptions of the albums and the whatnot are very, very dry. Bootleg albums would tend to have more interesting, more rarer photos of the band. Just, wherever you could find a shot of the Rolling Stones that everybody hasn’t already seen a million times, that’s the one that you want to put on the front of your bootleg album.
Matt: ‘kay. I know that they were doing a DVD of Led Zeppelin, it was all their concert footage that the band still has, or that Jimmy Page still has. And he went to the storage place, and he’s like, “I’m here to get my footage.” And the guy that runs the place is a fan of Led Zeppelin, and he’s like, “Yeahhh, this is gonna take a while.” Because it turns out that instead of having a box of Led Zeppelin, there’s a box over here, and a box over there, and way in the back, and stuff that Jimmy didn’t even have records that existed was in there. And also, like when Jimmy was in his full on heroin mode, people would come to his house for a party and leave with masters to the albums.
Dave: Right! Right. There ya go, there’s the rock and roll lifestyle.
Matt: Yeah, no, I don’t think that’s the lifestyle for me, Dave. I’m okay with what I’ve got. (laughs)
End part 2


Dave: Okay, ummm…. on the uhh, the umm, Ethan Van Sciver, thing. Did you post what I had faxed you?
Matt: Yep. Well, I haven’t posted it yet, but I’m putting it on AMOC tomorrow along with the Weekly Update.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: And the fact that the first two trades are now on Comixology.
Dave: The…
Matt: The… Cerebus and High Society I guess are now available on Comixology and I think there’s a special where they’re 10 bucks.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: I got an email about that and Ben Hobbs said, “Are you gonna say something about this, or do you want me to?” And I’m like, “I’ll just put it on after the weekly update. And run that full on.”
Dave: Right. I got a… another one of my great Comixology royalty checks for I think $151 or something like that? And it’s uhh.. they were saying they’re phasing out written checks, so send them my banking information so that they can deposit it directly into the account. And it’s like, well, I’m not going to do that, because the next step in that chess game would be “by allowing us to deposit this money into your account, you’re acknowledging that we own this stuff”.
Matt: Well, and… if they wanna pay you digitally, you have a Paypal account, they could just pay you through the Paypal account.
Dave: Yeah.
Matt: Which would be the next step of, “well, the only way we’re gonna pay you is if it’s digital”, well, okay, here’s my Paypal.
Dave: Yeah.
Matt: I mean, I understand, they don’t want to send… I mean, everybody’s getting rid of checks. I’m actually amazed when I walk to a place and say, ya know, we still accept checks but ya know it’s only for the amount plus 10 bucks. Ya know, most places, I didn’t even know people still had checkbooks at this point.
Dave: They do.
Matt: Cause almost everybody it’s, “well, here’s my debit card. Here’s my debit card.”
Dave: Yeah, I uhh I’m not sure how secure that is. And if that turns out not to be secure, you don’t get to take that one back.
Matt: Well, they’re getting better. I know because, I was working retail at Walmart when America started going to the chip and pin system, where the debit card has the microchip in it. And I had just gotten my new credit card that had it, and there was a letter, or a pamphlet explaining why they’re going to this. And of course, I’m working retail and everybody told me, “yeah, this is all bullcrap”, and I’m like, “well no, the reason they do it is, with the microchip, every transaction is a single transaction that generates a one-time code. So if somebody swipes the code and tries to use it, the bank says, “No it was a one-time code, this isn’t that one time.” So it’s more se-- Europe has apparently has had it for like 10 years.
Dave: Right.
Matt: And it’s one of those, I just know about it because I was working retail and every single day it was one of the five things I heard. And I’m just like, “No one wants to steal your pension check, lady. Or they do, but they don’t want to get it that way.”
Dave: Right. Uhh, well, ya know, different people have different levels of confidence in computers.
Matt: Well, I mean, I’m confident but I’m not that confident.
Dave: (laughs) Yeah, there is a sense of we’re only one headline away from whatever it’s gonna be.
Matt: Yeah.
Dave: Okay, the uhh… when you said in your fax about the Judith thing that’s one of the problems that I’ve got with the internet. It’s like, Judith is a person. She’s going to be celebrating her 49th birthday on Monday [actually Tuesday -Matt] wherever she is, and whatever it is she’s doing. This is one of the reasons that the limited contact I have with the internet is all sort of one-way stuff. This is as close as I come to two-way.
Matt: And-and-and… Somebody…, Lee Thacker, sent me a link to a Youtube video from a guy who calls himself ThatUmbrellaGuy. The video is titled “The Truth About Dave Sim”. It’s about 11 minutes long. And in it they have a screen capture of the comment from… that you made on A Moment of Cerebus, with her name redacted so that you can’t see what her name is, and in this video this guy goes on about, “Ya know, this is what happened”, and he’s apparently got a letter that you sent someone named Edwin Boyette?
Dave: Uhh, yeah, that was the guy in Hawaii. I sent that to you.
Matt: Okay. I’ll have to double check to make sure I got that.
Dave: Okay, this was how it started, was I got this fax from somebody in Hawaii, basically just saying, Social Justice Warriors are beating Ethan Van Sciver over the head with Judith Bradford. And uhh… it’s like, his question was something along the lines of, has she commented about this as an adult? And it’s like, it’s very possible that she has. I’m not on the internet, and I’m intentionally not on the internet because I’m not interested in those kind of of dumpster fire, he said/she said stuff.
Matt: Or, the best way to put it, as you said in the annotations for “Latter Days”, about Woody Allen, “The nanny wrote a book:”
Dave: …The what?
Matt: When you were looking up Woody Allen for Latter Days, ya know, the whole situation with him, it was, at one point there was the book by the nanny and that’s when you went, “okay, this is more than I need to know.”
Dave: Right, right. It’s one of those I try to understand all viewpoints on all sides, and I do understand that for Social Justice Warriors it’s essentially the fact that they want to make sure that Adolph Hitler doesn’t happen again. And I think unfortunately we’re getting to the point where the cutting-edge of the Social Justice Warrior, everyone who isn’t Hilary Clinton is Adolph Hitler. Except for the more extreme form of that, where everyone who isn’t Bernie Sanders is Adolph Hitler, including Hilary Clinton.
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: And it’s like… there’s very little discussion that you can have about things like that. I did get a phone call… a phone message, from Marsha Cooke, Darwyn Cooke’s widow, which was very ya know nice and light and breezy kind of thing, just phoning to check in to see how you’re doing. And it’s like (laugh) well I kind of figured that’s that’s not what this is about, I think I know what this is about, but I, ya know, I will phone and talk to you. And, like, uhh, she was basically phoning to warn me about Ethan Van Sciver, and it was… it very quickly got into those TMI kind of areas, like uhh… she said “friends of Ethan have said that Darwyn committed suicide to get away from me.” And it’s like, uhh, I’m not really enough of an intimate of yours to even ask you, “Did Darwyn commit suicide?” I mean, my impression was he died of cancer, but that’s definitely in the too-much…
End part 3

Dave: …about, umm… She was at a convention where… or someone she knew was at a convention, where Ethan Van Sciver had a raffled off a handgun of some kind and uhh, like I said, “Well, okay, I don’t know anything about that. But that certainly seems to me an odd thing to do but I’m just saying it’s odd to me.” And she goes, “Well, I thought you were opposed to violence.” And it’s like, uhh, I don’t really see that as violent. Particularly, when you’re talking about the United States., you’re talking about a Second Amendment issue. And there’s a lot of different perspectives on the Second Amendment. I have no [phone beeps. “Thanks Dad! -Matt, what Dave said was:] interest in guns, personally. I have no interests in shooting a gun. As I said to her, I haven’t shot a gun since [phone beeps. Thanks so much Dad, really… -Matt] grade 9, when it was part of gym class and mandatory. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that people shouldn’t own guns. But it’s like she said, “But you’re a Canadian.” (laughs) And it’s like, I don’t know how to answer that. I try to keep a much broader view of issues like this, where I try to understand what the rules are with Open Carry, and I try to understand what the rules are for having a licensed firearm in the different states, what the different rules are. I can’t… if the police have guns, and the criminals have guns, uhh (laughs) the odds seem to me pretty good of getting shot somewhere.
Matt: Yeah.
Dave: So, the fact that a bunch of other people have guns who aren’t policemen, and aren’t criminals, that seem to me more of a rounding error, than a “this is it, our civilization is collapsing.” I got the impression talking to her that it’s like, “no, you’re establishing for me that you are Adolph Hitler”.
Matt: My Uncle is a flaming liberal, I mean, he lives in Vermont, he… he’s a weird guy. He’s a hermit who works in social work.
Dave: (laughs) I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh.
Matt: Oh, no, no! We laugh at him too. He laughs with us. He owns a house on the top of a mountain, the only way to get up there is on foot, there’s no path. He had forty different paths cause he was getting kinda paranoid about people following him. He realized one day he’s becoming too much of a hermit and got a job as a social worker. This way, he interacts with the public during the day, and he goes home at night. And he was visiting, and we were talking about guns, and he’s fairly anti-gun, but he did admit he owns a gun he bought in 1956. He has no idea if it still works. He’s not even sure where it is in his house, but he does know he does has… ya know, he does own a gun. And I’m going, ”Oh, I didn’t…” but then again, back in the 50s when he was a teenager, buying a gun wasn’t that big a deal. Because there weren’t that many guns, and you lived in Wisconsin where, you know, you might have to shoot a deer if it’s in the backyard and can’t get out.
Dave: Yes. Yes. I mean, there’s a lot of different aspects to the story where I… I try not to infringe on other people’s rights, and I’m not really crazy about people infringing on my rights, but I have become progressively more aware [Dave corrected this to be “wary of”, but Jesse heard aware, and I heard aware. So, I think he DID say aware. -Matt] that going out in public and actually talking to people about everything that they want to talk about. Most of the time they just get really, really offended. So, it seems the most sensible thing to just say, “Well, okay, this is the Off-White House. Inside the Off-White House I don’t get offended by things.” I can’t remember or cite an instance where I looked at that and went, “That to me is offensive.” It’ll be something that I disagree with, or something that I go, “I don’t think that’s the best approach to that.” But I usually take it as a given that whatever a person has formed an opinion about, they formed an opinion about it based on their own evidence and their own experience. And all we can do is talk about, “Oh you think that way? I think this way. You wanna keep jumping around from subject to subject until we find something we agree on, or is this really really bothering you?” And most of the time I get the impression, particularly being in a hyper liberal environment like downtown Kitchener, is unless you have all the right opinions on all the right subjects, you’re really really bothering these people by holding a different opinion. They’re not interested in finding different viewpoints and different rationales why I think this is a good idea, why I think that is a bad idea. I don’t think there’s a lot of common ground anymore. I think we’ve really reached the parting of the red sea, it’s like one red state pile of water is over this side and the blue state is over on the other side, and never the twain shall meet.
Matt: My brother just shared on Facebook the other day a post that somebody made of, “Social media has made too many of you comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the mouth for it.” And that’s… I find a lot of the civil discourse, or uncivil discourse, as we’re getting into, boils down to the concept of, “Ya know, would you say that to your Grandmother, like to her face? Would you walk up to your Grandma and say what you’re gonna post online? Well then maybe you shouldn’t be posting that online.”
Dave: Yeah, I think there’s also a quality too that it’s much easier to join a virtual mob than to join an actual mob. The number of people who would not join up with the folks waving pitchforks and torches and going to commit mayhem somewhere, have no problem doing it online. Here, “this person is Adolph Hitler, everybody pile on.” I was thinking that about Ethan, I’m wondering if the situation with him is because he is hooked in to all of these social media, there does seem to come this surfacing point in whatever it is that is being hashed over, and all of a sudden… something needs to be said. I’ll cite the example of I had never heard of Comicsgate and I have never heard of Ethan, until Benjamin Hobbs said this thing is going on over here. Ya know, all of these Social Justice Warriors are trying to destroy this guy and he just raised $500,000 for the comic book that he’s doing. And at the exact point that I heard that and went, “Well, okay, I will…” Benjamin’s saying, “Do you think this is somebody that you want to contact?” And it’s like, “Oh okay, I’ll go and type in Comicsgate down at the City Hall and see what’s comes up.” And it was the Darwyn Cooke/Marsha Cooke situation. And it’s like… do you see what I’m saying? It’s like it surfaces all of these different spots over here, where before that it had just been festering in its own little pocket. And the people who are logged into this, on pretty close to a 24/7 basis, when they surface, they do surface. It’s like this guy in Hawaii was sort of the Bill Willingham this time. It’s like, the last time, I didn’t hear from anyone until Bill Willingham phoned and said, “Are you aware of how badly you’re getting ripped to shreds on the internet?” And It’s like, (laughs) “Uhh, no, but I can tell from your tone of voice that it’s probably pretty bad, but I’m not on the internet.” At least this guy in Hawaii, I don’t know what his connection is to Ethan, but he did realize, “No, you’re trying this guy in absentia, and this is going way way over the top and nobody has even told him that he’s being talked about on the internet.” Because there’s… there’s… “Well you have to be on the internet, you have to follow what people are saying about you on Twitter, you have to react to it.” And it’s like, no, that was my first reaction to the internet was when I found out what was happening to me on the internet in 1995, and I went, “That’s just sick. I understand everybody is getting in on this, but to me that’s, ya know, personal opinion, that’s just sick and I don’t think that can lead anywhere good.”
Matt: Well that was, somebody sent me a link to the Twitter where this first started to blow up, of, there’s this person who is anti-Comicsgate, and Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool just did the Top 100 Power Players in the Comic Book Industry and this person is #68 and Ethan is #74 in the ranking type thing. And, I, against my better wishes, signed into my Twitter for the first time in like 4 or 5 years, and sent a message saying, “I’m Matt Dow from A Moment of Cerebus. The screen grab you have is from this post (with a link to the post where it’s from) and there’s more information on that post.” Basically, ya know, trying to correct, ya know, “Ethan’s working with Dave and Dave’s a pedophile.” Well no, Dave’s not a pedophile, and technically they’re not working together. They’re talking about working together. It’s not like there’s contracts signed and all of a sudden you’re out of a job. It’s a “Hey, we’re gonna work together or we’re not gonna work together.” And ya know, trying to correct things a little bit. And I started reading comments on Twitter and… Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I define insanity as reading the comments on Twitter.
Dave: (laughs) Yeah, I don’t think anybody actually reads them, but I think they know when there’s 180 of them that just popped up in the last few days or whatever. It’s like, “Oh pile on! Pile on. Join the mob. Destroy this person.”
Matt: One of the comments was “Well Cerebus sucked ever since the end of Church & State.” And I’m thinking, that’s just over a third of the book, you’re saying Dave spun his wheels for 200 issues, just to get the payday? I mean… I understand, people read the book, they got to a point where it’s like “This is no longer for me” and they walked away. That’s fine. But then to say, “Well, ya know, the book never got any better.” Well, how do you know, you didn’t read it!
Dave: (laughs)
Matt: Ya know, issue 285 could have been the greatest comic book in the history of comic books, but you wouldn’t know, you stopped at issue 111!
Dave: Right, right.
Matt: Ya know, I… I try not to judge something unless I’ve tried or looked at it. I mean, ya know, there’ve been times when somebody’s like, “Oh you should see this movie” and I’m like, “Ehh, it’s just not for me. It doesn’t appeal to me.” “Well, why won’t you watch it?” “Cause I just don’t care about the subject matter. Ya know. It’s a movie about high school football. I don’t care about high school football.”

End part 4


Dave: One of the things that Marsha Cooke said… I mean, she threw me off a couple of times, one of them was when she told me that Gail Simone has a Cerebus tattoo. And it’s like… if I had to pick somebody that I thought of as the most antagonistic figure towards me in the comic book field it’d be Gail Simone. And she has a Cerebus tattoo? I don’t know if it’s true, but… either way. Either it’s true, or it’s a uhh…. this is a very odd thing for Marsha to tell me. And Marsha was a huge Glamourpuss fan, and to say, uhh, yeah, uhh. Her criticism was that I was giving Comicsgate and Ethan credibility that they didn’t have otherwise. (laughs) And it’s like, credibility? I’m not a feminist! I have zero credibility. Anywhere! Anywhere in the comic book field. I mean, part of me wants to go, “Look, if you want to be fair about this. Let’s say that Gail Simone is a fan of my work. Let’s say that there are women professionals in the comic book field who are fans of my work.” I tried to get Ethan to say “Best deal in comics, $99 for all 6000 pages of Cerebus at” It’s like, “Ethan, I think if you tell your people who admire you and want to support you, that you think… you don’t even have to say anything about Cerebus’ quality. You just have to say, ‘it’s $99 for 6000 pages,16 volumes’. And it’s $99 Canadian! I mean, right now, that’s like $65 US”. So, my thing to the occasional people who want to come get in my face about Ethan or whatever else they want to get in my face about, and want to present themselves as open-minded liberals, and people who admire my work and don’t admire all of my work but do think that, ya know, this, this, and this trade paperback are excellent… uhh, ya know, if you’ve got… if you are, as the guy in Hawaii called it, an “influencer”. Which, I think we know what we’re talking about when we talk about an “influencer” in this day and age. If you’ve got a long enough string of followers who a large percentage of them will do what you’ll tell them to do, and you’ve got that kind of credibility, and you believe that there’s any quality in any of the Cerebus trade paperbacks… Well, I’m certainly not going to get any help from Ethan. But at least I had the hope of help from Ethan. I have had no help from anyone in the comic book field, in exactly that area, in exactly the sense of, look… if you don’t mind reading comics on your digital device, you really can’t do better than 6000 pages of Cerebus. Just pick a trade paperback, dive in, and read 10 pages. If you don’t get something interesting, or a laugh, or a thought -provoking idea out of those 10 pages, pick another 10 pages. Or go back four volumes and pick 10 pages there. At some point you’re gonna go, “Okay, I have to find out what this whole thing is about.” And then I think you’ll probably end up reading 6000 pages. But I think it’s disrespectful of someone who devoted 26 years of his life to doing this. Not only is this disrespectful to me, but disrespectful of Gerhard, who did jump over to the other team, who went, “Okay, I’m sufficiently intimidated. I’m over here with the feminists, I’m not with Dave Sim anymore.” He still gets 25% of the digital downloads of the 6000 pages. Most months, that amounts to about $300 total? $200 total? If you’re talking about “why can’t we find common ground?” or “why can’t we do something positive here?”, it’s like, well.. okay. If you want to do something positive for Dave Sim, that would be great, but for 25 years, I haven’t seen that.
Matt: Well that’s… I mean, the… stereotypical of “Dave went crazy at” whatever point, and “the book’s unreadable afterwards.” It’s like… Gerhard’s not unlookable. I mean, there’s some beautiful pages in phonebooks… in, ya know the last four or five phonebooks. This is fine art with an itty bitty gray circ…. grey aardvark in it. Don’t read the words, look at the pretty pictures.
Dave: Yeah. I mean, you’re taking exactly my point, which is for $65 US, for 6000 pages, how much do you have to get out of this? Before it’s like… Okay, uhh… “full value for my money,” if you don’t think so, you let me know, and I’ll give you a refund. It it uhh… I think… I would like to think that people were more open minded than that, but I don’t think people are more open minded than that. It’s like, I’ve been celibate for 21 years, I pray, fast, read scripture aloud, eat, sleep, and work [Dave adds in his corrections, “And that’s ALL I do.” -Matt]. No matter how much money you give me, I don’t think I’m gonna turn into Adolph Hitler.
Matt: (laughs) And I don’t think that a lot of us would be following you in the streets as you’re marching with your torch saying, “C’mon, we gotta get ‘em.” I think most of us would be like, “Uhh, Dave, you’ve gone a little bit too far, you might wanna dial it back.”
Dave: (laughs) Every once in a while, I mean, the latest thing was Paul Powers coming over to visit, and uhh… wanted to pray together. Like, he was gonna take photos, and I said, “well, okay, I’ll give you the same access I gave to Waterloo Films. You can photograph me doing my ritual ablutions, and putting on my prayer clothes, and doing my prayer. If you want to pray together, ya know, here’s the prayer, it’s from inside the back cover of Cerebus #300. Here’s a printed out copy, anything you don’t want to say, read through it first, and just don’t say that.” He ended up doing all of my prayer times with me, doing all of the ritual ablutions and is now back in England still doing that. And uhh… (laughs) I said to him, like, um, in the middle of like the second day, “If you want to skip one of these, and just take pictures”, and he’s like, “No, I don’t want to skip one of these.”
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: And it’s like, uhh, well, okay! (laughs) It’s no way to make friends. I’ll tell you that much. It’s… the joke I always make now is, “Jews hate me because I won’t let go of Christianity and Islam. Christians hate me because I won’t let go of Judaism and Islam. Muslims hate me because I won’t let go of Judaism and Christianity. And everybody else hates me because I believe in God.”
Matt: (laughs) That’s… I’ve been doing the Genesis Question posts, and I have the document. I take eight days worth of commentary and I put it up every Sunday. And a couple of months ago, I’m like, ya know, I gotta rush home to do this. I should just… I have the document, it’s not like I’m waiting for them to come in. I can just do it ahead. So I did it, and each post I put one page from the 289/290 double issue at the top of the post. Okay, ya know, it’s Sunday, here’s a page from the Last Day, here’s the Genesis Question commentary. And I did it ahead up till, I think, February 2nd. And then I’m out. I have no more Last Day pages from 289/290 to use. And I’m like… And I said, on the blog, I’ve done these posts up to February 2nd, and everybody’s like, “Oh we’ll just wait til then and then we’ll read all of them together.” And I’m like, “No no no, that’s when the picture ends. I still have more commentary, I have to figure out what image to put with it.” And nobody’s got that. Nobody has put two and two together and I’ve said it like three or four times, like there’s a lot more. Like, uhh, Jeff Seiler’s waiting, he’s gonna read all of it at once, and I’m like, “There’s still half the document that I haven’t posted yet.”
Dave: (laughs)
Matt: You guys are waiting for the book, and it’s gonna be like another year! And I’m debating if I want to just do like random pictures from Rick’s Story and Latter Days, or if I want to do the rest of the Last Day, or what. Cause, it’s, ya know, one of those, I don’t want to use the same image, because I don’t want people thinking, “Oh this is the same post I already read.”
Dave: Nobody promised you a rose garden when you took this over!
Matt: As I keep telling everybody, this is the worst gig in the world. Like, yesterday on Facebook I complained to somebody that, “Yeah, tomorrow I gotta talk to Dave and I’m only bitching cause I don’t want to finish downloading the 39 images he sent me.”
Dave: (laughs)
Matt: With the hashtag, #poorlittlerichboy.
Dave: There you go.
Matt: Ya know, I mean it’s.. yeah… you gotta make..
Dave: Depending on the person in comics, that would be their living hell. If you’re not good in your lifetime, when you go to Hell, you’ll have to run a Hell’s version of A Moment of Cerebus.
Matt: (laughs) Well, I mean, ya know, it’s one of those… yeah, there are some days where I’m like, “I just don’t want to post today.” And then that’s when I go into the phon… I have the digital copies of the phonebooks, I go into a phonebook to a page I cut out a panel in my little Photoshoppy knockoff program, and I post it with “There! I momented. There’s Cerebus.” And I walk away. Cause there’s no rule saying that it has to be a substantial post that everybody cares so much about. Ehh, it can be Tuesday.
Dave: No, I don’t think you’re ever gonna hear from Tim, going, “Oh please, lemme have it back.”
Matt: (laughs) The joke that I’ve made and I’m stickin’ to it is, it was like the scene in The Money Pit when Tom Hanks and Shelley Long buy the mansion from the old lady and she climbs into her vintage convertible and peels out at 100 miles an hour.
Dave: (laughs)
Matt: The actual quote I put on the blog the first time it happened was, “I told Tim I had all these ideas. He said, ‘yeah, yeah, that’s great’. Climbed into his 1956 Corvette and peeled out at 100 miles an hour.”
Dave: That’s him. Laughing all the way! “I’m free! I’m free!”
Matt: I mean, it’s one of those… I’m pretty sure he got my email saying, “Hey, if nobody else wants to do it, I’ll do it.” His response was “Sucker! Here’s the keys, I’m gone.”
Dave: There you go. Okay, I’ve got uhh my last prayer time coming up, and then I get to eat.
Matt: Okay.
Dave: I was going to suggest while this is going on with the situation with Judith Bradford being used as a cudgel, if you go, uhh, “I think we should probably talk about this” and you want to fax over something that you think should be talked about, we will make this a Defcon 2 situation. Which means we do this as many times as we have to, and then as soon as possible we get back to just the first Thursday of the month.
Matt: Okay. I just checked my email, I don’t have the fax you sent to the guy in Hawaii. So, if you want to re-fax that to me, I can put it up, as “This is from Dave, this is the situation, this is what happened back in the 1980s.” That’s the part that annoys me is everyone makes it sound like you did this last year. Ya know, “60 year old Dave is chasing after a young girl”, well no, this is when you were 27.
Dave: Yeah, I mean, I don’t want to minimize it, but there’s a comic art metaphysics aspect to it as well. Judith’s birthday is January 8th, and she was born January 8th, 1970. Elvis Presley was born January 8th, 1935, so he turned 35 the day Judith was born. And uhh this is my Elvis Presley albatross around my neck, which is completely of my own doing. It’s like, Elvis did it with Priscilla, but uhh, ya know, Jerry Lee Lewis did it with his cousin, but there were two completely different reactions to it.
Matt: Well, and that’s… ya know, it’s one of those… I was thinking about it all day at work, of uhh, ya know, yeah it’s real skeevy but at the same time it’s not like Dave’s going, “Oh it didn’t happen”. Or it’s not like she’s coming forward and saying it happened and you’re saying, “Oh no, it didn’t.” You’re up front, “A-yup. I did something skeevy. I shouldn’t have done it. It was wrong.” At a certain point, it’s not end of story, but ya know, at the end of your life when you go in front of the throne and they say, “Hey, Dave, what about Judith?” You’re gonna be like, “Hey, no that was me, I screwed up.”
Dave: I always do try to divide it between when I started reading the Bible in 1996, and the time period before that. The fact that I’ve sort of gone much further than society does now, and my attitude is, if you’re fornicating or committing adultery, both of those I’m convinced cannot structurally lead anywhere good. The only thing that can lead anywhere good is monogamous, completely 100% monogamous marriage. And… (laughs)I’m not… and I’m not gonna make a lot of friends in my society with that one either, because there’s a lot of fornicators and adulterers who would take that personally.
Matt: And that’s… yeah, uhh… it’s one of those… this video, where they’re quoting from the facts, but ya know, the guy doing the video is like, “Well, then Dave quotes the Bible, so you know it’s from Dave Sim.” And I’m like, A) in this video you’re not showing this message from Dave. B) You’re not actually… it’s not a “this is what Dave said, word for word, ya know, everything Dave had to say.” You’re picking and choosing, trying to make the point you want to make. Which is what a lot of this online stuff, ya know… somebody finds the original quote of… Margaret posted a sketch of Judith you did. You commented on it, saying this is what was goin’ on. And then further commented on it, but someone found the first little quote, clipped it, put it online of “Dave’s skeevy.” And used it as the cudgel of, “Well, Ethan, why are you working with Dave if Dave is so skeevy?” Well, you know… and now it’s… ya know, the brouhaha. And tomorrow, you and I are stuck with “Hey, it’s the brouhaha”, meanwhile they’re moved on to the next point of their ongoing war of “this is why you suck” to Ethan or to whoever.
Dave: Well, I would hope that people could understand that because I’m not on the internet, I got the fax from the guy in Hawaii, and stopped what I was working on on The Strange Death of Alex Raymond, and put in an hour on my best summing up of the situation with Judith, and then went back to work. Got the phone message from you, got the fax from you, got a fax from Eddie Khanna, that’s the end of it. I haven’t heard from anybody else. I always think…
End part 5


Dave: …flashing, and I click on it, and it’s gonna say, “you have 48 unheard messages.”
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: And ya know, the first two are gonna be MSNBC and CNN, but that’s becoming less and less likely as we go along. It’s just way too wide an environment for that to be uhh… you can only cry wolf so many times in so many directions on so many levels in so many multiplicities and contexts, before people go, “uhh, we’ve heard you do this before. I understand you want us to get worked up, but we’re not getting worked up about it.”
Matt: That would be… that would be a nice world if everybody just said, “okay let’s wait two days and see if this is still the end of the world.”
Dave: Right. Okay, I’ve really gotta run!
Matt: Okay! I will uhh talk to you next time I need to. I will let you know by fax if we need to talk. Otherwise, I will shoot for the first Thursday in February.
Dave: Okay, say hi to Paula, and Janice, and Bullwinkle for me.
Matt: Will do! Bye.
Dave: Buh-bye.

Thanks again Jesse!

Next Time: Hobbs and such...

Monday, 14 January 2019

The Great 2019 AMOC Re-Read Part, the second

Hi, Everybody!

First, the bizness: Comiclink auctions.

For anyone who missed the Kickstarter for the Birthday card, there's a Indiegogo live

Thanks to your pal and mine, Sean Robinson, I have a digital copy of the remastered Volume 1. So this post uses images from that. (You can get a digital copy for $9.99, if you're so inclined.) Everybody say: "Thanks Sean!" Thanks Sean!

The GREAT a Moment of Cerebus 2019 Re-Read

No, I didn't read more of Volume one, but I have some more notes on the first year of Cerebus (remember, the first 13 issues were published bimonthly...)

So, in Issue four (page 76) Cerebus has ditched the helmet (and as we learn later, this was kind of a bad idea). But why? Could it have been because of all the times it fell off his head?
On Page one of Issue #1 even!
And he doesn't drink with it on...

That's all issue #1, in #2:
I think this one's my favorite...

He DOES put it back on in #2 

And then in #3, he pretty much just looses it because of Sophia:
Like this....
See, not when he's drinking...
and this...

and this...
and this...

and this.

And Cerebus' black vest first appears in #4 right?

Taken from Page 77
Wrong, the black vest first appears in "Passage".

Which means (jumping ahead a few phone books...) Dave F     ed up! Dave F     ed up!!!

See, in Minds, "Dave" tells Cerebus that he sold the helmet in Serrea. But he didn't have the helmet, and he DID have the black vest, on the boat TO Serrea from Tansubal.


But the opening of Issue #3 says:

DAVE F     ED UP!!! DAVE F     ED UP!!! (I CAN'T wait 'til next months Please Hold...)

Next Time: 2019's FIRST Special Friend of The Day!

Sunday, 13 January 2019

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part thirty-six

Hi, Everybody!


5 October 14

Hi Troy & Mia; David & Marie!

Awoken this morning by the sound of buzzing.

Hornet crawling on my drinking glass.  Uh.  Okay.  Hornet crawls INTO my drinking glass.  Grab my dictionary and put it on top of the drinking glass.  Notice another hornet is crawling on the coaster under the drinking glass (not really a coaster, actually the computer disk for THE ANIMATED CEREBUS which I use as a coaster).  Uh. Okay.  Hornet number one still working his (or her) way to the bottom of the glass.  So I take the dictionary and carefully position it over hornet number two and crush it.  It drops onto a newspaper lying on the floor.  Put the dictionary overtop of the glass again and carry both into the "kitchen" alcove.  Remove the dictionary and pour tap water into the glass, drowning hornet number one.  Carry glass and newspaper into the bathroom and dump both hornets into the toilet. 

Fortunately, that proved to be "it" for Day of the Hornets.


A possible "other YHWHistic layer" to the story of the man blind from his birth in John's Gospel. 9:18 says "Not believed therefore the Jews about him that he was blind and he saw again…"  "he saw again" is  single Greek term.  What caught my eye was the "again".  If he was blind from his birth, there would be no "again" to it.  The same verse concludes "…until when they sounded for the parents of him the having seen again" ("having seen again" is also a single Greek term).

9:13 says "They are leading him toward the Pharisees the ____ sometime blind."  Here "sometime" catches my eye.  "Sometime blind"?  Theoretically he was always blind.  Although, as long as he was seeing now, it would be forensically accurate to say he had been "sometime blind".

9:27 reads "He answered to them I said to you already and not you heard; why again are you willing to be hearing?"   If they didn't hear the first time, here should be no "again" to it:  except in the sense of "willing" themselves.  They willed themselves to hear and didn't and were now willing themselves to hear AGAIN.


Ezekiel 37

The hand of the YHWH was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the YHWH and set me down in the midst of the valley which full of bones,

This "conveyance" ultimately reiterates itself in John's Apocalypse 1:9. 

The reference to "bones" continues the narrative of Ezekiel 36, hearkening back to "first causes" in Genesis and the creation of woman, which is really a metaphor for the creation of the YHWH.  The seminal YHWH, as I read it, bore the same relationship to God that A Dam's rib bore to A Dam:  a body part and not a terribly significant one.

[it's worth noting that only the Johannine Jesus account mentions the crucified Jesus' side being pierced, as I read it, a metaphorical enactment of the creation of woman]

 The "YHWH God" infers that he/she/it accomplished the creation -- actually the "building" -- of the woman in 2:21, but I think I'm safe in saying that the YHWH was just an observer, misconstruing what he/she/it saw. 

A Dam, says in 2:23, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man."  It's difficult not to infer "Woe man" from the context.  Woman is the "woeful man" or the "woe of man". 

There is a definite relationship there:  between A Dam's bone/rib and the woman, A Dam's flesh and the woman.  The demonstrative act of "building", accomplished by God, seems to me a very simple and lucid explanation of what a woman is:  a metaphor for the YHWH and having the same relationship to man that the YHWH has to God. 

In Genesis 3:19, the YHWH pronounces judgement upon the A Dam: "…till thou return unto the ground: for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou and unto dust shalt thou return."

Well, yes, but -- by God's design -- there is an intermediary step.  Before we return to dust, we are reduced to bones. 

And caused me to pass by them round about, and behold very many in the open [valley/champian], and lo, very dry.

And he said unto me, son of man, can these bones live?  And I answered O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

This is reiterative throughout the Torah and John's Apocalypse and is the proper response on the part of a prophet when queried by God about anything.  God asks a prophet a question, not to get an answer, but to get confirmation that the prophet is aware that ONLY God knows the true answer to ANY question.

This incites the YHWH to interject with a suggested prompt:

Again he said unto me, Prophecy upon these bones, and say unto them: O ye dry bones, hear the word of the YHWH.

Which God takes up:

Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones, Behold I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.

This is another Genesis reference, as I read it -- 2:7 -- another misconstruction on the part of the YHWH of an Act of God to which the YHWH had been a witness and which the YHWH inferred he/she/it had effected:  "And the YHWH God formed man dust of the ground & breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul."

Which the YHWH remembers, evidently, quite vividly as a spectator:

And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live, and ye shall know that I, the YHWH.

So I prophecied as I was commanded: and as I prophecied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.

This, metaphorically, reiterates A Dam's assertion:  "This is now bone of my bones…" and suggests a Larger Metaphorical enactment:  reconnecting the metaphorical rib to A Dam, that is, uniting God and YHWH.

And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above; but no breath in them.

It's a significant point.  This was the specific order of man's creation in Genesis 2:7.  The flesh and the sinews come first.  The breath -- as God, Lord GOD, now asserts -- comes later:

Then said he unto me, Prophecie unto the [wind/breath], prophecie, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD: come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

As it says in my NEW BIBLE DICTIONARY "The supremacy of the fourfold gospels which Tatian's work attests is confirmed a decade or so later by Irenaeus.  To him the fourfold character of the Gospel is one of the accepted facts of Christianity, as axiomatic as the four quarters of the world or the FOUR WINDS of heaven."  This was really, all preordained here in Ezekiel with the reference to the four winds as that which breathes life into the dead bones.  Everything -- besides God -- is contextually preexistent and reiterative:  it's a story that tells itself over and over and over in the history of our world.  All God need do is allow His creation to explain itself to itself.  The danger at the end of the 1st century that John's Gospel would be excluded from the Christian canon -- which, I infer, was seen as a real possibility with John's exile to Patmos -- was really no danger at all:

So I prophecied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 

Then he said unto me, son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold they say: Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost, we are cut off for our parts.

As we have seen, this is what concerned the YHWH most:  having enacted he/she/its judgement upon the men of this epoch, and the Jews in particular, there seemed to be no way forward:  no way to undo what had been done or to revive that which had been killed and was now wasted away -- not yet to dust -- but to bones.  The Jews in Ezekiel's time were indeed "cut off for our parts" -- those parts, like the rib "builded" into a woman, which the Jews (and mankind generally) had allowed to lead them astray.

Therefore prophecie and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

This is a real jaw-dropper and game-changer of an assertion.  Nothing is dead permanently if God wills it to be alive.  The YHWH has to opportunistically reiterate the assertion just to keep up:

And ye shall know that I, the YHWH, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the YHWH have spoken, and performed, saith the YHWH.

And that's all, for the moment, that God has to say about that. 

[Even when it comes time to fulfill a part of the prophecy -- the resurrection of Lazarus -- God only goes so far as, through the Johannine Jesus, to resurrect someone who had been dead a few days.  Not nearly as ostentatious as reviving an entire army that had decomposed into a valley of bones but significantly more impressive than the Synoptic Jesus' resurrection of those who had been dead -- or, rather, "dead" -- only an hour or two.]

Which the YHWH appears to mull over for a period of time, trying to figure out Where God is going with this. And, more important, how the YHWH is going to turn this idea to the YHWH's own advantage:

The word of the YHWH came again unto me, saying:

Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick and write upon it, for Judah and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.

This requires explaining what I see as the YHWH's model of reality:  the "perceived" younger has been ill-used by the "perceived" elder (YHWH by God).  So that story enacted itself, by God's permission: Jacob (the younger) usurped Esau's (the elder's) birthright and blessing. And then further enacted itself with the twelve sons of Jacob.  Six sons by his wife, Leah and two sons each in Jacob's adulterous relationships with Bilhah, Zilpah and Rachel (he, she, it). Basically, God saying, okay the younger has replaced the elder, Jacob has replaced Esau. Not really, but for the sake of argument, let's go with that.

Now Jacob has twelve sons.  Which son does the YHWH see this enactment continuing through? And, for a variety of reasons, the YHWH most identifies with Judah and with Joseph just about equally.

[the actual construct of using a stick to establish preeminence is actually Levitical in nature, a reference both to Moshe's staff which took the form of a serpent -- in its turn a metaphor for the YHWH and devoured the illusions of the Egyptian magicians -- and to Aaron's Rod (Hebrew: Matteh) which was put with the rods of the other 11 tribes after Korah's rebellion and, the next morning, Aaron's rod had put forth buds, blossoms and ripe almonds]

Judah, I suspect, because he was forced to admit that a harlot was more righteous than he was (a Patriarch and a harlot being a more accurate version of God and YHWH than any of the other relationships between Jacob's sons and the outside world chronicled in Genesis) and Joseph -- well, I always have a question about that. 

The obvious answer is that he was the youngest son of the twelve.  But he wasn't actually the youngest.  Benjamin, his younger brother, was the youngest.  But Benjamin came late in the proceedings, I suspect, when the die had already been cast with Joseph (who, you will recall, saw in a dream that his brothers would all bow down to him -- definitely a YHWH fantasy fulfillment both literal and metaphorical).  The YHWH doesn't want to "let go" of either Judah or Joseph.  Judah produced King David -- the youngest of seven brothers, it's worth noting -- which is the YHWH's ideal among what the YHWH sees as irredeemable mankind.  That adherence ultimately caused the primary Judaic schism, between Judah and Israel, an irresolvable (as the YHWH would have seen it in Ezekiel's time) schism. 

And Jacob blessed the younger of Joseph's sons -- Ephraim -- at the expense of his elder brother, Manasseh.  So, you basically have these two YHWHistic "fulfillments" one in Judah and one in Israel.  So, it's no big surprise that the YHWH infers from "join bone to his bone" that this is what is needed:  uniting Judah and Ephraim into one, thereby uniting Judah and Israel and thereby establishing the YHWH's preeminence: 

And join them one to another into one stick, and they shall become one in thine hand.

[in it's Largest Metaphorical Construct, as I read it, it's impossible.  You can't make one thing into another thing that it isn't by joining them.  You don't, as an example, make a half man half woman by sticking A Dam's rib back inside of him.  Which is basically what the YHWH is proposing to do here.]

[In the same sense, the ultimate nadir of the Christian Revelation, I read as the crucifixion which attempts to unite A Dam and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  You can nail the man to the tree, but that doesn't actually join them.  It just means that you've misconstrued what they actually are as metaphors]

[I infer that this process hasn't come to an end.  In our own world, two of the Largest Constructs are also from the Garden of Eden -- Apple and (the nature of womankind after the expulsion of A Dam) (your own employer, David!) Amazon]

And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou by these?

"Meanest" is interpolated into the KJV text:  "Wilt thou not show us what thou MEANEST by these?", but that, it seems to me, misses the full poison of the intended question.  "What thou by these?"  Given Judah (and the fulfillment through King David) and given Joseph (and his fulfillment at the apex of political power in Egypt which, presumably, he passed on to his son, Ephraim), "What thou?" is the nature of what is being asked by the YHWH of God (and not in a good way). 

To the YHWH it establishes the YHWH AS God, if both fulfillments exist and have happened and they are (SOMEhow) united. So, given that, what does that make God?

And the YHWH leaves off with the prompt of that question dangling, assuming (as I read it) that God won't dare unite Judah and Ephraim or even answer the question of what their uniting would mean.  It would just be too potent a YHWHistic incarnation, leaving God no role in the Larger Construct of Reality. 

I don't think God hesitated a moment before answering the challenge:

Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold I will take the stick of Joseph which in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows and will put them with him, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in my hand.

And then addressed the YHWH directly

And the sticks whereon thou writest, shall be in thy hand before their eyes.

God has no problem taking up the YHWH's poisonous challenge and dispensing with it just that easily.  But the larger point God is making with the resurrection of the dry bones (and the problem with the YHWH, always, is the YHWH endeavouring to change the subject), needs to be established:

And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land.

And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel and one King shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.

I infer from this, personally, that God is asserting His own preeminence.  God is the one King of Israel.  It seems to me also worth noting that God's metaphor with the bones is to create a powerful army out of Israel.

The compelled inference, however,  -- which I see is foundational to the Christian Revelation -- is that Jesus is the King referred to. This is why the incarnation of the Synoptic Jesus and the Johannine Jesus was so significant.  They both fulfilled the promise of the tribe of Judah, and Judah as a man, a further escalation of the lofty plateau to which King David had attained and which  (I would gather -- until the coming of both Jesus) a lofty stature upon which the YHWH couldn't imagine there being any possible improvement. 

Basically, God saying to YHWH, "You hang onto those two sticks with the names of Judah and Ephraim and see if I don't fulfill all that you imagined they could effect in tandem -- and more."

Which is, I'm sure, what happened.  Just read the Gospels.

The unanimity continues for some length of time after the incarnations -- essentially the YHWH seeing his/her/its self validated in all particulars and watching that Revelation sweep across the world.  Missing the point that God had essentially turned the poisonous question back against the YHWH:  "What THOU by these?" 

In a world being transformed by the Synoptic Jesus and the Johannine Jesus, both being proclaimed as God's son -- and their two sticks, ultimately, so firmly united that every Christian believes them to be one individual -- what does that leave for the YHWH?  Not very much.  The Name of Jesus usurps the YHWH's place, the YHWH's self-perceived context and the YHWH's differentiation as an entity.  The YHWH is pretty much universally believed just to be another name for God.  A complete loss of unique identity.

It's God's point, as I read it, but it isn't God's Larger Point, here at the apex of the Judaic Revelation which, naturally enough, concerns the Jews themselves.  The "sticks" will be united, the YHWH's imagined fulfillment will take place -- but in such a way that the YHWH won't recognize -- literally for centuries -- how detrimental it is to the YHWH's self-perceived stature.  But God's Larger Point is the disposition of the long-suffering Jews:

Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

The YHWH, deeply suspicious of all this, attempts to cross all the t's and dot all the i's:

And David, my servant, King over them, and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgements, and observe my statutes and do them.

Which, God is perfectly amenable to including.  With a couple of qualifications, the significance of which the YHWH won't realize for centuries.  The Synoptic Jesus and Johannine Jesus both, in different ways, fulfill the Davidic promise.  David is the servant of the YHWH but David is also the servant of God. In the sense that an incarnation of David, a reiteration of David, a metaphor for David just as David is a metaphor for God, yes, David will be King over them (Jews and Christians -- metaphorically, the literal King David for Jews and Jesus-as-the-incarnation-of-King-David for the Christians: God as Ultimate King).  Definitely one shepherd:  God (with the Johannine Jesus as the metaphorically preeminent earthly incarnation shepherd: see last week's commentary). 

And, yes, the Jews will continue to walk in the YHWH's judgements and observe the YHWH's statutes and do them.  In a far more observant way than they were doing in the time of Ezekiel.  The notion that Jesus was the meschiach will be so abhorrent to observant Jews that it will serve as a great cleansing of Judaism itself, Christianity (quite understandably) being seen by the Jews as a judgement upon them that they, indeed, have to "walk in" and to suffer the consequences of for thousands of years.  For the Jews, Christianity is one of the ultimate forms of suffering to which they are continually subjected (although that certainly isn't the Christian conscious intention) -- which has a way of "getting your mind right" (apologies to Strother Martin) with God. And making you more observant as a people.    

And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt, and they shall dwell therein, they and their children, and their children's children forever, and my servant David their prince forever.

Note that the YHWH refers to "David, my servant, King over them" while God refers to "my servant David, their prince forever".  God doesn't want to detract from the royalist perception of David, which is central -- and remains central -- to the Judaic faith.  But there is only one King over Jews and Christians:  God.

The YHWH rejoins (still crossing t's and dotting i's but now more fully acquiescent in the prophecy enunciated):

Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, and I will place them and multiply them, and will set my Sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

Well, THAT wasn't going to happen in the sense that the YHWH meant it:  that there would always be a Jewish Temple with ritual blood sacrifices feeding the YHWH in Israel.  God sidesteps the issue:

My Tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

In the time of Ezekiel, the original Tabernacle was a thing of the past, replaced by the One Temple.  So, God can be reassuring and forensically accurate at the same time:  in the same sense that God's Tabernacle still existed (even though it no longer existed physically), so would the YHWH's Sanctuary exist in their own most meaningful respective senses:  as inward constructs, the idea of the human body itself as a Temple of God.

And the heathen shall know that I, the YHWH, do sanctify Israel, when my Sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

The heathen AND the devout, will be far more aware of God than they will be of the YHWH and not much concerned with the YHWH's Sanctuary, per se, as the Larger Enactment unfolds.  But God can afford to just let the misapprehension go:  the Sanctuary won't be in the midst of Israel, it will be within each individual Jew to the extent that he or she chooses to grant God sanctuary within him or her and to nurture their own awareness of God.  Strict observance of the YHWH's statutes and adhered to find favour in the sight of God, I infer, being as good as any other form of God worship.  The key is motivation and self-sacrifice: choosing Good as one infers Good and eschewing Evil as one infers Evil. 

And then waiting to find out on Judgement Day how you did in the "inferences, choices and actions sweepstakes".  

Next week: God willing, Ezekiel 38.



Next Time: Well, it's Kevin's birthday, so if he's doing "Reading Cerebus",  "Happy Birthday!" and if not, "Burn in Hell Clerk!" Paaaaaassssssssttt Maaaaaatttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!