Monday, 6 August 2012

HARDtalk: The Dave Sim Interview (11)

Could you explain how your views on free speech have evolved over time and whether your evolving views in this area is related to switching your charity of choice from the CBLDF to the HERO INITIATIVE?

My views on free speech haven't really changed much that I can see.  I limit my own speech -- like using "bat-s--t insane" instead of the actual letters.  To me, that's a case of overt vulgarity versus managed vulgarity.  I will very seldom use a curse word unless, as in that case, I'm quoting it.  But, I don't think laws should be passed saying that you can't use the actual word or that people should be arrested or punished for using the word.  If you're somewhere you read the word or hear the word, that says more about where you've chosen to be than about the quality of the word itself.  Good reason to self-examine, in my opinion.  But, that's up to you.
Give Them An Inch...
Art by Dave Sim (1998)
My views on child pornography have changed.  The absolutist First Amendment view is that if an actual child isn't harmed then "no harm, no foul".  And I don't agree with that.  I think society is harmed by even incremental acceptance or tolerance of sexualized images of children.  But, I do accept that there are dissenting views that have been intellectually weighed by intelligent people concerned with ethics and that they have come to different conclusions from my own and that the weight of jurisprudence could go in other directions than what I think is appropriate.  I also think you can go overboard, charging parents who photograph their own kid in the bathtub or whatever.  I tend to put very strict limits on my own speech and what speech I will read/consume.  But, that's me.  I'm a much better person, I think, now that I own very few pornographic imagery:  exclusively classic underground comics that I think of having artistic merit that counterbalances the porno aspect.

And I have changed my charity of choice, but from the CBLDF to St. John's Kitchen and The Food Bank of Waterloo Region in line with the Muslim zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam -- that the poor and hungry of any community have a claim on a percentage of the wealth of that community.  It's like tithing but less voluntary.  I only have so much money these days and by the time I pay the zakat I usually don't have much more.  And I do tend to pay panhandlers on the same basis:  this is the right thing to do.  Even though I see the argument that that only encourages panhandlers.
I've still got a stack of the "Drinking Buddies" print of Cerebus and the Regency Elf that I created back in Susan Alston's administration.  I told Charles Brownstein, just let me know if you need any more and I'll send a batch down. I haven't heard from him.

Okay, let's look for another good cliffhanger.

Have your current religious beliefs changed the way you view earlier issues of CEREBUS?  Are there any aspects of the Cerebus storyline that you are now uncomfortable with, and with hindsight, wish you had done differently because of your current beliefs?

Oh, good one.  As the Mad Monk lurches up the rutted roadway to the Mystery Castle bearing the unconscious form of the Boy Wonder, will The Caped Crusader manage to follow the trail of clues and be in time to prevent whatever nefarious doings are afoot?  Tune in tomorrow, or yesterday if you're time-travelling, Same Moment of Cerebus Time, Same Moment of Cerebus Channel!

1 comment:

adampasz said...

This stuff is amazing. Please don't let it stop!