Monday, 31 December 2012

'Liberals' vs Real Liberals

Cerebus #179 (February 1994)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(from 'Dave Sim Responds To The Fantagraphics Offer' at, 29 September 2012)
...I DID hope there might be a voice or two expressing gratification coupled with appreciation that, as an example, Jeet Heer (who is probably the furthest to the left in the comic-book environment) and Dave Sim (who is probably the furthest to the right in the comic-book environment) were able to clarify their differences while also remaining focused on the subject at hand: said 6,000 page funnybook. I mean, that's the mental image I've always had of the comic-book field in general, people respectful of differing and particularly minority viewpoints, my confidence that the Angels of Our Better Natures will prevail more often than not in those situations and we accept that it's a given that political differences between people will always exist and that it is a given that people of good will and good conscience will always assess the available facts and come to radically different conclusions. And that that's how it should be.

That's what democracy is all about, Charlie Brown.

I myself am gratified that the temperature seems to have dropped considerably here on the Internet, just plotting my personal experiences with it, from the (...metaphorical) lynch-mob psychology that took hold after No.186 [in 1994] and then "Tangent" [in 2001] (compelling Bill Willingham to give me a phone call out of the blue: "Are you aware of just how BADLY you're being tarred-and-feathered on the Internet right now?" Well, yes, more by the complete radio silence that had descended around me than by anything of which I was specifically aware...

During my online promotion tour for glamourpuss back in 2008, the temperature seemed to have come down a number of degrees. But, I did insist on sequestering the discussions of feminism. I'm interested in feminism as a political movement and the various ways it expresses itself. I read a LOT of politically correct news items and commentary. But, I don't think EVERY discussion needs to have feminism at its core. But it became obvious that there was a division in the comic-book field which I would describe as liberals and Real Liberals. And it seemed to me that the Real Liberals were deluding themselves that those self-identifying AS liberals thought the same way they did: that they believed in pluralism and open discussions and tolerance of minority viewpoints and that this was what 98% of the comic book field was like. I mean, I thought that way, myself until the evidence suggested that the percentages were far, far away from where I thought they were. I wanted, for obvious reasons, clarity of what my situation was.

Given that all I was REALLY interested in was clarity, I finally thought the best recourse was the petition. If you think I'm a misogynist, that's fine. You're entitled to your opinion. If you don't think I am, please sign the petition so I know and can limit my social contacts to people who are not deeply offended by my existence...

And that's where that one stands. But I have to say that I have been gratified that there hasn't been that impulse to force feminism into every discussion about HIGH SOCIETY AUDIO DIGITAL and discussions of other publishing opportunities for me and CEREBUS that I saw in 2008. Those INTERESTED can go to BLEEDING COOL and read... my best current thinking on the subject of whether men are superior to women...

Please consider signing Dave Sim's iPetition.

1 comment:

cool arrow said...

Very few true "liberals" of the Thomas Jefferson stripe, for the most part, still exist. There are some libertarians (not necessarily spelled with a capital L) who come fairly close. The vast majority of what are deemed "liberals" nowadays are more accurately described as totalitarian statists, whose motto should be "Anything that's not prohibited is mandatory."

Jack Lee