Friday, 17 July 2015

Jeff Seiler: Dave Sim & Me

Eleven years ago, when Cerebus ended, Dave Sim decided to answer all of his back mail. A month or so later, he had his "Jeff Seiler Day" in which he answered multiple letters I had written over the previous year. After I received that letter, I decided to keep writing, and he kept his promise to answer every letter he received. And now, I have a foot-high stack of letters written and received over 10 years or so. I will be posting full paragraphs or pages of interesting excerpts from those letters every Saturday.

From a letter dated 13 November, 2004, from Dave to me:
I enjoyed your John Kerry anecdote from The Dr. Phil Show. I still find it hard to believe that there's an interviewer named "Dr. Phil", let alone the rest of the story. I really do wonder if the momentum is towards or away from Senator Kerry and the Ketchup Lady [Ed: the Heinz heiress]. Three million votes is not a huge margin of victory for an incumbent President, so a lot of folks must've looked at the Democrat and approved of what they saw. That is, not even being able to give a straight answer on whether he and his wife have a favourite between their two daughters -- obviously that and the number of other instances of indecisiveness didn't meet with any serious level of disapproval by a good half of the voting American public. It certainly raises questions about whether Hillary Clinton will run in 2008, whether she will get the nomination and what the Democrats and "swing" Republicans are going to think of her. Revenge of the Ketchup Lady.


Travis Pelkie said...

With Jon Stewart set to leave the Daily Show soon, Comedy Central has a site that's been streaming every episode he ever hosted, and I happened to catch the ones around this time where John Kerry was on Dr Phil. Or else I would have no f'in clue what this was talking about! (I believe he and his wife went on after GWB and Laura were on...or did W go on after? Can't remember!)

I would think that most people would be appalled if a parent actually chose a favorite child. That's an instance of Kerry being indecisive that I don't think most people would count against him. (And actually, from what I remember/what the Daily Show showed, the question was more of which daughter was most like Kerry, and he said first one, then the other, was most like him, and kind of waffled that they both had traits of him. Because this is a stupid question to ask.)

I do shake my head that I live in a country where going on Dr Phil might make or break a candidate's campaign. Oy!

Steve said...

Seems to me that what Dave sees as Kerry's indecisiveness any parent sees as the only reasonable answer to such a loaded, aiming to harm question.

Had Kerry clearly stated a preference for one child over the other, the public outcry would've been severe, and the family dynamics would've been forever altered.

I believe Dave knows what it's like to be asked baited questions, where the intent isn't so much to know his answer but to have his answer show how callous (or whatever) he is. The Kerry / daughter question was just this type.

Steve - the dad to two wonderfully different daughters, and a husband to one wife

Jeff Seiler said...

Kerry went on to be a good, relatively effective Secretary of State, but he would not have been a good President.

Jack said...

It apparently never occurred to Dave that a lot of Americans looked at the Republican and strongly disapproved of what they saw.