Saturday, 20 February 2016

Jeff Seiler: Dave Sim & Me

JEFF SEILER:
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. Now, I have a foot-high stack of letters written and received over 10 years or so. I'll be running interesting excerpts from those letters each week.

17 June 05:

Dear Jeff:

Thanks for your letter of June 12. I read it in the 10th floor cafeteria at City Hall this morning and almost laughed out loud at your comparison of the paragraph from the SAT [test] that your are scoring to Japanese fusion jazz. I can certainly understand how you could phone [me] in the middle of that as a kind of lifeline to a saner world. I count myself fortunate that I don’t have to immerse myself in the Kafkaesque nightmare of facing head on what feminism hath wrought in the education system, which is something of the problem, I guess. I mean we didn’t get here overnight and there is a certain level of fatalism that we’re just learning to live with rather than speak up and out. The question seems to be--how long can the feminist keep a straight face through this and how far does society erode before they either crack up laughing or break down in tears?

The root canal went fine--I opted for sedation: Halcyon chased by steady inhalation of nitrous oxide and came awake with about five minutes to go in the game. Last thing I remember is asking the dentist is Halcyon was in the opiate or barbiturate category and Schedule I or Schedule II (which, as my last conscious thought, I suspected is an American designation). Ger came and got me and drove me to pick up the painkillers and penicillin substitute (I’m allergic to penicillin). So far, I haven’t had to use the painkillers. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s a long way from what I would describe as pain, so I would appear to have a ten-year supply of Tylenol 3s at this point.

“Teen Gets Life Sentence For Helping Girlfriend End Pregnancy: 19 Year-Old Stepped on Stomach While Girl Punched Self.” Yes, it does have that epic quality to it, a kind of “Yes, well. There you are.” It’s just part of the zeitgeist is my reaction, now. That’s what happens when you decide that abortion is a human right--it gets into the blood of people who should, as you say, know better. If you make pregnancy into a good thing/bad thing relative to how the mother-to-be FEELS about it, then you’re going to get these sorts of stories. I don’t FEEL that I want to have my babies after all. Now they’re dead. Oh, shit, now I FEEL bad. I better find a therapist show can make me FEEL good again. Oh, my boyfriend is going to jail for life. Now, I really FEEL bad. Why can’t they let him go so I can FEEL good again? There is a certain consolation for in the fact that while I’m typing these letters and discussing these issues square on, I can sense the vindication of history up ahead. How far up ahead, I have no idea, but certainly there is a level of gratification in knowing that you’re Winston Churchill warning about the storm clouds of war across the channel. You put in an interesting way: “I don’t begrudge you the fact that you have such a keen perception of the feminist ethos…” [Dave said: italics mine]. I have been aware for some time that that’s the problem. Scott Berwanger wrote me along the same lines about how angry he was with me for bringing up this whole gender war thing. It seems to me an intermediary stage towards society getting well. Everyone who thought of me as a deranged paranoid misogynist is now having to read these stories and make the hard decision. Do I keep Dave in his “deranged” box and just ignore what I’m reading? Men are too sensible to indulge in wishful thinking forever, so I see the schism coming up ahead because women will indulge in wishful thinking until the jackboots are coming up the front steps and even then think that there might be a way to talk themselves out from under. You have to part company with it or accept that you’re “going under” into the same shared lunacy. All the anecdotes are of a piece, indicating not only that it’s too late to find the last good woman on the planet (and the degree of accommodation and self-deception required to insulate yourself from reality long enough and thoroughly enough to shield yourself from your own sure knowledge of who and what she is on an on-going daily basis in order to maintain the illusion) but that these issues now straddle far more perilous and (dare I say it?) infernal borderlines. I’m warning men, in general, not to consciously go down into (metaphorical for secular humanists, literal for Deists) The Pit: very different thing from spoiling someone’s good time and potential for future happiness which is how my warnings have been viewed for ten years now.

Mm. I won’t have an epitaph. The funeral plot I purchased is only sanctioned by the cemetery for a square marker flush with the ground. No headstone permitted. “Dave Sim 1956-20--” That’s it. I still have to get out to the stone place to buy one. Keep forgetting. It’s the last thing I need to do vis-a-vis my final arrangements.

Yes, Mr. Tierney’s “Peace In Our Time” item was well-thought out. I think it represents the core of the otherwise inexplicable feminist reaction to the democratization of Islamic countries, which I suspect stems from YHWH’s compulsive urge towards martyrdom on the grand scale (having realized some time ago that a win is definitely not in the cards). Worldwide feminism is just going to hasten the day when it is seen as a worldwide delusion and the sideshows are gradually working themselves out: fascism and communism and fanatic Islam getting un-kinked and de-knotted. There just isn’t anywhere for clinical YHWH insanity to run anymore and certainly nowhere to hide. Maybe a hundred years left on the clock which in terms of the life the earth is barely an eye-blink. After that, there’s only the very straightforward submission to the Will of God on the grand scale or oblivion on the grand scale. Either/or.

I don’t really practice halal, mostly because I very rarely eat meat. By contrast, I consciously don’t drink alcohol, watching myself scrupulously when, as an example, I’m at the local hockey game and someone’s chugging a beer with gleeful abandon in front of me and I get that taste in my mouth or I’m eating at a good restaurant with a good wine list by the glass. Whereas, if I saw someone chewing down a cheeseburger with comparable abandon, I might order one once in a blue moon and pay the gastric consequences later. There was one funny episode when my parents took me to an Indian restaurant staffed by Muslims (having mentioned that their son fasts in Ramadan and prays five times a day) and I told the waiter as I tucked into my lamb that it was relief to know that at least here it was “kosher”. Turned out it wasn’t. The place was staffed by Muslims, but it was Hindu or secular restaurant. Oh, well. My heart was in the right place.

No, no pork--at least, not consciously. I do miss bacon in a big way. Anytime I’m in the City Hall cafeteria and they’ve just made up a few breakfast specials, I ache for a peanut butter and bacon sandwich. Haven’t cracked yet and that goes back to ‘99 or so, I believe.

Yes, by all means, post the new info on S.P.A.C.E 2006. I think we’re gradually getting the thing whipped into shape, year-by-year, so an help with publicity is all to the good.

Also glad that you’ll be doing the Reliant Energy thing in Corpus Christi again--this time with less of a sense of ball-busting urgency. It sounded like a very coherent and sane way for a teacher to spend the summer.

Best,
Dave

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