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.
There is a gap in my stack of letters between the last one and this next one. I hope to fill that in soon, assuming I can find it. In the meantime, here is one from September of 2005:
23 September 05
Thanks for your letter of September 10. If you’re serious about being celibate this time, I’d really recommend not talking about it if you’re going to continue to socialize with the unfairer sex. If you think about it to any depth, I think you’ll realize it’s waving a red flag in front of the cows-who-think-they’re-bulls to do so. Fundamentally, what you are doing is telling them that they aren’t irresistible. Desperately needing (to the point of psychosis) to think of themselves not only as irresistible, but as objects of such profound fascination and slavering desire that men are driven mad in proximity to them is a core element of the largely mythological female “character”. It’s the downside of being warned about rapist when they’re too young to comprehend nuance and when they all still believe themselves to be radiant beings (Daddy’s Little Girl). And then, of course, there’re all the theatrics and histrionics that men go through in trying to get laid (I’ve never met ANYONE who makes me feel the way that YOU do) which also serves to carve the mythology in stone. It’s certainly true that Kitchener is the best place I’ve ever found for being celibate because the women in this city are universally repugnant to someone who is attracted to femininity, but I would certainly never say something like that out loud to one of them for the obvious reasons cited above. Their only reaction would be to say, “Wow, that’s a new approach”--again, because they’ve been raised to believe that everything men do is, however indirect and however masked, a sexual overture. With the exception of myself, they’re not too far wrong, I don’t think. It’s up to you, of course, but I think that all you can really accomplish by broadcasting your celibacy is to incite one of them to rise to the bait, which rather defeats the purpose of choosing not to fish. Try not to conceal your own motives from yourself if that’s what you’re doing. If you want to get laid and telling them that you’re celibate works, well, hey, go nuts--but it seems to me a little suspect to do that when you know the effect it’s going to have.
I’ve been of the opinion for some time that women aren’t actually attracted to men; they’re attracted to soap operas in which they need men to be cast as the principal characters (the best girlfriend, my adoring family, my best gay friend, my arch rival, the boyfriend, the would-be suitor, my best guy pal, my drinking buddies, my friends from school, my ex-lover who still adores me and will do anything for me, etc, etc.). The casting call is a 24/7 occupation with them, but to think that because she made doe eyes at you and struck a pose signals a level of attraction, to me, seems dramatically premature and excessive. Just as they need to believe that they drive men insane with desire, they also need to believe that they are amazingly nice people who attract friends the way you-know-what attracts flies. That’s where the “I don’t think of you that way” and “can’t we just be friends?” thing comes in and why they get so irritated and upset when you don’t want to be friends and why they become incandescent when you do. Again, it reinforces the mythology they have about themselves. Of course, secretly, they realize (if they’re at all attractive) that they take a back seat to their sexual equipment and that men really are only interested in one thing, so they use the equipment to snare the friend and then put the equipment into storage at that point. There are a lot of guys who are still friends with women they don’t really like because they’re still hoping to sleep with them at some point and they can’t bear the thought that they’re so typical of the male gender that they lose interest because no sex is forthcoming. So, they get swept up in the 24/7 soap opera with no means of escape from pretending that they think a way that they don’t think. I wanted to boink her a few times and her I am babysitting her cat. Oh, well, as long as it keeps her from thinking that I’m shallow and sex-mad.
Well, yes, as regards your experience with Jerri Dawn. All I’m pointing out--as an overarching truth in getting involved with women--is that these situations get complicated right away. There’s no such thing as just getting laid, there is always a soap opera attached to it somewhere early on where she puts the metaphorical thumbscrews to you and you have to pretend to think a different way from the way that you’re thinking and to react a different way from the way that you’re reacting. You have to demonstrate a willingness to jump through hoops and believe impossible things before breakfast because--if you do end up sleeping with them--that is what your life is going to consist of from that point forward: jumping through hoops and believing impossible things before breakfast. It’s really just a perversion of courtship where previously they attempted to lure their intended victim with home cooking and demonstrations of wifely and maternal aptitudes. Now it’s a matter of finding someone willing to sit still for a complete “masculinectomy” so they can stuff you full of all the things they’re going to need from you, like unquestioning obedience, a complete lack of demonstrable self-worth and the sincere belief that they are just as masculine as you are, so if you never actually exhibit any sign that you question if this is actually a sensible way to live, you just might pass the test.
Yeah, I’ll be happy to draw a cover for your mini (you mean digest, I think--each folded typewriter sheet making four pages, right? A mini is usually considered to be one typewriter sheet folded to make eight pages). You send me a layout and the necessary photos and when I get around to it, I’ll get around to it. I’m not sure what it is that I’m going to be doing next, but I’m trying to keep “Everything Else” confined to one or two days a week so I can actually think in terms of what I want to do, rather than what others want me to do.
Thanks for the clippings. Yes, it’s interesting the number of times I find my views intersecting with those of Charles Krauthammer. The idea of massive retaliation against the Palestinians any time there’s as rocket attack against Israel--particularly a blind response that is automatic and, thus, non-negotiable and in fixed 5:1 ratio seems to me the only way of dealing with any Muslim threat. If you remember, back in “Islam, My Islam” [Ed: a seven-part essay in the back of Cerebus in the early 2000’s, before and after 9-11], I suggested just such a scorched-earth methodology was what was missing from the US withdrawal from Lebanon after the Marine barracks was bombed. You have to establish disproportionate ratios commensurate with your firepower. If you have ten times the firepower, [then] you have to kill ten times the number of Muslims as they have killed of you in order to establish preeminence. As I think I said in “Islam, My Islam”, there are two natures in the Muslim, the Actual Muslim and the Tribal Arab. If the Actual Muslim can be reasoned with, the Tribal Arab cannot and if you respond to the Tribal Arab in a Tribal Arab fashion--that is to say, ruthlessly and cruelly--you will eventually compel him to act like an Actual Muslim. It may take years, but ultimately you will compel him to act like an Actual Muslim. The Israelis have been getting it backwards for a number of years in their prisoner exchanges, offering a hundred freed Palestinian terrorists for every Israeli soldier that is freed--and sometimes just the remains of deceased Israeli soldiers. To me, that sends exactly the wrong message and grants disproportionate leverage and self-delusion to the enemy in negotiations. Of course, I think Sharon has finally realized that there’s more theatre than battlefield to the whole equation and that abandoning Gaza so the world could see what the thugs look like when the Marxist gangsters pour into the resulting vacuum does more to demonstrate the core point than anything he could have done in a conventional sense at the negotiating table, the UN, or the White House. And, once the Israelis have themselves surrounded by the security fence and if they continue to import their workers from civilized countries, then you just leave the mad dogs to tear themselves and each other to shreds. I don’t imagine it will take much more than twenty years for the Marxist Palestinian terrorists to wipe each other out, down to the last man, woman, and child in the Tribal Arab pattern and then produce an Actual Muslim, a genuine partner for peace. On my optimistic day, I think it could happen in ten years, but realistically, it’s probably closer to twenty. I can’t think of a better investment of the West’s time and energy and resources than to support just such a program with state-of-the-art sensors and missile technology.
Interesting the City Council mess that you’ve got down there [in Dallas, in 2005]. The fact that Lee resigned before Jesse Jackson could show up and organize a boycott of the Dallas Cowboys or something is a good vital sign. Although, I really wish the mayor would have countered the accusation that no white council member’s car had been searched by saying, “Oh, by all means. Let me put forward a motion that this council be adjourned so Councilman Lee can search my car. All in favour>” You know--”I’ve got nothing to hide. There are a bunch of candy wrappers and McDonald’s packages on the floor in the back seat, but in the interests of the Dallas City Council glasnost and perestroika, I will gladly bare my personal messiness to public scrutiny.”
Okay. gotta run.