Saturday, 8 February 2020

Please Hold For Dave Sim 2/2020(?)

Hi, Everybody!

Green Dante/Green Virgil!

And Dave's gonna be at Cerebus Archive Number Eight: Women around 3:30 PM Eastern.

And since I had a thing on Thursday, there is no Please Hold video today.

But Dave sent me:

A left-handed typing PLEASE HOLD FOR DAVE SIM overlapping the last few days of the CAN8 Kickstarter (we are nothing if not unconventional, right?) 1) because Matt's meeting with his accountant Thursday when we would ordinarily do this and 2) I can type this left-handed ahead of time (thus creating the ILLUSION of timely, new content produced on the fly) and 3) CEREBUS Superfan JEFF SEILER's question is the only one that came in so far. Take it away, Jeff!

JEFF SEILER, VETERAN OF ALL NINE CEREBUS KICKSTARTERS (AND THANK YOU, JEFF) "Dave, to what extent did you refer to our mythological histories of antiquity in CEREBUS? The most obvious, to me, was utilizing elements of Homer's THE ODYSSEY, in GOING HOME, but what about, say, BEOWULF or GILGAMESH? Or, as a corollary, any of the classical Greek tragedies or comedies? I know that you have said more than once (while stealing the line) "If you're gonna steal, steal from the best." But how far back did you go? Okay, thanks Matt. Best to you and the lovely ladies, Jeff."

Hi, Jeff!

Yes, best always to Matt and Paula! Janis Pearl! and Natasha!

As usual my "take" is a little different on these things. I think the enduring mythological histories (and THE ODYSSEY, BEOWULF and GILGAMESH seems to me very good examples of enduring mythological histories) are actual histories, documenting actual events. And that those events were/are/will be enactments of the God/YHWH relationship. That is, the YHWH is the living thing within the earth, earth's molten he/she/it core and God is The Universal Awareness, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent.

Human life, I infer, enacts itself between the two -- between God and the YHWH -- on the surface of the earth. Usually just "strutting and fretting its hour upon the stage" (as we all do), but occasionally enacting an iconic narrative which endures because it's iconic. And consequently possessing a core relevance to the God/YHWH relationship. The further back it goes -- and I assume earthly enactments go back to the Big Bang and the cosmological events subsequent to the Big Bang -- the more iconic (it seems to me) it is, the more solidly it endures. Gilgamesh and Gilgamesh's behaviours replicating those of, say, one of the first of the post-Big Bang Giant Stars. If you scale one of these Giant Stars down to a human level it will enact itself as the Gilgamesh narrative. As it did. As it does. As it always will.

It seems to me to be the essence of the fifteen-billion year Education of the YHWH:

No, you aren't God, but you think you are. You don't know the difference between Truth and Illusion, but you recognize -- and are the impetus behind: you are God's motivation in setting in motion -- a core relevant enactment of your relationship with and to God. You recognized/recognize/will recognize it as a core relevant enactment over the long term because it endures. And gradually, by putting those enduring enactment pieces together, you attain to accurate -- or less inaccurate -- perceptions of What Is Going On Here. Foremost of which (in my view) is accurate perception of yourself as one of God's creations and accurate perception that you're not God Himself.

Homer's ODYSSEY, I infer, is an enactment of the outward expansion of the known universe from the Big Bang. These are human-scale enactments of the implication events which followed from the Big Bang (the implication events of which we human beings are an end product: the Giant Stars leading to the early galaxies, the early galaxies leading to the later galaxies, centrifugal and centripetal motion powering the whole "outward bound" thing, eventually generating Sol and, 93 million miles away, Sol generating the earth and the earth "generating" us: actually God using the earth, the dust of the ground, to make our progenitors, A Dam and Chauah. Who "strut and fret their hour upon the stage" enacting their own relevant enactments: a handful of words and actions out of 950 years of life).

Put another way, centuries after the events documented in the ODYSSEY, I infer, a more refined form of that enactment takes place: The Second Book of Moshe, called EXODUS. You can't have the one without the other in the same way that you can't have university without high school and high school without public school. The YHWH graduated from ODYSSEY public school to University EXODUS. EXODUS is a foundational text for our society and particularly our epoch because of its greater refinement and greater relevance to our situation. No one bases their theology on the ODYSSEY, although at one time they did. The events in the ODYSSEY happened, they're just less relevant "going forward" than are, I infer, the events in EXODUS. In the same sense that the dinosaurs enacted Grand Scale Conflict that gradually refined itself to more pertinent and more nuanced enactments like the original ODYSSEY enactment from which Homer's version is derived.

I'm a human being, so I'm an enactment which exists between God and the YHWH.

In the same way that the YHWH is imprisoned within the earth and putting the pieces together -- getting it occasionally right and mostly wrong -- my soul, I infer, is imprisoned within my mind, my mind is imprisoned within my brain, my brain is imprisoned within my skull and is also trying to put the pieces together -- getting it occasionally right and mostly wrong.

So -- getting to your question per se, Jeff -- it seems less a case of what, from antiquity, I referred to in CEREBUS and more a case of how many prior earthly enactments unconsciously (unconsciously on my part) incarnated through me into CEREBUS and how relevant or irrelevant those enactments appear to be now and will appear to be in the near future and distant future. What of my works originate in God's Truth and what of my works originate in the YHWH's perversions and mischief-making?

Call it The Shakespeare Factor. Shakespeare's major plays (HAMLET, KING LEAR) become progressively more relevant rather than less relevant the further we get from their incarnation. They're historical fiction -- he made them up, or, rather, thought he did -- but iconic in their relevance to the relationship between God and the YHWH or we wouldn't still be familiar with them 400 years later. Lear's relationship with his daughters and the witches being an obvious example.

The Greek myths, I think, are actually PRE-Greece enactments. Whatever culture of which Greece is a residue (Atlantis?) actually conducted itself, I infer, at its cultural apex in exactly the perverse YHWH way that has come down to us. We have the know-how, let's make centaurs, let's make minotaurs, lets create new forms of pregnancy, let's make a sphinx. Let's graft snakes onto people's heads. Abominations in the Sight of God but perverse "day at the office" all-in-good-fun stuff for the YHWH.

Hey, why not?

"Why not?" can, I infer, take tens if not hundreds of thousands of years to fully hatch out and is, I infer, doing so everywhere in the universe that the God and YHWH relationship is enacting itself. (i.e. every habitable planet). But that, I infer, can be temporary as well. The Greek "myths" had become a horrific pan- and trans-civilizational Cautionary Nightmare throughout the centuries where the Redeeming Power of God's Christ held sway throughout Christendom (now eroded into the soulless YHWH-based troglodytic G7) and did so until very recently (i.e. the 1960s when Frankenstein science started making its big comeback). The steep erosion in (literally) un-Godly bioethics is well advanced -- a woman's human right to murder her fetus is the thin end of the wedge -- and possibly irreversible, already.

Let me put it this way, if there weren't laws against it, how many people would be lined up around the block to have their genes split and fused with their cat's? Yes, you can have a cat/human hybrid offspring with your kitty! Not EVERYONE was horrified by the CATS trailer and movie, I don't think. Half-cat and half Taylor Swift? Now THERE's a Democratic Presidential candidate who could even beat Bernie Sanders!!

I wish I was kidding.

It ended VERY badly the last time it was tried on planet earth, but an ancillary enactment element which resulted, I infer, was Greek philosophy. Which meant it was possible for God to explain creation in an even more refined and nuanced form than EXODUS: John's Gospel. With the intellectual progression from Aristotle to Socrates to Plato it became possible to understand -- and, more importantly to explain -- the Logos. Starting with "In beginning was the word and the word was toward the God and god was the word" and proceeding to "the being into the bosom of the father that explained." We're human beings so we understand it imperfectly, but Truth based in Knowledge which originates in God (Gnosis) has its own form of efficaciousness. It, at least, distracted us from Greek-myth Frankenstein science, however temporarily (roughly 2,000 years, which isn't bad) although we're now blundering cheerfully along making up for lost time.

So, I would express the concept you're asking about more accurately as: How many accurate beneficent God-based Truthful enactments incarnated themselves through me into CEREBUS? (speculation: "You can get what you want and still not be very happy" is in that category) and how many inaccurate, malign Illusory YHWH enactments have enacted themselves through me (speculation: throwing a baby into the crowd to illustrate the point is in this category)? No idea, but I assume I'll find out on Judgement Day.

It's why I'm so strongly wedded to Scripture. Scripture, to me, is Truth. Reading all of John's Gospel aloud over the course of 2 1/2 hours (at least!) once a week (sometimes three times a week) is, I infer (perhaps wrongly) making the conscious choice to focus on Truth and to subject my soul and my mind and my brain to Truth to the exclusion of all else for that period of time. A much better use of my time, I infer, than watching a hockey game or a long movie or reading THE ODYSSEY or discussing Scripture, eating unhealthy food, drinking, taking drugs, hanging out, fornicating, masturbating, surfing the net, etc.

I'm a human being so my opinions of Scripture are, I infer, fundamentally flawed. But Scripture itself, I infer, isn't flawed. A man's reach should always exceed his grasp.

Thanks, Jeff!
And Thanks, Dave!

Next Time: Oliver


Birdsong said...

It was kind of last minute but a $25 dollar digital version of CAN8 went up today. You still have 39 minutes...

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

No, not crazy at all, right Jeff?

-- Damian

Jeff said...

Damian, reread the last two paragraphs of his response. Especially the last one. No, not crazy at all, Damian. He's just trying to figure out how best to spend his time on the "stage", and to make his peace with God.

That he took the time to call me out of the blue and then speak with me on the phone for over an hour yesterday (Friday) and then to turn around and type out this lengthy answer and fax it to Matt, instead of working on SDOAR and CAN8, to me speaks volumes as to just how not crazy Dave is. Hell, he even said that he always enjoys speaking with me on the phone (or, occasionally, in person), when I apologized for keeping him on the phone for so long. (Which is more than I can say about most others with whom I converse.)

Do I agree with his take on the ancient epic poems? No, not entirely, but mostly. I mean, in "The Odyssey" there are many mythical beasts that very, very likely could not have actually existed; a la, the Cyclops, the Minotaur, the Sirens, etc. But, they all served Homer's greater purpose, which was to further the heroic goal--to overcome obstacles in order to restore balance to one's life.

The Sirens are a great example: They lure sailors to their deaths with their "siren songs". The great George Clooney vehicle, "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou", did a great job of retelling "The Oddysey", especially with The Sirens. All George Clooney's character wants is to get home to his wife, but even his resolve is sorely tested by The Sirens' overt sexuality (in Homer's poem, it's less overt).

I accept Dave's answer as his view in regard to the questions I posed. That is the best and most fair thing any of us can do when we chime in monthly at "Please Hold For Dave Sim".

Anonymous said...


---I don't think Dave is crazy; he's sharing an interesting idea.

---Did I read this right a few days (a week?) ago and Damian is writing a book on Cerebus? Interesting if so, but I'm surprised that didn't generate some feedback.


A Fake Name

Jeff said...

Hey, Fake Name? Guess why? Damian has an inbred, as defined: "Fixed in the character or disposition as if [not likely] inherited; deep-seated" dislike of Sim and an ungainly manner of expressing that dislike.

I actually, weirdly, slightly enjoy arguing with D., as it makes my actual friendship (or, "friendship") with Dave more interesting.

But, remember, as Dave has said many times, he doesn't have friends. Least of all, Damian.

But: Sorta, kinda, not really, but close:


I think I'm around 13 on the list.

Lucky me.

Tony Dunlop said...

Question about the CAN8 questionnaire: Has it gone out yet? I got a rapid sequence of 5 or 6 Kickstarter messages this weekend, and it may have been tucked in there somewhere but if so I missed it, and have now deleted all of them.
If it's been sent, please re-send; if not, never mind, I can be patient.

Birdsong said...

Eddie sent the surveys yesterday. I would leave a message at the Kickstarter page to see if he or Sean can resend it.

Anonymous said...

"That he took the time to call me out of the blue and then speak with me on the phone for over an hour yesterday (Friday) and then to turn around and type out this lengthy answer and fax it to Matt, instead of working on SDOAR and CAN8, to me speaks volumes as to just how not crazy Dave is."

Non sequitur much, Jeff? If anything, that someone would type out this lengthy "answer" instead of doing paid work might tend to indicate, at best, misplaced priorities. It doesn't show he is crazy, but it don't show he ain't.

Incidentally, if you have to insert a [bracketed] editorial comment into a definition, then you're using the word incorrectly in the first place. Just say "deep-seated". Also, say what you like about Damian, his comments here aren't ungainly. This...
"But: Sorta, kinda, not really, but close:


I think I'm around 13 on the list.

Lucky me." ungainly.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of non sequiturs, and SPOILERS FOR BONE:

I preferred Bone when the story was simpler, before it became a more standard epic fantasy. The Bones, the farm, the village with the Hooded One and the rat creatures were more interesting to me, and funnier than the later fantasy, dragon queen, monk people and hidden princess storyline. On a smaller scale the story was interesting, on a larger scale it felt more like a generic fantasy and dragged out.

---Jeff, am I understanding you correctly? Are you saying because Damian has this "deep-seated" dislike that no one has commented on his potential book? And I'm not trying to add to the Jeff/Damian feud or "feud", there's more than enough of that on this site, I just was surprised to read he was writing a book or going to, etc.


A Fake Name


Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


Damian mentioned he's writing an essay.

It's been blown up to be a book.

I have offered to run it here when he gets it done.


Eddie said...

Tony, if you log into your KICKSTARTER account, go to the CAN8 campaign, there should be a SURVEY link on a menu where you should be able to fill out the SURVEY info.

If that doesn't work, or you have issues finding it, message us through the KS and we'll try and figure it out.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the explanation; mea culpa if I contributed to making it into something it's not.


A Fake Name

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

A F.N.,

Nah, you're good.

It was mostly Jeff.

I'm almost worried about the hard-on he has for Damian.


I know there's a vocal squad of people who have NO use for Damian, but I find his "uh guys, the emperor has no clothes" refreshing sometimes.



Tony again said...

I'll see your book and raise you a five-volume History.

Tony one more time said...

And no, Dave isn't "crazy," whatever that means. He does have a completely unique perspective on religion, culture, and society. I find that alternately amusing and tedious, myself - but then, he's not doing it for me.

It does lead to some veeeeery entertaining comics, so there's that.

Jeff said...

Okay, fair enough, M'Grady; I have a deep-seated dislike of Damian, as does he, of me. BUT, I left out the part where, in the hour-long conversation with Dave (which, trust me, is rare), I told him that I had what I thought was a pretty good question for "Please Hold For Dave Sim", and that I would be sending it to Manly the next day.

Dave asked me what the question was, but I demurred. He insisted, saying that he always likes as much lead time as possible to think about his answer/s.

So, I read my questions to him over the phone, from the notes I had made to send to Matt the next day. Little did I know that Dave and Matt weren't going to have a recorded phone conversation last week.

Apparently, however, Dave liked my question/s (and repeated my query, verbatim, in his intro to his response.)

As an aside, I've suspected for some years that Dave records (not via voicemail) his live conversations over the phone, even internationally.

So, you know, if you could get that recording, you would hear our initial "how ya doin'"s; his request as to the health of my cat; "Not good; fading fast because of the systemic cancer," and the various "how's it goin' at your place", and vice versa.

Speaking over the phone with Dave Sim for an hour is an honor. I reminded him that anytime he wants to call me, especially out of the blue, we could just hang up and I would immediately call him back, thereby saving him the international cost. (My plan charges no more for international calls, at least, to Kitchener, Ontario.)

His response was, "No, that won't work. I found out years ago that my phone has a weird glitch, where whenever I pick up a phone call, it cuts off.

"At first," Dave said, "it made me angry, and then frustrated. But, the longer that went on, the more freeing I found it to be. I grew to embrace it, and, then, love it." Or, something like that, in actual Dave words.

So, for those of you who have wondered over the years, that's why Dave's recorded message is "Thank you for calling Aardvark-Vanaheim. I don't answer the phone, but I do monitor the messages. At the sound of the tone, please leave a message in as much detail what it is that you're interested in. Thank you for your call."

I really enjoy, as his proofreader, hearing that message every time I call him, and not hearing "as you can" after "in as much detail".

That voicemail message has been around for, literally, decades.

It makes me chuckle every time.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your cat's suffering Jeff.

Take care,

A Fake Name

JLH said...

Yes, Jeff, my condolences on your kitty. Speaking of which, how's your brother doing? I'm transcribing last year's remaining Please Hold's and it was mentioned he was ill and you were in Fayetteville taking care of him.

Anonymous said...

Wow Jeff! That's a lot to deal with, I hope your brother is healthy and doing better. Same to you.

A Fake Name

Jeff said...

AFN and JLH: The cat (his name is Pud, but not like the unfortunate bartender in Cerebus, but as in "I tawt I taw a puddy-tat", by Tweety-bird) is not doing well. I'm on death-watch every day now. But, I'm determined that he will die at home (as comfortably as possible; kitty morphine is a wonderful thing--I'm told that it's ten times stronger than people morphine--he's resting comfortably now) not in some sterile, scary environment. Systemic cancer is a terrible thing.

As far as I know, guys (and, again, thanks for asking) my brother is reasonably well and still doing stupid-ass shit. Guess I should check in.

Thanks for caring.