Saturday, 21 May 2016

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. 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.

Returning to our regularly scheduled programming after about a month off, we now get a letter from Dave in which he addresses a cogent suggestion from Jeremy Schorr, owner of Titan Comics in Dallas, regarding footnoting the Cerebus phonebooks; the old Yahoo Cerebus Chat Group and the goings-on there; possible or real demonic possession; and his public Bible readings, among other things:

26 July, 2006

Dear Jeff:

Thanks for your letter of June 20.

As to Jeremy's suggestion, I think you might want to set something up along the Wikipedia model where you would have pages 1 to 6,000 [Ed: It's actually more than 6,000, but who's quibbling?] with breaks between the novels marked and just have people fill it up with whatever I've written about any given page. I don't think it’s really necessary for me to check it. If I wrote it, I wrote it. "To the best of my recollection...". As it starts to fill up if people find contradictory entries, I'll be happy to define the difference or pick one over the other. Certainly, I've been running out of patience with answering the same questions over and over again while recognizing that every time someone asks a question, it's the first time it occurred to them. As to the short shrift of the religious material, I think that will speak volumes on its own. Just imagine: 60 pages on Cerebus No. 1 and three lines on Latter Days. It would be nice if it could be completely separate from the Yahoo socializing -- I meant that was what I was sort of pushing for when I asked if the answers to the five questions [Ed: IIRC, that was when Dave suggested that he would answer five questions for anyone who posed them about Cerebus. It may have been a bit more complicated than that, or maybe not for everyone. Hey, it's been ten years ago, dude.] couldn't be posted somewhere on the site so that Cerebus readers "tuning in" to find out more about the book could find what I have to say in and around the "Who went to see Superman Returns?" stuff -- to which as I recall, I got no answer.

I appreciate you standing up for me against the group, but I think it's probably a lost cause. Still, if anyone can draw distinctions between personal beliefs and psychiatric conditions, you're the one. [Ed: Back at the Yahoo Cerebus Group, trolls and just misinformed posters used to regularly start a string where the only topic was something along the lines of we know Dave Sim is crazy, but how crazy is he? I would regularly chime in with my psychological expertise and debunk it.] Stick it out for as long as you can is my best advice, but I think the Yahoo Group is probably getting ready to "Go Comics Journal message board" vis-a-vis Dave Sim and, at that point, there really isn't much to say, as someone explained to me. It's just mob rule and everyone throwing the worst invective they can think of. Which should be interesting. What exactly is this website supposed to be about if you think Dave Sim is crazy? What are you all doing here? [Ed: That is pretty close to what it turned into. Amazingly, there are still posts put up at that site, though nowadays they are back to being about Cerebus, from what I can tell.]

I'm not sure if I have anything to say to them apart from maybe:

You know, demonically possessed people don't KNOW that they're demonically possessed. But they do tend to blow a gasket when you point it out even as a possibility. And, I've always wondered, why is that? Well, that's not true. I think I KNOW why that is. But, from the secular humanist side of the ledger, if you don't believe in demonic possession, why do you go ballistic when someone suggests that you might be demonically possessed?

I've cleaned up my act a good deal, as you said in one of your responses, Jeff, and one of the things that happens is that you just tend to see things clearly that were (in my view, demonically) obscured prior to that. As an example, I was a firm believer in the "Power corrupts and Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely" adage, but it wasn't until I had been reading the Bible for, I think, five years that the next time I ran across the phrase, I thought, "Hang on. That’s an indictment of God. That's saying that God is absolutely corrupt." Never occurred to me prior to that because my mind never got up that high. "Absolute Power -- yeah, like Nixon." See? Richard Nixon was nowhere near Absolute Power but, because I never thought above that mundane level, it never occurred to me that I was cursing God in using the phrase. That seems like a really basic form of demonic possession. Give the phrase to some glib smart-mouthed teenager (like I was) and get him to say it out loud a few times and he's very possibly taken a metaphorical meat cleaver to his own soul without having the slightest idea that's what he's done. It seems to me that the mail is mostly an ongoing contest to see if I can be made to agree with something I don't agree with or to let an observation go that I should refute.

Let me put it another way. Doesn't it seem a little odd that this obscure cartoonist no one has ever heard of and who everyone agrees is crazy is still getting ten- and fifteen-page letters in the mail two years after he finished his book? [Ed: He may have been mostly referring to me, but I’m pretty sure there were others.] Even after he has made it pretty clear that his only advice is to submit yourself to the will of God, pray five times a day, pay the stated alms and fast in Ramadan? [Ed: All of which Dave has done steadfastly since at least 1999.]

I don't think that will go over any better than my answers did but, having finally Googled my own name a while back, I don't think there are many worse things that can be said about me than the category I'm already in.

I've finished the first four Bible readings and booked the next four. [Ed: This refers to the period of time when Dave believed that God wanted him to publicly read, out loud, the King James version of the Bible and Dave went out and rented, at his own expense, a public venue for doing so. All donations went to the local food bank, IIRC.] Our peak attendance so far was five, our lowest two. It's had its amusing qualities. The first week, there was a seniors couple there who left after about twenty minutes. I mean, the crowd is dropping from seven to five, you notice those things and I wondered a lot about that. Why would you come all the way out, stay for twenty minutes and leave? It's a Bible reading. The guy is reading the Bible. What would cause such a profound level of disappointment? Then, the second week, a woman phones the night before (the number is in the newspaper listing). The only person who ever phoned because of the listing. Asks about a hundred questions and at one point asks if I need someone to "spell" me -- she'd love to read some Psalms. Okay, straightforward YHWH stuff, but I deflect it. No, it's just me reading and I'm going in order. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus... God willing, through the Gospels and through the entire Koran. Mention of the Koran should scare her away but doesn't. She has no money, she uses the Food Bank herself. No problem, she's more than welcome. She's a diabetic, so she'll have to have something to eat. One of the girls at Williams gave me a couple of free muffins Saturday night, so I bring one for her. The bus is dropping her off from church. So, I figure I better have money because she's going to start complaining about how is she going to get home, so I'll spring for a cab. She shows up. I give her the muffin and she's delighted. Wolfs it down. She goes to the charismatic church down on Charles Street. She just loves to get up and sing and dance and Praise the Lord. I smile. She gripes at the Food Bank rep that they should have special food hampers for diabetics, that she can't eat half of the stuff they give her. Katharine, the Food Bank rep, is gracious. Bible reading starts and, twenty minutes in, she gets up and leaves. So, okay, that explains the couple from week one. The whole point of this is to get me wondering and discourage me. But what a lack of imagination! Two walk-outs within twenty minutes and both with women involved.

Well, since then it's just been funny. Sandeep, Trevor (who's filming the readings), Greg, me and the Food Bank rep (Christopher, except for the one week for Katharine). Last week, I gave Greg the DVDs that Trevor has been pressing and told him it was for his "perfect attendance record". So, hey, it's just the guys and the Bible. As long as my personal bank account holds out, I'll keep doing it even if I have to read to an empty theatre. As I said to Sandeep, what am I going to do, blame my material? Blame my delivery?

Now, it seems to me that the issue is one of: has anyone ever done this before? I mean has anyone ever read the Torah in an English translation aloud? Even all of the wacky stuff in Exodus about how you put the sanctuary together and (next week's crowd-pleaser) YHWH’s favourite bar-b-que recipes and how to tell leprosy from not leprosy? And then, Israel makes her big move against Lebanon. Is that connected in some way? If my reading the Pentateuch out loud is somehow facilitating the wiping out of Hezbollah and Hamas, well, I'll happily go into debt to see that accomplished.

Anyway, thanks for forwarding all of this.

The dogs howl but the caravan rolls on.




Jeff Seiler said...

In the interest of full disclosure, when some of us Cerebites gathered at St. Bonaventure University (in upstate New York), back in 2008, for the show of original art pages from Cerebus, Dave did a Bible reading in the auditorium the first night. I had driven straight through from somewhere in Tennessee after having slept just a few hours, after having driven straight through from Dallas to Tennessee. I made the last few hours of the trip on multiple cups of coffee.

I attended the Bible reading and, after about twenty minutes I felt nauseous and incredibly sleepy. (Which is fairly hard to do at the same time.)

I got up and left. Went back to my hotel room and went to sleep.

Read into it what you will.

Travis Pelkie said...

Does Dave do voices for different Biblical figures? Job as Rodney Dangerfield, maybe?

OK, enough sacrilege.

That's fascinating about the Absolute Power quote. That's true, I've never "gotten that high" in my thinking before. Hopefully the original person who said it (Lord someone-or-other) intended it merely as an indictment of us mere humans who get "absolute" power, and not ABSOLUTE POWER.

Paul Slade said...

That would be the Liberal MP John Dalberg, who later became Lord Acton. According to Wikipedia, the full quote is: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." So, yeah, I think it's fair to conclude he had human power rather than God's power in mind.

Steve said...

A question and comment:

Has there been any sort of compilation of Dave's Yahoo comments / postings that we can refer to, read / research, and print? If so please let me know where to find it.

I've heard a variant of the power corrupts quote, which is along the lines of 'Power attracts the corruptible' - but in a orthodoxy of fallen humanity that includes all of us.

But there certainly does seem to be a hubris which sets in with people in power, that the rules for the hoi polloi don't apply to them.

To paraphrase Orwell, some are more equal than others.

And speaking of orthodoxy, with God being absolutely powerful there is also the immutability of God: He is neither subject to change (forced to change) due to any external influence nor inclined to change due to any internal capriciousness.


Dave Sim said...

Hi guys! Lord Acton would have CONSCIOUSLY had human power in mind, but that's not what he said. There is no such thing as Absolute human power. The ONLY Absolute power is God's.

These are, I think, exactly the sorts of things that (unbecomingly) delight God's adversary.

I don't think it gets "under God's skin" in any way (although that does seem to be the Super-reality intention behind it). God's logical response, I think, would be: "How would YOU know?" That is, unless you are in possession of Absolute Power how would you know what effect it has? Even on the limited human level from which Lord Acton was speaking, he wasn't a remotely powerful figure on the scale he was discussing.

There are a number of -- what I would consider -- misguided indictments of God. One of my favourites is "The YHWH's/LORD's Prayer": "Lead us not into temptation."

Do you REALLY think God is remotely in danger of leading us into temptation and needs US to tell Him not to when we pray?

Erick said...

Um, wow. "God's logical response", really?
Well i have no idea what God's logical response would or should be but I do know a little some about the Lord's Prayer. The following is a commentary by biblical scholar

(13) Lead us not into temptation.—The Greek word includes the two thoughts which are represented in English by “trials,” i.e., sufferings which test or try, and “temptations,” allurements on the side of pleasure which tend to lead us into evil. Of these the former is the dominant meaning in the language of the New Testament, and is that of which we must think here. (Comp. Matthew 26:41.) We are taught not to think of the temptation in which lust meets opportunity as that into which God leads us (James 1:13-14); there is therefore something that shocks us in the thought of asking Him not to lead us into it. But trials of another kind, persecution, spiritual conflicts, agony of body or of spirit, these may come to us as a test or as a discipline. Should we shrink from these? An ideal stoicism, a perfected faith, would say, “No, let us accept them, and leave the issue in our Father’s hands.” But those who are conscious of their weakness cannot shake off the thought that they might fail in the conflict, and the cry of that conscious weakness is therefore, “Lead us not into such trials,” even as our Lord prayed, “If it be possible, let this cup pass away from me” (Matthew 26:39). And the answer to the prayer may come either directly in actual exemption from the trial, or in “the way to escape” (1Corinthians 10:13), or in strength to bear it. It is hardly possible to read the prayer without thinking of the recent experience of “temptation” through which our Lord had passed. The memory of that trial in all its terrible aspects was still present with Him, and in His tender love for His disciples He bade them pray that they might not be led into anything so awful.

Erick said...

You really did not research this did you?

By Joel Schorn

"Lead us not into temptation.” Christians have prayed these words so many times, it’s easy to slide over their meaning, but they are a bit curious, aren’t they?

Would God really lead people into temptation? Isn’t that supposed to be the job of the other guy, the one with the horns and pitchfork?

You can find the short answer in the New Testament Letter of James: “No one experiencing temptation should say, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one” (1:13). Don’t try to shift responsibility, James is saying; God does not tempt, and God cannot lead people into evil. But that answer only produces another question: So why ask for something that’s not only contrary to what Christians believe about God but also impossible?

Of course believers make this odd petition so often because it is part of that most famous of prayers, the Lord’s Prayer. Different versions of the prayer appear in Matthew 6 as part of the Sermon on the Mount and in Luke 11 as Jesus’ example of how the disciples are to pray. This context—along with the fact that by the prayer’s opening address “Our Father [abba],” Jesus invited the disciples into his own special relationship with God—makes the prayer and its words important.

“Lead us not into temptation” comes in the second set of the prayer’s petitions. The first set asks for the complete coming of the reign of God on earth, when the divine name will be known by the whole world and all will follow the divine will just as it is already obeyed in heaven. The second addresses the needs of the community of disciples: asking for a day’s sustenance, realizing one’s own forgiveness lies in forgiving others, and—here it is—asking for help in facing “temptation.” But that’s the word the liturgy uses; the Bible passage says “do not subject us to the final test,” or, in another translation, “do not bring us to the time of trial.”

The final test, the time of trial: This petition is asking for strength to face God’s judgment of the world at the end of time. Like the whole prayer, though, it has a present-time dimension as well. Just as to ask for the coming of God’s kingdom is to hasten its arrival now, to pray for courage at the end of the world is to ask for it in this moment.

Admittedly “lead us not into temptation” is a strange way to put it, but the phrase acknowledges that tests and trials of faith call for strength—and that is what God provides. And it gets better: God offers deliverance and rescue from evil as well, as the closing words of the Lord’s Prayer say.

So there is hope. “God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength,” St. Paul wrote in his First Letter to the Corinthians, “but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it” (10:13).

Anonymous said...

None of this had ever occurred to me.

My first thought regarding "absolute power" was of course it only refers to humans but Mr. Sim brings up a good point regarding the word "absolute." I don't ever use that phrase but now I doubt I ever will, or at least without a changing that part. But then why even use it?

Here's the version I found:
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”

Regarding the "Our Father" prayer, Dave brings up a really good point. I sat here trying to think if there's some way of interpreting this in a different way but couldn't come up with one. So I agree with Dave. Why would I need to ask God not to lead us into temptation? It doesn't make sense.

Thanks Dave for taking the time to discuss this on here.

A Fake Name

Tony Dunlop said...

"Job as Rodney Dangerfield, maybe?"


Erick said...

It's deductive reasoning.
Basically 'he said absolute power, well only one being has absolute power, therefore he must be talking about God'
Skipping the fact that the quote clearly states 'Great men'

On another note , Ill see your Job as Dangerfield and raise you Dave doing Abraham as Uncle Julius

Dominick Grace said...

Why would someone who doesn't believe in demonic possession get pissed off aobut being accused of being demonically possessed? I don't know. Why wols someone nwho does not believe he's an asshole get pissed off at being accused of being an asshole? Why would someone who doesn't think she's a soul-sucking void get pissed off at being called a soul-sucking void? Why would someone who isn't gay and has nothing against gay people bristle at being called a "faggot"? These are indeed posers.

Tony Dunlop said...

And Jacob as Woody Allen - the schmuck who always ends up smelling like a rose in the end…

I can see it now: Reading the Bible as legendary Jewish comics (comedians, not funnybooks)...

Jim Sheridan said...

"You know, demonically possessed people don't KNOW that they're demonically possessed. But they do tend to blow a gasket when you point it out even as a possibility. And, I've always wondered, why is that? Well, that's not true. I think I KNOW why that is. But, from the secular humanist side of the ledger, if you don't believe in demonic possession, why do you go ballistic when someone suggests that you might be demonically possessed?"

Sure, and people who are ultra-defensive or even paranoid often don't KNOW that they are ultra-defensive or paranoid. They sure do get upset when accused of such things. It's a crazy world, or maybe just a demonically possessed world.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

This is the quality of thought that Dave believes will be his greatest legacy? Once again (to indulge in a non-Simean interpretation) we see that Dave's "religion" stems from his own ego, not from any god at all, eg. "The whole point of this is to get me wondering and discourage me," and "my reading the Pentateuch out loud is somehow facilitating the wiping out of Hezbollah and Hamas".

Also, I do not think that Jeff has any "psychological expertise". Even if his minor qualification in counselling gives him insight in many cases, he loses all objectivity when it comes to his master, and his assessments cannot be trusted.

-- Damian

Jack said...

That "whole point" quote actually reminds me of something Dave said in the last issue of Cerebus--that the Comics Journal's publication of two open letters to him during his final stretch was God's way of teaching him some lesson or other. As someone who wrote one of those letters, I couldn't help but think, "Why does Dave assume that he's the target audience for this stuff? How does he know that his own behavior--like, say, the entire 26-year Cerebus project--or even his very existence aren't God's way of trying to teach ME a lesson?" Of course, the worst of all possible worlds would be one in which God and/or YHWH are manipulating all of us for the edification of Jeff Seiler.

Tony again said...

Man, you guys are taking this WAAAAAY too seriously! When a guy claims that he's the first person to have properly understood the most influential sacred text in the world, after 2 - 3 thousand years of reading, reflection, prayer, analysis, et cetera…well, the only reasonable response is to politely nod and change the subject.

Erick said...

my reason for responding and for countering Dave's inaccurate interpretations is not to change Dave's mind or Seiler's or Sandeeps, they are 'lost' causes, but apparently there are 700 or so other gullible folks out there who signed Dave's petition and maybe some of them were just so blinded by their understandable affection for the work that they overlooked what Dave has become. I get that and understand. Cerebus was and remains a towering achievement. It is a damn shame that achievement is now overshadowed by its creators 'idiosyncrasies'? Ah hell, ill just say it: Dave's bigotry.
If Dave and his enablers would simply shut up about his views on women, maybe the legacy could be embraced by more folks who could see the brilliance in the work that those of us on this site come to celebrate

Jeff Seiler said...

Damian, as you rear your ugly trollish head, once again, I will inform you that because I have the equivalent of two Master's degrees in Psychology, and a more than passing knowledge of the DSM, I can and will always say that Dave Sim is not crazy, nor delusional, nor schizophrenic.

I know what "crazy" is. I've seen it and diagnosed it. I know what schizophrenia is; I've seen it and diagnosed it. At my various, previous jobs.

Can you make a case for narcissistic? Well, who among us posters, especially you, isn't? At least when Dave is tooting his own horn, we're the ones who benefit from learning what the newest cool thing we can get is.

If you insist on breaking the fourth wall and denigrating me without any personal knowledge of me or my credentials, then I can only assume that you are attempting to transport the sort of flame wars for which the old Yahoo Cerebus chat group was infamous to this previously much more civil discussion group.

I had hoped that you might have taken notice that the last time you did this (and, admittedly, I engaged), our moderator, here, stopped moderating. He was fed up, mostly by me (he told me), sad to say. I won't stand for your troll tactics. He didn't, for reasons I still do not comprehend, believe you were a troll. I think it is fairly clear by your having called me out by name above, in a decidedly negative manner, that you were being, at least, troll-ish.

Thus, I ask you, for the sake of this site, if for nothing else, please; cease and desist from personal attacks on me.

Again, Dave Sim is a public figure and, as such, can and is able to receive and withstand public attacks. I am not in that same venue.

Please, cease and desist. I do not need to, nor do I have any desire to, defend myself to you. Unless, that is, you wish, privately, to enquire as to my credentials in the field of psychology. Feel free; privately.

Jeff Seiler said...

Jack! Hi! I think, and want to believe, that you were trying to be humourous, above, or (at least) sardonic). And, the more I read it in context, the more I do. Think that, that is. But, just so you know, I have rarely sought God's will for me by augering earthly artifacts.

However, as the ending of the old tv show, "St. Elsewhere", postulated; aren't we all just seeing God and the rest of the world through our own, unique, crystal balls?

Jack, if *your* crystal ball says, "edify Jeff", well, then, who am I to stand in your way?

Jack said...

Okay, Jeff. Yeah, I was kidding. It would just be kind of a bummer to learn that my entire existence is God's way of saying that you should make some slight adjustment to that Carmen Miranda costume (which you absolutely shouldn't, in my opinion).

Tony again said...

Erick, this thread hasn't been about "misogyny," it's been about religion and specifically Biblical religion. I'm one of the 700 or so who signed the "I Don't Believe Dave Sim is a Misogynist" petition, because I don't believe that. I *do* believe Dave Sim is seriously in error in his understanding of Scripture, but in a pluralistic society that's his right. As he likes to say, we won't find out who, if anyone, has gotten it "right" until Judgement Day. My money's on "nobody" (except possibly a handful of saints - all of whom no doubt considered themselves the greatest of sinners), which is why as a Christian I put my hope on God's mercy!

Dave Sim said...

Hi Jeff! Thanks for the phone message.

Dave Sim said...

I just finished fasting for 48 hours: midnight Saturday to midnight Monday. I always fast for 24 hours on Sunday, but didn't anticipate that there would be juxtaposition days with my pledge to fast 24 hours on every day ending in 3:16 this year, as acknowledgement of the Significance of John 3:16. Sunday the 22nd, Monday the 23rd. It was quite an experience as you can well imagine. Aside from that, my mind is occupied with Ramadan fast which is coming up June 6 -- definitely one of the most arduous fasts since the first prayer is about 4 am and the last prayer is about 10:30 this time of year (by contrast the first year I fasted in Ramadan was the 3rd week in December to the 3rd week in January: roughly 8 am to 6 pm).
You are allowed to eat after the sundown prayer, but I've always waiting until after the last prayer. I really don't like the experiencing of (ahem) belching when I'm praying which tends to happen after you eat.
There is, I think, another juxtaposition day in the middle of Ramadan when I'll be fasting for 48 hours.

Erick said...

Tony, yes I am aware of that. I Posted two replies to his inaccurate interpretation of the absolute power quotation. Sometimes it is permissible to leave the main topic of a thread if a link can be established to the new topic, or in some cases simply because the person wants to and no parliamentarian rules apply.
Ill let you decide which one you think i chose

Dave Sim said...

I say this by way of explanation that this is my religious observance. I could not be less interested in what you think of it. No offence intended. All that matters to me is what God thinks of it and I won't find that out until Judgement Day, just as you won't find out what God thinks of your religious observance (or lack thereof) until Judgement Day.

Dave Sim said...

Father of us the ___ in the heavens; let be sanctified the name of you, let come the kingdom of you, let take place the will of you, as in heaven also upon earth; the bread of us for being give to us today; and let go off to us the debts of us, as we have also let go off the debtors of us; and not you should bring us into temptation, but rescue us from the wicked.

Okay, there's the Interlinear translation of Matthew 6:9-13, the YHWH's Prayer.

I have a number of quarrels with it.

1) It compels the inference of a paternal role to God: which amounts to accusing God of a carnal act. I think this is a universal "bone of contention" everywhere in the universe. It's certainly a bone of contention between Christianity and Islam. "It beseemeth not the God of Mercy to beget a son" as it says in the Koran.

I think the Father is a different entity from God. The Father -- the being that enacted the (literally) seminal act of procreation way back at the Big Bang -- is a creation of God, just as you are and I am.

2) It's the YHWH's prayer because of the compelled inference that the seminal YHWH, the Father, was "lured" into the carnal seminal act: tempted by God into committing it. As a devout monotheist, I sincerely doubt that. I'm not God, but I don't think God tempts people. He can APPEAR to bring something tempting into proximity to you (He certainly does with me on a regular basis) but I don't think it's accurate to see it as His doing. You bring temptation into proximity to yourself by succumbing to smaller temptations, I think.

Erick said...

Nor should you be, but just because you want to resort to an old 'school ground' tactic of justifying anything you say by adding 'Only God knows and can judge me' does not make it so.
I humbly give you the founder of the Flat Earth Society and his interpretation of what the Bible has to say about the flat earth. Is he correct? Will we have to wait until judgment day to find out that the earth is flat or round? Uh, huh. keep on hiding behind that

"Modern flat Earth hypotheses originated with the English writer Samuel Rowbotham (1816–1884). Based on his conclusions derived from the Bedford Level experiment, Rowbotham published a 16-page pamphlet, Zetetic Astronomy, which he later expanded into a 430-page book, Earth Not a Globe, in which the Earth is a flat disc centred at the North Pole and bounded along its southern edge by a wall of ice (Antarctica), with the Sun and Moon 3,000 miles (4,800 km) and the "cosmos" 3,100 miles (5,000 km) above Earth.[1] He also published a leaflet entitled "The inconsistency of Modern Astronomy and its Opposition to the Scriptures!!", which argued that the "Bible, alongside our senses, supported the idea that the earth was flat and immovable and this essential truth should not be set aside for a system based solely on human conjecture".[2]

Dave Sim said...

3) Rescue us from the wicked.

I really don't think it works like that, although I'm pretty sure that the YHWH believes that it works like that. You rescue yourself from your own wickedness or you don't. If you don't, I think it weighs against you on Judgement Day. I can't see how it wouldn't. "I couldn't help myself" is a false claim. "God, you should have rescued me from the wicked as I prayed to you."

I don't think that will "wash" with an omniscient Being. God knows what he equipped you with hundreds of years before you were born and also knows the sequence by which you"threw yourself into perdition": here's where it started when you were seven years old. Here's the "Lowlight Reel" of each successive bad choice that led you to where you are.

As it says in the Koran, you won't need anyone to make out an account against you on Judgement Day, it'll be completely transparent to you.

Erick said...

Nor should you be, but just because you want to resort to an old 'school ground' tactic of justifying anything you say by adding 'Only God knows and can judge me' does not make it so.
I humbly give you the founder of the Flat Earth Society and his interpretation of what the Bible has to say about the flat earth. Is he correct? Will we have to wait until judgment day to find out that the earth is flat or round? Uh, huh. keep on hiding behind that

"Modern flat Earth hypotheses originated with the English writer Samuel Rowbotham (1816–1884). Based on his conclusions derived from the Bedford Level experiment, Rowbotham published a 16-page pamphlet, Zetetic Astronomy, which he later expanded into a 430-page book, Earth Not a Globe, in which the Earth is a flat disc centred at the North Pole and bounded along its southern edge by a wall of ice (Antarctica), with the Sun and Moon 3,000 miles (4,800 km) and the "cosmos" 3,100 miles (5,000 km) above Earth.[1] He also published a leaflet entitled "The inconsistency of Modern Astronomy and its Opposition to the Scriptures!!", which argued that the "Bible, alongside our senses, supported the idea that the earth was flat and immovable and this essential truth should not be set aside for a system based solely on human conjecture".

Second time posting this maybe it will take this time

Dave Sim said...

4) I've written pretty extensively about all of these things in the correspondence files which are being scanned.

The "free bread" reference in the YHWH's Prayer (which is really all it says: give us bread), is answered pretty effectively in John 6:32 to 71. To me, the Johannine Jesus is God's Jesus and the Synoptic Jesus is YHWH's Jesus. The Johannine Jesus actually severely undermines his own ministry -- temporarily -- in 6:32-71 because he essentially openly tells Orthodox Jews to commit cannibalism: to eat his flesh and drink his blood (actually, he rather artfully brings the Synoptic Jesus into it: challenging him to pose the same teaching)(which the Synoptic Jesus does, but he waits until the Last Supper and only instructs his disciples in private) But he does that because of the Synoptic Jesus' "free bread" prayer. It's God responding to the YHWH: no, you're (through the Synoptic Jesus) talking about free product from a baker. I'M talking about transsubstantiation: bread that literally becomes flesh.

To understate it dramatically, I think it came as quite a shock to the YHWH.

Dave Sim said...

I really don't have any more time to spend on this, I'm afraid. The Friday Project has become the Monday Through Saturday Project and Sandeep and I are now in a footrace to June 22 when it will be announced here. There is a nearly unimaginable amount of work ahead and no way to get it all done effectively, but I have to at least try.

Sincere apologies.

I will, God willing, post Impossible Thing #14 this week and #15 next week.

I'm not sure how much more participation I'm going to have here until then.

But, really, there isn't much to add to: you'll find out if you were right on Judgement Day and so will I. In the interim, all we can really do is what we, personally, think are right and which we HOPE will find favour in the Eyes of God.

Good luck, everyone!

Erick said...

And as far as your fast's, the way you speak on them - having done so multiple times in this forum alone, make it a vanity.

You are proud of your fasts and want others to recognize that pride. Why? It is simply a fast. Nothing special about it, might as well tell people when you make a BM - wait that was a joke, please do not!

Bill Ritter said...

Jeff Seiler...what exactly is "equivalent of two Master's degrees in Psychology"?

Either you have the degree or you do not have the degree.

I read this as you do not have the degree(s), but you believe you have something of equivalent value for consideration. Which, truthfully, are not the same thing...

Bona fides need to mean something, I would think.

(I guess I should challenge Damian's proclamation of "esquire" with a question: "sir, are you a land owner?"; I have been remiss in asking this and rather accepted his claim as factual...maybe I should...?)

Erick said...

L. Ron Hubbard. Dave Sim. Discuss

Tony again said...

Hubbard was dangerous. Dave is harmless.

Dave Sim said...

Hi Erick! - you could very well be right about fasting! Complete ego and vanity on my part and nothing else! I haven't, personally, found that to be the case and so I try to tell people that fasts are efficacious in my experience.

It might be something God strongly approves of or it could be something God strongly disapproves of. I'll find out on Judgement Day, as will you.

In my experience, it's certainly a lot more arduous than a BM and I think the difficulty of doing it is what gives it it's theological weight. But as I say, I could be completely wrong about that.

I should also clarify that I don't study studies of Scripture. I assume that Scripture itself is what we're supposed to study and that reading commentaries instead of Scripture is needlessly detrimental to our understanding of Scripture. I've been reading the KJV since 1996 and I always see new things in it.

I don't read the Talmud, I read the Torah. I don't read the Hadith, I read the Koran. I don't read Paul's commentaries, I read the Gospels.

Could very well be damned to Hell with no possibility of parole for doing so, but that's the choice that I've made.

We'll find out on Judgement Day how I did/am doing.

Anonymous said...


Dave isn't trying to convince anyone he is correct, nor is he starting a "religion"; just sharing what has worked for him and his views.

He's a genius on the comic book page and a fighter for creator's rights.

I would never think of Hubbard and him as similar in anyway.

Thanks for reading,

A Fake Name

Erick said...

Hello Dave,
before i say anything else let me just say that it is wrong of me to pass any judgment on you for the beliefs you hold that do no harm to anyone. Believe it or not Dave my biggest problem with you is that your views of the past twenty years or so are in my view undermining the brilliance of the work you created that i and so many others enjoyed. Cerebus was an is yours and you had every right to do with him as you pleased. But when an Artist decides to produce work for public consumption then a connection is made with that public. The artist still owns the work, but attachments are made by the public to it. Seeing Cerebus being ignored because of the actions of its creator is doubly frustrating. I admit, this is my fault. I should not feel so vested in Cerebus that I allow my disagreement - abhorrence really, with your views to become acrimonious. I shall endeavor to do better.

As for what you read of and into the Gospels, Talmud, Koran etc. You are cherry picking. You are taking only the parts that you want,and then altering them to fit a view only you see. Dismissing thousands of years of understanding.

Sandeep Atwal said...

I like hot dogs!

Tony Dunlop said...

Oh don't be such a weenie!

Jeff Seiler said...

Bill Ritter--I own one Bachelor's degree in Psychology and one Master's degree in Counseling Psychology. However, before I earned the latter degree, I spent two years working towards a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology, only to have it yanked out from under me at the last minute by a professor capriciously assigning me an F in his class, in my final semester. He had only two assignments, graded either 0 or 100, something of which he did not inform us at the beginning of the semester, as there was no syllabus provided. I received a grade of 100 on the first assignment and a grade of 0 on the second assignment, even though I did it and turned it in. Thus, my score for that semester, assigned by Dr. Price, was 50--an F. A pass-fail grade in a class that was not supposed to be pass-fail. I asked him if he ever gave grades between 0 and 100 and he said, "I used to, but it got to be too much trouble."

Everyone else in the class got an A; I was the only person who received an F. The school's policy was that an F was grounds for immediate dismissal--expulsion.

So, yes, I did the work for that Master's degree, but had it stolen from me. Thus, the equivalent of two Master's degrees.

al roney said...


I hope you spend the same portion of your time railing against actual entities (government perhaps?) that want (and can) strip you of your freedoms.

Do you write to other writers, directors, or musicians who demonstrate views or beliefs you find troublesome too? If not, maybe...

Dave's accessible, but at least he knows that he/we are but a mere sliver of the world's consciousness. If that.

What's the goal here - to change my mind? A few others? Maybe we don't need our minds changed. Dave is Dave and there is ZERO you can say, write or do to change him, his beliefs, or anyone else's here (if I may be so bold).

Seriously, Dave believes what he believes, but he's NOT the problem (and if you really think there's a bunch of dudes (or even a few or one) who takes everything Dave says/does/believes as GOSPEL, you're, uh, not only insulting, you're delusional).

I'm gonna guess you're a younger guy?

Anyway, peace and all that, but please try to expend as much energy (or more) taking on the real MAN. The real ENEMY. Dave? Puh-lease.

And this whole comparing of "credentials" (Jeff S.) is a bit like...

...well, you know. Confident guys just don't give a rats @$$.

Anyway, challenging someone's ideology is fine, if you're bored, but it's an exercise in futility.

Carry on.

Erick said...

Dear Al,

I am 52. I am 12 year Marine vet. I fought in Desert Shield. aka Gulf war.I started reading Cerebus in 1982 and remained faithful to the very bitter end. I read Cerebus through every phas - yes i went back and bought as many back issues as i could find and bought the phone books. I read every letters page, every column, every article on Dave and or Cerebus I could find. I Proselytized Cerebus in the 80's like Dave owed me money. I suffered through the absolute shit years of Cerebus when Dave could not be bothered to draw a damn line on the page but spewed all kinds of inane garbage. I stayed through the rape and the rants. Through the misogyny and bigotry. I stayed. I was vested and invested and I stayed.
But I did not stay silent and will not stay silent just because i respected the work and at the time the creator does not make me blind to what the man has become. And I abhor it. So feel free to lick his ass and say it tastes like strawberry's, but never assume you know me or what I have been or done or can tell me who or who i can not criticize just because you need a Jim Jones.
I guess that clears up where i stand.
Have a wonderful day

Jeff Seiler said...

Al, I am a "confident guy". What happened to me was wrong. Period. But, I persevered, moved on and succeeded.

Denigrate me, if you will, but I rise.

I always rise.

Jeff Seiler said...

BTW, Al, Bill asked.

Question answered.

Like it, or not.

Cory Foster said...


You say "But I did not stay silent and will not stay silent just because i respected the work and at the time the creator does not make me blind to what the man has become. And I abhor it."

But what's your endgame? You know what Dave's views are, you know you can't change them, yet you continue to talk about it. Why? What are you hoping to achieve here?

Erick said...

Cory, there is no endgame.