Friday, December 26, 2014

Kim Jong Un, go to hell.

This comic is about the controversy surrounding “The Interview”.

At first, I cared nothing about this controversy, to be honest. I am unsure why, maybe it is a dislike of Sony, or the fact that this movie looks stupid to me. I don't know. I couldn't get myself too worked up about it. However, I talked about this incident with a friend, a good friend who is actually very conservative. He and I only agree on about three issues.

Anyway, in talking to him, I began to realize some of my hypocrisy in not caring about this issue. I was furious when Comedy Central would not let South Park depict the prophet Muhammad. I like Freedom of Speech. More than that, coming of age during the Post 9/11 age, I have always been disappointed when the United States surrenders its values in the face of fear.

I don't think seeing “The Interview” should be held up as a patriotic duty. It isn't volunteering to help this country or fighting for freedom overseas. I do feel patriotic to an extant, but I think that American Exceptionalism ventures into the territory of Nationalism and Xenophobia. Regardless, preventing artists from expressing a viewpoint using threats of harm, as the Guardians of the Peace did, is wrong.

While I don't like some of the ignorant ways, and yes, even racist ways, some Americans talk about North Korea, it does not change the fact that the Kim Jong Un regime is repugnant. They are guilty of war crimes on par with Nazi Germany. That has nothing to do with how I feel towards the arrogance of the United States in world affairs or some of its moral failings. Moral failings which pale in comparison to those of North Korea.

I think that opposing this kind of terrorism isn't liberal or conservative. It's American. More than that, it is human. While the United States got the ball rolling, freedom of speech is a human right, and a human virtue.

I had to modify this comic once Sony decided to release the Interview. Below is an image of the first panel as it originally existed. Happy holidays, everyone.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I can't breathe

I decided this week to follow up my previous comic on the Michael Brown case with one about Eric Garner. There are three primary reasons I decided to do this:

The first is that given how much the Michael Brown discussion became about riots, I feel that this case offers a good counterpoint. There have been no mass riots over Eric Garner's death. There have been isolated instances of violence, yes, but none worse than those of Occupy Wall Street. Something that had nothing to do with race.

It seems that some commentators have used Ferguson to revive assertions that African Americans just riot over any killing of a police officer. It is a disgusting argument to make. I feel like it is a case of making a judgment about an entire group of people based on a very narrow subset of unsavory people within that group.

The other reason it is important to mention Eric Garner is that Michael Brown is not an isolated incident. It is striking to me that as the nation debated Michael Brown, several more African Americans were killed at the hands of police officers. Clearly there is a greater issue at play here.

Additionally, unlike Michael Brown, there is very little to concede here when I argue with the other side. There is no doubt in my mind based on all the evidence, even video evidence that what happened to Eric Garner was wholly excessive and unnecessary.

I again express solidarity with the victims of police brutality and I hope that this problem gets resolved in a manner which benefits police, minorities, communities, and the nation at large.

It benefits no one to live in country where these tragedies occur.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Rick, the Cryptozoologist Returns!

I have resurrected my old webcomic, Rick, the Cryptozoologist. All issues can be found here