Friday, October 9, 2020

Capacity and Profit

 

Obviously the above issue deals with Donald Trump having Coronavirus. I have had many discussions with my liberal friends and family about how much or how little we should gloat over the president getting the virus. My stance has generally been that it is bad for the country for our top leadership to be in the epicenter of an outbreak. As much as I detest Trump, I do not wish this terrible illness on anyone. I had planned to release what is going to be issue 484 next week this week. Issue 484 deals with Obamacare and also takes a pro choice stance. My plan was not to mention Trump at all with these updates. As a wannabe satirist I do not really have any obligation to be tasteful, but, seeing that I have savaged Trump for his lack of civility, I was going to refrain from mentioning him at all for now. My mind was swayed when he put at risk his own secret service detail for a photo op. To me, that was beyond the pail and one of the most despicable things Trump has ever done. Moreover, the inability of Trump to quarantine demonstrates perfectly why Trump is unfit for office. It is a flagrant disregard for science. More than that, it is a rejection of reality. My opinion(I have no formal training in psychology) is that Trump is grandstanding about the virus because he is mentally incapable of acknowledging he was wrong or that his mortality was threatened. Trump is incapable of doing that, so he has to brag about how he is a perfect physical specimen. A sizable portion of the country is playing the role of enabler in the delusions of grandeur held by the president instead of providing what he desperately needs: an intervention. Even Donald Trump Jr. can see that his father needs mental help. Trump should be evaluated by a mental health professional. Moreover, Trump fails to understand that he has fared so well against the disease because of his privilege as a wealthy man and as the president of the United States. While we do not know the details of Trumps illness, the evidence we have suggests that it was quite severe. Trump received access to treatments that the average American does not have. Instead of acknowledging that, he purports to be superhuman. I would argue that his access to top medical care likely has as much to do with his recovery as anything else. Particularly given that Trump is not physically fit and his obesity coupled with his age put him in a high risk category. Lastly, I would like to point out that violating quarantine is a criminal act in most jurisdictions. I know in my home state of Missouri, breaking quarantine is a crime that can be prosecuted. It varies from state to state, but in the case of any other person, law enforcement might be empowered to forcibly detain someone who violated their quarantine. They can take no such action with Donald Trump. On paper, our president is not above the law, but in practice it is a very different story. I think we ought to take legal steps to remedy the immense power of the presidency, but regardless, the nature of the position means that office will always be vested with great power. Therefore, we should select only the most responsible people with the greatest moral integrity to that esteemed position. Trump has demonstrated, by failing to abide by basic safety precautions rooted in common sense and empirical evidence, that he lacks any such qualities required by his office. Donald Trump is a vile narcissist who suffers from delusions of grandeur, he has been a disaster for our country, and it is my sincere hope that he loses by a landslide on November 4th.

 


 


Friday, September 18, 2020

Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday, August 28, 2020

Friday, August 21, 2020

Friday, August 14, 2020

Friday, June 26, 2020

Crusade



This issue deals with how protesters are taking down statues of historical figures considered as racists. I am not terribly fond of the practice of removing statues. First, let me clarify that I do not take much issue with statues to confederate leaders being removed. Those statues were erected for propagandistic purposes. The figures glorified by those statues do not have much a historical legacy other than attempting to advance a racist and morally repugnant cause. Likewise, I take little issue with statues of Christopher Columbus being taking down. George Washington, Winston Churchill, and Ulysses S. Grant I have much more of a problem with, however. I know that each of those leaders held views which were problematic. I have long despised the way we are taught about the founding fathers and other historical figures in America. They are portrayed as unambiguously good and infallible superheroes. I take issue with portraying history in that manner. I think that we should be more willing to acknowledge the flaws of historical figures that we idolize. On the other hand, I do not think they should be written off entirely. We should take a realistic view of historic events and not go to the other extreme by portraying historical figures as simplistic, self interested villains. Human beings are complicated and contradictory creatures, neither wholly good or wholly evil. Our history and our greatest leaders reflect this basic truth. Washington was not perfect, nor should he be presented as a perfect human being, still, he advanced liberal values that are precious to me. He might not have been progressive by our modern standards, but he paved the way for further progress to be made. We must acknowledge that progress does not come easy, and it takes often takes painful centuries of work to complete. Naturally, our Republic had to begin somewhere, it had to go through stages of progress, and it is easy to look back from our modern era and find that what came before is inadequate. That is the essence of progress. We should celebrate that our country is more fair than today than it was at its founding. Still, we must not forget that the intermediate phase, wherein only one class of people could vote, was a necessary phase of our Democratic experiment. Without it, we would not have gotten to the place we are today as a society. It is impossible to go from a monarchy to a modern constitutional republic with universal suffrage in one single step. I think that we ought to consider the time period these figures were from when we judge them. We should consider whether or not their overall contribution to history is good or bad, taking into consideration all of the positives and all of the negatives. In some ways I am not sure whether any human being is good enough to have a statue erected of them at all. Nonetheless, we do have statues of these people, and we ought to be more careful before we vilify figures who, while they might have been flawed, stand on the right side of history overall. I did not touch upon this in the issue in the comic, but I likewise take issue with the idea of censoring problematic works from the past, like Gone With the Wind. I have no issues with leaving it up while including additional context(As HBO is doing), but it troubles me that there are some people who would remove problematic works entirely. Again, I think the overall intent of the work should be considered. If a work is intended strictly as propaganda, then perhaps it ought to be removed from circulation. I do however, think we should be free to study works like Gone With the Wind and look at their cultural impacts while separating the racism of the work from other aspects of it. We ought to have the intellectual capacity to study problematic works of art in this manner. The censorship issue also bothers me because works like Huckleberry Finn or To Kill a Mockingbird sometimes get thrown up as texts which should be banned for racism. Perhaps there are parts of those works that are troublesome, still, the overall message of those texts are anti racist. Once you begin censoring artistic works, it is easy to get carried away with it. I question where the censorship ends once it begins. I can scarcely think of a single piece of classical literature that does not have some viewpoint which is problematic by modern standards. In spite of that, works of classical literature are still important and should be studied. Part of me thinks that people should be taught even maliciously racist works. They should be exposed in their education to these views and be given the proper context behind them, much like what HBO is doing with Gone with the Wind. As people go out into the world, they will invariably be exposed to racist views anyway. In my view, it is better for people to be exposed to these views in some old, long, and some would say boring, movie than from trolls on the Internet. If decent people are banned from seeing or talking about these views, then people will first be exposed to these ideas by racists. These ideas will not be refuted, instead they will be glorified by those who present them and some people will get sucked into the vile ideology of racism. That is why I believe controversial things must be allowed to stand and to be placed into the proper context. People have to learn about racism from decent human beings who reject it so that they can recognize it and defeat it when it rears its ugly head in the real world.

Surface


Sunday, May 31, 2020

Back Lives Matter Special


This is an extra issue and a special issue about the death of George Floyd and the protests that it has provoked. I decided to make and release this issue because I felt weird about not covering this issue on Friday. The main reason I did not mention George Floyd in the comic released Friday is that the comic has a terrible lead time. I made the comic for last week on Sunday, before all this blew up. I am also very close to being on vacation and I feel exhausted from working in retail in the midst of a pandemic so I was not quite on the ball enough this week to make an extra issue before now. I wanted to post an issue about this topic this weekend because I felt like next Friday would be too late. There will of course, be a regular issue of Rick this week. I found this issue to be incredibly hard to write. I toyed with making it an entirely serious issue to match my angst. I also struggled with finding the right tone and making the right arguments. Anyway, I made it a special issue because police brutality perfectly matches my criteria for making something a special issue. It is an important topic and one I do not cover enough. It has been many years since I have mentioned police brutality against people of color. My brother posted a meme to Facebook which had the headline about things you need to know about George Floyd. The meme continued to list many admirable qualities and traits of Floyd. This list reinforces the fact that Minneapolis and Floyd’s friends and loved ones have suffered a terrible loss, but there is only one thing I personally need to know about George Floyd: he was a human being. No one deserves to die that way. No one should be bound in handcuffs and have their airway obstructed by the knee of another person. My anger is not directed towards all police officers. I know that it is not all cops, but it is far too many of them. Police brutality happens enough that it merits a response form all of the law enforcement institution in the United States. I also wish police officers, the decent police officers, would be more willing to speak out against the bad ones. It seems to me that police officers tend to get automatically defensive and I wish they would be more willing to speak out against their brethren who act in bad faith. I wish they were willing to speak out against their brethren that besmirch the reputation of police everywhere. If police officers and politicians around the country would respond to minorities with empathy and take steps to discipline the truly bad police officers, I think it would go a long way to making things right. I also think that police officers should be trained differently in how they approach these kinds of situations.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Friday, February 21, 2020

Friday, January 31, 2020