Saturday, January 20, 2018

Jigsaw McConnell

Mitch McConnell wasn't, by himself, the one who forced the government shutdown yesterday, but he was the one who took to Twitter to pose a completely unnecessary and torturous false choice to Democrats:
  • "Save" CHIP (the Children's Health Insurance Program), which expired in September, which the Republicans (who, btw, own the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate right now) could have and could still renew at any time if they chose to do so, or 
  • "Save" the roughly 700,0000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy which allows them to legally remain in the United States, the only country they really know since they were brought here as children. 
For more information on why this choice was, in addition to being torturous for obvious reasons, completely unnecessary, see Brian Beutler's article The Shithead Shutdown.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


I'm honestly exhausted from trying to talk to people who take Grace's account at face value, but still see nothing wrong with what Ansari is described as having done, for whatever reason-- she didn't leave fast enough, she didn't say no loudly or frequently enough, she didn't do this or didn't do that. All of the focus seems to be on blaming her for being insufficiently assertive in preventing his actions, when (presumably) he's the one, and the only one, ultimately responsible for his own actions. And his actions were not okay. I can't see any reason why that shouldn't be part of the broader discussion of what consent means in a sexual context.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The faintest praise

It's really disturbing me to see people talking seriously about electing Oprah as president. 

The Dunning Kruger effect is a cognitive bias that causes people of low ability to grossly overestimate their ability, because among their inferior abilities is the one that allows them to accurately assess the quality of their own skillset. 

Donald Trump, in a stunning display of the Dunning Kruger effect, thought himself of proper aptitude to take the presidency, and a significant enough portion of Americans agreed with him to make that come to pass. 

What's supposed to happen is that when someone who lacks the sense to recognize his or her own lack of aptitude for such a position, he or she is immediately talked out of it by people who know better, or-- worse comes to worst-- loses the election because at least the electorship does know better. 

In Trump's case, neither of these things happened. I'm reading Michael Wolff's book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House like nearly every other American right now, which makes it clear that Trump's own campaign and current administration also did not and do not believe that Trump is suited for the presidency, but supported and encouraged him anyway for the sake of their own personal gain. 

Your everyday Trump supporter, on the other hand, with little to nothing to gain (and potentially much to lose) from a Trump presidency, apparently shared Trump's Dunning Kruger effect with him and thought that being a shady real estate developer turned TV celebrity made him an optimal candidate for president. 

Now I'm seeing a very similar thing happen with Oprah, who is suddenly being promoted as a presidential candidate for 2020 because of the speech she made at the Golden Globes the other night, because it appears that liberals have been jealous of conservatives and want their own inexperienced, unqualified celebrity candidate for president. 

Presumably Oprah, however, does not suffer from the Dunning Kruger effect and recognizes that while she is an accomplished talk show host, actress, and businesswoman, these things do not amount to sufficient experience to be on your city council, let alone president. 

I can only imagine how the numerous-and-growing body of potential Democratic presidential candidates who do have sufficient experience and ability are feeling right now.  

Sunday, January 7, 2018

I've reinstated my Patreon page

I've reinstated my Patreon page. If you like the comics I've been creating and want to help ensure that there will be more, a donation would be very much appreciated.

Here's the link


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Roll and scroll

Plenty of fucks to give

This comic was inspired by Rebecca Kukla, who was musing the other day (in the sense of contemplating, and also inadvertently acting as my muse) on why people seem proud to be all out of fucks to give. "I am still totally stocked on fucks to give," she noted. "I give tons of fucks and there are way more where those came from. I am just careful to give my fucks to worthy recipients, is all."

To give a fuck is to care about someone/something. It can feel liberating to declare that you don't give a fuck, if you've been giving too many fucks, too often, to the wrong recipients. But actually having no fucks to give is a dire situation to be in.

Mildred, in the fantastic film Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri (seriously, go see it), has almost no fucks left to give, which means that she's not what you'd call the hero of that story.  She's in deep, deep pain, and commits acts as a result of that pain that hurt other people. This is realistic. This the kind of thing that people do, when they have almost no fucks left to give. 

But giving a fuck is arguably our entire reason for existing on this planet. People who give a fuck are the only ones capable of improving the world. If someone depends on you, as a child does on a parent, then giving a fuck is mandatory.

We all have days when we're simply overwhelmed, and feel like we can't manage the emotional labor of giving a fuck for even another second. That is fine. That is normal. That does not make us sociopaths, for whom not giving a fuck is a psychological condition. We don't want to not care at all. We want to care effectively, meaningfully. We want to care in the right directions-- not spend our resources on futile or undeserving targets.

So with these thoughts in mind, I drew a comic about a person who is a careful steward of her fucks. A fuck farmer, if you will. As of right now this comic has been shared over 1,300 times on Facebook, which is well over the number of shares of anything I've ever posted before. Apparently it resonates with a few people.