Comicle #12: Dirty lies

Comicles, June 1, 2015 at 08h49

Comicle #11: Garbanzo!

Comicles, June 16, 2014 at 02h27

This Comicle’s been sitting around for a while now so I thought it was time to get out. That’s why I dolled it up and sent it on its way to amuse you. No longer just any ordinary legume, this fella is ready for the extra-ritzy gala in your gigglespot.

Comicle #10: Natural Hunters

Comicles, March 14, 2011 at 11h37

Believe it or not, eating wasn’t always as easy as going to a restaurant and picking something from the menu. In fact, there was a time when humans didn’t even have grocery stores! Yes, I know it’s hard to believe while sitting in front of your computer only steps away from your refrigerator, but it’s true.

Popular science has a fairly convincing timeline that, for humans, begins around when we started to create tools to obtain food. We used these tools for hunting, foraging, and of course primitive fondue parties. As our tools became more sophisticated, our agrarian civilizations began. Fast forward several thousand years and we can barely recognize ourselves as coming from such hard-working ancestors as those. Today life is so much different that given the same tools that were available back then, most of us probably wouldn’t survive a week.

Despite this, some people assert that humans are natural predators, which is often used to justify modern non-predatorial eating habits. I used this argument too when I was an omnivore, even though I rarely ate the animals that I killed. Nowadays, I tend to believe that humans used to be natural predators, but if we actually had to hunt again, I don’t think it would come naturally. We might know what to do, but actually doing it well enough to survive is a different matter indeed. These days the most fighting we do for food is over the last slice of pizza.

Regardless of the few physical characteristics that might put humans in the ‘predator’ category, I think it’s pretty obvious that ordering a hamburger isn’t the same as tracking a cow by smell and ripping her apart with your teeth. We might like to think of ourselves as the superior species at the top of our food chain, but perhaps it would be more accurate to use our current habits to define ourselves now: former predators (once removed) whose diets revolve around the weekly value menu and marketing. Oh, and whatever Oprah’s eating.

Comicle #9: Rich In Irony

Comicles, January 2, 2011 at 09h29

This Comicle has been been kicking around in my head for a long time now. In it, a generic Animal Welfare Society is raising money by selling hot dogs. The idea didn’t just spring up out of nowhere, though, it’s based on something that I actually saw years ago. See, even before I stopped eating animals, I knew that hot dogs were made from various animal parts. You can imagine how surprised I was to see this booth raising money to save some animals by cooking other animals.

Some people don’t have a problem with this irony, though. There’s a fairly prevalent belief that some animals deserve our compassion while others do not, an opinion often based on things like cultural traditions, animal personalities, appearance, and taste. I no longer share this belief. I think it’s an outdated habit that we could all benefit from revising, because after all, isn’t that how societies evolve, by changing the habits that no longer quite make sense?

Comicle #8: Modern Commerce

Comicles, November 20, 2010 at 01h35

I got some feedback that this comic is hard to understand, so here’s its plot: a man steals an iPod, then sells it to another guy who robbed someone to pay for it. Punchline. Humour.

But seriously, how many of us are buying worthless products using money that isn’t ours?

I am. And I think a lot of other people are too.

So agree or disagree, laugh or super-laugh, it’s all up to you. Because you are capable of making up your own mind. You’re an individual, just like everybody else.

Comicle #7: Money Can’t Buy Everything

Comicles, October 21, 2010 at 10h29

It seems these days that some people are hesitant or downright unwilling to do something good for the environment because of cost. This argument always sounds absurd to me because, as I see it, it’s illogical. The planet’s been around a whole lot longer than money and frankly I can’t imagine it’s too concerned with our artificial concept of economy. It’s probably even a little bit ticked off.

As a quick analogy before my mind completely shuts down for the evening, let’s say there’s a ship full of sailors out at sea. One of the sailors — we’ll call him Bucky — happened to bring along his collection of antique buckets and another — we’ll call him Corky — brought his finest corks. When the ship is out as far as it can get, it’s discovered to have a hole in it! And not just one, but several, all over! Water’s getting in everywhere and the ship is sinking!

One sailor goes up to Bucky and asks to use his buckets to save the ship.

Bucky says, “What? Are you kidding? These buckets are much too expensive to use for bailing out water! But I’ll sell some to you!”

So a bunch of sailors pool their money and buy a few buckets, and while they’re doing their best, they realize it’s not enough! They need to plug the conveniently cork-sized holes! So they go up to Corky and ask for his corks.

Corky says, “Not a chance, these are my best corks! But I’ll tell you what, I’ll sell some to you!”

But guess what: the sailors spent all their money on buckets! (Except for Bucky, he must have left in a life raft or something.)

So one of the sailors says, “Listen up, Corky! If you don’t give us those corks, we’re all going to go down with this ship!”

But Corky’s a stubborn and selfish jerk, and he shrugs his shoulders and walks away. Then when his back is turned, the sailors bop him on the head with an oar and take the corks anyway.

So the moral of the story is that if we want proper renewable energy sources and the corporations aren’t willing to sell them at reasonable prices, we’re going to have to bop them on the head with an oar. You know, metaphorically.

Comicle #6: Marketed Values

Comicles, September 18, 2010 at 10h23

This Comicle doesn’t properly summarize what I intended it to, so if you’ll allow me, I’d like to explain my thoughts further.

Just by living in a society, we are almost always under the influence of others. In the case of the character in this Comicle — we’ll call him Durpius — he’s angry that the vegan is trying to push his values on him. But what Durpius doesn’t seem to acknowledge is the abundance of advertising all around constantly pushing their values on him! And not just any values, but the most biased values possible: companies selling their own product.

But let’s suppose Durpius is aware of this subconscious influence and isn’t bothered by it. In fact, he probably finds it comforting since this same influence has always been in his life. But if this is all he’s ever known, could it be possible that these are not his own independent, actual values?

Put simply, my point is this: there are values all over the place, but when you don’t disagree with them, you may not notice. Take a look around, identify every time someone else’s values are being pushed on you, and before you believe it, make sure you believe it.

Comicle #5: Patriotism is Relative

Comicles, July 11, 2010 at 05h16

Before humans came along, borders of course did not exist. We made them up. And when we did, the land didn’t change, the air didn’t change… nothing changed except us. We started to believe that our invisible lines were better than anyone else’s. And this lead to many intense rivalries between people on different sides of these silly invisible lines. So with that, today’s word of the day is:

Patriotism (noun): the belief that the invisible boundary surrounding the relative place of your birth is somehow superior to everywhere else. (Similar to the my-dad-can-beat-up-your-dad phenomenon.)

Really, people, can’t we all just be buddies?

Note: this Comicle is presented in fabulous black and white so you can colour outside the lines! Fun!

Additional note: as has been pointed out to me by Eric — a man who changes his web theme more frequently than I change my socks — I actually defined nationalism, not patriotism. Properly, it should read: “Patriotism (noun): the belief that the invisible boundary surrounding the relative place of your birth is FREAKING AWESOME.”

Comicle #4: Sign Language

Comicles, June 17, 2010 at 03h42

The Bible says a lot of things. I don’t know all of them because I haven’t taken detailed notes, but I do know one thing: it’s a book. No matter what else it symbolizes, it is first, foremost, and physically a book of stories. The stories are myths. Every culture has myths that they pass down through the generations. All of these myths teach a lesson, and it is this lesson that is important. The story may show the lesson’s magnitude, but that’s it. Jesus was a teacher, just like Buddha and Mr. Feeny, and it is these lessons we are meant to learn.

And getting learned ain’t always easy. People have a wide scope of comprehension; some pick up every detail, some pick up none. I think most of us probably fall somewhere in the middle, and we store the information in our brain as best we can, in an automatic way that helps us to relate to it. In a sense, we remember what we want to remember.

Which brings me to the Bible. In this comic, the character of Angry Christian is protesting with his GOD HATES GAYS sign. He even asserts that the message is from God. Well, Mr. Angry Christian is wrong! The Bible doesn’t say that anywhere! Doesn’t even hint at it! And what sense would it make to create gay people just to hate them? And why have an overwhelming number of lessons about peace and love, then sandwich in a few specific little bigoted bits? It don’t make no kinda sense to me.

I think if people treated their sacred texts as metaphorical and allegorical lessons, they would better understand the writing inside. To the best of my awareness, God is not an omniscient man behind the curtain of our existence. I see God as a guiding flow of energy that harmonizes everything. And I see any quotes attributed to God as man’s best effort to explain the unanswerable questions about why we are here. We just want some answers, that’s all.

So don’t believe everything that you read. God doesn’t hate gays. Or people with signs.

Comicle #3: The Line-Up

Comicles, May 28, 2010 at 06h00

Sometimes we make up stories to reinforce our beliefs, sometimes just to make sure there’s someone on our side. One of these stories might be that I have Jedi powers, another might be that animals give us their lives for our consumption. (As if a cow ever nobly sacrificed herself for your hamburger like Obi Wan did to beat the Empire!) Isn’t it odd that somehow we “know” what cows want despite not being able to speak cow at all?

I’ve heard the argument that animals have a better quality of life with us than if they were out in nature. That’s a huge assumption. First, that the corporations in charge of conceiving, growing, and killing these animals to make a profit are at all concerned with the animal’s comfort; and second, that we have a right to control their death when we engineered their birth strictly for that purpose.

I think that giving these animals a better life would include letting them live past their Ideal Kill Weight. Maybe that’s just me.

The cows in this cartoon were compensated fairly based on current Hollywood acting rates… that is, they got a lot of moo-la.