On -isms: A Break from Fighting

By | Thursday, August 17, 2017 Leave a Comment
My blog here focuses on comics. It is called Kleefeld on Comics, after all! And while I link to all my pieces from social media platforms I'm on, I try to have a little broader range than just comics there. In theory, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook or whatever, you're interested in me as an individual more than just what I have to think about comics. I have noticed, though, that my posts tend to focus on only two other subjects: fitness (mostly by way of check-ins at gyms and automatic posts from my run tracker) and politics, particularly those focused around equality.

Lately, as politics have gone increasingly off the rails -- going from White House appointments seemingly set to dismantle the organizations they're charged with leading to a Congress almost militantly intent on ripping health care away from millions of Americans to a President who's actively defending Nazis and white supremacists -- I've personally found it increasingly difficult to continue writing about such comparatively silly things like comics. Even when I bring them up in context of social issues like I try to under this "On -isms" banner. It's not a self-care issue so much as: shouldn't I focus my time fighting the evils of society? I mean, clearly the reality of people literally dying at the hands of those in power is more important than whether or not a comic creator includes enough people of color in their story, right?

I'm reminded of this short comic Jon "Bean" Hastings wrote in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. And while the "Planes crashing! Buildings collapsing..." screed is a little different now (maybe "Cringe in horror at this new world where the US government destroys the country itself"?) the impact is similar. So maybe it's worth pulling this comic up again to see why I need to keep writing about comics...

Carol Tilley asked recently what, these days, gives you hope or makes you smile. I could rattle off several things that make me smile (a loving wife, a reasonably secure job, comics...) but I had trouble coming up with anything that gives me hope. Hastings reminds me that it's the stories themselves that provide hope, and that by examining the stories, I can express precisely when/where/how that hope might be placed relative to whatever bullshit is coming out of Washington. It's incentive enough to keep doing what I've been doing: trying to be the best me I can be, whether that's calling out people on their racism or just writing about some French cartoonist that I couldn't think of the name of for decades.
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