Stories Give Us Hope

By | Tuesday, March 17, 2020 Leave a Comment
Like many of you, I am absolutely brown-trousers terrified right now. Not so much for myself -- I'm reasonably healthy and not in one of the at-risk age groups -- but for all the people out there who are very much at risk of dying thanks to Trump's shitshow of a government response. (I mean, seriously, it's like they looked at a list of all the best practices they should follow during a pandemic, and actively chose the opposite of all of them!) Fortunately, I saw the writing on the wall back in 2016; less than a month after Trump was elected, I started building out something of a prepper kit, and my wife started stockpiling the pantry in earnest. We haven't gone full-on underground, radiation-proof bunker yet, but over the past few years, we gathered a decent supply of resources in case we wake up tomorrow and can't leave the house at all for two weeks... or wake up overnight and have to leave the house immediately!

My wife and I also have jobs that can largely be done remotely. So we can both sit in the comfort of our own home, and do work to earn money. Our livelihoods are not in jeopardy. We're very privileged in that way. But we very much realize that a lot of people aren't so privileged. We'll be doing what we can over the next weeks and months to have more of money going to independent shops and people living on freelance or "gig economy" wages. I've heard of a few companies doing right by their employees that have had their hours cut or eliminated entirely, but not many. And certainly that doesn't help the freelancer comic creators that I know so many of, who rely on convention sales to make it through the month. We can't help everyone, obviously, but we'll extend what help we can.

I (and more than a few others) have been reminded recently of the days immediately after the September 11 attacks in 2001. President Bush and his White House were almost entirely silent for the first week after those events, and the general confusion and loss of direction of the entire country was palpable. Trump's blatant lies and changing stories are worse. Bush's lack of leadership left a vacuum others could at least step into; Trump has been shoving everyone else aside to hog the spotlight, but without any actual leadership, he's preventing others from being able to step up. The coronavirus was discovered in December and only now are state governors taking their own leads in the federal government's abdication.

In any event, as much as I'm borderline-panic-level-preoccupied with the pandemic right now, I'm going to continue to try blogging about superficial nonsense like comics. In the first place, all the people now stuck at home who aren't used to it could use some content to fill their time and in the second place, comics serve an important place in our society and are worth discussing. One of my favorite comics of all time is a two-page piece that Jon 'Bean' Hastings did in the wake of the 9/11 attacks; I think it speaks very strongly to why we need to keep talking about something as unimportant as comics regardless of how awful things are in the world...
Jon Hastings comic page 1
Jon Hastings comic page 2
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