176. Bubble Trouble.

Well, by now most of you know the drill. Information has changed and we are all a bit screwed because of it. Our choices change our news in ways that have never happened before. The news are bottled up and served as a product to people. You are drinking Coke and your neighbor is drinking Mr. Pibb; a bizarre, dubious and objectively wrong choice. I know I can't claim to be right, I mostly jest. I am extremely biased when it comes to immigration, women's choice and LGBQT rights. I will favor those over stock market increases and regulation reductions, even though I am an avid stock market investor. I click on articles that show how immigrants are less prone to commit crimes, while my neighbor may click on articles talking about the hive of scum and villainy that files up to ask for asylum. Just like rashes, the amount of biased news you get grows the more you pick them.If you still are not clear how this works, there's an accessible documentary on Netflix: The Social Dilemma.…

175. A Little Perspective

Have I been nauseating enough about our Coronapups? I’m gonna go with no. We’ve had our dobergoblins (Conan and Xena) for the last four months and all I can say is that they’ve changed us. Roxanne and I look at each other and wince at what we have become.  There’s not an hour of the day in which these dogs aren’t an extension of our bodies. Furry, needy, whiny extensions. And what do we do with this dependent behavior? We encourage the hell out of it.Over the last month we’ve done incredibly disgusting things like: Bought them little tiny sweaters Put them in pouches attached to our sweatersSmuggled them into restaurantsHandcrafted some masks for themHiked with them on our backpackOnly one of those is a lie. We are so screwed. Extra Panel: They are our world.

174. Grandiloquence

The inescapable irony of this is that I do the same thing. I make many of you read through my oodles of disparate, manic, poorly construed sentences to get to the mostly anticlimactic event of the “extra panel”. I’m well aware of this human tendency to bloviate once they get handed a microphone. If life was fair, you’d be hearing the Oscar music right now prompting me to shut up. I was depressed last week. (This is the quality humor content you get when you subscribe to my blog!). I’m okay as of the writing of this post.  I just came from a heavenly vacation with my wife and I feel much better. I-drank-a-bottle-of-champagne-floating-in-a-lake levels of better.The thing that triggered this latest depression is heavy, noisy and grotesque. I’m talking, of course, of Trump. If you're a supporter, please skip ahead, I know you have a knack for selective blindness. I was affected by his post-GOP-convention bump and how his supporters seem to not understand why I am distraught by Trump. …

173. Empathy

Empathy towards strangers is learnable. So why are some of us so uneducated?  I'm not always empathetic towards strangers. During the Paris terrorist attack I wondered why Muslims weren’t decrying this heinous attack. Spoiler alert: They WERE decrying it (I was just too angry to see it) and they didn’t have to. You don’t expect Christians to apologize for every insane Christian. They'd spend every Sunday apologizing half the time. My mind changed after a single act: meeting Muslim people. We helped a family from Syria as they were welcomed in our community. The “them” became “us.” Their amazing cooking skills and easy laughter will always stay with me.How do we get this to happen to people? There's value in learning that we are all extremely similar. We all worry about COVID, we all want to protect our own, we all occasionally leave skid marks in our underwear and never really talk about it.I’m the most introverted person I know, and I still have been able to meet Jewish p…

172. Glucose Intolerance

Every relationship is fake and I don’t know why, because the truth is funnier. Even I, lover of vulnerability and all things taboo, don’t post about our weekend-destroying arguments about sponges. Oh wait, perhaps I do sometimes.Am I being a cynical doo-doo head? Yes, of course. But I’m also speaking from experience. Walk back a divorce in modern times. Go back through the public postings and you'll find yourself going from "That wretched witch took all my money" to "Enjoying the sunset with my booboo" in a few swipes. Where’s the in between? How did it get from point A to point B so quickly? String Theory? More like creative editing.I find this a bit peculiar, but it actually makes things more understandable to me. That family you see always dancing in perfection, whereas it be in movies, books or your social feed... it’s about as real as farmed salmon is pink. Like a red herring, its image is set to distract. In the same way a jellyfish is not a real fish, th…

171. Worn Out

41% of adults in the United States approve of Donald Trump as of the writing of this blog post. 42% of adults the United States say they vote for him this November. I am telling them to get bent in this comic. I never said I was good at this whole create-a-following aspect of creating webcomics.When he got elected, I really hoped for the best, to the annoyance of my more leftist friends. I trusted that the system of checks and balances wouldn't let his flippant cruelty become policy. And for the most part it hasn't, but the effects that his intentions have had on the psyche of many of us is as indelible as his pronunciation of Yosemite. There is a lot of fake news around this president, I will never deny that. There is fake news about everything these days, including stories denying the benefits of wearing a barrier between your saliva fountain and other saliva fountains. The things that are terrifying and monstrous about this president are not fake news, however.Here’s my top…

170. Games

I have never been able to mainline reality. For me it always has to be cut with absurdity and humor. Whether that is a flaw of reality or of myself, it’s the way it has always been. If you’re able to ingest the stuff with no additives or enhancers, kudos to you. 
It always fascinates me how inseparable depression and humor are. The great podcast  “The Hilarious World of Depression” laid that bare for me. Why is it that these go together so frequently? The causal path is probably that depression causes humor, as a way to escape or provide layers between yourself and reality. This is only conjecture on my part, don’t make the mistake many people have done and take me too seriously.
As COVID rages on in this year of our lord twentytwenty, I can only hope that you are doing ok. Our mindscapes are being toyed with 24/7 through the double threat of a nature based killer and a human based circus of  mendacity and conflict. If we didn’t have Sarah Cooper or any of the other creative things bred…

169. Jackpot

I'm not spiking my morning coffee if that's what you're wondering. I am, however, definitely drinking more now than the before times. We used to go out a lot, and I got most of my drink-on out there. It has not been the same without a place to gargle my griefs with grog. My fridge and bar are stocked with a lot more happy juice these days. 
I've been asking around. I'm not alone. This is what we originally called the second wave, a stealthy mental health undertow that could suck us up. If you are reading this, you are likely shook up. And this time you can't blame it on the mediocrity of my comics. 
The good thing is this: People ARE sharing their levels of anxiety. We are all there. Do we vary in our response? Yes. I make bad drawings of bad situations mocking my own issues. Some people crochet and stuff.
Everyone, including your Facebook perfect friends seem to be experiencing a connected restlessness. Yes, them. That family that is always together, smiling, pla…

168. Flocking Idiots

The most frustrating thing about these people is that they’re almost displaying intelligence. Doubt and curiosity are healthy and necessary elements of scientific thinking. And yes, we have witnessed and been made privy of horrible things like MK Ultra, the Tuskegee Study and Trump being made president which make us doubt agencies and governments.  But the gap between the facts, “the world really dislikes Trump“, to the conclusions, “COVID is a hoax to undermine Trump”; this gap is bigger than the gap between Trump’s IQ compared to his predecessor’s. Unbridgeable. 
Wether it’s Dunning Kruger effect (like I displayed in one of my earlier comics) or meek mental mettle; these people can stop being funny (like when Buzz Aldrin punched one of them) and start getting dangerous at times. People have followed Fox and OAN’s trails to endanger other people. People are refusing to vaccinate their children due to ridiculous claims. Soon, these people will not vaccinate for COVID, which will be the…

167. Free Ennui

I remember standing in line for album releases. The anticipation was part of the thrill! I could maybe afford one cd a month, a few video games a year. However, I remember them all very fondly and it may have been from the unique value and space they possessed in my life. 
Now, I can go from being all "Who is Sufjan Stevens?" to listening to his whole library in seconds. This is an objective improvement in people’s lives, and yet...
Each individual piece of media I consume seems a bit less valuable. I’m never going to extensively complain, though. I am a technophile and have a short attention span, so this is my world; but if I’m ludicrously honest with myself, I miss wanting sometimes. 
Writing this makes me realize I've just won the first-world-contest that I host in my head every day. Also, not enjoying things you used to is a very common symptom of depression which would come off as no surprise to my readers or to many of the melancholic people I know.
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