Your man’s gotta answer for his words, Burr.

-Hamilton (Listening to this a lot since I downloaded it)

Just a quick rant before I talk about comics.

Kind of expanding on what I was thinking about with honesty the other day, I was thinking the inverse.  When to keep one’s mouth shut.  This is a bit inspired by some of the political goings on right now, as I reflect on the general feeling of whiplash we get from our President and his statements on a variety of matters.  And how he often works against himself and his political allies in a variety of ways.  I think his tweets alone are the basis for a legal argument against a variety of policies and have often worsened a variety of situations.  Politicians as a rule tend to be very careful in what they say.  Because it will come back to haunt them.

My basic rule has always been to stand by what I say and if I cannot defend it, I shouldn’t be saying it.  Be it work, LMCBW, or whatever else.  I have a simple rule in place to stand by what I say.  To have the integrity to stand by what I say and defend it with evidence and thought out arguments.  One of the reasons I have never felt conflicted about any topic I discussed is that I put together arguments supported by what I believe to be facts and evidence.  In part because it can be easier to stick to logical, factual ideas rather than the fleeting promises of believe.  And I intend to stand by the views I put forward without denying the possibility that there is new evidence that my point of view might have missed.  Could always be more to learn.

 

And… Comics.

Had a brief respite from working on actual comics.  Just needed a bit of a recharge.  Did a few sketch cards.  Got twenty or so about done.  About halfway through the inking for the first issue.  Going to start lettering in the next few days.  Did a Draw-In thing yesterday with a few comic creators I’ve been connecting with in the area.  It was tiring being social for a few hours.  Cool people at least.One guy recommend a site for free fonts to use in lettering.  Already downloaded a couple and planning to get started soon.

Looking where my comics are right now, I think I could have been tabling this year at VTCC.  Mostly I just didn’t have my shit together.  Story of my life really.  I might try to be ready for a con later in the fall.

Continuing to ponder the nature of ideas and beliefs a bit, a brief thought on gun control, some random workout stuff, a drawing and work update.

  • I revisited the Ideas theme I last week and I was thinking about that again.  The process of thoughts and ideas have been something I’m thinking about a lot.  I quoted Obi-Wan Kenobi, which I should do more often.  Anyway, I was thinking the quote I used.  It’s a line from Return of the Jedi where he’s talking to Luke about Vader and he’s explaining how how truth is dependent on point of view.  That’s a bit of a key point that I’ve been circling around.  Beliefs can solidify a point of view too much.  I am trying to emphasize ideas over beliefs if only because a belief limits and don’t necessarily work when new information does not fit those beliefs.  Ideas expand consciousness and perspective.  Create more possibilities and opportunities.
  • I was thinking about Gun Control and this idea of MAD popped into my head–when there’s a shooting every day, it can be hard not to think about guns and gun control.  By MAD, I mean Mutually Assured Destruction.  I’m applying the basic concept of the nuclear arms race to gun control.  We had nukes, so Russia needed them.  India had them, so Pakistan got them–or maybe it was the other way around.  Israel has them, so the entire Middle East thinks they need them–maybe it was the other way around and unconfirmed, but the point is still there.  That’s a bit of what I think we’re crossing into, where gun ownership has moved beyond self-defense and into a territory of an arms race.  “The criminals might have bigger and better guns, so I need them.” I can’t help but think that we’re just playing out the Cold War mentality with the escalation and increase in firearm circulation.  I think it is important to remember how close the Cold War came to ending the world and how that mentality could play out in our society today.
  • Enough serious talk for today.  Cranking on some pages.  Hoping to have a firm rotation and start date to be posting Order of the Dragon again.  I’m a bit angry with myself for letting work side-track me so much.  Also about the dragging out of the process of me changing jobs.  One day back at work and all the momentum from the weekend vanishes.  Mostly I haven’t made Stroganoff in almost a year and a half and I really want to.  Anyway, I’m going to start posting pages on a new Tumblr page I have going.  Did some testing already, not much happening with it right now though.  Going to slowly upload some pages over the next few days.
  • I got TimeHop on my phone and it occasionally pops up with some flexing selfies I took years ago.  Mostly ones I sent to my girlfriend at the time.  I just look at them and think, “Wow.  I look so much better now.”  And it is true.  Despite the general increase in my susceptibility to illness, I am pushing 160 lbs right now and I generally look and feel better than I have in a long time.  Definitely more definition.
  • Kind of amused by the whole Crossfit vs. bodybuilding back and forth.  I do look at Crossfit and see a few things that make me cringe.  As much as I try not to discourage people from exercising or getting in shape, there are things in Crossfit that just seem like a good way to hurt yourself.  Just throwing that out there.  Mostly I just feel a bit whiny because I didn’t kayak this last week.  Combination of work and storms.
  • Good idea I had for a post workout meal, Tuna Salad.  I basically make a big batch of it and have it ready to go for the next week.  My usual mix involves carrots, celery, cheddar cheese, minced onions, relish, mustard and garlic powder.  Lately I’ve been using an olive oil based mayonnaise, which has not been bad.
  • My parents have bit of field land they don’t use for much of anything.  They’ve rented it out for crop land, but there are spots they don’t do much with.  It is a bit swampy at places and a lot of hillside, so my mother has been wanting to pasture it off.  I’ve thought that would be a cool project to get into at some point.  I was thinking about it a bit more, and I would like to raise some goats.  I think it would be a really good area for goats and in general I think they would be fun to have around.
  • Quick add-on.  This afternoon, I got phone call.  It was from a relative, who worked with a state agriculture agency.  She does work with my ex’s farm.  She wanted to know the ex’s cellphone number.  I deleted it from my phone after a couple of months of us making fools of ourselves every time we exchanged words.  Now that I think about it, I think I could find it if I had to–not going to, but I think I could.  My question would be, after a year of us generally making asses of ourselves every time we exchange words, should I have her phone number readily available?

Idea of Ideas

July 8, 2016

I basically restarted this blog last year with a handful of goals in mind.  One, was basically to force myself to write on a regular basis.  That has more or less been accomplished, as I usually write two posts a week–likely to some people’s annoyance.  Two, to formulate new ideas.  I wrote a post awhile back about Ideas and how important it is to have them and form new ones, but amazed me is how sometimes each point I tried to make would spawn another point or two that expanded a whole new range of concepts.  And the third was to process a lot of what was going on in my life.  I was dealing with a break-up I did not agree with and there were any number of things I wanted to say that the other party involved just would not give me opportunity to say–she might disagree with that and have her thoughts about what I’ve written, but as Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, “Many of the truths that we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”  My main goal in discussing her and a lot of what unfolded was to simply process a lot of the intricacies of the decision making and a lot of the factors that impacted those decisions as well as explore how I’m bettering myself as a result–I wrote a lot more about her than I intended, I will admit.  Point is, I wrote a lot of stuff and I intend to keep writing.  Mostly it was ideas and the idea of having ideas.

Anyway, I’m thinking more about the “Idea of Ideas” and how important it is that we have them.  How important it is to come up with new ones.  About the difference between a “belief” and an “idea.”  I look at a lot of what is unfolding in the news these days and I wonder how much we’re seeing that blurring of the lines between beliefs and ideas.  Gun control, ISIS, Clinton, Trump… we’ve got a lot going on where people are getting losing track of that line.  Does the belief of what the Second Amendment implies negate alternative ideas that make us safer?  Does the belief of what is the appropriate way to deal with ISIS prevent us from forming the ideas that might render them irrelevant?  Does the belief of our two party system’s superiority become a help or a hindrance in implementing new ideas and reforms that might make our lives better?  Does the belief in stereotypes prevent us from acknowledging that religion and skin color have little to do with being a criminal or a terrorist?

My point is, I look around at the world I see people trying trying to fit neatly into a belief system.  People believe in a way the world should be.  Politicians try to sell people on that belief system.  I think that was the heart of the matter when it came to Bernie Sanders running for President.  He was rocking the belief system to its core.  Clinton and Trump both represent old beliefs.  They’re the old ideas to restore stability to the belief structure.  But the cracks are already there.  I don’t pretend to have much in the way of answers.  I just think we need to start coming up with some new ideas before its too late.

So yeah, ask questions now.  What do you believe?  What do you know?  Do your beliefs mean what you think they means?  Do our beliefs empower or limit us?  Who should we believe in now?

Maybe we’ll figure that out sometime.  Or maybe we’ll blow ourselves up.  Not sure which option would be the optimistic one.

Ideas

February 29, 2016

Had a great idea the other day, thought too hard and it went away…  -“Ideas” by Mister Encrypto.

New information is welcome everywhere I go…  “I’ve Been Dreaming” by Awolnation

The blurb I wrote about ideas has stuck with me the last few days.  Put forth a couple concepts I wanted to expand on.  One of the main things I’ve wanted to do since I revived this blog is to develop and flesh out ideas.  Be it about the world, my writing, my art, my relationships… I’ve only really tried to put forth new ideas that add detail and understanding to myself and the world around me.  I don’t have the lofty goals of changing minds or saving the world or anything–I just want to put forth some new ideas.

In the movie Dogma, Chris Rock’s character discusses the importance of having ideas over beliefs.  It was a sentiment I always agreed with, in that ideas can evolve and change while beliefs get locked into a structure.  In example, the idea of love and marriage has evolved so far beyond the traditional belief structure we have in place that it cannot possibly fit those constraints.  People believe that marriage is between a man and woman, but the reality of the basic idea is that it cannot possibly be so simply squared away anymore.

Bit more of an exclusive United States problem is gun control.  People believe that they have an undeniable right to own firearms, making the idea of any type of restriction on that unacceptable.  As much as I would argue that there should be more gun control and that the Second Amendment most definitely allows it, I’m not unrealistic enough to believe that it will ever happen.  People’s beliefs are so firmly entrenched that they have a right to own guns they don’t necessarily need and any ideas put forth contrary to those will be outright rejected.  A belief structure does not change and this one has been reinforced over the past few decades.  It will not change in one day, one week, one year or one decade.  Maybe not even a century.

Beliefs formed reinforced over centuries are more dangerous than ideas if only because it prevents us from adapting with the world.  Did the Founding Fathers foresee this country as one with the highest firearm fatality rate in the world?  Probably not.  Did they foresee Citizen’s United or Roe Vs. Wade or the diversity of human sexuality?  Unlikely.  They declared “Truths” to be self-evident, but they did not give these ideas the depth of scope to truly represent all the myriad of directions that they could go over the course of history.

People like to rely on belief structures.  And ideas that attack that belief structure are generally resisted.  That’s why I don’t expect too much from people, but at the same time expect everything from them.  People believe what they want, but they have ideas all the time.  Ideas that could change their whole perspective on what they believe.  Having beliefs is not necessarily a bad thing, but there is a fine line between those being supportive and being a hindrance.

For a number of reasons, I try not to rely on belief and focus more on ideas.  Religiously, I’ve described myself as an absurdist or agnostic.  This is more because I like the concept of a myriad of possibilities and ideas.  Plenty of religions have ideas I like.  And a few I don’t.  This isn’t to say I won’t “find God” or whatever someday, I just prefer the idea of ideas right now.  Those ideas should not be restricted to a particular doctrine.

Overall, we are faced with new ideas and concepts every moment of everyday.  Some will be good, some will be bad.  Either way, they change people.  Ideas cannot be feared.  They are ideas.  They need to be considered and shared.  Regardless of whether or not they are embraced, they change things.  They stay with us as we move forward and occasionally prove to be of use.

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