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2:59 p.m. - 2012-06-18
I walk the line- truth and fairytales

I read the comics online at two different sites. There's surprisingly little overlap in the offerings at each site. Yahoo doesn't carry 'Zits' or 'Scary Gary' or 'Baby Blues'. And ArcaMax doesn't run 'Drabble' or 'The Buckets' or 'Frazz'. Each site's layout is quite different too. At Yahoo I can avoid the dumb comments from the nitpickers, the political axe grinders, and the dopes who chime in every day with, "Hahaha! That's funny!" Really? You found a comic strip funny? Well, how cool are you, dude? Thanks for sharing. I know my day is vastly improved by knowing somebody who goes by the handle 'MMMBinky' thinks today's 'Foxtrot' is funny. Ye gods.

However over at ArcaMax the comic menu runs in alphabetical order vertically down the left side of the page so to get to any strip after '9 Chickweed Lane' I have to scroll past the readers' comments. This is really starting to tick me off. I read fast but even when trying to avoid them I simply cannot help taking in the inanities and chuckle-headed Faux News fans' ugly pronouncements. There's this one guy who HAS to leave some verbal stink pile every single day about 'That LIBTARD faggot Gary Trudeau's sickening anti-American liberal agenda'. Yo, asshole, I don't read 'Mallard Fillmore' because I don't care for its political slant, so why on Earth do you read 'Doonesbury'? And why try to pick a fight every single day with your sneering and obviously uninformed bile? Does it really give you such joy to stink up something as innocent as the comics? Exactly whose hearts and minds do you think you're changing with comments like, 'Your Kenyan hero Obdumba Hussein needs to be shot' and 'Gary Trudeau isn't fit to lick the cum drip off my All American dick'? But there it is. Every single day. It's like stepping in someone's vomit with my bare feet every morning. Just because I want to read the comics. If it were just 'Doonesbury' I could almost deal, but that guy has to say something about nearly every comic I read. Somehow this ugly butthole manages to find something that offends his red, white and blue self even in 'Tina's Groove'- a comic strip about a waitress. Did you know that 'Cathy' is a commie? And that 'Garfield' is a socialist slimeball? Well, in the alternate universe where 'TruthEagle55' lives they are.

The daily assault by this filth monger puts me to mind about something Stephanie and I talked about during our last visit. Namely that we have both given up. Sure we still vote and throw a little money at the candidates we like best, but this is more about what kind of people we are than from any honest belief it will change anything. We sadly agreed the ugly dumb people have won. We're exhausted. To bang one's head against an ever-thickening wall of abusive, self-defeating, closed minded, shrivel-hearted gleefully one sour note hatred for more than 30 years is enough. Stephanie and I looked at each other and sadly nodded. The Supreme Court is a disgusting joke. Congress doesn't even bother to hide its obsequious servitude to its corporate owners anymore. This country is over. The 1% is doing whatever it wants and has the full backing from guys like 'TruthEagle55'. The Great Experiment in self-rule is a flop and it's dying fast and ugly. It's not even a matter of assigning blame any more, it's too late for Monday morning quarterbacking. We're done.

I feel terrible that my sons will never know the hope and pleasure of the American dream. Wolf isn't growing up thinking that someday he might become President, he's plotting out a future where his only choices to make even a barely getting by living wage are short-order cook or crematory assistant. The only constants in his future are that people will always need to eat and that eventually they will die. He doesn't know from a life where there was assurance of upward mobility and doing better than your parents, or that his water is clean, his medications are safe and dispensed properly, the police are here to help, and most importantly that his voice counts. Bush v. Gore took care of that last one. In Wolf's world the sun and sex are a death sentence. The police shoot first and are exonerated afterward. Pharmaceuticals don't fix what ails you, they keep you alive with a lifetime of dependency and a monthly tab equal to a mortgage payment. Of course if you want a stiff penis or extra-long eyelashes they can hook you up, but to actually cure your HIV or kidney failure? Not a fucking chance. Where's the profit in that? Wolf's never had the chance to think he can topple the old saw that you can't fight City Hall, it's never occurred to him he's even allowed to try. The 1st, 4th and 8th Amendments have been suspended so what recourse could he possibly have? Where he's from the courts, the politicians, and the media are all owned by the same 8 people. In Wolf's world the Kardashians lead the evening news, not NATO or NASA or the United Nations. In Wolf's life there's Citizens United, the Patriot Act and the Bush tax cuts. In Wolf's world the rich get richer and libraries hold bake sales. There's no Space Race urging Wolf toward critical thinking and engineering, his school is fighting every year to be allowed to teach Darwin. In Wolf's biology class the Earth is 8,000 years old and 'The Flintstones' is a documentary.

This is the legacy for my sons. A stinking hopeless deadly practical life where survival not improvement is the only goal and where even the daily comics are polluted and made out to be an ideological conflict zone. My younger son doesn't know from any of the sweetness this immigrant's child was bathed in. I grew up believing in a country where one could arrive at 17 years old- malnourished and wearing your first pair of shoes and through hard work and dedication can and will make better life make for yourself and your children. A grand country where education and opportunity could not be denied to you because of your ethnic background and where the hidebound prejudices of the Old Country wielded no power. From Polish shetl and Irish soddy crammed full of kids to a Nazi decimated population of bastard gypsies who the local villagers were only too happy to offer up to the SS to save their own hides, this is my legacy. My heritage. I took in the fears and the desperate hopes of my family. I understood the blessings of being born straight-haired, pink skinned, smart, and well-fed in a country which would give back to me far more than I was able to put into the pot. And that my sole obligation to the future was to give my kids an even better deal. But I can't. I can't give my sons the same rah-rah, who would I be kidding? I can't tell Wolf he can be anything he wants to be, even President. It would be a lie. A huge lie. I will not teach my son that a better future is out there for him. He's going to have to make do in a world where religious extremism is cynically used by a tiny coterie of politically and economically secure billionaires. He's going to see the death of the family farm and the famine borne of Monsanto genetically-manipulated sterilized seeds. Wolf inherits the dying honeybee, the melting ice cap, the jackbooted consequence-free police, and the willful ignorance of those who'd rather shout down the truth than deal with a world where being white, straight, male, and Christian doesn't automatically guarantee a free ride.

Even if Wolf weren't an Aspie I'd be a straight-shooter with him. I'm that kind of mom. Just like how I am as direct and factual as I can be about bodily functions, table manners and syntax, I try really hard to paint an honest and practical portrait of his options for the future. I want him to be okay. To have the tools and skills he'll need in a country that's gargling out its last and an environment that's beyond saving. I walk a fine line between my own hippy-ish, tree hugging, lowly and quiet 'Good will prevail over gaudy seductive Evil' philosophy and the harsh truth of what the world and its future really have in the wings. Sort of like how once my sons were too old to believe in Santa Claus I encouraged them to see magic and pleasure and faith in the intangible anyhow. Because even in a world where hatred and stiff-armed deliberate ignorance prevail I want my sons to have the comfort that their lives mean something. All evidence to the contrary.

And to think I saw all this on the Mulberry Street of the comics pages.


As practical as I can manage, ~LA

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