For quite some time now, I’ve been withdrawing into myself, moving further and further away from the world outside my own head. Increasingly, that world has been making itself inhospitable to someone with my hopes, opinions and thoughts, and since the reversal of massive political decisions within any kind of foreseeable future is not on the cards, that process is unlikely to stop.
But it’s not just rejection of a world that no longer reflects the fundamental values I have held all my life. There are personal issues that have accelerated the process of collapsing into myself, slowly increasing the distance between me and the people around me. More and more the past is coming to absorb my thoughts because of the absence of a future that involves more than repetitive actions, without prospect of change.
This is not without its blessings.
For over thirty years, month by month, I followed the comic book Cerebus written and drawn by Canadian Dave Sim, a man approximately six months younger than me. Artistically, Sim is a genius, a fantastically skilled creator, an inspiration. For over thirty years, Cerebus was a consistent in my life. Compare my interests when first I discovered it with those interests I had when its final issue appeared, take a cross-section of each and, unless you count Manchester United, it is the only thing to appear in both lists.
Sim has long been controversial for the anti-feminist opinions he espouses and which became an explicit part of Cerebus with issue 186. He has become widely regarded as a misogynist, an accusation he regards as being the worst possible aspersion that can be made about anyone in these Marxist-Feminist Times.
He has largely withdrawn from the world. He believes that he has been/is being persecuted because people have allowed him to be accused thus without defending him. He will not communicate with anyone unless they sign a letter he has drawn up stating that they do not regard him as a misogynist.
Sim has also had a petition put up on the internet asking people to sign to say that they do not believe he is a misogynist. He has refused to go out in public until that petition has reached 2000 signature. I have not signed that petition. I could not, in anything remotely resembling good conscience, sign it. But now 2000 people have.
This is Sim’s response: http://momentofcerebus.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/2001-signatures.html
I spent thirty years plus following Cerebus, absorbed in it. Disregarding its content, I would still rate Dave Sim as one of the most consistently inventive, thoughtful, insightful and original comic book creators. I just happen to disagree with his worldview, his opinions and his completely paranoid mindset, to the point where I am now beginning to get ever so slightly ashamed – to myself – of liking the series as much as I did (and, up to issue 268, do).
But, do you know, what? My current issues with the world around me are less concerning than they usually are when I read bullshit like the above link and realise: do you know what, Sim? I just don’t fucking care what ‘intellectual’ contortions you go through any more. They’re right: you’re batshit crazy.
And I don’t give a damn any more.