Where I Gush Over A Comic Strip

I've mentioned the greatness that is Winston Rowntree's web comic, Subnormality, before in a previous blog post. Even though I urged you to continually follow him, I have a sense that I haven't achieved full mind control over you yet, thus there is a chance you haven't regularly popped over there. This is a shame, because even though there is usually more words than pretty pictures, he definitely creates one of the best web comics around. His stuff is often quite witty and funny, but he almost always has a deep message that relates to social and political issues. It also helps that I often agree with that he has to say, but even if you don't, many of the comics can trigger some pretty riveting discussions. Speaking of reasons to constantly check his site and the riveting of discussions via his comics, I want to direct your attention to this specific strip. Go ahead, I'll be waiting here for when you get back.

I don't just want to reiterate what was perfectly stated in the comic, but I have to say that I absolutely loved this strip and it really resonated with me. There is obviously one really major message he was trying to convey at the end, but I felt there was a lot of powerful points throughout the piece.

The idea of 'steps' and it only takes the gradual addition of these symbolic blocks to eventually form a larger purpose is a very insightful notion. It is very easy to look at Nazi Germany or Rwanda genocide, and deem that all the people there were pure evil and that we would never follow such barbaric paths. I honestly believe the majority of people in this world are good people with honest intentions, but the reality is, under the wrong circumstances or the introduction of a misguided philosophy, then good people can do absolutely evil things. I am not saying that in some of the biggest atrocities in human history that there wasn't truly evil people that may have masterminded the despicable events, but I do believe that under different circumstances, many of those people would have been otherwise upstanding citizens. It is a general accumulation where a person starts accepting one idea passed to them, and then this leads to the acceptance of another and so on. As human beings, we naturally tend to flock to the masses and accept what is our society's hegemony.

It doesn't have to be all bleak, because it is rarely mentioned that it can actually have an opposite effect too. It only take small but consistent steps to make more positive societal norms and creeds. Of course. my definition of a better soceity may be very different than yours. In the end, the important part is making sure one is accepting of all people's freedoms, rights and beliefs, as long as these things are not directly harming a living person. This of course means you may not see your vision for a totalitarian state realized, where all must live in their Jenga built huts and mine for frog slime with the promise of state manufactured gruel for dinner (though free cream corn every 7th Thursday - yum!). The point is, there is the possibility for positive change, but it often needs to be done in steps and has to be a gradual process. Just like how the atrocities of Rwanda and Nazi Germany did not happen over night but rather over many, many, many years (and again, it was the slow acceptance of different beliefs and mindset that lead to final product).

I also like how the 'step' approach can apply to our personal life too. The two big things for me would be my marriage and my writing. I have goals and dreams that I want to reach with both, and I hope to achieve ultimate success in both. In each case, it is a matter of making small steps over time in order to build towards my main goals. For my marriage, it is a matter of remembering to do the the small things (like asking Emily how her day was or to make sure the trash doesn't become a living being), and gradually using them to build a stronger and better marriage. I'd say this approach is probably one of the reasons that my marriage has gotten better over the last two years.

For my writing, it is a matter of setting specific goals. At this point, my focus is just a matter of writing so many words each day. Then I will continue to focus on having a finished product to send out to several publishers. Eventually, I will have the goal of actually having that work accepted and being given that sweet, mortgage paying money. When I get to that point, I am sure I'll have new and exciting goals to aim for.

A lot of rambling for a web comic, but a web comic that I think is really a valuable read. A great message can come in any form. But now, I think I need to start taking real steps towards my bed because it is approaching midnight and I've been in the land of the living since 5:30 in the morning.