iamdavidbrothers asked: I'm burnt out on talking about social issues with comics people. It always comes off as either a sideshow, something that's ignored after a brief burst of interest, or something people tell me to stop caring about, because they don't care about it, and that's if they don't derail me with irrelevant semantics. I respect your unflagging energy—how do you push through the malaise and keep talking to them? Doesn't it sometimes feel like throwing punches at a stone wall?
The thing that feels like The Worst to me is when people make a big production of “not caring.” It’s such a terrible lie and an attempt to shut other people’s concerns down that I seem to take greater offense to that than I take to whatever the initial controversy is.
A major reason that I’m involved in comics at all is because of the social issues. So while many people experience these controversies as a distraction or otherwise a nuisance, these matters are part of my reason for being here.
Your question, how do I keep from getting discouraged? I’ll also add in “why do I talk to these people about this”
Answer is kind of tricky to explain, I’ve had trouble articulating this in the past: essentially, nine out of ten times, the person who I am speaking to is not the audience I’m performing for. And it is a performance. It’s very rare that I would argue with a person online for that particular person’s benefit. The entire point, for me, is all of the people looking on. If a person is invested in a given position enough to argue for it, it’s unlikely that the person wants their mind changed. They aren’t open to changing on that position most of the time. So the argument or debate is for the benefit of onlookers.
To my knowledge, the onlookers get something out of it all. Sometimes people tell me that some argument that I had online helped to clarify an idea for them or something I said opened up their mind to another perspective on a given topic.
Another thing that pushes me through the weird resistance to social issues among comic folks is my own personal defect: it hurts more to keep my anger to myself. I’m going to get a little personal—I’ve had some health issues for the past few years which became worse this year. It’s stress. Anxiety. In the clinical sense. Sitting on anger, eats me up inside. I have to get it out. That said, getting too caught up with it has also been known to exacerbate a nerves condition. I mean, when I say something is getting on my nerves, I mean it, my actual nerves overreact, I twitch, I have panic attacks… now I take medicine every day. Messed around and broke myself!
Boredom plays a part. It is terribly exhausting to be awake and working a job that is not at all intellectual. I need to keep active, I need to be engaged in something. If not, I would list really fall asleep at my desk, looking like I had a spell placed on me.
All that said, I do get involved in conversations that I would rather not drag out but that’s usually out of being highly highly cautious about how my words are interpreted and thus painstakingly explaining the minutiae of every idea that I express. It can be a hassle but it is preferable to having somebody running around town talking about what I supposedly said.
This was a good ask. Thanks!