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A little while ago, Dave Sim’s supporters posted an online petition aimed at…well, it was a little hard to tell what it was aimed at, but gaining public support would be the most obvious guess. Sim said he would only correspond in the future with those who signed the petition. Confusion over the appropriateness of this petition led to a crisis over at the Yahoo Cerebus Group, as Sim lashed out against many of his long term supporters. Things got even more complicated with a series of faxes between Sim, fellow cartoonist Chester Brown and Sim’s webmaster Jeff Tundis becoming something of a touchstone. As near as I can make out, Sim wanted the whole thing to be published, but Tundis didn’t because he felt it would make Sim look bad. This and Sim’s rejection of some of his most faithful readers, like Margaret Liss Fisher, have caused much discussion and confusion.

While Tundis has refused to have his side of the faxes published, Rick Sharer has gone ahead
published the Brown/Sim correspondence. This one outburst from Sim seems to sum up his current mindset:

In other words you think I’m the gender equivalent of a racist. This is what I’ve come to realize: that people genuinely believe that I’m the worst imaginable thing (literally: a non-person, a sub-human) in our society. That being the case the only honorable thing is to withdraw from society completely and limit my contact with society to necessities (my rep at Diamond, people I buy food from). Would you associate with anyone who thought you were a subhuman?


Now you may have noticed that I am using the “I” pronoun which I reserve for thing of some serious note. That’s because one of the reasons I’ve read this is my name comes up in my RSS-feeds from various postings. It seems that the hounding of Dave Sim by myself and Gail Simone is being held up BY SOME as what had driven Dave to this sad state of isolation and persecution. I stress the “by some”, as others think he may have been mentally ill to begin with, and others think he had other motivations.

Some think that this is all because of the low sales on Glamourpuss, but according to the John Jackson Miller figures I just linked to, the first issue of Glamourpuss sold 16,515 copies, way more than lots of Marvel and DC books, and nothing to sneeze at for such an oddball title.

Anyway I’ll do no more here than note the above correspondence. There are certainly some notable bits to be mined from them, but the interest is drowned out by the sadness, for me anyway. It’s sad when a great artist goes into a state of self-mandated social withdrawal; the entire matter is sad.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks for making me laugh so early in the morning! Every single time Sim’s name comes up online, there is all this rhetoric that usually includes things like “superb artist” and “one of the best” on one side and “misogynist” on the other. But really, in the end? It’s pure comedy. This whole thing has gone well beyond something worth taken seriously and has entered the realm of pure farce.

    I love it. I hope Dave Sim and his bizarre followers, pro and con, never go away. They make the internet fun again.

  2. Truthfully, I’m finding the whole thing very sad. I don’t want to speculate on Dave’s mental health, I find that really inappropriate and none of our business anyway. But I feel bad that his followers who have shown such support time and again are being forced into this awkward and often painful position.

    And I feel bad for Dave, who clearly believes he has only a mutilated handful of allies, if that, on the entire face of the world. I know he’s said he’s happy alone and I hope that is the truth.

    I do resent his odd insistence on telling everyone, supporter and detractor, what they’re REALLY thinking. He’s invented a raft of opinions for me that I don’t hold at all and never have. It’s a poor debate tactic, let alone basis for living. But in the end, whatever’s going on with him, I don’t think he can help himself. I wish him well in every regard and even though I feel scrutiny for his arguments is the very least he should expect, I do feel a little bad that he seems to be completely unable to face even the mildest of debate, even from people like the Yahoo Groupers who have been nothing but supportive of him for many, many years. Whatever’s going on with him seems to be speeding up a bit, and I really don’t want to contribute to that. Dave, good luck to you and I hope that you are living the life you truly want. Dave’s supporters, good on you for your loyalty and passion for Dave’s brilliant work. I hope this all works out for all of you.

    Two last bits–16K for Glamourpuss? Wow, that SEEMS like a fantastic number considering the relative obscurity of the concept. I would have to say that this would be pretty conclusive proof of his PR efforts for the book. I’m glad to hear it. Maybe he expected higher, I can’t even imagine, but 16K seems to be a really outstanding number for the DM. It’s possible the book’s real audience, as I suspect it will be for Judenhass (which I am really looking forward to) is outside of comic book stores, in the end.

    Finally, I just reread High Society for the second time in just a few weeks, and good lord, I think it’s one of the finest achievements in comics. It’s funny, smart and moving and every issue has some wonderful experiment in it. No matter what one thinks of Dave’s politics, those early comics are hard to beat for joyful works of art and wit.

    Good luck, Dave, sincerely.

    Gail Simone

  3. What really pisses me off about Dave Sim is that he’s not happy enough being a grandmaster of the comics medium, he needs to re-invent western religion as well as “expose” the truth of feminism and whatever else.

    It’s about knowing when to quit when you are ahead. He painted himself into this corner. He should just issue a mea culpa and get over himself. I have all the faith in the world that Dave Sim has some of the most amazing works of comics art left in him. He needs to just stop poisioning his own punch bowl.

  4. Is there any one else who’d be more comfortable with him if his position was actually just a simple “Jeez, I just hate broads, y’know?”

    I feel WAYYYY more uncomfortable with “I don’t hate women, I just think they’re stupider, not technically human, soulless, creativity-sucking voids of useless emotional anti-logic who are good only for pumping out more men, and by rights should have their lives controlled by the guiding, errless hands of men.”

    I’d feel so much better towards him personally if he just hated women.

  5. “the entire matter is sad.”

    I’ll say, I really feel sorry for Dave. I met him in the mid 90’s and a more fun, smoking, drinking, kinda of guy you couldn’t meet. I wonder how does someone just lose it like this?

  6. My comment on the comments you and Gail might have done something to cause this latest lashing out or his general mental state is as follows:

    A)If you and Gail did set him off, it was mainly just luck of the draw. Because eventually, someone else would have set him off. Not making aspersions (sic) about his mental health, but if it wasn’t you who caused this reaction now, it would have been someone else at some other time.

    B)What you and Gail did was express an opposing viewpoint to his controversial viewpoint. And you did it in a reason, metered, intelligent way. This is as per your rights. You have as much right to express your opinions as much as Sim does. If not more.

    C)Not that either of you do, but you shouldn’t feel guilty about this. Neither you nor Gail needs me as a defender or a cheerleader, but Sim’s reaction comes down to more about his personality than anything else. I agree with Gail on this aspect. It’s a tad hypocritical to say something that many people find hurtful and offensive yet get hurt and offended when questioned on it.

    D) I write a column for Brokenfrontier.com called Guiding Lines. One week, I wrote about glamourpuss (which I did reference Sim’s essays on gender, Gail’s Sequential Tart discussion with Sim and your reaction to that discussion) and I gave it, as always, to my wife to proofread. Never one to mince words, she said to me after reading it, “Please tell me were not buying this book by this a-hole.” So you are not alone in being critical of Sim. Perhaps less blunt, but other women feel this way too (not that you really needed that affirmation)

    Bill

  7. Heidi, Gail, just so you know there are fans of Sim’s work out there who don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. The whole sad situation is only Sim’s fault, and it’s unfortunately overshadowing what actually looks like a great sales result for what I consider a great comic.
    I’m a member of the Yahoo group, and I’m appaled at the attacks that have been directed against you both (almost all by people I killfiled long ago).
    I just wish Sim’s bizarre behaviour and repugnant views didn’t overshadow his work…

  8. I think it’s useful to know the context for the Dave Sim quote above. Here are some extracts from the Chester Brown faxes that Dave Sim was replying to:

    According to the dictionary, a misogynist is someone who hates women. But most people think the word means this: a person with a prejudice against women. Let’s call that the common-usage definition. It’s my understanding that you think women are intellectually inferior to men. (Please correct me if that’s not the case.) Most people would consider that to be a prejudiced view and therefore a misogynistic one. It seems to me that by the dictionary definition you are not a misogynist, but by the common-usage definition you are one.

    … I do agree with you on many matters, you’ve influenced me in many ways. I respect you as an artist, and I genuinely like you on a personal level.

    …The term “whore-monger” is also a pejorative, but I accept that my actions and beliefs make that term an accurate label for me. That’s reality. Maybe I wish that reality could be different – maybe I wish I lived in a culture where my actions resulted in a nobler-sounding designation than whore-monger, but we don’t. I’m a whore-monger and you’re a misogynist and that’s that, my fellow outsider.

    … I readily acknowledge that you don’t hate women and am willing to say so publicly.

    …I enjoy your visits to Toronto and will miss them if they stop.

    Dave Sim reads this and paraphrases it as “in other words you think I’m the worst imaginable thing, a non-person, a sub-human.”

  9. Snowball effect. He misguidedly made statements he believes or half-believes and his mental illness seeks a direct and proactive way of reclaiming acceptance from other people. Just ignore him and read his back issues.

  10. Wait… Chester Brown thinks that someone who believes women are inferior to men could be a good university president?

    I only am interested at this point because Sim wrote some stuff about me, not knowing who I am or even my name, based on second-hand information Chester Brown told him. I think I was misrepresented, and I wonder why Brown even thought to give him this information in the first place. It’s like he was feeding Sim’s unhealthy fixation on this idea that there are Marxist-Feminists out to get him.

  11. What makes Sim even more annoying is the fact that he’s a converted right-wing extremist. He talks about how he used to be a secular-humanist, but now he’s outsmarted us all and sees the truth. I can almost stomach a tradtionalist right-winger who is just ignorant and doesn’t know any better, but Sim is well-read, intelligent and worldly. His whole political identity is just one big ol’ contrarian prank. He just wants to feel special among intellectual circles for being doubly-skeptical.

  12. Clearly, Dave Sim has, to say the very least, unusual and unpopular POVs on some issues (and this imbroglio just makes me feel slightly sad for everyone directly involved), but I really, really wish those who are not therapists, psychologists, etc would refrain from speculating about his mental health.

  13. I agree with Andrew Hickey: Heidi and Gail Simone have certainly done nothing wrong in questioning/criticizing Dave’s decidedly unique statements and views. (“Decidedly unique” – how’s that for tactfulness?)
    And Dave has expressed his views *so* extensively, surely he’s not surprised that he remains such a controversial figure, and misunderstood by many. So this new turn of events is a bit perplexing.

    Chester Brown’s semantic points not withstanding, a misogynist is “one who hates all women” and I seriously doubt that Dave Sim hates ANY women, much less all of them.

    Like others, I’m very saddened by the whole situation. Sad for both Dave and those who’ve loved his work through the years. And sad that many will never experience one of the greatest works ever produced in comics because of the never-ending controversy over what the artist thinks or believes.

  14. The only Marvel and DC sales those numbers are “way more” than are for imprints that do most of their business in trade/digest sales.

  15. Michael, sadly that’s not the case. Sales are ridiculously low now – Glamourpuss did better than (just to name a few) Checkmate, Spider-Girl, Suicide Squad, X Men First Class, Shadowpact, The Spirit, Metal Men, Blue Beetle, Jonah Hex and All New Atom. It also did better than high profile indie titles like Doktor Sleepless, Mice Templar or Zorro.

    Plus, Dave Sim essentially invented writing for the trade, and so the same could be said about his sales.

    I’m quite astonished at just how high those numbers are. The talk on the Cerebus list had made me wonder if the title was even going to scrape the top 300…

  16. In regards to Sim’s mental state, i didn’t see anyone trying to diagnosis him in their posts or comments, but when you see someone with half of his face burned off because of an explosion I don’t think you need to be a doctor to know there is something wrong. No said, oh, he is suffering from an acute disassociative disorder or some such thing. They see a man who does not realize he is in pain, and their humanity laments they cannot do more. At least, this is how I’ve been reading things.

    Brown very astutely hits part of the problem on the head. Sim has been withdrawing from people for years. People that like him either consciously or unconsciously have avoided certain topics in his company, have avoided giving any of the controversies surrounding Dave and therefore keeping from him context on what and where his beliefs lie. This in turn allows him to build these beliefs and the associated persecution he clearly feels up to the level it has reached now. If it looks like downward spiral, sounds like a downward spiral, and everyone else says its a downward spiral, best not to call it a duck.

    It doesn’t take a degree to see that this it is a sad, unhappy affair to see a man or anyone else fall like that in their pride.

  17. I have a waffle iron that sold more copies than All-new Atom! :)

    I don’t really want to continue talking about Dave in any disparaging way. I don’t feel guilty for responding to fourteen years of his theories and rants. But I was operating under the assumption that this was the Dave of the early Cerebus letter-pages who was fiery and opinionated, but in complete possession of all the necessary logical and intellectual tools needed for a proper debate. For whatever reason (and I state again that I think implying Dave is mentally ill is WAY over the line and unfair), that didn’t seem to be the Dave who showed up for the discussion, and I do feel bad about that. In light of this seemingly diminished version of Dave-the-firebrand, whom I admired so much originally, I do feel it might have been kinder to just ignore the whole shoddy argument.

    I feel terribly bad for Dave, although he told me directly he doesn’t want people feeling that way, and I particularly feel bad for his incredibly devoted supporters, who did nothing at all to deserve this response.

    So, I appreciate the kind words, I don’t think it was wrong to respond, although I could’ve turned the glee at each new weird statement down considerably. But at this point, I really much prefer to think of Dave as one of the all-time great comics creators and one of my personal favorites, rather than as the author of so much of this later stuff.

    If Dave or some of his supporters choose to continue to blame this stuff on me, Heidi, or Helga the Moon goddess, there’s not much that can be said about it, other than I think history doesn’t really support that claim.

  18. 16.5 thousand copies is quite extraordinary.
    Even with Dave’s “promotional blitz” on the net, I figured an unconventional book like Glamourpuss would be VERY lucky to pull in orders for 6 or 7 thousand.
    16 thousand is a real surprise.

  19. Yeah, I have to say, I’m not Dave, obviously, but 16k is pretty fricking remarkable for Glamourpuss #1 if that’s correct. I think it shows the validity of his pre-release PR storm for the book (my suspicion is that preview copies and calling the retailers individually probably did more than the 100 hour internet tour, but I have no proof at all of that), and I think it shows that people still want to buy a Dave Sim book. I don’t know what numbers he was hoping for, but it seems like a smashing success and rather than a steaming indictment of Dave, more like a validation.

    I hope Judenhass sells in phenomenal numbers.

  20. On my blog I just wrote a short piece about previous bans Dave’s put on correspondence, which, if nothing else, show that he’s always had a somewhat adversarial relationship with his fandom. Here’s the substance of the piece, at least as it pertains to this discussion:

    “Much has been written about Dave Sim’s state of mind when he made this demand, but I don’t propose to discuss that here. My sole purpose here is to point out that this is not the first time Dave Sim has chosen to cut himself off from correspondence.

    Without having issues of CEREBUS or actual correspondence to hand, I have to guess on dates, but there was a period– I believe whenever Dave was working on the Hemingway section of CEREBUS– when Dave had been engaging in regular correspondence but wrote at least three “regulars”– one of whom was myself– that he would have let all discussions hang fire for some undetermined period because of the intensity of the work he was doing.”

    And also:

    “I am of course not claiming that this motive for the petition– to reduce his backlog of correspondence– is Dave’s only one. I can’t know that. I’m not even sure Dave, or anyone else in a similar position, can know that.

    But I wanted to point out that it’s not the first time he’s taken an unusual route to reduce that backlog. For that matter, even the Hemingway-era retreat was not the first: there’s a period in the 80s where Dave simply stopped writing answers to letters in his own lettercol, and pretty much left the fans to talk amongst themselves.

    And that, aside from all other motives, is why I would say that Dave is constitutionally–

    Foreign to correspondence.”
    __________________

  21. I guess it all depends if you think bigotry is a mental illness or not.

    If this was about drugs or booze you could have an intervention but how do you have one for someone who’s just jumped the mental rails?

    It’s sad and there seems to be nothing to do but watch someone who was once great slowly destroy themselves.

  22. I think I read the figures just fine, Oliver. Glamourpuss sold more than Marvel’s/DC’s books that are either on the cusp of cancellation or intended for the bookstore market; hardly “lots.” I don’t really see how that translates to a favorable comparison, or why someone would make that comparison in the first place. “Well, it’s selling better than the least successful the Big Boys have to offer!”

    It certainly sold well for an independent book in the current market, but hardly worth celebrating. That’s like NBC, come this fall, being happy a new show is pulling down marginally better ratings than the series they’re cancelling right now.

  23. Dave is starting to sound more and more like a wacko cult leader, wannabee martyr who issues proclamations he knows to be outside the mainstream and yet gets bent out of shape when people disagree with them. I don’t have a problem with Dave’s theory on the void and the light, etc. as people are entitled to their own personal beliefs as long as they don’t include calling for the extermination of their enemies. I DO have a HUGE problem in that any time anyone dares criticize his “wisdom from the mountaintop” that they are treated as an unknowing dupe who is part of a grand conspiracy against him personally. It’s not his theories that show an increasing and disturbing closeness to some form of mental illness, it’s his ability to convince himself that any disagreement with his personal philosophy is a personal attack on him and a coordinated effort by (I guess) Gloria Steinem and Gary Groth to destroy his career. It’s a self-fulfilling destiny as he steps farther and farther out on the ledge, but the people pointing out how close he is to falling only convince him to nudge himself out just a bit farther.

  24. Michael, a NON superhero book pulling in over 16,000 in a decidedly superhero-dominated market is more than celebration-worthy.
    The NBC/cancelled show analogy doesn’t hold water for me. Glamourpuss’ success is more like a new show on the Lifetime network getting better ratings than half the major network offerings in a given week.

    If Glamourpuss #1 had shipped in April (going by the numbers posted today) it would have come quite close to cracking the Diamond Top 100. That’s pretty damn good. 16K is like mid-1990’s numbers for an indy black and white. I know I’d sure be celebrating.

  25. Dave has been very logical and non-emotional in his responses from the time he got on the internet until this day. Sure, his ideas are abhorent to *some*, but that doesn’t make *him* emotional.

    It’s not a mental illness to disagree with whacky feminist ideology.

    And where are these mythical attacks on Gail and Heidi? Are you saying they’re by Dave? By me? I’d love to know if you’re talking about when I referenced Gail’s “supporters”, and how that has magically evolved into an attack on her.

    Aside from a few errors, both Heidi’s and Gail’s latest posts have been pretty tame and complimentary of Sim (for the most part), although in Gail’s case that’s usually the calm before the storm. :)

    The problem is the message “Dave is Insane” that’s embedded within such flattering prose…it does its damage, and is quickly picked up by those who just assume everybody knows what they’re talking about, and before long it becomes gospel…just as the false accusation of Misogyny has become.

    The glamourpuss numbers are indeed a pleasant surprise.

  26. Talon, plenty of the “Dave is Insane” comments come from folks with access to the Internet and great love of comics who have been far too able to see the staggering increase in Dave’s weirdness, not to mention the shakiness of so many of his statements. Saying Dave is logical does not actually make Dave logical. In fact, that tends to be the problem with many of Dave’s arguments: the whole “things are as I say they are because, well, I say they are.”

    An easy and obvious example of the dichotomy between Dave’s statements and reality are the sales numbers for Glamourpuss. Obviously the guy is not as vilified as he loves to whine that he is. While he is playing the same overly played-out tune on the world’s smallest violin (I believe it is the theme from Alfalfa’s “He-Man Women-hater’s Club,” popular in high school locker rooms and cigar shops even today), an impressive number of people are out there buying his newest work, despite its utter lack of story, and I would also bet that many of the buyers are those that Dave loves to criticize, i.e. anyone who fails to fall in lock-step with his Enlightened Idears – unless of course there is a large number of Christian Conservatives who have been yearning for a photo-realist parody of the fashion industry. Maybe that’s the real deal: Johnny McCain ain’t making them happy, so they are switching their support to Dave Sim.

  27. I’m a little confused over the sales figures, too. They are quite good (and were know *well* before this situation developed). But, as Dave fully expects sales to drop by 50% for issue 2, and half that for issue 3 – he considers it a failure which puts him “out of the game.”

    What really surprised me were the numbers for Judenhass which came in about 30% lower than glamourpuss. Hopefully Gail’s right and the book finds greater success outside of comic shops.

    To be clear – while I have been very upset at the constant hounding by Gail, Heidi, etc – I do not think they had any direct effect on this most recent episode. This is all Dave’s doing. Someone else here mentioned “self-fulfilling prophecy” and that’s about as good a description as one can use.

  28. Talon, grow the fuck up. Seriously. You are the most wearying weirdo I know. Not everyone lives like you, where every statement has to be twisted and made as stupid as possible.

    I said here several times that I think postulating that Dave is mentally ill is both over the line and unfair. I’ll go farther than that, I think it’s cruel and unnecessary. On my own board, I have asked people not to make that charge or speculate on it whatsoever, or they face having their post deleted. It takes a bullshit artist like you to turn that to its exact opposite meaning just so that you can maintain the fiction that Dave has a vast network of female enemies out to destroy him. Good luck with that.

    I do think SOMETHING is going on with Dave, but I haven’t a clue what it is, nor am I interested in armchair analysis. But I think all this stuff is hurting him and I don’t want to be part of that. This is still one of my favorite creators of all time, and I’ve recently RE-fallen in love with his work. The fact that I’m on your eternal shit list affects that not at all.

    I simply no longer feel debating his points is worth the apparent upset to himself, or his supporters who are putting up with enough shit right now as is. As for being attacked, whatever, it’s not important enough to remember. But it does show your character that you deny your own words so lightly.

    Really, grow up. I’m sure you have enough real enemies to quit inventing new ones. And Dave could use some friends with common sense and integrity, not kneejerk apologists. Whatever is going on, it won’t be helped by your usual tactics, unless being Dave’s last friend really IS some weird wet-dream of yours.

    To the rest of the Yahoo groupers, sincerely, I have no beef with any of you, to my knowledge. I hope for the same things you guys do; for Dave to be happy and to make more comics we all enjoy.

  29. Jeff,

    I appreciate your post here, and I know we see eye-to-eye on very little. As I said, I’m not interesting in continuing any of that argument stuff while Dave is clearly not himself.

    But I have to say, do you REALLY believe that Heidi ‘constantly hounded’ Dave? As far as I can see, she posted, what, once or twice on the Sequential Tart mb, no more than that in memory serves, and it was far from the directly contradictory stuff I was posting.

    Then she’s posted about Dave in her column maybe, five, six threads, if that? And one of those was to say that she thinks he’s a brilliant cartoonist?

    Is that really ‘constantly hounding,’ compared to a decade and a half of disparaging remarks about our gender?

    You can make that case about me, certainly, but I think Heidi got tossed in the mix with me as if our approaches were interchangeable and guilt by association is a lousy way to make a point, don’t you think?

    Again, I’m not interested in more arguing, but I think that charge is not at all supported. Dave mentioned Heidi a couple times in his responses, but they seemed way out of proportion to what she actually said or did, and I hate to see such distortions repeated.

    No offense intended, just wanted to make a point.

    As for Judenhass…hmm. It’s possible that some of the recent stuff had an effect, which would be a shame. I’ve been looking forward to this book very much, I’ve supported it, I’ve posted about it. It’s certainly a book I’ve been wanting to own since I first read the previews.

    But it might also be possible that since Dave understandably felt uncomfortable using the Glamourpuss PR plan on this book, given the subject matter, that retailers and readers were less aware of it. It might be more a validation of the Glamourpuss model, more than an indictment of the book itself.

    Or it might simply be that it’s an odd duck and a bit hard to explain conceptually. But if that’s the case, I would say it really might take a bit of time for it to catch fire, as is often the case with independent books of equal stature. I’d like to think that once people see it and read it, more people will be interested, resulting in future printings.

    But yeah, I can certainly see a book like this being a big seller to libraries and schools. One would certainly hope so, as it does seem an important book.

  30. Best case/worst case scenarios–

    Best case–I keep dwelling on the time at a Chicago Comic Con, back when I was in the Marvel direct sales department, and I hosted a Marvel-sponsored party which Dave attended. And Dave proceeded to get completely “sloshed”…except I had instructed the bartender to alert me to anyone who was in danger of drinking too much. He alerted me when Dave had his third rum and Coke in half an hour, so I instructed him to, very quietly, remove the rum from Dave’s drink. An hour and a half later, Dave was staggering about like the second coming of Foster Brooks, but he’d been drinking pure Coca Cola all that time.

    I don’t think Dave Sim is a misogynist. I think he just plays one on the internet.

    Worse case–I don’t think Dave Sim is a misogynist. He’s a misanthrope.

    PAD

  31. Wanting to avoid spending most of your day arguing with people by cutting off contact with those who don’t agree with one simple statement doesn’t make you mentally ill. People get old and people get tired, and what gets really exhausting and makes you feel old really quick is having to repeat yourself and defend yourself over and over again because people don’t understand your views. There are more important things to do with one’s life.

    What really bothers me about the exchange between Chester Brown and Dave Sim is that Chester Brown is so willing to accept the common usage of a word over its established definition. Language can evolve and should evolve, but the Dictionary shouldn’t change to fit in with the current vernacular. The Dictionary is there for everyone to read so that everyone is on the same page when having a conversation. If I’m having an argument with someone and I’m using the Dictionary definitions for words, but the other person is going by what someone else told them the word meant, then we’re not on the same page and will be less likely to come to an understanding. I took the time to learn the definition of the word. This makes me correct and the other person misguided. It’s perfectly reasonable for Dave Sim to only want to correspond with someone who doesn’t believe lies about him. I do think he is taking things a bit far if he’s going to cut off Chester Brown who clearly believes Dave Sim isn’t a misogynist. However, if Chester Brown prefers the common usage definition, then Chester Brown clearly does believe Dave Sim is a misogynist…. So essentially these two friends are no longer friends based on the definition of a word. That’s a real shame.

    Furthermore, I don’t think it’s unreasonable, misogynist, sexist, or prejudiced against women to believe that they are intellectually inferior to men. If you want to throw out data from studies about anything, there’s almost always another study which says the opposite. People who believe things are going to find the data which supports them. I’m a very science-minded person, but sometimes data and studies just don’t matter. Dave Sim has very valid and logical views which piss off a lot of women. It’s quite possible a lot of that ire isn’t justified. It’s possible none of it is.

    I do believe that some of Dave Sim’s responses to questions and criticisms of late have been motivated by emotion and not the intellectual logic with which he wishes to adhere. In all of the recent conversations involving Dave Sim which I’ve read, no one has either taken or remained on the high ground for the entire duration. Therefor, I believe Dave Sim still hasn’t been given a fair shake, and that Heidi was unfairly labeled a misandrist.

  32. Hey, Peter!

    Anyway, did a very quick check, Jeff, and I may have missed a couple, but I only found five, POSSIBLY six threads about Dave that are anything other than straight PR for him since all this internet tour thing began from Heidi on this blog, and I could only find (on VERY quick scan, please don’t quote me) three posts on the entire ST thread from Heidi.

    Of these, the majority aren’t even adversarial, let alone openly hostile. That doesn’t seem like ‘constant hounding’ to me.

    I don’t want Heidi to take heat for MY behavior, as I’m generally known to be a hideous person to start with. :)

    It would be a nice time to tone the rhetoric down on both sides, despite those who feel it is in the best interest to keep this nonsense going.

    Best wishes,

    Gail

  33. Unpopular,

    “Wanting to avoid spending most of your day arguing with people by cutting off contact with those who don’t agree with one simple statement doesn’t make you mentally ill. People get old and people get tired, and what gets really exhausting and makes you feel old really quick is having to repeat yourself and defend yourself over and over again because people don’t understand your views.”

    I have to defend the Yahoo Groupers here. Does anyone, and I mean ANYONE, think Dave spent his days arguing with people like Margaret and Jeff, who have been unflinchingly supportive of him at great personal effort for years and years?

    Again, I do NOT want to get an argument going, but if Margaret and Jeff aren’t supporters, then who is?

    It’s just too big a mess. That’s why I’m hoping for the best for Dave AND his supporters, whatever that outcome is, rather than quibbling over definitions and semantics.

  34. Talon whined: “To be clear – while I have been very upset at the constant hounding by Gail, Heidi, etc…”

    That’s right, play the “victim” card.

    Heidi made relatively few comments about Sim, and certainly some of those were in reporter mode.

    Gail only attacked Sim when he was doing his abbreviated internet tour, and then only to attack his logic. She treated him far more kindly than I did at the time.

  35. Unpopular defined: “Furthermore, I don’t think it’s unreasonable, misogynist, sexist, or prejudiced against women to believe that they are intellectually inferior to men.”

    Actually, that is exactly what a misogynist is. You have dis-proven your own idea in the same sentence as you postulated it.

  36. Alan, I appreciate the post, but it was Jeff who said that. Talon’s post was up above. And I’m sure Jeff didn’t mean anything evil by including Heidi, I’m sure it was just a misunderstanding.

    Now me, I’ll take the heat for some hounding. At first, I found the debate interesting and baffling, then really bizarre and hilarious, and I posted a lot, and a little glibly. I’ve been attacked regularly for it, eh, but I’m fine with forgiving everyone and just moving away from the angry debate towards more positive things. There’s a lot about Dave to still be positive about…for me, it’s still about Cerebus, but I have a feeling I’ll also treasure Judenhass.

    There’s no point arguing with Talon, as even the Yahoo Groupers know full well, but what the hell, it’s all just words in the end.

    Best,

    Gail

  37. I feel ill knowing this is the current state of mind of a man who brought me a great deal of joy for a long time in my life. Even post-186 Cerebus has its treasures.

    I bought two copies of Glamourpuss. It’s…I dunno.

    Gail and Heidi didn’t set Dave off. Something else did, a long time ago. I don’t know who or what, but I miss the Dave of old.

  38. His basic premise, that people think misogynists are subhuman, is flawed. I for one believe that misogynists are in fact human beings. Regarding Dave himself, I feel confident enough about this to clearly state: “I believe that Dave Sim is a human being”.

  39. It’s bad math. Dave says that people call him A and since to him A = B that people are calling him B and how can he be friends with anyone who won’t defend him when people call him B. But people aren’t calling him that, it’s something he’s assembled in his own mind. But he is A. He’s clearly A. But doesn’t seem upset about that, just about B, which he just made up.

  40. Would Dave be happier if people just called him sexist? Would that really make much of a difference to anyone?

    And James Kochalka is completely correct, that misogynists and racists are certainly considered human. I’d consider them misguided humans, as would most Americans, not that chauvinists get rated much higher.

    Would I rather hang out with a sexist who offered his anecdotal and spotty evidence that women are intellectually inferior or with a racist who offered his anecdotal and spotty evidence that African Americans were mentally inferior? None of the above, I guess.

    What separates Dave Sim from the average angry loser who got dumped and loves to dump on women? I am sure there are plenty of guys just like Dave on the Net or at your local bar. But Dave created an amazing comic, and many fans of that work are still trying to put it all together and make sense of the disparity, like wrestling with T.S. Eliot’s anti-Semitism. And Dave still has a podium and plenty of people who will still read his words, despite his whining to the contrary.

  41. You were right, Gail, I named the wrong person. My apologies to Talon for saying he said that, when it was indeed Jeff Tundis.

  42. Nicely stated, James. I don’t get that either. I certainly think there are a hell of a lot worse things than misogynists, anyway.

  43. I found it really ironic, hearing Dave saying he wouldn’t talk to anyone who saw him as sub-human, when he’d been pretty clear that women are sub-human, but that they ought to listen to him. Is he irony-proof or what?

    And I loved it when he told me (and everyone else) that we all thought a misogynist is sub-human, and the worst kind of person. Um, really? Cause I thought I thought serial killers and pedophiles were worse, to name a couple off the top of my head. And I thought I thought misogynists, serial killers, and pedophiles, and good men and bad men, and good women and bad women, and all people, were human.

    But Dave says I don’t think that.

    I don’t think he’s sub-human, I think he’s a bitter, prideful asshole. What’s more human than that?

  44. Why I have the urge to ask “Unpopular” if he shops at Waqie Jaquie’s Haut Couture Scratch’n’Dent Warehouse?

    Or if agrees with Neal Adams that Alex Raymond got too sophisticated?

  45. “Dave has been very logical and non-emotional in his responses from the time he got on the internet until this day.”

    Talon, we’ve been going at it for what…12, 13 years going back to Usenet?

    Thanks for all the laughs.

  46. Alan – I think your confusing me and Jeff actually betrays something deeper going on with you that may be related to mental illness (See how easy it is to disparage someone?)

    Gail – You must just see red when you spot someone defending Dave (as Dave accurately surmised). Your verbal defecation is usually amusing, but always a mess to clean up. These mythical “attacks” on you and Heidi may also be a form of mental illness.

    Peter – Thanks much for the autograph on BID many years ago. :)

    Jim – No, the word “sexist” is EXACTLY why Dave “broke up” with Tundis. Also, Dave is dumping on whacky feminist ideology, not on women. *You* believe he’s dumping on women because that’s what they’ve wanted you to believe.

    Heidi – I live to serve. *I* am the guy who is over-the-top, sarcastic, funny, mean, and trollish. I guess. However, Dave just shoots straight, no emotion, all logic, very factual, like the voice in an elevator. All the crap he’s taken, I don’t know how he does it. He could tell *me* to Go On, Beat It, Scram tomorrow but I still couldn’t deny the truth about what’s really going on here.

  47. Christ, what is it with this no-emotion-equals-virtue thing Sim and his followers all have? Emotions are as much a phenomenon of human reality and how the human world functions as gravity and electromagnetism are part of the physical world. Any theory of dealing with other human beings that doesn’t include emotions is as useless and flawed as a theory of physics that doesn’t include electrons.

    What bugs be about Sim and his folk isn’t that they frequently say stuff that’s alarming to most people’s sensibilities, but that they do so and then a: act surprised when people react in an emotionally predictable way, and b: act like heroes for “taking the crap” that people “just seem” to throw at them.

    Wow, so you said stuff you knew would inflame people in a way that totally invalidates how they feel about it, and then you were gracious enough not to get pissed off at them for being pissed off at the shit you said that you knew would piss them off. Wow, you’re real heroes, you are. Goddamned saints. We should build statues to your patience for getting called names after you deliberately pissed people off.

    I can’t believe Sim and his supporters have been given the amount of rope they have been, most especially by people like Heidi and Gale. It’s amazing to me that all Dave’s had to endure is apathy and the occasional “he’s nuts” comment. The man’s been beating a hornet’s nest for years and gotten the equivalent of a few stings out of it. And in the face of this frankly incredible tolerance of his twisted beliefs, he’s now come out and tell all of us what we actually think about him.

    What a smug, emotionally retarded asshole.

    If Dave said the things he’s said about women in regards to jews or blacks no one would have spoken to him ever again. I think it’s either a sign of great sexism or incredible tolerance that his low view of women as a sub-class of non-humanity hasn’t gotten him more than name calling. I find it truly astonishing, the sheer number of people who can look past their emotions to see the good in his art, and in him personally. I think it shows immense emotional maturity, the ability to see through feeling, something he ought to respect.

    And Sim has the gall to call himself persecuted. He just wrote Judenhass, he ought to know that his life has never been touched by persecution. Being an asshole and having people call you an asshole is not persecution. It’s not a conspiracy against you, it’s not a feminist-marxist plot. It’s people calling you an ass-hole.

  48. Dear Talon,

    (shrug)

    Predictable. When Dave does something odd, you attack Colleen, or Heidi, or me, or whomever. We get it. Got any other moves after ten years of this?

    As I say, through years of being a hopeless one-note maestro, you’ve made yourself completely extraneous to any conversation held by adults. Dave’s charge of me seeing red is as accurate as your calling everyone who disagrees with you a ‘cunt,’ Miss Manners as we all know you are, or implying that Jeff and Margaret aren’t supporters. We’ve all seen your little dog show, we get it, now go back to the kid’s table and maybe someday Dave will take you camping and brush your hair and you can make s’mores together and talk about the boys you like. Oh, jolliest of days!

    Sheesh. Way to keep throwing darts after the target’s been moved to another room.

    I’m going to end my participation in this thread with a recommendation to everyone to read High Society and Church and State if you haven’t read them, and Jaka’s Story. They are a joy to read, and a solid reminder of Dave the Creator, the guy who really has the goods and put it all out on the page. May they last forever.

    Night, all,

    Gail

  49. One more thing – can people stop talking as if saying Sim has a mental illness is somehow an attack on him? Some people saying it might certainly mean it as an attack, true, but treating it as an ‘accusation’ only reinforces popular prejudices against those who have mental illnesses.

    Oh, and Rick – “*I* am the guy who is over-the-top, sarcastic, funny, mean, and trollish”
    Well, you’re all of those *except* funny…

  50. Unpopular wrote: “Furthermore, I don’t think it’s unreasonable, misogynist, sexist, or prejudiced against women to believe that they are intellectually inferior to men.”

    And Alan Coil replied: “Actually, that is exactly what a misogynist is. You have dis-proven your own idea in the same sentence as you postulated it.”

    No. That is NOT “exactly what a misogynist is.”
    A misogynist is “one who hates women.” Period.

    Etymology: Greek misogynia, from misein to hate + gynē woman

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misogyny
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/misogynist
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/misogyny

    Jesus, what is so hard to understand about the man’s objection to such a repugnant label as “woman hater?”

    I may think blue is a superior color to red. Does that mean I HATE the color red? Of course not.

    I can understand anyone’s annoyance with Dave appearing to “tell us what we think.” Maybe he’s guilty of that, and maybe he’s not. But we’re certainly no better if we insist that WE know what HE thinks.
    So unless someone out there has heard (with their own ears) the man proclaim a hatred of all women, then we’re done.

    The word means what it means.

    There are plenty of negative labels one could arguably apply to Dave Sim.
    “Misogynist” is simply not one of them.

  51. Gail – I never called anyone a ‘cunt’, but truth has never stopped one of *your* attacks, whether against Sim or against me. Phil did, sure…and I referred to *your* “supporters” as lickers, which no sane person could deny. I don’t “attack”, I defend. If you or Heidi or Colleen post something that is not true, I will correct it (just like now)…it’s Truth that matters, not Who You Are.

    Andrew – well, 4 out of 5 ain’t bad.

    Marcus – Word.

    Alan – No thanks, you can keep it all to yourself.

  52. What’s really sad is Sim will be remembered as much for his crazy views as he is for his art. There will always be a asterisk next to his name in the comic histories yet to be written.
    Oh and Talon I’d match my wife’s intellect against yours or Sims any day of the week, she’s the smartest person I’ve every met male of female, her IQ is 177 what’s yours?

  53. If I squint, and think about it calmly, then yes, of course, you could believe that black people are intellectually inferior, even that slavery is their natural condition, and you could still at the same time hold no particular hatred for black people. Fine. But you are, by the common definition, a racist.

    You could believe that a Jewish elite manipulate the world’s media and banking systems, that Jews are in fact a shape-shifting lizard race from another planet, and yet at the same time hold only a compassionate love in your heart for the green-skinned rascals. Okey-dokey. But society regards these beliefs, quite reasonably, as anti-semitic.

    You may proclaim that women are intellectually inferior; that they are a parasitic “void” to the male “light”; that they ought not to have voting rights, etc. And all the while, hatred may indeed be entirely absent from your soul. But when your friends politely admit that yes, they would perhaps be inclined to possibly label your beliefs as maybe, you know, in some sense, “sexist”… that’s reasonable.

    And when you sulk that your friends “in other words” believe you to be a monster, a “non-person”, and you now refuse to have anything more to do them… well, that’s just foolish.

  54. I’d like someone who’s a supporter of Dave to answer this for me: How is it not worse for Dave to think of wmen as sucking voids than to just hate them? My Grand mother always hated the Japanese after WW2. She couldn’t forgive the death of her first husband. She thought they were still people, she just couldn’t shake a great dislike of them.

    I would have found it waaaaaaaaay worse if she were like “Japanese are actually a lower animal only tangentally connected to humans, although it’s true we can breed with them to produce retarded yellow babies.”

    I fucking hate George W Bush, but I think he’s human and has human rights and so forth.

    I’ll submit to you that I’ll accept, for the sake of argument, that Dave does not hate women, as Colman G posits. Someone who supports Dave please explain to me why his actual beliefs aren’t way, way worse than simple hatred.

  55. “What’s really sad is Sim will be remembered as much for his crazy views as he is for his art. There will always be a asterisk next to his name in the comic histories yet to be written.”

    As there is beside the names of Van Gogh and Pound, as well.

  56. I ask this, by the way, because alot of you folks who insist words only mean what the dictionary says, and not what people mean them to mean, have said you wouldn’t stand by Dave if you believed him to be misogynist. From my perspective, simple misogyny would be a great leap in the right direction for Dave. I’d like to know how you all justify supporting a belief that I personally find more disgusting than the misogyny you claim would nullify your support.

  57. Okay can we all just agree that Dave Sim is a sexist and live in bliss with Chester Brown from here on out?

    >>>*I* am the guy who is over-the-top, sarcastic, funny, mean, and trollish.

    Talon, this is the greatest source of your humor, the fact that you think you are funny, some kind of devastating wit who disarms your foes with repartee. It’s like a hilarious double negative, like Austin Powers.

    >>>However, Dave just shoots straight, no emotion, all logic, very factual, like the voice in an elevator.

    This is the other funny part, that you seem to believe just saying something over and over and over and over makes it true, without any ability to mount what I, from my inferior status down here in the emotional mire, would call a “good old-fashioned logical argument.”

    I don’t see how Dave Sim’s “I’m gonna go eat worms!” tantrum of calling *himself* “subhuman” when no one but Dave has ever said any such thing, equates to cold, precise logic. Or even a fact.

  58. “As there is beside the names of Van Gogh and Pound, as well.”

    And.. that makes it ok? Lots of artist have a asterisk next to their names, most aren’t for being a crank misogynist or being in bed with the Nazis. Pound makes my point EVERY book and or write up on him talks about his dance with the Nazis, it has come to overshadow his work in many ways. And by the way Sim is in no way the artist that Van Gogh or Pound were.

  59. Since some are cherry picking their definitions of misogynist, let’s include a couple of others easily found on the net:

    Noun 1. misogynist – a misanthrope who dislikes women in particular

    http://www.wordwebonline.com/en/MISOGYNIST

    hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.

    Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

    Mistrust.

    Dislike.

    Yep, that’s for sure.

    The patronizing, smarmy, “OH I don’t HATE women, just those feminists! I like women even though they are intellectually inferior!” sounds like hatred to me, whether he can bring himself to admit it or not.

    Dave Sim can’t bring himself to admit he has any emotions at all. All evidence clearly shows otherwise.

  60. Is Dave Sim a misogynist? Of course not. But that’s the catch-word of the day … It’s the kind of tripe that puts someone else on the defensive, until the word is just as over-used as “offended” and “offensive”. (While editing a college newspaper, in 1989, one fellow student told me that he was “very offended” by a handful of typographical errors).

    “As I say, through years of being a hopeless one-note maestro, you’ve made yourself completely extraneous to any conversation held by adults. Dave’s charge of me seeing red is as accurate as your calling everyone who disagrees with you a ‘cunt,’ Miss Manners as we all know you are …” blah blah blah

    Gail, if this is the best you’ve got, I’m disappointed. This is the kind of venom we usually save for Rick Olney.

  61. Snoid: “And.. that makes it ok?”

    Nobody said “it” was OK– assuming by “it” we mean bigotry generally, not Dave’s particular version of it– but when we attempt to deal with artists, we’re dealing with individuals who are often attracted to all manner of extreme concepts. For many, if not all, it’s part of their mental repertoire; it’s what distinguishes them from simple craftsmen.

    I believe Dave’s such an artist. In this discussion it’s meaningless to ask whether he’s more or less one than Ezra Pound, since the implication there would be that because Pound was greater, he ought to be cut more slack than Sim. (Historically, it does look like he was, since as I recall Pound ended his life in a nursing-home, sort of a curiosity, and was never tried for his pro-fascist statements, which was certainly possible whether or not it would have been legally defensible. But history’s last page on Sim remains to be written.)

    You’ve probably seen AMADEUS. Told from Salieri’s POV, it looks very unjust that a devoted fellow like Salieri is denied talent in place of the uncultured boob Mozart. But life’s not fair. Talent droppeth where it pleaseth, and everything one says about Sim ought to be said while keeping his function as an artist in mind.

    Matthew asks if Sim’s sexist philosophy might not be worse than simple misogyny. In theory, one may logically think so. In practice, I agree with statements made by Jeff Tundis on the YABS board: Dave Sim’s statements may be logically wrong, as wrong as (to choose my own example) Jerry Falwell’s post-911 gay-bashing.

    But, as Tundis said– and I hope he’ll correct me if I’ve misunderstood him– unlike Falwell, Sim has no real power over hearts and minds. What is morally detestable in Falwell is merely crankiness in Sim. He wants to believe that there should be an inequitable relationship between men and women, and has produced a convoluted philosophy to justify this belief; one so convoluted and overwrought that it has no chance to convert more than a tiny number of like-minded peoples. It’s of interest to me from the aesthetic POV, as an artist’s artifact, and I suspect the majority of his (financial) supporters feel the same way.

    So that’s pretty much my argument.

    Worse in theory.

    Not in practice.

  62. Whatever. I’m disappointed in how fucking stupid your first paragraph is, but I’m too polite to mention it.

    And I have no idea who you are, so the ‘we’ seems a bit familiar.

  63. Gene, I didn’t mean that Pound should be cut anymore slack then Sim because Pound is a better artist. What I meant was like in Pounds case, SIms work as a artist will be overshadowed by his whack views, it all ready is in many ways. When was the last time anyone talked about Sim without all this nonsense?
    And I get your argument, I just don’t agree is all.

  64. That was to ‘Rich,’ not Gene.

    I don’t care if Dave is actually labeled a misogynist or not. It doesn’t interest me, and the quibbling over the EXACT meaning of the word interests me even less. But any adult, man OR woman, should be held accountable for the things they actually say, and in Dave’s case, he’s said them repeatedly for years.

    Honest to god, I wish him well. The case for or against his words has been made ad nauseum. At this point, it’s just a lot more pleasant for me to focus on the work of his that I’ve enjoyed so much than continue to point out things I think are pretty obvious to the disinterested observer already.

    Finally, I have to say it, it’s not because of an unfair stigma that I am against speculating on Dave’s mental health–it’s just that none of us are experts, most of us don’t know or barely know Dave in person, and I think it’s extremely inappropriate to be tossing that idea around so casually based on some impolite rants and small odd behaviors. I think that’s unnecessary, that’s all.

    Sincerely, what I wish for Dave is happiness, in small return for the pleasure his work has brought me for a long, long time. If we disagree on everything including what color the sky is otherwise, big deal.

  65. Snoid: “When was the last time anyone talked about Sim without all this nonsense?”

    But how much of that is due to the fact that CEREBUS is a long and complicated work that takes a major investment of time? (Not unlike the Cantos of Pound, of which I admit I’ve read only snippets.) It’s easier to read excerpts from Sim’s essays than to read even one CEREBUS phonebook (except maybe the “early, funny ones.”)

  66. Snoid: “When was the last time anyone talked about Sim without all this nonsense?”

    But how much of that is due to the fact that CEREBUS is a long and complicated work that takes a major investment of time? (Not unlike the Cantos of Pound, of which I admit I’ve read only snippets.) It’s easier to read excerpts from Sim’s essays than to read even one CEREBUS phonebook (except maybe the “early, funny ones.”)

  67. My analogy for Sim complaining about how people always want to talk about his opinions instead of his work:

    (Matt is an author doing a book signing in Japan for the premier of his new graphic novel.)

    Hi everyone, I’m ever so glad you’re all here to hear me talk about my book. Man, one thing about being in Japan, Japs smell funny! Whoo!

    What are you upset about? Jeez you smelly Japs are an emotional bunch. Okay, anyway, can we shut up for just one second about what smelly Japs you are to talk about my work?

    Come on! Can’t you people discuss anything else? Let’s just discuss my work shall we? Thank you.

    Jeez you smelly Japs can hold a grudge.

    Okay, so, the title of my book is “Japs are smelly pieces of shit.”

    What is you people’s problem?!

  68. I know an enlightened and progressive female, who thinks women are smarter than men, and brazenly exclaims that it’s a scientifically proven fact -noone thinks it’s misandric, it doesn’t even come up in that context: it just doesn’t.

  69. Well I’ll throw in and say this “enlightened” and “progressive” female you know is a regressive, misandrist, sexist pig bitch. And I can tell you that all my female friends would be more vehement on this point than me. If you asked Dan Savage he’d say the same.

    Hateful bigot bitches are just as bad as hateful bigot assholes- they drag down society with their poison and hold us back as a species. The only appropriate response that I see to these idiots that clasp at our ankles as we try to swim up toward enlightenment, trying to pull us back down into their twisted personal hells, is to kick their hands away and paddle as hard as we can towards the surface.

  70. Snoid wants to know my IQ, Heidi wants me to know that I’m only unintentionally funny, and Gail just wants me to grow up…and the discussion quickly reverts to is Dave a misogynist, or is Dave insane.

    The common theme in the above is that the kneejerk reaction is to attack the character of Dave Sim (or that of the ‘messenger’) rather than attack his ideology, or rather address (logically and rationally) Dave’s attack of whacky feminist ideology.

    Now *some* people actually do combat his ideas, but that’s certainly not the norm, nor is it where the discussion stays.

    Snoid – Your wife is an Exception…if she’s really that smart and chose *you* for a mate, you must be a prize indeed. Oh, the last time I checked my IQ was a decade ago, and it was somewhere in the high 7000’s.

    Heidi – In a general sense, the butt of the joke very rarely sees the humor of it. As far as Sim’s “subhuman” comparison, he sees the words “misogynist” and “sexist” as equivalents to racial slurs…that is, sure you could argue that people who call Jewish people “kikes” are just using a word that fits the definition, but it is still a pejorative and carries a lot of hateful baggage. Can you imagine someone refusing to sign a “I don’t believe John Smith is a kike” because they admit that they cannot sign since John Smith really is one by definition, or by common usage?

  71. “Snoid – Your wife is an Exception…if she’s really that smart and chose *you* for a mate, you must be a prize indeed. Oh, the last time I checked my IQ was a decade ago, and it was somewhere in the high 7000’s.”

    Not really, as a whole I’d say most women I meet are smarter then the meatheads walking around I see everyday. I’ll stand by my point I’d match her against you or Sim any day. She’d leave you both cryin’ in her dust, trust me I’ve seen it happen.
    She is indeed that smart, and yes she chose me for a mate, and no I’m no big prize, just a normal guy who doesn’t think women are stupid.
    If your IQ is that larger your head most weigh a lot!

  72. Ah, but you forget, Talon, that Heidi and Gale are metaphysically incapable of logic or reason, or anything other than emotional attacks. They’re basically vaginas hooked up to a vacuum death-trap for the male intellect, linked with other similar death vaginas in a conspiracy to cast down maledom. They simply can’t help themselves. Remember?

  73. Talon: Can you please link to this enlightened and rational discussion of Dave’s ideas? Because I’ve certainly never seen one online. Oh yes, he deigned to address it on the Tart boards but only with a “I don’t want to talk about this” reluctance. And whenever he was presented with an idea which had to be refuted by actual evidence as opposed to your own brand of “If I say it, it is true!” “logic” he just dropped it.

    >>>As far as Sim’s “subhuman” comparison, he sees the words “misogynist” and “sexist” as equivalents to racial slurs…that is, sure you could argue that people who call Jewish people “kikes” are just using a word that fits the definition, but it is still a pejorative and carries a lot of hateful baggage.

    Yay another patented Talon Straw Man argument T M! In what way does this refute the fact that Dave is the only person who has called himself “subhuman”, which according to the dictionary everyone is so fond of using, means:

    “: less than human: as a: failing to attain the level (as of morality or intelligence) associated with normal human beings b: unsuitable to or unfit for human beings c: of or relating to a taxonomic group lower than that of humans ”

    For the record, I do maintain that Dave Sim has the DNA, shape and form of a human being; he certainly has the intelligence and emotions of a human being; and he is indeed fit for human companionship, as evidenced by the many people — such as, ironically, myself — who wish that he could address his misanthropic tendencies and become part of society again. I would say that Dave is in no way, shape or form subhuman, intellectually or even morally.

    It’s a shame that Dave’s own emotions make him feel subhuman for his odd beliefs, but it entirely of his own making and not a “fact.”

    My prediction for your response to this comment: one of your three or four word “witticisms.”

  74. “But how much of that is due to the fact that CEREBUS is a long and complicated work that takes a major investment of time? (Not unlike the Cantos of Pound, of which I admit I’ve read only snippets.) It’s easier to read excerpts from Sim’s essays than to read even one CEREBUS phonebook (except maybe the “early, funny ones.”)”

    maybe some Gene, however I think it’s mostly because of his views, I’m old enough to remember the pre “crazy” Sim days and there was a lot of talk about him in the ‘zines of the day. I’m sure you rememeber that yourself.

  75. one fellow student told me that he was “very offended” by a handful of typographical errors

    Personally, I get VERY offended when somebody types the phrase “sneak peak” or “sneek peek.”

    If you know a copyeditor who doesn’t get offended by certain typos, then that person isn’t doing their job well.

  76. If you think like a racist, and behave like a racist, and conduct your life like a racist, you don’t have any business boo-hooing like a baby in public every time someone calls you a racist, which is exactly what you are.

    If you think like a sexist, and behave like a sexist, and conduct your life like a sexist, calling a WAAAAHmbulance every time someone notes you are a sexist just make you look like an idiot, too.

    If Dave genuinely believes that women are intellectually inferior to men, and that they should never have been given the right to vote, and that they should stay in the kitchen and make babies as their primary function, then Dave is a sexist, and all the crying about it and stamping his dainty little feet about being called a sexist isn’t going to alter the objective reality that he is, by definition in any dictionary, a sexist.

    1: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women2: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

    Dave Sim doesn’t mind being a sexist, he just doesn’t like being called one.

    Too bad.

    And this whining from a guy who made liberal use of extremely unflattering terms to refer to women whenever it suited him. If he has the right to say filthy things about women, then he can dish it out, and he had better learn to take it.

    There is nothing in the definition of sexist that says anything about him being subhuman. If anything, fostering foolish prejudices and proselytizing about them is a very human – albeit destructive and foolish – thing to do.

    Dave Sim is human. He’s just not a very good person, in my opinion. And as long as he continues to promote his prejudices, he will never be a good person.

    If Dave Sim demands the right to think that women who won’t stay home, obey their husband’s whims, submit themselves to corporal punishment, and make babies on demand are not good women, then Dave Sim must accept the fact that when his beliefs are not congruent with the values of others, they have every right to also believe he is not a good human person (and I don’t see anyone ever saying that Dave Sim is subhuman).

    And no, I am not going to buy this guy’s comics. There are lots of other places I can spend my money while not giving it to a man who does not think I should have the same human rights as he demands for himself. He can go sit in his hovel and natter to himself and the few people he deigns to talk to until time immemorial. He has that right.

    He doesn’t have the right to demand that others not call him out for exactly what he is.

  77. Snoid:

    I think you may’ve meant to say that there was lots of talk about his WORK in older zines, rather than about the man himself. Certainly he wasn’t vilified as “crazy” back then, and more of the discussion was of CEREBUS, which was also more accessible in early years. Still, Dave is, as PAD implied, something of a showman, and even without the “crazy” stuff he captured a lot of attention early on as the guru of self-publication.

    However, as I argued above, I think Dave has an ambivalent relationship when it comes to being in the spotlight, and has shown evidence of this for years. So I don’t agree with those who stated here that he’s been “set off” by low sales of GLAMOURPUSS or being given a hard time on the Net or whatever. Whatever his changes in philosophy over the years, something like the “loyalty oath” is (as I see it from my armchair) entirely consistent with earlier patterns of behavior.

  78. Elektra said:

    “If Dave Sim demands the right to think that women who won’t stay home, obey their husband’s whims, submit themselves to corporal punishment, and make babies on demand are not good women, then Dave Sim must accept the fact that when his beliefs are not congruent with the values of others, they have every right to also believe he is not a good human person (and I don’t see anyone ever saying that Dave Sim is subhuman).”

    Are you quite sure that Dave has said all these things?

    I for one don’t remember him saying anything about “babies on demand,” but I can’t claim to be an expert.

    Is it possible he didn’t say them all, and that you are projecting– quite as much as Dave is when he defines “misogynist” as “subhuman?”

  79. “I think you may’ve meant to say that there was lots of talk about his WORK in older zines, rather than about the man himself”

    yeah of course I did, thanks, and I’m not being snarky.

  80. Talon, you wrote that Dave Sim “sees the words ‘misogynist’ and ‘sexist’ as equivalents to racial slurs”.

    Do you regard that attitude as rational? Do you genuinely believe it is rational to see the word “sexist” as an equivalent to the racial slurs used against Jewish and black people?

    This isn’t about feminism — it’s about intellectual honesty.

    If you believe that Sim’s attitude is irrational — emotional — then have the integrity to say so publicly, and to tell the man himself.

    But if you genuinely regard the word “sexist” as an ugly slur against those honorable fellows who happen to sincerely believe that women are intellectually inferior to men etc., then what word do you suggest we use instead so that we may avoid offending their sensibilities?

  81. Ninety one messages with no slowdown in sight.

    Today’s Dave Sim thread has been brought to you by the words “Publicity” and “Free.”

    Misogynist? Misanthrope? Who knows? Stupid? Definitely not.

    PAD

  82. Heh, Peter, so true. I’ll let this one roll a little more and then it’s time to gag everyone, myself included.

  83. Gail, in regard to “Finally, I have to say it, it’s not because of an unfair stigma that I am against speculating on Dave’s mental health–it’s just that none of us are experts, most of us don’t know or barely know Dave in person, and I think it’s extremely inappropriate to be tossing that idea around so casually based on some impolite rants and small odd behaviors. I think that’s unnecessary, that’s all.”

    I wasn’t referring to you and I apologise if you thought I was. Rather I was referring to people like ‘Talon’ who seem to think that any speculation along those lines is tantamount to an attack (rather than just stating that his mental health is none of our business). I worked for several years in a psychiatric hospital, so I am unusually sensitive to the idea that mental illness = bad person.

  84. Colman: Yes, it’s very rational to decide not to accept the Opposition’s Pejorative du Jour. It’s a label that’s used with the intent to neuter the opposition’s message. What word to use instead? In this case, I’d stick with “genius”.

    PAD: Can’t sneak anything past you. In your rum-and-coke story, are you certain that Dave wasn’t using drugs too?

    Heidi: lol…I see what you mean about someone being unintentionally funny. PAD lets the cat out of the bag, and now it’s magically time to close the thread so “we” won’t be unintentionally helping Dave.

    I love feminists. :)

  85. I’ve been enjoying watching the thread expand and my wife just pointed something out to me that I thought really should be included.

    While Dave Sim is apparently very concerned that people should not mislabel him as misogynist since the dictionary definition may not precisely fit him, he has gone ahead and thrown around the word misandrist in an equally pejorative and inaccurate manner:

    “Heidi and misandrists like her should be ashamed of holding such views but I realize that trying to point this out is a futile task in our society as constituted. They are, quite literally, shameless in their obsessive focus exclusively on their own extremist political views.” — Dave Sim, March 31, 2008

    http://www.comicsvillage.com/column.aspx?ArticleID=217

    That’s from Rick Sharer’s site (I believe that’s Talon TM by another name?).

  86. No, I am not projecting.

    Dave Says:

    “”The Male Light and the Female Void: Seminal Energy and Omnivorous Parasite.”

    Did you not read what Dave wrote about his own mother on his blog? How she betrayed her true function as a woman by holding a day job? How it took her away from her family, and widdle Dave, boo hoo?

    Dave Says:

    “If you look at her and see anything besides emptiness, fear and emotional hunger, you are looking at the parts of yourself which have been consumed to that point.”

    I remember, in particular, a female cartoonist writing in to Dave asking if she should be a cartoonist, and Dave writing back to her to tell her that this was a bad idea, because she should really be a wife and mother.

    Dave went on to say that the CHOICE to be professional women should not be removed from women, but that it was a bad choice. that it took them away from their true functions, and made them inferior mothers, if they had day jobs, that is.

    I can’t find every quote, but I could find some doozies. You can read the blog and judge for yourself.

    Dave says:

    “However, in a Feminist Age like ours where harlotry is a human right…”

    So, Dave is annoyed that people call him sexist, but “harlotry” is how he describes people who exercise the right to sexual choice? Once again, he can dish it out, but he can’t take it.

    Dave says:

    “As I’ve said before elsewhere, I tend to see myself as the lead character in Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend. Everyone else is a vampire and I’m the only non-vampire.”

    Wow, martyr much?

    And more:

    “There really aren’t any circumstances where I would address a harlot any more than the lead character in I Am Legend would have considered going out and having a chat with the vampires after sundown so it was a stretch to answer your question. Likewise, a harlot would be about as likely to ask me a question as the moon is likely to be made of green cheese. Harlots, in my experience, only talk to and only listen to other harlots. They reinforce each other that there is no choice open to them but degrees of harlotry.”

    Dave says:

    “…you do them no favour in my view by joining them in the delusion that they’re “troubled” when the actual problem is that they’re chosen evil over good and are belligerently waiting for someone to argue with them about it. Because virtually all women in Western society, in one sense or another have chosen to live in the villages they have built up between the choice of celibacy and the choice of marriage those villages are their carve-in-stone frames of reference “This is where I live, this is who I am” and, as a result, I don’t think there is anything sensible that can be said to them that they could either grasp or accept or otherwise make use of. They live in one or more of the degraded villages and they’re only interested in talking about the other villages.”

    So, is that enough of a “bad woman” label for you? He says that women who do not choose celibacy or marriage have chosen evil.

    Dave says:

    “You were celibate, you went through the courtship ritual, you got married, you procreated and that was what life was made up of. Everything else was aberrational and to be deplored. It is because of movies and television and pop music that we aren’t there any more. Now we are here. We got here as a society, incrementally. At one time I was where society is now and I, too, got there incrementally. Now I’m where society used to be.”

    So, everything that is not about celibacy, courtship, marriage and procreation is “aberrational and to be deplored.” Those are Dave’s ideas, not my projections. And it’s all because of movies and television and pop music, as if adultery and fornication never existed before Elvis.

    And more.

    “I usually think it’s a pretty safe assumption that they’re demonically possessed because they have no defence against it and they’ve chosen to take the incremental logic-of-the-next-step express train into hell. I’m polite and chatty and amiable with everyone that I come across in the course of day-to-day reality but I’m always on my guard for them – or more accurately the ___ which informs or occupies them – to try to take a cheap shot at me.”

    OK, and now we have devolved into discussions of demonic possession, and would someone please explain to me how anyone could still believe this man is rational, logical, and unemotional?

    You can’t possibly deny that Dave supports corporal punishment for women and that women should be subservient to men. That they should do as their husbands tell them, and his preaching about the Koran clearly promotes these ideas, including the man’s right to sex on demand. If he really does believe the Koran as he says, then according to the Koran, a woman is subservient to her man in all things and cannot enter heaven without her husband’s will.

    It is quite possible that people would really rather pretend that Dave Sim doesn’t believe these things, but then again, you can go read his blog for yourself and decide.

    I appreciated your earlier post where you wrote about Mozart and Salieri. While I appreciate the time and effort you put in to it, I respectfully disagree that great artists get a free pass for having lousy ideologies.

  87. Peter: Yes, that’s a nice catch (the Sim quote, and perhaps even the wife, heh)…Dave has many times responded in like manner to illustrate absurdity with absurdity…he has admitted that’s why he was so over-the top with imagery in READS….to give feminists a taste of their own medicine. Nice.

  88. I’m tellin ya Talon, don’t waste words on these feminutzos. Cut yourself a switch, give em’ a good hard spanking, and leave it at that. Sticks talk louder than words, am I right, my fellow light-bearer?

  89. Any guesses on how many of Sims’ supporters posting here are just sockpuppets for Sim himself? I’m looking at you, “Unpopular.”

  90. Matthew: Words are fine, it’s the switches I wouldn’t waste. :)

    But my advice to you, young padewan, is to focus on taking the switch to whacky feminist ideology and Law, rather than to feminists themselves. Sure, it’s not as much fun, but you’d soon be as popular as Dave.

  91. Talon T M said:

    “Dave has many times responded in like manner to illustrate absurdity with absurdity”

    I don’t know… to me it looks like he is not going for absurdity there, but is genuinely calling Heidi a misandrist. I think it’s a little disingenuous to say that he’s using the word to point out that it is silly to call him a misogynist.

    Here is my evidence: in that same Sim quote, two paragraphs higher, he says, “I have never commented unfavourably about women, my opposition is directed toward feminism and the way it has turned our society in an extreme misandrist direction.”

    Dismissing Sim’s claim never to have commented unfavourably about women– a claim which could be refuted by looking at some of the statements quoted by Elektra, a couple of posts up– there again is that word misandrist. We can argue over whether society has turned in an extreme misandrist direction, but it is pretty clear, from the fact that he is stating it in no uncertain terms, that Sim believes society has done so.

    I don’t think he’s switching from using the term misandrist, applied to society as a whole, without irony, to calling Heidi a misandrist, ironically, two paragraphs later. So I respectfully reject the interpretation that he is using the word to ‘illustrate absurdity with absurdity.’

  92. I think maybe I ought to do several thousand pages of increasingly accomplished comics and spend a decade or two being a staunch advocate for creator’s rights and helping other cartoonists before I go apeshit and decide to invent an abrahamic religion that villifies whatever category of person I have personal issues with.

    Dave is popular, is STILL popular, because of all the good he’s done, in his work and in his advocacy, and not because of his Looney Toon beliefs about imaginary sky-friends and evil vaginas.

  93. Uh oh, I see this circling the drain of all such “discussions.” I see that when challenged, Talon still can’t serve up a link to what he says exists. I guess feminists should be treated with contempt and don’t need to see facts and evidence? Or is it just that our puny minds cannot comprehend the God-like ruminations of higher beings? It certainly is very very funny that whenever he’s challenged to marshal evidence, facts and logical support for his statements, he falls back onto straw men and his catch-all “feminists wouldn’t understand!”

    It is sad to me that Dave, an original and engaging thinker no matter what you think of his ideas, and a great creator whose work actually DOES engage his ideas, is now reduced to listening to the Salacious Crumb stylings of this level of “follower.”

  94. Elektra:

    I don’t think I’ve said Dave should get a free pass. I was largely attempting to answer Matthew’s question as to whether Dave’s philosophy is worse than honest, open hatred, as seen in his example of hatred for a former enemy people.

    I conceded that one could see it as such, since any philosophy can, in theory, be misapplied. In practice, though, I don’t think Sim’s philosophy has that sort of persuasive power, as against the Bible-derived simplicities of Falwell. That does make a difference to me, as it apparently did to the guys who didn’t prosecute Ezra Pound.

    Based on your quotes, I don’t find it UNLIKELY that he holds conservative opinions on whether the wife has any say in the birthing matter. I just wanted to get an actual statement by him to that effect. I still think the quotes you present don’t quite do that, but I admit that you’re not simply subscribing to the “barefoot and pregnant” stereotype, and you’ve actually read his blogstuff with some thoroughness.

  95. Heidi – any one of the Dave quotes from my articles at Comics Village are proof enough, as well as most of his posts on the internet tour. And I’m talking about his actual posts, not what people have made up.

    And in one of the most (unintentionally) hilarious examples of Irony ever, you create and attack a strawman of me allegedly saying “feminists wouldn’t understand” when not only have I never said that, I’ve never thought that.

    If I thought feminists could never eventually “get it”, I wouldn’t be posting.

    And do you “understand” that having to get in yet another Messenger character shot (i.e. this level of “follower”) is just part of the (failed) ideology? This is what I’ve seen for years, feminists put words in Dave’s mouth and then attack his character. I suppose the “win at any cost” method has its advantages (obviously), but it’s intellectually dishonest.

  96. Gail, I lumped Heidi in with you in he “hounding” category for simplicity’s sake, but there are others. What bugs me is the seeming inability to say “Dave Sim is a great artist” without saying “Dave Sim is an evil whack job who should be shunned.” I’m paraphrasing, of course, but I hope you see my meaning.

    However, unlike infantile trolls like Alan Coil who can’t get quote attributes correct, or definitions (his ultimate comeback is – “uh-huh, nyah”) – you and Heidi are actually, you know, important. But there are plenty of other blogs and such out there that do the same and worse. Forgive me – I’m not interested in listing them all out for you.

    Jim Sheridan – no, as Rick said, calling Dave Sim a sexist is not a problem solver, it’s a deal breaker. I, too, consider Dave a sexist. I consider all philosophies or political ideologies that put the interests of one gender over another sexist. But me correcting Chester’s definition of misogynist as being actually the definition of sexist (and its correct application to Dave) is what started the rift between us – even though I don’t think it makes anyone a “bad person” in and of itself.

    Gene, close enough:) I do think there is a difference between a marginal “celebrity” like Dave Sim saying distasteful or inappropriate things and someone like Falwell or Bush or whoever – people who actually have a tangible effect on a massive amount of people. It might seem unfair, but it’s just a simple reality. I think there’s an improper balance between what Dave’s opinions are and the amount of time spent shouting down everything he does as a result. Maybe that’s why he keeps bringing up the Larry Summers thing. (He offered a theory, off the record, based on his university’s own data – and was unfairly demonized.)

    As far as Dave Sim’s “emotionalism” goes – he’s extremely emotional. That’s why he tries to keep it in check. Remember how the Vulcans in Star Trek were actually a savage, destructive, emotionally wild race before the discipline of logic?

    Peter – great story about Dave’s “faux drinking.” :) Thanks!

  97. Oliver said: “Saying something is heading in a “misandrist direction” and calling someone a “misandrite” isn’t the same thing. I’m just saying.”

    Only in the sense that Sim is referring to society as a whole in the first quote, and to an individual in the second, is it different. He says that society has turned “in an extreme misandrist direction” (note: that’s not just a regular misandrist direction, but an extreme one) and shortly thereafter refers to “Heidi and misandrists like her”.

    As far as Sim’s argument is concerned, they *are* the same thing, because he is using “Heidi and misandrists like her” as examples of the “extreme misandrist direction” in which society has turned.

  98. I forgot to say: Thanks, Gene, for actually answering my question. You aren’t in the category I actually wonder about, in that you don’t support Sim in his beliefs while denouncing misogyny, but I think you did a good job of articulating why you, personally, have the particular stance you have on your relationship to Sim and his work.

  99. Fair enough, Gene.

    I think Dave’s beliefs are pretty obvious from his blog, and no one has to project anything onto them. To me, his statements are odious, but I concede that he probably doesn’t have a lot of influence, in part, because people are willing to look at what he says and realize its bunk.

    200 years ago, he might have been a contender.

  100. “Gail, I lumped Heidi in with you in he “hounding” category for simplicity’s sake, but there are others. What bugs me is the seeming inability to say “Dave Sim is a great artist” without saying “Dave Sim is an evil whack job who should be shunned.” I’m paraphrasing, of course, but I hope you see my meaning.”

    Jeff, I appreciate that you are making an effort here, but for the love of god, neither Heidi nor I want Dave shunned. I keep saying it but it keeps getting paved over. Dave’s work is immensely important to me, and I wish him well and I want him to be happy. I admit I said a lot of glib stuff, but again, this is a situation where a satirist is fine with any conduct towards others, but takes extreme umbrage when that same conduct, in this case mockery, is applied to him or herself. The myth that I ever wanted Dave shunned, let alone Heidi, who is a lot nicer and more patient than I am, is simply not supported at all. Have I mixed, “Dave is a brilliant creator” with “Dave is acting like a lunatic” in my comments in the past, just as many are still doing on the Yahoo boards and elsewhere?

    Yes, I have, and I regret making that implication. I believe I have made it very clear where I believe Dave’s logic went off the cliff, but again, I thought I was dealing with Dave from the Cerebus letters pages, whom I really DID see as a towering intellect. Now, my desire to scrutinize this stuff is much overwhelmed by my desire to remember the positive stuff about Dave and not add to whatever personal misery is causing him to feel so betrayed by the universe. I would NEVER want Dave shunned–as Heidi said, I think it’d be pretty fricking great if he came out into the light again and could see the people like you and Margaret and James and Chester and so many others for the very good friends you all HAVE been and would continue to be, to your credit. It would benefit the industry and his readership, I have no doubt.

    At this point, I’m saving my mockery for other targets, is all.

    Andrew, thank you for the kind words. I wasn’t sure if you were referring to me or not, but I thought it was worth making my position clearer. I suspect I will continue to be labeled things I am not and accused of beliefs I’ve never held for some time to come. It’s simply easier to do that than to look at the content of my actual posts.

    Like I said, it’d be nice to turn the rhetoric down, but for some, rhetoric’s all they’ve got and when the insults stop flying, they are left wandering around aimlessly for want of purpose.

    I think it’s better not to be one of those people.

    Best,

    Gail

    This is not a knock at Dave. Maybe this is what makes him happy. But from the outside and my non-expert opinion, I feel bad about it all the way around.

    I don’t think Alan’s a troll any more than I think that I am ‘important,’ but I know you meant that in a nice way. I am not approaching this as a writer or pundit. It is strictly as a reader and fan, and like a lot of folks on the Yahoo group, probably yourself included, I’m taking no damn joy at all at seeing these developments any more. Dave’s suffering does not make me happy, and the suffering of his supporters makes me even less so. I thought the oath was funny, I won’t deny it. Now I don’t find it funny at all.

    I don’t know what ‘others’ you’re referring to, but if Heidi doesn’t belong in the ‘constant hounding’ group, and she absolutely doesn’t, I can’t see how ‘simplicity’s sake’ is any kind of justification at all. I’m not asking you to list this group of blogs that’s constantly hounding him (I personally haven’t seen any…the Dave mockery is widespread but seems about an inch deep to me. Most blogs devote no more than a thread or two to it that I have seen), but certainly including people who DON’T belong in that group does no one any favors.

  101. So you and I share an unhealthy addiction to Internet arguments about Dave Sim, that’s all. Sorry, I guess I was being a jerk there.

  102. Matthew:

    You’re welcome, and thanks for a good exchange.

    Elektra,
    I suppose I’m trying to figure out what, if any, rights Sim thinks women should have. I get that in a perfect world he doesn’t think they ought to have the vote, that he’s said outright. And yet, he has also made statements that suggest his basic respect for women who succeed in making it in “man’s world” on that world’s terms. So, in this imperfect world, does he think women do have some fundamental rights that wouldn’t be necessary in the perfect world?

    I dunno. I’m sure Dave contradicts himself on a lot of stuff. And if anyone could ever justifiably use the Whitman line about “containing multitudes,” it’s Dave.

    Maybe that’s why I don’t think the essays represent the whole Dave Sim, much though he may claim otherwise.

  103. And I should add that if I was a huge, huge fan of a female cartoonist who eventually started publishing essays about how men are obviously inferior beings who have no morals and shouldn’t be allowed to vote, I’d probably be getting into long, drawn-out arguments with her online defenders. So I can see where Gail is coming from.

  104. Peter, the second I posted that last one I was hoping to undo it:) I’m not sure -I blame it on trying to get stuff done and skimming the posts. I’m certain I’m not the only one:)

  105. Talon, with respect, I didn’t ask you whether it was rational to accept pejorative labels. I asked you: Is it rational to see the word “sexist” as equivalent to racial slurs?

    Also, my second question was sincerely asked. “Genius” cannot, of course, serve as a useful replacement for the word “sexist”. I assume you were not entirely serious?

    If you’re genuinely interested in rational discussion, the two questions still stand.

    And again: This is not about feminism. I am not a feminist. This is about intellectual honesty. Are you ignoring someone’s irrational behaviour because you like their philosophy?

  106. “Gail Says:

    05/21/08 at 5:22 pm
    Any woman who says men are inferior and means it is too stupid to listen to. ”

    Perhaps, but would you spend hours attacking her? Or would you be better served enjoying and praising her book?

    e
    L nny

  107. “Ian Harker Says:

    05/20/08 at 10:10 am
    What really pisses me off about Dave Sim is that he’s not happy enough being a grandmaster of the comics medium, he needs to re-invent western religion as well as “expose” the truth of feminism and whatever else.

    It’s about knowing when to quit when you are ahead. He painted himself into this corner. He should just issue a mea culpa and get over himself. I have all the faith in the world that Dave Sim has some of the most amazing works of comics art left in him. He needs to just stop poisioning his own punch bowl. ”

    You mean that he should keep his minority viewpoints about God to himself? He holds unorthodox views on God – but are they really that much more bizarre than any other religion’s views, other than the fact that it’s a minority view?

    e
    L nny

  108. Is it possible that Sim is actually Andy Kaufman in disguise, taking his “wrestling with women” schtick to cosmic levels?

    Has anybody ever seen them together? We should ask Gerhard.

  109. Gail said, “I have to defend the Yahoo Groupers here. Does anyone, and I mean ANYONE, think Dave spent his days arguing with people like Margaret and Jeff, who have been unflinchingly supportive of him at great personal effort for years and years?”

    I don’t know anything about that Yahoo Group, but if they were as friendly with Dave Sim as Chester Brown seems to have been, then it is just as much of a shame if he cuts himself off from them as well. However, I would think that anyone subscribing to a Dave Sim group for all the right reasons wouldn’t have a problem with signing a petition saying they don’t believe he’s a misogynist, and as a result wouldn’t lose contact with him.

    I don’t think Dave Sim is a sexist either. It’s a lot easier to slap one of those “-ist” labels on someone instead of truly trying to understand what that person is saying and work to disprove or challenge them on their views. Labeling them makes them easier to ignore and taints everything they say so that those things can be easily dismissed as the ravings of an elitist. I will say that Dave Sim is very close to being a sexist, but there’s a line he’s not crossing which keeps him from fitting into one of those easy-to-use labels. **I haven’t read everything he’s ever said on the subject, so maybe I’m not as informed as I should be… but is anyone else arguing here able to say that they HAVE read EVERYTHING he’s ever said on the subject?**

    Coleman G said, “you could believe that black people are intellectually inferior…you are, by the common definition, a racist.”

    Maybe by common usage, but not by the actual definition. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

    Matthew Bernier said, “Someone who supports Dave please explain to me why his actual beliefs aren’t way, way worse than simple hatred. ”

    Because hatred is emotionally motivated and often times the product of ignorance, and Dave Sims views are extensively thought-out and logical which gives them validity. His views are worse for those who disagree with him because they’re harder to dismiss as just plain hatred or sexist.

    Elektra said, “he is, by definition in any dictionary, a sexist.
    1: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women2: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”

    I still think he is just slightly outside of this definition, but not by much.

    Then Jim chimed in, “Any guesses on how many of Sims’ supporters posting here are just sockpuppets for Sim himself? I’m looking at you, “Unpopular.” ”

    Swing and a miss, sir. I don’t have any connection to or any fondness for Dave Sim in particular. This is one reason why I haven’t extensively read everything he has said on the subject. I have been commenting on quotes posted on this blog; outside of that I’ve at least read the “Fifteen Things” and couldn’t find much to argue with, but I mostly just found it funny. I haven’t signed any petition in regard to Dave Sim because I have no desire to communicate with him…. and I haven’t read a single issue of Cerebus… and I’m an athiest. None of this has stopped me from saying what I felt needed to be said which boils down to he doesn’t fit into the labels people keep trying to give him and his views aren’t unreasonable. Fortunately, the opposing viewpoint isn’t unreasonable either. However, throwing out labels and trying to dismiss everything he says as mental problems or being out of touch with reality isn’t an opposing viewpoint. Gail and Heidi have pretty much stuck to talking about his views without tossing out the labels. They clearly wish to understand where he’s coming from even if it would only be to try to change his mind with a convincing argument. That is why I would personally rather see Heidi or Gail do a one-on-one in person interview with him to ensure that everything said stays on point and doesn’t get muddled by the peanut gallery. Unfortunately, that’s not very likely at this point, and it probably has more to do with those of us in the peanut gallery causing problems rather than Gail or Heidi doing any “hounding”.