Regarding this week’s Dustinland, you know, a lot of people were quick to make jokes and be all cynical and dismiss Michael Jackson’s death as just that of another celebrity. And hey, I make fun of plenty of stuff, so I totally understand the urge to make jokes, and hey, go for it. But don’t dismiss this. People are sad that Michael Jackson not so much because of who he was as an individual or as a celebrity, but because what he represented.
For one, he was a huge part of my childhood, and I think anyone in my general age range can say the same thing. So when he died, we all just got a little older, a little sadder. It was bad enough when he started getting all weird and creepy — already a lot of the magic was gone after that. But now he’s dead. Beat It, Thriller, Man In The Mirror, PYT, Wanna Be Startin Something… all that joy, all that fun… gone.
Two, it’s the end of a tragic story. Yes, it’s easy to see him as just another celebrity freak, but he was a person. Someone raised in the eye of fame since he was a child. We see what just a little bit of fame can do to people who star in sitcoms as children. From the time he was a child, Michael Jackson was wrapped up in a level of celebrity that only grew until you could seriously argue he was the most famous person in the world. And what started out as a happy little kid with a great voice ended up a haunted, drug-addicted, self-mutilated ghost with sexual issues that likely led to criminal behavior. It’s a tragedy of epic proportions that someone who brought so many people so much joy ended up the way he did.
Man, I am a huge hypocrite, and that is evident in this week’s Dustinland. Hey, sometimes I step into the bank, see a huge line of people waiting for one ATM while another one sits idly by itself, and sometimes I pass the line and try the ATM, even though I assume they are waiting because they know it’s broken. But I also know that people can be stupid sheep. So who knows, maybe for some reason someone screwed up at the ATM and mistakenly thought it was broken, so they waited in line for the other one. Then another person walked in, saw the line and just figured, okay, the other one is broken. Might as well wait too. So I sometimes walk in and give it a test. And sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have faith.
But when I’m waiting on that line and someone else has the nerve to play the genius and skip me and everyone else, oh boy is that a different story. Who are you to think I’m a stupid follower? I am the one who thinks you’re the follower! How dare you!
It’s the same way with elevators. I’m the first one to pound on the door close button as soon as I get in, but I’ll fume in anger when someone refuses to hold the door for me. I guess I should get into that whole do unto other thing more.
Got a few extra minutes to futz around online? Then take this movie quiz on AOL and enjoy the wonderful, Dustinland-esque illustrations provided by none other than me, Dustin Glick, the mildly funny, poorly compensated cartoonist. The quiz isn’t like one of those things on Facebook where you have to figure out who won best supporting actress in 1963. It’s more of a quiz about your own personal movie-going habits. Do you like butter on your popcorn? Do you sit in the front or the back? That kind of thing. I did about 20 drawings for them, one for each question, and they are all so funny, they’ll briefly make you forget about how much your life sucks and everyone hates you. It worked for me!
This week’s Dustinland is an obvious sequel to this Dustinland from a few months back. Sure, some people didn’t give a rat’s ass about the first strip, but some people LOVED it. I got so much great feedback from it, I figured I had to do another one — if only just to incorporate some of the suggestions people made regarding overlooked stuff from the first time around. I spaced them out a bit though, so that those of you who don’t care didn’t get annoyed by my male Gen Xer trip through memory lane. I know some of you understand where I’m coming from though. When you see that thing from your childhood that you’ve forgotten for the last 20 years, it’s a big deal. Yeah, everyone remembers He-Man and Thundercats, but it’s very possible your favorite childhood toy was just some random little thing that nobody remembers today. But that random thing once brought you a lot of joy, and that’s the feeling I hope this comic brings out in you, if only for a minute or two.
You know, Ho Blind? Like Snow Blind? Sheesh, tough crowd.
Seriously though, this week’s Dustinland is a topic I tackled a few years ago, but this time I think I got it right. I also realized I haven’t been touching on subjects of sex and love quite as much as I once did. That’s probably because I’m a long way from single these days, and that’s when you really start thinking about those things. I’ll see if I can dig up some more theories though, since it’s a great topic. The best really.