I had some fun with the ol pope in this week’s comic, but really, I do think it’s kind of weird he’s retiring. I mean, how can you retire from being the word of God? It really just makes it seem like any old job. I’m curious as to what you do as a retired pope. Is he going to wander around Florida, wearing a jacket in the summer, complaining about how none of his cardinals call or visit anymore? Maybe I’ll save that for another comic.
I know, babies can’t really do things out of spite, like in this week’s Dustinland, but sometimes it sure feels like they can. You know, I can deal with not going out as much, being pickier with concerts, renting DVDs instead of going to the movies… but sometimes on the weekend I just want to sit down on the couch, drink some coffee and read the paper. Is that too much to ask? Does he even have to take that from me? I mean, I love the little bastard but come on dude, give a dad a break.
This week’s comic is about the gun control debate that has been hot and heavy ever since the awful Newtown massacre. Unlike most people, I took some time and did a lot of reading before I decided to weigh in on the matter, and even after all that I still don’t know what the answer is. Ultimately, like most issues it’s a complicated one. It’s easy for one side to say “guns are weapons, they are meant to kill, they are bad,” and it’s easy for the other side to say “guns don’t kill people, people do, I have my rights, guns are great.” But it’s hard to say both sides are right—and wrong—about certain aspects of the issue, and the answer is way more intricate than just yes or now.
The question, by the way, is not “Are guns good or bad?” but “What can we do about the extremely high rate of gun homicide in the U.S.?” Of course, there’s ending the war on drugs, but that’s too extreme for most politicians to stand behind. Then there’s decreasing poverty across the nation, but with two political parties that can’t agree on anything besides which lobbyists to take money from, it doesn’t look like much will happen on that front either. So I guess conservative politicians will line up with the NRA and liberal politicians will try to ban M-16s and nothing will change. The end.
P.S. I was recently on an Internet talk show (oddly enough, about vaporizers) debating some super gun rights dude about all this. You can listen to that here (I come in around the 20-minute mark or so).
P.P.S. As serious as this all is, I did try to have some fun with it. WHEEE!!!! GUNS! UNICORNS!
This week’s comic is not about right and wrong. It’s about friends and time. It’s about taking different paths and growing apart. It’s about getting older.
Now, clearly I’m on the family side of this strip. That’s the route I went. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not saying it leads to happiness for everyone. In fact, I think it’s better to be single and happy than to get married and start a family with the wrong person. What does make me sad though, is watching friends who seem stuck in a rut—eternally in college, just without the classes. And it’s not about money. I wouldn’t have double majored in art and philosophy if I cared about that. It’s about direction and meaning. Can you spend your whole life living only for today? And when does the sex and drugs lifestyle go from fun and exciting to routine and empty?
But ultimately, the saddest thing is that even if both sides are completely happy in their lives, there’s still a disconnect once marriage and children enter the picture. As a parent, it’s not just the loss of free time to do fun adult things. It’s about a sudden change in your priorities. Life begins to move in a much more “serious” direction once you have kids. And suddenly you just don’t see certain friends very often. You find yourself spending more time with people you would never have hung out with if you weren’t both parents, while those some of those long-term friends you share every interest with—who you speak to in a language of in-jokes based on years of good times—start to fade away. But what’s hard from the parent point of view is that while you still can appreciate the things your old friends do—the stories they tell, the lives they lead—they are at a loss when it comes to your new life. Not only do they not understand it, most of it doesn’t interest them. And it’s to see why, since parenting can sound awfully mundane to the uninitiated.
Yup, not the funniest comic this week. But a true one.