Category Archives: philosophy

Kevin

As I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, my son really did ask me about “Kevin,” confusing it with heaven. I didn’t explain things to him in real life like I did in this comic though. Not yet. I’d rather have him naive and happy for now. Because once you know, you can never unknown, so why not let the innocence go on a little longer.

Not that it’s bad to know about these things. But hey, if it’s confusing/depressing to me, I don’t know how helpful it will be to him, or any little kid for that matter. But I do know that when you try to explain things to kids, sometimes it makes you realize how silly or weird a lot of these ideas and rituals actually are.

WWJD

Throwing you off with the title of this week’s Dustinland comic, ay?! Well the J explains itself pretty quickly. Jim Henson. I just read his biography. What an inspiration. The guy was a creative genius and nearly a saint in his personal life. An example that you can be a good person and do the right thing in life and still be a hugely successful leader and influential artist. And now I’m trying to take what I’ve learned about him and put it toward the election. Because I have tried to stay above the fray, but at times I have been dragged in. I have dealt with it better than most I think, but still… it’s so easy to be mean. It’s funnier. It’s more popular with those who agree with you. But it’s just bad. Bad for everyone. And this country does not need anymore of that. Enough negativity and hate. It’s poisonous for the nation and for each and every one of us. And you can call me a do-gooder if you want.

Staying With The Times

My latest Dustinland comic is about social media. And hey, that’s how I promoted it. But it’s really more of a commentary about people and trends. That’s what’s ultimate underlying the strip. How we’re always chasing what’s hot and never catching up, even when the hottest thing is something we already did many years ago.

Technology or not, some things never change.

The Power Of The Asshole

Would you consider this week’s Dustinland comic to be NSFW? I think it’s debatable. I mean, asshole is a curse, but it’s certainly not a four-letter word. It’s one of those borderline curses. Like, I wouldn’t want my kid using it but if he was 14 and it slipped out, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I mean, we all say it. We all think it. It’s just the perfect word for that kind of person. And sadly that kind of person is everywhere. And I have been thinking about it a lot lately, because there are so many troubles in the world today being caused by so few people. It just seems like assholism will be an eternal problem that we may never be able to fully combat.

Happiness

I could go on and on about the subject of this week’s Dustinland comic. After all, happiness, that’s a big issue. In some ways it’s THE issue. But I just spent an hour and a half on the subway due to signal problems, and then another 30 minutes on hold for customer support after I couldn’t sign into my server to up date the site. So now I’m grumpy! Oh the irony!

I do think there’s something to the eastern approach though. Simple pleasures. Low expectations. That’s the way to go. Then you are easily appeased, rarely disappointed and occasionally pleasantly surprised. Easier said than done of course. And that whole meditation thing, man that’s hard! And time consuming. It probably works but it’s hard to get around to it. And even 15 minutes of sitting in silence feels like 60 minutes, so it’s not something I look forward to. Probably just something to suck up and get over. I think it’s proven meditation is good for your health. Eh, I’ll put it on the new years resolution list, just like I did last year.

If I had the energy, I’d go into the whole first world problems, it’s all relative thing here, but I won’t because I don’t feel like it. Actually, ending this post now makes me happy, so there you go.

A Meaty Resolution

I know no one really wants to be lectured by me about their eating habits, but sometimes I just have to drop the silly stuff for a week and hit on a more serious topic. Climate change weighs on me heavily, nearly all the time, and I’m always looking for ways to address the issue in my comic without being boring or preachy. Not sure if I achieved my goal with this week’s Dustinland comic, but I had to at least try.

I think meat is really something no one connects with global warming, even though it’s a huge issue. Even being climate change, there’s also all the pollution created by things like giant pig poop ponds, there’s the rainforest deforestation that occurs in order to make more grazing land for cattle — it goes on and on. And what really concerns me is that current diet fads are actually pushing people to eat more meat and less grains. Now, whether it’s better for you or not is not my concern. My concern is that we as a species cannot continue to eat so much meat — the planet simply can’t support it.

I know a big reaction to this will be “but I like meat, it’s so yummy, and I don’t care about the world enough to stop.” Or there will be people who really feel that way but don’t want to admit it to themselves so they’ll dig up some Fox News style “proof” that there’s no global warming or that even if there is, meat is actually good for the climate, and up is down, etc…  But hopefully there are a few reasonable concerned people who might not have realized just how bad meat is for the environment, and if even one person thinks again next time they’re about to order a burger, that’s a good thing.

Oh and one last point: At the end of the strip, I discuss how no one has to STOP eating meat completely. I bring this up not just to make it all feel more doable and less daunting, but also to prevent the usual black or white only comments that accompany the usual “we can’t do anything about climate change” arguments. You know, “oh, so why don’t you live in a teepee.” That sort of thing. The idea that we can either be cavemen or do nothing. It’s a ridiculous ploy I see over and over again, while in reality, we don’t have to completely alter our lifestyles and drop out of society. If each one of us would take even a few small steps, it would make a big difference. Maybe not the whole difference, but it would help a lot.

The Cycle Of Terror

This week’s Dustinland comic was obviously inspired by the recent events in Paris. So depressing. Really seems like there’s no solution. There’s just a brainwashing machine out there churning out people with no regards to their own lives, and how can you defeat that? One deranged person with a gun or a bomb can do a hell of a lot of damage. I guess on the bright side, we’re talking relatively small numbers of people killed if you want to compare stats to full on warfare where you have thousands upon thousands of people dying rather than hundreds. But it’s the way terrorism works that’s so awful. It’s one thing to die when you’re a soldier headed to battle. It’s worse dying huddled in your basement as bombs drop overhead. But to die while you’re having dinner or seeing a concert. It’s so random and unexpected and ridiculous — it’s so meaningless and seemingly unpreventable that it really inspires despair.

What’s the solution? I can’t even imagine. It’s just so easy for a small few on both “sides” to profit off of death and destruction coupled with pride and ignorance. It’s been happening since the dawn of human civilization and it will probably keep happening for many years to come.