This week’s new Dustinland comic is about a lot of things. Each frame could have been its own comic. But I’ve been mulling all this over in my mind for months, and this is, I think a good way to combine it all.
Basically, it follows the road from innocent Googling to all out violence — a road some people in America are already on, and some even reached the end of that road. It really does start off innocently. I’ve done it myself. Maybe you’ve never had an issue with vaccinations and you find it hard to believe so many other people do, so you search up some articles and stats about how safe vaccines are and how helpful they’ve been over the last 100 years or so. Or maybe you’ve always been distrustful of big pharma and never get flu shots, so you search up info on vaccine side effects. And then either way, you share those findings on social and throw in your opinion. You’ll see who agrees with you. You’ll find yourself in a battle of articles with those who don’t. You’ll dig in. They’ll dig in. Soon it becomes less about the facts and more about who you identify with and as. No one wants to back down. I stand for X and you stand for Y. I am US, you are THEM. And then, egged on by those who profit off outrage, eventually sides are drawn, everyone hates each other, no one can even talk anymore, and those who simply disagree with you are now the “enemy”.
It’s a scary time we live in, because both sides of every issue seem content to limit the rights of the other side. The ideals of democracy are being abandoned in favor of “progress”. And maybe there’s no other answer. I don’t know. The world has gotten quite crowded. The rules we govern by weren’t created for a world full of so many people, all being hypnotized by 24/7 propaganda.
This is the stuff that keeps me up at night. And this is why most of my comics are about “kids say the darndedest things!” I don’t know what to do anymore. So I do what I can. And all I can do is take care of myself and my family, try to stay sane, try to be at peace, try to do what I can to make this world a better place without losing my mind and being outraged at every waking moment. The Dude abides, if you will.