This week’s new Dustinland comic is about the urge to grab your phone, the compulsion to capture a moment and share it. This need so often takes us out of the moment, stops of from enjoying what we’re doing and makes us focus on how to share it, the best way to use our phones to capture it, what the caption should say, what kind of post it should be, etc… And while it’s a cliche that a picture or even a video can’t truly capture what it’s like to experience a moment in person, what I hope I’m adding to the story is in frame 3: the fact that no one cares. And really, no one cares — don’t confuse polite likes and comments with caring. Your magical moment is nothing but a tiny distraction for everyone else, something we scroll past at worst, and spend maybe 20 seconds at best if we choose to comment.
Someone I once knew used to say “Sometimes you take the picture, sometimes the picture takes you.” I think that’s truer now than ever before.
Posted in philosophy
Tagged calm, camera, facebook, instagram, moment, philosophy, phone, phone addiction, photography, screens, sharing, social media, social network, tiktok, video, zen
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about my relatively recent philosophy of “just don’t.” It really works in most situations. Of course I don’t mean “just don’t strive for anything in life.” It’s more about all those little moments of doubt. Those instances where part of you deep down inside knows you shouldn’t, but you convince yourself you should because you fantasize about the unlikely outcome occurring, rather than the likely outcome, which is going to not be what you want.
Over all it’s more of a slow and thoughtful approach to life. Why be hasty? Why foolishly act when you can take your time and consider things? All jokes aside, I really do think the world could use a little more of this, especially these days.
This week’s Dustinland comic is about unwanted advice. And you know, I don’t mean casually saying “oh, when I grow this flower I use extra peaty soil.” I mean when people tell others how to live their lives with a big SHOULD. There’s a huge difference between you could and you should. I personally lean toward could. I don’t know what the answer is. I can only recommend. But man, some people just think everyone else should replicate their life, and that’s weird. I get it — you’re theoretically happy and you want your friends to join you. But do you really want to be responsible for their decisions, especially if they don’t work out?
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about the point of life, more or less. I think when you’re a parent, these sort of things take on a new urgency, because it’s one thing to stumble through life believing whatever you believe, doing what you can to stay sane, but it’s another thing to teach a new human what to believe and what ideas should guide their life.
As I say in the comic, I don’t really know what the point of it all is, obviously. I’m not religious, so I don’t have that to guide me. And I try to be a good person and all that, I try to live in the moment. It’s just hard. These days, the more information I receive, the more depressed I get. And yet a life of blissful ignorance also feels irresponsible. So I’m really not sure what to do or think these days, and that certainly makes it hard to be responsible for someone else’s life. But kids grow up and figure things out and adopt their own beliefs. The best I think we can do is make sure they turn out to be good people, kind, nice, grateful, insert positive adjective here, you get the picture.
Man, now I’m bumming myself out as usual. Sorry! Next week I’ll go back to wacky zany honk honk clown horn.
Posted in philosophy
Tagged anxiety, childhood, children, climate change, dadlife, depressing, depression, family, fatherhood, life, parenting, parenting tips, philosophy, point of life, politics, raising kids
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about purpose, and it’s a very New Yorkery style strip. Partially because I was busy, partially because I was too depressed to spend serious energy drawing an 8-10 panel strip this week. But I did draw you three new Birdys, so at least there’s that!
As for the strip, just in case you need it explained — which you don’t, but I’m going to anyway — the joke is that most people are soul searching for purpose in their lives, while I am telling a therapist I actually have too much purpose. Which is probably not true, I’m likely just substituting responsibility for purpose, but either way I don’t go to therapy, and nothing matters.
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about The Great Resignation — the crazy time we’re in, where everyone went from the 2020 approach of “I’m just so thankful I have a job” to “FUCK THIS I quit.”
First, you need to know this comic must be sung to the tune of Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
Second, I think it’s pretty clear I’m a bit cynical about this whole trend. However, I’m not THAT cynical. I genuinely do hope the workers of the world can use this opportunity to better themselves, to push for better wages and policies, collectively or as individuals. And I am part of this movement, I did just find a new job, and I’m enjoying it! So don’t take this strip the wrong way — I truly wish you the best of luck in changing your situation for the better.
That being said… I do think that COVID has uncovered something much deeper in our society. A more philosophical discontent that will not be fixed by simply switching jobs or even careers. I also don’t think we’re at the beginning of some mega change in capitalism where employees have all the power to demand whatever they want. And that’s sort of what I’m warning against in this strip. Basically — do you, but do it now, while you still can.
Posted in work
Tagged 2020, 2021, career, covid, great resignation, job, office, pandemic, philosophy, quarantine, work
This week’s new Dustinland comic is actually a combination of two comics I wanted to draw. One is just a quick two-frame zinger, so if you wanted a late-night talkshow host kinda gag, you can just stop there. The second part is a broader strip about… well, sort of everything. Just the general mental state of everyone in Western society right now. And I know no one cares anymore or wants to hear it so I made it into a song and dance.
So now you know, and knowing is really not that much of the battle, I’d say maybe 10% tops.
Posted in politics
Tagged anxiety, cartoon, comic, conspiracy, crypto, depression, illuminati, meaning of life, philosophy, political comic, politics, qanon, society, us politics, uspolitics, western civilization
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about an approach to life called absurdism. It can seem quite negative — certainly in the way I portray it. But, like nihilism, it can actually be quite freeing. The point is to embrace the lack of meaning in life, rather than fight or deny it. It’s actually similar to eastern ways of thought in many ways, although without the reincarnation or nirvana at the end.
Ultimately the idea is to recognize how pointless it all is, thus freeing yourself from the impossible task of reaching some ultimate end goal that does not exist. And once you’re free, you can do anything, you can feel however you like, you can fill life with whatever meaning you prefer. Of course, I choose to make jokes — probably not the healthiest way to go about things. But it can be fun, so at least there’s that.
Posted in philosophy
Tagged absurd, absurdism, anxiety, bored, boredom, depressed, depressing, depression, existentialism, nihilism, philosophy
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about the whole GameStop saga, which I find amazing and entertaining. Honestly I could write thousands of words about it, which made it extra challenging to distill my thoughts into a few illustrated frames.
Basically, the GameStop thing itself is a great story of regular peeps manipulating the market in the same way billionaire hedge fund assholes normally do, and in fact sticking it to said hedge douches. In the bigger picture, it really sheds light on how “fake” the market can be (not always, but sometimes, maybe even often). In the bigger picture, it shows how there is a system out there where, like Matt Taibbi said, Wall Street is just a giant vampire squid sucking money away from the rest of us. And in the really big picture, it shows just how unreal much of our modern civilization really is, and how dangerously close we can get to everyone giving up on the illusions and all of it falling apart — this last party really is attached to the whole Trump/Fox misinformation era as well, in that there seems to be an unraveling of what we all agree upon as “true” and “real”. There’s also a connection to everything laid out in the book Sapiens, ie there are no border, nations or companies really… just illusions and agreements.
So yeah, big topic, and as you can see by my comic, I sum it all up by saying that while none of this is “real”, it can and does affect us all in real ways. Pain, suffering, hunger, and the reverse — these things are real. And when you’re dealing with them, suddenly all your philosophical issues melt away and you just care about not dying.
Posted in philosophy
Tagged bitcoin, china, crypto, cryptocurrency, dogecoin, gamestop, hedge fund, money, philosophy, reddit, stock market, stocks, value, worth
This week’s new Dustinland comic was inspired by a recent blackout my neighborhood experienced. Only for a few hours too. But it got me thinking… well… one day it’ll start just like this, but things just won’t come back…