Thursday 22 May 2008

when I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.
`When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, `I always pay it extra.'
`Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark.
`Ah, you should see `em come round me of a Saturday night,' Humpty Dumpty went on, wagging his head gravely from side to side: `for to get their wages, you know.'
(Alice didn't venture to ask what he paid them with; and so you see I can't tell you.)
`You seem very clever at explaining words, Sir,' said Alice.

Dave Sim has entered the Humpty Dumpty phase of his career. (I recognise it well, my friends, having been there awhile, in fact the decorated real egg above is from my Fate of the Artist, and since we ate it you'll never know how much of that is photoshopped)
Is Dave Sim A misogynist or is he just sexist? From the posted account of the email conversation involving Chester Brown and Dave Sim: "Absolutely, I said. I agree with you that Chet's argument is faulty. While, yes, languages do evolve - words don't suddenly lose their meanings. What Chet is describing is sexist, not misogynist. Misogynist is a fairly specific term and if it and sexist meant the same thing, there would be no need of the word. And, I do think that you fall into that category. I've had this argument on the internet many times.
So, Dave faxes back that no - he is not a sexist, because in today's world sexist is assumed to mean the same thing as misogynist..."

Dave probably thinks of me as one of his friends who did not stand up for him in his hour of need, and it is true that I have conscientiously avoided ever commenting on the issue. However, it seems to me that if you make a series of statements that is antipathetic to the hard won status of social equality of women as a group, that they, individually and as a group, are likely to call you names. At the risk of sounding sexist myself, what made you think it might be a good idea to haggle over the definitions of the words?



Blogger bob said...

First thing I thought of when I heard of Sim's latest escapade was your portrayal of him in KING BACCHUS. "I fixed it so I can't be wrong!"

22 May 2008 at 19:53:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

There's so much truly good art and stories in all sorts of mediums throughout the world that would take worlds enough and more time than I'll ever have to read and see, that I've never discovered a reason to subject myself to slogging through Sims's stuff. I've enough to deal with in my own life without feeling obligated in some twisted way to excuse the antics of such a complete and total fucking asshat like Mr. Sims. Nothing of his I've seen or read is good enough to bother my pretty little head with.

22 May 2008 at 21:36:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

And I should feel bad about misspelling his last name but I don't. Just lazy I guess.

22 May 2008 at 22:46:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Matthew Adams said...

He might be able to piss off almost everyone but his work is worth slogging with, especially Jakka's Story. His work (alongside eddie's work and a few others) is one of the reasons we should actually bother with comics.

Even if he is nutcase.

23 May 2008 at 04:46:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Ticking Boy said...

As Nigel Tufnel said 'What's wrong with sexy?"

23 May 2008 at 07:16:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

No. Comics are a medium, fairytales are a medium, novels are a medium, poetry is a medium. As such, they are pretty much neutral. If the story or art being presented through the medium is worth paying attention to, *that* is what matters. And so far nothing that Sim (see, I can spell sometimes) has presented as story or art has kept my attention for, say, five minutes. Ten at the outside. Now maybe that's because I think he's a disgusting and contemptible human being; that's certainly possible. Regardless, it is a still a true statement that there are veritable tons of stuff to read and see filled with beauty and terror and love and loss and all kinds of amazing things that will fill the rest of my life, and yours too if you branched out, and I won't miss Mr. Sim one tiny bit if I never see his works. And trust me: Comics will survive and continue to do just fine. He isn't really necessary for that to happen. If anything, he makes comics as a medium less worthy of serious consideration.

23 May 2008 at 07:30:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Misogyny" in modern media culture tends to mean things like "Thinking a female creator's work is mediocre and hyped," or "Failing to acknowledge that in all circumstances female commentators have superior insight and automatic moral authority," or "Suggesting that middle-class women are not completely representative of all female humanity."

How about some definitions of misandry?

23 May 2008 at 07:43:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Matthew Adams said...

"and yours too if you branched out"

Sorry, but I didn't attack you and I dont think you have the right to attack me. How do you know what I read, and therefore how do you know that I need to branch out?

I hardly agree with Sim's views, but I am not afraid to read his work because of this. I see this as "branching out".

23 May 2008 at 07:55:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

I'm sorry, Matthew, that came across awkwardly and should have been more of a general "you", not a specific "you" as you are correct and I don't know what you read. It wasn't my main point but I still should have been more careful in my syntax. My apologies for that.

23 May 2008 at 08:31:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Hayley Campbell said...

Ah. He's just a bloke with a big red nose and a veritable trevor trove of strange ideas. I like reading his rants in the same way I like looking at stuff in petri dishes.

23 May 2008 at 08:36:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But when he eats an egg does he break the big end or the little end?

23 May 2008 at 08:47:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Stephen said...

I recognise it well, my friends, having been there awhile...

Indeed, as I recall, we hung out there for some time. Both got pretty tipsy, too, and started having all manner of odd arguments...



23 May 2008 at 08:56:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Matthew Adams said...

Thanks for apology, and I agree with you that comics are just a medium, and that there are wonderful comics out there, so I don't really have any problem with most of your argument. I think we will have to agree to disagree in regards to Dave Sim's comics.

23 May 2008 at 09:51:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

Well, Scary, if what's growing in the petri dish is penicillin, that's cool. But it seems as if Sim is growing a cross between chlamydia and swine flu so be sure to wear your surgical mask, mmkay? *evil grin*

Matthew, I am happy to agree to disagree about the worth of Sim's work. Disagreements about art can be quite fun, as Mr. Campbell shows us here on his fab blog. I am trying to think of any artist that I've completely agreed with philosophically, religiously, politically, intellectually, and emotionally and I just can't think of one. God knows I love love love that nice Mr. Gaiman's work and that of our lovely host Mr. Campbell, but heaven forfend I say that we agree on everything, or even much of anything. So in that way, experiencing many good, perhaps great?, artists is branching out for me in that respect. It is the contempt I feel from Mr. Sim that puts me off when others don't. Again, no doubt my personal feeling colours my ability to judge his work on a purely artistic basis, but I didn't like his stuff much way back before I'd read anything personal about him. It just didn't hold my attention, when others really, really did and do and will do for years to come, I'm sure. It's a big world if art and lit out there and even after four decades, I feel I've barely scratched the surface.

Okay, I'll leave y'all alone for now. I'm off to take four animals to the vet, so talk amongst yourselves. *g*

23 May 2008 at 10:09:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure that sometimes Dave Sim wakes up, and thinks: "What is that foot doing in my mouth? And why does it taste funny?".

Of course, then he gets out of bed, goes to his man-sized mirror and starts reaffirming himself.

By the time he's had his brekkie, he's ready to take on the world again!

23 May 2008 at 11:50:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to be off-topic, but the Will Elder interview in the Comics Journal is up:

(Figured Mr Campbell would be interested, and there's no contact info I can find here...)

23 May 2008 at 17:31:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Bobby.N said...

I believe that a word should generally mean what it means. I think the way people freely 'equate' words with others is the cause of frustration.

Language may 'evolve' over time, but i don't agree with making 'misogyny' (hatred of women) mean the same thing as 'anti-feminism'. I think Dave has drawn up the petition because he's had enough of not knowing who's back-stabbing him. (ie. Either one goes on public record as stating that they don't believe he's a misogynist, or Dave assumes they do.) - seems reasonable to me.



25 May 2008 at 21:24:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Saoki said...

Those words you mention are a special brand of Can of Worms that opens and splashes about whenever they are written.

That said, it is usually safe to separate the creator from the book and enjoy the fiction even if you can't agree with the author. Unless you can't.
Mr. Sim is one of those "nope,you can't" situations, as are other comics creators that shall remain unnamed.

I guess people should just learn to live with others' opinions (as scary as they might be) as long as it's just people.

Love your work and you blog Mr. Campbell, and I couldn't agree more with you on the Humpty remark. Happens in Portuguese too, I'm afraid.

26 May 2008 at 18:13:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leticia, do you speake Portuguese? I do.

26 May 2008 at 22:10:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Earth Pig Born said...

Hi Eddie - long time no speak!


"At the risk of sounding sexist myself, what made you think it might be a good idea to haggle over the definitions of the words?"

Was that meant for me or Dave?

- Jeff ;)

13 June 2008 at 11:19:00 GMT-5  

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