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November 24th, 2015

They Have Always Existed. But Where Did Decency Go?

This came across my Facebook stream the other day, from Jim Wright, who you should follow…


It’s not that these people exist…
…it’s that you live in an America where they are cheered

-Jim Wright


That’s it. I mean…the gutter was always visible to us, but in the same way the grotesque carnival sideshow tents were always there to peek into. You could tune in the screaming pulpit thumpers on the radio dial if you knew where to look. There were phone numbers you could dial to get recorded messages from Birch Society crackpots and white supremacists. Every now and then you got a pamphlet handed to you by a man whose stare made you want to stay out of arm’s reach. There were late night talk show on the UHF band, like The Joe Pyne Show, that you might tune in to for a laugh, only to switch channels soon after because you felt like you were suffocating listening to so much hate, so off-handedly spoken into the camera.

Now the gutter is front and center in the national conversation. Only it’s not a conversation anymore because the gutter doesn’t do conversation. It just screams in your face, and then laughs when it sees that it can still shock you in a place you thought you weren’t shockable anymore…

by Bruce | Link | React!
November 22nd, 2015

Sneak Peek. . .

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 3.21.55 PM


Here’s a sneak peek at something I’m still working on for A Coming Out Story. Only the line art is finished now…and I’ve added the text but not the speech balloon arrows or any of the thought balloons (I really need to figure out a better, faster way of doing the thought balloons in Photoshop…). I still need to add the shadows and texturing and maybe tweak a few things here and there.

But I wanted to show this to you before I disappear for a while during the Thanksgiving week. I’ll finish it when I get back and add it properly to the menu on the ACOS main page.

Read it Here.



by Bruce | Link | React!
November 14th, 2015


So soon is it after Veteran’s Day, so many are in a rush to go to war.

I know the feeling. We all do. We’re human. We bear in ourselves the ancient blood of the killer apes that walked upright on the African plains so long, long ago. We are not so far removed from them we don’t feel the pull of it. It is instinct. The hated Other challenges us, and we long to sink our teeth into them. To defend the Tribe. To protect our young. And because killing is an ancient pleasure handed down to us from the long ages of Earth.  It’s the one that won’t admit that you should fear, because those ancient terrible lusts might one day take them by surprise. And in an instant, the human identity is shed.

We are more than that. The killer lives within us, but we are human, we are civilization builders, artists, and dreamers, and we don’t have to listen to the killer ape. Let us think before we act. Please.

There’s a poem…The Old Astronomer…I’m sure every astronomer knows it for these beautiful lines…

Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

It’s in my will that my ashes are to be scattered in my beloved California, on a hill overlooking the Pacific near the Garrett family lands. So I will have no tombstone, but if I did I would want those words engraved on it. 

To the people who planned and instigated this killing…to the people now rejoicing in it, calling for war and more war…war against the infidel, war against the hated Other, war just for the pure pleasure of war…all I can say is, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry you’ve lost your memory of what it is to be human. I’m sorry the killer ape has taken your soul away from you.  I’m sorry that hate has emptied everything from within you that could have been decent and kind and noble. There are worse things that can happen to a person than to die. I see them in you now. I wish you could see them too, but you have fallen into a pit I’ve seen very few claw their way back out of. I’m sorry you are lost.

But you need to understand something. We have seen the Pillars of Creation. We have watched the stars being born, and dying, and hurling their flesh back into the universe to began the dance all over again. We have seen the horizons of other worlds. We have harvested light from the first galaxies. And we are not fearful of the night.


by Bruce | Link | React! (1)
November 11th, 2015

The Ones Who Went To War

I’d post a photo of my maternal grandfather Albert (whose name mom gave to me) in his uniform but I still need to scan that one in. He served in the Philippines in the late 1800s…I don’t know if he later served in WWI or not. But oddly enough even though he died long before I was born, I owe much of the career I have now to him. After the Army, he ran his own business building and servicing radios and whenever mom saw something in me that reminded her of her dad she encouraged it…which is why I got a taste early in life for fiddling with electronic gizmos, which led to my building my own computers back in the IBM-PC/DOS days, and why I’m earning a good living now as a systems software engineer (my job title).

But I did scan this photo of mom and her first boyfriend, and fiancé, Morris. Morris was Jewish, and my granddad Albert, according to mom, didn’t much care for Jews until he met Morris. According to mom he came to like Morris very much and approved of them getting married.

But Morris was in the Navy during WWII, and so I was told, his ship sailed into Nagasaki harbor after Japan surrendered. He later told her that his ship was unable to move for a time, due to the number of bodies floating in the water. Whether it was the sight of that, or other things he saw during the war, or whether it was a thing that would have happened to him regardless, he fell into severe mental illness after the war and his family had to institutionalize him. So mom lost her boyfriend to madness, and if the war alone didn’t do that to him, it definitely contributed. Before his family took him away mom said, he used to scare her fondling his big army knife, stroking his face and arms and body with it like he was going to cut himself, talking about the corpses he’d seen with their guts spilled out.

So when we remember and honor our service men and women, let us please also dedicate ourselves to supporting them after the war too, and their widows and widowers, and their orphans, because our thanks are hollow otherwise, and especially to dedicate ourselves to not sending anymore of our neighbors to war, if it is humanly possible to prevent it. The wars don’t end for them merely because the shooting stopped.

by Bruce | Link | React!
November 7th, 2015

Where Did The Fun Go…?

This post may distress some of my friends but such is life, and I have a point I’d like to make for those of us who like to play with guns. Play safely, play responsibly, but play. Target shoot, skeet, blasting away at cans you gather up on your way to your favorite shooting spot in the woods. I have something I’d like to say to all of you.

I’ve owned guns since I was in my twenties and a friend introduced me to the shooting sports. He took me to a place in the country and let me shoot his little Ruger Mark 1. A “plinking gun”, it fired the 22 rim fire cartridges you used to buy by the bricks of 500 or so, and just go out into the woods and blast away at cans set up on a wooden plank. Afterwards I developed a smallish interest in the hobby, and over the years bought several firearms of my own, some for household defense, but mostly just for fun.

For most of us who do this, it isn’t about bloodlust. We don’t want to kill anything. We are not into vigilante fantasies or Red Dawn hallucinations. There’s a primitive, elemental attraction to fire, and things that go bang. We are mostly I think, the kids who liked watching thunderstorms, and playing with firecrackers. Yeah it’s dangerous stuff, but back in the day you were given the warnings, told how to play safe, listened to the stories about what happens when you don’t play safe, and still allowed to have those dangerous childhood pleasures. It’s a different world now.

I haven’t been in a gun store, just to look around, in decades now. Some months ago a friend asked me to drive him to a gun store where he had one of the rifles he inherited on consignment. My hobby as I said, was never more than a middling interest. I can get ammo at most sporting goods stores and some department stores (I refuse to walk into a WalMart), but I don’t often need to. A lot of indoor ranges insist you buy their rounds, I suppose to make sure nobody brings in anything unsafe. I settled on a set of household guns decades ago and haven’t felt the need to buy any new ones since. My camera hobby, and my road trips demand most of my discretionary budget. But just the other day I let my friend take me to a store in my old hometown to buy a part for one of my rifles. It was depressing. And now that I think of it, it’s the same thing I noticed at the other store my friend who had the rifle on consignment took me to.

When I started my hobby decades ago, you could walk into a gun store and see a wide variety of firearms. You saw little 22 plinkers like the Ruger that got me started. You saw professional match grade pistols. There were the usual self defense weapons, but also nicely engraved collectibles and reproductions. I once bought a replica civil war revolver, fully functional if you bought the black powder, balls and caps for it. I loved that gun…it went off with a great big wizard of oz belch of fire and smoke. After about ten shots you had to completely disassemble and clean it because black powder leaves so much residue behind it will jam the gun eventually. But I don’t want black powder in the house anymore and I don’t think any indoor range even allows them (way too much smoke) so I haven’t shot that gun in ages. But some years ago, while visiting Tombstone Arizona, I saw some replica Smith and Wesson 44 caliber black powder revolvers and I was tempted. Back then Colt had started making its old civil war era revolvers again, starting the serial numbers, so they claimed, right where they’d left off. The only difference between the new and the old would have been in the way better steel and manufacturing techniques used. So one wondered if the term “replica” was even appropriate.

You saw collectibles in various finishes, some with fantastically intricate engraving and inlays, in lovely custom display cases made with beautiful woods.  Expensive commemoratives you wouldn’t dare shoot. Some of art you saw applied to rifles and handguns was just beautiful. Some of it was embarrassingly hilarious. My friend and I still joke about the nickle plated Smith and Wesson revolver we saw at one store  just outside of Washington D.C., with pearl grips and the words “SUPER STUD” engraved in gold on the side of the frame. Just saying the words SUPER STUD is enough to set us both off, even now.

You saw rifles of all kinds, shapes and sizes. One gun store I used to frequent had a Weatherby I longed for, though it was completely impractical for any kind of hunting I could possibly do here in Maryland, even were I into hunting. But the wooden rifle stock…I swear it was the most beautiful piece of wood I’d ever seen, and my mom had a nice German console HiFi that was solid mahogany (and which I deeply regret now not keeping).  No need to kill anything with it…just to wield the fire from that rifle at a paper target at a distance would have been a pure pleasure. I am not a big guy, that gun would have challenged me. But mastering it would have been Fun. But no way could I have afforded a Weatherby then, and I am not in the market for such an expensive rifle now.

The point is, you used to see a wide spectrum of stuff in a gun store. That was not what I saw when I walked into one a few days ago.

There is an understandable pushback now against sales of military style rifles. I appreciate that, even if as a gun owner myself I take issue with how the arguments are often framed. A rifle is a rifle is a rifle. It’s not how it looks, it’s how it functions. I have no problem with limiting the functionality of personal firearms to keep them from being used as instruments of mass destruction. I am very much for that. Some sorts of weapons, more aggressive in nature than defensive, are reasonably limited to the police and the military. I see the logic in limiting the number of rounds in a clip. I see the logic in keeping assault rifles, which unlike the ambiguous term “assault weapon” is a specific term for a specific kind of soldier’s rifle, off limits to private sales. If you want to play with them go join the army. But just because you replaced the wooden stock of one rifle with a plastic faux military one, that does not change the fundamental characteristics of the weapon itself. Slapping a large capacity magazine on it Does. Fine. Keep those off the market. If you like, mandate a change in the frames of rifles that take them so only small capacity magazines will fit (although I don’t know what you’ll do with all the rifles already out there…). But a rifle is a rifle is a rifle.

An AR-15 looks and handles very much like an M-16 but it is not an M-16. It’s functionality is limited so it can be sold to private individuals. Yes it can be retrofitted to bring it up to that level of military capacity. That isn’t legal except for the high capacity magazines which in my opinion should not be sold over the counter anyway, and it does not change the fact that functionally it is pretty much the same as any other magazine loading semi-automatic rifle.  Or to put it another way, the logic of outlawing sales of an AR-15 would also outlaw the sales of Any semi-automatic rifle, and I think I am reasonably allowed to object to that without being called a gun nut. People mock the argument that it’s only cosmetics that separates the so called assault weapon from the sportsman’s rifle, but that’s what it is if it does not change the functionality of the weapon itself. You’re focusing on the appearance and not the functionality.

But that’s an argument that cuts both ways too.  Which brings me to what was so depressing about what I saw a few days ago.

What I saw was almost exclusively military style cosmetics. It was everywhere in that store. Dark plastic stocks and grips mostly. The usual camouflage paint. Various patriotic slogans engraved on some of them. Some red white and blue painted frames no less. There was one rifle painted in a kind of tie-dye scheme that I thought was fun in a flippant way, but even that one could not relieve the dire seriousness of the rest of the inventory. It was all about the military look and feel. I felt like I’d just walked into a tea party open carry convention. Now instead of the shooting sports, you had preparations for some sort of civil unrest that any sane person would hope to god never comes to pass. It all seemed to be about the culture war now…with guns being the totem, the talisman, the fetish of the tribe.

I saw no plinking guns. I saw no match or hunting rifles. The only wooden stock I saw was on what looked like a WWII style combat rifle. There was a great big Don’t Tread On Me flag behind the counter. This was not the world into which I first walked into a gun store many years ago.  

Deep down inside I’m a peaceful kinda guy who just likes things that go bang. I understand those things can be dangerous. I accept the responsibility for handling them safely. I accept the responsibility for owning and using those things in accordance with the law. I accept that because they present a danger to my neighbors, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has the right, it has the obligation, to regulate their purchase and use. Our shared public spaces convey shared responsibilities and obligations.

But more than all of that, I accept that a rule of law is what makes civilization possible, and that if you don’t like the outcome of an election, you love your country by respecting the process and working within it to change things. Private ownership of firearms is a right that makes perfect sense in the context of democracy, but they not our defense against tyranny, the ballot box is. And I very much resent being lumped in with a bunch of sociopathic anti-government anarchists simply because they like to babble on and on about their right to keep and bear arms. 

I guess it’s hard to nearly impossible for some folks who just don’t like guns to separate the sporting aspect of them, the fun you can have shooting them, from blood and death and destruction. I hear so much from my liberal friends about how guns are designed to kill people and that’s all you need to know about them. Well it isn’t. But that is just what I saw in that gun store too. And that’s what depressed me, and why I sat down to write this longish blog post. Everyone seems to agree now, left and right, that the only thing guns are good for is killing each other.

Now it’s all about war. The fun was gone. The fun seemed long forgotten.

I hate what has happened to my country some days…

[Edited…and edited again…sorry…I just want to make myself clear on this…]

by Bruce | Link | React!
October 26th, 2015

Message In A Bottle…

From my Facebook stream…

the prison of other peoples approval

by Bruce | Link | React!
October 13th, 2015

Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm Will Pick Your Pocket.

Last July a neighbor cut it a tad too close trying to park in the space in front of mine, and hit Spirit’s driver’s side front fender and did some damage. My security cameras caught the whole thing, but he fessed up (he’s a nice guy…very apologetic.  His wife, their infant son and his in-laws were in the car with him when he did it and he was just red with embarrassment). Nobody was hurt. He called his insurance company (Erie Insurance Exchange). Eventually the total cost of the damage to Spirit was $1,322 for the body work, which was completed in August (to perfection by Valley Motors), of which I had to pay my $250 deductible. My agent assured me they would try to get my deductible back from the other insurer (which they did).

I filed the claim with my insurance company, State Farm, because after talking with his company I felt uneasy about trusting them to do a proper estimate and not give me any trouble over getting my car repaired. State Farm sent out a very professional adjuster to look my car over and give me an estimate, which I took to my dealer. Later, I got a check from State Farm, and a letter stating that they would now seek subrogation from the other company.

Last Saturday State Farm sent me a letter notifying me they were raising my rate for…get this…”NOT AT-FAULT ACCIDENT, PAYMENTS OF $1,322 COLLISION”

Hahahahaha…you’re NOT AT-FAULT and we’re going to be reimbursed for the money we paid you…so now we’re raising your rate! It’s a NOT AT-FAULT WIN-WIN!

So I went to complain to my agent, (Scott Garvey on Roland Avenue), today, and basically got a bunch of boilerplate smiles and explanations of why I have to pay more even if I didn’t do anything and they are getting the money back from the other company anyway. They gave me a very well practiced performance and a very polite and professional stonewalling. One of the managers looked at me throughout the entire exchange as if he could barely keep from laughing at me. Oh you poor thing…you think complaining is going to get you anywhere with an insurance company? How…adorable.

So my next step is to file a formal protest with the Insurance Commissioner. But since that was the advice I was given on my way out the door my hunch is the reason they don’t care is because they know they don’t have to.

And truth be told I feel somewhat foolish. I trusted them. Why did I do that? This isn’t the country I grew up in once, where big business was at least theoretically regulated against gouging their customers, and accountable to the regulators. When I left the offices of Scott Garvey they were all looking at me like I was some poor imbecile who thought his clean driving record, and monthly payments on the car insurance, plus the other business I do with State Farm, actually meant I didn’t deserve to be screwed over at the first opportunity. But I will at least Try to get some satisfaction about this.

I just today got one of their letters inviting me to invest in their State Farm retirement savings accounts. Let me see if I can explain to the droid who wrote me that why that isn’t likely.

I’m going to need a lot of postage stamps in the coming weeks…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm Will Pick Your Pocket.
October 12th, 2015

Without Compromise

without compromise

“If we took just five minutes to recognize each other’s beauty instead of attacking each other for our differences—that’s not hard, it’s really an easier and better way to live. And ultimately, it saves lives. Then again, it can be the hardest thing—because loving other people starts with loving ourselves and accepting ourselves. And I know many of you have struggled with this, and I draw upon your strength and your support in ways that you will never know.

“And I am here today because I am gay. And because maybe I can make a difference to help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility. I also do it selfishly, because I’m tired of hiding. And I’m tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered, and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of that pain. And I am young, yes. But what I have learned is that love—the beauty of it, the joy of it, and yes, even the pain of it—is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame, and without compromise. There are too many kids out there suffering from bullying, rejection, or simply being mistreated because of who they are.


Full text of her speech at The Human Rights Foundation conference Here.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Without Compromise
October 10th, 2015

A Coming Out Story – Episode 19 – What I Learned About Homosexuality (Part 3) “Aftermath”

Whew!  Finally…

A Coming Out Story Episode 19 is posted…


…wherein our hero discovers his inner strength.  And his inner prison.

I hadn’t initially thought of dividing this story into sections, but it’s a work in progress and now that I’ve finished this little three part story arc about why I’m so bottled up inside when I should be asking this beautiful sexy classmate out on a date, I see that it puts exactly the right closure to everything that came before it. So I’m calling this End Of Part 1.

Part 2 begins soon (I hope!), and we shall see how this gay kid and the object of his affections manage to deal with their angsty adolescent hormones in a world that would as soon push them off a bridge than give them role models, support and maybe even a prom to go to. This is 1971/72 we’re talking about here. I try to explain what that means in the first strip of this episode.

I apologize for the excessive delay in getting this one out. But I had to pull some stuff out of my guts I never did before.  Plus…everything I said a few posts ago.



by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on A Coming Out Story – Episode 19 – What I Learned About Homosexuality (Part 3) “Aftermath”
October 4th, 2015

Living Honestly

This came across my Facebook stream yesterday…

Vatican Theologian Confesses: “I’m Happy to Be Gay and I Have a Partner”

“There comes a day when something inside you snaps, and you can’t go on. If I had been alone I would have lived the nightmare of a denied homosexuality, but God never leaves us alone. And I think He has helped me take this important existential step. It’s important because of its consequences, but it’s also the premise for living honestly, which should be natural for every homosexual.”

There are times you wonder if the reason we can’t be allowed to live our lives honestly is because some people hate seeing in others what they cannot manage for themselves.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Living Honestly
October 2nd, 2015

The School Shooting…No, Not That One A Few Days Ago…No Not The One Before That One…

I’m going to just write some thoughts as they occur…

  • David Gerrold, who I follow on Facebook not so much for his fiction as his willingness to talk about how it is to work in TV and Hollywood, while lambasting NRA extremists wrote what I think is the right take on the Second Amendment. You see people arguing about the “well regulated militia” part and either ignoring that part about “the right of the people” or insisting that the one overrides the other. Gerrold said essentially that taken together they mean “the people” have a right to own guns, but that “well regulated” part means congress has the power to regulate them. Yes. That works for me. It makes complete sense.

    I keep bringing this up: We have the right to self defense, and to the means of self defense, but our shared spaces convey shared obligations and responsibilities. To the extent that government can require car makers to make their cars safe to drive on the public streets, make them not disgorge crap into the air everyone breaths, make everyone get a license to drive on them, and tell localities exactly how to erect signage on those streets, and what sort of markings streets must have, so that the streets are safe for Everyone to drive on, it can also limit what sort of weapons you can bring into public spaces, which public spaces must of necessity be weapon free (oh…say…courthouses…polling places…Schools!) and require licensing to show that you know how to handle them safely and that you understand the law.

    This is just common sense as far as I see it. Public space that is too dangerous for the public to use is a contradiction. It’s not a public space if nobody sane dares go there. And as to the notion that more guns makes public spaces safer…well:

  • The nutcases were babbling initially that the school was a so-called “gun free” zone, and of course, blaming that on the carnage. But it wasn’t a gun free zone after all, and furthermore, there actually Were people on campus carrying guns. They didn’t intervene for the staringly obvious reason that they were afraid the police would mistake them for the shooter if they did. Be nice if the More Guns On The Streets The Better crowd would try to understand this.

    We have the right to self defense, and to the means of self defense. That’s a right that is obvious in the context of democracy. But that’s the limit of it. The role of government is to secure our rights. And a vital part of that is a police force that keeps the peace. How anyone sees that a dozen or so armed people fighting it out on the streets with a spree killer amounts to civilization is beyond me. The police have to handle these situations and they can’t if everyone is a potential threat. At best a weapon gives you better odds at getting the hell out of there, or staying alive while ducking and covering. But you can’t do more than that or else you are contributing to the chaos of the event.

    Most of us in this life aren’t prepared to engage a shooter, even if we take our guns out to the range on a regular basis. At best we can train ourselves to handle firearms safely, hit what we’re shooting at, know what our limits are, and maybe keep our homes, loved ones and our own butts alive if the worst happens suddenly. But dealing with violent crime is the sort of specialty skill you have a trained police force for, so the rest of us can go on with the business of civilization. They keep the peace. That is their job. A country were everyone needs to bear arms to keep the peace is better described as an anarchy, not a democracy. And there’s a reason why anarchy and civilization are mutually contradictory terms.

    We have the right to self defense, and to the means of self defense. That’s a right that is obvious in the context of democracy. But that’s the limit of it. If you want to play with military grade weapons and go after the bad guys, join the army or your local police.

    And if you can’t make the cut there…take that as a lesson. Most of us can’t either. Respect the ones that can. Let them do their job. It’s a really important one.

  • I could wish I saw nearly as much passion about the recent news story of how Alabama, the birthplace of The Voting Rights Act, is once again moving to deny black Americans the right to vote, as I see now about gun control. Oh there is anger and activism on that issue without a doubt. But the anger, the take no prisoners fury, on this one issue is incomparable. And it is disturbing. There are so many of us who are gun owners, who believe the second Amendment confers a right on individual Americans as opposed to militias (one supposes not the sort of militias as the ones that came to Cliven Bundy’s defense…) to own a gun, who can be talked to about this, and worked together with to achieve some good sane sensible gun regulation. If only we could be talked to in terms other than we’re crazed gun nuts with Dirty Harry fantasies of killing people. Please. We are not that. We enjoy the shooting sports. We believe we have a right to self defense.  We don’t have fantasies about overthrowing the government. In fact, if I could point to one thing about right winger rhetoric on guns that absolutely drives me nuts it’s the notion that our guns are a defense against tyranny.  No.  The ballot box is our defense against tyranny!

    Now…look at this…

    The entire article is here.

    This is how we loose our precious democracy. The belly laugh is the same people who are bellyaching about needing their guns to defend themselves from tyranny, are the same ones making damn sure only folks like themselves are allowed to vote, or have any say in their government. Tyranny? Why goodness no…they just want Their country back is all.  So I have a question for all my liberal friends who are as heartbroken and appalled as I am at the level of gun violence in this country: What change do you think is going to be remotely possible in a nation where only republican votes matter?

More later…


by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The School Shooting…No, Not That One A Few Days Ago…No Not The One Before That One…
September 28th, 2015

Just Keep Doing Stuff…

Unreasonably proud of myself for squeezing out one tiny little pencil sketch for ACOS tonight, even though I was dog tired all day long because I didn’t get Any sleep last night. Insomnia comes and goes as it damn well pleases. But inking that sketch tomorrow and scanning it in will complete another strip, and the next few should come together pretty quickly too.

But then I have a series of way more complex panels to do… You’ll see why.  In the meantime, Tripping Over You has become my favorite web comic. You should take a look. The creators are Way More Diligent about keeping to their schedule than I ever was.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Just Keep Doing Stuff…
September 27th, 2015

Back To Work…

Finished the pencils and photoshop scan and some line art work on another three panel strip for ACOS episode 19, and got three more panels of a four panel strip done. It’s only been what…about a year and a half now since the last episode…

Six more (about) to go. I need to do some more pencils to finish that four panel one. Hopefully I have the energy for it tomorrow after work. One problem is, and has always been lately, that I have to be in such a state of concentration all day long at work that when I come home I’m so mentally tired I just want to veg out until bedtime.

The biggest problem however…since oh, about 2008…is how a certain someone down south screws with my head whenever I tell him I’m working on this. But he’s staying in his comfort zone lately so that gives me some space…and energy…to resume work on this thing. And to continue the storyline the way I’d originally planned.

Spoiler Alert:

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by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Back To Work…
September 26th, 2015

Back To Work…

Back working on A Coming Out Story, Episode 19. I know…I know…it’s taking me forever. But I’m getting motivation now from a certain someone down in southern climes.

I’d forgotten about how Heathkit builders knew you needed, in addition to a good soldering iron, solder, various wire snips, screwdrivers and such…a cupcake tray.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Back To Work…
September 24th, 2015

Notes On Atheism

Despite his stance on same-sex marriage, and the sacredness and dignity of same-sex love and romance and sex, I’m finding myself just thoroughly touched and uplifted by this Pope. Today he had company with the homeless of Washington D.C., rather than dinned with the city power elite. And he told them that “The Son of God came into this world as a homeless person.” Whether or not you believe that Jesus of Nazareth was god incarnate is beside the point. Those people surely needed food for the soul as much as their bodies. For a moment they would have felt loved, and Valued.

I’ve written here often about a passage from the biography of Mary Renault, who gave me a vision when I was a teenager of that sacredness of same-sex love that I so badly needed. In it her biographer quotes her as saying that politics like sex was a reflection of the person within, and if you’re mean and selfish and cruel it will come out in your sex life and in your politics when what really matters is you aren’t the sort of person who behaves like that. To that I would only add religion. If you’re mean and selfish and cruel it will come out in your religious beliefs and your spirituality when what really matters is you aren’t the sort of person who behaves like that.

That includes atheism. The stereotype of atheists like myself is we’re arrogant, uncaring, selfish. But it’s the inner person that matters, not the clothing of their politics or religion. They say without religion there can be no morality. Atheists reply that religion has been responsible for some of the cruelest, bloodiest passages in the history books. But it’s the person. It is always the person. Everything else is detail. I am an atheist because belief simply stopped making sense to me. Love, kindness, trustworthiness, lending a helping hand when you can…these things have always made sense. I could sit here and type out rationalizations for why, and maybe you could type out some theology to prove my rationalizations are just empty hand waving, and then I could say the same about your theology. It’s all just reflex. What matters is the heart.

I could wish this pope could see the people for the homosexuals. But unlike Ratzinger, I can’t imaging him ever excusing violence toward us. Or anyone. His religion is his logical frame of reference. But the heart within is a noble one. When he made company with the homeless of the nation’s capital, he preached to both them, and to the high places. It was stunning.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Notes On Atheism
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