0260 - Why is everything so hard? - 2022.09.26

Comic!

Comment:

I struggle with unfounded guilt sometimes. It's a guilt, I think, that largely stems from being brought up in a religious culture in which every human being is inherently evil and deserves to go to Hell forever, and the only way for a minority of the Homo sapiens population to escape this fate is to have someone else, someone perfect, suffer and die in our place. You can see how that might eff a kid up.

As an adult, now, I strive to live a life for which I do not have to feel guilty. Heck, that's why I embraced becoming an artist - at bottom, I just want to consume minimal resources and make people happy for a living. Peel me right down to the smallest layer of onion, and that's what I am.

But the voices come, don't they? The voices that tell you you're an imposition on others. The voices that say that you're a cog in a horrible system. The voices that say that the thing you are is bad. It ties into my paranoia of authority figures, particularly cops - that, one day, they'll double-check the books, see that I belong in jail, and come to break my fingers with nightsticks, confiscate and burn everything I've ever made, and throw me into a concrete rectangle where monsters rape each other in the shower. Forever.

Lee has my moodiness, my wishy-washyness, my clinginess, my short attention span... but they also, deep down, have my guilt. Lee knows - knows - on some level that they don't actually deserve what they have, and that, when the scales are balanced, they deserve to have bad things happen to them.

Of course, much like people who think others are judging them, people who feel this kind of guilt never seem to feel it for the right reasons, do they?

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Tailsteak wearing a shirt

I made a shirt! Well, really, I made high-res image, and now you can get it on shirts and notebooks and mugs and all kinds of things. I put it on two different print-your-things sites, so go with whichever one works for you!

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Transcript:

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0260 - 2167/07/06/19:02 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room
LC: It's all fake. My whole life is just... preparation for a life that never happened. I may as well be a brain in a jar.
Zoa: Oh, we don't get to brain in a jar stuff until chapter five.
LC: I can't control where I go. I can't control what I learn. I can't even control the AIs that are supposed to help me. What's the point? Why not just lie on the floor until someone hauls me to jail?
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CP: Wh-why would you g-go t-t-to j-j-j-j-jjjjjh...
CP: Jjjj-jjj-jj....
CP: Why would you go to prison?
LC: Oh, you know. Refusal to be a productive member of society. Failure to have a point. General uselessness. I deserve it.
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Zoa: Uh... just checking your command of world history and economics, here, chief... you're aware that, post-automation, the vast majority of the human population are not "productive members of society"? At least, not practically. You know, like in a hammer-and-nails kinda way.
LC: Then why is everything so hard? And bullshit?
Zoa: If I may - because you spent your life getting used to it not being hard? Because you were smart enough to find ways to dodge the hard parts until now?
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Doc: Also because you have the emotional stability and the attention span of a Hyporalean star-fairy.
Zoa: Whoa, hey, look what knows its Gu Gu Jaxxon Five lore all of a sudden!
Doc: I downloaded a synopsis of the series and reinterpreted every noun, verb, and adjective into convoluted metaphors about Lee's emotions so I could retain it, it's currently taking up over sixty percent of my onboard memory. Please stop caring about this fucking cartoon as soon as possible.
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