Back in January Digital Lit brought to our attention the webcomic Ratfist, which is being authored by the creator of Earthworm Jim, Doug TenNapel. I had been reading the webcomic for a while, and generally enjoying it, though as my posting on this site has shown, have been rather preoccupied with settling my life here in Berlin for the past while.
Therefore, I was rather curious when one of our readers, Chris I., sent me a message bringing to my attention to this particular comic page. The comic in itself has nothing particularly interesting about it to my eyes, largely because I am behind and have no clue what is happening in the story. What is interesting instead is how the comments section unfolds.
The particular, telling thread is started by 21stCentury, a non-American liberal, who brings up questions of liberal politics and questioning TenNapel's own seemingly conservative ones. As these things do, the question of same-sex marriage popped up, and this led to a whole load of myself just resting my palm against my forehead and shaking my head. No outrage, I've seen this all too often before. The back and forth goes something like this:
21st: Do you honestly believe that every country save for yours is some repressive autocracy devoid of freedom?"
DTN: Just compared to ours. We kick ass.
DTN: Again, why we kick ass.
21st: "You know, if you don't have will and die right now, your wife would inherit your stuff."
DTN: Neither could my gardener, but I shouldn't have to marry him to work those details out. I don't have a problem with anyone visiting anyone in the hospital... but we both know this isn't about hospital visits.
21st: "What argument do you have specifically against letting two adult men who love each other marry?"
DTN: The same argument I have against letting a man take a dump in the ladies room. And office appropriate for one sex isn't automatically appropriate for another, no matter how much a man loves taking a dump in the ladies room.
21st: "Lastly, i'm at least thankful you're not equating gays to pedophiles or zoophiles. That's more respectful than some."
DTN: Give me some time all I'll see what I can do. You realize this conversation is going to be used by your people to justify a permanent boycott of my work. They would probably use this argument to justify me not being able to visit anyone in any hospital while they're at it. THis argument isn't about laws and marriage, it's about cultural witch hunts. THere are a lot worse things than not being able to marry your same sex.
21st: "Right now, some states are, in fact, fighting to remove rights from people. Is that right?"
DTN: America has thousands of people's rights taken away every day. Take a number.
There's also some derailing above that about polygamy (my personal belief? What's wrong with that? Why are we denigrating it? What does that have to do with this particular argument?). However, after all that, I just want to link to Derailing for Dummies (particularly the Conspiracy and Agenda subheadings), throw in a measure of Oppression Olympics, and just be done with the argument right then and there, because seriously? There's also a lot of what I read as jingoism, but that may vary from person to person (as a dual citizen of the U.S. and Germany, and constantly shuffled between the two, the ra-ra Country ra sentiment has always struck me as... quaint).
Now, Mr. TenNapel talks about boycotts, and that's not what I'm calling for anyone to do. I enjoyed Earthworm Jim when I was a wee one, though I've never revisited it. The comic? I will stop visiting it, but whether anyone here who reads it does is up to them. Having the information (even if I read the webcomic regularly, I don't necessarily read comments) is something I believe people should have to make their own decisions; for which you may want to read more of the thread to get a gist of the full extent of the conversation.