Deep in Thought

Jan 9, 2021, 10:13:41 PM

Quite a week it's been, huh?

I was at work when all hell broke loose at the Capitol Building.

I mean that's the building that literally represents the idea "of the people, by the people." Yeah, I don't like some of those senators and representatives, and I'm sure you don't either. But, we should agree to like the idea of representation. It's the bedrock of what this country strives to be.

I hadn't given much thought to what it means to be run as a democracy for a long time, but it means that we're run by laws and rules enacted by the people (i.e. representatives), and I'm not talking about the top-of-the-lung "law and order" ranting Trump spews onto Twitter either.

I mean the boring rules.

If you stayed to watch the actual electoral counting that night, you might get what I mean. When they counted each certificate there was a certain language everyone used. The certificate "does seem to be appear to be real and signed" and blah blah blah... It was strangely ritualistic.

Pence asked for objections after each certificate was presented and the words said about its authenticity. A representative would object, and Pence would ask them, "is your objection in writing, signed by a member [of the house] and a senator?" If they did not have a signature from both bodies then the objection wasn't entertained. He'd say so and move on. It's not his personal feeling. Or yours. That's the rule. It's how the game's played. The procedure is how we move on so we don't devolve into a squabbling rabble.

It's the same when we play a board game together, right? There's a rule book that explains the game. It's how we know what pieces on the board have value. Where we can move as a player. What steps you can take during your turn. It's how we can formulate strategies. And, it's also how we can find loopholes and other broken aspects of the game to exploit -- you know, the fun part. It's also how we know we're all enjoying the game together, because if someone decided to do as they pleased, why are we playing the game at all?

But at the core, we all have to agree that we're playing the game together and to do that, we agree the rules are legitimate (okay, and you know house rules if certain issues are too ambiguous).

And yes, I am aware that it's reductive to think of our lives and society as rules of a board game.

I know life is squishier. History's full of people making rules and other people deciding they really don't like 'em. When you exploit the rules in real life there are real life consequences. And, you can't quit this game. You didn't get a choice when you were born into this world. You may not have gotten the hand you wanted, but now you're stuck with the one you've got. There are bad laws in the books, and they are hard to overturn. We know there's a history of using the rules to oppress people, and if not rules then the exploitation of those rules. Hell, some of it's written into our constitution. It's why politicians like to sum up America as an "imperfect union" because it would take a lifetime to address every grievance, and it would take generations of forward, progressive, and nuanced thought to push through our history for only an iota of reparations to what's been done.

What about the sixth of January? Honestly, we heard all Trump's grievances represented in court. Was there election fraud? If there is, show the court evidence. Prove your point beyond a reasonable doubt. That's how the game's played.

And I know the kind of game Trump was trying to play with those lawsuits. It's not about being right or arguing a point. It's about overwhelming the system. We've all done it playing video games, right? Too many bad guys. Get a bigger gun. Humans attacking your Zerg hive? Build a ton of zerglings and rush 'em. Done deal.

He was trying to do the same. If he managed to get one judge to agree with him, his team could use that case to push harder, and keep in mind McConnel and Trump installed judges along their party lines, and some of those judges heard those election cases, but he still lost them.

I hate to say it, but it's fair to say that he has a right to do this -- it's a strategy to win, an attempt to exploit the system. He stacked it from both sides. Any judge could have given him a pass, but there would be consequences for that, not just to the judge, but to us. In the end though, they have to follow the law. You have to win the court battles and with that you need hard evidence. Toppling the system by swarming it with court cases isn't enough.

Trump lost every case, save one, and I believe it was to allow observers to stand closer to the ballot counters.

Those folks who stormed the capitol building didn't have a solid grievance to stand by. They were mad and aimless. Those folks didn't want a redress of grievances. They wanted anarchy. And our own president gave it to them. He pointed the way and hid back into his bunker and Twitter bubble.

He hid.

And, he put our Vice President, senators, and representatives (you know, the people who represent us, the people) in actual danger. He decided to topple our rule of law. The foundation of our democracy.

Because, if he lost, who cares about any of that?

He only cares about one thing: himself. He doesn't care about those people he sent off to riot. Not one shred.

If there's a reason why you should care about our American way of life, what you saw that day should be it. That's what life would be like if we all didn't care at all. And, I know I'm navigating this conversation at the 30,000 foot level. There's a lot of skipped nuance.

I too hope for the unity that the incoming president talks about, but what I want is accountability. Not just for Jan 6th, but for the past 5 years. The kids in cages, travel bans, the erosion of our country, and that list goes on and on. And that's probably also just simmering anger on my part because I don't know what that accountability looks like. Someone smarter than me, I hope, can answer that question.

I also want the arrests of these domestic insurrectionists. And even having said this, I know that there's the deeper problem. We've dealt with white supremacy for hundreds of years now. That problem is boiling over and there's no easy answer to resolve it. And, if those folks want to come to the table, they're gonna have to do all the work to make up the distance between the rest of us and them. A lot of us implicitly agreed to be cool with each other. Those folks did not and are not. There's no olive branch long enough to reach them.

Uh, About The Art!

It seems weird to segue into the art I'm presenting after that whole thing.

What can I say? Life is aburd.

You came for cute girls and monsters and not to hear me rant, but honestly, you're gonna get both, and just like all the other weirdo things in this world, you'll have to live with it.

I didn't know what to call this illustration. I guess "Deep in Thought" since it looks like she's thinking.

When I drew this illustration of Magical Girl Kamiko, I used a model on Instagram as reference. Here's a timelapse of the drawing I did using Procreate on my old iPad.

Oh, I also tried some different color schemes too. A red version:

Deep in Thought - Red Version | Magical Girl Kamiko | This Mortal Coil

Deep in Thought - Red Version | Magical Girl Kamiko | This Mortal Coil

A purple version -- I never finished shading this one:

Deep in Thought - Purple Version | Magical Girl Kamiko | This Mortal Coil

Deep in Thought - Purple Version | Magical Girl Kamiko | This Mortal Coil

So that's what I got this week.

Remember, it'll be a while before you see a new story. I'm working on it. At a later time I can share some of what I'm doing, or you know, start sharing the new comic. Until then, stay safe, and have a good weekend!

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And as always have a great weekend!