Note From The President, Cerebus 147, June 1991Copyright 1991 Dave Sim
Comic book artists, no matter how talented, don't have to be political sophisticates or produce carefully argued pro-feminist work for me to admire and enjoy them-but they don't have to be self-impressed misogynists with an exaggerated idea of their own intellect, either.
Was your effort in climbing up your own wonderful arsehole as deeply satisfying as you hoped? Is it safe in there? It's better than taking risks, I suppose.
I've been a grateful and appreciative recipient of CEREBUS over the years. Now I think I'd rather remember it all as it was, when your humour was sharper and your ego a little less evident. Lord Horror's the only comic I want to see, these days. It revels in its own awfulness, which I find a more palatable attitude.
I think this just about sums up what's been going on lately. I've been sending Mr. Moorcock (at his request) copies of Cerebus since 1979. If someone as liberal- minded and as intellectually stimulating as Michael Moorcock can write as offensive a postcard as this, I think it is as damning an indictment of feminism as you could hope to find. It is a crank postcard of that sort that Mr. Moorcock and others would (and do) deplore when in receipt of such petty-minded malice.
Look, people. Everyone hates some group. Everyone. Whether it's skinheads, country and western fans, Republicans, Conservatives or-yes, goddammit-feminists, that hatred exists. It is time for us to realise that laundering the world down to only "approved of' groups is simply unworkable. Likewise pretending that hatred doesn't exist or that it should be wiped out. You can suppress it (and do) you can make expressing a contrary opinion illegal (and have) you can boycott someone's work because of his political opinions (and will) but that is no different from the blacklists of the 1950's. I No matter who you are, you are a member of some group which faces discrimination, stereo-typing, prejudice and categorization. As a white male, I am supposedly in the dominant category. The world is my oyster. Well let me tell you that as a self- publisher I am universally despised and great effons are made to wipe me out of existence. As an anist I am patronized, thought to be a crackpot, an eccentric and an odd-ball. As a canoonist I am thought to be a lower life form by "serious" anists. As a comic book anist I am thought to be a second or third-string nobody by the gray-haired golfer types of the National Canoonists Society. As a Canadian I am thought of as "boring" by Americans, "a boring lower class colonial" by the British, a "filthy english-speaking swine" by the Quebecois, an "eastem bastard" by the Westem Canadians, an "exploitive grasping Nonh American" by the third world. . .
Say, I better cut this out - I may get to like it.
...as a comic book writer I am dismissed out of hand by anyone who writes anything else no matter how bad; as a Kitchener resident I'm considered a "hick" to anyone from Toronto. I'm a "bum" to anyone who wears suits all the time. Marvel and DC fans consider me an "asshole" as do the creators of all avant garde comics (with the notable exception of Chester Brown).
We all hate someone. Lots of someones.
Smokers, fat people, whiners, talk-show hosts, newscasters, long-hairs, short-hairs, jocks, Jews, Arabs. . .
Why, when someone stands up and says "these are the people I can't stand", do so many of us instantly want to destroy that person? Alan Moore is a feminist. I know that. I'm not. Does that mean I stop reading Alan's work? Try to destroy Mad Love or run around saying awful things about him that I know aren't true?
Mr. Moorcock, I am disappointed. I expected so much more of you. So very, very much more.
Re-reading this a week later I have to apologize for devoting this much space to a subject at passe and tedious as feminism. I will only add that I am not a misogynist. Calling someone a misogynist for hating feminism is like calling someone an anti-semite for hating Shecky Greene.
I'll try and write about something interesting next time.
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