Sunday, June 22, 2008

Another day, another idiot...

What is it about the internet that brings out the morons?

I was clicking the stumble button today and landed on an (awful) webcomic who’s author had taken the time out to re-publish four or five Ctrl-Alt-Del strips as ‘proof’ that Tim Buckley (The author of Ctrl-Alt-Del) is sexist.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like CAD and think Tim Buckley is so far up himself it would take a team of professional miners several years to extract the guy’s head from his own ass…but the dude’s not a sexist.

To be honest, this situation reminds me of a post I wrote a year or so ago about an idiot blogger who made it her mission to expose ‘’ as ‘racist’ because 99% of the people ‘baited’ and humiliated on that site were black.

Of course, she totally missed the fact that every single one of the people ‘humiliated’ on 419eater are in fact Nigerian 419-scammers…you know, the people who email you saying they’ll give you a few million dollars if you’ll help with ‘legal fees’…then extract as much money as possible from you before disappearing.

So, apparently, if a criminal sends me fraudulent email in an attempt to con thousands of dollars out of me, and I choose to mess with the guy by wasting his time and making him jump through hoops for a few weeks …I’m a racist for doing so if that criminal happens to be black.

Anyway… back to CAD.

Apparently this cartoonist was ‘outraged’ at a sexist CAD storyline.

Here’s the part of the storyline the guy chose to post:

One of the characters (Lucas) is at work when his ‘blind-date’ turns up, a girl who looks like she weighs at least 350lbs. Lucas isn’t interested, but goes on the date with her anyway. He later takes her home…she goes out of the room…and returns a few minutes later with all her fat gone and instead has the body of a supermodel. He’s obviously shocked at the transformation so she explains that she works in movie special effects and decided to attend the date in a fat-suit because she wanted to see if he’d be interested in her rather than just her looks. He decides to stay for a drink.

Ok, first point.

Even if we take this at face value, that story is not even slightly sexist…it’s fiction, and Lucas’ reaction is actually realistic. Let’s be honest here. I don’t know many guys who wouldn’t be at least slightly put off if a 350lb woman turned up for a blind date. It’s also likely that the same guy would probably be a lot more interested if he found out his date wasn’t really 350lbs, and instead had the body of a supermodel.

So, this means two things.

One, the character isn’t ‘sexist’ at all, he’s just a bit shallow. If he’d been interviewing her for a job or something and turned her down because of her looks, that would be sexist… however, not being attracted to someone because of their weight doesn’t even approach sexist.

Let’s flip this around. Ladies, if you went on a blind date and a 350lb guy showed up…would you be sexist if you wished he was in better shape? Would you suddenly become more interested if it turned out he had a washboard abs?

Long story short, it’s not sexist if you’re not attracted to someone because of any physical attribute.

Secondly, you can’t call an author sexist even if one of their characters absolutely is. I mean, I know it’s hardly on the same literary level, but by this reasoning we could call Harper Lee a racist for writing ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’…after all, 99% of the characters in that book are total racists. I’ve also read ‘The Color Purple’, and amazingly didn’t assume Alice Walker was all for underage incest-rape.

If everyone judged people based on the characters they create, the guy who wrote ‘Saw’ or ‘Hostel’ would be in jail right now.

Ok, now we come to the real kicker.

If you read a handful of strips before and after the ones this dumbass chose to post, things take on a whole different context.

Basically, Lucas had just gotten out of a bad relationship and it’s made clear that he feels he isn’t ready for another one. The blind date is set up by another character,without his knowledge, as an unintentionally cruel practical joke. In other words, when his ‘date’ turns up, he’s not expecting it. From his point of view a random stranger has just walked up to him and asked him if he’s ready for their date.

So let’s get this straight. Lucas doesn’t want to date anyone but actually takes this girl out because he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. He thinks that if he tells her that he knows nothing about the date and doesn’t want to date anyone, period, she’ll assume he’s calling the date off because of her looks and is just making up excuses.

They do end up dating…but the whole following story arc is that he’s found himself in this relationship with a girl who intrigues him, who he actually likes…but he still doesn’t feel like he’s ready for a relationship and agonizes over what to do about it.

So, in context, Lucas is actually a really nice guy. He doesn’t want to date anyone, but gets set up without his knowledge and goes on a date he really doesn’t want to go on just to spare this girl’s feelings. Then, despite the fact that she turns out to be someone he’s physically attracted to, he still doesn’t feel ready and worries about whether he’s being fair to the girl by continuing to date when he doesn’t see the relationship going anywhere.

That sound sexist to anyone?

I think this cartoonist’s total idiocy can be summed up by a further statement that Scott Kurtz and Mike Krahulik (of PvP and Penny Arcade respectively) are also sexist because if they draw their wives in their strips they draw them ‘much hotter than they really are’.

I don’t know what world this guy is living in, but the act of cartooning is taking real life and exaggerating it. If I ever draw my wife as a cartoon, I’m going to pick her best features to exaggerate, just because I don’t want to get my ass kicked.

Plus, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with representing someone you care about in the way you see them.

Oh, and even if my wife was a hairy dwarf with a lazy eye, an ass the size of Kansas and had the world’s most spectacularly hairy mole on her face…if I choose to draw her as Adrianna Lima’s twin sister, that isn’t sexist either!

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