Made it to 3!

Thanks to you all for your interest in this thing. I've gotten some wonderful responses and conversation out of the first two. Of course feel free to reply or share them with anyone you think might also enjoy it. I'm pretty sure if you click the "view this newsletter in your browser" link, the resulting web page is public.

I've been writing (which is sheepishly said, knowing the talented writers that I'm lucky enough to be friends with.) I've noticed that I'll blurt something out, then spend the resulting 3 hours removing every word that I can without making it unintelligible and rending my clothes deciding whether to capitalize new lines. It's my understanding that this process is called "Editing"? Anyway I heard big writer-types and poets use it a lot, so I thought it might help...

You'll have to forgive the sound of my voice, I was attacked by a dog when I was a child. He got at my throat and unfortunately, he tore up a few things.

Obviously, he damaged my voice box. He also made a mess of most of my arteries, and pulled some of my neck muscles until they were thin strands.

He pulled out my self worth and tossed it over his shoulder. Thankfully the doctors were able to reattach it because someone had the forethought to keep it on ice while I was rushed to the hospital. Honestly, the doctors did a great job. But things that are damaged won't ever be exactly the same so I have a scratch, like a stitch that never dissolved, in the back of my throat.

I assume the dog was abused as a puppy. I still remember clearly the shiny lump of a black scar on his shoulder as he stood over me clicking his teeth through my neck. The way the hair never grew back in that spot, and how it had concentric circles. It looked like a cold car lighter. A stone tossed in a lake.

And in that moment, even while laying on my back with far-away sounding people beating him on his thick head, I felt sorry for him.

I wonder if other animals have ever felt that way.

Maybe there is some small, quiet, universe-sized kernel inside the terror of all prey that is piteous of the predator.

And maybe the trick in life is to climb inside of that space and wait until its all over.

We met at the right time, that dog and I. I was too small to fight back.

But If we had met 20 years later, when I was tall and I could scream

i would have beat him and jabbed a burning stick in his muzzle because that is how human beings run this spinning grave we call home.

There wasn't a lot of time to sketch this week, but here is The Pilot of Resentment. (As always, you can click to see it in detail.)

I'm pretty sure he was the pilot of the plane in this painting. He kept a journal, and you can read it if you follow the QR code found in that painting

Duncan, Dan and Emil

Duncan Trussel recently did a live podcast where he talks with Dan Harmon and his friend Emil Amos. You can hear it here: Duncan and his enthusiasm is infectious, and while the conversation does take some sidebars into late-night dorm room stoner talk, it's well worth it for the few gems of conversation that they unearth. If you're a podcast enthusiast, I suggest listening to the whole thing. Especially for people interested in creative processes, Bugs Bunny as the perfect id and the sticky stuff in gingerbread men that gets all over expressions.

Here's a link to the podcast on youtube:

Fast forward to 29:00 to hear Emil Amos do a version of the theme from MASH that's pretty incredible. He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I admire his courage as a singer. He's putting it on Front Street.

Around 45:00 Dan Harmon reads an essay from his book. Actually it's not an essay it's a passive-aggressive post from his myspace blog circa 2008. It's cringeworthy in the way it showcases how people wrote on the internet at that time. If you had a blog or a livejournal in the beginning of the internet, you will recognize the tone of the thing, and it might make you embarrassed for him. You can also hear him struggling with his voice as a writer. Then, in the middle, something incredible happens. He points at something universal and huge. It's like he picks up this rock and begins smashing it on the ground for a while like an ape, and somehow by the time he's done, he's cracked open the thing and there's a gleaming and sparkling geode inside. It's an amazing magic trick with words.

Thank you all again, I hope you have a beautiful week.