I’m reblogging this for a couple of reason. Firsly, every few weeks there seems to be a rash of reblogs and likes as more people discover the prequel and often the original comic as an after effect. I dig this and want to spread the word as much as possible. The other reason is basically a practice in futility. I want to set the record straight, if that is any way possible when dealing with things to whom Andrew Hussie’s name are even tenuously attached.
So the deal with AIDS for those that don’t know is as follows: A long time ago the GangBunch decided to put together an anthology of stories taking place in fictional city. It was going to be called like “Night Over Neon Lights” or something similarly dumb because we were all such a bunch of embarrassing assholes. The plan was for each member, who was of a mind to, to contribute a short story in comic form, focusing on a chosen character in or aspect of the city. We bounced a few ideas off of each other and came up with a handful of stories that we thought would make a cool book. My initial idea was about a kid whose hobby is to build robots of all shapes and sizes. After years of merciless victimization at school, he finally snaps and turns his robot army loose on his classmates slaughtering them all and ultimately destroying his entire neighborhood before the combined might of the police and military bring him down. Then it was going to turn out that his parents (concerned about his recent behavior) had taken him to a therapist who’d hooked him up to a virtual-reality machine in order to see where the path of his current mental state would lead him ultimately. Blah, blah, blah it was all a dream. I guess it got shot down by the group because of the actual non-robot related school massacre that had happened recently…? We may never know. Anyway I still had robots on the brain, and I was really into trying to rap at the time, so it didn’t take long for me to come up with the idea for AIDS.
Now, here’s where it gets sketchy. If you haven’t noticed, there was never any Gangbunch anthology produced. That’s because, as a breed, we are a lazy, easily distracted lot. Except, of course, for Andrew. We would often marvel at his ability to start and then inexplicably finish things. So when Hussie took a pointed interest in my story idea, I can only assume it was because he wanted to see it actually finished and knew goddamn well I wasn’t going to get it done. Sure I’d throw together a few lovely pages but I’d soon get bored or struck by a better idea and AIDS would get shelved.
So, he proposed a collaboration. In retrospect that was probably just a formality but, in my defense, I gave it an honest try, at first. We were going to alternate pages of art. He would write the story and I’d come up with the raps because, you know… black. I designed all of the core characters and a couple of the ancillary ones. It was turning out be a pretty awesome thing we were doing… for about four pages. That’s when my artistic ADD kicked in and I was off drawing some fucking elves or whatever-the-damn. Without missing a beat Andrew soldiered on. After I dropped out of the project, after other Gangbunchers projects began to gather dust or suffer false starts, and after it was clear that this anthology was just not going to happen, he soldiered on. Because he is a machine made of metal and lubricant. I think at some point he ran the raps he’d written past me. I had a few notes which he promptly ignored because come on, right? And that’s the story of how AIDS happened.
Also the name was me. I came up with And It Don’t Stop. I did that.
So, now fast-forward a buncha years. Andrew finally achieved his goal of breaking the previously impenetrable gossamer veil between this realm and that of the gods. Meanwhile, I am one of like three guys that people aren’t quite sure he didn’t make up to troll his fandom. Anyway, the groaning masses that follow his work have caught wind of his old project and have deemed it a worthy book of his gospel. So Andrew is like, “Hey people seem to like this AIDS thing. What do you think about putting some more pages together?” and I’m like “Did you just ask me if I want to be rich and famous, like you?” and he’s like “Nevermind” and I’m like “Wait! Wait! Geez! I’ll do it. Come on!” and he’s like “Cool whatever” And so over the next month I put together the six pages you see above. These were all drawn and written by me without any input from Andrew, aside from a shit ton of inspiration. Had Andrew had more of a hand in the creation of the prequel I think we can all agree that it would be very different. We are saying different because I prefer it to better. And that is the much shorter story of how the AIDS prequel happened.
To sum up:
1) I came up with the basic idea for AIDs and designed some of the characters. Andrew wrote the story, all the raps, and drew every page taking the thing places I could not possibly have imagined. My contribution was wholly inspirational.
2) The AIDS prequel was all me and happened AFTER the original was completed. A sort of homage to Andrew’s rocking comic.
3) I am a real fucking guy you guys oh my fucking god.
So that’ s that. I hope you enjoy the prequel and the original AIDS comic
Spread the word and who knows maybe there will be more, one day.
Good luck, everyone!
Because I remember that one time there was an argument over whether one has to actually write something to be considered a writer and that was just the worst.
On top blogging sites like Tumblr and Livejournal, the biggest new fandom is no longer anime or evening fantasy drama, but that of “SJ,” a nickname for “social justice,” which refers to discourse on equal rights and how to, essentially, be kind and respectful to all people. /—/
The base of this false movement is “identity.” /—/ According to them, as long as someone identifies as something, it is true. No exceptions.
/—/ Anything not mainstream is “oppressed” in this wonderland. Wielding identity as a weapon, one can entirely remove themselves from personal responsibility for their part in harming others, and ultimately, any negativity at all. /—/
Ridicule the silly internet people, make fun of and dismiss their claims of oppression as not worth your time, but remember as you do that they’ve stolen from people who do need your help. Just because everyone is shouting at once doesn’t mean there aren’t still real voices to be heard.
Sometimes people ask me what’s on my iPod that I consider a “guilty pleasure” and I never know how to respond because what I listen to is what I enjoy and I don’t care about deciding something I like is “awkward or uncool” because of who or what it associates me with by default. The whole idea of having a “guilty pleasure” musically has always been weird to me. Why should I feel guilty about liking something I genuinely enjoy? Unless it’s something you deem “immoral” according to your own personal beliefs or set of standards, which is totally up to you — beyond that, a “guilty pleasure” is about you being embarrassed of something you shouldn’t be.
Another thing I never want to forget. This article from the Owl City blog is kind of a perfect metaphor for learning how to approach pretty much any interest in life. That quote up there especially captures an idea that I’ve come to realize fairly recently and expresses it in a very simple, relatable way. I have a feeling I’ll want to quote it again in a discussion or two someday.
Buncha years ago Andrew Hussie and I collaborated on a comic that was (even though we didn’t know it at the time) 8-Mile vs Real Steel. By collaborated, I guess I should say, I baled way early and Andrew finished the thing like a champ. Anyway, he thought it would be cool to serve up a little something for fans of the comic and I thought it would be cool to try to rap for some reason. Had a blast drawing it though!
Reblogging so I never forget that this exists.
Yeah, I’m even going to use capital letters and shit because this is kind of a serious venting post for me, requiring me to temporarily abandon my flippant no-effort no-care face. (Not serious even to stop swearing though)
As I identified myself as an extremely tolerant and caring person, when I started a tumblr I was naturally drawn-in by the way the community seemed to be accepting of everything. This was fresh and new to me coming from twitter, where misogynistic and racist trending tropes still adorn the sidebar from when I left two years ago to this day. There was a large overwhelmingly leftist and socialist atmosphere that seemed to beckon me in with open arms, and I could talk to other gay women, and my transgendered friends could post without fear, and there would be no petulant contrarian arguments.
Ah—so I thought.
Then friends of mine started being attacked by other ‘social justice’ participants for using language and disagreeing with ideals the participants agreed with. And no, it was no mere mincing of words—my friends were called oppressors. The dirtiest, most foul term that you could call someone in this sort of atmosphere. And it wasn’t an isolated incident. It happened over, and over, and over again. People called oppressive for shipping different things in fandoms. People called oppressive for mocking internet groups. I was called bigoted for calling someone a half-wit, and if you’ll excuse my french, what the fuck? I couldn’t even be offended for the sheer absurdity for the situation, and not only because it was ridiculous. It’s because the word ‘bigot’ has lost meaning and weight to me.
You see, in this culture we have created there is a wide-spread need for people to be victims. And they don’t only need to be victims—they need to be the most victimized. A sort of literal Oppression Olympics. You will see people that are clearly white or at least white-reading (and so benefiting from white-reading privilege, which is the important part because race is a social construct and is all about what you read as) researching their family trees in depth to find that one great grandmother that was a Cherokee princess so they can claim first nations heritage, and so they’re not really white, no, promise! We have a group of people afraid to cop to any sort of privilege whatsoever, and so they try to claim that they are participants in oppressed groups.
It’s baffling to me, because privilege is not in itself a bad thing. In fact, privilege is a good thing! It’s awesome! Everyone should have privilege! That is the nature of social justice—elevating everyone to privileged status, so everyone can enjoy the same comforts in life!
But I see where it is coming from.
In this culture, instead of using the words ‘stupid,’ or ‘asshole,’ or ‘jerk,’ for people that we vehemently disagree with and wish to put down, we use ‘bigot.’ And ‘ableist.’ And ‘privileged.’ They have become slurs. They have lost meaning for now being generalized insults that people use to cut down others. You don’t like a particular internet group? It must be because you see them as mentally ill. Bigot. Ableist. Oppressor. You don’t agree that I, an asexual, suffer the same indignities as queer people do in daily life? You’re trying to silence me. Bigot. Oppressor. You called me stupid? Bigot. Check your privilege.
What I have witnessed is a circle of people that are waiting to feel self-righteous and attack other people, because getting mad feels good. And don’t you dare pretend to me that this isn’t it, because I have participated in it. Getting mad at someone for their bigoted bullshit feels awesome. It feels righteous. You feel like you’re helping your cause for cutting other people down to size on the internet, when in actuality all you’re doing is shouting at someone who is learning nothing. Or, in more common scenarios, already knows. And in your reblogs, your own followers that your target may not necessarily know join the circular beat-down to feel awesome and righteous about themselves. And it goes on. And on. And social justice advocates eat other social justice advocates alive forever, in a sick incestuous circle and it keeps happening. And it accomplishes nothing. You are not actually fighting oppression like this.
We have misappropriated the word oppression. We have misappropriated the word privileged. We have misappropriated the word trigger, which infuriates me so much I can’t even describe. Something that you don’t like looking at is not a trigger. Something that hurts your feelings is not a trigger. It’s a word that has a very specific meaning, and you have demolished it. People no longer understand when I profess to being triggered by rape and non-con. Shaking. Crying. Flashbacks. Involuntary vomiting. I unfollow people when they post about it. It’s not personal. I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings. But they will get snitty and passive-aggressive about it because they do not understand what I am trying to communicate with the word trigger. Fucking stop misusing it. Fucking stop.
It’s a vicious and toxic environment and I am tired of participating in it and I’m tired of seeing it on my dash. I am tired of people that need to be victimized and am tired of people who point fingers at everyone as victimizing them. I’m tired of misappropriation of social justice terms.