Spring Break: No Country For Old Pokemen.
When I first heard about the terror attack on Brussels, it was at dinner on Tuesday night. I had been disconnected from media for a while, so the news was stunning, over dinner. I let the anger about the attack cool off before I drew anything, because outside of the politics of education, I try very, very hard to not include too much that is “political” as part of the strip. I also didn’t want to draw out of anger, to be Frank Miller about it. Sure, I was angry…heck, a scare of the same type, that turned out to be false, closed LAUSD down for a day. That seems justified, in light of this attack on Brussels.
Maybe school was called off, but no one lost their lives, or was injured.
The thing is…you can’t just “call off” Brussels. People have to live their lives, go about their business. In this, and Age of Terror, that makes such actions, such basic freedoms to be an ordinary person, the kind of thing that makes you a Target. It’s tragic, because there’s no real way to avoid it.
Again…if I were to go in with Frank Miller-Think, and the kind of reactions I often hear, the idea is to “mobilize some Rambos and get the guys behind it!” That sounds great, but that’s really just playing Whack-A-Mole with military forces. It doesn’t get to the real problem, the real root of things, and actually solve anything. It feels like action, and there’s a lot of activity, but it’s like pruning a tree. You just have to come back and do it again, because the tree grows.
When you actually give the matter some thought, it becomes a much more terrifying thing. Everyone admits that these terror attacks are carries out by clever individuals. They are highly trained, have built a plan, and create their own specialized equipment. That planning is always one step ahead of similarly trained authorities…so we conced that these are smart people. I have to ask then…if these are undeniably smart people, shouldn’t we be looking at the social and political situations, realities, if you will, that drive them to believing that things like suicide bombings are an intelligent and rational response?
Because that…that terrifying question is really what is at the heart of this “War on Terror.” Actions against one cell, or one group…you’re just pruning the tree.
So…I didn’t want to do a piece of art feeding into that kind of thinking, that it was somehow a good idea to keep doing the same kind of things that hadn’t worked in previous years, or administrations. Instead, I wanted to do something that what a bit more abstract…whimsical, but supportive. And for that, I had to turn to the rest of my spring break.
You see that the protagonist and Vacation Time Pony are in a loaner car. I have a little loaner car from my mechanic, and it’s a neat little thing. I especially like not being inconvenienced by lacking my beloved car, although I’m beginning to freak out a bit about its long absence. Transmission rebuilds are big jobs, though, so this is where I need to just used patience. However the loaner car, and Vacation Time Pony (I haul around a Pony with Sunglasses on Vacations) account for much of Panel One’s Content.
Panel Two is a bit more complicated. In an attempt to not spend that much money over break (because, you know…transmission rebuild) I got Pokemon Alpha Sapphire for my 2DS. The last Pokemon Game I played was one of the first, Pokemon Red. I’ve been working my way through the bizarre, JRPG fantasy world of Pokemon…in fact, I just finished the game. It was pretty excellent, but an earmark of the world is that Pokemon are used for @#$%ing everything.
Moving into a new house? The moving company has Pokemon. Meteorologists need to check the weather? They have weather Pokemon….really. It goes on and on. The plot of the game involves these bizarre Poke-Terrorists, Team Aqua…which is really how the two ideas came together. In the world of Pokemon, it would make total sense for coalition forces to have massive Poke-support.
Dialga, however, is not in my game. I needed a Legendary Status Pokemon that was land based, and…the internet. Thank you, internet.