I forgot Nina had a brother.

He a=had a little operation

Duuuuude I’ve had tombstone on the brain lately! Saw the title was was unrealistically excited about it! Lol

Age quod agis

“id est Latinum. Bonitas. Qua lingua antiqui Romani utebantur, ut “boum stercoris” inter se dicerent?”-from the comic strip- Pogo by Walt Kelly.

(To be honest- I used an online translator, to translate Walt Kelly’s phrase into Latin, so this translation might not have, [proper, Latin grammar], in it. Later on. :D .)

Considering the stuff that makes it *past* Jess’ filter, I’m not surprised she’s uncomfortable with the idea of it being removed entirely. I also appear to have very little filter, largely because I never developed one naturally and had to construct mine consciously, but also partly because I feel a lot of the social rules are BS and thus only respect them when I feel it really matters and otherwise say more or less what I want, the filter is mostly there for holding back the things that I *don’t* actually want to say but try to come out of my mouth anyway.

Lots of funny thoughts I don’t expect the people around me to appreciate, snap judgements that I don’t think would be appreciated if voiced (especially since they are often based on insufficient information and thus likely wrong), irrelevant or unproductive thoughts, and some bad impulses that are not reflective of who I am or who I want to be, let alone how I want to be seen. The filter keeps other people from having to deal with these things, and it keeps me from having to deal with the fallout, but because of all the crap that I *do* say, people think I don’t have much fo a filter at all. Generally when people ask about my apparent lack of a filter I usually respond along the lines of “If that’s the crap getting THROUGH the filter, imagine the kind of stuff that might not.” I CAN use a more strict filter when I *really* need to, but it can get exhausting to implement the stricter version for lots of short interactions over the course of hours or a single interaction that lasts for an hour or more, like I *can* get through a day of doing it for the sake of a job, but I really don’t like having to, part of why I love my current job, my interactions with people I don’t know tend to be very short and largely scripted, and thus I barely need to employ my filters at all.

oh man, tell me about it. What I’m forcing myself to learn is how to speak in a calm, controlled manner. I find that if I can at least keep the emotion out of my voice, it’s less likely to upset others.

Granted, I still mess up, and still put my foot in my mouth a lot, but I’m learning. It’s probably the closest to the fabled “social graces” I can come.

It also helps to A, find a friend group who won’t be bothered by your gaffs because they operate largely on the same wavelength, and B, to genuinely not care about some of the social rules because you recognize them as dumb and therefore if anyone is genuinely bothered by it, that’s their problem, this enables you to focus on the rules that ACTUALLY matter.

I find it helps to start with word choice, any time your intention is recognized but people take issue with the words you chose to convey the message, even to the point of completely missing your point in favor of quibbling over whether a word you used is a fair descriptor or not, those people are not worth appeasing, because you will *never* win, that goal post will just keep moving, better to not be bothered about it when it happens. So long as you were able to clearly communicate what you wanted to, then you succeeded in the interaction, if they are aware of what the point was and still *choose* to miss it, that’s their failing, not yours.

Communication is a two-way street, yes it’s on the speaker to clearly communicate their message, but it’s also on the listener to actually listen to what was communicated. If they know what you meant but still punish you for how you said it, whether in word choice or tone or volume or whatever, then you are not a bad speaker, they are bad listeners. Intentions matter, and if they know what your intention was and choose to respond to other extraneous data that may or may not actually be within your conscious control instead, then they are the problem, not you.

I also recommend taking on a performance art, preferably one semi-scripted but also with genuine audience interaction, I used magic, but stand up comedy or even improv comedy can work well. Get experience with adapting a script based on audience responses, get experience with noticing responses you’ll get a lot so you can have lines locked and loaded for when the situation inevitably arises again. It also builds experience with creativity, thinking on your feet, and adapting when things go wrong. Even if you never perform in front of a large crowd, simply by reading the literature, practicing the skills, and occasionally performing for close friends and family can go a long way toward building the right kind of adaptable mindset.

If you’ll pardon my mentioning trivia: there is a club(s) that likes to teach that sort of thing, it’s called: Toastmasters International.
TOastmasters, as in- making a toast in front of a crowd, I guess.
TI has a website.

According to Wikipedia: “Toastmasters International (TI) is a US-headquartered nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping people develop communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.”
I just think it is cool, that someone made a club, to help people learn these kinds of skills. :)

I always thought Toastmasters was about public speaking and learning not to be shy in front of a crowd, rather than private speaking. Was I wrong?

Hm. Yeah, I guess you’re right.

However, I can see how [learning to be good at-speaking to people in public], could help someone to learn [to speak well to people in private].

Such as-

The strength exercises that I learn for playing in my soccer team…help me play better on the soccer team,

but- I can also use those [exercises] to exercise at home…+ get good things from them, when the soccer team isn’t there.

I guess what I mean is: I can take [the skills I have for speaking in public], and try using them in private places, or in other places, and improve [my speaking in private skills].

Or some idea like that. :)

It might also be a strange case, for Jess in this instance, that she has a very carefully constructed “lack of filter” – we’ve seen how she has a natural tendency to want to manipulate things exactly how she wants them to be.

It’s not that she has “worse” things coming out… perhaps quite the opposite. It’s all speculation, of course, but given the location of the comic, her status, and her upbringing, she’s not likely to want to have her defenses out of arrangement any more than she may want them down. If things are misaligned, it could lead to damage control and spiraling issues as well.

If her persona is a lack of filter, then perhaps even, the lack of lack of filter is her genuinely being rather… apologetic for her controlling nature too. Though I don’t get that vibe as strong with the context here.

Just thoughts.

I’m kinda punchy, today, so this comment might not make any sense, however:

After seeing Jess’ tearful exchange with Ed, where Jess was mourning the future possibility of: [Ed getting married + moving out of her house], we see that Jess might be hiding [some very, timid emotions…under a mask of her braggadocio + enthusiasm].

Some people can hide some VERY shy,…or very sensitive…emotions, that they have.

I once asked a friend of mine, I’ll call him Bob, something like: “Your parents seem kind of disappointed that I didn’t talk to them much. Did I do something wrong?”
And Bob said:”No, that’s fine. My parents are more easy going + accepting than most people…that can throw some people off. Also- I understand what you mean- my parents can be [very welcoming + enthusiastic], + that can confuse me as well. I do come off as having Teddy Roosevelt-level of confidence…and Teddy Roosevelt’s level of rowdy-ness, but that’s really just a tactic that I use. If you can believe it, I’m actually kind of shy”.

…Sorry about the “wall of text”, but I meant to say- some people can be very good- at hiding: their sensitive feelings, + their very timid feelings.

Yeah, that’s the point. If what we’ve all seen is Jess with the filter, may iron be the wills of those who see her without it

Unless said person is Jo, she has a different filter she can put over Jess’s mouth

On a …probably unrelated note…I can’t help but notice how many other artists have really interesting comics that suddenly go on hiatus, because the author has to take a mental health break. First you’ve heard about it, and no telling when(or if) it will resume. You tend to bare your soul in the blog, to one degree or another…and you soldier on. I think the blog may be therapeutic for you, and kind of a point of connection for us. Maybe a lot of the other comic artists are missing out on what they need to continue. Maybe this was always obvious to everyone else, but it was a bit of a revelation to me. Hope you know how much your work means to us in general and ..me.. in particular.

When I started the comic it was very much the trend that the artist was also part of the brand. At that time we had to do our little dance for ad revenue and it was very difficult to get the kind of numbers you needed to make a living at it. When ad rates finally deteriorated to the point that it was impossible to succeed with that as the main revenue stream it made continuing very difficult for many people. I had a plan when I started out so that I could keep things together long enough to gather an audience that was capable of sustaining me. Luckily the idea of subscription services came along when they did and managed to finally push me over the line into not living like a hobo with an internet connection. I can sympathize with those who burnt out and walked away or slowly gave up. I had to sacrifice an absurd amount of my life to continue doing this. For me though it was an easy choice because if I had tried to stay in the regular work space I would have just killed myself anyway. So, to me, whatever days I get at this point are just bonus days. Most people couldn’t live the way I do because they aren’t wired to endure relentless misery.
As far as being open with my audience goes, as I said, that was the style at the time I started and I just kept going with it because I felt like the people supporting me had at least some right to know what I was dealing with while making this sequential art. Additionally, people pay me to do this so it’s only right that I make the effort to at least show up when I say I will. I miss my goal by a few hours from time to time, but I’m not as young as I once was and my hardware doesn’t work nearly as well as it once did. I’ve produced pages from a hospital bed more than once, I’ve produced pages on days when loved ones have died, and when we laid them to rest, in sunshine and storms, on nearly every holiday for 17 years, when I’ve been too sick to get up off the floor, I kept working on this because I said I would, and abiding by the terms of that agreement with my audience is important to me.
My intention is to be here until my body gives out and they find me, in a heap, with my stylus still in hand. I’m glad to know that you appreciate that dedication. God willing I will be here for another couple of decades or so, and I hope you will be too.

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