06/15/22 – Nurture vs. Nature

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, June 15, 2022.




Why does anyone do anything? I don’t know.


  1. Rex Vivat

    I think there’s an argument to be made about whether nurture is what you’re told to do versus what it pushes you to do, but I suppose that’s not the point here.

  2. Pete Rogan

    I have a feeling I know what Tatsuya Ishida would say about this. Has been saying it in his comic for the last six weeks or so. In case you wanted a change from killing Strib puppies.

    There is a destiny that shapes men’s souls, rough-hew them though we may. Sometimes nurture is completely outgunned by nature, or we wouldn’t have a John Wayne Gacy. Or a Ted Bundy. Or a…. Well, just pick one. If you can.

    1. TammyJess

      Not sure I agree with his rhetoric. As a reader of the past decade (or more!), I’ve found his comic to be increasingly uncomfortable to read. So much so, I decided to NOT read it over a month ago.. and seeing his past week, I made the right choice.
      I’m not a fan of the plethora of pronouns we’re bombarded, bamboozled by, in this current climate, but at the same time, he’s painting a picture of those who that don’t fit at either end of the gender-spectrum in an incredibly negative, and false manner.

      1. Fish

        I read Sinfest until a decade ago. At Peter Rogan’s mention I caught up on the last few months of strips, and… yikes.

        Tatsuya Ishida relishes the suffering of his political enemies. Devoted a strip to mocking them as weak and feeble without even showing what they’re doing wrong. People are calling it a hateboner, which is rude, but the most accurate term I’ve seen. It does seem like enthralling hate.

        Maybe I shouldn’t talk. Not like I’m a good person, plus I hate several politicians with the same intensity and I’m gleeful for their misfortunes, yet I kinda keep a principle to only resent them for the wrong they bring and be delighted when they fail in that, not if their car gets stolen. Tats, on the other hand, did a Sunday strip where a mom bursts into a classroom and rages at the teacher until she bursts into tears, and this is depicted as a heroic act since the teacher belongs to the enemy.

        I think this level of resentment is a major impediment to the points Tatsuya Ishida wants to make. As someone pointed out on Reddit, since February Vladimir Putin’s been going nuts with state propaganda, abuse of power, “laws” to protect the dictator from criticism, etcetera – things Tats has been making comics about. Here’s a golden opportunity for him to take a stand for his principles. What does he do? Mock the other side for being “woke”. And that Sunday comic must be great for preaching to the choir, but I dang well hope the level of petty mean-spiritedness turns off everyone else.

        Plus he’s doing that thing where the enemy is gargantuan, merciless, and has limitless resources, only to get effortlessly dunked on. That kind of shadowboxing championships are never a good sign.

      2. Pete Rogan

        Ishida was and is an iconoclastic cartoonist, something I can appreciate even when it’s my own ox being gored, but for the last four years or so he’s been on less a journey of discovery and revelation and more a continuing hostile cultural diatribe. More and more a racist diatribe, and increasingly a shrill whistle blast against the transgendered. Apparently he doesn’t care that he’s made himself look ridiculous, and I can’t shake the feeling that he’s attracting a distinctly anti-“woke”, anti LBGTQI audience. A very particular audience, particular to the point of peculiar and past that. I don’t know who he thinks he’s entertaining, but more and more I’m getting the impression that he’s seeking an open expression of hostility toward the transgendered. If Ron De Santis had a comic, it would look very much like “Sinfest.”

        I should have realized Ishida was going this way when he announced he had a mailing list and I applied to it. I was rejected, without explanation. I suspect the same thing happened as when I tried to join an AOL discussion group a friend of mine suggested I try out. I was there for perhaps ten minutes, simply reading comments, when the moderator announced he didn’t like me or what I stood for and revoked my access. I get the strong impression that such people are sensitive to their own personal flavor of groupthink, as they might feel comfortable smelling their own armpits and no one else’s. I still think finding what sort of people are in his group and what they talk about would be interesting and valuable. But it’s plain Ishida doesn’t want people who even sound like they think before they say something. He wants an autonomous audience he can feed like a housefire until the roof comes in and the world explodes in uncontrollable fire. I have to wonder if we won’t see another gay nightclub shot up by somebody who reads “Sinfest” as almost their only online comic.

        Whence this hate? What does Tatsuya Ishida fear? Because he’s drawing for rage, and more of it. Webcomics might not withstand the reaction to somebody acting out an anti-LBGTQI hatespasm because of what “Sinfest” inspired him to do.

        1. Fish

          So I mentioned Sinfest’s petty, mean-spirited tone is not only a chore to read, it’s counterproductive to the points the artist wants to make? I fear I misspoke, and the comic *has* no points other than hatred and rage.

          Today’s comic: a lament of those poor heterosexuals, persecuted by disgusting perverts. It’s like living in Nazi Germany. Yesterday’s and Sunday’s: if you try to have women’s spaces, the police will flip out and smash your windows. There’s no message left in that nonsense other than “YOU ARE THE VICTIM” and “THE ENEMY IS FOUL.”

          What’s the point? This constant bitterness is miserable. I’m the first one to say that truth, virtue, principles & other crap are more important than being happy, only the comic doesn’t achieve any of those, either. It’s not political or social commentary: those are about reality, even caricatured, and this is about lurid fantasies about how the enemy is both strong and weak. So what is it? Satisfaction? Is he in Twitter’s mindset 24/7? What a horrible idea.

          Also he made a comic about how the enemy is ruining traditional masculinity in sports; behold, he shall now illustrate this by having a soccer player flop for ridiculous reasons. That’s just silly. Even I know such flops are as essential to soccer as Major League strikes are to baseball.

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