Due to a few “bear safety tips” I’d seen posted, I’d finally taken a look at a web comic by Axe Cop creator Ethan Nicolle. What had seriously impressed me, even outside of an interesting story opener that in some ways mimics the slacker opening of Shaun of the Dead, yet feels like it’s not going to go down the same rabbit holes or uplift nihilism, was a post early on beneath one of the early pages:
I didn’t realize how small the area I lived in was until I really moved away. People in the city like to think they are real enlightened and more on top of things than those dumb people from the small town. The fact is, as I got to know city people I began to really appreciate the small town way of life a lot more. There are great people and awful people from both, but the city people tended to get into cliques and only spend time with their own kind, never venturing out to be friends with people of other ages, interests, ethnicities or ways of life. In a small town you deal with who you get as neighbors. You can’t be that picky and you learn to share space with a variety of people. The people who live in cities and claim small town people are ignorant and closed minded may be right some of the time, but it goes for many people in the city as well. You can live in a big city and have a hundred friends who all think just like you do. That is rarely possible in a small town. Oddly enough, it is easier to insulate yourself from other cultures by living in a metropolis, not the boonies.
These aren’t totally original thoughts. A lot of these ideas come from one of my favorite authors: G.K. Chesterton. I must give credit where credit is due. But I cite him not because he taught me these things so much as he put into words the things I had been thinking since I had stopped attempting to be fashionably angry at the world (admittedly much more eloquent words).
All that is to say I don’t hate rednecks so much any more, and I don’t hate people in general. I began to realize a lot of artists truly do hate people and it really comes out in their work even if they deny it vocally. It really turned me off, and I started to feel like I was hating people just because it was the punk rock or artistic thing to do. I started to lose a lot of taste for punk rock actually. You may not be happy to hear it, but a lot of this comic was drawn while listening to the same country music I used to despise. I love country music now because it is some of the least hateful music I know.
Check it out. I’ve already tossed some money his way, and will likely be highlighting a few more observations or posts of his.
Also, it’s worth looking up some pointers and tips for dealing with bear attacks. For example, escaping a bear attack, shown in the article header.