June 2020: A reflection

With the month nearly behind us, I feel like I should say some words. I've never been great at eulogies, but here goes:


First of all, what a long-ass month this has been! Truly, June can be looked at as a paradigm for the year in general. Crazy stuff happened. Most of the things we wanted to happen didn't. Most of the things we didn't want to happen did. And the few things that we did want to happen that actually happened didn't happen the way we wanted them to happen, and the things we didn't want to happen that didn't happen still kinda happened.


I apologize for the above tangled-slinky of a paragraph. This world is probably confusing enough without me making it any worse. All that to say, it's been an unexpected mix of good and bad.


Let me digress.


GOOD

June was pride month, and as a result 100% of the proceeds from all sales in the merch store have been (or will be) donated to a charity dedicated to furthering human rights.


BAD

This has had several unintended results. For one thing, my racist hate mail has virtually exploded overnight. Part of me wanted to share some of the racist manifestos that were directed my way this last month, but I realize that this is pointless. Some "opinions" are not worth discussion. (I use the word "opinion" ironically, because these aren't really opinions. They are emotional, hateful, and purely illogical conjurations of sad minds.) And I sure as heck don't feel like giving them the chance to piggyback off my blog just so they can be mega-butt heads to more innocent people.


GOOD

On the other hand, we (the collective we of humanity) have done so much to raise awareness. I have a relatively small platform here, and I recognize that. But it's the only platform I got, and I'd be wasting the opportunity if I didn't use it for good, especially now, with the country (and many other parts of the world) burning. Thanks again to my friend Yessica (artist behind the Pride Merch catalog) for coming up with the idea of the pride raccoons. After today, any profit made from pride-themed merchandise will be donated to the Trevor Project.


BAD

But, as this is 2020--the year with an unending supply of tricks up her sleeves--we have hit quite a few hickups.


Printful, the company in charge of manufacturing and fulfilling the gas station merchandise collection, has been hit *hard* by Covid-19. The plants in America have been gradually resuming operations at maximum safe occupancy and in conjunction with local ordinances. This has put a tremendous delay in fulfillment times (I have been told up to six weeks for garments), for which I sincerely apologize. This is the same reason I haven't been able to expand into a global market just yet. If you've ordered anything from the merch store and cannot wait to receive your item, I understand. Contact me for a full refund, and I will still gladly cover your donation to the BLM global fund.


GOOD

The entire world has heard our population's cries for social equality. Rallies, marches, and protests have occurred in all fifty states and in countries around the globe. I even got to go to one in my own backwater podunk town, and it was largely peaceful and respectful.


BAD

Covid-19 is absolutely still a thing, and people seem to have forgotten about it. Worse, there are extremely vocal conspiracy-theorists making viral(irony!) arguments that the virus is fake (or that the virus is somehow a false-flag excuse to steal our guns, semen, and Christianity).


GOOD

The murder hornets went away!


BAD

This past few months have been a creative slump for many of us in the artistic community. Where some found inspiration and motivation during the pandemic, many of us--myself included--felt the exact opposite.


A couple of the gas station projects had to be put on hold until we learned exactly where the world was going to be in a few months. I've got several partially-written stories (and more) that need to gestate until we truly understand what the new normal will look like. Frankly, the world will never go back to the way it was before, and I don't believe it should. But all of this uncertainty has forced me into a creative "wait-and-see" phase.


Thank you all so much for your understanding, patience, and continued support. I really can't wait to go back to sharing stories with you all. Hopefully, it will be sooner than later.


ONE MORE THING:

In case there was any confusion at all

I will gladly go on the record right now and say it again, "Black Lives Matter." This isn't even just my opinion. This is objective fact. If you don't think that black lives matter, or if you cannot agree that black lives matter without some sort of tacked-on caveat, let's save us both some time right now--my stories--the gas station universe--probably aren't for you. While we're at it, gay, lesbian, trans, bi, pan, queer, confused, enby, genderfluid, curious, in-or-out-of-the-closet... all of these lives matter too. American, Non-American... we are all human, and we all deserve the same basic respect that humans deserve.


Thanks for listening.

We're all in this together.

Love y'all.


-Jack


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