Fisk (fiskblack) wrote,

"Better Days" is for Grown Ups

Well, it was bound to happen. Read some entertaining e-mail from someone who can't discern characters from authors, and a comic from reality, behind the cut. It comes in reference to this comic.

"Nigger? Jay, I must say I'm quite disapointed. I understand free speech and all, and I know it's just a comic, but really, was that necessary? Are you
aware of the origin of that term? And if you think about it, that term is used to insult a human by the color of their skin. What kind of furry character
would be a nigger, since "furries" are, well, covered in fur. A panther? Black Lab? Black bear? Do furries even have races? Tensions between different
species would be understandable, but I think those tensions would warrant a different slur (one could easily be made up to fit the furry "world") other
than one which still infuriates humans whose only mistake was being a different color.
You do awesome work, but you might want to reconsider before using insults like those (especially in a context where they really don't belong and simply
appear gratuitous).


Do you understand that some of my characters have negative aspects to them, and aren't perfect? Do you understand context and the admonishment she got
from her daughter for using a hurtful term like that? Did any of this matter to you when you decided to get upset just because you saw the word
"nigger" in a comic and didn't take into account who said it, and the context, and the admonishment that followed? Or do you not take those things into
account when you express "disappointment". Did you think for one minute that I wrote her saying the word "nigger" because I like to use the word
"nigger", or did it at once cross your mind that the use of that word illustrates the background of the character that used it, and all her inherent
flaws and outlook, and isn't a reflection of the author's views?

Maybe if you can't have an understanding, adult response to the context of naughty words that you see in Better Days, then you're probably not mature
enough to keep reading it.

Jay Naylor

"Whoa. I understand that your characters have negative aspects to them. I read the admonishment she got from her daughter (which was poor at best).
However, I'm merely pointing out that the "context" is all wrong. I would not have written in the first place if the comic had involved humans - an
insult like "nigger" BELONGS in an interaction between PEOPLE, mainly a white person talking to a black person, not animals talking to each other.
Seeing that kind of slur come from an animal - a creature with no "race" per se, and no real tie to the events which brought about the creation of such
a term. Your character's upbringing and background could have manifested itself in a term more appropriate for the "furry world" in which they exist.
as i asked you in the first email, exactly what kind of fur would be a nigger? Sure, it made me understand that she is of the southern, racist, KKK
mindset - that she is above others, but what kind of fur is a nigger?
You question my ability to understand these contexts, yet you - and I point it out again - use a volatile racial slur in a situation where "race" does
not apply. Your use of the word is COMPLETELY out of context as the slur does not relate in any way to the character using it (see previous question -
what kind of fur, or what makes a fur a nigger?). If she were talking about a dog, then would it have been so difficult to figure out an insult that a
canine might find belittling? Instead you pull out what is probably the worst slur exchanged between HUMANS of different skin color.
I remember a previous story where a spotted hyena was wasted by the cops. he shouted at them to get out of his house, and despite his obvious "gangster/
black" appearance, his daughter's cornrows, and every other negro trait you could throw in, he didn't call them "crackers" or "peckerwoods". Do you see
what I mean? His upbringing and negative side was made crystal clear without resorting to racial slurs even though a black hardcore gangbanger such as
himself would have used every white slur in the book.
and as a reply to your last insult -
" Maybe if you can't have an understanding, adult response to the
context of naughty words that you see in Better Days, then you're probably not mature enough to keep reading it."
I found my response to your "naughty word" very adult. I didn't write you in all caps, screaming racism. I merely pointed out the flaw in your use of
such word and I am pointing out the flaw in your reasoning behind it. No name calling, no cheap shots at adulthood. I can tell you that I certainly
would have been mature enough to know that the word nigger is used between a WHITE PERSON and a BLACK PERSON, not between a cat and a dog, or a horse
and a zebra. I know the context of this word to this situation is WRONG. And knowing that black people would probably read my comic, I would have found
another way to express a character's ignorance and immaturity, in a manner RELEVANT to the story, rather than resorting to the simple and immature
knowledge that "nigger" is a "naughty word". And simply. if you were a "nigger" yourself, you'd see it as more than just a dirty word. I am that
"nigger". So is my father. And my girlfriend. And her parents. It is foolish views like yours - that it's just a word - that propegates complacency
towards the fact the racism is not dead and allows injustices based solely on the color of one's skin to continue. Trust me, my reaction doesn't seem
so immature when you're on the receiving end of insults like that and your nonchalant use of them shows YOU have no real understanding of the meaning
of the word.
You've got a ton of talent, and you tell awesome stories - I've loved every chapter you've written and some of them have really made me think. Once
again, I understand that nobody is perfect, and your characters are no different. I'm just saying that when you use such language - especially when
it's geared DIRECTLY at a specific race - the use should be relevant to the situation. as I stated before, the term nigger is used (usually) by a white
HUMAN BEING to insult or belittle a black HUMAN BEING. This slur is based solely on the color of skin - a trait which doesn't apply to the furry world.
Wouldn't it be possible for the Better Days world to have its own chain of events that would cause one species to hate another? And couldn't a whole
host of unique slurs be made up to accomodate the conflict? You've made up this wonderful fictional world, Jay. Don't dirty it with hate from our own
screwed up existence. Use your talent to create.


Familiarize yourself with the roles of race and species in the previous chapters of the comic. I'm a very busy man and I don't have the time to hold your
hand through a review of my comic chapters so you pick up all the parallels between the BD world and our world. Race does apply.

You're basically accusing me something one of the supporting characters in my comic has done. I'm sorry you can't see beyond it. Have a pleasant night.

Jay Naylor

"Only race I saw was that hyena fellow (black dude) getting his brains blown out (with lack of racial slurs against whites, mind you). There are CATS,
DOGS, MICE, and a few other animals thrown in for spice. How can you tie that to race? Seems you are putting up an awful hard fight just so you can use
"nigger". Only a fool puts race where it doesn't belong. Maybe if you matured a little yourself you'd find the creativity to seperate "race" and "species"
and you could find other ways of developing your characters. You may not have done the things your character has done, but you certainly aren't helping
the situation in the real world. You play the role of an innocent and goodly writer, but you're nothing more than an ignorant fool."

I ceased corrospondence at this point. My points were already well made and there was no sense in repeating them. My comic is for grown ups who understand things like characterization and context. I'm too busy to raise children over e-mail.
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