Read some reflections on my motivations for drawing the Purpose comic in the blog section of this website.
Support the artist, and buy a $2 PDF of Purpose.
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I think this is great! Quinn made an excellent point: People need a new story to be in. Stories, mythologies, cosmology – it matters. We can be the first species to have a crazy experiment with a suicidal way of life and still pull back from the edge of mass extinction, and join our kin in a vibrant world of interaction and coexistence & interplay.
I any chance this will be published for distribution, perhaps selling bundles of a print version?
Awesome. Couldn’t agree more…
These are awesome Stewart. Very Very Good. C.
My comment seems overly harsh when I read it back to myself, and that doesn’t sit well with me. I am hardly one to discourage the type of discourse that stories like this comic initiate, and I will gladly admit that at first reading I was delighted by the comic. It was only after considering it for awhile that I found Mother Culture’s lies embedded deep within. Upon further consideration, it will be impossible to create the “new minds” Quinn writes of without the work of people like the author of this comic. So I applaud your effort, Stuart. You did something that I could never do, and I do not want to discredit you. This is truly an eye-opening comic- for the uninitiated it could be pivotal in unlocking the secrets lost in the Great Forgetting. It was only through cynical eyes that I found fault in what is, undoubtedly, a beautiful comic.
I think that we all need to check ourselves and think about the lies we were fed by Mother Culture. More specifically, consider how this story perpetuates those lies while appearing on the surface to contradict them.
We do not need to reverse the “evils” that our culture has wrought upon the Earth. Evil is a human term; it does not exist in Nature (and, therefore, does not exist at all). To think that humanity has a “purpose”– to ensure that life on the planet is restored– is absurd. Chimpanzees do not restore life on the planet, nor do ants. Do these creatures have a purpose? No, of course not- any purpose we create for them, or for ourselves, is purely fictional- the only “purpose” of life is to exist and, by existing, evolve.
Humanity needs to stop living in such a ridiculously unsustainable way before we all die (because we certainly will die well before we do anything at all that can alter the course of life on this planet), but to think that humanity’s purpose is to “restore the earth” is just a naive as thinking that humanity’s purpose is to rule it. They both betray the underlying belief that the earth is made for humanity and it is up to us to make it right again.
“The world will not be saved by old minds with new programs, but by new minds with no programs.”
This comic, to me, represents a new program. A clever program, yes, but still only a program.
As a big Daniel Quinn fan and advocate on reversing “Civilization” and creating balance, diversity, SOMEthing that will not devour and destroy life on this planet, I applaud your cartoon!
That panels at the end of Purpose #1 remind me of an idea i am working on: that the cities at night, lit up across the planet like a hive of fossil fuel burning activity, are an example of culture trying to turn all of nature into itself… very similar!
Good work Stuart, love the turn around in Purpose #2. (And the Aussie critters.)
I love this! So powerful and shory and simple!
I agree that “purpose” is a problem. We assign ourselves purpose and thus believe we are superior. Once we believe that it’s easy for us to continue to objectify and compartmentalize the world….which leads to our destructive choices. After all this place is for us…right?
Absolutely incredible. For years, I have read and re-read Daniel Quinn’s books, parable, articles, etc. and have always run into the wall (I had created) of “okay, I understand better how things got to be this way…we can’t go back; so what now?” You have put this in to perspective for me so succinctly that I feel kind of dumb (and extremely happy and hopeful). Thank you!
You pack a lot of valuable messages into just a handful of drawings. Well done!
You have a very effective way of translating profound concepts into simple, elegant drawings, Stuart. Much appreciated. Your thinking pretty much matches my own on this particular topic of “Purpose.” I really enjoyed your St. Matthew Island reindeer cartoon strip as well–it, like Easter Island, is a parable or warning of the predicament and peril of ecological overshoot, which I believe we humans are well into, beguiled by the ready availability of non-renewable fossil fuels and other high-grade mineral resources. BTW, I used to be a wildlife (fisheries actually) biologist in Alaska. The story of the St. Matthew Island reindeer introduction and die-off is pretty well known among population biologists as a cautionary tale.
All the best from the USA and keep up the great work! Leon Kolankiewicz
Love it! Loved the drawing of the thorny devil! I would say ‘to witness abundance’, except with regard to the human population
As thought provoking as ever Stuart. Reflective images and a sobering message.
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