Cobu Comix 2 – Manipulated Lives.
Here are some more little sketches that were in the back of my notebooks. I drew them to entertain myself during long meetings. They’re a kind of social commentary about what was going on at the meetings.
The first cartoon shows some brothers and sisters standing around in groups. It looks like they are freely talking to one another. (Often after meetings, even really bad ones, brothers and sisters would stand around and talk as if nothing had just happened.) In COBU, on the surface, it looked like our relationships with one another were unregulated, but really, the puppet master had us all on his strings. You could only relate to one another surfacely, nothing went too far. And no dating or marriage relationships were allowed between the men and women. If you were seen spending too much time talking to someone, you’d get called to account.
The next cartoon shows my feeling about being in a long session at a meeting. We were hearing the usual bad news about ourselves. I wondered if anything hopeful could come out of COBU. I was alluding to John chapter 15 in the Bible, where Jesus is described as the true vine. But rather than the vine growing on a trellis, it was growing on barbed wire a top a prison wall.
This cartoon is a scene from a meeting, where a “middle brother” named Chatman (he’s new and has only been here about a year) is standing up and making a commitment or a speech. Usually when someone was talking and they weren’t “urgent” or “desperate” enough, someone would yell, “There’s a lion breathing down your neck! Urgent!” (This lion was supposed to mean the devil. Like in this verse: 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.”) And if we were not urgent enough, scared enough, awake enough, this lion was going to devour us. But sometimes, just like the cartoon shows, I wondered who exactly this lion was and who it was that we were really running in fear of our lives from. It was Stewart that was driving and pushing everyone into extremes of strange behavior. If he was not doing it to you directly, he was doing it through the other people in the room whom he was using and directing to get on your case.
Here is another one I recently found in the back of a journal book. It’s rather sketchy, just something I doodled. It’s two scientists with their clipboards monitoring a sleeping person. One says to the other “What are the results of the time and motion study?” The other replies, “So far, it’s been a long time and he hasn’t moved.” With the long hours I was working in Christian Brothers Cleaning, I guess I felt burned out.