I’ve been busy this summer celebrating, among other things, my birthday. I particularly like the card Cameron gave me. It says, “Life on Earth is expensive, but you do get a free trip around the Sun every year.” I’ve completed 70 trips! The distance the Earth travels in one orbit around the Sun is 584 million miles. That means I’ve traveled 40,880,000,000 miles in all. No wonder I’m tired!
Not too tired to doodle, however. I’m providing a big batch of “bozobot doodles” in this post, so keep scrolling on down…
So why “bozobots?” I’ve explained the bozobots in previous posts and mentioned that one of stories in Multiverse Comics & Stories, the comic I published earlier this year, is “Invasion of the Bozobots.” But before and since that story came about, bozobots have been turning up regularly in my doodles. So I’ve colored a bunch of bozobot doodles for this posting.
My theory is we’re all bozobots (as well as cartoon characters, for that matter). We tend to be driven by our “programming.” By programming, I mean patterns of behavior, conditioning by which we usually define ourselves. Some of the conditioning comes through our evolutionary heritage, behaviors that helped us survive. The tribal behaviors, for instance, initially so successful in aiding our survival, have also conditioned us to believe and react in “us versus them” scenarios that have lead to murder and war and enormous suffering. On top of this instinctual conditioning is all the conditioning provided by culture, experience, habit, and the patterns of personality we have collected, often without volition, claiming them as our own.
Patterns of greed, hatred, and delusion that we tend to take as self-evident truths have heaped suffering on top of suffering for as long as human beings have been around.
When we construct identities from our patterns and react according to their dictates, we show our bozobot nature.
But we also have an amazing capacity to observe our patterns of reactivity and see them for what they are.
We don’t even need to get rid of them, we just need to see the destructive, pain-generating patterns with some clarity. Enough clarity to avoid reacting according to their habituating patterns.
Although my notions of humans as bozobots influence my doodling, I don’t draw the bozobots to illustrate these misgivings. I draw them because it’s fun! I rarely know how they’re going to turn out and I like it (usually) when my doodles surprise me.
Each seems unique to me (in fact, if I need to draw the same one twice, I sometimes find it difficult).
As a kid I was fascinated by even the clumsiest science-fiction tv show robot. I read Isaac Asimov’s classic robot science fiction and was entranced by “Robbie,” the big benevolent robot in the old “Forbidden Planet” movie. In these days of burgeoning artificial intelligence, the fascination and dread have intensified.
Is a day coming when the ‘bots may supplant us? Machine sentience seems inevitable and it may be of great benefit, perhaps a partner we need to avoid our own extinction.
I don’t know, but at my age it seems silly to worry about it.
But I continue to be amused and appalled by our own robotic nature.
And even after 70 long trips around our Sun, I’m amazed at this mysterious world we inhabit!
And now a word from our sponsor…
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And thanks for supporting a cartoonist in his “old age!”