I think one of the differences in the way we see the strip, razorback, is that you see (prefer to see) Mona’s Existentialism as a surface affectation, while I see (prefer to see) it as a sign of her acuity. Yeah, I’d like to see her evolve, but probably not in the direction you do.
It’s not a coincidence that Mona dresses in black, and smokes cigarettes, and is French. It’s not a coincidence that the strip is titled C’est la Vie (and not, perhaps, Joie de Vivre). The strip is informed by Sartre and Camus (and by extension Nietzsche and Kierkegaard). If this were a graphic novel, with a closed end and an arc of character development, I’d prefer to see Mona pass through Existential contempt, angst, and despair (which are the attendant temptations of the callow forms of the philosophy), and come out at the end with a Zarathustran sense of the humor inherent in the absurdity and futility of life, than see her become “happy” in the conventional, sentimental sense (“And she lived happily ever after”). Existentialism is not necessarily nihilism (Sartre himself was adamant about that), and it is possible to see and experience the joys which are yet possible in the Human Condition, even as one passes through the traumas of day-to-day sufferings. (This is where Existentialism, it seems to me, differs in practice from mere Stoicism, which teaches that neither life’s pains nor its pleasures should be given over to).
One of my favorite philosophical parables is the one about the Wild Strawberry. If you’re clutching a vine on a sheer cliff face, and above you is a pack of hungry tigers and below you is a crushing surf, and you notice that beside you a wild strawberry is growing from the rock face, you might as well go ahead and eat the strawberry.
As far as predictions of how Ms. Babcock is going to resolve this particular situation (or any future situation), I’m having fun with speculation, but I admit it’s only speculation. (That bit the other day about Mona being too uptight to share a bed with Ryan took me completely by surprise, yet I was delighted by its unexpected appropriateness.)
Nov 6, 2015