One of the best comics going returned in March, when Lazarus: Risen 1 hit store shelves. Clocking in at a hefty 67 pages, Risen debuted Lazarus‘s new, quarterly magazine format – a shift the creative team made in an attempt to stay on schedule and offer readers some bonus worldbuilding material.
I had no doubt that Lazarus: Risen would be entirely worth the wait and the slightly-increased price. But I did not know that Lilah Sturges’s short fiction piece, “Your Last Meal on Earth,” would stick with me for so long.
Sturges’s six page short tells the story of Ginger, a chef who just wants to cook the best damn meals she can. When given the opportunity to do just that, Ginger has to weigh her dream against the moral cost it invokes.
Ginger’s struggle speaks to not only anyone who has single-mindedly pursued a passion or a project, but anyone who just LIVES in today’s world. We all know of good causes we should be advancing. Good work that should be done that could change the world. And we also understand the mild evils inherent in some of our simple, everyday actions. Actions that we often undertake without truly considering their cost.
I’ll give you an example from this very blog post. Up above, I included an Amazon Affiliates link that, when clicked, takes you to the product page for Amazon’s version of Lazarus: Risen. I dislike like many things about Amazon. I dislike how they treat their workers. I dislike that their prices often undercut local bookstores and other retailers who serve as more than marketplaces. Honestly, I would be happier if Amazon went out of business.
But maintaining this blog costs money, and Amazon Affiliate links are an easy way to make some of that money back. So I include them in my blog posts and ask people to click them. I create (a minor amount of) revenue for Amazon and hope that I am not contributing to the decline of brick-and-mortar bookstores in the process.
At the same time, I also recognize that I am sitting inside on a semi-nice April day, writing about other people’s stories when I could be volunteering somewhere or tending the garden I share with my wife or even just writing my own damn stories. I am foregoing all these things to do this thing that I love, which is stewing on other people’s thoughts and ideas.
I justify all this by hoping that someone other than me will get something out of my writing here. By hoping that, in pursuing my passion over other worthwhile actions, I am providing value that no one else can.
Both those concerns might seem minor to you – but that’s the point. Most concerns are minor. Most of the decisions we make each day are not life or death. We live our lives and pursue our passions and push many other less-relevant thoughts and considerations to the background. We lack the moral and chronal bandwidth to weigh every action we take against every other possible action that we COULD take.
And so most of us, myself included, are content to do what we do and let the world remain fucked up. Because we have ballotines to cook.