Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than for August 02, 2013

  1. Step 1
    mr_sherman Premium Member almost 11 years ago

    The hammer would be used against him. Go for the leader each time. I know.

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    Zorro1950  almost 11 years ago

    Did not want to remember those days. Can’t say I am prone to continue this comic after this.

    Violence only cures the external matter and even then is incomplete even if a “Final solution.” Internal change must occur for either or both of the participants to heal from their fallen estate.



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  3. Skipper
    3hourtour Premium Member almost 11 years ago

    ….my hammer is Jesus…

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    SusanCraig  almost 11 years ago

    violence begetting more violence…seems to be the "MeriKan way!

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    Darryl Heine  almost 11 years ago


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    lisapaloma13  almost 11 years ago

    “Can’t say I am prone to continue this comic after this.” No kidding. There’s nothing “Zen” about this strip.

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    Thehag  almost 11 years ago
    This strip is disturbing on a few levels, I don’t condone what goes on here but….There is the story of a woman who visits a master in India. While on her way to see him a thief grabs her purse and after a brief back and forth tugging gets away. When she explains why she is late the master asks what she did to stop him. She tells, the master then points to her umbrella and says, “Next time you must take your umbrella and beat the thief with all the loving kindness you can muster.”
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    HankTheSock  almost 11 years ago

    Wow…lots of blood for a comic.

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    dogday Premium Member almost 11 years ago

    With others, I am dismayed at the conclusion of this strip. The point of being master of your fate and captain of your soul is not that you get revenge (especially in that fashion) but that you remain who you are in spite of any circumstances. Many have died “bloodied but unbowed,” and are considered victorious for having done so. Not saying virtue lies in taking whatever is handed out, but in staying true to your best self.

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    Vet Premium Member almost 11 years ago

    “Perfect”Well done Gavin.To those offended. The next time you cheer your military going to war this is exactly what they are doing.Those who do violence must be dealt with using violence.Remember it was said if one strikes you turn the other cheek. Does it says you have to keep turning cheeks?You get one with me. Then its my turn.Peace…………but keep your weapons close.

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    ossiningaling  almost 11 years ago

    Bit of a different spin on how Mandela invoked it.

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    scrabblefiend  almost 11 years ago

    Speak softly, but carry a big stick.

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    SweetSinger  almost 11 years ago

    Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but overcome evil with good. That takes true courage.

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  14. Anim chromosomes
    chromosome Premium Member almost 11 years ago

    I wonder if some of the action in this strip is allegorical. Notice they are all wearing ties. Perhaps this has adult/workplace meanings, the thugs are bosses and managers and the hammer is the legal system?

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    elkropp  almost 11 years ago

    All of life boils down to survival. You have the choice of peace or war; fight or flight. But when you are backed into a corner, the only option for survival is to fight, and i certainly don’t think there is a justifaible argument against self defense.

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    benbrilling  almost 11 years ago

    I think Gandhi would draw a different cartoon for this text.

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    sethym  almost 11 years ago

    This is the most un-Zen-like answer to the problem of violence. Shame on you.

    Those above who condone this response (the “officer of the law” and the military “Those who do violence must be dealt with using violence.” responders,) are speaking from the old paradigm of reality, the same paradigm that the violence comes from. Responding with revenge & violence will only beget more revenge & violence, EVEN IF violence seemed to be the only choice & response to violent people.

    The only way to permanently end this cycle is to birth a new paradigm where everyone changes, even bullies. And it is the spiritual people of the world, the Zen folks and other light-bringers, whose job it is to birth that new paradigm.

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  18. Front sword at ready
    shamest Premium Member almost 11 years ago

    sometimes you have to do what you have to do to stop the abuse

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  19. My eye
    vldazzle  almost 11 years ago

    And I’m a little lady of 75 years and only 5’ tall but I have a good 38 special and a pretty good eye. When you have something you must be prepared to use it, but sometimes becomes unnecessary (like the switchblade I took to school because of my bully – back in the early 1950s).

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    Vet Premium Member almost 11 years ago

    People commit suicide everyday because of incidents like this. What do you want him to do? Take the beatings or fight back with whatever he can find. You may not like his choice so I ask all of you would you allow yourself to be beaten like that everyday. Be the punching bag, get your ass kicked so bad you pee blood. And you keep attacking them with kindness, keep appealing to their “civil humanitarian side” hoping it will end. It will eventually and I will be working traffic at your funeral.Some have posted this enforces violence as the answer. In this situation what else would work. The other three are evil beyond belief. Kindness will have no effect on them. But that hammer will get their attention. Just remember it stops there. Like in my fight with the bully and using a bat. One hit and it was done. I did not pursue, I did not gloat, I did not see myself infused with immense power. I solved the problem at hand and went on. The bully continued his ways just not with me anymore. That was all I wanted.

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    StepYaGameUp  almost 11 years ago

    There ya go kid!!

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  22. Kat 1
    katina.cooper  almost 11 years ago

    And in the next panel, the hammer is sticking out of his head.

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    Vet Premium Member almost 11 years ago

    They will remember that. And when you are in the next plane that is headed for a building so you can die in a Jihadist fervor. You just sit there wishing someone had done something to stop these folks.Like when I came back from Nam. You want to throw blood on me too??? I will stand there and look at you. Sit in your tiny safe world. “Murderers” like me are out there making you safe.There are those who serve the greater good and there are those like you.Say that to Medal of Honor recipient. A WWII vet who fought the Axis threat. Remember the next time the Boston Marathon is on. Maybe you should run? Feel the sting of the shrapnel as it rips your legs. You truly have not one single clue. You think a soldier WANTS to go. Sure its their duty but really I think they would rather be at home. But someone has to do it and don’t see you lining your punk a%% up to do it.Dream sparkles Unicorn. For like the unicorn you are figment of your imagination.All aboard for the magical fairy land. The plane leaves in 10 minutes. Mind the terrorist now. And when the plane comes crashing down remember to click your heels "There is no place like home, There is……………(static).

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    mauimike6  almost 11 years ago

    The Burmese opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi stated, “This poem had inspired my father, Aung San, and his contemporaries during the struggle for independence, as it also seemed to have inspired freedom fighters in other places at other times.” ’Nuff said…

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    mauimike6  almost 11 years ago

    OBTW: This is the only web entity that moves me sufficiently to leave comments. Thank you, GAT.

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    craigwestlake  almost 11 years ago

    Yea though I walk through the Valley of Death I shall fear no evil; for I am the biggest bad*ss in the valley…

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    earth_mom  almost 11 years ago

    No. Sorry. This is a misuse of Invictus. I don’t see this young man “trying” anything but anger. His dad is freaked, but what does he do? Where are the teachers, principals? In my state, it’s illegal for any adult to fail to report abuse like this within 24 hours. Period. I don’t believe this is the right answer.

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    Claire Jordan  almost 11 years ago

    When I was a little child, my mother told me “Violence breeds violence, So let the bullies find out that violence breeds violence. Hit the buggers.” However, a hammer is excessive because it risks doing permanent or even fatal injury. He’d do better to learn a martial art so he can injure them just enough to defend himself but no more – like the mild, vague, wispy-looking aikido expert I was at school with, who snapped the wrist of a mugger who came after her with a knife. There was no lasting damage, he was fine in a few weeks – but the next time he saw her he crossed the road to avoid her.

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    SwimsWithSharks  almost 11 years ago

    Ha, I thought I was tuning in for a nice little zen quote. Be strong like water. Something like that.

    When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

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    sethym  almost 11 years ago

    Well I can see my comment was totally wasted on all the “fix-it-the-way-we’ve-always-done-it” and “evil-must-be-met-with-evil” drones here. Go ahead, keep on “fighting back” and meeting violence with more violence, justifying it with tales of jihad planes flying into buildings and suicides by innocents who got bullied too many times.“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” – Mahatma GandhiEnjoy your dark, sightless reality.

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    Vet Premium Member almost 11 years ago

    I see your point and felt and feel your pain. That is what I have been saying all along. The hammer is extreme but it is his choice. Maybe the presentation will stop the violence maybe not. But by the boy’s look. It ends today, now, one way or the other.The words match in this. He made his choice he is the captain of his soul. He made the decision himself and will deal with whatever happens afterwards but he will no longer be beaten.

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    Chrystos B Minot Premium Member almost 11 years ago

    A baseball bat, a knife, a hammer, a gun, a martial arts weapon, a bomb. All these are based on “superior firepower” to prevail in intimidation & domination. How different is this from the neanderthallers and cro magnon (our recent “cave men” ancestors)? Not very. I’ve had many conflicts in my life, all of which I settled with words (including with large ex cons). Had I utilized any of my many hammers (like this “hero”) I would be in prison for manslaughter / murder. Great for the family life. There is nothing Zen about this comic strip, it’s just one more bloody revenge fantasy. Why not watch “Django Unchained” or any those revenge fantases if you’re into “Hulk Smash!”? I am really disappointed in this episode. Cleanse your angry liver chi, Gavin. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” (Or drop the “Zen” from your title.)

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    cherylo  almost 11 years ago

    Are we getting a wee bit serious in our comic critiquing? Loving zen pencils, very witty, laughed out loud. None of us, including the creator of this strip, are condoning a literal reproduction of this in real life, but we can still cheer the downtrodden rising to the top – comics are about satire, humour, fantasy … anyone care to remember “it’s a joke Joyce”. PC Police are ruining the world – keep your chin up Gavin, talented satirist you be :-)

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  34. Radleft
    Radical-Knight  almost 11 years ago

    You must think mighty highly of yourself to spout such moralistic garbage and use a moniker such as unicorn… even the unicorn has a horn which was not intended as a pretty hood ornament but as a WEAPON for good.

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  35. Oldwolfcookoff
    The Old Wolf  almost 11 years ago

    Words never stopped a bully. The only thing that will get their attention is when the price for their folly becomes greater than the benefit. I do not advocate violence, but neither do I advocate being a doormat for soulless troglodytes.

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    Doctor Why  almost 11 years ago

    Invictus. Interesting poem. Have it hanging on my wall with another poem written in the same style, “My Captain.”

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    pam Miner  almost 11 years ago

    That was a brave thing to say, like what I said about having been a cutter. Hope things are going OK for you now!

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    Liam Astle Premium Member almost 11 years ago

    WTF!?! This is how the strip is going to end with this kid bashing the other guys with a hammer.

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    boreas2  over 10 years ago

    yep the same guy who eat a lunch with the guy who wanted to execute him and he also invited his prison guard to the ceremony when he became president

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    gummynuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuub  over 4 years ago

    what happened to that other comic where the people stopped fighting and played ping pong? I hope the kid just wants them to help build something

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