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_Our Cancer Year_
I just reread Our Cancer Year by Harvey Pekar & Joyce Brabner.  I am an old fan of theirs, having followed American Splendor since the beginning.  This time, it made me cry a lot, not so much because of the horrors the people in it go thru as because it weighed in on my how terribly stunted my human relations are in comparison with theirs.  No doubt, in dealing with their troubles, the State, the Market, and (for one or two) the Church are important, but most of all they dare to offer & ask for help face to face: family, friends, neighbors.  There are risks to that -- a couple of times people (including Pekar) behave with what seems to me fantastic meanness, but they can put up with that, in themselves as well as in each other.  I'm not in their league (the human race).  Every instance of meanness in me is a permanent badge of shame, because I am no use.  I feel the same way when I read Kipling's generous advice in "A Pilgrim's Way".