Okay, this is getting ridiculous. I've been working on this post on and off for more than a week, and I keep deleting and rewriting, and screw it. I'm just going to go through this once more and then post it. It does get a little rambling and a little weird, but so be it.
By the way, answers to all previous blog post will appear here.
My last post was dedicated to thanking everybody who's paid money for my work. I said at the time that I was deeply grateful to every fan, whether or not they've paid me, and that I'd explain why later. Now is later, and the best explanation can be found, believe it or not, in a song by VeggieTales. If you know what VeggieTales is, stifle your gasps, I can explain. (I did say that this gets weird.) If you're not aware, VeggieTales is a series of animated cartoons for children starting a cast of anthropomorphic vegetables. The makers of the show are evangelical Christians, and the tales usually have a biblical theme and/or moral. (I am not a Christian, but some parts of Christianity really appeal to me, especially the parts about loving thy neighbor, judging not, and doing unto others.) I first became aware of VeggieTales when I spotted the VHS at Blockbuster and figured that an animated children's cartoon about Christian vegetables would be a fine thing to enjoy stoned, and I was right.
The song in question was the climax to a retelling of the parable of the good Samaritan with vegetables, and it included these lyrics:
If you see someone who's hurt or in need,
Maybe it's time to perform a good deed,
And when you're finished, you'll find that it's true,
When you make them feel better, you'll feel better too!
It's that last line that gets to me and really rings true. Making people feel good feels good, and that's not even limited to only those who are "hurt or in need." I like it when I can help make somebody's day just a little bit better than it otherwise would have been. I especially like thinking that because I've made somebody's day a little better, maybe they'll go on to treat the other people they deal with later in the day a little better than they otherwise might have, and all those people will in turn go on to have marginally better days, and so on.
Imagine that Earth has a global happiness score, consisting of the sum of every human being's individual happiness, quantified somehow. One's net effect on this global score is, I think, a good measure of the value of one's life. It's not the only measure, to be sure, and maybe not the best one, but a good one.
That is why I am so deeply grateful to every single fan of my work. Merely by deriving some quantity of enjoyment from my work, you make my life more worthwhile. Maybe that's a lot of philosophical baggage to put on some dirty movies, but this whole thing started in 2007 when a major life event impelled me to a more philosophical outlook in the first place. And I derive a great deal of personal satisfaction from knowing that I'm contributing to total global happiness.
EDIT: I lied, I'm answering earlier blog comments in the posts in which they were made. If you are waiting on an answer to an earlier comment, look for it there. Just don't add anything new, please