Kyle's Republic
Thursday, August 25, 2005
 
"When I was in Vienna, Austria"

What I overhear my landlord, who’s kind of a boob, saying to a buddy in the café. They’re about twenty feet off, I think.


Where I’m coming from

I had to beg off from speaking at Westmount Library on the graphic novel. "I’ve never read Chris Ware," I said, figuring that killed dead any idea of me keeping up with modern comics. Reading Chris Ware and the rest of the modern graphics-novel scene strikes me as work. I liked my last Eightball, I just don’t feel like seeing the next one. And no successors to the old gang (Hate, Clowes, L&R) interest me. Instead my comics reading is once again superhero reading, as when I was 13. I’ve been ashamed of that state of mind, but I’ve eased myself back into it again.


Self-awareness

Sitting in 2d Cup (my reg. coffee shop) and looking about me. This is where I’ve wound up now that I have no office to worry about, when I can pick wherever I want to go. I’ve got as big a world as a pigeon looking around its corner of the park.


Rush and self-contradiction

Limbaugh was claiming, though not for long, that Cindy Sheehan is a fake like Bobby Burkett. Apparently that got embarrassing and now he feels hard done by.
Rush’s job is to say what he himself likes to hear, which leaves him vulnerable to fatal inspirations. He’d like to think there’s nothing to Sheehan’s story and therefore he says there isn’t, even though at less energized moments he both knew and said that in fact her story was genuine. He winds up feeling exculpated by his own self-contradiction, which is a neat trick and more possible if the doer isn’t aware he’s full of it.

The modern U.S. Right runs on this phenomenon. The movement doesn’t have a philosophy, just an agreed-upon immediate reality (Bush is good, liberals are weak, the war is right) that is spread like flowered wallpaper over actual immediate reality. The wallpaper, if I may fill in the metaphor, is an extensive verbal construct beautifully embellished and held together by the U.S. Right’s superior skill with words. What pastes it to the wall (more metaphor) is, of course, the Right’s aversion to the discomfort of things as they are.


Trek and Star Wars

These series survive because their premises are more powerful than the effect created by the actual product. If anything could have killed interest in Star Trek, it would have been the episodes (most of them, anyway) produced during the program’s first run. The same with Star Wars and the Phantom-Clones-Sith trilogy. Watching either run of product takes devotion to an ideal — the platonic ideal of the series as uncorrupted by execution.


Team Comics footnote

A belle-lettrist who briefly graced the subject of Marvel Comics suggested that Jack Kirby somehow owes the ’60s hallucinogen craze for his crazy space stuff and Negative Zone effects. Well, okay, but only if you prove it and don’t assume it. LSD and Kirby’s great period happened at the same time, but no one believes the old man was taking drugs. Did he then see some Fillmore posters and get excited? Possibly someone could find out before we jump to conclusions.

Here’s my declaration of faith. The man who thought up Galactus got there all on his own — no hallucinogenics, no Peter Max. Hordes of mediocre souls take their medicine so they can have visions of the sort Kirby came by naturally. Those people outnumber him, so we place their experience in the foreground and locate Kirby’s relative to it. The result is easy talk about how psychedelics gave rise to Kirby’s cosmos when actually we know no such thing.
 
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