4/6/08

My Symptoms

I spent last Tuesday with my face in the toilet all day. I haven't puked like that since my alcoholic youth. Of course, back then I could hurl mid-sentence and go right back to my drunken soapboxing about how the Doors were better that the Beatles, refueling with a fresh beer. I am not a young man anymore.

Since Puke Day, I've stayed remarkably ill, only with varying symptoms. At this stage, the fever is still up and down, causing a delightfully entertaining delerium. I've come up with a little mantra to repeat internally to send my feverish brain to sleep: Fuzzy Bumble Turnbull. Try it, it works.

Now my throat is so sore I can't swallow. The doctor says it's not strep, but I know from strep. This is strep. Last night I managed to eat two pieces of buttered toast. I can't tell you how excited I was about that.

Naturally, I've been watching lots of video. Not having broadcast television, I will occasionally utilize Netflix to check out some tv programs I've been curious about. They're nearly always annoying enough that I have to berate and ridicule the poor, deluded doofus who made that particular recommendation, but I have only myself to blame for watching the Best of the Colbert Report. Look, I'm no expert on political satire, but good-natured guest appearances by the extradinarily evil Henry Kissinger and Bill O'Reilly tend to take the sting out of the parody, don't they? And anyway, I'm seeing very little in the way of political satire at all on this DVD, just Stephen Colbert milking his quickly-tiresome "I'm the center of the universe" schtick. His initial "Truthiness" broadcast brilliantly pinpointed the frightening possibilities of our modern, fact-free culture, but beyond that, the show devolves into guitar shredding contests and flirting with Jane Fonda.

Even more irritating is the DC New Frontier DVD, or as I like to call it, Watchman Lite. I hated the book, so my expectations were low. Darwyn Cooke obviously has talent, but he's got that Bruce Timm cookie cutter thing going on where there's one standard male figure and one standard female figure. The DVD makes thing worse by adding the identical facial shading to every head, regardless of how the light source is moving.

Worse is the "story". Can anyone explain to me the appeal of these ultra-depressing, apocalyptic retellings of the DC and Marvel histories? Don't bother, I already know the answer: they appeal to the modern 30-something comics dork who insists that his childish super hero comics include plenty of heavy, brooding, ultra-goth content to help justify his continued interest. This bozo had to give up reading Curious George books as a an adult because the Man with the Yellow Hat was never reimagined as a cyborg government agent who orchestrated the Bay of Pigs.

Part of the fun of Watchman was it's ridiculous level of cynism, including the rewriting of history as a much darker reality thanks to the pressence of these super goons. New Frontier attempts to preserve DC's publishing timeline while shoehorning their heroes into actual American history. Not only does Cooke refuse to acknowledge that the arrival of super heroes makes moot America's post-war achievements, he actually expects the stirring speeches of John F. Kennedy to have some relevance in a bullshit comic book story about Superman fighting dinosaurs. The juxtaposition is not only laughable, it's completely insulting to JFK and the spirit of the age.

Super heroes are imaginary, people. They fight mad scientists with death rays and giant robots designed to destroy the city. They don't fight in Vietnam, they don't sit in on the Watergate hearings, they don't capture Charles Manson and they don't sift through the rubble on 9/11.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can I call you this weekend?

Lisa Simmons