My personal goal this week was to not post any blogs.
The goal was meant to be a direct, karmic, yin-yang, balancing act to last week’s attempt to post every day, 7 days in a row.
The attempt of posting and not posting, was a practice meant as a material representation of the ambivalence reflected in Byron’s “Prisoner of Chillon” which I posted almost a week ago:
“Fettered or fetterless to be,
I learned to love despair.”
I made it through Sunday. No post whims.
Easy. No pics. Therefore, nothing to write for Sunday Dinner.
Monday, well, that’s a given.
It’s 10:20 am as I type this now… no chance of posting today…
…but now…? I have failed… yet again.
This means, yes my crickets, another Debate Tuesday. I know… I’m supposed to stay around 300… *sorry*
As some of you know… I am a comic book geek.
As an avid reader with an unrestrained and impulsive doodling tendency… Comics were a perfectly natural collision of my interests and skills.
I was the kid shooed out of the local mini-mart with the accusation, “hey kid, you gonna buy that?”
I was the kid who lovingly sketched scenes from my favorite comics and dreamt up stories of my own… sketching out ideas as the whim hit me…
I was the student vandal who riddled my textbooks with stick-figure flip-book stories on the edges… my folders covered with random whims of line and curves turned face or object.
Of course I still read all of my serious literature.
Thus… I never attempt to debate with the more serious comic aficionados.
But, I can say; my love of the genre, would trump any geek who can name every single issue or character in the DC or Marvel continuum.
The passion I have for comics comes not from the comics themselves, but my literary crossover into subjects like history, philosophy, and psychology…
I read a book a few years ago, called The Secret History of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lepore.
It was a Mother’s Day gift. (Yes, Irony seems to be a virulent genetic trait… lol.)
I highly recommend the book. It was a wonderful, and enlightening read. After reading it, I felt some vindication in what I had observed in all my years of reading comic books…
In comic books, the least serious of all literary genres… riddled throughout the pages, in image and words… were glimpses of philosophy:
Ms. Lepore proved what I had suspected all along…
COMIC BOOKS AND POP CULTURE…
WERE WHERE ALL THE PHILOSPHERS ESCAPED TO…
… IN THE EINSTEIN ERA
For further clarification try this book, The Physicist and the Philosopher, by Jemina Canales. Canales’ book helped me pinpoint the when, where, and why the paid-for job of societal philosophers had fallen out of favor…
The interesting thing? It was a fictional story that first clued me in to the absence.
One of my many favorites in the (neo) classics, is H.G. Wells. In the book, War of the Worlds (and The Invisible Man), if you’ve read them… do you recall what the main characters’ occupation were?
I remember thinking, Hmm… people in H.G. Wells’ time were paid, JUST TO THINK?
What an interesting time that must have been…
The news, of late… well, is just another example, in a string of examples… which show the catalyst and creation, tug and pull, tip-balance-tip… of societal values.
Here’s a snippet from an NPR article about the Portland rallies:
“Fearing trouble because emotions are running high, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler asked the federal government to revoke a permit for a “Trump Free Speech Rally” on Sunday, describing the organizers as “alt-right”…”
I thought the writer highlighted, by accident, an interesting lexical paradox in our current president’s chosen American name… “Trump”.
We know Trump the proper noun… But… let’s go to Merriam-Webster for a definition of the verb “to trump”:
transitive verb 1 : to get the better of : OVERRIDE <where ambition invariably trumps loyalty — Michael Kramer> 2 : to play a trump on (a card or trick) when another suit was led intransitive verb : to play a trump when another suit was led
So, when the alt-right protesters organized a rally… and decided to call it the:
TRUMP FREE SPEECH RALLY
I found it really Interesting there were no syntactical clues, no complementary adjectives… no lexical show that “trump” was a proper noun. Just the subtle inference of an:
override free speech rally
Here’s another snippet from NPR’s “Two-Way News Blog” about the Megyn Kelly/Putin interview on Sunday:
“In the end, the interview accomplished what Putin and Kelly needed – she got a big name for her debut episode and he (Putin) got a forum to push back angrily against American media…”
“Before leaving Fox, Kelly was known as one of the few journalists who rattled Donald Trump during his campaign for president…”
The gist of the article is; Kelly left Fox for NBC because she upset Trump and the conservative media with her frank and accusatory questions… She defected to NBC…
You know, the media giant who aired Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice” all those years… the one who Trump calls the ‘evil fake media’? Why would he bite the hand that fed him so well all those years, and helped him gain a wider audience?
ENTER WONDER WOMAN:
The only favorite female superhero of my childhood.
Why? She was the only stand-alone female hero. She wasn’t created from the rib of Superman, or Batman. Wonder Woman was formed by the gods themselves. A holdover from Greek mythology.
Enter the newly marketed and revised feminist icon of comic lore…
Now, Enter The new Wonder Woman movie…
I went to see it this weekend, and aside from my general annoyance at the actor who played “Steve”… it was a fun, exciting, and at times, nail-biting… joyride. I didn’t even care that creative license was more a weapon than a tool… and ultimately, I absolutely loved it.
Well, until the ending… *fear not, no spoilers*
I mean, what the heck was that? Jumping off into the Parisian skyline?
“I know what I have to do!” She says… And you will have to guess! Until… the next movie. *Teehee* (Whatever)
Anyway… what were we talking about?
Oh yeah… superheroes and philosophers…
One of my favorite plot twists (when not over-used)… is when the good guy turns out to be the bad guy.
The one the hero thinks is their friend.
Perhaps, the mentor who challenges them and helps them grow… but, turns out to be the one the hero was supposed to fight all along…
Yeah, that one.
I’ve felt the super-hero vibe building in our society since, oh about 2008…
It’s no small coincidence the super-hero genre rules the public conscience. People flock to see the next Avengers movie, or argue over whether Wonder Woman will be a flop or not…
We all feel it.
Superman created Lex Luther.
The Joker created Batman.
In every major hero-villain dynamic… the catalyst and the creation… are forever intertwined.
Even in my all-time favorite comic “Conan”… Conan, the hero, was created by the overlord who killed his people and sold him into slavery. His strength built by the very things meant to break him.
The one difference with Conan? And why he’s my favorite?
When he was nailed to the tree, wasting away in the desert and the buzzards were circling… even his strength couldn’t save him…
…what ultimately saved him…
Were the friendships and ties he had made along the way.
Still, the catalyst will ultimately fall to its creation… and vice-versa.
Even if the creation is the ‘good guy’ and kills the catalyst… the creation will suffer isolation, loneliness, regret… they never quite “live happily ever after”.
And even though, in my era of Conan he ultimately reigned as King…
… the powers-that-be had the creative license to recreate him.
The writers, philosophers and artists rebranded, and remarketed him… as a lesser version of himself… yielding a different message… expressing different values.
Are we witnessing a super-hero dynamic with Megyn Kelly and the Alt-Right? Is Trump merely a societal response to progressive policy… a logical end to overly-righteous, justified means?
Are we seeing FoxNews, Rupert Murdoc, and the other Media Giants in their own galactic, religious, apocalyptic war?
We’ll never know… because I’m pretty sure the cute little show called, “Powerless” is doomed to be dropped next season…
Until then? We should learn from the intro season, and get our anti-rubble umbrellas ready…