Issues, In More Ways Than One
2004-07-11 - 10:49 p.m.
Well, it's been two lovely days since I got my apartment, and I have spent the weekend enjoying the Bay Area with the CBGs.
It turns out CBGdess is my long lost soul twin, separated at birth. It has moved beyond the point of "funny" into the realm of "eerie." It's one thing to have enjoyed the same childhood movies. It's quite another to have the same favorite flavor jelly bean. Since I've been staying at her place, it kinda feels like the movie Single White Female, only I'm not sure which of us is Bridget Fonda and which is Jennifer Jason Leigh. Maybe we can trade off.
There are, however, distinct advantages to having someone with whom you have so much in common. Among other things, you get introduced to a whole new array of comic books.
I used to feel embarrassed about loving comic books. Truth be told, part of me still does. When I was little, I either was told or decided for myself that comic books were a waste of time, that it took a truly intelligent child to read real books like, oh, Alice in Wonderland. As such, while I may have loved my Justice League of America story book, I shunned away from anything that had Wonder Woman and Batman communicating via speech bubble. Later on, when I finally got into comics, I still felt like I had to keep it a secret from my friends. It was one of those little things, like dancing around your house for hours on end to cheesy 80s music, that you know would cost you all your hard earned coolness and popularity--however little of those vital teenage currencies you may possess.
It wasn't until I read The Sandman series the summer before my senior year of college that I really came out as a comic book geek. It took recommendations from numerous friends, my thesis advisor, and Tori Amos herself to get me to read them, but what I found was a ten volume collection of seventy-something comics that together comprised one of the most remarkable literary achievements of the 20th century, and one that I wanted to make the subject of research and conversation. This, of course, led me to eventually talk not only about the literary merit of The Sandman, but the cultural significance of Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Catwoman, and the umpteen incarnations of the Justice League (which is about to add yet another branch, with members that include a woman whose power is to make bugs crawl all over your skin--tasty).
The CBGs, however, are giving me a whole new comic book education, introducing me to whole new series for me to enjoy.
One of them is a series called "Hopeless Savages" about the offspring of punk icons Dirk Hopeless and Nikki Savage. The kids in question--Rat, Arsenal, Twitch, and Skank Zero--are far cooler than Jack and Kelly Osborne could ever hope to be. I've read one volume of their misadventures and am ready to begin the second, although I worry that the next set of comics won't have enough of Twitch. Twitch, you see, is my new imaginary boyfriend. I've got to have someone now that Jake 2.0 is off the air.
The other comic they've introduced to me is Transmetropolitan.
Everyone in the world should read Transmetropolitan, particularly in this day and age.
Transmetropolitan is a brilliant series of 60 comics, assembled into 10 graphic novels. It is written by a Scotsman named Warren Ellis. Its fans include Patrick Stewart and Darren Aronofsky. It's set in the not to distant future of the Phillip K Dick/William Gibson variety (if you don't know what that means and haven't seen the movie Blade Runner . . . I don't know what to tell you, except that you need to catch up). It concerns a journalist named Spider Jerusalem, whose goal it is to tell the truth, by any means necessary. He carries a gun, but this gun is not loaded with bullets, this being the future and all, nor is it a laser. It is a Bowel Disruptor, and his favorite setting is "Prolapse."
Provided, of course, that you haven't pissed him off.
I don't want to say much more about the books, except that they're full of some of the most colorful insults and threats that have ever been put to paper. That, and tell you a little bit about their effect on me.
As you know, I've been asking people to write their senator about voting against the Federal Marriage Amendment. My own senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, is a co-sponsor of the amendment. She--or rather, someone in her office--had the courtesy to send me a response to my e-mail.
I had initially thought I would reprint it here, follow it with what she really would have written were she being honest, and then writing two versions of a response, one in which I actually tried to be persuasive, and one in which I was more honest about the way that I felt about her and her cohort. With the help of Spider, I now realize that reprinting her words would be a waste of space and an insult to the English language, not to mention to standard of writing that the readers of this diary have become used to.
However, being honest about my own feelings is never a waste of time, so here goes nothing:
Dear Ms. Hutchison,
I had no illusions about you ever paying the slightest bit of attention to my e-mail, or any of the other e-mails sent to you by those crazy enough to think that marriage has anything to do with love, or that the first amendment has any fucking meaning in George W. Bush's America, of which you are no doubt creaming yourself to be a part of. I credit you with the brains to realize that even if you changed your stance, it wouldn't mean I would vote for you, because if I did I'd have to get over the 475 other ways that you, as a Republican, are screwing over the state of Texas and the nation as a whole.
This does not, of course, mean that I don't hate you. I do hate you, very much, and I wish ill and misfortune on you all the days of your life.
I will say that I wish I didn't hate you. One of my favorite of Spider's quotes is, "I wish I could go one day without hating anybody." For some, this could be seen as a sign of severe psychological problems. Such people would no doubt be able to recommend a number of the drugs that are advertised on television. Reasonable people with a conscience would recognize his statement as a plea for the world, a prayer to a most-likely absent God that mankind, for once, stop treating one another like dirt and try to look out for one another. I feel the exact same way. I wish I could turn on the news without seeing more and more evidence that you and yours are willing to fuck over millions of Americans so that your stock prices can go up, and that the same millions are willing to vote for you again and again because you convince them that the Hell they know is oh so much better than the Hell they don't. I wish I could go a day without someone doing something to someone else to make me hate them.
Now, before you call security, let me tell you that I'm not going to do anything scary. I hate violence far more than you do, seeing as you were one of the ones who were willing to send American boys to kill and die so that we could have access to those sweet, sweet oil fields. I would never do anything to hurt you, although I would certainly reveal anything that could hurt your political career were I privy to such information.
No, I'm going to do something far worse. I'm going to survive you. I'm going to enjoy my life and exercise my freedom every step of the way. I'm going to speak Spanish and fuck men because I know it'll get under your skin, and I'm going to keep telling anyone who reads this just how much you do to make this world a sicker, sadder place to live, and I'll keep screaming until someone gives me a microphone and then I'll really piss you off, and if you try to take my voice away I'll move across the border and moon you from Canada. After my wedding, of course.
And when the glorious day comes when weapons manufacturers realize that there's a lot more money to be made in amusment than in death, I'll be waiting for you, in a dark alley, with my Bowel Disruptor, set on Sphincter Supernova.
The Notorious RRZ
with a little help from Spider Jerusalem3 comments so far The End - 2005-02-11
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