Louche Lad (bombasticus) wrote,
Louche Lad

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"...and fashion beasts"

The problem of evil -- disappointment, regret, unrequited love, missed connections, failures of the sign, mourning, sin, busted gnosis, skinned knees & bad throws -- takes on an aura like camp in the foundational works of new-aeon funnybook mythology. But while 99% of the modern villains crumple like hand puppets under the holographic authorial eye, revealed as more-or-less pragmatic concessions to the genre or at worst dad acting erratically, a few narrative poisons are more organic and even virulent. When pushed to the ropes, Moore reaches for sexual regret and a little masochism, the anguish of missing the party until it's too late: Fashion Beast published a generation after it would have been relevant, the mysterious box in Belle De Jour stops buzzing and starts rattling once Tinkerbelle flickers out. A ruined secret origin, the ghosts of lost girls. Virgin Suicides, the grand sacrifice of generations of youth of perfect intelligence on the altars of fandom. Why couldn't we have had the nice things when we wanted them? Oh, to quote the Bauhaus, to be the cream.

Morrison reaches for Claremont, which is interesting, don't you think? Because what is Claremont really but a long nightmare diary, days & nights of future past, all the things that terrified and intrigued before we either put the books away or didn't. As I snap the hidden pieces of the Claremont scene together, it never really adds up to all that much in the objective sense, no labyrinthine secret history of the modern world, no skeleton key to gamergate. But on the inside, to the people who grew up within the twisting corridors of that mansion addressed by the magic name Greymalkin, it grows with them like the hand inside the puppet. Tic-tock tic-tock, cried the zombie Patriot who Prodigy made out with and got to go away. It was a cruel thing to market to children but it sold so well and the outer forms were so readily reproduced.

For me, I solved the basic narrative problem -- where to find new villains -- long ago and just need to execute. The remainder, those moments where dad acts erratically and the imaginary cobra can spit, are what occupies 99% of my free time now, where the apologist gets stumped. And I think it's what has occupied Moore for decades, which is another place where they differ. Morrison's funeral for dad is "The Fire in Which We Burn," the oedipal murder of Watchmen. Nobody is talking about it now, much as Hamlet had a daddy but will never have sons. We hear less and less about Morrison's secret origin as the watchmaker recedes. Mystery Plays, Lovely Biscuits plowed under because they contain the syllables of what amounts to a true name.

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