Sunday, May 10, 2009

Baby Horus at the Chorus

Take solace in ignorance for learning presupposes growing
Seeds not planted will not bloom no need for effort known
The Sun feeds and provides for life is useless in it's power
Take heed and chose a mask, as nightmares come from knowing

The Earth it fueled by dreams and those who are dreaming
To lose Shield of Life twas ever worth but twice their owning
No people can recall when nature was in all Her gloaming
These days we have bad dreams awakening in sweat screaming

Take exception to the unholy decay that surrounds us

Accept inherent complexities of things that confound us

Sit back and let eyeballs slide over things that do astound us

We all lost during the reigns but Horus will re-crone us

Isis is finally arrived and the crowning head of Horus peaking
Our need to breed for greed is the gene we are currently seeking
Dope of religion can't cope with the scene we truly perceive
Music is movement even with thoughts both dark and bleeding

Is it too late to hold back heaven from inside head and heart?
Has a piper danced a jig celebrating his unhappy tune?
Must you claim truth or surrender that which is blade?
Why silent gongs celebrate songs so written in part?

And then the baby is here and stands are filled with throngs
Born ready as right no amount of fear withstands love songs
Just as self-taught so maybe readers won't be lost in silence
The baby brings healing touch and withstand righting wrongs

The pain of winning means learning to earn the love we need
Talking cures past are kenning to plant what's grown from seed
Owning your life and choosing not to sleeve your nation
I in leather swear by
you in lace, never ever need to bleed

© 2009 Leigh R. Wolf

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Destiny of Disneyfication

Comix Are All Eye Read

I came to comic books later in my life. Sure, when I was a little kid I had an interest in comics but I preferred Braniac to Superman and was never a Christian and so gave up on the superhero mythology early on. Before they moved to their 4th Avenue location, Vancouver's (underground) weekly newspaper The Georgia Straight lived, worked and published out of an old house that they basically abandoned when they relocated. Around 1970, my father bought that old house where The Georgia Straight had published for the first few years and turned the contents over to me.

The Greatest Hits of "The Sixties"
The place was a mess but the basement was spectacularly gross filled with everything one could associate with printing an underground weekly. My dad assumed that nothing leftover could actually damage his 12-year old son and, being a decent sort, let me plunge in and keep whatever I wanted. Such a treasure trove of Sixties memorabilia was beyond the understanding of a child but I did my best and salvaged the cream of a decade from the dump. I found tons of promotional items including original Beatles 8x10 colour glossies, metal printing plates featuring logos of famous rock bands (The Airplane, The Doors, Moby Grape, etc.) tarot decks, many classic books (Our Bodies Our Selves, The Birthing Book, Silent Spring, Do It!, Steal This Book, Soul On Ice, etc.) and many, many underground comix. My father watched blithely as I managed to stuff, at least, 100 pounds of comix and assorted crap into our car's back seat and trunk. I don't remember thanking my father profusely as I off-loaded my haul into my recently established basement lair.

Harold Head To The Miscue
My discovery of Straight publisher Dan McLeod's cache of cool led me to an early sophistication that, in turn, both enabled and disabled my learning curve. On the plus side I have always had a fairly realistic, informed, view on drugs and their purpose and appropriate usage. On the negative side, I was aware of illicit drugs far too early on and had, in fact, tried everything available, except Heroin, by my Sixteenth birthday. As a child I was quite open to grass, hash, and LSD. These psychotropic substances offered a primary escape into the astonishing insights most desired by a young mind primed on psychedelic tales and images delivered by the most bizarre minds ever to work with pen and ink. The various underground comix taught me a set of values that were very different, very liberal, from those espoused by my immigrant father. These new values promoted a hedonistic, 1970s, lifestyle where sex, drugs, and rock music were interchangeable factors of modern life. No doubt about it, I was hooked on comix.

Enter The Digital Decade (1984-1994)
Then came computers, and interactivity, which shifted the playing field away from constant consumption and more towards content creation. As with every paradigm shift results kept shifting based on new developments in the field. These days consumption and creation of content are tied in a race to double the amount of information that exists on the planet every eighteen months. Back in 1984, the Macintosh finally arrived and within the year we had MacWrite, MacPaint, Pagemaker, and a Laserwriter and we began to make our own comics as well as newsletters, fliers, annual reports, and all other types of printed materials much cheaper and faster than traditional typographers. A decade later we were building Web 1.0 using different tools that did basically the same job.

The Essential Spirit of Change
They say it pays to be ahead of the holy Hollywood Hype-machine and we all know the next big thing is just around the bend. And if the far future of any future is located in the past, I believe that there is a recent desire for the truly authentic to emerge and be perceived for what it is. It is suggested that our newly minted President Barrack Obama embodies a fresh, true spirit of openness in his dealing with his own and other countries. I believe this to be more true than fact allows and suggest that such underground classics as Corporate Crime Comix will yet get their chance to exhume the corpses of environmental crimes past and present in filmic format.

Look to the Margins of Society
The process of transition from comics to film has featured heavy lessons for the money in Hollywood. The success of Marvel Comics (Iron Man, Blade, Wolverine, X-Men, Spiderman, etc.) brand has been substantial and is now a formula involving time worn stories and storyboards feeding fodder into the feature film machine. Easily adapted, each franchise has at least a trilogies' worth of plotted story line that has proven success with previous generations. The money-men of Hollywood are positively Pavlovian about the concept and are eagerly looking in new directions. The only places left to look for previously created, pre-adapted, original content is in the margins.

Sound It Out (calm-ick)
Education is the hidden factor in comics. For years comics have gotten a bad rap as an educational hindrance but today when the United States Army wants to train a technician how to use different expensive systems they use comic books as handy field manuals. When a Japanese businessman wants to throw a fancy dress party he knows he can buy a comic (manga) that will show him how to do it up right. Many of your parents learned basic phonics reading comics after school (when comics were no longer forbidden). The association of image and word is a very powerful combination in this world.

Three Fingers and a Thumb
An early research paper from Telidon/Minitel (a France-Canada co-creation) demonstrating human reactions to various imagery showed our earliest, most visceral, cognitive images are soft, rounded and kind of blurry. Appearing soft and gently out-of-focus like early Disney animation, a baby crib's dangly mobile, or dare I suggest as with comic books? I do not know if this too fits into recent revenue reality shifts in the film business. I do know that when the Kibbutzim introduced television to their members in the Eighties, the senior citizens watched only news (Israel!) and cartoons. Nothing else, not dramas, nor cop shows, nor sit-coms, just cartoons.

A Four-Colour World View
This is the beginning of the third generation of children growing up with comics as an educational tool, a communications medium, and a source for high culture. Comics (and comix) have evolved dramatically since their initial popularity post-WWII. We now send our greatest actors and directors into the creative crush and expect fine film to emerge. We continually elect comic book leadership and when they are revealed as villains we simply shrug and hope we won't get fooled again. In anyt case, sustaining a narrow, four-colour, world view is mission critical when propping up corrupt ideas and institutions such as unilateral military initiatives and International Monetary Fund penalties.

Death to the Simulacrum
That our inner world should reveal itself cartoonish comes as no surprise. We have thus elevated the cartoon to a mighty place in our culture. Cartoon films, cartoon books, even cartoon politicians (Reagan), and, these days in California, we have spawned a cartoon culture where the Terminator hero image becomes the Governor of the world's seventh largest economy which he then delivers into bankruptcy. Has the cycle returned full circle? Did I ask that same question the last time? Has our imitation of simulation conquered our perceived need and desire for authenticity? Have we finally become the victims of a Simulacrum of our own devising?

© 2009 Leigh R. Wolf