Soundtrack: The Minutemen—“What Makes A Man Start Fires?”
It’s an exciting night here at Motime. Firstly, I’ve been inspired by Sean Collins’ recent Freudian musings upon the horror genre to offer up an essay I wrote a little while back called “Homodiegetic Homicide”. It deals with The Turn of the Screw, and basically, I argue that James’s first-person narrator is one of the most horrific fiends in the history of English Lit… By the way the filmed version of TOS (The Innocents–1961)is pretty damned scary in its’ own right, and it features Deborah Kerr’s best performance this side of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.
Next! I now have a second blog, which will function as an archive of material that might help flesh out what I’m driving at in some of my more obscure attempts to place super-hero comics within the context of the American romantic tradition… In one essay,I take aim at Harold Bloom’s entire critical project, although I don’t imagine that the Great One felt the tremors… In another, I rant about the problems with criticism motivated solely by political considerations. And, just to go completely overboard, I posted my undergraduate honours thesis, which deals with the interesting (I hope!) question of how the Transcendentalists avoided falling into the pitfall of reactionary politics that plagued their fellow Romantics in Europe…
God! I’ve been battling these html codes so strenuously that I’ve pretty much used up my time for tonight! But a couple more quick points:
Eve Tushnet wonders whether what I’m saying about Same-Sex marriage could possibly be as simple as: “Sounds like MLTP is arguing that now that marriage is basically meaningless, we can’t deny it to same-sex couples.” Well, that’s pretty much it. Or put it this way—marriage is only meaningful to people who want to imbue it with meaning. I sure don’t want to. But, I assume that anyone, gay or straight, who bothers to enter into that state, must be ready to do it—and the government really doesn’t have any business deciding who is up to the task. This is not a religious issue. And if you’re going to give tax breaks to some couples who choose to get the piece of paper, you can’t deny that right to other couples—it sends a really bad message, and sending the right message on this issue is far more important than any other consideration anyone could raise…
“I should be crystal clear: People whose parents chose sub-optimal family forms, or had said forms thrust upon them, or some combination of choice and constraint, generally go on to lead only reasonably screwed-up lives just like everybody else. Nobody’s doomed because mommy and daddy didn’t marry. But it makes things harder. Often, a lot harder. Kids grow up, and they work through it, because we’re a tough breed, humans. But why should they have to?”
To all of that, I say: who wants a bunch of pampered kids running around anyway? They’ll just find other “issues” to cry over… Even if it could be proven that there is a direct correlation between marriage’s “loss of status” and the development of neurosis, I wouldn’t alter my argument one whit. But really, I don’t see how forcing two people to stay together, ostensibly for the sake of their children’s tender psyches, is going to make life any easier for anyone.
I wish I had more time to go into this one, but I’ll just toss it out there—Eve, you’re an avowed Catholic, and Catholics are notoriously addicted to institutional solutions for existential problems, and it’s a dead end, as far I’m concerned (my name is Fiore–and as you might guess, I’ve had some experience with the Mother Church). You don’t seem willing to examine some of your fundamental premises, and that makes debate difficult. For example—where is it written that kids “need” role models of both genders? Why is it so important that boys, for instance, learn how to be “men”. A couple of days ago, I was ranting about the pernicious effects of books like My Gender Workbook, but your attitude on this question is just as problematic, as far as I’m concerned. If we ever needed men to be “men”, that time has long since passed, and I, for one, am glad. I don’t ever waste any time thinking about whether I’m living up to my “gender ideal”. I don’t have a gender ideal! And yet, I’m able to function, and even figure out whom I’m attracted to… it so happens, women really do it for me—especially Christine!
Anyway, we just aren’t ever going to come to terms on these questions, so maybe tomorrow I’ll address some of the other fascinating things you’ve been delving into…
And, finally, I want to announce that my “random comics review” has metamorphosed into a more grandiose plan. Starting tomorrow night, I’m going to begin working toward what amounts to an epilogue avant la lettre to my forthcoming dissertation. How, you may ask? Well, I’ll be examining the three late-eighties series (Animal Man, Power of the Atom, and Gruenwald’s Captain America) that, to my mind, constitute, as a trinity, the apotheosis of the Silver Age. What about Watchmen? And Dark Knight Returns? And all of that stuff that Klock talks about? I just disagree, that’s all. (I do think that Watchmen is excellent though, in its’ own way—and I think I’ll re-read it soon. I certainly don’t agree with John Byrne that it never should have happened. But I guess we all understand that he’s an idiot, right?) Anyway, I’ll start tomorrow night with Animal Man #1!
Good Night friends!