To Sever & Connect

(Soundtrack: Temple of the Dog)

Pressed for time by a million nagging little bureaucratic tasks, but I couldn’t let the day go by without staking out a little bit of the ground I intend to explore in my discussion of The Filth.

In an e-mail, David Allison mused that, if Tarantino is at one end of the “shock spectrum”–a gnostic pulling out all of the stops to bash his way clear out of a Hellish world–then Grant Morrison, surely, is perched atop the opposite aesthetic pole.

I’m nearly done my second reading of the TPB, and from what I can see, the author is only getting better at doing what he’s always done–worming his way through life’s excrescences back to the beating, mildewed heart of the human experience…

Like all great radical Calvinists and punks, Morrison unhesitatingly rubs his mind along the Crack between the subject and the object–and he understands that this action is more likely to frustrate than to fulfill. Every path to “oneness” with the world leads straight off of a cliff, and it takes a great deal more effort to maintain your perch upon the overhang than to leap into the abyss… The fact that we can never be at home in this world only makes it, and its denizens, more beautiful. That’s where the term “wonderful” comes from, after all–everything defies description. Only our own drives are truly comprehensible to us–and those are merely means to an end…

The Will becomes loathsome indeed when it is celebrated as a “cure-all”. The only solutions to the problem of “incompleteness” are suicide and the withdrawal into solipsism. Fuck The MatrixThe Filth, like It’s A Wonderful Life, is about the struggle to avoid taking either pill. Life is a virus–and Morrison is contagious!

Much more as the week progresses–I’ll be looking at the individual issues in detail and in juxtaposition with Gruenwald’s Quasar #18 (“The Bearable Lightness of Unbeing”), Auster, Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”, Animal Man, Frank Capra, Doom Patrol, Bates/Infantino’s The Flash, and Demo #5(again!)

Good Day Friends!



  1. Dave,

    I’m not sure if I’ve asked you this before, but are you a fan of Greil Marcus’ Lipstick Traces?


  2. I haven’t read the Filth yet, sadly – waiting for the TP to come out so I can buy it and suckle on it for a while. The bits and pieces I’ve been reading everywhere are insanely enticing.

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