Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hmmm... No Wonder!

Yeah, so, um, look at these pictures and tell me you are surprised that I do what I do. They are pages from a Wonder Woman book and record set I used to have when I was a little kid. Book and record sets were read-a-long comic books where you listened to what the characters were saying as you read. I absolutely adored this comic- it's voluptuously drawn, brightly colored, the stories are engaging, and it is framed by an abstract splash of panels that are so dynamic in their organization- it forces your eyes to dart hungrily from corner to corner. Their aesthetic is not what really impressed me though, it's the fact that they are ALL about women dominating men. Let me explain: There are two stories, the first called, "Wonder Woman vs. The War God", in which she fights Mars, on planet Mars (lol!) and wins, as the power of peace and love will always prevail over evil. Okay, kind of cliche, but I was only 8. But my favorite story in the book was, "Amazons from Space" in which female aliens invade Earth, having invented a virus that has rendered all the men of their planet completely submissive (!!!). Suffice to say, I read this story over and over again, drinking up each page, puzzling over some of the larger words, lusting after the seven foot tall Queen of the Psi-Women, Llyra (are her clothes painted on?)... and to top it off, she and Wonder Woman get into a no-holds bitch-slap fest, ending with Llyra prostrate on the ground (her ass high in the air), warning Wonder Woman that no one has ever dared touch her in such a fashion- so beware! It's an unbelievably sexy fucking comic, and gave me funny stirrings which I re-live in a way every time I open it.

It never dawned on me until now what sort of impression it must have had on my childhood fantasies, which of course are connected to larger adult sexual fantasies sometimes. I know a lot of men have had the same experience with Cat Woman (RIP, Eartha Kitt) but never thought until now how powerful these images can be. Would it be wrong for me to masturbate to this now??? Because it's right next to me, and... LOL!

For the whole book, neatly scanned and (if you're reeeeeally bored) a downloadable audio clip click here:


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Love, Laughter, and Truth

Today is the birthday of Bill Hicks- a comedian who died at the age of 32 from pancreatic cancer in 1994. Little-known except in England, he was an American from Texas, who started doing stand-up comedy when he was only 14. He gained notoriety in his hometown, as he dominated grown-up comedy clubs- even surpassing comedians who were twice his age. He then moved on to LA to pursue his career in a more serious fashion, but although gaining the respect of Rodney Dangerfield, Jay Leno, and others, did not achieve the level of popularity he hoped for. This may have been partially because he was much more of a social critic than a straight-up funny guy crowd pleaser. In fact, his aim was not to please at all, but rather to challenge people by pontificating on the hypocrisies of political institutions, religion, and the media. His style of comedy was marked by an innate sense that tragedy was in fact quite funny. Not everyone can appreciate that.

He fucking told the truth. And the truth is hilarious. And painful. And tragic. Few comedians can really turn tragedy into comedy, but Hicks did it effortlessly. People admire George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, and Richard Pryor (all wonderful socio-political philosophers in their own right) in the same way, but I contend that none of them really took on issues of the day in quite the essential and holistic way Hicks did. Hicks' comedy is still relevant, 15 years after he died... A rare thing indeed. I've left a few quotes for you, just a taste of his brilliance.

On existence:

Life is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think its real because thats how powerfull our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills, and its very brightly coloured , and its very loud and its fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question - is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us. They say, 'Hey! Dont worry, dont be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride.'

On drugs and consciousness:

"Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather."

I would like to say a few words on Dennis Leary and the controversy surrounding his act. It is clear that Leary knew about Hick's smoking bits, and had been to his shows. And, as it is common among comedians to borrow each other's material- it is an established fact that Leary stole Hick's act and even his persona outright. There are plenty of examples to watch on youtube, so you can make your own assessment. When asked about Leary by an interviewer, his response was only this, "I have a scoop for you. I stole his act. I camouflaged it with punchlines, and to really throw people off, I did it before he did."

This is one of his classic acts:

Hicks at Dangerfield's

I just really love him, and his comedy has given me much joy- so I wanted to pass it on.