Thursday, March 01, 2007

I'm Still Here

In my senior year of high school Mr. C., one of the long-time mathematics teachers, suffered a psychotic break or Tourette syndrome-type eruption over some kid drinking a Coke in his class. He grabbed the can from him, hurled it across the room, all the while rhythmically shouting this phrase: Even though you really want to, you're not going to get me, boys! (I went to an all-male Jesuit outfit.) Mr. C. just couldn't get himself to stop repeating this at the top of his voice.

And I can remember thinking: the guy's a teacher, for goodness' sake! It's not like he's a brain surgeon or anything! Get it together, you embarrassing old person!

However, this academic year has been so crammed with teaching, grading, advising, and professional responsibilities, that I find myself in deep sympathy with Mr. C. I can honestly say that I totally understand where he was coming from.

Things I've been reading:
Paul Budnitz, I Am Plastic: The Designer Toy Explosion, (Abrams, 2006).
Willaim Steig, Till Death Do Us Part, (Duell, Sloane, and Pearce, 1947).
Marina Abramovic, The House With the Ocean View, (Charta, 2003).
Joann Sfar, Vampire Loves, (First Second, 2006).
Blain, Sfar, and Trondheim, Dungeon vol. 1: The Night Shirt, (NBM, 2001/5).
Robert Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country, (Abrams, 2006).

Comics I've enjoyed:
(1) Those 2 issues of Ms. Marvel (#9 & #10) in which she meets the alternate version of herself that's been killing all of the alternate Rogues she can find. The second installment of this story came out just when the mailman delivered the 2 disc set of one of my favorite movies, Kristof Kieslowski's Double Life of Veronique, which is also about dual realities and people existing in alternate versions.

(2) Marvel Adventures Avengers #9 had this sublime moment in which the M.O.D.Avengers ridicule an adversary:
SPIDOC: He can barely compute the value of Pi with that tiny brain.
The Leader: I'm really smart ...
SPIDOC: Hah! You'll never rule the world, simpleton. Perhaps go into teaching.
HULKDOC: Fah. He would barely make tenure with that wee skull.
(3-7) Ross and Braithwaite's Justice, Darwyn Cooke's Spirit, All Star Superman #6, Runaways, and Jeff Smith's Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil.

And though I was indeed deflated by the ending of Civil War, it seems to fit Marvel's SOP to deploy a half-conclusion which also serves as the starting point for the next cross-over. I'm a crazy optimist, I know, but I just can't believe that the folks over at Marvel have (unknowingly) crafted a neo-fascist system to serve as the legitimate status quo for their universe. I'm thinking that Iron Man's new world order has got to be the seed for their Next Big Thing.

High point of CW #7: Hercules smashing the bejeeduff out of the Thor clone. (Man, that was satisfying! Though Herc's dialogue while doing the smashing was lame.) Absolute low point: Reed's letter to Sue.

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