Sunday, May 10, 2009

Star Wars (and Other Wars): Phantom Realism


A few strange examples of reality imitating sci-fi or vice versa:

•The movie I Love You Phillip Morris is not, as it sounds, a pro-smoking movie but rather a reportedly graphic gay love story starring Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey, which may be unlikely to receive U.S. distribution due to the surprisingly explicit sex scenes — despite winning praise in Europe.

This film, then, should be a dream come true for the sort of young women — and I’m not naming any names — who write the subgenre of fan fiction called “slash fiction,” in which sci-fi characters, often of the same gender, have sex.  What is I Love You Phillip Morris, after all, if not a movie featuring Obi-Wan doin’ it with the Mask?

•Meanwhile, in space: real gaseous structures that look a bit like the giant hand sometimes depicted in DC Comics cradling the newly-made universe.  Blasphemously, as that story goes, the alien scientist character Krona dreamt of stealing the knowledge that went into the act of creation.  I also used Krona in one of the stories I wrote for DC, and the three remaining issues of the weekly comic book Trinity, on sale this month, depict the conclusion of his quest, which leads him to tear the Earth into pieces.

It strikes me that the narration in the preceding issue, describing what will happen if Krona drains the magic and passion from the world, probably sounds about like my own philosophy as seen by my conservative girlfriend — the one I’m visiting Tuesday in DC (the city, not the comic book company): “Hope fades to reason.  Courage becomes calculation.  Drive becomes mere pragmatism.”  I admit Krona is a bit like a combination of apple-biting Adam and Victor Frankenstein — but then, so was Nietzsche, and he was pretty passionate.  We’ve all got a bit of Kirk and a bit of Spock in us (especially in some slash fiction).

•Geoff Johns has stopped writing the comic book Justice Society of America (and is rumored to be planning to eventually write Justice League of America, which of course is a whole different ballgame).  There’s a post-Johns JSA miniseries, though, that’s being described as drawing parallels between the villainous terrorist organization Kobra and al Qaeda.  But with the series coming out the same summer as the G.I. Joe movie, even though DC Comics has been depicting Kobra for several decades, isn’t the truly striking parallel between Kobra and…Cobra?

•Speaking of the Middle East situation, though, Henry Rollins rants a bit about Iraq and Afghanistan at the beginning and end of this half-hour monologue, but that’s not why Andrew Corsello pointed it out to me — he did that because most of the monologue is Rollins’ riveting account of how he met William Shatner through Ben Folds — not to mention King Crimson’s Adrian Belew (if this isn’t evidence that the same sort of person who might, say, do a “Month of the Nerd” on his blog might also want to do a “Month of Rock,” I don’t know what is — and Rollins even talks a bit about Dungeons & Dragons in the same monologue).

The whole experience was part of recording the same album that produced that Leno show segment with Folds, Shatner, and Joe Jackson performing Pulp’s song “Common People,” perhaps the most postmodern moment in TV history.

All that, and Rollins even works in a bit about Shatner’s love of scallops, something he shares with my father, who I’m visiting this weekend, along with Grandma and, as befits today, Mom.

No comments: