The unbearable lightness of being green

Public-service announcement: I’m still feeling a little badly over that Kalan Porter gag from last week – not the others, so much; it’s hard to envision anything that could get me worked up over for instance JayDee. Were they to invent a Preppy Minivan-Riding Idol Winner repellent spray, I’d keep an impressive stock in the hall closet at all times, believe you me.

Kalan, on the other hand…well, Hurray is still on the iPod rotation, lo these many weeks later. My attitude toward music is much the same as toward books; the ones that find a perfectly matching slot in my psyche, they’re the only ones I keep. So I guess I still do care…just enough to wonder whether what might be, already has been or not.


In other news: I never did find that good book. Although LaVyrle Spencer will do quite nicely for brain candy, thanks, and That Camden Summer edges up to the point where I muse about it being retold by someone who could do the characters real justice.

Still, though…if there’s anything we have around here, it’s standards. ‘Up with edification’, this is our motto at Shoe Central; primarily because we have spent the past month’s Net time immersed in the results of laxity in this vital area. To wit: the decision by Marvel Comics to divorce Spider-Man.

No, I don’t know why, except that it’s somehow Important to the Character Dynamic (please keep in mind that the same dynamic also involves a guy in red-and-blue PJs crawling up walls) that Peter Parker remain an angst-ridden loser all his life. Not that he should have problems to work through interestingly, mind you; just that he have them to whine about. Does it surprise anyone at all that a comic book editor’s solution to all this is to bust up his marriage? Didn’t think so. Even among the comics blogging community, it caused a fair amount of eyerolling.

Now, despite the involvement of one of my favourite fictional characters in the whole world, none of this is really cause for righteous indignation. Once you’ve gotten past the fact that these same creative honchos greenlighted sticking this same famously super-agile character into metal armour, a certain calm despair sets in that’s really not unpleasant at all. Especially later, when you find yourself facing All-Star Batman, which let’s just say any weapon is appreciated.

No…what’s penetrated the apathy shield re: this latest move is that – well, to begin at the beginning, they figured they couldn’t really divorce Spidey. I mean, thinking of the chirrun, and all. Imagine their horror on discovering that the hero on their Underoos is a schmuck who can’t even keep his woman hap…no, wait. Discovering that their hero screwed up just like Daddy did…uh…OK, let’s just go with the idea that Divorce is an inherently Evil concept to chirrun here in 2008 and move on.

Their solution? Look, you might wanna go sit down. I’ll wait.


I might just point out, while I’m waiting, that I can back this particular solution up with solid evidence. Really.

Ready? OK.

They had Spider-Man make a deal with the Devil.

Yep. Aunty May gets shot, and Peter can’t handle the guilt, so when Mephisto pops by (it’s hard to maintain heavenly awesomeness in a universe where time-travel is a matter of something to do on Tuesday) and offers to deal Aunty’s life for Peter and MJ’s ‘perfect love’…well, remember what I said about whining, above? – Our Hero is all “where do I sign?!”
Next thing anybody knows, he wakes up into a world where MJ’s merely an ex-girlfriend (again, that the comics community equates ‘marriage’ with ‘piece of paper’ somehow fails to shock) and ol’happy-go-loser Pete’s drowning his sorrows in wheatcakes. The Lord of All That is Unholy – who turns out to have a surprising lot of time on his hands – even fixed it so he’s got his mechanical webshooters back, instead of organic ones, and can thus experience the thrills! inherent in running out of web-fluid at crucial moments.
Or, wait, that’s the readers…except, c’mon now. So really nobody’s happy with any of this that’s actually supposed to be, since you just know Aunty May when she finds out what happened is going to drop-kick his whiney radioactive butt into the East River.

At any rate, this is all beside the point. The point, as you may or may not recall, is that this blog has Standards. We have decided to quit apologising for our unashamed love for quality…not that we can keep a totally straight face while making that statement, or anything. How’s this: We have decided to quit feeling vaguely out of it for not mentioning Britney Spears every second sentence, and are seeing where it goes from there. Also, we kind of like referring to ourselves in the third person, and this gives us a decent excuse.

With that said, a couple more things we need to get out of our system: First, Britney Spears. Can we all just agree that at this point we’re basically on a suicide watch, and start feeling properly ashamed of ourselves? Even if she’s the one who’s bringing it on herself – which she surely is, to a great extent – we’re the ones poking sticks through the bars to try and liven up the show.


Well, no, technically they’re not going to the SuperBowl yet. They have to get past the Giants first, and the Giants are coming off their own epic tussle with…

…uh, ‘scuse me a sec.


Oh, man, I’m a terrible person. When the Packers won, I was or course radiant. All was right with the rightest of all possible universes. But when the Cowboys lost…I dunno, maybe it was the unexpectedness of the thing. All I know is that only the need to stick it to every last single slimy one of their obnoxious scummy fans on the ESPN board was preventing me from doing the Dance of Joy all around my living room. Shanghaiing a cat to help, that remained an option throughout. Honestly, I was practically giddy.

The moral of all this is, obviously, mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be NFL fans. The extent to which violent assault can get under your skin when dressed up with an alarmingly thin layer of bright colour and happy noise…well, it Just Ain’t Right, that’s all there is to it. At least on Mythbusters, they have the decency to pretend it’s all for science. Then again, with Mythbusters, I don’t get to tell myself I’m watching athletic prowess at its finest; the upper limit of human grace and mental toughness being tested to the utmost. Sorry, Jamie. The concrete glider was kinda cute, man, but…

Ah well…we’re about back to where we started, aren’t we? The only thing left to do is to leave you with a glimpse into a world – if not mine – then the one I’m so very glad I get to frolic in at will. From Norman Juster’s Phantom Tollbooth:

“We’ll take our vehicle.”
“Shandrydan,” they repeated quickly in order, and pointed to a small wooden wagon.
“Oh, dear, all those words again,” thought Milo as he climbed into the wagon with Tock and the cabinet members. “How are you going to make it move? It doesn’t have a – ”
“Be very quiet,” advised the Earl, “for it goes without saying.”
And, sure enough, as soon as they were all quite still, it began to move quickly through the streets, and in a very short time they arrived at the royal palace.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rj_anderson
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 23:08:20

    It’s quite surreal that everybody on my f-list has started talking about THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH just as I’m finishing up reading the last chapter to my boys (who both love it, although the 5-year-old’s a little more enthused than the 7-year-old). First , now you. What gives?

    Also, re That Boy: I used my Puretracks coupons from Hunt’s Pudding Cups to purchase “Hurray” and “Karma King”, since I have no intention of getting the actual album. True story.

    Also, er, hi? *waves*

  2. shoebox2
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 13:12:15

    Hi! [pounces and hugs hard] I was just thinking, it must be far enough after the holidays that people wouldn’t mind me pouncing on them again. :^)

    In re: “Tollbooth”, I was actually thinking about you quite a lot, during this latest re-read; particularly the chapter wherein Milo visits the fortress of the Soundkeeper, and we get a cavalcade of audio/visual synaesthesia.
    It’s really the most extraordinary creative concept to play with, isn’t it? My favourite bit is when she says ‘we have many of the songs you often sing’ and pulls out ‘a pile of brightly-coloured scarves’.

    Also, thx much for the link to kalquessa’s journal. One more on the carefully-hoarded pile of really creative, clever blogs…which reminds me [pops off to friends’ blogs to pounce some more…]

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