Non Australians might not know who you mean, because Im not too sure if he (Michael Leunig) is so well known overseas. He's a talented cartoonist for sure, his cartoons used to be more biting though I think. I mean I’ve got some strips he did from the eighties and you compare them to more recent stuff published in the papers and I think he got alot more whimsical and more subtle in his criticisms and comments on society. I think that’s partly why he got so big maybe. His sister by contrast, also a cartoonist, never really got such widespread popularity, and her work is intereasting too but it’s far harsher in some ways. This is probably a topic for another thread though since I wouldn’t really consider it literature (Is there a comics thread, I can’t remember?) As far as cartoonists go I always really liked Ralph Steadmans work
I think he did collaborate, he certainly did the cover of Fear and loathing, although my first point of contact with his work was not that but was through his book “America” and also reading a book he did about Sigmund Freud. I remember some memorable drawings of Freud on cocaine (Freud took heaps of cocaine apparently).
I used to read Johnny, I mean I have the comics except for the last issue. It’s amusing if you take it as a satire, a comment perhaps, but if you take it too seriously, well I think a person lacks depth of insight if they truly do. people are just the outcome of a range of factors that ultimately they have no control over, so how can one seriously hate them for being what they are? Hate the makers of the barrel by all means, but spare hatred for the apples in the barrel, they are of no real concern. That is where those sort of vigilante/anti heros fail for me.
The only people worthy of that sort of hatred are the true architects, that sculpt peoples lives. That is my view. The belief that people are so unique and independent in their values and actions is such tripe and so obviously wrong to me.
I have to remind myself not to hate the people but the system. I don’t dig misanthropy or cynicism either, but sometimes in moments of despair it can take hold.
The goth subculture changed after the 90s, I personally blame the American offshoot. They colonised the collective character of it , and replaced it with something all together more superficial and less diverse, an off the shelf package if you will. Their version was less humanistic and more solipsistic.
The americans took it too seriously (as with most things) and it lost most of it’s playfulness. It was usurped, it was commandeered for commercial interests, or perhaps more sinister ones.
The connection that had tied it to the much older gothic tradition in literature became merely tokenistic, a nod and a gesture, no longer relevant or understood. I don’t think most of the Americans ever really “got it”. As a people they are too naive and too young to understand matters of a transcendental, existential or esoteric nature. They like things simple, corporeal, they like Trump. They see it as their duty to colonise whole arenas of thought, despite the fact that they are intellectually the most poorly equipped to do so. All over the world they simplify and dilute. Part of that is their power, the power to reform in their image.
Now im not saying the goth thing was ever really any great shakes to begin with but it at least touched on the transcendental nature of life and death, and Id say it had potential as a subculture.
But it moved away from being closer to punk and DIY and just became a bland expression of apathy. It became loud in an obnoxious aggressive way (thanks NIN) as opposed to being decadent, melodramatic and large, and more open somehow. It had been a romantic embrace of death. Ironically perhaps; it was life affirming. In my view what took hold was rather the opposite; a cringing, bitter, reluctant acceptance of death coupled with a cynical outlook and a deep misanthropy, blind to even the possibility of the transcendental. And so it was commercialised.
By cutting people off from a transcendental outlett your basically putting them in a cage of existential boredom, and such people (For which most of western society is comprised) are great consumers and great workers.
hmm but anyway. I remember talking to Mr K about JTHM a few times, although I couldn’t remember what he said. We thought It was funny at the time, and yeah back then it was sort of refreshing. But the antihero things been done to death by now, and for all the wrong reasons (really just an extension of what happened with the goth culture back then, ) I mean just look at the joker and batman. Such a sad wastage of celluloid, If I had access to those film resources I could blow peoples minds, ahh, but to dream.
I read Runaway Horses by Yukio Mishima and it was quite a thrilling book. I do not think that it is as good as the first book in the series, as the character development was pretty lacking, however, near the start of the book there is a character reading a book within the book and the book that he was reading was extremely good. I think that this book within the book is meant to represent the youthful idealism of right wing extremists but either way it's nice to read.
1984. makes me wonder about difference between uptopia and dystopia. i guess the difference is only in your mind. Space Funeral by campsites (I know it's not a book) had a similar effect with the ending
Been reading the Hobbit and it is very nice. I particularly like the whole scene where he falls down inside the caves down to the underground lake where gollum lives. The style of the book is somewhat less serious than I recall lord of the rings being, but I think it is quite a pleasant style, and it is unusual in that I think often rather than dictating to the reader what they are to see, he seems to provide the reader with some food for thought that stimulates the imagination and so a mental image of the places springs up naturally, with little to no actual description.
I've been reading the decay of the angel by Yukio Mishima, I think earlier I said I was reading Runaway Horses which is in the same series. Runaway Horses was probably the high point of the series for me, but I think that this is quite intentional, as the stories are set over the course of about 60 years over which there are a lot of changes in the world, and I do not think that all of these changes are viewed favourably, though I am extremely grateful it never stoops to "those bloody kids and their telephones" type groaning. I have just finished the third book in the series called The Temple of Dawn. It is somewhat strange for the series in that while each other book is mostly from the point of view of successive reincarnations of a strange fellow, in this book he reincarnates as a girl whose only noticable trait is being sexy. I think that justification for some of the lack of personality can be found, but it's not the most interesting read of the series. I am keen to finish this last book and try to digest the series as a whole, though I have no idea what I will ultimately be able to think about it. The second two books of the series take it into much more confusing territory which is probably a good thing.