Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stuff: What Doesn't Kill Me

I guess I can learn a lot from the recent bad timing of Jim Davis

Our last “Stuff” had been written, drawn, and started some time back, and got dropped on the tracks as soon as it was completed. In that time, I had met, and begun dating, the most wonderful young woman. She could sing and play music, had an eye for art and design, a sharp mind, was lovely to the eye, and had an infectious warmth about her that I thought I could get lost in forever. Yes, she was, for me, the perfect woman.

Unfortunately, I was not, for her, the perfect man. It’s the same old story; boy and girl meet, start dating, boy falls for girl, girl falls for… other boy.

Love is a funny thing, I suppose.

So, yeah, that’s why there’s a dating Stuff immediately followed by… this. Ah, but not too worry; a little hydrogen peroxide, a couple of Band Aids, and I’m sure the old ticker will be good as new. Otherwise, I guess I’ll have to trade in my kilt for a brown robe and rope belt.

Now, anyone got a pair of pliers big enough to pull this thing out of my back?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Stuff: Adventures in Culture

Yes, lost in the great vault of Grand Central Station comes this gem from the old NTA Comics site in which The Dangermouse and I got hopelessly lost in The Diamond Heights district of San Francisco, ended up at the wrong party, and managed to make a total arse of myself with a Monty Python line.

At least now I can say I know my way around Diamond Heights, and I actually sang The Finland song to real Finnish folk. So, that’s something, right?

And life dining on Noodle Yum can go pretty far and isn’t all that bad… once you pass your first kidney stone, that is.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stuff: Dated Image

It seemed like a good idea. I was fresh from having weathered rough romantic waters, and was eager and excited to find love, once again. So I turned to my trusty friend, the Internet…

Oh boy.

In just a few minutes I was torn apart by ad after ad of women fixated on the hunky, young, tall, chiseled, motorcycle riding, tattooed bad boy. Or, the suave business professional with the large bank roll and opulent need to flaunt. I was reduced, in just a few mouse clicks, to a dumpy, old, boring geek. I was too small, too odd, and too poor. I was ugly.

No, worse than that; I actually began to not only feel ugly, but started to convince myself to bear the mantle of some sort of social reject for being… me. I began to talk myself down, trying to fit myself to this new role. It was only after some work, and some input by friends, that I realized that something was, indeed, wrong, but it wasn’t me. And once I got my head clear, and took a look around, I was left with one question; What the Hell is wrong with us?!

At some point we got the whole notion of the fantasy world of TV and movies mixed up with the reality of being a real person living a real life; myself included. Hollywood showed us what “the ideal” was, dressed up to sell us the latest star, product, our hip trendy slogan or icon fashioned for its selling appeal. We started to compare ourselves to this idea of what was sexy, beautiful, and attractive; looking for guidance on how to live our lives, feed our faces, and conduct our relationships. And if we didn’t measure up, then there was something wrong… with us.

But the reality is something different. Life happens, it’s not scripted. It doesn’t have sponsors to appease. It’s not going to cast you because you’re beefy or curvey enough. You don’t have to drive that one, fast car. You don’t have to have that super career. There’s no need to live a flashy life. And there’s no ratings family to tell you when you’re doing it right, or wrong; or that you need to change your marketing strategy.

We are all substantial, unique people that the world took time to create. In fact, you are a testament to the craftsmanship of the very power of the Universe. That should be the reason we live the lives we do, love who we love, and be the person we best feel we are. Not because some cheap, propped up, hollow Hollywood facade tells us how to get, rich, popular, or laid more.

It’s like there’s this wonderful gift put out in front of us, but we’ve become completely enamoured by the wrapping paper that we’ve totally over looked the gift it covers. We’ve been fooled into forgetting that what really counts is, in fact, from withing. Oh, sure, muscles and tight bodies are attractive. But so, too, is sincerity, humour, compassion, wit, and confidence.

As for me? Well, I’m not too tall, not so hard bodied, or financially well off. But, I’m an honest, caring, fairly healthy guy who loves life and all it has to offer. So yeah, I’m heading out there, again, back into the big, scary dating game. I think I’ll do just fine.

Peace and Grace be with you. Stop fretting over the ribbons and bows and just open the bloody box. You may find the most precious gift of all in there… a fulfilling life.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stuff: Details

Life. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. And, you won’t find it in just any ancient text. Nor will you find it with a telescope and a Bunsen burner, alone.

Somewhere between the heart and the hand there needs to be an understanding. The universe is so much more than we have ever dreamed. Probably more than we can ever. (Hello, dark matter?) The concepts presented by the desert dogmas, or the older, preceding pagans myths, seem to lose weight when one considers the larger scope of the cosmos on both ends of the scale; from the macro to the micro.

And while reason will undoubtedly point to any mythology as not standing up to the rigors of science and history, neither can they produce a model of anything that not only shows us how, but why.

Religion tells us we were scooped up out of dirt. Science tells us we are composed of the very essence of cast off stellar matter. Either way we are all an integral part of existence. The drive to live, grow, and prosper that drives all creatures great, small, and – presently – undetectable.

Maybe, instead of trying to make stories suitable for our personal and limited agendas and understanding, or dismissing the greater creative forces that we still don’t understand, at hand, we should, instead, look quizzically into ourselves, and our small world, to discover the true nature of the cosmos, and the mighty place we tiny little things hold in it.

Peace and grace be with you; I greet and praise the little universe you are.