Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Wherein Tim Looks At Some Timeless Artistic Masterpieces And Interprets Them According To His Own Warped Political Ideology

I'll try and find a publisher for this review of the work of the wondrous Patty in the next couple of days. I'll let you know how it goes.

"Look guys! Not only is he funny looking, he's one of those crazy blog nerds... ha ha ha... What a geek... Lets push him over and kick him in the neck!" says Patty in his email. He agrees to send through Stool, a comic book of his work. Sorry, his stuff.
It’s good.
His comics are full of venial corporate types, cowardly artists, artistic promoters who are at once effete and brutal, losers with a manic-depressive streak, poverty-stricken writers, not to mention murderous smiley-faces and monsters standing just out of the spotlight.
The first comic, titled A Violent Welcome, stars Patty – or comic-book Patty – ranting at some length about whatever interests him. “You know what I hate but?” he says, raising a gun. “Lazy cunts like Dave Eggers who couldn’t be bangered actually trying to construct a good bit of writing. Instead he just goes around in tighter and tighter self reflexive circles until the reader chucks it away…. Yep,” he continues, pointing the gun at his head, “Remove self from text. Seeya.” And blows his brains away.

Crazy ideas follow in quick succession – half-digested ideas from Marx and Sartre are regurgitated onto the page amongst demented fables about anarchists searching for ‘squalor to live in’; parables about idealistic conceptual artists, and ‘Accountants Against Sock Apartheid’. ‘Cocktopolis’ is a gratuitous dirty-joke/metaphor, repeated ad-nauseam for two pages. The message is a version of the stereotypical feminist mantra – ‘society is dominated by the phallus-wielding –patriarchy!’ – but the way it is told is hilarious.

The smaller stuff is brilliant. I liked ‘Apathy Man’, where the superhero in question confronts a crowd of protesters mouthing standardised symbols of Socialism, Anarchy and Resistance, and waving their fists in the air aggressively. Our hero zaps them with his ray and leaves them smiling at one another – Corporate symbols coming from their mouths. Which is better – before or after?
Worst is the conversation between Arnie Schwarzenegger and John Howard, a succession of clich├ęs about the ‘Free Trade Agreement’ and our relationship with the United States, punctuated by a stereotypically violent end. Best is ‘Loud’, written for the Noise festival. (Noise is a typical ‘Youth’ festival, where public dollars are thrown at a group of artists who claim to be representing ‘young’ people but who usually have their own interests at heart.) It’s a perfectly formed tale about two true-believer artists led into perverted acts of Conceptualism by their flatmate, Terrence. “Did you hear that there are James Joyce readings on tonight in the loft? I thought we could go and throw some rocks.” It ends with a sermon – “Arts funding should be pumped back into small arts communities where it will keep older artists out of Centrelink for a moment while encouraging new artists to start making art. It shouldn’t be sent overseas to be squandered by some prosperous knobhead on the backpacker circuit.” Violence, followed by a standard argument about Government funding. The pretence, greed, and occasional brutality of the activist artistic scene is, for once, made bleedingly obvious.

“This is an anti-copyright publication,” writes Patty. “So go for your lives, you thieving cunts!”
Actually, this man deserves money for this. Turn him into a Capitalist pig. Demand cash from the Oppressive Money-Maker in your family, and buy ten – no, twenty – of his comics. Turn him from his inner-city, poverty-stricken hippy lifestyle!

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Me person. Live in world. Like stuff. Need job. Need BRAINS! (DROOLS IN THE MANNER OF ZOMBIES) Ergggggh ...