I have been asked, more than three times, why on earth I haven’t been writing here recently. The operative word in that last statement is here. I have longer pieces elsewhere, but mostly that is just the usual why-oh-why anti-guvvmint stuff. No, I won’t tell you where, nor under which alias.

But, to try and stop being called miserable, and indulging in my normal depressive optimism, or optimistic depression, have something a bit more frivolous. At least, I shall try and start it that way, we can see how long it stays that way.

A throwaway comment on one of the mailing lists I regularly post on (and those have vastly decreased over the past decade) reminded me of a comic I used to read, that kicked off in 1977, and finished in 2004. With a post-script by Alan Moore, but we leave that out (way out, with the Lost Girls, hubba-hubba) for now.

The comment was along the lines of ‘there is this obscure comic, (it isn’t that obscure, really - m) that would count as a graphic novel’. (Out of an acknowledgedly pedantic discussion on the differences between graphic novels, comic books, comic strips and manga.)

Now I hadn’t thought of Cerebus in years, even though quite a sweep of them are on my bookshelf, and a lot more out in the studioHH^Hhed. (Including a very, very early one. And, of course #186.) So I sat down and read a few. I intend to reread them all on the train in the new year, as, well, I have a few book lefts to see me out this year. (Yes, theology and politics, with philosophy in there too. The trinity of what I read currently.)

Comics still aren’t mainstream, even after the onslaught of Hollywood disasterous adaptations. (I admit I liked Elektra, even though it wasn’t Elektra as I know her. Don’t start me on Sandman, either, or you will get my standard rant with my standard caveat (that I liked ‘Brief Lives’ - m))

And what if they are becoming mainstream? Well, that is fine, I will just have to start disliking them. What was the last one I bought, anyhow? I can’t remember. But back to the earth-pig born. It all starts out very much the Conan parody it might have been intended to be. But very quickly (years, in this case, what with it being a monthly book) it extends its scope and touches on theology, politics and philosophy. The trinity, again. And given I was five when it started, and probably eight when I first stumbled across it, couple that with everything else I was reading from then onwards, through to now, it makes sense. And given I have been revisiting some of the texts from my formative years, it is easy to see what I took to heart, and what I found risible. Mostly the same ideas and ideals that I still take to heart, and still find risible.

Am I just the product of my surroundings, what I have read, heard, digested and learned? Nothing new here, move along please. But it is interesting. None of these are sacred cows, I am aware some of them haven’t stood the test of time, but most have. Err, I sense I am away from frivolous territory here, if there ever was any. Where has all the frivolity gone, eh? (Certainly not in all those posts that are in draft - m). I am paying for my past mistakes, ever onwards with the sliding five-year plan, eh? Still, the tales of SpAds, politicos, pundits and peelers might be worth a retell. And a lot of my creative output goes into lyrics, even if I don’t have the talent, or time, to lay them down with the choons that go with them around and around in my head. Twenty (at least) years too late. Although if I had written songs back then, they probably wouldn’t have been so, well, angsty. Or angsty in the same way. All about the bewbz. But isn’t everything?

And Mr Sim is not a misogynist. Try to understand that. There is much with which I agree in what he says, some of which (the more non-Libertarian-esque statements) I don’t. His commentaries on the Gospels are quite good reading, too, but you won’t find them anywhere you can read them.

Leave the dark corners of the interweb alone. Go to the bright spots shone on by the Beautiful Ones

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It is a well-known fact that the Stray Taoist (nee Toaster) isn't as internally consistent as he thinks he is. Welcome to his world.

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