Monday, 10 August 2009

More Gillenism (plus a little bit about Owen Pallett)

From the Mindless Ones' excellent interview with Phonogram writer Kieron Gillen:
My favourite thing about Scott Pilgrim, and it’s my favourite comic of the millennium, is that it’s about how humans process culture. The idea that how we perceive art is how we reimagine ourselves. The bit that I find transcendentally beautiful in Scott 4 is the bit where he gets the Power of Love.. the way it makes perfect, perfect sense that the sword comes out of his chest, obviously that’s where he’s gonna get the sword from. And that only makes sense if you’ve processed that many video games…
On a similar note, does anyone remember this Mike Barthel piece on Final Fantasy's He Poos Clouds?
...not only do individual songs productively tease out the metaphorical implications of the individual [Dungeons & Dragons] schools, but over the course of the album a lot of parallels are drawn between the fictional settings of not only D&D itself but nerd culture as a whole, and the reality in which those geeks live, a juxtaposition that can be roughly summed up as "going to a sci-fi convention." That Pallett is as interested in nerd culture as he is in D&D itself is probably most blatant in "I'm Afraid of Japan," since, after all, Japan technically has not a damn thing to do with D&D, but it has a lot to do with modern nerd culture. But the exploration is everywhere, from the semi-ironic casting of anti-gentrification efforts as an epic struggle in "This Lamb Sells Condos" to the melding of dates at the shooting range and Anne McCaffery in "The Arctic Circle" to the application of magical language to dieting in "Do You Love?"
What about this one?
Pallett's poetry (intentionally) transmogrifies Dungeons & Dragons imagery ("And then as an apprentice/He took a Drowish mistress/Who bestowed upon his youthfulness a sense of Champagne Chic/Oh seduction, his seduction to the world of construction/Now his mind will start to wander when he's not at a computer") into Chris Ware's closely observed bathos crossed with Stephin Merritt's wittily theatrical realism. The result modernizes nerd mockery into a literary sincerity: best lyrics of the year.
All of this will be important if I ever get around to writing about the (excellent) Final Fantasy gig I saw last week.

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