Sunday, May 01, 2005

Where am I? You're in the Village. What do you want? We want you to talk guff about Batman.

15 years or so ago I sat in a small room painted red and read the comics that I’m still on about (She-Hulk, Crumb’s Weirdo, 2000AD, Deadline, etc.)*. Little did I know that years later I would be foisting images of my perversions and peccadilloes (see above Brian Bolland’s amazing pen and ink rendition of power and constraint) on an unsuspecting public via the magic lantern of the old school OCP (wait until I get the hang of Power Point) in the form of this great academic conference. It was in the middle of nowhere in this place. We were all waiting by the train station and a local person on a bike made his way past in a rickety stylee and claimed to be our driver. A few minutes later he comes back in a school bus and we got ‘shuttled’ off to our mystery location. It reminded me a lot of another famous Welsh village, location for The Prisoner. Indeed I did feel like No. 6 when I woke up on the second day feeling like I had been brainwashed—immediate thoughts on waking up: where the fuck am I? Oh yes, I’m in the middle of Wales and in a couple of hours I’ll be projecting images from my comic collection on to wall in a room full of people I’ve just met.

One spends so many hours alone in twilight rooms (15 years ago by necessity, today by choice) suspecting, hoping for the existence of a psychic brother/sister-hood of allied minds. Sometimes you meet them and there’s not enough time to say all you want. Hoarse from sleep deprivation and alcohol**, one still has the energy to keep talking and the yearning to hear more of other people's ideas.

Being in the middle of nowhere, there was only one train we were all on to get back to civilisation (well, Birmingham. In ultimate geeks' revenge we took up whole carriages—in an inverse of all those times drunken shouting football fans take over whole carriages. I’m sure the general public were delighted to hear our theoretical conversations, not to mention my musings on she-male pornography and unsubstantiated (and obvious totally untrue***) theories that Tom Cruise may well have killed somebody…I just don’t trust his wee beady eyes…we’ll find out in about 30 years. Had I known I could have commissioned some ‘Foucault Football Scarves’ or a ‘Derrida Jerseys’ from this fine fellow.

There’s a inevitable comedown after conferences though, for me it’s back to getting splashed with cleaning fluid and staring into space hoping for inspiration to strike, hoping this project can be done--and can be paid for, what's more. It’s just good to know there are others who are asking the same questions. It’s inspiring that any time I open a pen or turn the computer on to do this, at whatever time of the day or night, there’s other people doing likewise.

*I also read far too many Shaun Hutson books, I had almost the full compliment of ‘novels’ from this scribe or, ‘dream weaver’ if you will, whose sex scenes have to be read to be believed. If I had a pound for every time I read sentences which included the words "bulbous head", I would be a very rich man. Incidentally the Badbrute (who also experienced the “Hustson experience”) and I, over a snifter or two of Jameson, sacrificially ripped up most of my collection and I still occasionally uncover 'bulbous' envelopes filled with dark fragments.

**Being a veteran of many an Irish wedding (attending obviously, there’s no Mrs. Homunculus, and none is sought whilst in this season of brooding Batmanery), I have found that these things are always welcome to secretly pack: fine screw-top wines (or if not, always remember a corkscrew), a sneaky nagan, disposable glasses etc. As an Irish man, such festivities are taken very seriously and pre-planning is essential. The bar will eventually close, you’ll be in the middle of nowhere and there will always be a hardcore posse up for more insanity. Although this can end in tears and blood, as another sojourn with the Baaadbrute attests—sometimes Absinthe isn’t the best post-wedding tipple, although it’s always fun to compound a morning after hangover with a scar and possible concussion.

***Yeah right! As if the Cruiser’s legal team read this insanity—but he might have some Carnivore style system that alerts him whenever his name is taken in vain, or when he suspects that someone, somewhere doesn't think he's an all-round, A-1, top nice guy cool dude.

No comments: