Thursday, February 24, 2005

IPods and Promethea

I'm working in the computer lab, and I'm surprised to see that practically everyone walking around has their own IPod or portable CD player on. I'm not hater on music, and I listen to a ton of stuff everyday, however, I find the trend of wearing your IPod everywhere disturbing. The reason for this is because it's an example of removing the moments of transience from our day. When I'm walking around, I think about stuff, and I feel like if you're listening to the IPod you're trying to prevent yourself from thinking about stuff by filling the gap with music.

It's those in between moments were I come up with some of my best ideas. I know that I come up with more ideas for stories during the school year than when I'm on break, because I have classes, and unfortunately, sometimes I tend to zone out and think about stories, rather than think about what's going on in the class. The stuff I write, I basically write there in class, walking around, and when I'm lying in bed, trying to go to sleep. In other words, all moments where I'm sort of between things, sitting in a wating room, you can either read a magazine, or just sit there and think about stuff. Sometimes it's better to think about stuff. I like to have stuff to do, but when you take some time off, you can really discover new facets of your mind that you wouldn't otherwise find.

Like, when I watch a movie or read something, I like to take a few minutes after watching it and just ponder it. A lot of the time, I will find connections that weren't readily apparent, and it's in the thinking about it that you can find out a lot about what the director or author was trying to do. Rather than immediately moving on to the next activity, it's good to give the movie a little time to sink in.

I know I've been doing this on the Promethea reread. After each issue, I'll ponder what it was saying, and usually I'll find layers that weren't that obvious on the first read. And, this pondering can create ideas that I'll explore all across the day, when I'm between tasks. This is why I have a problem with the IPod, it removes this downtime where you can think about stuff. So, listen to music, yes, but do it as an activity unto itself, not just filler. When you're walking around, listen to your brain, cause I think there's some interesting stuff in there.

Anyway, I read three more issues of Promethea since last I discussed it, and I am now into unread issue territory. I reread one of my favorite issues, 'Gold,' which is about the highest sphere of human existence. It discusses how we create Gods that represent the highest aspirations within ourselves. So, Aprhodite, the god of love, represents the ultimate potential of humans to love, and she doesn't just represent it, she is present in all love. It's an interesting idea, but one that is sort of tough to justify. The more interesting idea in the issue is the evolution of gods. It's not that Apollo went away, it's that the idea of him became weaker and was replaced by a more refind God. T

he finale of the issue occurs when Sophie and Barbara reach the most recent manifestation, the one that represents the highest values that humanity can aspire to, Jesus. I haven't seen Passion of the Christ, but I feel like in two pages, Alan Moore accomplishes everything that Mel Gibson was attempting to do with the film. Sophie practically breaks down seeng the suffering that he is going through, during the crucifixtion, and she realizes the dual nature of the image. This is the highest human potential, brought down by the lowest human cruelty, and yet through it all, the good shines through. I'll admit, it's pretty shocking to see Jesus appear, considering Moore's pagan leanings, but it works very well, and I think actually really captures the message of Christianity, in a way that blends it with everything else that Moore is talking about. I love the issue.

There's a slight downturn in quality at the next issue, the 'red' issue, about judgment, essentially anger. The issue is still really well made, but it's tough to look at. The red coloring is a bit too much perhaps, and I feel like the point of the issue isn't as evident in the others. That said, it's still fun, and it sets up some interesting subplots out in the material world.

So, this brought me to my first new issue, 'Fatherland,' which seems to be about universal love and mercy, traits expressed here through father figures, who provide security and love to the characters they run into. Promethea runs into her father, and I like this because it brings about the return of Sophie, who's more interesting to read about than Promethea. The more interesting development is Sophie meeting her father. This scene was really well done, and really expressed this feeling of universal love, in the feelings that he and Sophie share for each other. Even though they never knew each other, there's a connection between them, and clearly this is a huge moment for both of them.

At this point, the series seems to be moving away from the more magick textbook style, and is instead using each step of the tree of life as a chance to riff on the characters and develop them further emotionally. One of my favorite things in these issues has been Sophie coming to understand her mother. In the green emotions issue, she understands what drives Trish to do the things she does, and it comes back in this 'Fatherland' issue.

Out in the material world, I'm really interested to see what happens with the FBI agents and Stacia. Moore is doing a great job of giving us just enough to keep those stories moving forward, and he seems to be positioning everything for a confrontation when Sophie returns. While I'll be sad to see the magical journey end, I do want to see Sophie back in the material world, dealing with the consequence of Grace/Stacia's actions.

Connecting things, I feel like constantly filling your time with little distractions, rather than thinking about stuff, takes you out of what Moore calls the Immateria and grounds you strictly in the material realm. The more you think about stuff, the more you see connections between things out here in the universe, and you become more aware of the higher realms of consciousness that Moore is talking about. I'm not that saying that everything in Promethea is real, I'm saying that his feelings about the power of ideas and the importance of the mind are very real. If you read the book as a physical journey, it's obviously very fictional, but if you look as an allegorical journey through humanity, it makes a lot of sense and, like The Invisibles, can be a helpful guide for fiinding a new way to look at the same world.

Related Posts
Promethea: 1-16 (2/22/2005)
Promethea: 20-23 (2/25/2005)
Promethea: Until the End of the World (24-32) (2/27/2005)

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