Sunday, March 31, 2024

Twisted Dharma Stories

Stopped by Square Books yesterday and picked up a Penguin paperback called BUDDHIST MEDITATION: CLASSIC TEACHINGS FROM TIBET. If it's any of your business! This collection starts with a few old poems, and the second poem in the whole book introduces an image that readers of the "blog" are sure to go into a tizzy over, for reasons of which I need not remind my initiates: "Old Owl sits on the rock and hoots." Next comes a question to which I could only answer yes: "Do you sit upon your rock,/Spouting twisted dharma stories to others?" Speaking of which, I had lots of thoughts about those WORLD'S FINEST COMICS starring Batman and Superman that Tom Franklin brought me in the hospital. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to express them anywhere, except in texts to Tom, but the combination of being sickly and quitting social media is a potent one! Plus, discovering the owl in yet another book opened the door to a legitimate "blog" "post" and now my fingers may type as much as they like and no one can stop them! These comic books are from back when I used to read comic books, and Batman isn't cool and edgy, as I suppose he is now. Like, Superman will say (I paraphrase), "All right, Batman, I'm going to go to outer space and do some important stuff. All you have to do is watch this one guy, and he's literally asleep, can you handle it?" And Batman goes, "Sure thing, Superman!" (Again, I paraphrase.) And in the VERY NEXT PANEL, someone is bashing Batman in the back of the head with a big stick. Down he goes, out for the count! He had one job, as the hilarious meme from years gone by would have it. I have always pictured Batman as being very alert. On the anecdotal evidence of the two issues of WORLD'S FINEST that Tom brought me, I can also say that Batman and Superman are surprisingly testy with one another, bickering and petty, like some old couples. Often, they keep their bitter feelings deep down inside, and express them only in thought bubbles. Here I will cease paraphrasing and give you a couple of direct quotations. "WHERE IN BLAZES IS SUPERMAN? WE WERE SUPPOSED TO MEET HERE BY THIS OLD SUGAR MILL BY NOON!" Batman sulks with a petulant look on his face. From a separate story: "BLAST! IT'S ALL BATMAN'S FAULT... IT WAS HIS TIP I ACTED ON. SOME DETECTIVE!" Superman silently rages. "AND WHERE IS HE?" he adds, exposing the odd Beckett-adjacent sub-theme of these comics, which is that Batman and Superman wait around for each other a lot, demi-gods paralyzed to helplessness by a perceived dependency that perhaps does not exist. In the same story, Superman is so over Batman's crap that he demolishes an office desk with his fist in frustration, although it is not adequately explained why Superman is sitting behind an office desk like a chump. In conclusion, Dr. Theresa reports that there is a rabbit in the backyard RIGHT NOW. And it's Easter!