Kicking off this post is one of my all-time favorite candid celebrity photos, of Jean Stapleton and Alice Cooper at Studio 54 (where else?) in the early 1970s. I believe that is a bewildered Jack Klugman in the background at the far left.
I’ve always been curious as to what kept rockers like Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne alive through the ye many decades whereas many of the lead vocalists of my fave 1990s bands (STP, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Cranberries, Alice In Chains, Prodigy) are deceased. I will observe that my particular generation carried with them a certain level of sustained existential dread which was stymied by the Y2K nothingburger and then belatedly justified by 9/11 a year later.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit that this existential malaise has once again been triggered off by the current pandemic. It is a type of freeform energy miasma, an emotional fog if you will. I did consider shifting my writing style to something “fun” and ebullient as to pleasantly distract my readers from the news at present—perhaps the blog equivalent of that nice celebrity “Imagine” singalong making the rounds on social media.
But it wouldn’t be genuine. It wouldn’t be “me.”
I had a dream a few weeks ago in which I was told by the Universe that my only option for success and happiness was to be 100% truly myself.
I immediately asked the Universe for a second opinion.
A few things of note that have been floating around the interwebs…
The entire “Oprah was arrested” thing trended on Twitter yesterday. The folklore, mostly circulating in the “QAnon/MAGA” matrix, was that COVID-19 was just a “smoke screen” for the global arrest of those celebrities suspected of being “satanic pedophiles.” Supposedly Harvey Weinstein snitched on everyone, with Oprah, Tom Hanks, etc. being secretly arrested. The more enthusiastic proponents of this theory also revel in the idea that when all these people are rounded up in the arrests, they will later be given the option to die, quote, “Rommel Style”; these Q peeps sound like really pleasant human beings. Of course, such folks are also against self-quarantine and social distancing to fight the spread of the virus because “freedom.”
That being said, Oprah has had some friends and business partners in her career who have turned out to be less than savory. And so once again, we are faced with opposing extreme ideological positions in order to maintain our sense of reality and equilibrium. On one hand, being in complete denial that Oprah has been friends with such winners as Weinstein and John of God. On the other, believing she’s a “satanic pedophile.” To live with the far more unsatisfying reality that she is merely a flawed human, as are we all, is too uncomfortable. But I digress.
Also, COVID-19 has also forced the hand of many issues in business that were already on the brink:
- Moving to automation
- First-run movies direct to streaming to prop up low box-office
- Deciding it’s not worth paying the rent on the expensive office & deciding to go remote with your company
- …as just a few of many
Then there is also the plight of the comic book industry, already fearing that an AT&T-led DC Comics was going to pack up shop, slash titles, abandon the direct market, and go mostly digital. Just like the automation, movies, and remote work stuff, the fate of the comics retail market was on the precipice anyway. How are comic shops supposed to make money when people can’t come into their store? And have you ever been to New Comics Wednesday at the more popular shops? It’s shoulder-to-shoulder.
And have you been to San Diego Comic-Con lately?
I don’t have any ready-made answers here. I just mostly like to see the sight of my own words typed out in digital form. But thanks for playing!
I’ll be 150% honest with you, though. My sympathy for the mainstream comics industry remains at a premium.
There is so much more I could tell you in this here post, dear folks. For example, did you know today is the Discordian holiday Mojoday? It’s named, of course, after the great Dr. Van Van Mojo.
I will leave you with this jovial clip from the Muppets featuring Mr. Cooper. Talk to you soon!