Friday, February 3, 2012

MitchWords: Part Four

I had an idea about what to write for the previous installment of MitchWords. I was going to empathize with the Joker from The Killing Joke. In that Alan Moore penned graphic novel, we get some sort of explanation of the Joker's origins. Basically, he had one incredibly bad day. So he reasons that's all it takes to go insane. That's all that separates every normal one of us from him: one bad day. He proceeds to make someone else have a really bad day in an attempt to make them just as crazy as he is.

I've had a bad day. I've had several bad days. Obviously, the most recent one did a number on me. Sure, people have had far worse days than me. But it was my bad day. Basically it was going to be a weird and probably very depressing post. I'm not even sure if I would have meant it all. Part of me just wanted to see if I could actually write something like that.

But then Gail Simone retweeted a post on this blog and I had something even better to write about. So the Joker idea was scrapped for the time being. Now, I could try to do that again for this MitchWords. But I'm just not feeling it anymore. I still think it could be a neat thing to try to write, but there are other topics and other questions to write about now.

Like, is God talking to me through comic books?

Seriously, this is the idea on my mind right now. Yeah, I know its a weird thought, but this is me. You should be used to reading about weird ideas from me by now. I don't mean I hear an audible voice of God when I read graphic literature. I mean the stories I've been reading recently, especially the ones from which I've grabbed Daily Quotes, seem to touch on my personal situations and pain.

Haven't you ever been driving in a car while listening to the radio and nearly every song that plays feels like it's playing just for you or what's on your mind? It's like that. Sure, that could be pure coincidence or just the generic nature of human themes in music and literature. I always reserve that possibility. But sometimes it just feels like more than that.

But wait, I go reading specifically looking for those Daily Quotes! Well, yes and no. I read and scour for anything that might be theologically related (or that I, and possibly I alone, would find theological significance in). But I haven't sat down and said, "I currently have a broken heart, so I'm going to read this comic book because I know it's all about heartbreak."

I may not be able to convince you of that because looking back, it almost appears like that's exactly what I did. Come on, the first couple posts I made after that one bad day were from One More Day which is about the end of Peter Parker and Mary Jane's marriage!

The spooky thing is, I was already reading the comic before that one bad day. I was already selecting excerpts for the week's ensuing Daily Quotes prior to my one bad day.

Then, the more Daily Quotes I posted, the more personal they became. Yes, this was intentional since I was purposefully throwing more of myself up on the blog, bearing my soul to the internet. A side effect of this was, instead of being a purely academic and intellectual pursuit, I began learning from and even being personally (and possibly spiritually) affected by these examples of Wednesday Theology. And maybe that's what Wednesday Theology is supposed to be: finding the divine in the profane and having it profoundly change us. Or at least me.

Let's take a look at the subject matter of some of these posts since that one bad day. They've included bad things happening due to some bigger plan, attacking God through the dissolution of a romantic relationship, making Faustian deals with the devil to get what we want, the power of hope and loss of hope, suicide, the absence of God, and the sinful nature of humanity. That last one turned out to be pretty popular.

And just this week I started reading some of Seagle and Cloonan's American Virgin. All I knew about the book is that it was supposed to be about a youthful fundamentalist speaker and abstinence proponent that has to confront the crude and sordid realities of life. I had no idea the first story arc would be about the main character losing his fiancee and reacting to that grief and heartbreak.

So what all am I gleaning from this personal Wednesday Theology? Mostly that what I'm going through sucks. And it sucks for everyone that ever has and ever will have to go through it. My sorrow is not unique, but it is mine. Also, all attempts to explain it away or look on the bright side, no matter how sincere, are hallow. No matter how great our faith may be, we all go through periods where we just don't feel God there anymore.

Oh yeah, and as much as someone else may have hurt me, I'm no better a person. We're all sinners. We all suck and we all hurt each other. As a Christian, I shouldn't suck so much. I shouldn't be so hurtful to others. I should act more Christ-like. But I realize I don't. And every time I behave in a less than Christ-like manner, I see Spider Jerusalem dressed in a gaudy God costume cussing me out over my hypocritical Christian attitude.

Does anybody else think that way? Does anybody else feel God using Spider Jerusalem to convict them of their sinful behavior? Probably not. I can't imagine what Warren Ellis would think about anyone finding such Christian spiritual significance in Transmetropolitan. Surely, that's not what he intended. Oh well.

And does anybody else, when standing in church holding the cup and bread, about to partake, think about the gutter? No? Come on guys, it makes sense to me. It actually helps me reflect and grasp the sacramental attributes of the symbolic tradition.

So yeah, that's what I'm getting out of this crazy blog. Are you getting anything from it?

Thank you.

 - Mitch
Bitter. Sarcastic. Handsome.

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