Friday, September 23, 2016

A Vist to The Farm, by Jean Solé

Here's something I haven't done before. I hope that you will like it.

Once in a while, a trip through the DuckHaus bookshelves turns up something wonderful that I had forgotten all about. The rediscovery always brings a fresh sense of delight, because it's at once familiar and new, like meeting an old friend that you haven't thought of in years.

For a brief period in the late 1970's, it was possible -- thanks in large part to Heavy Metal magazine and the The National Lampoon, for Americans to get a taste of what foreign comics artists were up to. This was how I discovered the work of Jean Solé. I was immediately taken with his comics, and yet today I own only two examples of his work, notably his book Animaleries, which seems to be still in print, at least in France.

Although he is still active, amazingly I could not find out much about him on the internet, and less in English; most frustratingly, he does not even seem to have a website.

The story you're about to read was my first exposure to his work... and I was so happy to "re-discover" it again today. Quite beyond the pleasures of his style, his ideas are so big and clever and literary and magical. I hope you agree. It was originally presented in this country in the book The National  Lampoon presents French Comics (The Kind Men Like).

Obviously, I do not hold the copyright to this material. It is offered in the spirit of an enthusiastic fan wishing to share something that he loves. I will take this post down in the unlikely event that the author ever finds it, and in finding it objects to its use. In the meantime, if anyone can present more links to examples of his work, please send them via the email link in the sidebar.

You can click on each page to enlarge it. Enjoy!


-- Frede

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

1984 is Now


Yup, Orwell was right, that's exactly what they've made of the world and the pill that they have convinced millions to swallow. That's the world-view that will only deepen its hold if either of the major-party candidates win. That's the world they started shaping from the moment Ronald Reagan took office, and the world they codified on Sept. 11, 2001. 

A long, long time ago, then-President Jimmy Carter addressed the nation and announced with some pride that the nation was At Peace.

I was still quite young and my political worldview was both unformed and uninformed. I’m not proud of my reaction to President Carter’s address. I mentally sneered. I thought, “Big Deal.” 

I thought this, because I was complacent in Peace. The Vietnam war was over, but still fresh in people’s minds. I believed that we had entered a post-war era where Peace was the new normal, where everyone had had enough of killing. I believed that this was not so much an accomplishment of President Carter’s, but a place that we had arrived at, a belief that we all shared, earned in blood.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized how wrong I was. Carter was justified in his “pride of peace” — a peace he maintained despite pressure from all sides, and especially from above, from the one percent, to launch a major war in the Middle East. I believe that this is why he was a one-term president: he angered the one percent, stood in the way of bringing about their worldview, and so they got rid of him and installed Ronald Reagan, who by all accounts was nothing more or less than a ventriloquist dummy. 

Carter’s Presidency was derided in the public mind, so that it would never happen again. But we were all wrong, all of us. Carter was the last Great President this nation had, and perhaps (although history has yet to form an opinion around President Obama) the last Great President this country will ever have. 

As long as the one percent is choosing our candidates for us and rigging the process (which they have done brilliantly in this election cycle), we will be locked into the Orwellian worldview that now has us in its taloned grip. 

Me -- I'm so fucking sick of war. This war, that war, any war, and who profits by it? Ask yourself that and you will have damn near all the answers. As the poets once said, the way to fight war is not with more war. But that's what we've got, and that's what we'll have until the majority of people start to get as sick of this crap as I am.

— Frede 

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