Monday, June 1, 2009


We'll put Da Vinci on the shelf for now because there is breaking news. I read it in the Globe and Mail, and I believe everything I read in the G&M. By the way, the G&M should be required reading for every Canadian, especially Saturday's. I love the Saturday Globe and Mail! On Saturday morning I set out early in order to purchase my copy---one has to go early for it seems there are limited copies on this part of the Island. I usually pick it up at the local corner store, and the female clerk always remarks on the high cost of this newspaper. It's always the same scene, every Saturday. I pass her the paper, she says, "Wow, expensive paper!" I usually say nothing. It's as if this bit of unimportant information is new to her every week. I believe you call that short term memory loss. She's a pleasant woman, but reminds me of the goldfish who they say suffers from this condition. The goldfish swims around a small tank endlessly in a circle discovering things for the first time that it has just seen two seconds ago. It goes like this: Goldfish swims, says,"Neat place, Oh look, a treasure chest!" Goldfish swims around, says, "Neat place, oh look, a treasure chest!" Goldfish swims around, says,"Neat place, Oh look..... you get the idea.

Anyway, I'm off the track. I was talking about....ahh(I'll check my notes)...oh yes, Archie Comics. (just kidding...really!)

The G&M has wonderful journalists, columnists, writers; one being Lynn Crosbie who wrote an excellent item on the Archie Comics. And here comes the "breaking news": Archie Andrews, the 84 year old teenager, is proposing marriage to Veronica, his girlfriend. WOW, this is big! Apparently, according the Lynn Crosbie, this will happen in August in a six-part-story called "Archie Marries Veronica". When was the last time I bought a comic book? I'm going to get this one, though.

I was never much of a comic book reader when I was young. I liked, in stead, Classics Illustrated where the greatest books written were turned into colourful panels where major characters had these dialogue balloons over their heads. You should have seen the monologue balloon over Hamlet's head in the "To be or not to be" segment.
I did have Superman and the like, but always preferred Plasticman. Plasticman was a rather tall, lanky, dorky-looking superhero, but what appealed to me is that he could change at any time. He could change into anything and everything at a glance, and had wit enough to change when it was advantageous. Cool! At a young age, that was quite desirable.

Off track a bit here, sorry.

Lynn Crosbie goes on to describe and explain the two girls in Archie's comic book life: Veronica and Betty. Betty: blond, fun-loving, cute, loyal, and who loves Archie. Veronica: Dark-haired, spoiled, rich, self-centered---a dominate bitch, there's that word again. You see, Archie loves Veronica---the beguiled boy could be a fool. Archie would be much better off with Betty---she's nice.

But this is classic, isn't it? Men are invariably attracted to the Veronicas of this world. This theme regarding the appeal of the "dangerous" woman to the hapless sap has been played out in literature as far back as the Bible. Lynn Crosbie mentions heroines in F. Scott Fitzgerald, Becky Sharpe in Thackeray's VANITY FAIR. I have others: Lucy Tantamount in Aldous Huxley's POINT COUNTER POINT, Hester Prynne in THE SCARLET LETTER. How about Catherine Earnshaw in Emily Bronte's WUTHERING HEIGHTS? Cathy is my all time favourite woman of literature---full of life, full of the devil. That's the best book to come out of 19th century literature, in my opinion. Lady Macbeth? "Screw your courage to the sticking place..."---be a man, Macbeth! I was so disappointed when Lady Macbeth fell apart, walking naked around the castle trying to rub the blood off her hands. She should have screwed herself to the sticking place. That didn't sound right, sorry.

So, Archie marrying Veronica could be interesting. Maybe she'll make a man out of him, maybe she'll destroy him, maybe she'll change his nerdy hairstyle, maybe she'll even turn Archie into a vibrant, dynamic, interesting comic book character---that's a stretch.

So I'll be buying the August edition of the comic book Archie, for sure. My female clerk will probably say," Comic books cost a lot!" Uh huh.

Next: Da Vinci

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