Thursday, March 27, 2008

Garfield meets Beckett

Time magazine, as I perused a stray copy in the dentist's chair the other day, brought me not only Pico Iyer's intriguing article about the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan revolts (I saw them in our paper today labelled a milder "protest" while the Chinese diligently spin them into making their colonial aggressor the put-upon shrinking violet, now jailing over 600 "reactionaries"), but this welcome news of one Irishman's own struggle manipulating the same power of the medium to make a message worldwide against bodily oppression and soul-destruction.

"If you still doubt the awesome power of the Internet, consider this: it has the power to make Garfield funny again. Garfield Minus Garfield, at [Here 'tis] is a website that republishes old Garfield strips doctored so that Garfield himself isn't there. All you see is a lonely and apparently demented Jon Arbuckle wandering an empty landscape of countertops and refrigerators, lasagna and coffee. 'Who would have guessed,' writes the site's author, who identifies himself as Dan Walsh, 32, of Dublin, Ireland, 'that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and the empty desperation of modern life?' Samuel Beckett, eat your heart out."

I must credit Leo with telling me about this ahead of Time! If only by a few days. He certainly perches at the cutting edge of pop culture detritus.

Image: March 25th's entry. This week's closest to Beckett, notwithstanding the sign-off the television test pattern motif. I'm not seriously diminishing the desparation in Tibet. I've posted on it twice this past week. Time's cover story on Tibet can be found via the March 31st issue A Monk's Struggle. Time now has a website that allows you to search the magazine back to its 1927 birth with Henry Luce.

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