Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Good Times Are Killing Me

As an anthropology student I spend a lot of time studying the past and reflecting on the things that have already come to pass. I spend more time in yesterday at times than I do in today - or as the Wolfriders would call it, the Now. Tonight though, I find myself wondering just what living in the past does to me.

For one, I do believe that history, both in a worldview and on a personal level, is important. Learning from the past is what helps us to change and grow and gives us the chance to learn from our mistakes. But spending too much time in nolstalgia can damage the quality of our lives.

I remember my Dad's comic book store vividly. When my sister and I lived at Comics And... we were happy. I spent my days reading, playing make-believe in the basement (my sister was Peacock Girl and I was Flexability Cat), dreaming of imaginary places, and learning most of the important things there are from superheroes. If there was a "golden age" to my life, that was it. I miss it more than I can adequately express. But it's gone now and it's not coming back. If I spent my time mourning the loss of that time I'd never come to appreciate the Now.



The same goes for the comic books themselves. I miss the old stories, the times when it seemed as if comics showed us how to pick ourselves up and how to stand tall. But as much as I love those stories I have to focus on the good stories there are now or I'll miss out on so much. Maybe the "good old days" aren't what's important. Maybe it's the good people - the writers who still believe in their characters, the artists who give us a window into a facinating world, and the readers who keep demanding higher quality from a society when quality is too often thrown to the wayside. The readers who shout, "More isn't always better! Sometimes it's just more!" These are the people who make me believe that comics will continue and that they will become better. If those people give up all that's left is the past - and that will lead us nowhere, fast.

So I say read comics for the future. Read comics to your kids. Don't give up on superheroes... because after all they never give up on us.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Jim said...

Good post.

Love the picture you found.

Thursday, June 01, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Yeah, nostalgia can be a tricky thing. I'm just glad that I had good taste as a kid and the things I used to love then I still love now. The good old days are one thing, but I think comics were much better a mere 5 years ago, before the regimes of Dan Didio and Joe Q. More and more the books have been changed to reflect a more liberal view of life. The writers admit to putting their political views into their superhero works, but they claim that it doesn't interfere with the character development or story. I disagree. I don't believe that superhero comics are the place for making political points. Teach values and morales like treating everyone with equal respect and understanding. Leave out things like disapproval of capital punishment or distaste of a war you feel is unjust. What's more disheartening than not being able to read to your son Captain America like your dad did with you? Or not being able to share with your daughter the adventures of Wonder Woman?? How many of us would be reading comics today if we weren't introduced to them as children? Times change. Things change. But that doesn't mean you have to support something you feel has become something it never should have. Most of the great stuff in comics today just cannot be shared with children. I guess you can always give them the archives and essentials, but what a shame that they can't read the latest issue of Spider-man. I have spent much time bemoaning the fact that comics arent' for kids anymore. It's been a tough pill to swallow. But if you forget the good old days and embrace comics as the adult entertainment they've become you will enjoy today's comics more. Just really hard for me coming to grips with the fact that I have to hide my comics from my teenage nephews along with my porn and anything else they're too young to be exposed to. Crazy.

Thursday, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Jeff, no offense, but if your nephews are teenagers they are most likely hiding thier porn from you - that's what they were doing when I was in middle school/high school. My Dad always told me that teenage boys only had one thing on their mind - and I'll have to assume he should know since he's been there lol.

Thursday, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Arielle said...

I think it's sweet that you try to keep your 'stash' from falling into the hands of your nephews, even if they may have a stash of their own. =) I'm sure, at the very least, that their parents appreciate that you aren't trying to contribute to the formation of vices in their children! ;)

Cshiana - thank you for reminding me that someday, I'll have a teenage boy of my own to deal with. =P Hopefully the intervening years will prepare me for that somehow...

Thursday, June 01, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

Arielle - There is both joy and heartache in raising children, but nothing can prepare you for the teen-age years. I think it is random chance as to what you get at those ages. As for how it is with teen-age boys - I have no clue I only had girls and they had their moments, but none as bad as what I'm sure I put my parents through.

Good Luck!

Thursday, June 01, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Arielle got it just right. They might have their own stash, but that doesn't make it right for me to give them Playboys or adult comic books when their parents wouldn't approve.
As for teenage boys, they do weird, deviant things at younger and younger ages. My sister found her 10 year old surfing porn sites with his friend on the family computer. Man did he ever get in trouble. My other sister was making her 12 year old son's bed and was shocked to find girl's panties, about 20 pair, stuffed inside his pillow case. Gotta try and steer these kids in the right direction.

Thursday, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

hahahahaha

Thursday, June 01, 2006  
Anonymous Pat said...

lol.

See, at least I know what to expect with boys. It's the girls that are confusing. They can't be diverted as easily as boys (e.g. - "Here, go hit an inanimate object with this stick").

I suspect God will afflict me with girl-children because he isn't kind enough to just hurl a lightning bolt at me and be done with it.

;-)


- PGS

Monday, June 05, 2006  

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