You Beautiful Mofo

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Dear Michael Leunig,

I have fanblogged you more than once on this blog.  I don't write these posts in the hope that you will read them.  I just like to voice my appreciation sometimes.  It's difficult to write about, because what your stuff evokes in me is the space inside that I need to protect.  It's childlike, and paper-thin.  It can be laughed at as naive by cynical people who are very rational and very grown up.  I think it's something like hope and belief in a better future worldview, with a slice of mysticism thrown in.



I guess it's pretty obvious that we can do something better than the paradigmatic shit we're currently sewering in.  I s'pose it's the particular viewpoint you come from, but to me our hope lies in the fact that the us living under this destructive rampant capitalistic shit are much bigger than the them for who it is in their best interests to keep facilitating it, even if they're killing their own grandchildren's nest.  Not that I like fostering any more extra separation than we're already living under, but in this instance it's helpful. 

Lots of people have given up hope.  I give up hope regularly, too, but then I tire of the ridiculousness of being caught up in such a 2x2 paradigm so I go searching for a bigger turning circle again.  Your work never fails to bring me there.



So when I write to you, it's hard to harness the bubbling joy that sprites up my guts.  I can't help it.  Even when you draw or talk about the things that make me want to impale my eyeballs down hard on two metal spikes so that my brain spurts out my ears and ends my place in this current insane sphere of inhumanity and returns me to my cosmic swamp, you are like medicine.  Especially there.

Which is the best medicine, of course.  You spill out your guts and make something beautiful of it.  You shine starlight on my dark, Mr Leunig.  You're a fucking marvel.

Yes, yes, I know, I'm platforming you.  I'm Mandelaing you, as an Australian Living Treasure, into the schmaltzosphere and into something evil.  Or am I?  It's not you that makes me feel like that, after all.  It's your words and pictures.  I'm sure you're a pain in the arse at times, a fearful, hating mess, who leaves his jocks on the floor and doesn't pay his bills on time, who's made dreadful mistakes and royally let people down.  Who poos.

I still have this thing about how weird it is that everyone poos.  Like, even the queen, and stuff.  (I will not capitalise the name of someone who inherited their great riches on the back of sweet fuck all.  But I digress).

This human human compulsion to venerate the good takes the good away from us.  Vaunts doing good stuff into the stratosphere inhabited by People Not Me.  It's just one more case of slicing and dicing ourselves up into dissociated bits.  And I've had quite enough of that, thanks.  The reality is that even mofos make good and make art.

Not that I'm saying you're a mofo so much as I'm saying we're all mofos, beautiful mofos.  And even though we're all beautiful mofos we can still do awesome stuff.  The stuff we share as common ground is more than a beginning.

I started writing this post by pen, sitting outside in the grass and the sun of greenly Belgrave.  I have begun writing morning pages again, and this morning I chose as my writing tray of choice The Essential Leunig.  A perfect choice, really, though a little hefty in the weight department, it is a lovely hardback 7/8 A4 size, a size which often seems to be used by books that inspire me in some way.  Of course, it's a perfect size for reproducing cartoons.

So I flipped it open to a random page.  One of them was of a man standing outside with a piano, and atop it a telescope.  One eye was trained through the telescope at the stars while one hand tinkled the keys and the other hand wrote down the music he was seeing.  That made me very happy.

The other side of the page was an interaction between two people.  A Bunnings employee and a customer, maybe, if Bunnings had a New Paradigms aisle.

"I'm looking for life's precious little golden thread," the customer says, having crawled into the store in abject exhaustion from the dispiriting version of 'reality' outside.

"We've got the rusty chain, the tangled wire and the thick rope, but we can't help you with the golden thread I'm afraid.  What do you want it for?"

"I want to just see it.  I want to smile at it.  I want to tell life's precious little golden thread that I love it.  That's all I want."

The employee responds to his consumer, both of them made much smaller by the paradigm of the world in which they live which turns them to turds and turns off the stars, a world which has been largely manipulated by a small percentage of the whole but which is not in fact the last word on the matter.

"We've got the ball of string, the reel of packaging tape and the optic fibre cable but I'm sorry, we don't have the golden thread any more," he says sadly to the sad consumer.

No, we don't have much of anything any more in this dying paradigm, Mr Leunig.  But I suspect you feel the golden thread just as much as I do.  It's because of this you feel like a safe space to me, someone who has a vision that extends beyond the current limitations.  And so even when you point out the foibles of life, the things that make me want to impale my eyeballs in a dramatic death scene, you remind me of what I value most of all and what is there, beyond the aisles of dead consumerist culture.

Thank you for that, you beautiful motherfucker.

1 comment

  1. Have you taken your medication today?

    ReplyDelete

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