But this strange gap between the fetishized popular object and the actual thing is far from an unfamiliar feature within this iconography. If anything it feels like the reiteration of Blake’s fate, and particularly that of “Jerusalem.” Blake in his time was an almost entirely unknown outsider artist. He was barely able to scrape together a life of poverty, and that mostly because of the kindness of benefactors who recognized his genius/enjoyed the fashion accessory of having a madman artist on retainer. His reputation is almost entirely posthumous, based on the affection with which the pre-Raphaelites and other early avant garde movements had for him.
Popular has had - as you might have noticed - something of a revival this year, as one of my periodic attempts to establish a regular working routine outside of my day job has actually worked. The spur for this was alewing giving me the first three volumes of Phil Sandifer’s Tardis Eruditorum for Christmas. Once I started reading them I obviously ended up at the blog, thought “this is great”, and it basically rekindled my enthusiasm for what Sandifer calls “psychochronography”.
I’d planned to publically thank him for this in a few weeks when Popular gets to its next Doctor Who related entry (and I still will, because I want to) but then he put this marvellous - and flattering - piece up on Thursday, spinning an offhand point in my Elton/Diana post (about “Candle In The Wind“‘s nod to Blake’s “Jerusalem”) into an exploration of Diana as a Blakeian figure, including a handy primer on what “Jerusalem” is all about in the first place.
I think Sandifer’s reading of Diana through the lens of “Jerusalem” ends up at a more sympathetic place than I’d reach - she will, of course, turn up at least twice in his other colossal project, about Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, their work and their feud, and I very much look forward to her cameos there. The “House Of Spencer” comment about her being a potential figurehead for a coup is interesting - if she’d been a contemporary of Blake’s this would have been a genuine possibility, I think, and in some ways that’s where her and her brother’s conception of aristocracy may have come from, the most ancient English political struggle, between the aristocracy and the monarch. (You get the feeling Earl Spencer’s preferred Britain wasn’t just one with a deferential media, but that 18th century cusp-of-industrialism one where politics was still centered around the King’s party and the independent aristos.*) In this context any association of Diana with “revolutionary” impulses is - I typed “purely symbolic” then remembered that alchemy is one of Tardis Eruditorum’s big themes, but you get the gist.
Anyhow, thanks Phil Sandifer, and I heartily recommend Tardis Eruditorum and The Last War In Albion to anyone who likes a) pop culture criticism, b) gargantuan critical projects, c) both. I genuinely can’t say how much you’d like them if you don’t know either Doctor Who or British comics - those things are too deep sunk into my psyche for me to get any distance - but do be aware of them. The Doctor Who one has just started on the Matt Smith years and the comics one is getting closer to Moore’s US breakthroughs - chronologically it’s beyond them, but it’s clearing up the 2000AD stuff - and these feel like *Previews catalogue voice* A GREAT JUMPING ON POINT FOR NEW READERS.
*the Freaky Trigger commenter who brought this up goes - but of course - by the handle Enitharmon.(via tomewing)
phil for life
this is my home now
this seems oddly invasive, but i guess thats what it means to be that ghost these days
"Ziggy-esque"- it is loud, and we like it.
"Tin Machine-esque"- it is loud, and we don’t like it.
"Outside-esque"- we don’t get it, but someone might like it.
"His best since Scary Monsters"- there is a new David Bowie album.
If you don’t think Minus Jon Plus Jon is the best collection of Garfield edits you must have made some poor life choices
This is what Dr. Manhattan does after the end of Watchmen. No one can tell me otherwise
This might be the first preview of things actually moving in my new film. Here’s Alan at SFO turning on his Palm Treo. This film is set in 2006.
This looks tight, dawg.
Is the final product going to have that pixel grain? I like that.
summoning - Demikids: Dark Version (Atlus - GBA - 2003)
requested by spiritgunnin
Wonder Momo desk pad (Namco - arcade - 1987)
title - X (Nintendo - Game Boy - 1992)
requested by 8bitwalugi
just gonna keep on with this