My 31-year-old friend is on the fast track to fat, sweaty, bald virginhood. Think Comic Book Guy from "The Simpsons." He's a happy outgoing guy (all a jolly façade?), but every now and then he lets slip how the comic books and DVDs and hardcore geek blogs are leaving him unfulfilled. People warm to him -- including some women perma-friends whose lives he often repairs and whose furniture he often moves -- but he's a little hard to take in long stretches. Can an empty life be back-filled with endless Dr. Who tapes? Apparently, maybe. What do you suggest I do? Flat-out makeover session? Anything at all?
Here is my message to your friend: First of all, don't sell your comic books. If you sell your comic books, the terrorists win. Comic books are what made this country great. Without comic books we wouldn't have "The Simpsons."
There's nothing wrong with reveling in the universe of pop-culture artifacts either. Sharing enthusiasm for the various thinly veiled mythologies encoded in them strengthens our economy and keeps al-Qaida on the run.
Now, some may say that in this time of great global peril and sharp political choice, living in the world of hardcore geek blogs represents a refusal to tackle manly adult male roles in a head-on fashion. I say, so what? What is so great about tackling manly adult male roles in a head-on fashion? You could get killed that way.
So what to do? I say, damn yes, get a makeover. It's painless and it will take the external pressure off your inwardly geeky comic-book life. I'm serious. Let somebody who's an expert in images spray you with cultural camouflage so nobody knows that all you really care about is Dr. Who and the X-Men. I should know. I've lived the last 20 years as a mole for the Revolutionary Communist Party. No one would dream that this mild-mannered, round-faced, slightly florid Welsh-looking guy in drab earth-tone khakis and a tweed hat actually meets Bob Avakian on the street corner every couple of weeks to receive a stack of the latest Revolutionary Worker and get updated on progress toward the great communist revolution.
Do your own thing in secret or the terrorists win. 'Nuff said.
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