This book didn’t mean anything. Books that don’t mean anything have no right to exist. To exist is to possess meaning. Meaning cannot exist without ex...moreThis book didn’t mean anything. Books that don’t mean anything have no right to exist. To exist is to possess meaning. Meaning cannot exist without existence. Existence is what gives meaning its meaning, and its existence. This book is meaningless, therefore nothing exists (especially not this book).
An Interesting Production: A man undertakes a particularly futilemeaningless endeavor to discover the origins of a fetish film. He encounters many eccentricmeaningless characters with ponderousmeaningless theories about existence and what everything means and stuff. Lots of other crazy shit happens.
Location, Location, Evocation: Have you been here before? Have you made love on the shore of that small island? Have you seen that (I-swear-to-god-that-exact) boulder in your dream? Have you been served by an egg-laying, pseudopodinous potato lady in that diner? Have any meaningless events ever lead you somewhere you know you had been before? Have you ever recognized something you have never seen before? Have you ever seen something or someone somewhere and said to yourself ”I shouldn’t be here right now”?
Analytical Meaninglessness: We are pattern seeking creatures with aggravating limitations on understanding. It infuriates us when we experience something we can’t quite piece together, especially when there seem to be hints that suggest some sort of cohesiveness is there to be discovered. It makes us feel like this:
Everything has to mean something; it just has to! If it can’t be figured out, accompanying it is sheer madness and chaos. If even one thing (such as this graphic novel, or a David Lynch film, or a devastating tornado) can’t have any meaning ascribed to it, existence itself as we ‘understand’ (wink wink) it is in jeopardy. Perhaps this book is precisely the anti-revelation we need.
Personal thoughts that won’t mean anything to anyone, including myself: -As a Midwesterner, the idea of a Paul Bunyan Funeral Home threatens of a strange cathartic dread as inexplicable as the idea of a Paul Bunyan Funeral Home. (I wonder if the Coen Brothers wish they had thought of that…) Presumably incidental, Clowes may have thought some kid with fond childhood memories of eating breakfast at a certain restaurant in the Wisconsin Dells who has been obsessed with death and mortality since his aforementioned childhood would read this work and innocuouslymeaninglessly ruminate over these elements.
-What do you suppose the chances are that radical feminists will form some kind of—nah—nah, forget it.
-Harum Scarum—like Helter Skelter—murder—cults—maybe? What does it mean, damn it!?
Wrapping Up/An unwillingness to continue on in such obnoxious tedium: Do people know what they mean when they say ‘there was an incident’? If something can be defined in two different ways with opposite meanings, such as ‘an individual or isolated event or occurrence’ and ‘something appertaining or attaching to something else’, then describing or explaining anything (meaningless or otherwise) is just as meaningless as that which we are attempting to describe or explain. (You’re still with me, right?) The takeaway is everything or nothing, at bottom or from up top.
P.S. Somewhere in the mesial guts of my review I discovered Fargo was playing on the television machine. I’m going to watch it. This is absolutely true. Try and tell me that doesn’t mean anything.