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Date Written: December 10, 2007Comments:
Author: Klause Muppet
Average Vote: 4
12/11/2007 Will Disney: bravo!
12/11/2007 Mr. Pony: I am not clear on what happens there, in the penultimate panel.
12/11/2007 Jon Matza: I think he dropped the miscreant, Mr. Pony.
12/11/2007 Jon Matza: p.s. It's spelt 'penusimate'.
12/11/2007 Klause Muppet: yes, Jon is correct.
12/12/2007 Mr. Pony: Oh! Bye-bye, miscreant!
12/12/2007 The Rid: Why, hello Klause!
12/12/2007 The Rid: btw, the way this resembles my real life is truly eerie.
12/13/2007 Jon Matza: I owe you an apology, Mr. Pony. In the panel that pertains to your query the Rid doesn't drop the miscreant; rather he realizes he's already dropped the miscreant! The actual letting go took place earlier, in Panel 5. In a veritable Mobius strip of irony the Rid--still unaware of his fatal mistake--reproaches himself in Panel 6 with the chilling comment "you've let yourself go".
12/13/2007 Jon Matza: Pony, it is important to me that you accept my apology as I would like to be on good terms with you. This is my second apology.
12/13/2007 Mr. Pony: Panel 5, though, is a flashback. He is holding up his hand, pleading with his girlfriend not to leave him (or at least, not go on vacation). He's in his apartment, not wearing his mask. You've hit on something with the talking scale, however. This short is rife with a kind of dream-logic, and as you say, a mobiucal irony, where the past not only directly effects the future, but the future directly effects the past, through the present-day memory distortions of the personal agonies of the main character. He drops the miscreant not with carelessness, but with a pleading, humanizing gesture. Though it may be a temporal impossibility, the clues are all there in his mind--every prior moment of his life has led him to this one (possibly without his consent--the man was "let go" months before the Rid even met him). Add this idea to the central theme of the short, that of Identity in Society, and you have something certainly worthy of the community's discussion, or at least consideration.
12/14/2007 Jon Matza: Pony: after careful review I stand corrected by you on two counts. One: it's the scale talking, not the Rid. Two: Panel 5 was indeed a flashback to the Rid's civilian life, not "current" action as I stated on 12.13.2007 at 12:35:14 AM. Therefore, I respect and commend your refusal to accept my apologies. Nonetheless, I have a few further reflections on the short I'd like to share with you, hopefully tomorrow...
12/14/2007 Litcube (3.5): I will give this short 1 star for the colours. I would have given this short 2 stars for the colours had Klause stuck with his trademark palette. However, in spite of the fact that the author's intention is to create a super-hero ambience, I'll credit 0.5 stars on top of the previous star. Colours are fun.
Content, I will offer zero stars.
Chronological Juxtaposition Puzzle: 2 stars.
12/16/2007 Klause Muppet: yeah but how come you don't return my calls?
12/17/2007 Litcube: Same reason Mr. Pony doesn't accept Jon Matza's apology.
12/17/2007 Mr. Pony: Klause has been anonymously mailing you his doo-doo for the past seven weeks?
12/18/2007 Jon Matza: Pony: the Rid believes he cannot allow “her” to know him completely. To reveal his entire self (he feels) would make him unbearably vulnerable; he’d lose his identity. Does the basis of the Rid’s fear lie in a) being rejected by her, b) being accepted by her, thus leading to the possibility of future pain and/or loss, c) becoming susceptible to his enemies (both the Rid and “her”) via identity exposure, or d) all of the above? Regardless, “her” is understandably unable to love a man leading a double life who can’t/won’t reveal his innermost self to her. Yet—and this, I believe is the crux—once the Rid lets her go, he loses the very identity he seeks to protect!!!!
As we flash forward in time the fallout from the Rid’s attempt to preserve his identity can be seen. In panels 1-3 he struggles to maintain the persona of masterful, unsentimental tough-on-crime superhero. Again, Pony, the Rid’s conviction that “letting go” results in vulnerability can be seen here (if society lets criminals go they will almost inevitably reoffend). But the post-breakup Rid seems to be merely phoning in this stance; against his will his thoughts turn inexorably to his lost love.
In panel 6 the Rid’s scale betrays another kind of “letting go” that has occurred. Now that “her” love is withdrawn, the Rid no longer has the will or discipline to maintain the superlative physical fitness and musculature that in the past not only enabled his superhero activities, but also presumably made him attractive to “her” (one implication being that the Rid is preemptively avoiding any future emotional entanglements by making himself unattractive, thus ensuring he’ll never have the opportunity to meet, and lose, a new “her”). In panels 7-9 the final letting go occurs, resulting in the wrongful death of the petty criminal. This final, tragic letting go isn’t even done consciously; the Rid has literally lost his grip. The Rid’s flaccid, depressed looking penis (panel 9) seems to throw into relief his transformation from powerful to impotent, from a man in control to a man subject to the whims of fate. In short, Mr. Pony, the very attempt to maintain control by protecting/hoarding his identity has caused the Rid to lose control and lose his identity. Klause is telling us that we must open our hearts and minds to the women in our lives. Far from the identity-stealing, life-force-draining succubus of popular myth, emotional attachment to a woman (or same sex partner) forms the very foundation—in the Klausian paradigm—of our manhood.
09/3/2010 The Rid (4.5): Bravo!