Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sharbat Gula will teach you about mortality.

"The primary characteristic of this universe lies precisely in the inability to use categories of the real to speak about it." - Jean Baudrillard

I have been trying to wrap my head around that quote for the better part of a week, but it is just not coming together for me, so I've decided to just shoehorn a meaning in there and see what happens. So, starting now, the meaning of Baudrillard's quote is that back issues of X-Men (categories of the real) will never be able to accurately express ideas of mortality.

But they sure do try!

One great melodramatic example of this is in X-Men #31, which was reviewed yesterday at Not Blog X. This issue focuses on Psylocke, a British-born telepath who switched bodies at one point with a ninja assassin (Kwannon). A ninja assassin who was in love! But then there was that bodyswap and later she caught the Legacy Virus and I guess she died after that, but who really cares, right? If the creative team wanted her back, she could be in the next issue, fit as a fiddle with a line of dialogue as simple as "I got better." But let's say we were to take some dialogue between Kwannon and her lover from that issue of X-Men and use it on the cover photo from National Geographic's June 1985 issue. Then would we be accurately expressing ideas of mortality?

I dare say yes! And then I dare you to click on the photo to see what that young girl looks like today. And by today I mean six years ago.

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