Random Pulls from the Bargain Bin
In these economic times, finding inexpensive entertainment is difficult. Thank goodness for the local comic shop and a slew of comics nobody cares about anymore! Each week Daniel Elkin randomly grabs a comic from the bargain bin (for 50 cents) to see what kind of bang he can get for his two-bits. These are those tales.
December 14, 2011 – paid 50 cents for:
Published by: Vertigo Comics
Written by: Douglas Rushkoff
Art by: Peter Gross (layouts) and Gary Erskine (finishes)
HUMANS MUST NEVER LEARN THAT THE TEXT KEEPS CHANGING...
In January of 2007, the American Astronomical Society announced that it had discovered a “triple quasar,” Japanese fishermen discovered a rare Frilled Shark, Scottish scientists successfully engineered hens to produce useful drugs in their eggs, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, the Hitachi company broke the 1 terabyte barrier for hard disk capacity, and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the minute hand on the Doomsday clock to five minutes to midnight.
We buried Gerald Ford, saw the death of Robert Anton Wilson, and became enthralled in World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade.
January of 2007 was fecund, ripe with the rewriting of history.
Into this fecundity, Vertigo Comics released issue twelve of Douglas Rushkoff's Testament
Douglas Rushkoff is an American media-theorist, sort of a philosopher of our digital times, who thinks long and hard about how media impacts society. He is a very bright man who says some very interesting and important things, much of which is outside the purview of a column focused on bargain bin comics.
For my purposes, though, I need to bring up Rushkoff's 2003 book, Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism. The basic thesis of this polemic is that "Judaism is a religion dedicated to media literacy." It is a religion, like almost all others, that is based on texts which have been brought into societal consciousness as being a set of rules, tenets, and historical events. But for Rushkoff, as he states in a 2005 interview with Comic Book Resources
, “(I)t's actually the story of a revolution-- both of a bunch of people, and of human consciousness. It's a proposition for an open source reality and a set of guidelines for how to break the news to real people who love to believe in idols."
Rushkoff sees the core text of religion as being the transferring medium that creates a particular perception of reality which adherents view as truth. If the media is altered, the perception of reality it has spawned is altered too, and what passes for truth is newly understood.
These sorts of pronouncements can get a person in some serious trouble, especially with an entrenched organization whose very livelihood rests on a particular set of “truths.”
Rushkoff goes on to say in the CBR interview, “I learned early on in life that if you have something that might be truly dangerous to say, say it in comics.”
And this brings us to our bargain bin Testament
#12 and some serious mind-fuckery.