Well, here's a sentence I never thought I would ever write. “It's been awhile since I last checked in with what was going down at the Poop Office.” Remember when I found myself asking the question, “Has Ben Pooped written a 21st century update of Kafka's Metamorphosis?”
After reading issue two of Poop Office, I need to change that question to: “Has Ben Pooped written a Dadaist manifesto of survival in the bureaucratic structure inherent in modern life?”
My answer to this newly worded question is an unequivocal yes.
Sure Poop Office #2 still makes references to the use of “Compooters” to send “Peemails”, but where issue #1 focused on this sort of humor, issue #2 is all about absurdity. Ben Pooped is telling us that in order to have a chance of thriving in a world gone to shit, we must recast ourselves as turds, assimilate into the bowels of the social order, congeal our impurities, and be defecated back into the system. Otherwise we would go mad.
The late, great, Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson once said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” With Poop Office #2, Ben Pooped has updated this koan and is telling us that “when everything turns to shit, the real shits float to the top.” And who are the real shits in the Poop Office? They are the ones who, when faced with the constant stream of absolutely absurd situations the bureaucratic systems flush their way, keep moving forward without screaming, without giving in to any urge to kill, without blinking an eye. Awash in the spray from founts of fecund fecal force, the true Dadaist turns both turd and a blind but knowing eye at the same time.
Poop Office #2 is genius. The deadpan nature of the writing mixed with the absurdity of the situation, the fact that this is an office staffed by poop, elevates this simple shit joke into social-political commentary. It's not satire, it's something else. It rejects the rational, it rejects the culture, it embraces the disgust, it inverses the process.
It's Dadaist art. What else can it be?
This is no joke. Poop Office #2 espouses the profound. Those talking turds who navigate the beadledom? They are us. It takes the bold artist to hold this type of mirror up to our faces. Ben Pooped is that artist.