Thursday, September 04, 2008

Love is not only blind, it's dumb.

The latest Garfield gag has been Jon's obsessive twitterpation* with his gal Liz.

This is, by far, some of Jim Davis' most genuine, realistic humor. Typically, he goes for gags about the eponymous cat's self-image issues or his laziness, or Jon's exceedingly, unbelievably eccentric behavior (he can't coordinate his clothes, he loves polka, etc.) Regular readers understand that about the strip's characters and get a chuckle.

"Oh, that Garfield!" we say. "I, too, hate Mondays! heh-heh."

"That's classic Jon Arbuckle for ya! He's a real nimrod, but he seems like a fun guy to be around."

Here, Davis has hit on something many of us can identify with: the obnoxiousness of fresh infatuation and young love/rs. One can only take so much bunnies and rainbows and chocolate hearts before ya just want to slap those people back into reality. Unfortunately, these people are feeling no pain. They have the resilience of a drunk--and irrational behaviors to match. Might as well be smacking a telephone pole! Hold on--that sounds like a good plan. Be back in a moment...

I take it back. The telephone pole took umbrage at my assault.

And so, you are left with the options that Garfield takes: Smart aleck comments--ignored, in my experience (I once told such a sighing, babbling fool that he was a freak. "Yes," he responded, "But I'm a happy freak!") and banging one's head on the nearest hard surface. "At least get drunk so you'll sober up!" you want to scream.

Many of us, I'd think, will resonate with the comic because we've been there, and can look back, saying, "My gosh! What a mess I was!" That vacant stare, imbecilic grin, failure to be useful to the world at all as your brain is flooded with chemicals that addle your ability to do anything that isn't bonding with your new flame--the theologian in me wonders if it doesn't border on idolatry, but then God made the chemistry, so I guess he'll be a bit lenient.

For that matter, "mature" love (a phrase which is probably going to get my blog some interesting site hits) is no more rational! What is rational about sacrifice and surrendering self-preservation? Where is the logic in putting another's needs ahead of your own? I mean, sure, it sort of lends itself to a more amiable society, but a lot of the things we do out of love would register on the DSM as mental illness!

I read once about someone who gave up his only child to be brutally murdered, to make it possible to be with the one he loved! I know this one guy who actually got himself crucified out of love for his bride!

I'm not sure if that's really sick or really beautiful.


The gag might have been improved with a clock in the background, each frame, a few more hours would have ticked by.


*Go watch "Bambi" if you didn't get that.


Boo said...

good post!


The Ironic Catholic said...

Really sick, really beautiful?

How about really mysterious?

Allen's Brain said...

Well... I don't really get it, so... yeah. "Mysterious" works, too.