Friday, November 21, 2008

Have I been Deluded?

I mean, more than usually.

There are at least TWO things my readers totally missed, or only just recently guessed:

1. When I was hinting like a mad thing that Udo was Jewish, NOBODY got it (okay, one friend in theater got it).

2. Only very recently has ONE reader (congrats!) asked me if I was extrapolating from Maus when I wrote Desert Peach #26, "Miki."

Spiegelman senior didn't tell Art the possible reason the girl might have told the officer to abandon the prisoners -- or the machine gun. Senior MIGHT have known -- he was around the German Army -- but we don't know, because he didn't seem to have told his son. A German girl came up to me at a show, tapped the figure of the girl on the cover and said, "This is my mother." Which wasn't very surprising; as usual, women and kids were in desperate situations at the end of a war.

I knew I wasn't far off a lot of repeated experiences when I wrote it; I've never been afraid of cliche. God is a lousy screen-writer, but It writes incredible comedy. I think It considers everything funny.

I don't really believe in Higher Powers, or if there is such a thing, it's as distant as Vishnu. I think I go with minor local spirits or daemons -- nyads and such. Ghosts, tutilary deities. A local boy who died, who loved to fish, I always invite along on fishing trips. It seems to make him happy. I get fish. I love spookiness and I hear things (it may just be mini-aneurisms, but leave me my nocturnal entertainment).

Spirits are very local, but they have influence and they talk to each other. You don't want to kill a bobcat in Washington State and then join the Army and get shipped to the Middle East, do you? Bastet will GET your ass; she lives right next door to the djinns.

The only things I know about the Spirits is: They either want Thanks, or Entertainment. So look up and say "Thank you" once in a while, or they will start to poke you, just to watch you squirm. They are like poorly-raised children, and we are their lizard in the road.

Another writer -- and dear friend and touring companion -- joins me in doing the aforesaid mini-prayer whenever something goes right while out traveling. We know it's either say "thank you" for the nice meal or the pretty trees -- or have both front tires go flat.

Because They love to hear us swear.

(Hey, I don't use my beliefs to keep anybody from marrying or stone anyone to death. And I help keep the incense industry going.)


test said...

But...I thought it was an established fact that Udo was Jewish. The wedding issue did hint like mad, of course, but I also seem to remember a conversation where Udo revealed that he and his family had to live as "Aryan" as they could, in order to hide the dangerous fact they were Jewish, and making Udo join the army to "hide"...

-André Heinonen

Donna Barr said...

Yes, but up to the time that the Peach discovered Udo's dangerous background, nobody had figured it out. Or maybe I should say, the people who wrote me exclaiming in surprise hadn't.