Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Tuesday, March 09, 2004  

American Splendor

Where else but in America can a man make money, and become a celebrity by telling everyone he is a loser.

The desire on the part of the lost and soulless to find amusement in Harvey Pekar is ironic. That Hollywood and New York City people should have found so much to promote and cherish about the eccentric Cleveland comic book writer is precious.

Harvey is admired for his authenticity, his gloomy immunity to personal hope and worldly glamour by the biggest phonies in the world, but the joke, of course, is that Harvey is an even better phony -- the same kind of narcissist as those who celebrate him as a crank (who are cranks themselves. To bastardize Chesterton, the world has two kinds of people -- those who are cranks and know it, and those who are cranks and don't know it).

So it is no wonder that such people should have beaten a path to his door to document another solipsist as Everyman (as the elite see him).

Of course, he would seem to be the very embodiment of Average Joe in heartland America where a decent, and very easy job would be characterized as "dead end" (and thus meaningless and degrading); which provided ample free reign for a man's imagination to gather vignettes for a personal literature; which he is able to have produced and sold in a free market for additional income. Some loser.

And what a pose! And it worked perfectly, and still works because Harvey, like all Hollywood actors, continues to take himself seriously - deadly serious.

Don't get me wrong. I applaud Harvey's success. The movie was fun to watch, and amazing to notice that Gloomy Gus acquired a faithful wife, an affectionate, adopted daughter (of sorts), health, retirement, celebrity all in the name of a pathetic mundane and asserted banality. Great work if you can get it!

It is living proof that God has a sense of humor.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 3:39 PM |