Friday, December 5, 2008

Albie/Steven's The Kid

Well, it looks like this storyline is turning out to be confirmation on my theory that Alan's life was completely messed up by his mother. And I must say this storyline is shaping up to be incredible, more so than I previously imagined.

I now know that earlier this week I was looking in the wrong direction for finding insights gained by comparing Alan and Chris. The relationship is not between the two characters and their respective little brothers. In the past, we were shown a twisted version of what Chris would be like if his upbringing had been full of torment. Now, I believe through Albie/Steven, we are shown a non-twisted version of what Alan would be like if he had a positive upbringing. I feel as if this parallel was no coincidence. The highly-important 'Crosby's the Kid' is named after the movie 'Disney's the Kid', where an unhappy man gets another shot at life when a younger version of himself appears. If that's not confirmation, I don't know what is.

Just look how sweet and calm Albie/Steven looks amoungst all this chaos. And look how mad Alan looks at this discovery. Deep down, is seeing Albie/Steven reminding Alan of the childhood he never had?

Monday, December 1, 2008

HIIII!

Oh my god! Alan has a baby brother! How could he forget such a thing? Will this stem out into a storyline!? What incredible insights could be gained by comparing Alan's relationship with his baby brother to Chris's relationship with Bobby? The suspense is killing me!

I know one thing for sure, seeing Alan's hand placed affectionately on his brother's shoulder reminded me of so long ago when Chris so proudly wanted to show off his baby bro to his colleagues.


Will pick up where I left off too
J.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Relations : Part I

Before I continue, I'd like to more fully examine the relationships Alan and Chris have with popular culture. Superosity presents a wide range of differing attitudes and expectations towards it.

I shall begin by amending my previous analysis of Alan. While I still deem it likely that Alan has been reduced to a semi-catatonic state, I do not believe Big Momma to be the cause of this. No, I am going to have to agree with Freud on this one, and identify Alan's mother as the source of his severe emotional problems. We are shown an everyday scene from childhood; a boy is afraid of monsters under the bed and in the closet. However, instead of consoling him by explaining that monsters do not exist, Alan's mother indulges his crazy fantasies. It seems that she shares his delusions. Were her parents as crazy as she is, or is the problem at least partially genetic?

In any case, Alan's early childhood would have been horrific. His childhood imagination would been actively working against him at every corner. I believe this explains the overwhelming enthusiasm Alan showed when he first saw Martin Lawrence 'dress up as an ugly lady'. I do not believe there was anything particularly special about what he saw, other than that it was an escape from his miserable life. Had it been, say, Drew Carey that Alan had been watching, I believe the result would have been the same. For one moment, Alan was truly happy. And it seems that he would spend the rest of his life trying to recreate that moment.

I believe that Alan became obsessed with Big Momma because it reminds him of that happy moment in a largely unhappy early childhood. In remembering that moment Alan is able to fool himself that his past was filled with happiness. I believe this parallels with what we saw of crazy Don Johnson-loving Chris. 'Don Johnson' saved that Chris from unbearable misery so he became obsessed with reliving the happiness of that moment than experiencing his true love for Alf.

However, I do not feel that Alan restricts his collection of happy memories to popular culture. Let us look at some of the other things he has expressed devotion towards; cookies and Popsicles (notice the sheer desperation in the final panel). These also seem to be fragments of childhood happiness.

However, Alan's obsession is very much an active process too. He is very much willing to add new memories to his treasured collection, which would explain his flirtation with Inspector Gadget. Indeed, he seems overly eager to experience anything that will allow him to escape his sorrows.

While this can include banal objects, I believe the intensity of Alan's first encounter with Martin Lawrence's television show means that he is particularly attracted to popular culture, or at least its media. Notice that when Alan watches the Super Bowl with Bobby, he is more interested in the ads than the game. In addition, we also see his strange enthusiasm for a green screen, and soon after, box office figures. This fascination with media seems to belittle the significance of the actual subjects, proving that Alan is only looking for escapism and is not interested in the actual content. (His rewriting of Big Momma's history made me suspect this, but it I found it hard to measure his integrity amongst such chaos.)

It is no coincidence that Alan has been paired with Hedrick, who also relies on popular culture to save him from absolute misery. At first it may seem like Hedrick's enthusiasm is more genuine, but it become apparent that he only wants Denise and Ricky to get back together to allow himself to vicariously feel what he believes he is missing in his own life. It seems that the intended purpose of the two was to act as a warning for those who are likely to become defendant on popular culture.

In fact, the majority of the Superosity characters have a strong relationship with popular culture. Bobby wants to heartlessly use it as a means of achieving fame and fortune, Barton too planned to use it in a similar fashion in order to escape his unhappy life through his horrible screenplay, and as I shall analyze next time; Chris interacts with the icons of his childhood that he genuinely loves so much.


To be continued...
J.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chris Wins!

Well, wasn't that close? For a moment there I thought Superosity's main character would be beaten by an obscure supporting character. It's just as well for Bobby that Chris doesn't campaign against Alan in his crazy future bid for president. I can only think of my poll as an incredibly accurate simulation of how that would go.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Alan or Chris?

That's right, I've decided to add a new feature to Alan + Chris 4 Life! Now you fans can vote for your favourite Superosity character (provided its either Alan or Chris)!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Beyound Imagination

I am near in completing my account of the personalities of Alan and Chris. When this is done, I shall apply this new-found wisdom and create a far more in-depth discussion of the two distinct characters in relation to the themes of Superosity. However, my account is still missing insight to one crucial area: the imaginations of Alan and Chris.

Now, my main concern here is Alan. So far, I seem to have given the impression that he doesn't have an imagination. This is not true. Although much of Alan is banal, I believe there is a crazy inventive side lurking deep below.

The 'Questions For Alan' storyline is the best resource for examining this most complex area. Here, we most evidently see Alan's creative side. In the very first strip, Alan displays an overwhelming enthusiasm for carrying out strange acts, such as counting cookies. Although this would be quite a banal activity, it does show some degree of creativity; unlike his other banal interests (also shown here). Why would someone count cookies? Where would someone get that idea? It seems to come from deep within Alan.

However, we are also shown Alan recount crazy and extremely inaccurate factual information, such as where babies come from or his twisted account of Big Momma's existence. And this seems to be the way in which his imagination really shines through.

I previously suggested that Alan cannot commit useless information to memory, due to his extremely short attention span. However, the second example also shows that he cannot remember information about his most beloved subject either. But does he want to? My initial reaction is that his crazy accounts are what he wants to believe. His hallucinations would complement this reading. An extreme amount of imagination is evident in this process.

I used to see Alan as attracted to the banal, but now I see that he actually takes it and transforms it into the sublime. I am beginning to wonder what Alan is seeing as he gazes at those Popsicles.

Could Alan's seemingly brain-dead demeanor really be a semi-catatonic state brought on by his inability to deal with reality? Alan's activities (cookie counting included) and obsessions show the mentality of a madman. Could Alan be intended as a comment on the banality of popular culture? Is the real Big Momma's House just too much to bear?

Now, I seem to have neglected Chris here. This is because Chris's imagination is far more easily grasped. It can be understood from revisiting what I have previously examined. As I have stated before, it seems to be fueled by his beloved popular culture icons. And of course he has Boardy who, due to an inability to say no, makes all Chris's demands come true.

It springs to mind that Alan and Chris could be viewed as bipolar opposites in respect to their imaginative responses to popular culture. Alan refuses it's true existence while Chris embraces it with all his heart. Both responses show an extreme and somewhat frightening variety of imagination.


To be continued...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Alan vs Chris : Round II

I find it necessary to amend to my initial descriptions of Alan and Chris, particularly the ways they experience popular culture. One obvious parallel between to the two characters' experiences is that they both display confusion in distinguishing what is real and fictitious.

We are shown Alan hallucinating an encounter with Big Momma, and see him haunted with genuine guilt at his betrayal, acting as if she were a real person. Moreover, we are fortunate enough to have been given Alan's account of how he views Big Momma's existence. The description "neither alive nor dead" seems to reinforce his belief that Big Momma exists in the real world rather than in fiction. To Alan, Big Momma is very much real.

I feel that the source of Alan's confusion between reality of fiction is best exemplified here. Alan has an incredibly short attention span, and probably and even shorter memory. His feeble mind causes him to momentarily forget what a 'movie' is, even though he had recently taken part in filming one at the time. This gives the impression that Alan's confusion is caused by his inability to commit the concept of fiction to mind.

However, I do not feel that this completely sums up Alan's confusion between reality and popular culture. He he is clearly obsessed with popular culture; enough for knowledge of their existence to stay with him longer than unnecessary information, such as what a 'movie' is. Since popular culture is what he primarily remembers, he views everything else in relation to it. For example, this seems to causes him to confuse Jesus with Danny from Pearl Habour. Similarly, he confuses a wacky space adventure for a Knotts Berry Farm Ride. This example also shows how his undying interest in the banal prevents him from experiencing things that are actually exciting. This point is also exemplified in Alan's very first appearance.

Chris also seems to easily confuse fiction with reality. However, Chris's experience of his beloved popular culture icons is far more complex. On some level, he seem aware that they are not real, but still views them as such. This is most evident in Chris's classic encounter with Alf-creator Paul Fusco. Chris acknowledges that Alf was created by Fusco; but later speaks of him as if he was real, even after Fusco explicitly describes Alf as a puppet. It is possible that Chris views Alf as the biological offspring off Fusco; but I find this thinking unlikely, even for Chris.

As the wise Superosity Makes Me Gay creator recently pointed out, "Boardy's relationship with Chris is integrally related to Chris's relationship with popular culture." Boardy appeared in Chris's life while he was beginning to experience the magic of Alf (and presumably that of similar popular culture icons) as a young boy. Boardy himself very much acts as bizarre as, and resembles, one of Chris's beloved icons. This means that unlike most people, the idea of a character like Alf existing would not seem strange to Chris. Instead, he is allowed lead a life that is not unlike the realities of his favorite popular culture icons, which seems to be the underlying cause of Chris's inability to distinguish the real from the fictional.


To be continued...