Malaysian Plane Found!

The headline we are all waiting to hear.


But as of today, the where and how of the plane’s discovery is still a mystery.  It’s been one month since flight 370 disappeared and with that question mark ever floating, the deliberation has prompted a treatment reserved for school shootings.   One where a rumor mill/media circus props up its tents inviting every wacko they can muster together to present their sideshow of predictions. A few potential exhibits already in town:


a)  A Bermuda Triangle/Blackhole/ Alien Abduction type scenario.


b) Pilot suicide.


c) Terrorists.


d) Russia diverting attention from Crimea.


e) USA shooting down the plane due to top-secret documents onboard.


f) China shooting down the plane due to a large amount of anti-communist party members onboard.


g)  Lasers.


Speculation is a reaction to an emotional response.  Like when a republican’s head explodes after you tell him the Iraq war was a mistake (Though let’s not rule out lasers on this one too).  Using rational is something we save for math class and legal proceedings, not for missing Malaysian planes or trench coat mafia attacks.  When we broach a subject from an emotional center everything turns into grandeur.


For example, a man from the Midwest built crosses bearing the name of everyone who died at Columbine High School.  He brought them to Colorado shortly after the shooting and put them up as a temporary shrine.  People loved them.  However two of the crosses one father forcibly destroyed.  The names Dylan and Eric were upon them.  Now the man who made these crosses constructed them based on rational.  Fifteen people died.  Fifteen crosses.  All fifteen, regardless of who they were, had parents and/or relatives devastated by the attack.  But to the families of thirteen of the victims a very visible line differentiated two of them.


You see, you can argue with rational.  But you can’t argue with an emotion.  Every one of the flight 370 speculations listed above is fueled by an emotion in some form.  Maybe you have a fear of the unknown, or a big brother complex, maybe a deep-seated mistrust in other people or….lasers.


My belief?  That the Hindu god, Ganesh, needed to escape to space and he commandeered the plane to exit earth’s atmosphere.  Below is a mug shot of the person I believe we are looking for.  And please.  Don’t attempt to rationalize whether this is true.  Because it is.


Epithet for a King


It’s not every day that we are needed.


This is the quote by Samuel Beckett that precedes the novel “Hologram for a King” written by Dave Eggers.  If he had chosen to omit it and let the reader wander unfocused through the story I don’t think the desired effect would have been achieved.  Hologram for a King is about Alan Clay, a man that used to run a bike manufacturing company in the Midwest that closed its doors after outsourcing.  He lives in an empty house and watches old Red Sox DVDs.  His neighbor after discovering transcendentalism walks into a lake and kills himself.   His wife left him and he can’t help his daughter pay for college.  At the beginning of the story Alan is headed to Saudi Arabia to sell King Abdullah a hologram for his King Abdullah Economic City.  In 352 pages Alan waits for this king to show up- giving a second nod to Beckett’s classic, “Waiting for Godot.”  And then it ends very open-ended but in line with the epithet.


Eggers litters his writing with echoes of Beckett’s bywords either with parallels to an eroding American economy or straightforward statements such as when Alan is writing his daughter and says “People think you’re able to help them and usually you can’t and so it becomes a process of choosing the one or two people you try hardest not to disappoint.”


Despite Dave’s intentions, this fundamental theme is lost by a large amount of readers as portrayed by the Amazon comments.  It’s as if everyone vaulted past the epithet and began tearing through a book with the expectation of a unique character in a unique situation attempting to solve unique problems.  But that’s not what this book is about.


Amazon quotes I found:


“I found the book depressing and often boring.”


“The main character wasn’t very likable to me, and I found myself irritated with his choices.”


“The story is rambling and nonsensical, with no real direction or purpose.”


This is a book about objects of importance losing their significances.   It’s about becoming a thing of the past.  After I finished reading it, yes, I felt it fell short of his previous works or what a story typically provides a reader, but the more I went back to the epithet the more it made sense.


My epithet for Sacco:


“If you told me nothing has a meaning you would be right, but something still has a meaning.” –Albert Camus


I chose it meticulously and with much thought because I wanted it to reflect the larger themes I was exploring.  It took me six years to find a sufficient ending and a suitably longer time to find the beginning.  But the beginning and ending, as it should be, are the hardest to write- they’re the bookends so to speak.  And unlike Hologram for a King I hope people don’t tear through it and not see the direction and purpose.


P 190


I decided to go to a meeting for aspiring comic book creators in NYC.  I agreed to it and then forced myself not to think about it.  Meeting new people is difficult.  Add in you’re opening up about something close to you and have placed a lot of hard work into- it can get nerve-racking.  At least my experiences from art school critiques have prepared me for the usual annoying personalities but hoped a few good eggs would show up too. 

I was not disappointed to see both groups represented. 

One guy, a screenwriter and not an artist, (maybe he misread the description of the group) was putting together “high concept” storylines (his words) that would instantly sell.  He just needed to find financing for the projects.   For example basketball players abducted by aliens to fight an intergalactic war- totally high concept right (not sure what that phrase means)?  After looking at my work he attempted to recruit me to draw storyboards and when I told him my graphic novel (not a screenplay) involved a school shooting he informed me it wasn’t high concept enough.  Hollywood would never pick it up.  I wanted to ask him if I needed more aliens.  (I’ve drawn several basketball players in “Sacco” already- so I had that base covered)

I also met two guys that were in the beginning stages of their graphic novels.  One was a writer and had a friend who was doing the artwork.  The storyline was dark and the art matched it perfectly.  The other didn’t bring any material but could articulate his plot with great clarity and sounded intriguing and not a simple one line blurb.  The screenwriter panned their ideas as low concept also. 


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