Derik Badman's Journal

2020-11-20 09:22

I've been doing my shifts at our food co-op. It's member owned but not member operated (as some apparently are), so the member shifts are all kind of supplemental jobs, which I think have been scaled back a lot since the pandemic hit. But I've done some hours in the "front of house" mostly bagging groceries, but also gathering (and now disinfecting parts of) baskets and carts. It's a strange change of pace for me on multiple levels. Just being out somewhere that isn't my house or outdoors is weird as I've been pretty good about that, but also just interacting with people I don't know. It certainly can reiterate to me how glad I am I don't have to work with the public everyday. I can appreciate the human contact for awhile or with people who are nice and inobstrusive, but then there's always the people who are just super strange and I'm not great at dealing with them (even the little bit I have to). Especially the talky people who say things to which there is no response that is polite (you can't just say "I have no idea what you are talking about so please stop talking to me."). Good thing I am in my house all day working at this computer and only dealing with a very limited number of people!

In between chapters (very long chapters) of Lost Illusions I'm reading other things. Read a few parts of the Essential Acker. The editors have organized it chronologically, so it starts with some only more recently published early works. They all have a element of traditional genre to them, but also a few of them are really pornographic in parts, but in a style that one might call experimental or at least expressionistic: run-on sentences, disordering of logic, fantasy, a literalizing of metaphors, stream of consciousness. You also start to see some of the appropriation she is known for work its way into the works. I'm not going to read this one straight through, but will read sections of it inbetween other works.

Read two comics that... bored me. C.F.'s William Softkey & the Purple Spider is just baffling to me. In many ways it feels childlike, the logic of the story and its elements, but it also just seemed boring and pointless. There was just nothing for me to latch onto. Ripples by Hagiwara Rei is a translation of a small press or self-published manga. It has a loose, watery grey style that is quite non-traditional for the manga one sees in English. The story has this mythological underworld/afterlife thing going on but it all feels very generic, non-specific, too vague (as is the imagery). While the C.F. book is an artist who seems to have reached some solidity with his work (going to a place I am just not interested in), the Rei seems more like an artist moving towards something that could be interesting, but isn't quite there yet.