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Thursday, September 22, 2022 

Grant Morrison writes bizarre novel about drag performance

The dreadful comics writer Morrison was interviewed by Nylon, telling about a new book he's written called Luda, which appears to be some kind of nod to drag performers along with other LGBT subjects. It's also important to remember that he goes by the non-binary identity politic these days, and that's indicated in the article, which begins with the following:
“I’ve always aspired to be what’s left when the Invisible Man relaxes, takes off his fedora and his Ray-Bans before unwinding … into a discarded bog roll bundle on the lino.” So confesses Luci LeBang, the titanic arch-vamp whose monologue makes up Grant Morrison’s new novel, Luda. Luci is an old-school showgirl, and we are her green room guests before she hits the stage. As she narrates her neon-lurid tale of a cursed pantomime production, a drag grifter and a shadow conspiracy underneath the mystical city of Gasglow, she layers her face. Everything is external. And yet, for a grand dame built on exteriority, all she longs for is the void beneath the bandages, “that unfettered absence, that unlimited potential … when you unzip the dresses, unbuckle the heels and roll off the stockings, you’ll find there was never anything else. There was only drag.”

Perhaps there is no Luci LeBang. And perhaps there is no Grant Morrison. Though this is the author’s first foray into prose fiction, they are the unrivaled rock star of the comic book medium. Since storming comics in the ’80s as part of the U.K. talent takeover, along with such luminaries as Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore, they have since steered the lowbrow mythology of our age into a new millennium. Writing themself into their comics, as in Animal Man and their opus The Invisibles, Morrison has crafted an abundant public persona. They are beloved, among other things, as a pop chaos magician, musician, psychedelic spelunker, and gender experimentalist.
In a way, they're right, there is no Morrison. Maybe because, as he himself states in the following, he has no identity, to the point this makes use of confusing pronouns now becoming sad staples of such ideologues:
And yet, Morrison, like Luci, understands these aspects of self to be adornment: no less valuable, but not necessarily intrinsic. “I know there are some of us,” they tell NYLON, “where inside there’s an emptiness, whether it’s a Buddhist kind of emptiness or just a pure zero.” This is no nihilistic Patrick Bateman confession but an unshackling from the burdens of identity. “I don’t feel attached to any gender,” they say. “I don’t feel attached to my nationality. I don’t feel attached to my species, to be honest.”
I guess this is even more telling. He's so obsessed with being an ideologue, he even shuns his own nationality? There are Scots who're proud of their identity. Why isn't he? But, that's exactly why you shouldn't be surprised if there's Scottish citizens out there who'll tell you somebody like that, who even goes so far as to take up the most bizarre LGBT ideology, isn't considered a national treasure. If anything, as this report on said ideology makes clear, it's certainly not because of what the local government in Scotland is doing that he doesn't feel attachment to that side of the country, since he's embracing exactly what they're shoving down everyone's throats at the expense of women and children, including J.K. Rowling, who's got Scottish ancestry as well. Also dismaying is their description of the medium as "lowbrow", which says a bit more what they must really think of it. The Morrison mishmash continues:
Morrison describes this inherent self-neutrality as a “superposition, the idea of having multiple potentials existing simultaneously,” a gate to endless personalities and possibilities within, which can best be channeled through the mercurial art of drag, and in the ensemble dramas of comic books. With the rise in popularity of psychiatric theorist Richard Schwartz’s Internal Family Systems, which posits each person as the host of multiple inner parts, all with their own desires, needs, and trauma responses, our internal universe may be shifting from me to we. “There’s a swarm of versions of me,” Morrison says. “Some are boys and some are girls; some are tough; some are weak. I don’t see it as a kind of dissociative disorder: These characters all sit around a table and work together.” The deadly femmes of their New X-Men, the glorious constables of their Justice League of America, and the punk terrorists of The Invisibles, then, are all facets of Morrison.
At this point, they're all embarrassments, penned by a virtue-signaler who really believes this kind of "punk subculture" embrace will really endear him to everyone. And it continues in the following, where they claim he actually supports the optimist view Superman was built upon:
And yet, for all her world-weariness, Luci is a joyful creation. Morrison, ever the optimistic Aquarian, has resisted the aggro vogue of “dark” and “gritty” postmodernism in their comic books; they understand that it’s braver to depict Superman saving the day with a smile than glowering in the rain. [...]
Yup, he and the magazine are resorting to "pronoun distortion", making it difficult to read and comprehend properly. And why does he and the magazine believe embracing this muddled ideology makes it possible to believe he allegedly respects the optimistic Superman vision? Recalling he went the opposite route with New X-Men in the early 2000s, which was dreadful, that too can conflict with the claim he doesn't support darkness.
The ensuing showdown, between drag artist and con artist, distorts any paradigm of gender and genre, rendering both combatants at once ingenious, moronic, savage, and ultimately sublime. Like Morrison’s own liquid relationship with their gender identity, Luda is too versatile, too self-aware, too kinetic, and possibly too fun to be lumped into any roundup of “important” trans or queer literature. But, if such a thing as drag literature exists, the sort of books that Divine is reading in heaven, Luda belongs at the top of the heap. “I like being witty,” Morrison says. “I grew up with Oscar Wildes and Quentin Crisps; I loved the wit of gay men, and I brought that to my life. Just being allowed to talk with that version of that voice, to elaborate that, and make it more baroque and psychedelic, was great.”
Sorry, but he is not witty at all. He's just a virtue-signaler who's been lionized by leftists for far too long, and has not contributed in the best of ways to the art of comics. It wouldn't be surprising if he has no respect for Rowling either.

Far-left writer Noah Berlatsky reviewed the book for the LA Times, and is predictably gushy about it:
“Luda,” the debut novel of world-famous comics writer Grant Morrison, is a sprawling camp postmodern novel in which patriarchy is defined as a kind of magical Oedipal drag. Like Morrison’s work on everything from Batman to the X-Men, except even more so, the book is wildly and sometimes tediously self-indulgent. Also like the comics, it is in parts wildly, and weirdly, brilliant.
Gee, if it's self-indulgent, doesn't that say something about this LGBT practitioner who's just so full of himself? Which, come to think of it, is also the problem with Berlatsky.
The main character is a sort of sideways Morrison stand-in, Graeme Mott, a.k.a. Luci LaBang. Morrison’s pronouns are they/them; Luci’s fluctuate throughout the novel, as befits one known for “declaring war on fixed gender identity in French Vogue.”
And this sounds like a subtle attack on Latin, and even Hebrew, which employ certain differences in referring to men and women, along with masculine/feminine pronunciations. Oh, by the way, why is it so crucial we know Morrison's pronouns? The article continues:
The Oedipus myth is not just about parents; it’s about patriarchy. The novel’s protagonists are gender renegades, but masculinity stalks them like a hungry phantom. Morrison’s backstory for Luda is a gothic kaleidoscope of the horrors that can afflict a child who doesn’t fit parental preconceptions: neglect, physical and sexual abuse, conversion therapy, genocidal hatred.

Luda, we learn, was originally a homeless youth, picked up by a bereaved couple who wanted to replace the child they’d lost. In doing so they erased the boy Luda had been, both metaphorically and literally, and then blamed the child for the erasure. “If I were to tell you the Antichrist had come among us, in the form of a soulless child ...,” Luda’s former caregiver tells Luci with lip-licking sadism.

Morrison makes repeated, explicit allusions to “The Omen,” a film about a nightmare child determined to replace his powerful father. In doing so, the author deliberately invokes the history of invidious trans predator stereotypes, from Norman Bates in “Psycho” to Buffalo Bill in “The Silence of the Lambs.” Gender-nonconforming people are often presented on film and in popular discourse as distorted hypermasculine predators. We’re supposed to believe Oedipus is even more destructive if he wears his mother’s dresses. Patriarchy builds its heir in its own murderous image, then insists that image isn’t patriarchal enough.
If they're attacking the premise of Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 classic, it only figures these SJWs would get around to doing that sooner or later. And it sounds like - surprise, surprise - they're belittling parenthood too, which is pretty much what the far-left has been advocating for years now, and declaring families illegitimate. If any of this info says something, Morrison's not very respectful of family, and that's what makes this latest venture of his troubling.

Morrison was also interviewed by Distractify, discussing his departure from DC's employ, and here, it's even more difficult to read, based on his and the publication's insistence on addressing him as "them/their", which is even more noticeable:
When it comes to contributions to the world of comic books, few can hold a candle to the sheer amount of critically-acclaimed work that Grant Morrison (who identifies as non-binary) has put out. Over the course of the last 40 years, they have left their imprint on a variety of some of the biggest superheroes on the planet, including the likes of Batman and Superman. Through those experiences, Grant has learned a wealth of knowledge about how the industry works and how to best navigate it as an independent creative.

In an exclusive conversation with Distractify, Grant openly discusses their feelings about the impactful work they have put out, their thoughts on their past relationship with DC, and what the latest and greatest thing they're up to nowadays is.
With all that "pronoun" nonsense, you can see this going to be very appalling already. And then, a third appears to be included in the text:
"We were asked to be different, and so that kind of stuck for us. We were always allowed to do our own thing, which I think was kind of unusual," they add. "Even in something like comics as they became way more corporate, but we were allowed to sort of be punks, you know? British punks, and be a bit weird and different. That was great because it allowed us to just break some new ground and make a lot of mistakes, but even those mistakes are interesting."

Grant has nothing negative to say about their time working with the highly corporatized comic entity, either. "During my time at DC, I was given quite a lot of leeway to do anything at all, so what you see is what you get," they tell us. "That’s me; even when it was bad that was me. You can’t blame editors generally. But I was given very much free reign."
Yes, isn't that interesting? They lavish all this privilege for a man who's gone way overboard with his questionable content at the expense of entertainment value, at a time when PC was becoming increasingly commonplace. Of course he'd have no misgivings about his time writing for DC/Marvel. It doesn't sound like there's any questions raised whether corporatism is a healthy direction either. And "punk subculture" is just the problem with a lot of these visions; they ultimately turn out to be very poor influences. Also look at how, in another bewildering example, he appears to be describing himself with "we were", rather than "I was". Pure Orwellianism. I don't think even Moore was ever given as much free reign as Morrison had, and that's why this is just so head-shaking.
"I used to be very into drag and its performance when I was in my twenties and thirties particularly," they tell us. "I remember getting to a point in my mid-forties where I suddenly realized the dress wasn’t doing to look good anymore and I started hanging up these versions of myself in the closet that I would never become again. And I thought it was just an interesting story."
As someone who feels drag performance is gender-based blackface, this is quite dismaying he thinks it's such a big deal, past or present.
Grant says that LUDA sees Luci deal with personal issues that many can relate to. "How do you deal with the idea of someone coming along and trying to take your place? I think every generation has to deal with this at one point or another. I think you have to anchor any story in personal experience, especially a novel."
And since he's apparently a LGBT practitioner himself, so at least we know where he's coming from with this. It's a real shame he's embracing ideologies that emphasize a form of segregation from society, and end up hurting families.
As for the difference between writing LUDA and writing any of their fan-favorite comic books, Grant notes that "When you’re dealing with a Batman or a Superman, those characters are established. With a novel you have to go deep, and I felt like I had to bring real emotions and real stories and real drama to it because otherwise it would have been fake. There’s a performance to it, but it has to be grounded in something real as well."
How fascinating he ostensibly recognizes the Masked Manhunter and Man of Steel are established, because he sure hasn't respected much of anything they're built upon, nor the X-Men, for that matter, and it makes little difference whether they've got a dark or bright viewpoint (though it could easily be argued the former ruined the latter in the long run). Most of his resume is so overrated, including his take on Animal Man from the late 1980s, and Doom Patrol. Now, he's really taking things into considerable embarrassment anybody with more common sense could do without. No wonder the comics medium is collapsing.

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