Thursday, February 29, 2024

For reasons that I can't recall now, I had been trying to be more mindful about sleep--get to bed on time, that sort of thing--and it's done the opposite of help, I slept better just winging it. So why not stay up late...and read a comic with problems that were problems almost 40 years ago, that are still problems today. Ooh, that'll help. From 1987, Blue Beetle #16, "Anywhere I Hang My Head is Home!" Written by Len Wein, pencils by Ross Andru, inks by Danny Bulanadi. 

Blue Beetle's working the case of the "skid-row slasher," who seems to be preying on Chicago's homeless. Beetle had encountered him after a burglary of an experimental leukemia cure, and he had lost it while fleeing when he tripped over a homeless guy sleeping in a doorway. The slasher made his escape in the elevated train--gee, if only Beetle had something to give chase, like a bug-shaped airship--seriously, he could've beat him to the next terminal! Still, the bad guy escalated from burglary to murder really quickly, trying to get the homeless to tell him where the cure was, or the guy he tripped over at least. 

Beetle meets several of Chicago's homeless, including an older woman who is brave, articulate, and independent: he's momentarily concerned for her, but figures she can take care of herself. So, of course she's the next to die. Putting that aside, the homeless are treated better here than in a lot of comics of the time: they aren't thrilled about their circumstances, but aren't whiners about it, either. Despite having his own company, Beetle doesn't really have any answers for them: he wasn't Wayne-rich, and would be poorer shortly.


Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

"The tramp on the street, homeless and weak
could be I but for the grace of God
The steel of my soul would have weakened and bent
Had I traveled the highways he's trod."

It's really & truly beyond messed up now more than ever in this time in modern history in this country how we're just about all one paycheck away from being homeless ourselves. Or at least knowing the joys of living cramped up in your car. Either way, yes, 40 years on, and we're still no closer to solving the true roots of this problem. I blame the rich & the policies made by the policymakers that protect them & keep them from paying their fair share, be it through taxes or by paying fair wages to their workers.

Anyhoo, so was Lenny listening to Metallica by any chance when he thought up the title of this one? Just curious.

Also, while I appreciate him trying to put a more positive spin those who are homeless, it also kinda feels like it rings very false/disingenuously unrealistic in terms of "See? Not everyone who's homeless is miserable about it." Idk, could just be me.

As for curing your sleep issues, perhaps indulging in some high times may help? Edibles? Listening to C-Span on loop? Listening to white/green noise in the form of naturescape sounds? Just a thought.

googum said...

No, usually I sleep like a goddamn corpse; but for some reason thought I had to be "mindful" of it. End result was like when you're overly conscious of your own breathing, or your tongue in your mouth...

H said...

I hear you, brother- if I try to go to sleep before I’m tired, I just get all tense and roll around.

H said...

Man, I forgot that I was going to say something about the book too. It’s a good one- one of the few that made it through Crisis relatively unscathed. A nice meditation on legacy and passing things on to the next generation without the datedness that ruined so many other books doing that around this time. Getting the Showcase Presents volume was an easy yes.