Less organic intellectuals than morbid symptoms

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. homunculette
    April 26, 2017 @ 1:24 pm

    Hey Josh – seen this?
    it’s a surrealist examination of a specific Garfield comic strip that lasts about an hour, starring the actor John Blyth Barrymore, set to the score of Kundun by Philip Glass. Strongly recommended. (There’s also a whole series of these.)


    • Sean Dillon
      April 26, 2017 @ 2:50 pm


      • Josh Marsfelder
        April 27, 2017 @ 7:50 pm

        @Homuculette: I’ve not, but I’ll take a look at it, thanks!

        @Sean: Believe me, I’m quite familiar with Lasagna Cat ;-).

        Pretty sure they got the date wrong though. But the strip that went out on the actual date of the pilot wouldn’t have worked as well.


        • Sean Dillon
          April 27, 2017 @ 11:09 pm

          I mean, they’re both Lasagna Cat videos.


          • Josh Marsfelder
            April 28, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

            Yes, I saw yours first and was not at the time aware that was a series and not a one-off parody,

  2. mr_mond
    April 26, 2017 @ 3:52 pm

    I don’t really have anything to contribute, just wanted to say that this is a beautiful piece that resonates strongly with stuff I’m dealing with right now – ever since I’ve become a vegetarian and even more strongly since my girlfriend bought an allotment, which allows me to observe more nature then I did previously, I have become increasingly overwhelmed by the consiousness of the huge amount of suffering that exists in the world (in large part due to human activities). I am also trying to re-orient my thinking about witnessing death: part of me understands and deeply feels that it’s simply a change of state, while another part deals with a sense of loss and hurt. I think the image of Garfield asking “Where are you know?” will stay with me now thanks to how you wrote about it.


    • mr_mond
      April 26, 2017 @ 3:54 pm

      Oh, and I will now definitely go back and read all of your Permanent Saturday series from start to finish.


  3. Jane
    April 29, 2017 @ 2:21 am

    The World Tree is the axis mundi that connects Above and Below, Past and Future, to the Here and Now.

    And it’s been cut.

    So there’s also a fundamental “lack of connection” being expressed here. The axis mundi is perfectly fine connecting the opposites. But instead it’s been repurposed — it’s now in service to someone surfing in a tropical paradise (yes, I totally read that as death and afterlife, but reincarnation works too), and it doesn’t even realize it isn’t coming back as a tree. The tree doesn’t know it’s dead. Talk about a lack of connection.

    But then, The Island is a resurrection hub, and an axis mundi in its own right, so it really does all tie together. The tree isn’t lost.


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