Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Love Triangle is Broken?

I remember what I was going to write about!

Archie Andrews has proposed to Veronica Lodge. I know Jon won't care one way or the other, somehow having missed the cultural icon that is Archie Comics. But nonetheless, the news is in: Archie, after 60 years of indecision, has finally picked a girl. Now, it's the first of a 6-part series, so who know's what'll happen between now and then--knowing these comics, I'd say everything reverts to status quo, but I have a suspicion that they just might be finishing the comics for good, and, if they do, they might want to do it with a bang.

I have two things to note about that ending (if it is one). The first is that I'd have prefered that it ended with Archie still unable to pick. I do like endings which continue those essential traits of a character--Capt. Jack Sparrow sailing off on a new adventure, the cowboy moving on to the next town, etc etc. That's not say that I don't like development, but that I also appreciate seeing characters ending in situations that are still dynamic.

The second is that, as everyone on-line has said, he picked the wrong one. I mean, Ronnie! He can pick between the good-hearted, pretty girl next door, and the spoiled, self-absorbed (albiet better-funded) skank. And, frankly, they are exactly equally attractive; I say this because if you swapped their hair and clothes, they would look like the other. They are drawn the same. So in this case, it quite honestly is entirely personality. And Betty's just nicer. Poor, but nicer.

But the real reason I'm interested in this is that it's significantly altered a cultural icon. At least three generations grew up with Archie Andrews and his indecisiveness, and now they've gone and changed it. I've used this as a metaphor for a number of things by now, at least once on this blog. Now they've changed it and my analogy won't work. It's perfect for a number of things: times in which something is used out of turn; times in which someone can't pick between two appealing options; times in which friends remain friends in spite of potentially disruptive rivalries. It's a useful metaphor for many things. And now they've gone and buggered that up. Well, I still intend to use it anyway. I guess I'm just sore that they went and changed my childhood.

They spent too much time discussing it on the news, though. They brought in an expert, even. I suppose it makes sense that there is an Archie comics expert somewhere. It's a cultural force which people surely study. They also called on on-line discussion and reader comments (reader comments? why?).

Anyway, that's it for now. Weigh in if you've got anything to say.

Oh, and last night I rediscovered Lovecraft's love of the adjective.

[Edit 25 Feb 2011: On revisiting this post, I realized I never did indicate that it all turned out to be a literary-alternate-dimension thing. That is to say, we've been given a glimpse of two possible futures, one of which will happen; the trick is that we don't know which.]


Jon Wong said...

I don't understand where I come into all this - including whatever it was you were talking about in your last post. In fact, I have read my name twice in the last 2 posts and still don't understand why I'm mentioned...

Christian H said...

Oh, just that you haven't read them and I still don't get how you managed to miss them as a kid, which means you might not care much about the topic. That's all.

Jon Wong said...

Yeah, but what's this all about from your previous post?

"I was going to have a paragraph responding to what Jon would likely think about whatever I had in mind to write about."


roz said...

yes, why did he pick the rich, spoiled one over the girl-next-door? Betty is obviously the one!

Christian H said...

Jon, this seems to be a pretty trivial concern to me, but here's the answer: when I still couldn't remember what the topic was, I thought I had a whole paragraph devoted to your response. Once I realized what I was writing about, I realized that I didn't need to write a whole paragraph explaining to you the cultural significance and internal nuances of Archie comics, and so included only a sentence, not a paragraph. That is all. No big deal.

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