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Figure Drawing Book

Original Owner: 
SpankyHam
Figure Drawing Book
Figure Drawing Book
Figure Drawing Book
Figure Drawing Book
Figure Drawing Book
Figure Drawing Book
Figure Drawing Book
Figure Drawing Book
Figure Drawing Book
Figure Drawing Book

Will's story that came with the Figure Drawing Book:

My First Steps Into Existentialism via MTV - Circa 1985. In 1985 I was 9. I watched MTV because it was still kind of new and they played videos. The videos were nice and fun and the perfect length for my ever shortening attention span. This was thanks to, in no small part, Atari and video games in general.  I remember it was just before my 10th birthday, so it was probably late October and the song "Take On Me" by some euro-pop "supergroup" of the 80's called A-Ha was taking America by storm.

As part of that taking, they made a video. One Saturday afternoon, probably after watching cartoons all morning, followed by American Bandstand and then, Soul Train, I was watching my favorite channel, MTV.


I was, I'm sure, thinking of all the wonderful things about the mid 1980's like Goonies and Gremlins and Michael Jackson (before he was weird), Spider-man, the Hulk, skateboards, Karate Kid, Mr. T., A-Team, Knight Rider, He-Man,Temple of Doom, Members Only jackets, Transformers, GI Joes, and the Smurfs. These things were no doubt in my head. The thought of upcoming Halloween and what I would be was probably swimming around in there too. I think I went as some kind of Hobo back when it was okay to go trick or treating as a homeless person.

I don't remember the setup to the video. It was, most likely, some big-haired "video DJ" saying something along the lines of, "okay dudes, check out this new totally radical video from A-Ha!!

So, if you remember that video, which you must because anyone who was alive and even half paying attention in 1985 remembers this piece of video gold, remembers that it's all about this girl who's at a (most likely European) coffee shop reading a comic when it comes to life and the lead singer puts his sketchy hand out of the page and pulls her in.  Here's the literal version of the video which is as good as the original if you ask me because when I was 9 I couldn't have given a half a shit what words they were saying. Something about "take on  me, take me on, take me.." whatever. A-Ha were no lyrical geniuses.

So I'm watching this video and it's like Through The Looking-Glass, but I was too young to know that Lewis Carroll reference, so I just watched it in stunned silence as it went from drawn to real and back and forth and the guy danced behind a mirror or some magic screen that made everything on his side look real from the girl's perspective and from his perspective she was real and it forced a 9 year old to think about points of reference and from there the video got exciting and there were some drawn bad guy's that looked like the kind of bad guys they grow in Europe because they're running bat shit crazy around a drawing of a hallway waving pipe wrenches like they're sabre's and the whole thing was like weirdness overload because never had I seen anything like that on any TV ever.

Over the weeks they played the video non-stop. It seemed to be on endless loop. Every time I watched it I stopped and thought afterward about frames of reference. Little did I know that A-Ha had pushed me right into the deep end of existential quandary.  From our POV, it looks like fiction, but from their POV we look like fiction and what if we're in a drawn land and looking into windows of reality and we think they're in a drawn land and we're in reality when we're really in the fiction and don't even know it and then what if some fucker with a pipe wrench shows up and tries to bash our heads in.  It made me question the nature of reality our own reality and then the possibility of alternate realities that we don't even recognize.  From there it spiraled into the question of forced perspective and the creation or manipulation of reality.  Do you know how many times I tried to look at the very corner of my TV to see if there was a way in? It's an embarrassing number.

See, now that I'm 33, I can almost relate what was happening and what I was thinking, but at the time, being 9, I had only the concepts and metaphors that I had gained in 9 short years. I couldn't explain what I was thinking or even follow the thoughts.  I mean, I was at the level of "What if I drew something and then that drawing became real and I fell into it and then I could draw whatever I wanted and it became real?" I mean, embedded within that convoluted sentence lies some real solid existential questions that only super braniac philosophers could fully tackle and this A-Ha video had implanted those seeds into my 9 year old brain.

MTV played shit out from day one when they played the fucking Buggles over and over again until I wanted to scream and that's what they did with A-Ha.  They played it out and I thought too much and finally, as spring was coming and it was 1986, I started to turn the TV off when I saw that video come on or, worse, I'd turn the TV off and go outside.  The heaviness associated with the video and the thoughts surrounding it had created a kind of regression in me.  Finally I just went outside and rode my bike.  There was no thinking involved, just plain doing.
 

OMG!  You said Weenis!  I

OMG!  You said Weenis!  I thought my eight year old twins were the only ones who used that word!  I love this book, I might have to get it for my gay Belgian boss for Xmas!  I have the perfect trade-two ceramic old people dolls that are 4 feet tall and scary as hell!  Remenber the movie, "The Puppetmaster"?  I just have to steal them from my cousin's closet first..........

Oooohhh...that sounds

Oooohhh...that sounds cool.
Plus, you get extra credit for stealing. I can't wait!

 Hey there Rosalie,  Is this

 Hey there Rosalie, 

Is this magical book still available?  I can arrange all sorts of things for trade for it if it still is.  Let me know.

Sean Leary

 Yes, yes it is Sean. I can't

 Yes, yes it is Sean. I can't quite believe that it is....but it is. 

 Eggcellent.  I'll get right

 Eggcellent.  I'll get right to work.