One should never review a book they have yet to read–as I tell my students, that’s immoral. Of course, my students don’t care and I like to fail them anyway, so no loss. This, however, is not a review; it’s just my inability to get beyond an endorsement of a book I was once interested in reading. Never judge a book by its cover (“unless it covers just another”–thanks Johnny Rotten), but an astute reader can and has no choice but to render certain judgments about a book based on who champions it.
Supergods, the new book by Grant Morrison, has the following as one of its three back-cover endorsements:
“I suddenly realized that everything that I’m trying to say in my nonfiction work, and in some of my fiction work, had been so beautifully and so imaginatively expressed in the work of Grant Morrison.”—Deepak Chopra
I mean, REALLY?
Deepak Chopra? Aw man, I would have accepted a shout out from Oprah with less annoyance than Chopra (though their names are eerily similar). Everything I have ever said, thought, want to think, have written and published is, I hope, the utter antithesis of his . . . oh, what should we call it? Inanity? Chicanery? Hocus-pocus? Fiction? (In terms of the latter, I guess that’s one thing Chopra has in common with comic books).
All I know is, if Morrison’s take on comics and the industry is the epitome of all that Chopra teaches then I’m out. Cancel my subscriptions, I’m done.
The love affair is over.
Except for with the work of Evan Dorkin. I’m pretty sure he would never be endorsed by Chopra. Actually, I bet Milk & Cheese would have a whole lot to say to a person who rattles off sentimental absurdities like, “Every person is a god in embryo, its only desire is to be born.” Um, yeah. So, does such a mawkish bastardization of Hindu wisdom actually work on people?
Seriously, Milk & Cheese, get to work.
If Chopra is right about comics via Morrison’s telling (and Morrison must be cool with their names being attached to one another as authors do have a say-so in terms of their endorsements), then I have to go into detox for fear I’ve been corrupted by yet one more ridiculously gnostic ideology as espoused from this currently popular but soon-to-be-forgotten spiritual guru in a long line of other spiritual gurus (what were their names, again?) duping those in so desperate need of their chimerical crutches. And now, one of the most popular narrators of the stories we love so much has told a story about such stories that Chopra claims represents “everything” he has ever tried to say.
Nope. Can’t read it. Cannot do it.
Well, perhaps, against my better judgment, I can hold out a little hope. I have decided to not a priori rule out, despite what I just said, reading Supergods. Perhaps Chopra misread it (if he read it at all); perhaps Morrison thinks Chopra is a metaphorical instrument for vaginal irrigation; and, perhaps, I am way out of line for ruling out a book based on an endorsement. If so, please convince me as to why I should read it. I am open to the possibility that I’m wrong, that I have much to learn from it, that comics tell far more interesting stories about ourselves than could ever be constructed by a pseudo-scientist in desperate need of a meeting with Tyler Durden, and that such a book is redeemable despite being attached to an “adviser” who makes Joel Osteen seem credible.
So, yeah, have at it. Let me know why I should read it.
About the Author
Tripp York teaches religious studies at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the author of more than half a dozen books including, Third Way Allegiance, The Purple Crown, and Living on Hope While Living in Babylon. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming three-volume collection called the Peaceable Kingdom Series. An actor and a lighting designer, Tripp also surfs and spends his weekends shoveling elephant and giraffe poop.