Thursday, May 28, 2009

Alle Yow Nede Ys Lufe

The hideous Loveshmoos* of the (for lack of a better word) comic Love Is... have always been terrifying creatures who pretty clearly represent somebody's Issues in a bloody big way, but today they also really show off their medieval roots. The female Loveshmoo here poses nude for the male, which would be more shocking if these two shapeless, sexless things weren't always posing naked for each other. What highlights the medievalness*** in the panel is the position of the female (despite the somewhat ironic caption) as an object of the male gaze. She is even on a pedestal of sorts. I think we may have a metaphor for courtly love on our hands.

It does make a great deal of sense. The female Loveshmoo has been elevated to a point that lies beyond the temptations of the flesh, a fact signified by her lack of secondary sexual characteristics; the similarly non-sexual male Loveshmoo represents the purity of the knight's devotion to the lady. The glances they are giving one another, however, are references to the dark underbelly of courtly love: the idea that beneath all the chaste worship is a vast pit of roiling lust. Check out Malory's Lancelot for a good example.**** The Loveshmoos could probably give Lancelot and Guinevere a run for their money. Five seconds after the moment captured in this comic, they'll be going at it like bunnies.******

I do often wish that the Loveshmoos would just go the hell back to the Middle Ages, but since we're stuck with them here, we may as well just ferret out their medieval characteristics and try not to gag as we do so.

*Or, in fact, Loveshmoon.**
**I have been spelling "shmoo" incorrectly for months, but I have discovered the error of my ways and gone back to change all the shmoo references. I think I need to get out more.
***Interesting factoid: Firefox believes that "medievalness" is a word (or it did for a bit. It has stopped now. Damn you, Firefox...stop playing with me!). I think I shall try to use it in Scrabble. I mean, if someone else plays "medieval" and I add "ness" and hit a triple-word score, I shall be rolling in points. Of course, that would necessitate someone else first playing the eight-letter word "medieval," which would gain the player a bingo for using up all seven letters and earn him or her an extra fifty points, but hey: I would get to play an ultra-cool word that Firefox claims exists (sometimes). I shall shut up about Scrabble now.
****"I haven't done anything wrong, Arthur. I'm completely devoted to you. I'm absolutely your most loyal supporter in every possible way. Mordred, Agravaine, and a bunch of other guys caught me sleeping with Guinevere, and I initiated a bloody slaughter that ended with everyone but Mordred dead, then fled for my life and later abducted Guinevere just as you were about to burn her at the stake for adultery? I know, and honestly, I haven't done anything wrong. As God is my witness, I am entirely virtuous in every way." And on and on and on. It just makes me want to freaking slap him.*****
*****Of course, Arthur isn't any better. "But what should I do, Gawain? Lancelot is my truest knight! It doesn't matter that he's slept with my wife; I can always get another one. I'd like to forgive him. You don't want me to? Okay."
******Bunnies without sex organs. Ah well.

1 comment:

jackd said...

Is there anything on the comics page as consistently creepy as the Loveshmoos? Jesu, I hope not.