Wank Bush Out of Office!

Grant Morrison tells you how

Grant Morrison doesn't just write Batman or the X-Men, he reinvents them. In Batman: Arkham Asylum, he delved into the bug-fuck craziness behind a man who dresses like a bat to fight crime every night. In his current run on New X-Men, he's taken the popular team of persecuted mutants and transformed them from mere superheroes into a school and corporation dedicated to fighting for mutant rights through politics, economics and culture wars.

"I saw the X-Men as a super-evolved collision of the international Scout movement, the Scientologists and the Red Cross," says Morrison. "In a fictional world like that of the X-Men, where a growing number of children are being born with 'mutant' superpowers every day, it became more interesting to look beyond the standard question—'What would it be like if they fight?'—to questions which had never really been asked before, like, 'What would your politics be like if you could read minds?' 'What would fashion look like if you had to design for gaseous forms or fish-people?' 'What kind of music would be made by mutants who can hear in the ultrasonic and subsonic frequencies?' Thinking along those lines opened up a wealth of story possibilities, so I became very interested in the background details of an emerging mutant culture."

That untamed imagination explains Morrison's authorship of a string of alternative comics, including the paranoid sci-fi epic The Filth, the nihilistic Kill Your Boyfriend and the raucous Invisibles, about a band of metaphysical terrorists. But what's better—more interesting, terrifying and real, or, perhaps, a terrifyingly unreal and clever fiction—is what Morrison is up to when he's off the comic-book page: practicing magic and, even stranger, lecturing the corporate world on the subject of magic through his UK-based consulting firm gmWORD Ltd.

At the center of Morrison's magic is the "sigil," a magical symbol most easily created by writing a sentence, such as "I want a pony," and removing the vowels and spaces from it so that what emerges is something like a vanity license plate and a talisman (WNTPNY), and then, in the graphic-design phase, laying each of the letters atop one another until they are almost inscrutable, rune-like (check out the myriad OC skateboard firms whose corporate names include numbers in place of letters, backward letters and apparently meaningless hieroglyphs). The magician—and Morrison says anyone can be a magician—then concentrates on the image of the sigil at a moment of intense concentration and clarity—say, during the moment of orgasm.

"Corporations are very excited by all of this stuff," says Morrison. "They thrive on 'magical' ideas, in fact, and recognize what it is I'm talking about when I describe the operation of sigils. What else is a logo but a sigil? Compare the corporate logos of the 21st century with the demonic 'seals' of the medieval grimoires. What else is a corporation but a kind of demon or god? The corporation has no actual physical existence but it can occupy buildings with its essence. Like a god, a corporation is an intangible idea-complex which attracts dedicated followers and devotees who then work until retirement or death to ensure that the great ghostly corporate entity is kept functioning. Corporations employ feng shui experts, astrologers, trend analysts (what they used to call prophets) and NLP [Neuro Linguistic Programming] mind-control experts."

Morrison says the sigil works, and that he's been practicing it for 23 years. We have only this to verify his success: a few years back, nearly 6,000 people say they masturbated en masse to keep DC Comics from canceling The Invisibles. It was saved.

Could the use of such sigil magic—of large numbers of people performing a masturbation ritual while focused on MPCHBSHNW at a predetermined time—remove George W. Bush from office? Morrison thinks it's possible, but warns that the president certainly has wankers of his own.

"Dubya will most certainly employ teams of trained White House masturbators," he says, "and I imagine these dedicated men and women would be able to respond very quickly and gloppily to any incoming sigil attack directed at the president. Strategic onanistic capability is the big buzzword on Capitol Hill this year.

"I'm not sure how many people have tried mass sigil experiments apart from my own, so these limitations and boundaries remain to be tested and established. It may well be possible to save a nation from the abyss of mediocrity if enough people want it hard enough . . . ." And even if jacking off doesn't succeed, it's more than the Democrats are doing right now.

On his website (grant-morrison.com), Morrison is serializing chapters of a future book, Pop Magic, a practical, 'non-occult' account of how to do magic and what he thinks is going on when you do it, including chapters on corporate magic, multiple personality complexes as the next stage in the evolution of the mind, and creating your own tarot pack with a Polaroid camera.

"When you scrape away all the semiotic barnacles which have accumulated over centuries," says Morrison, "you find that underneath all the mumbo jumbo seems to be a very simple process of heightened participation and engagement with the environment. Divination becomes a matter of observing and forecasting trends. Prayer becomes a method for activating self-defense systems in the human personality complex. We are describing the same nervous-system events our ancestors observed without allowing ourselves to get caught up in the often inappropriate terminology they used to describe those events."

Grant Morrison appears at the San Diego Comic-Con, July 17-20, San Diego Convention Center, www.comic-con.org. Four-day passes, $30-$55, single-day passes, $10-$30.
 
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