Monday, January 11, 2010

Tigers and Butterflies (and Gaga and Penelope)

Sometimes I notice certain symbols popping into my life with a great regularity bordering on synchronicity. I've noticed a lot of butterfly pictures/art/symbolism in my everyday life since I wrote Punisher MAX: Butterfly. Because the cover was so striking, once I finally saw it those "butterfly sightings" increased dramatically. I love the iconic quality of the cover, by the way, rendered by the book's artist Laurence Campbell.

Honestly, the name "Butterfly" became attached to this project because it was the first thing that popped in my head when I started writing. Retroactively, I can see how key butterfly symbolism – rebirth, metamorphosis, the soul, etc, – might relate to the story. But I rarely consciously load a story with symbolism; rather, I just write it and everything else takes care of itself. It works a hell of a lot better than trying to shoehorn certain themes and tropes into the piece to show how clever I am. My subconscious is far more clever than I am.

So butterflies, I must notice them like at least ten times a day. But another symbol on my radar lately are tigers.

Well, it's the Year of the Tiger and I was born in the year of the tiger (1974), so that might explain a lot. Then there's that famous tiger, Tiger:

I know that Tiger Woods made many poor decisions regarding his love-life, but I can't help feel like he's in the eye of the storm of a media plot to completely take him down. That's just how I feel. You can really feel the collective crackle of joy in the mediasphere at the thought of someone who was so high being brought so low. Charlie Sheen allegedly threatened his wife at knifepoint; yet I don't see the same fervor in the media to take Sheen down. And c'mon: like infidelity on the level of what is alleged with Tiger doesn't happen in the realms of sports, Hollywood and politics all the time.

Oh well. I guess if God forbid something terrible happens to him, everybody will love him again and erect a statue in his honor. Because that's how it works. But honestly, I think Tiger will get out of this situation a stronger person. And he won't even have to take Brit Hume's advice to do it!

The idea of the media "eating" Tiger Woods leads me to a recent story out of China concerning a man who was jailed for hunting, killing, and eating a rare tiger. Eating tiger meat was a delicacy in that country, but now it is illegal. It also reminded me of the movie I saw recently, "The Hangover," in which Mike Tyson's tiger is inexplicably found in a hotel bathroom. As for the standard tiger symbolism, the creature represents all the usual awesome stuff: strength, fearlessness, and, of course, virility.

Let's bring this post all the way home by showing a picture of a tiger swallowtail butterfly taking nectar from a tigerlily:

There we go. The circle is complete.

Synchronicity update:
I wrote this post yesterday, but this morning I found an article on HuffPo about pet tiger who just mauled his owner. (the hunted is now the hunter)

On last night's Simpsons, Princess Penelope has butterfly motifs decorating her dressing room. The episode is about a female character who is brought on to the Krusty show to bring up the female demographic (weird to see Lisa caught up in the "Princess" craze, but there you are).

Princess Penelope was sent to be a rival to Krusty: but in actuality she's always been his biggest fan! "I loved you since I was a 12-year-old girl in Mineola Long Island, watching your show."

Ah! And here is a sketch of a tiger-like creature my boyfriend's niece recently sent us:

Finally, I think of the Lion King stuffed animal riding the coattails of the ersatz Lady Gaga in the "Bad Romance" video I recently posted:

and the real thing (is her cape a tiger or some sort of polar bear?):

Connecting Lady Gaga to Princess Penelope, they both wear a crown:

And have fanciful & colorful horses:

Anyway, that's my crazy esoteric post of the day, just for the few kids sitting in the back who appreciate that sort of babble. Enjoy it!

1 comment:

  1. "And c'mon: like infidelity on the level of what is alleged with Tiger doesn't happen in the realms of sports, Hollywood and politics all the time."

    Serial cheaters is one thing, but the sheer number of women, especially because most apparently thought they were the only other woman in Tiger's,life

    Also, Tiger's squeaky clean public image helps fuel the schadenfreude. Charlie Sheen has been seen as a dirtbag for awhile.

    Tiger always came across as kind of a dick to me anyway. F him and Lance Armstrong. (I have no personal knowledge of either, these are just my impressions from the media - of course Brad Pitt on talk shows always came across as stupid or the world's biggest stoner, and at least the latter is known to be true)