An Open Letter to Glenn Beck

Dear Glenn,

You don’t know me. I’m Aaron Simon. I’m probably one of your least favorite people on the planet. I’ve voted for Obama both times, voted Green, Progressive, and Democrat in elections, and think that the free market is in need of serious regulation before it destroys society. Not only that, but I’m largely and strongly opposed to the more fundamentalist brands of evangelical Christianity, and Mormonism trips me out.

If we met in a bar, we would shake hands and say, “It’s nice to meet you,” but neither of us would really mean it.

I say all of this not to introduce myself, but to offer myself in to your employment. See, you’ve got something I don’t have: Money. Currently, I live in a drafty one-bedroom apartment in Portland, Oregon – a city you would loathe, even though I think you’d really like the Eastern part of the state – and while I really like it, for the past week, the temperature inside the apartment hasn’t gone above forty degrees. I’ve forgotten what warmth is, and I’m just waiting for the wampas to come get me. (Wampas, in case you don’t know, are a Star Wars critter that eviscerates pack animals and likes to hang people upside down from icicle boots. I don’t think you’d know this, because Star Wars implies there are galaxies outside our own, possibly not created by God.)

I’d like to come work for you for the money. Let’s not beat around the bush about it. You have money, and I need money in order to turn on the heat. But what can I do? Well, I’m a writer. A wordsmith. I know my way around screenplays and novels. I’ve seen what you can do. I’ve read your book, Broke, and have read the brief intro for Immortal and the accompanying film. Glenn: You can do better. Immortal? Really? Wasn’t that the prequel for 300? How’s this for a title: Santa Invictus. It’s dark. Gritty. Gets you thinking. Really puts the Santa character into a position where you know that he’s going to be a hunter-gatherer-warrior dedicated to… well, I don’t know. Your premise kind of loses its legs after the man Agios promises to protect is crucified, and, frankly, I don’t know how you’re going to fit this into a 90-page shooting script. Don’t worry, though. We can go over that after you’ve hired me on.

What else is there to say? I don’t ask much in terms of compensation. Money is obviously very important to you, so I won’t ask to take too much away. Just enough to be comfortably middle class and fly out to wherever it is you live and work for our writers’ room meetings. Because I’m sure as hell not moving out of Portland. Don’t worry. I have the Internet. You can get a hold of me very easily, even if I don’t really get cell phone reception in my apartment. That’s what Skype is for!

So, Glenn, what do you say? With your rampant desire for more money and airtime, and my skills as a writer and all-around story-thinker-upper, I think we can come up with some stuff that’s, you know, legitimately well-written. Something that’s got a chance of taking your shaky message away from the evangelical Christians who absolutely love it and into the mainstream, thus, maybe – just maybe – putting you in the position of actually being the immortal god-king-slayer that you think yourself to be.

Whaddya say, Glenn? You’ve got my email address. I’m waiting to hear back.

All the best,

Aaron Simon

On Spider-Man As A Minority

With great power, my friend. With great power.

I could take this time to comment on the coming implosion of capitalism as corporate America hires less and less people and makes more and more profit. Or I could use this space as a way to discuss the worrying trend of having a Presidential candidate whose husband is so closeted he needs a walk-in.

But I’m not going to.

I’m going to talk about comics. Because in a world this batshit insane, in a climate this crazy, it seems like Marvel Comics is the sanest thing around.

See, while the company has recently developed the eyebrow-raising maneuver of revealing major spoilers to the mainstream media, seeing a bunch of people who habitually wear capes and are famous because of their alcoholism and psychotic breaks makes more sense than this shit.

Last night, I saw Man of La Mancha. While I’m still ambivalent towards musicals, there was a great bit of dialogue in it where Cervantes has a mini-monologue about how the world is so horrible that, sometimes, diving into a world of fantasy is the only sane thing to do. I’m inclined to agree with him. The country–and definitely the world–seem to be spiraling to a point where we almost need a deity of some sort to pop down to Earth, smack us in the face, and go, “No.”

So I turn to comics and video games when I get too tired of hearing about the shit going down in Washington, The Hague, or, oh yeah, Somalia. And, you know, it’s all good. The most controversy there seems to be in the comics world is what’s up with Supes wearing jeans.

That is, until Glenn Beck apparently hears about what Joe Quesada and the rest of Marvel are doing.

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