Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Endless

Another of day of sadness passes. Dancing Queen's father just past away this morning, and everybody in our batch who knew him are in deep sorrow, especially the girls in our section who consider him as their surrogate father. A sad day for all of us.It just seems there's been a lot of deaths lately, from our batchmate Venus to Dancing Queen's father. I also heard that Venus's grandmother died just a couple of weeks ago, seems she can't bear what happened to her grandchild. Too much strain maybe...

What is Death? Death is depicted by many forms, so when we die perhaps there is somebody waiting to take us to the realm of the spirits. Tradionally, Death is percieved by a bony skeleton holding a scythe; others think of him as a dark shroud of shadow or even a serious brooding man like in the movie "Meet Joe Black". But I like Neil Gaiman's version of Death as a goth chick. Black leather outfit, deep eyeshadows, anhk necklace with a black handbag is bloody cool (um...pun unintended). At least when I die, I'd have a pretty babe to guide me, hehe.

Speaking of Neil Gaiman (and basing his works on Sandman), I would suppose everyone would see him a weird guy. Others, like me, consider him to be one of the most refreshingly original writers and storytellers of this century. For those who are not in the know, the Sandman comics is kind of story which touches the lives of people all through the ages all over world (and the universe for that matter), through depictions of sorrow, death, anger and, yes, dreams. Brief sypnosis...

Neil Gaiman's world covers everything, from history to modern day life, from the mundane to the surreal. From these stories arise seven beings greater than the gods, called the Endless. They are Death, Desire, Delirium, Destiny, Destruction, Dream and Despair. They are ideas; their forms made by what people percieved them to be. Death looks a like a teenage goth chick, yet strangely happy-go-lucky. Delirium is a little girl with a punk hairdo, babbling nonsense and what nots, just like any kid. Destruction, the traveller, is a big man with a bag always looking away, always separate from his "brothers and sisters". When you see his face, rest assured there's a catastrophe happening in the near future. Dream, the main character, is a brooding man, seriousness personified, prone to tantrums. Kinda makes you wonder how we get happy dreams. Destiny is blind, cloaked in a brown robe, arms chained to a massive book he always carries. Within that book contains the destinies of every living person anywhere in the universe. Androgynous Desire is probably what metrosexuals and fashionistas aspire to be; hip, cool and always in fashion. Lastly is Despair, a fat hag, strewn hair that hasn't seen a comb in decades and is always naked, sagging tits and all. Her only accessory is her hook ring, which, for the life of me, can't understand why she puts it her mouth. A deeper meaning perhaps?

Everyone is the Endless are seamlessly integrated in the storyline, and perhaps in real life also. We look at ourselves and despair at our body, our face, our hair and other preconstructive insecurities. We look at others and desire them, or desire to be like them, with lust and love swirling in tandem. We go mad in delirium, whether by love, hate, work or even just plain drunkeness. We dream dreams of grandeur, have nightmares to keep us wide awake. When we're angry, destruction come knocking at our doorsteps, sometimes so loudly that we can't help our selves. Our destinies are written daily in front of us, indeed we change our future by every decision we make. In the end though, death conquers all.

What can I say? Neil Gaiman is a freakin' genius. Touching everything from the classics (Shakespeare was supposedly inspired by Dream, bargaining two stories for his inspirations. Edgar Allan Poe, on the other hand, pines for Despair) to sci-fi to fantasy to modern day stories. He even appeared at JLA: Strength in Numbers story arc by helping Superman and others defeat Starro the Conqueror. His Endless are everywhere, as it should be, since everyone alive has them inside.

The Series itself is comprimised by 10 volumes, each volume independent of each other except the last one, The Wake, wherein Dream dies and is reborn again. One must read the first eight if he or she wishes to understand the whole story.

Everyone would think that the series itself is about life's hardships. I mean we're talking about seven beings greater than the gods right? And they're names are based on the primal feelings/urges of the people. And some of those names inspire bad thoughts, like Despair, Death and Destruction. While it does look like that in the surface, I think that series itself celebrates life more in the sense that those with courage to overcome them can truly enjoy life. In reality, life IS hard, but if we persevere against it, overcome it, well, that doesn't necessarily mean life will become good, but living life is the only time we feel truly alive. There are no other exceptions.

Which is why, when we die, there is no point in drumming over what could have we done. The only thing that matters is how we live our own lives, and how we touch others.
'Nuff said.

State of Mind: Early Morning Introspection
Song of the Day: Dare You To Move by Switchfoot
Favorite Neil Gaiman Sandman Story: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Favorite Endless Character: Dream, or in some cases, Dream's janitor Merv Pumpkinhead.


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