Saturday, April 25, 2009

And while on the subject of affection...

...we lost Bea Arthur today, and here is an actress/comedienne who I grew tremendously affectionate to during the 80s when, as a teenager and in my early twenties, I fell madly in love with The Golden Girls.

Bea Arthur played the tall and down trodden Dorothy, daughter of the hilariously grumpy Sophia, who stole almost every scene she was in. But Dorothy and Sophia together were a team made in heaven, and along with the wonderfully slutty Blanche and the dimwitted yet adorable Rose, made for funny television every Thursday Night (I think it was Thursday)

Affection is something we can throw out there into the world with tons to spare, and characters in TV shows, movies, radio performers, and characters in books are some of the non-entities we actually form affectionate attachments to all the time.

I loved Dorothy because I related to her in so many ways. I was young, but in almost all other ways she and I were alike. She was awkward, and lonely, and she had a mother who more often than not stood in her way with good intentions. I felt for her and at the same time was envious of her because she had a relationship with her father that she remembered with tremendous fondness.

I loved Bea Arthur because she brought the character to life in a way no one else could have, and it made me laugh all the time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


One of the many parts of our lives that we owe to Aphrodite and the great domain of love is affection. Affection is not really love, but it is connected to it. It leads to it sometimes, but mostly it is in and of itself a means to help us achieve connection.

But the affection we build for friends, lovers, pets, etc. is something that is also capable of helping us get through life. In combination with love, affection builds a strong bond. It is the aspect of loves domain that influences us to feel a longing for the good traits in others. It is the aspect of the domain of love that leaves us feeling heart broken when a friend disappoints us and when a brother betrays us.

Affection allows us to have a small connection with someone who is not really a friend, but who becomes part of our lives anyway. A genuine sense of affection can affect us as much as love, though rarely in so long lasting a manner. And affection is something we can feel for people we don’t really know. Like the people we interact with daily in mailing lists or chat rooms. People we sincerely miss when we don’t hear from them, yet can’t truly ay we love.

Blessed be Aphrodite for the little love known as affection.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Time Out! The Comic Book

        There are a great many ways in which we all hang on to life. We hang on to youth. We hang on to the little things that make us all feel like children on the inside, where it counts. One of these things, for me at least, is my love of Superheroes and the mythic storytelling that is part and parcel of how they function in our society.

        My name is Hector Lugo, and I am 42 years old, and some 14 years ago I gave up reading comic books out of a misguided idea that at 28 years old, I had outgrown the genre and what it had to offer me. During this time, however, I was also developing new and, some might say, odd religious beliefs about the world around me, and one of the factors in this development was myth.

        Myth filled the void left by the comic book genre in that it allowed the imagination to fly, yet myth did something the comic books did not because they had a history as sacred literature. Myth helped to explain the world, and from them entire philosophies, theologies, and cosmologies were built over thousands of years. They allowed the world of the imagination and the world of logic to come together into a form of storytelling that went beyond either.         Myth, you see, links us to the divine, and as I am about to postulate, so do the many forms of fiction and storytelling that we humans so revel in.

        But unlike myth, the comic book has never been seen by society as an acceptable expression of divine reality, rather it has more often than not been seen as childish delusion, simple entertainment, and silliness. But something happened to the comic book along its long history, it grew up, and the genre is no longer simple, no longer silly, and it has become ever more relevant to people who enjoy it for what it is, an expression of human reality through the focus on the super human. In other words, a view of man from the viewpoint of Gods.

        True, Superman, Batman, Wolverine, Wonder Woman, and Phoenix are not Gods in the traditional sense, but one could argue that we human beings sense a connection with the divine, with God or the Gods, angels, demons, etc., through the very art that we produce, and no art, no matter how simple, fantastic, or profound is exempt from this. The comic book, like the myths of old, are an expression of man’s connection to the divine reality. But that in itself is not the purpose of this piece, just an attempt to explain it, or perhaps justify it, to those who may not understand it.

        Just a couple of years ago, I rediscovered my love of the genre. How could I not? Hollywood has fallen in love with the superhero, and along with the move of characters like Batman and Spiderman to not only the box office, but the academy award lists of nominees, the superhero has proven once again that it can capture the imagination and thrill us. That the superhero is indeed relevant because we are now atthe dawn of an age of adults who no longer see the genre as silly, even if they may sometimes consider it childish or geeky.

        This rediscovered love of the genre came as no surprise for me. It gave me a glimpse back into my own past, to remember things, people, places, and events that were formative for me. Because seeing Power Girl break through a wall somehow reminded me of that sweet comic shop owner who befriended me when I was very alone. Because seeing a beautiful rendition of Thor, hammer in hand, brought back images of a childhood home I seldom ever thought about. Because seeing Wonder Woman kick ass reminded me of a love I lost a long time ago who always laughed that I had to pick up my books rather than go to dinner every Thursday.

        The comic book brought me back to a time when I was happy, sometimes sad, sometimes frightened, but times when these books, short as they are, would help me escape into a world where anything was possible. And today, the same characters, some changed, some hardly at all, bring me the same kind of relief from the mundane. Just as a good Sci-Fi thriller or another reading of Lord of the Rings does. It allows me to access my most basic programming, my inner child, and revel in his joy. It keeps me from going into the dullness that is middle age by keeping my spirit fresh and full of wonder, and it keeps my imagination flying.

        But unlike the child, I can look at this genre with a fresh set of eyes. I can look at it and see in it symbolism and concepts that a child might miss. Where Wonder Woman is simply a kick ass hot chick to the 12 year old, she is a symbol of a powerful woman to the 42 year old man. Where Wolverine is a cool dude with knives and a gay haircut to the 13 year old, the 42 year old sees him as a symbol of man in his constant desire to overcome his baser, animal instincts and brutality. The man can see the symbolic nature of Red Tornado as the machine who longs to be human as more than that, as a symbol of all who are different in their struggle to fit in while remaining unique. Of Green Lantern as symbol not just of courage, but of every man’s need to overcome his own fears.

        Combining these two, the ability of the 42 year old man and the child inside to see these books in such different ways, allows me to stay youthful, even if the body is going to heck through a singularity, the mind is still enraptured in the simple act of imagining the impossible, and enjoying every minute of it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I’ll be honest, connecting to people is hard for me. I am very much a solitary creature. My mind is always flowing, running, going at a million miles a minute, and in many threads all at the same time. It is why writing this website is sometimes so hard for me, and why some of what I say sometimes seems to make no sense. This is not ADD or some such, this is simply the fact that I am essentially disconnected from people on a fundamental level, and so my mind works and works, within itself creating a world that is mine.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I am crazy, I do have friends, and I do have conversations with them, but I often find my friends limited because they cannot understand my own ways. I understand that there is no way for them to be able to do that, since so much of what I am, and who I am, is happening in my own head and they are not mind readers. But I often find it difficult to convey the concepts in my head, which makes it hard for people to get me. Perhaps language is not what I need in order to convey some of these concepts, perhaps it is through some other medium that I need to do this, or perhaps a different use of language, one which might convey what I mean without being encumbered by conversational conventions.

I don’t know.

But I do know that Aphrodite is asking me to try. Aphrodite is forcing me to take a look at my inability to connect and to break that pattern, because I have to learn to be a better friend, a better lover, and a better man, and the first step in doing that is to learn to let others understand me.

Now, if I could just figure out the best way to do that?

Suggestions, anyone?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Drawn to Connection...

To feel love, one must know love. One must have experienced it in some way in oder to appreciate it. The idea that one must learn to love oneself in order to love another stems from this basic idea, although it is turned on its head.

But we all experience love in some way or another. As children we feel it from our parents or caretakers, and even if they do not love us, we feel it for them. It is a attachment we carry with us forever, even when we do not recognize it. It is a feeling of belonging that we bear with us no matter how old we get. We remember it as home. We feel we belong there when we are with them.

But later in life, when we detach from them, from our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, we are forced to fill a hole left in our hearts. We desire to form a new home, a new set of links all of which are based in that most primal of all our emotions, love.

But is this really love?

Yes, absolutely! Love is too often confused with that romance novel soap opera kind of love, but love is, and always has been, so much more than that. It is the power that draws us, forces us, to seek out connections with others, with our nation, with our culture and language, and with the Gods.

We are forced to seek out our place in the great web of life, that little knot in the web that connects us to all other things, big and small, because love is not really about lust, but about connection.

So when we seek out family, we are doing so out of love. When we seek out our friend, it is love that causes that impulse. When we are drawn to a lover, it is love. And when we are drawn to the divine, we do so because we feel the love that is part and parcel of the divine sphere. We feel Aphrodite’s presence, whatever we may call her, and we respond to it.