Matter vs. Matters

12/31/2010, 1:32 AM

This is a trifle,
just because it's late and there's some information that I've been wanting to divulge since "good ideas on paper" began. Regrettably, my tendency to prattle has precluded my doing so up to now, but it remains centrally important.

Ready? Right, then: I have a superhero entity that I concocted (well, he has always been among us, but was not one to muck about  with taxonomy or what you will [or won't]). 

He appears when he feels like it, which is a lot less often than his presence is requested (or, heaven forbid, demanded). He also doesn't fail to appear on certain occasions on which his assistance is actively unwanted—this, also, is difficult to predict. 

Part of this creature's appeal lies in the fact that his abilities are reflected in his name. 

* Upon reflection, this doesn't happen in most cases. This business of naming superheroes tends toward a bog-standard enterprise in which the primary identifier is either an entirely perspectival adjective (like "Superman" or "Mighty Mouse"both of which, as handles, convey to you absolutely zilch about anything that these creatures actually do, focusing instead on how they [might maybe, perhaps] seem to us mere peopleeven the archest of their enemies concedes to their Chosen Title of Herohood. [Without delving recklessly into this quicksand, I doubt that Superman's myriad of nemeses see a surfeit of "super" qualities in him]), or an ill-fitting evocation of something perversely abstruse (in what ways is "Batman" truly "like a bat"? What does that even mean? He can't fly, he's not visually impaired, and I'd have to wager that he doesn't sleep inverted from rafters in the Wayne Mansion). Anyway, my superhero is different from all that. 

What is his name? I can guarantee that you either guessed it or didn't:

Whatever Man

I'm telling you, this guy is legit. Unlike others among us busy proclaiming themselves as not caring when at least some part of them does care, ambiguities do not arise in dealings with Whatever Man. He well and truly does not care.  At all. You don't have to believe him; nor do you have to disbelieve him, or do anything else, for that matter. Ever.

If this sounds funny to you, then that's fine. But whenever I am in a position of being unduly fretful about some-or-other trivial matter (which happens a lot, as involuntary pauperhood and a devastating neurological disorder [Multiple Sclerosis] conspire to both shrivel me into nettlesome uselessness and distort my sense of priorities in accordance with sometimes-real-but-often-imagined-though-always-perceived expectations, be they internal or external), my one and only love (Molly Fitzgerald, who has long been aware of the information that merits this blog trifle) will look at me knowingly and kindly suggest:

"This looks like a job for Whatever Man."

She's always right, even if my attempts to summon him in the moment yield no result. Still, I carry his unique skill with me always, lodged in an unremarkable somewhere like an utterly benign, though inoperable, mass of disputed composition. Maybe it's a pearl.


  1. "Fuck You Dude" is one on my favorite fictional names for fictional superheroes. Strangely he shows up whenever somebody feels slighted.

    "Hey pal, did you just his my car?"
    "Fuck you dude"

  2. Nice post! It sparked a fun discussion in my home about Batman's batliness. It all boils down to the Batusi. (And good thing you tagged Def Leppard, or I never would have even stumbled across this blog)