Friday, May 25, 2012


Lamblake and Metamaturity

Here are two of a series of possible covers for the forthcoming Lamblake Heinz collection. They are products of the imagination of the hugely talented artist Gonzalo Canedo. Publishers take note! I believe that Gonzalo has a bright future ahead of him as a book cover artist. So why not get in contact with him and offer him some paid work? Just a suggestion...

Talking about suggestions, the horror writer William Meikle made a remark to the effect that I ought to abandon my Lamblake Heinz spoof. It seems to have upset him a bit. Unfortunately, being upset isn't a logically strong enough objection to merit a cancellation of The Grin of the Doll Who Ate his Mother's Face in the Dark. Spoofs do upset people from time to time; but I suspect that few people are genuinely upset by anything I say or do. I imagine they are more likely to be tactically upset, which is quite a different matter. However, if anyone out there really does feel offended by this project, please let me know and I will consider your feelings. I'm not entirely an unfeeling and inconsiderate brute of a barbarian jokester!

A more reasonable and coherent objection to poor Lamblake was raised by the inestimable Gary Fry, one of the few intellectuals in the contemporary horror scene. He actually made an effort to provide an answer to the horror paradox I postulated a couple of posts ago, the paradox that I claimed was the fundamental basis for the creation of my spoof. I don’t fully accept his solution (that it’s not always immoral to horrify people, that sometimes scaring people has therapeutic value) but it is essential to take Gary Fry seriously at all times. He’s a good publisher, a superb writer and an even better human being.

He has, however, jumped to the conclusion that Lamblake Heinz is merely a cipher for Ramsey Campbell. Well, no, not really. The concept of ‘Lamblake Heinz’ is an assault on the fortress of horror itself, on the genre as a whole. A fun assault. A doomed assault (like pecking at a granite mountain with a beak made of cheese). I have no grudge against anyone in particular. That would be immature

Talking about immaturity reminds me: why do we always assume there are only two states of emotional development, namely (a) immature and  (b) mature? Why can’t there be a third stage beyond maturity? Let’s call this hypothetical emotional state ‘metamaturity’. Couldn’t it be the case that the traits of a metamature person might sometimes resemble those of an immature person and yet not be the same?

For instance, an immature person laughs at X slipping on a banana skin; he laughs because he is selfish, because he can’t empathise with the pain of X. A mature person refuses to laugh; he is silent to demonstrate that he takes no pleasure from the humiliation of X. But a metamature person might laugh, and laugh loudly, to express defiance at the cruelties of fate, to vocalise his solidarity with X against the whims of the universe. Clearly this laugh still sounds like an immature laugh, but is entirely different.

The next time you are tempted to call someone “immature”, stop and think for a moment. Are you quite sure they aren’t being metamature instead?

The star and writer of popular TV comedy show Gavin and Stacey is Ruth Jones. I went to school with Ruth Jones. In English lessons we were once compelled to give a talk on “any subject” we liked. I chose explosives. My practical demonstration in front of the class didn’t go entirely to plan and there was a minor detonation. Much of the sulphur dioxide that was produced was inhaled by the lungs of Ruth Jones. The classroom had to be evacuated. I don’t know if she has forgiven me yet, but I was pleased to chance upon this article she recently penned for the Reader’s Digest about growing up in Porthcawl, which includes a class photo from when we were all seven years old. I am on the far right (not politically) of the middle group. The girl next but one to me was my childhood sweetheart, though I can’t remember if I openly declared my affections or kept them quiet. We climbed tall gnarled trees together, one of the greatest delights of being alive!

But the important question remains. Is it immature to blow up a classroom?
Not necessarily. It might be metamature.
At worst, it's adultish.

Rhys Hughes in Reader's Digest! Now I've seen everything.
And if you've seen everything, you ain't seen nothing yet!
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]