Foundation Mutetation

Episode One Hundred Twenty One: Foundation Mutetation.
In which bureaucracy erodes meta.


  1. Inside every tooth there lives a tiny man wearily attending bulk-mailing maintenance.

    This one just seemed like a funny idea at first, but I think there's more happening than I originally intended. That, on a molecular level, life is fundamentally based on tedium, or red tape, or rejection. Dream of teeth falling out? I imagine they represent something solid and permanent about ourselves. Infiltration in the teeth has something to do with a sense of our basic defenses being undermined. And the upper molars are so deep back, up in the head - very close to our pith.

    There's a conflation of two things from the week, here. I had a dental examination for a (upper back molar) tooth that had been bothering me, but was, this week, less so. So I was embarrassed that I had wasted everyone's time, and wondered whether the sensation I had felt in that tooth (that I feel now, writing this) was psychosomatic.

    Also, I had spent the week gruelingly sending out a bulk mailing. Too long to go into here, but suffice to say it's a huge pain in the ass, requiring multiple manual excel sheet comparisons and individual address extractions. One flyer takes about eight hours to get out, and, in return for my effort, of the 6,000 addresses we send to about 600 return as undeliverable, and about fifty aren't formatted correctly, causing the whole process to stop cold. After that, I can look forward to a new crop of "unsubscribe" requests, about 200 per mailing. Basically, it's a lot of work for what seems to generate a lot of garbage and a fair amount of rejection. I remember passing hawkers in Harvard Square handing out flyers. I don't know why it bothers me so much to realize that I'm basically doing that same thing, only for what must be substantially more money.

    But it does.

    Anyway, the weariness, stupidity, bureaucracy, exists at a primal level. Very Douglas Adams. There's also a bit of 'The Man In The Planet' from Eraserhead (1977) here.

    I was very worried this strip was a complete bomb while I was drawing it, but ended up being happy with how it turned out. Post-production magic.

  2. Oh my godddd I forgot I can comment here
    I love this one.

  3. ...having just had a tooth worked on again this week, I was reminded of another thought that went into this strip, which was that the people leaning over me, peering into my mouth, were looking at a part of me that no one had ever seen before, including myself. It's an unnerving prospect: all those old bedroom wall posters, abandoned journals, and cigarette wrappers that are probably rustling around in there. The dental staff didn't seem that interested in the muck they were rummaging through - almost as if *my* decay were as banal as anyone else's - but that's just testament to their professionalism, just as the therapist I used to have who would fall asleep during our sessions was clearly trying to indicate to me that my problems weren't weird enough warrant attention. Regardless, *I* know they saw a part of me that no one has ever seen before, and I'm sure it was disturbing and dark, and that's enough.



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