The Doors

The origins of the line “It’s better to burn out than fade away” are somewhat muddy. It’s another version of “Play it again, Sam”; the words we’re most familiar with are actually a variation, and not a quote verbatim.

The original lyric came from Neil Young, inspired by DEVO and what he perceived as his growing obsolescence. It’s a line from “Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)”, from the album Rust Never Sleeps. The album title came from something DEVO mascot Booji Boy said.

The song “Hey, Hey, My, My…” and the title phrase of the album, “rust never sleeps” on which it was featured sprang from Young’s encounters with Devo and in particular Mark Mothersbaugh. Devo was asked by Young in 1977 to participate in the creating of his film Human Highway.[ A scene in the film shows Young playing the song in its entirety with Devo, who clearly want little to do with anything “radio-friendly” (of note is Mothersbaugh changing “Johnny Rotten” to “Johnny Spud”). The famous line “It’s better to burn out than it is to rust” is often credited to Young’s friend Jeff Blackburn of The Ducks.


Kurt Cobain included the lyric in his suicide note, because of course he would, and Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott quoted it at the start of “Rock of Ages” (Pyromania, 1983), after the “Swedish Chef” bit.

This really has nothing to do with The Doors, unless you count the fact that Jim Morrison definitely for sure burned out.

More or less like myself. I have just about burned the fuck out.

I draw comics for two reasons: to feel better about myself by using my abilities to entertain people, and to get girls. I endeavor to draw comics often enough so that I can eke out a living. However, money is not my primary goal. My goal is to constantly reaffirm my own value in the eyes of others. In perpetuity. I need attention and validation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I need constant reminding that I should exist. That’s the way these things tend to play out. Otherwise I would’ve gone into insurance.

Ten years after I drew this strip, I find myself subconsciously flinching at the criticisms I imagine it will receive after reposting. For whatever reason I hear them in the voices of catty old British ladies.

Panel 1: Oo-er, Matty picked through garbage as a child to find pornography. What a devious and trashy little pervert. And just look at how he talks about women. Sexist. “Heteronormative.”

Panel 2: How dare Matty crack jokes about veterans. Just disgustingly insensitive. And you know he’d never survive a day in boot camp, the limp-wristed little filth-scribbler.

Panel 3: Well well well, someone’s got an issue with fatherhood, doesn’t he? Tsk tsk. What a sad little man.

Panel 4: Again with the disrespect of veterans! And Vietnam veterans, no less. Plus he wants to do drugs and kill people?! Who would read such trash?

Two-plus decades of infinite porn on the Internet has ruined all connections between sex and art in the public eye. Male arousal is shamed in entertainment unless it’s gay, in which case it’s celebrated. Anything that might give a straight guy a hard-on is considered gauche and (the universal censorship catch-all) “offensive”.

See that magazine my underage self is flagrantly reading in the first panel? It was called Oui. It was kind of the midpoint between National Lampoon and Playboy. It had cartoons, political satire, and in 1981, a nude pictorial of Demi Moore, before she got those revolting implants.

Hardly recognized her, did ya?

Just as there’s nothing wrong with being gay, there’s nothing wrong with being straight, either. However, you’d never know this from the state of print media in 2019. The only place you might find anything resembling the above cover is behind the counter of a gas station, hidden by an opaque rectangular shield. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, you can’t walk a block without seeing a literal tower of all-gay magazines, or a FREE- TAKE ONE box overflowing with same. They’re free, and no one takes them. Ever.

Can you imagine if they were “hetero” mags instead? There’d be wails of “pollution”, and “obscenity”, and “wasting paper”. LARPing fascist kooks would bomb them and set them alight with gasoline. But since they’re “gay” and festooned with rainbows, no one touches them. Not even gay folks. They sit in a four-foot stack and absorb air moisture until someone, presumably their distributor, picks them up and replaces them with a newer four-foot stack. I’ve never looked, but the “Gay Pages” could include sensitive CIA documents, and I’d have no idea. No one would.

Go look if you don’t believe me. You’ll see a Creative Loafing box with a few recent copies inside it, an Apartment Guide box, and then a towering rack of free gay magazines that overwhelms everything else with about a hundred inch-thick issues. We don’t even get fucking phone books anymore, due to the waste and lack of necessity, now that you can look up a phone number on your phone. So there’s a need for all these other magazines cluttering up the corner sidewalk… why?

Am I treading thin ice with you for saying this? Then pick a group you feel comfortable despising and imagine seeing heaps of their literature all over town, taking up space, with no one picking them up, even though it’s free. I don’t despise homosexuals by any means, but there are some people reading this who absolutely cannot tell criticism from “hate speech”, because of their dumb, fucked-up programming. This is the pickle we’re in, folks. Name any piece of printed matter, the more respected the better, and someone on the Internet will pop up like that accursed paper clip in Word to tell you all about how racist/sexist/misogynistic its creator was.

Bands I Useta Like appears in a magazine that useta be available in similar boxes to Creative Loafing, around Atlanta. At least, I think it did; it’s been a long time. The strip has appeared in this magazine since 2002. Just a sec, let me put on my thin-ice skates:

  • A few years back a satirical yet scathing jab was made at a recently-deceased restaurateur in our magazine.
  • This particular restaurateur, although a public figure who had appeared on television, was and is rather beloved in our city.
  • Because the jab implied that the restaurateur might have enjoyed added TV attention by virtue of being a lesbian, there were death threats against the editor, and calls to destroy all  copies of the magazine, and run its entire staff out of town on a rail. 

Everyone who even registered a mild dislike of the magazine suddenly grabbed pitchforks and lit torches. Many virtue-signaled on social media that they had taken it upon themselves to heave dozens of copies into a nearby dumpster. It took years to fully diffuse. It was fucking ridiculous.

So there you go. There are hundreds of unused copies of gay meet-up books sitting around Atlanta because nobody dares say or do anything about them. They would only be seen as homophobic and shamed in public. I can’t even make a joke about it, like; I’m pretty certain that gay guys can use the Internet. I’m not gay, it’s just a hunch I have. You go out for coffee, right? You’re gonna tell me you didn’t encounter at least one gay dude with a laptop? Where do you live, Alabama?

You’re gonna tell me you think gay dudes are okay with huge piles of paper detritus cluttering up our beautiful sidewalks and library foyers? Really? You really do live in Alabama. In my experience, gays and lesbians are fiercely protective of the environment, by default. Oftentimes it seems like homosexuals are the only ones who give a shit about the environment at all. The rest of us can barely keep a houseplant alive for two weeks.

In the depths of his fated burnout, Jim Morrison was arrested for exposing his penis on-stage at the exhortation of screaming female audience members. In a drunken haze, he figured, “this is what you really want, isn’t it?” At least, that’s how one legend goes; Doors drummer John Densmore maintained that Morrison never exposed his cock, that he merely threatened to do so, and Densmore would know. He was there.

Whatever actually transpired, Morrison was convicted and sentenced for indecent exposure and profanity, and eight months later he bit the big one, at 27 years of age.

His poetry is actually pretty decent, if you just keep in mind that he was straight.

Comments Off on The Doors

Filed under Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Don't Know Don't Care, Faint Signals, Magazine Rack, Nostalgic Obsessions, Thousand Listen Club