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Demo #6

There’s some good discussion of Demo #6 on David Allen Jones’s Johnny Bacardi blog, including some comments from Demo writer Brian Wood. The problem with artists making exegeses of their own work is that it’s always disappointing when you disagree with them, especially when you’ve just come up with a reading that you think makes sense of a text that was bothering you and the author disagrees with your reading. I’m not too worried about whether my interpretations of texts matches up with ‘authorial intent,’ but it still makes me a little less inclined to enjoy a text when I have confirmation that the author’s intent was to create something I wouldn’t enjoy. Oh well, though! I think I may enjoy Demo #6 more next time I read it, but I don’t know yet because I haven’t reread it yet! Until I reread, here’s what I think right now, direct from the Johnny B comment thread. David Fiore said:

The work is the work, and there’s always a way to connect any two points within a story’s structure. In my case, I’ve concluded that Ken is more dangerous in the frame than he ever was as a child…

Which makes me think:

Is Ken more dangerous as an adult than he ever was as a mass-murdering kid? Ken’s real problem seems to be getting caught up in his own story. I don’t have Demo #6 with me now, but I recall thinking as I read that the biggest problem in his childhood was that his daddy didn’t love him enough or was too weak to protect him from the world. Ken seems to have made the gardener into one of the magical wise old men Sean mentioned in the post Johnny B linked to, but the gardener doesn’t do much to deserve it—he remains remarkably calm while Ken is going around making undead pets eat everybody, but of course it’s Ken narrating and he doesn’t seem too reliable. Maybe Ken’s real superpower is inventing objects (his dad, the gardener, flesh-eating zombie puppies) that let him avoid dealing with himself. Ken may look like a well-adjusted happy newlywed, but has anything really changed in his life? Is his wife just another responsibility-deflecting tool?