DEFEAT. 001 – Manifesto
[DEFEAT. is Rendar Frankenstein’s truest attempt at fiction. Presented in weekly episodes, the novella tells the tale of Daryl Millar – a hero who dies at the intersection of pop culture, science-fiction, war epic, and fantasy]
A man is not a champion until he gazes into the eyes of his greatest adversary.
A champion is not a hero until he unflinchingly fights a battle that cannot be won.
A hero is not a legend until he is dead, buried, and more favorably misremembered.
George Reeves brain-painted his bedroom wall with a pistol.
In the 1950’s, George Reeves starred as the title character of the televised Superman serial. The program’s popularity soared and Reeves’ image became synonymous with that of the Man of Steel. As a result, the representation of truth, justice and the American way was transferred from the fictional Clark Kent to the very much existent George Reeves.
June 16 of the 1950s’ last year saw Reeves die from a gunshot to the head. The gun used to self-inflict the fatal wound was a Luger — popularized as the Nazis’ weapon of choice during the Second World War. To this day, the Nazis are still seen as the manifestation of humanity’s most virulent, hateful, and loathsome qualities.
The embodiment of hope, freedom, and liberty was slain by tyranny’s sidearm.
Ernest Hemingway blew off his head with a double-barrel shotgun.
Ernest Hemingway was, arguably, the greatest contributor to American Literature. A Nobel Prize winner, Hemingway wrote to evoke pure, unadulterated emotion — no matter how unpleasant or disturbing. This premise is beautifully executed in Hemingway’s World War One drama, A Farewell to Arms. The novel ends with the protagonist walking alone in the rain, his lover having died and an overwhelming sense of bereavement pouring off of the page. While undoubtedly bleak, Hemingway’s works promote a natural, healthy confrontation with reality.
Two years after Superman’s death, Ernest Hemingway ended his own life. To complete this final task, Hemingway enlisted the help of a shotgun he had acquired for hunting purposes through an elitist excursion supplier by the name of Abercrombie & Fitch. This company eventually degenerated into an apparel retailer of the most reprehensible sort. Rather than producing quality products, Abercrombie & Fitch uses vapid, sexually suggestive marketing to con the masses.
The gaping, smoking cavity on top of reality’s neck was created by the smiling, conniving face of bullshit.
Daryl Millar stabbed himself in the heart with a goddamn samurai sword.
Daryl Millar never lived to see his eighteenth birthday. Nor would he need to. Yes, there is some element of tragedy in the fact that a life sentence could be completed so quickly. On the other hand, there is also something to be said of the ability to leave a party during its peak. To turn off the stereo during the crescendo. To pull out a mere thrust away from climax. Daryl loved his life, but he stumbled upon the notion that he could be approaching its zenith.
After all, his last year on Earth was 1986, and it was the pinnacle of anything worthwhile — music, politics, movies, sex, comic books, drugs. Understanding that life might not get any better, Daryl Millar decided to kill himself. To benefit friends. To honor the past. To promote the future. Daryl decided to perform modern hara-kiri.
Believing life to have been lived as fully as possible, the logical conclusion is an honorable death.