down with his target audience as he attempts to read the runes and predict the next cultural wave.
Typical of his past work. ‘l’m A Policeman’ is an ideas dynamo. It takes the junk and jumble of late 20th century media- inediated life — advertising and Diana. Hello and multi-media technology — churns it all up in a blender. turns the dark way. way tip. then bleaches out all the feeling. while lacing the ink with amphetamine.
This is anti-literature — a quantum jump from the Coleridge-quoting prose he used to fill the pages of his best comic work Doom Patrol. ‘l‘m The Policeman' morphs together the affectless tone of ad copy and pop science babble into the prose equivalent of white noise.
‘The style I‘ve always written prose in is quite baroque and descriptive and poetic and suddenly this came out.‘ says Morrison. sitting in Glasgow‘s Bar ll). ‘l was using the language of tabloids and advertising and it seemed to be much funnier and direct. l bought all kinds of medical and science journals and stripped out the jargon and tried to reappropriate it.‘
The result is scarifying comedy. more a barrage of concepts than a story per se. but perfectly in tune with his predictions of a return to punk values.
‘I think the punk generation is coming in again.‘ says Morrison. ‘I don’t know what form it will take. but this story was part of trying to intuit that. I can feel the spirit coming and the spirit has teeth. I want to try to be John the Baptist for wliatever's coming round the corner.‘
As a pop culture seer the 38-year-old Glaswegian certainly looks the part. Head shaved to less than stubble. cheekbones like papercuts. when we meet he‘s wearing fetish daywear -— a black trcnchcoat with inbuilt glitter and boots that look like they were designed by Vivienne Westwood for Frankenstein‘s monster.
i'The punk generation is coming in again. I can feel the spirit coming
and the spirit has teeth.‘
Morrison wouldn't look out of place in the monthly comic he writes. The Invisilﬂes. which purveys a mad mix of paranoid fantasy and counter-culture subversion. more Lennon than Lenin. He is working on a BBC Scotland adaptation of the comic. six years after his first attempt to interest the Queen Margaret Drive hierarchy in its ‘Sweeney versus the occult. concept. Now. post-Mulder and Scully. Auntie Beeb is suddenly interested. But don't be expecting tales of extraterrestrial inﬂuence over the Scottish Office.
‘All that stuff about aliens and conspiracies is beginning to seem old hat to me and I’m getting into stuff like the (‘old War. The Manchurian Candidate and mind control — where we‘re to blame.
'The real revelation is that there's not one adult on the planet. There's just a lot of kids who get bigger and expect there must be someone above its who knows more. And governments and kings and queens are doing
exactly the same. They‘re sitting there shitting themselves and looking over their shoulders wondering if they're doing everything right.’ Comics remain Morrison‘s main source of employment and income. In the past he has played around with Batman and Judge Dredd. as well as his own characters. .
Extract from Disco 2000 ‘l’m a Policeman’
By Grant Morrison ALL VERY PECULIAR .\ Helicopters are beginning to land in ' the courtyard. The changing of the N guard is performed swiftly and with
. _ , ~ extreme prejudice. Lillilluflméh zgngnh “ind, ‘1 ,5 "lull? On the wall now, unseen by anyone ll Sr- L '5 Pknnmlj [ M w as the state room empties counter- JUSHCC League 0i clockwise down the stairs, a veteran
America. a big seller that makes him a lot of money and allows him to
comedian is performing a routine in front of a silent audience of men and women wearing cut- out masks of the Big Brother
play with his face from the BBC television childhood heroes, version of 1984, starring Peter Superman. Cushing. The entertainer's
nerve is begining to crack after three televised hours of this terrifying psychological ordeal. He’s exhausted his supply of jokes and impressions and is now tearfully confessing to a series of shocking assaults on old age pensioners which he apparently carried out a few years ago to help make ends meets between series. ’lt’s pulling eighteen million viewers a week,’ ld tells me on the way to the helicopters.
and Batman. It‘s
a healthy earner
for its writer and Morrison is not short of ideas
about how to spend it.
‘Growing tip I thought if I’m going to be a writer I wanted the whole thing — the frilly shirt and the opium pipe and the South Seas. It's always been about: “Let‘s go and have exp- eriences and write about the experience."
‘That‘s what you should do with money. Take it and travel and get yourself in odd situations.‘
Like the three day
journey on a state bus in
the Himalayas hanging
over vertiginous drops
and ‘trapped with lunatic
guys with guns making
poor kids give them blow
jobs and then throwing them down the mountain‘. 'l‘hank-fully. both Morrison and the kid survived.
Cut back to where we started. Morrison’s vision of the future is an apocalyptic slam-dance into the new century. but how is he planning to see in the millennium'.’
‘Apparently all flights e\ery- where interesting are already booked tip. so I'll probably just end tip watching the Hug/nanny .S'limr.‘
IN THE MORNING WHAT MORE COULD ANYONE WANT?
We float up over the cheering crowd, swooping in low over the Palace gates. Everything goes into drifting slow motion. They’re playing ld's song, the finale of Elgar’s Variations on an Original Theme (’Enigma'). The crowd breaks like a wave against the railings, mouths opening and closing with no sound. Hundreds are trampled as we glide overhead and strobe spotlights transform the Mall into a Grand Guignol disco. I reach for my megaphone in an attempt to comfort the bereaved and dying but it’s too late. These choppers move fast.
ld has her contacts trained on the Palace as it recedes into classical perspective. Our successors, a group of identically dressed children with white hair and luminous eyes, stand waving on the balcony. I can feel the telekinetic gravity of their unearthly minds, even from here.
’I’m sure they'll do a briliant job,’ I say.
ALONG COMES AN ADVENTURE
The helicopters swing like bells as elite Delta force commandos dance with demented party-goers.
Overhead I can hear the thrumming
Disco 2000, edited by engines of the fluorescent saffron Sarah Champion, is 8-29 bomber the Cloaca-Cola published by Sceptre at Corporation has chartered for the
century's grand finale.
'I can’t wait to get to New Yorkl' Id shouts, happily, placing a pink capsule on her tongue. ‘By the time we're finished there, it'll look like the end of Planet of the Apes.
£6.99. American Dreams, a new collection of Morrison’s 'Justice League Of America' stories, is published by Titan at £5.99.
6-19 let) 1998 THE U8T19