Part 5 of 5. Under the cut.
Long day of the last of the holiday season cooking (started cleaning the chitlins at 6:30 a.m. ... ugh) means I was able to read the entire book.
It's an alien.
Its spaceship isn't a cue ball, it's more like a Golli eyeball. It's powered by roses and its exhaust is moonbeam and starshine. Perhaps there's a unicorn somewhere in mechanism, gently pissing rainbows to keep the gears oiled.***
Peg and Sarah, the two Dutch dolls, speak Dutch throughout. From translations cobbled together via various free services on the internet(s), they refer to him as their brave hero, their proud champion of love and an admiral of pleasure. Once they get to the blazing world, other dolls from their world greet him as the fiery pirate of the heart, and say something about either dying of luck or dying of happiness.
Peg also says she volunteered for the Golliwogg's crew because of his big dick.
So as of this outing, The Black Dossier removes the Golliwogg from its roots in racist ideology while still clinging to the ever so wearying fascination with black sexuality. To evade the difficult fact-based truth of where the Golliwogg comes from while simultaneously affirming the black male stereotype it represented (complete with lustful white women) is quite a trick. Talk about Olympian-level Denial Acrobatics.
And with that, I'm done with these series.
I think this is only the second or third time I have ever walked away from a property for reasons other than Bored Now. I admit I'm gonna miss it very much. But since we have been told the Golliwogg is going to return in future outings of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen when it starts up again at its new publishing home, that gives us plenty of time to get out now. Whatever's on deck with the Golli? It's not going to get better.
But because I am a weak and feeble geek creature, I had one request. After a quick email, an hour ago a friend agreed to keep an eye out for this when the next book is released. When the identity of whoever is piloting the nuclear submarine is revealed, I need to know who that is. Another thing a few of us had been talking about elsewhere, and which shows up again in this book, is how only the white people seem to be given or luck into immortality so far in the series. In the Dossier it's said that Nemo is dead, but Moore also changed Nemo's history a bit as relates to his family, so maybe the dead thing isn't true either. Though the blurb sort of hints that whoever that is, it's not Nemo, I just want to know for sure.
I know. I am so pathetic. I blame society.
In this day and age, to deliberately take a racist construct like the Golli, refuse to engage with where it came from and what it meant, and then attempt to pass it off as some sort of heroic wonder free of cultural baggage is a putrid act of profound corruption. Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill should be shamed for it.
*** Update! To answer ... yes, I do remember the passing reference to the courageous black balloonist in the polar sections of the the second series. I thought it might have something to do with this, and that's the Benefit of the Doubt position I was taking during the discussions. To save you time from reading it, all of the black people in that book are ignorant, violent and worship trinkets. (It's been a looong while since I've read it, so I'm being vague out of sketchy memory.) Since Moore was already using Verne via Nemo, and since he was doing other correctives (for lack of a better term) with other era attitudes and characters throughout the LoEG, I wondered if perhaps he was doing the same here, just really low-key about it. Ha. There I was being all clever thinking I'd spotted a subtle reference to the work that came before the one everybody knows (the one where, despite what the movie shows, they don't use a balloon), and down the road I'd be proven right! What an idiot I turned out to be.
*** Alan Moore, The Birth Caul, 1999