Monday, June 06, 2005

Doctor Doom’s Mailbag

Doom takes pride in answering all of his personal correspondence.

Dear Doom,

There's been a lot of talk lately about "creator's rights" in comics. As the ruler of a small Eastern European nation, what is your studied opinion on this subject?

G.G., Seattle

As you may know, Doom is the absolute monarch of Latveria, and while his subjects enjoy unparalleled peace and prosperity, their freedoms are accorded them only by his benevolent grace. No artist in Latveria goes hungry: the inculcation and respect for culture is absolutely integral to the cultivation of a happy and humble citizenry. Whereas most other Western countries have foolishly eliminated the classics from their primary schools, all students in Latverian grammar schools are conversant in both Latin and Greek, and fluent in advanced mathematics, world history, geography, astronomy, natural science, agricultural science, world literature, and of course the history of our region and country. Whereas other Western countries have problems with academic attrition, Latverian test scores have remained at their current peak levels for almost thirty years. Those unable to properly adapt to the rigorous educational demands of Latverian citizenship are, as you may imagine, dealt with accordingly.

It is of paramount importance that Latveria be able to compete with the rest of the world on the cultural stage, and it is for this reason that we accord our artists the highest accolades. Poets and composers are afforded every luxury in order to create an environment suitable for the exercise of imagination in service of glorious creativity, provided only that their subject matter be the personal glory of Doom. So, to return to your question, Latverian creators are afforded absolute freedom: freedom to produce works of sublime edification, and also freedom to face the consequences if their works are found to contain subversive ideas. Would not this be an ideal system for the entire world to operate under?

I should add that it is still the official policy of Latveria to renounce the subversive work of Kragstein. Leonard Kragstein was a noted subversive and anti-establishment radical dedicated to the destruction of the noble Latverian state. His smuggled letters and samizdat doggerel are nothing but anarchist propaganda, and the misguided decision to award him the Nobel Prize in Literature was protested most sternly by our ambassadors across the hemisphere. Thankfully, Doom has personally seen to it that Kragstein will never again be in a position to spread his malicious lies about this beloved country and its beloved monarch. Countries that refuse to ban Kragstein's books have been warned that they face swift reprisals for their defiance of Doom.

Dr. Doom,

What kind of music do you listen to? Do you listen to disco?

Your Friend,
Alison B., Westchester

Doom regards all Western "popular" music as ignoble excrement, especially "disco". However, being a kind and generous monarch, Doom has allowed a number of Western "pop" acts to perform in Latveria, as part of certain cultural exchange programs. The Doomstadt Amphitheater, in scenic downtown Doomstadt, has been host to performances by international celebrities such as Foreigner, the Flock of Seagulls and the Bay City Rollers.

It is common knowledge that Doom enjoys nothing so much as a well-tuned orchestra. Every year, Latveria's Conservatory of Doom produces dozens of the finest classical musicians in the world. Not all of them, however, can be awarded a place in the prestigious Doomstadt Philharmonic -- some of the less-gifted players are granted leave to seek their fortunes in orchestras around the world. The discipline, precision and faultless work-ethic of even a second-rate Latverian musician serves as a humbling example for the rest of the world.

The highlight of the Latveria's cultural calendar is the annual Mahler Festival, where the citizenry of Doomstadt assemble for seven days in July to hear the Philharmonic pay tribute to the majesty of Latveria's finest composer. (Although it is not widely reported, Gustav Mahler was himself 1/16th Latverian). All Latverians must appreciate the matchless beauty of our great cultural heritage, or face the consequences.

Despite his universal disdain for "rock and roll" music, Doom has also recently come into possession of a strange compact disc by an American trio ominously named "Sleater-Kinney". Entitled merely The Woods, the disc seems to channel the pure destructive force of the Power Cosmic itself. Doom shall seek out this "Sleater-Kinney" for his own purposes - their stolen power would perhaps enable me to finally destroy the accursed Richards and his insufferable family.

Dear Doom,

I read in that Kragstein book that as many as 75% of your public appearances are not you but actually robot doubles. Is this true?

Herbie T. Robot, Jersey City

This is a long-standing rumor which Doom is glad to be afforded the opportunity to address. Doom has never employed robot doubles. Why would a benevolent and well-loved monarch such as Doom have any reason to employ brilliantly-designed and ingeniously-manufactured perfect cybernetic duplicates of himself? Is there any force on the face of the planet which Doom need fear?

If such "robot doubles" did exist (what whimsy!), to what use would I put them? Kragstein's perfidious lies would have the world believe that Doom is a megalomaniacal madman who does nothing but shout "I AM DOOM!!!" from the turrets of his castle while gesticulating wildly. Would a madman answer his personal correspondence in such an intimate manner? If he did have robot doubles for the purpose of delegating unpleasant activities, don't you think he would use them to answer his mail? Obviously, he does not have robot doubles, because this is very clearly Doom.

That this rumor has survived for as long as it hasaffeprigneorgbeorghepgjeprokgjergerg
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .

General Failure 1Eh
chkdsk [drive:][[path]doombot4.7] [/F] [/V]

is absolutely astonishing.

The frequent comparisons between Kragstein and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, however, are surprisingly astute: both are craven fools who sought the downfall of their governments through terrorist acts of treason. Although Solzhenitsyn has never personally meddled in the affairs of Doom, there will one day be a reckoning for his treachery. But you did not hear that from Doom.

Dear Doctor Doom,

Do you like Swamp Thing? I really like Swamp Thing. He's the coolest swamp monster ever. I am not gay but if he were real I'd be totally gay for Swamp Thing. How about you?

M.S. in Sunny Southern California

The Swamp-Thing is a fool! For someone to have had such incredibly power and let it slip through his fingers without bringing the world to bear under his mighty heel shows an intolerable lack of will. If Doom is ever in the DC Universe it will be his personal pleasure to annihilate the wretched creature. Or perhaps his power could be stolen and used in the ongoing campaign to destroy the accursed Fantastic Four! Either way - if ever our paths cross, the Swamp Thing shall feel the wrath of Doom!

Bah! Enough letters for today. Doom quickly tires of this never-ending parade of stupidity.

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