It was a simpler era the last time we did one of these installments. Brandy Taylor was still dominating the Yesterday’s Salad charts, and a weird hugger was the Republican front runner for the presidency, and not a cross-dresser. In fact, the 2008 election seemed so far away that we were doing regular political coverage as a sort of joke; it was all part of our love of the obscure. Now Mandrake is sequestered, actually working for a political candidate, while he bides his time analyzing the ‘010 midterms. For now a preview of those races remains a desideratum.

Most of our dream Superman writers are the type of people who plan large, epic stories, whether outlandish (Pynchon) or just run-of-the-mill pseudo-outlandish (Zadie Smith). With the exception of Jhumpa Lahiri, we’ve selected nary an author who focuses on character and tenderness; the interpersonal relations that can enliven any sort of text. But is there an author who can do both? Is there someone out there who can tell the zany Superman stories with an emotional touch that can cause the reader to reverse the subject/object relationship and embrace the fictional as part of its world? (See the latest at Elm Rock City if you’re totally confused.)

I submit that The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy should write Superman.

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In addition to recording with the Decemberists, Colin Meloy has written a musical and a ruminatory “novel” about the Replacement’s album “Let it Be.” He’s even been a media escort for Myla Goldberg–an experience which led to the Decemberist’s aptly titled “Song for Myla Goldberg,” an especially beloved number around the Salad because of its excellent use of the word “funicular.” (I posit that this is also a favourite song of St. Op Snitchin’ over at HB…&T, whose hatred of snitching, whose raison d’etre, comes from a childhood misadventure with a tattle-tale on a funicular railway, or “Incline” if you prefer to speak Pittsburgh Standard English). But I’m getting behind myself. Why should Mr. Meloy write Superman?

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