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People are Freaking Out About Archie Being an Idiot

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I don’t know how I missed this, but fifteen days ago, the Atlantic published an article that nicely analyzed the cultural connotations of Archie’s much-heralded future boneheaded move.

The article is a well written commentary on the relationship. It quotes from Chabon’s Kavalier and Clay‘s analysis of the dilemma, which calls it “the deep, almost Oriental mystery of the two big-toothed, wasp-waisted goddess-girls, light and dark, entangled forever in the enmity of their friendship.”

Great writing, no doubt, though perhaps a bit overwritten considering we’re basically commenting on an impulse item that mom’s buy for their screaming children in the checkout aisle of Wal-Mart. Would Chabon spend so much time analyzing the deep implications of America’s here-and-gone obsession with Sudoku? I don’t know, but if he did, he’d probably call it “the unfathomable, though ephemeral, obsession with squares-upon-squares, mathematical matrices filled endlessly by American rollberballs.”

Quoting from the Atlantic article:

If Archie wanted a life partner, a wife who knows how to work on a relationship through decades of disappointment and joy, Betty Cooper would have been an easy choice. She could have helped him figure out what he wants to do with his life, because she has dreams and ambitions of her own: She wants to be a journalist—a potentially quixotic goal as the industry crumbles in 2009, but then, she has plenty of practice chasing lost causes.

That’s better than anything I could have written on the topic. And also, I need to thank them for referring me to the 1990 live-action TV movie Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again, an idea so preposterous that the only thing that seems to distinguish it from Riverdale fan fiction is the lack of a gay relationship between Jughead and Archie.

The rest of the article is just as good, and worth a read.

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Written by Greg Karber

June 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm

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