The Hero with 1000 Faces

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Joe Camel, author of The Hero with 1000 Faces, or possibly 10,000 or even 1,000,000 faces (we stopped counting at 1000) and a really, really cool dude

The Hero with 1000 Faces is the seminal work of Joe Camel. In addition to semen, the tome explains Camel's bizarre theory of a male human being (the Hero) and the 1000 faces he acquires by undergoing as many face transplants during his journey on the Underground Railroad. The book's complexity is indicated by its subtitle: "Or Possibly 10,000 or even 1,000,000 Faces; We Stopped Counting at 1000."

Its author was stongly influenced by Ed Gein, Leatherface, the movie Faceoff, face transplants, and lysergic acid diethylamide. Other, lesser influences on his work include the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, and Walt Disney's Fantasia.

edit Influence

Since the publication of The Hero with 1000 Faces, Or Possibly 10,000 or even 1,000,000 Faces; We Stopped Counting at 1000, Camel's ideas have been plagiarized by many storytellers and other liars, including George Lucas of Star Bores fame. Camel's visage was also "appropriated" as a logo for the Camel brand of cigarettes. Camel was suing the cigarette company when he died in 2006 of monotheism myth mania. Another main influence was the addiction of marijuana his dog suffered.

edit The Masks of God

According to Camel, all literature is based on the theft of one face, or mask of God, or another, which protagonists, or Protagoras (he is unclear on this point, as he is on many others), acquire on the journey aboard the Underground Railroad, which departs from Boston, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Newark, and points west for the subconscious mind every 30 to 45 minutes. Along the Route, the train stops at several well-known points of interest, including The Call to Dinner, The Road of Trials, The Boon (also known as The Boondocks), The Return, and The Application of the Boon (also known as The Application of the Boondocks). Camel summarizes the route by writing:

A Hero hallucinates after eating mushrooms and penetrates the evening that the city sleeps to hide, kissing a marmalade sky, meets Lucy with or without glasses, and comes back to him- or herself all along the watchtower, the joker, and the thief. Still, despite these many adventures of huckleberries, he or she can't get "no relief."

As classic examples of this magical mystery tour, Camel cites Buddha, Moses, and Christ. However, since his theories are based on Freudian and Jungian views which have long-since been discredited and on "peyote phantases," most scholars dismiss them as "mere pipe dreams." Still, would-be literary lions say they find Camel's ideas "far out" and "kind of mellow, man."

edit The Monotheism Myth

Camel argues that the Hero, in stealing the various faces that Eleanor Rigby and others keep in a jar by The Doors, he, she, or it most likely stops at the Tabard Inn and other stages along the way, a concept, he admits, he stole from the stations of the cross monotheism myth and from Dorothy Gale's encounters with the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, the Cowardly Lion, the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the March Hare. "It's all one story," Camel contends, "all the same monotheism myth, in various forms, just different masks of the same God within."

In addition to Lucas, Camel’s Hero with 1000 Faces has also allegedly driven insane such other artists as Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Journalist Bill Moyers tried to make sense of Camel while holing up at Lucas’ Skywriters’ Ranch, but he gave up. "He's just too deep," Moyers told Lucas, "just too full of it."

edit Stages

1. The Call to Dinner - This summons is issued by the Hero's heroic dog, usually by her screaming at the top of her lungs, much to the Hero's mortification, "Dinner's ready! Come and get it!" The call may be accompanied by the ringing of a bell, a la Ivan Pavlov, or a triangle. The Call to Dinner usually occurs when the Hero is having fun or plotting mischief and is always performed when he is with friends who will tease him for having been called to dinner. Most likely, he will be served a Hero sandwich.

2. Refusal of the Call - The Hero will pretend that he did not hear The Call to Dinner, causing his Mom to repeat it. The second time, if he knows what's good for him, he will answer the call, shouting "I'm coming!" In doing so, it is best for him to adopt a peeved tone of voice in front of his friends, although doing so is apt to cost him dearly when he returns home (much later in the journey). By pretending not to have heard The Call to Dinner the first time it was issued, the Hero may have enough time to construct a sword from folded and pasted newspaper, although he almost certainly will not have time enough to construct a cardboard shield.

3. Spermicidal Jelly - On his way through the stages, the Hero may receive spermicidal jelly to use in the unlikely event that he encounters a Virgin on his journey.

4. The Crossing of the Threshold - If he marries, the Hero will cross a threshold. Otherwise, he will deflower a Virgin while employing the aid of his spermicidal jelly.

5. The Belly of the Whale - The Hero will seek to be reborn from the belly of a whale, but only if he is the featured character in the book of Jonah. Otherwise, he does not pass Go, nor does he collect $200 for the sale of his afterbirth.

6. through 12. The Initiation - The Hero loves and leaves a lady and emasculates his Father Figure, gaining the cajones to return home after visiting the Boondocks.

13. through 19. - The Hero returns to the womb, sharing his Boon with Mom and his closest female relatives, teaching other males how to masturbate.

edit Criticism

Novelists have found Camel's theory too simple-minded. Kurt Vonnegut calls it the "Hobbit theory of literature," characterizing it as "The Hero falls into a hole (the Womb); the Hero gets out of the Hole."

Clyde Ford chastises Camel for having omitted most of Africa from his study, which implies, Ford claims, that Camel was racist and calls into question the value of the mythologist's work. It also suggests that Africans are atheists, which Ford denies is the case. "If anything, they believe in too many gods and, therefore, too many 'masks,'" Ford wrote in Parabola. "Such oversights always happen when white folks try to do 'scholarly' work."

Feminists contend that Camel is “too phallic, too Freudian, and too full of it” and recommend that he give up pretensions to academic scholarship in favor on non-filtered Camel cigarettes.

Alfred E. Newman suggests that Camel is “an anal retentive victim of psychobabble” and “a prime candidate for literary circumcision.”

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