I’m somewhat late, but happy 4/13! No matter how much I denied it, Homestuck has played a formative role in my teenage years and in the end I’m so glad that I was able to experience it. Thank you for a wonderful time! I’m not crying
One of the best things about re-reading Homestuck is discovering more and more things that completely went over my head the first time through. I was fatally bored by John’s Wiseguy on my first read-through, and didn’t understand why I was being forced to read it. Now I do: the theme is repression!
John dips into the book to study a trick about punched cards (2530), which inspires his innovative use of the alchemy system (2531) and allows him to create the Pogo Hammer (2535). John says he only uses the books for the diagrams, and comments that he never understood the relation between the author (Caveney) and the magician (Anderson).
Here’s some clues:
Caveney gets jealous of the people Anderson entertains at a bar
Caveney muses that Anderson’s greatest trick is probably his immense personal magnetism
Caveney says Anderson can “waste everyone’s valuable time, and have you love him for it.”
Caveney calls Anderson an elf, on the basis that Caveney is 2.5 ft taller. He follows by asking Anderson “how he felt about climbing into the hollow of a big tree to bake some cookies or something”
The last one bears a structural resemblance to Dave’s “im your 300 pound matronly freight-train and my gaping furnace is hungry for coal so get goddamn shoveling” (300). It suggests that baked goods may have subconscious sexual connotations for John, giving another dimension to his strident aversion to cake and his irrational hatred of Betty Crocker. Those are venues into which John has packaged (non-exclusively!) the struggle with his nascent sexuality – again, we are given clues to his symbol language.
This isn’t the first time repression is suggested. Dave ribbed John about his “gross man-bro crush on matt macconahay” (2010), Rose accused Dave of “flagrant homosexuality” for not doing what she wanted (2233), and Dave called the slimer scene in Ghostbusters II “manbro bukkake theater” (2153). Those moments could be passed off as jokes, but the Wise Guy excerpt is the point where Husssie points out that repressed gay thoughts are a theme and you should probably start taking the jokes seriously.