Sunday, March 05, 2006

What Evil Lurks in the Heart of Ragnell?

(Disclaimer: I am beyond hope. Do not try this at home. For a more healthy way to deal with your negativity, try this advice.)

You find the damnedest things browsing Internet for When Fangirls Attack links.

Read on...

Today, searching for posts on women in the JSA, I ran across a blog about Wonder Woman.

Well, rather, it was a blog for posting pictures of people dressed as Wonder Woman.

Normally, when I run across this sort of site, I don't find any topical posts so it's not really worth my time. But here, at the very top, was an in-depth post about Wolverine. I don't read much Marvel, and the writer was verbose, so I just skimmed past it. I figured I'd find something relevant in the earlier posts.

There was a Donna Troy post that initially looked promising, until I scrolled down and saw a series of pictures of some woman taking off a Wonder Woman costume, piece by piece. Yeah, I thought to myself, That'll go over real well on WFA.

So I scrolled down further, and found a decent post on the origin of Wonder Woman and its feminist aspects. (Albeit, a erroneous one at some points. The writer labored under the delusion that being the JSA Secretary meant that Diana made coffee, got donuts and answered the phones. If this was true when she first joined, there's no indication by the time I started reading -- I have 1, 8, and 9 of the All-Star Archives. From what I saw, it meant she was an officer who took notes at the meetings, answered letters, and monitored the local papers for pertinant events. She took full part in adventures. But I digress.) I linked to that post.

Chris AIMed me to ask what's going on, so I linked him to the site and told him what I was doing.

Chris is a bloodhound.

Chris found Morrison-hating in 4.5 seconds.

There it was in... blue and lighter blue, a light jab at the Great Morrison.

I read on. It turned into a few paragraphs of pure, unconcentrated hatred.

I don't know why I was angry and shocked about it. I mean, people are entitled to not enjoy a Morrison book. Hell, one of my favorite bloggers subtly slammed the man for months before the awful truth was revealed. A few shy dissenters (of the All-Star Superman love that was currently permeating the community) even came out on his thread. Everyone was okay with it. The next day, he posted a panel of Hal Jordan getting hit on the head, all was forgiven and there was peace in the Blogiverse.

But this man, for whatever reason -- perhaps because of the Wonder Woman stripper, or lack of even the most basic knowledge of Robert's Rules of Order, or because he just wasn't as funny, or just because he was a professed Marvel Zombie and therefore had no taste -- could not be excused.

Somehow, Kalinara informs me, I've gotten the reputation of a serious feminist (or, well, as a serious as a feminist can get and still post pictures of Kyle Rayner's butt) in our little corner of the internet. Possibly because of WFA. In truth, I started that because I like to watch people argue. (I have the Feminist_Rage community friended on livejournal because of this. It's truly equisite arguing there, actually, as very rarely does anyone lose their temper in the comments, but every thread starts with an incredibly pissed off rant and there are numerous ways to offend any member) But I digress. The point is, I am not actually a nice person in any way, shape, or manner. I'm a troublemaker. On the D&D test I score Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Evil depending on the day. It's not unusual for me to encourage a conflict to continue beyond its natural resolution, and it's not unusual for me to start one (between two other parties). When I'm being a peacemaker, it's normally because the fight isn't fun to watch anymore.

Because of this blemish on my soul, I felt an intense need to make his life uncomfortable somehow. I wanted to shower on his name with dishonor. I wanted to see him taken apart, piece by piece, psychoanalyzed, and thrown to the masses wearing his carefully obfuscated insecurities around his neck!

I was determined that I would read through the entire Donna Troy post and find a reason to link it on WFA. (In the interest of fairness, here's the post in question)

Anyway, I read through that entire post in detail and let me tell you that was tough. I suspect he added the pictures of the girl stripping to distract readers from the insanity he was actually spouting. A short way into the post, he confesses his love of Marvel over DC. Which is acceptable in the case of charming and intelligent bloggers, but as this person was neither charming nor intelligent, it was a strike against him.

Right from there, he goes into why he hates Morrison. It seems to boil down to either his handling of the Joker
or the Weapon X retcon. Maybe because after Morrison's revamp of X-Men he finds it harder to relate to mutants, being that Morrison validated the vaunted civil rights metaphor by treating them as a (mostly) harmless minority with their own separate culture, and not just a bunch of wierd, unpopular kids who looked strange but hid great and destructive power underneath their freakish facades (which we all know is the true appeal of X-Men), I'm still not sure, as again, I was distracted by the dripping poison of writing.

As the stripper unzipped (since when the hell does the front of Wonder Woman's costume have a zipper? Isn't that a gilded breastplate and a mystical girdle?) her bustier, he finally got back to Donna. He doesn't have much to say, so he intersperses it with covers until he gets into details about why he hates kid sidekicks.

Then he quotes Dr. Wertham.

Allow me to repeat that, he quotes Dr. Wertham.

I had to read through his explanation of why he likes Fred Wertham twice. It is reasonable to give a villified man a second glance, and the benefit of the doubt, so maybe he was on to something. After I read through the entire thing, I reread the most controversial part. This guy wasn't on to anything. His was the sort of explanation that sounds reasonable when you read through it too fast. But once you slow down, look at some of the more unsettling comments (such as how he doesn't feel its homophobic to believe that Batman turned young boys gay), and realize it's being followed by a topless Wonder Woman fondling her own breasts, he loses some of his credibility.

Then he gets back to Wonder Girl. You can tell, because he starts posting covers again. It's not long before he starts bitching about Crisis on Infinite Earths and how the Multiverse confused him too much. Meanwhile, the stripper moons us and it's back to Donna and the explanation of John Byrne's retcon.

Nothing that could justify a link to When Fangirls Attack.

It was the most fucked-up thing I think I've ever seen on the Internerd. I ran through a mental list of places I could send this link to for a proper dissection and mocking. I understand that the moderators of the Gentle Scent of Pee in Your Longbox welcome fodder like this, so I was tempted to send it to them. I'm sure there's a number of Donna Troy fansites and Titans/Wonder Woman enthusiast message boards that would be interested in his opinion. On the other hand, Grant Morrison's following is loyal, rabid, and contains some of the most intelligent and stubborn members of the species. I considered the fun a forum like Barbelith Underground would have at his expense (Fortunately, a fine upstanding community like that would have nothing to do with an person such as myself). Worst of all, I considered feeding him to Twisty Faster for digestion at I Blame the Patriarchy, I'm sure her readers would have a lot to say about the stripper (but it would doubtless be painful to read the radical feminist opinion of Wonder Woman and our beloved hobby).

After making my way through The Insanity, Chris and Kalinara talked me down from the edge of Chaotic Evil, and I decided to write a post exploring my reaction to The Most Fucked-Up Post on the Internet.

Which became harder and harder to do without describing the original post.

I've realized, writing this post, that what I really, really, really wanted was first crack at him. In fact, I did a Technorati search looking to see if anyone had gotten at him first. No one had.

If you are reading this, it means I've given into the darkest part of me. The post in question was a labor of love. The writer slaved long, hard hours putting it together. He agonized over every word and picture for the maximum effect. I'm sure he looked back after posting it with pride and a sense of accomplishment. He felt he was giving something worthwhile to the internet. He's a living, breathing human being with thoughts and feelings and a right to express his opinion in whatever manner he sees fit!

And here I am, the Evil, Two-Faced, Sneaky Bitch, plotting to ruin his sense of self-worth. He's opened himself to the world, and I'm targetting him from my own Fortress of Blogitude, surrounded by a crowd that I am confident will feel the same as I do. I'm actively marring his efforts, belittling his manhood, and calling the negative attention of intruders to his safe, private space for sharing his dreams, emotions and ideas. And then I'm planning to email his link to others who would mock and degrade him for their own judgmental amusement. Don't I know that imbeciles have feelings too? Shouldn't I nuture and encourage him like a good woman? Coddle his moronic opinions in the name of free speech and diversity? Indulge his unrepentant snobbery? Acknowledge his right to pass himself off as an intellectual as he spouts his hateful nonsense about my favorite writers and objectifies my gender without taking a few good jabs at him myself?

I should be ashamed of myself! I'm not doing this to be constructive, or help, or add anything worthwhile to the community. I'm picking on a harmless idiot! I'm a bully. I'm secure from the safe perch of a blogger who holds the same opinion as the vocal majority. Would I be wallowing in my own darkness like a warthog in dead squirrel guts if I was not confident of the popular opinion? I should be guilt-wracked for such insidious, cowardly behavior. Don't I feel bad about subjecting another human being to treatment which would, in all likelihood, make me cry?

Why, no, actually, I feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside.

I'm going to go hug a kitten now.


  1. Well, I'm glad I clarified my comments about Terry Dodson and the potential for a Wonder Woman look-a-like cast. I wouldn't want a post like this aimed in my direction.

  2. It wasn't that bad, so he doesn't like Morrison big deal

    take in mind that Morrison is only great if you like meta
    If you don't get (or don't care) for symbolism, then he's just a raving lunatic

    I love Morrison, but if someone hates the man, it doesn't bother me

    I like to think I'm above disliking people just because they have different opinions than my own

  3. I found the post offensive, mostly because of the "Robin fans liking Judy Garland" crack. My 7-year-old son loves Robin in the Teen Titans cartoon, mainly because he likes seeing a kid who is as smart and tough as an adult hero. Just as Bill Finger and Bob Kane intended...

    As far as the rest, it was way more convoluted than Morrison's X-men. :)

    I happen to like Morrison as well, and found his X-Men run a breath of fresh air. (I'll have to write a post of my own about it someday...)

    But, to each his own. Just keep the homophobia out of it dude. It's not even funny in a "gonzo" or "post-modern" way.

  4. >>"Chris is a bloodhound."

    No man escapes the Manhunters.

    >>"I like to think I'm above disliking people just because they have different opinions than my own"

    I'm not! Jeepers, if I was, I'd never get anything done!

  5. I won't bother to read his essay. I barely finished the very coherent essay you linked to on WFA about Gwen Stacy/Norman Osborn (With Greater Power Comes Greater Irresponsibility), no way I could handle lunacy combined with fake Wonder Woman.

    That being said, I don't get the big deal about Morrsion. Yes, the biologist in me liked (in concept, in reality the members of his team were characters I mostly despise) how his X-men work dealt with mutants truly being the next step, as they were going to out-compete and replace humans shortly, but there's nothing that makes me scream "Wow!" What I've read of his JLA doesn't hit me any harder than Waid's or Kelly's did. All-Star Superman? I hate Superman in general, especially the truly ludicrously powerful Superman of my dad's comics , which I what I feel Morrison's writing. Lastly, I lack your ability to delve the deep symbolism that I have no doubt is within his work (I'm not being sarcastic here. I believe you when you tell me there's all sorts of it in there). So that's lost on me.

    Honestly, I'd take, in their better work, Paul Jenkins or even DeFalco's Spider-Girl over Morrison. But that's just me.

    *dives under desk from hail of rocks and feces*

  6. Uh.....where does one person get one of those Wonder Woman outfits? I need it for research.

    Actually, I think this just proves my point that DC comics are for people who have issues with sex and sexuality, and the only way that a Marvel fan can appreciate a DC comic is when its being used as a back drop for an erotic night of getting-you-some, nah I mean?

    Yes, you can put "tells it like it is" right after "charming."

    PS - I'm totally kidding about everything I said in this comment.

  7. That outfit would come in handy for drawing ... y'know having someone model as WW for you? Really ...

    Incidentally, I found a photo manip of Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman. She's wearing the Xena outfit, which has WW colors added. Kinda makes me think of the warrior portrayal in KINGDOM COME.

  8. Honestly, I'd take, in their better work, Paul Jenkins or even DeFalco's Spider-Girl over Morrison. But that's just me.

    I know I'm straying from topic here, but I'd love to see Ragnell's take on Spider-Girl. She fits one of my favorite rare subcategories of superheroes--characters whose first instinct is always to talk down opponents, and who's often successful. Superman probably ought to be another example of this, but usually isn't. (Instead, we get 'Superman gives a token speech and proceeds to pound unresponsive foe.') Bulleteer seems to be a more successful example.

    -- Alex F.

  9. I think the main thing with the post was a combination of irritants. Any one of them is fine on their own, most of them are okay with charm. But all of them plus zero charm? Encourages pure hatred.

    Spencer/rich -- I've been looking for one of those msyelf, actually, for Halloween. I'd end up making a skirt before I wore it, though. Modesty and all.

    Derek -- Yes, that is how I spent my Youth. I played a lot of White Wolf, Mage most of all (followed by Changeling, then Vampire).

    Ananymous #2 -- I've never touched a Spider-Girl comic in my life, actually.

  10. Ragnell -- There are some costume online stores that have VERY good Wonder Woman costumes. Some aren't officially licensed, so they lack the WW or eagle insignia, which is hinted at. But for $30-$70 you can't have a cool WW costume. (I was researching this for a friend)

    The latex looks cool ... probably gets awful hot ... and at $300+ it aint cheap. Good luck on your search, if you decide to buy one.

  11. "I had hoped that Grant Morrison would develop into an entertainingly stupid writer instead of an obnoxiously stupid writer. Unfortunately, he did just the opposite."

    Yes, he developed into a pleasantly brilliant one. Pleasing to know that reprobates the world over hate him though; lauding Wertham?! Da fug?

    'Yeah, you know, Sen. McCarthy was a bit misunderstood, you fools.'