Saturday, March 10, 2007

I'll always have DC...

Even though I'm sure it will be undone, seeing the lengths Marvel will go to to get attention depresses me. They've stooped low enough I don't really care what happens in the Marvel Universe anymore. Considering that I'm still a loyal DC reader after Infinite Crisis, that's quite a feat.

At times like this I turn to my trusty trade paperback/back issue collection to cheer me up. It rarely disappoints.

The beauty of Doom Patrol is that in context this panel makes both more and less sense than it does on its own.

Friday, March 09, 2007

How long will this last?

Since the news of Captain America #25 has reached even the underside of my rock, I feel I can safely assume we're beyond spoiler warnings by this point. (At least, I am, since someone at work read it off of CNN before I had a chance to run to the store.) If not, this poll is pretty vague anyway.

[Poll Closed. Results.]

I have an idea of what this and Civil War probably symbolizes, and what happens next based on that idea, but I think I'll spare you because its absurd to postulate that a story centering on Captain America is necessarily about the United States. That sort of absurd self-centeredness is why people hate Americans, after all.

Returning to sanity...

That was fun.

Now, before I get into this, let me thank all the thoughtful people who disagreed and agreed and conversed about propaganda. The majority of the responses.

To the rest of you, I'd like to mention a few things:

1) Despite the fact that I prefaced and ended the post pointing out that I, even possessing the opinion, knew that the opinion was batshit insane, there were a few commenters who felt it was necessary to point out that it was batshit insane. I appreciate your concern.

2) It feels weird to be accused of being overly Americentric because I saw a US-related metaphor in a project involving known Americentric propagandist Frank Miller. (This goes for the person who thought my opinion it would be homophobic and misogynistic was unethical. I've read enough Frank Miller stories to know what to expect, thank you.)

3) Its always fun to see responses to expressing an aversion to seeing a movie based on the marketing for the movie complain about how someone is judging the movie based on the marketing for the movie. You know, the stuff designed to make us want to see the movie. This really fits the mood of the comics-reading community, where we spend hours commiserating about editorial decisions about comic books that we dropped months ago. (And comparing the war in Iraq to my decision not to see a movie was an interesting analogy. Plus the 3 blind men story is cliche, overrated, and quite probably offensive to blind people.)

4) Not a criticism, but its oddly gratifying to find out that people in Iran are having much the same debate.

(Also, this response thread was fun to read, it made me imagine what archaeologists and historians three thousand years from now will say about the 21st Century world. That made me laugh myself silly.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I've heard he says he writes strong women too...

Okay, everyone has their own crazy idea. I spend all of my time mocking the crazy ideas I find across the internet.

Well, now its time to reveal my own special insanity. The idea that is so strange that I know it will probably make the entire internet sit up, blink, and ask when I went so insane.

I won't watch The 300 because the trailer makes it look like Anti-American propaganda.

Okay, hear me out here. Yes, I know what Frank Miller has said about his patriotism and that, in all likelihood, this movie was meant as war propaganda in the USA's favor, but every time I see the trailer I get this little creeping feeling in my stomach that its not going to show that way.

What makes me think this?

Because the premise is a group of 300 poorly armed men against the greatest fighting force in the known world. The voice-over refers to the "thousand nations of the Persian Empire" and shows an ethnically diverse group of people in power positions who are obviously villains. The Spartans, vastly outnumbered and overpowered, are all the same race, gender, and religion.

I'm absolutely certain that the US parallels better to the Persians, and I do not want to watch two hours of such an obvious US-parallel getting the Frank Miller-villain treatment.

There it is, Internet. My seemingly batshit crazy aversion to The 300. That's right, I'm not thrown by the misogyny and homophobia that is guaranteed to be contained within or any of the already stated reasons to not want to see this movie, but I'm obsessed with the unpleasant political parallels that so very few people have pointed out.

And I wonder who Frank Miller thinks he's fooling.

I await your reaction.

(ETA: See, I'm not alone!)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Digital Lantern

Remember a while back when we had the suggestion that Barbara Gordon be a Green Lantern, and Kalinara argued against it? Well, the idea that the ultimate Green Lantern would have be a computer programmer still persists in some circles, and I have to say, as presented, it bothers me for one main reason.

The logic is that a computer programmer would use his or her technological knowledge to take Oan technology to a level previously unimagined.

That's arrogant as hell.

With Oa, we are talking about the race so advanced, that knows the nuts and bolts of the DC Universe so well, that their technology is indistinguishable from sorcery. Abara Kadabra is a picker by comparison. Coluans look at their artificial intelligence system and wish they could come up with something so beautifully advanced.

Hacking a Green Lantern ring using your 21st century human computer knowledge is akin to tapping a fiber optic line using your l33t skillz at the electric telegraph.

No, that's too generous. Its like tapping a fiber optic line using your l33t skillz at semaphore flag signals.

Either way, its not going to happen.

I'm not ragging on the engineers and the physicists here. They're brilliant. We've come an amazing way as a species and our technology is awesome. But to think that we don't have an immense way to go is simply delusional. Actually, to think that we have figured out how the universe works and only have to refine it from there shows a distinct lack of imagination.

No one is saying that a computer programmer, by nature of the job itself, would not make a good lantern. However, they would have the type of person who learns very quickly that they don't know as much about how the universe is put together as they think they do or else they'll find themselves limited by their assumptions. In short, they need their imagination much more than they need their technological knowledge.

Its a story I'd love to read, on reflection. But not for the same reasons I've been hearing from the people who suggest it.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I'm sorry.

To Christopher Sims, Humorist/Comics Blogger,

I lost the banner you made for me when I updated my blog template. I am a truly horrible person, unworthy of your friendship. Please Forgive me.

Ragnell the Foul, Ranter/Comics Blogger

Guess who has a blog.

(I was planning to totally ignore the guy, but Kalinara showed me this post and it was so funny I had to play with it.)

Fifteen Absolutely Absurd Things Dave Sim Seems to Believe Wholeheartedly

1. A father who works a full-time job and delegates to a woman the raising of his children twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week does just as good a job as a father who hand-rears his children full time.

2. It makes great sense for a full-time waitress to have to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its divorced father - who pays no child support and spends no time at home - can be free of any responsibility.

3. A man or a doctor has more of a valid claim on the contents of a uterus than does the woman to whom that uterus is a part of her body.

4. So long as a father makes a decision in favor of the potential life, he is incapable of making an unethical choice.

5. Two people work in exactly the same manner as a single automobile so there is no reason for marriage to be an equal partnership.

6. There is no reason for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that men never be excluded from a female-only environment.

7. Because it requires that women be actually considered for a job that could otherwise go to a less qualified man, affirmative action is a terrible injustice.

8. Women are incapable of using a gun or driving a firetruck because none of them can even bench press the bar.

9. Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be destroyed because now that more women than men are being enrolled, there is absolutely no chance that the majority white male academic boards will start favoring white male applicants ever again.

10. Because a woman told me I was a asshole for saying any of the above, there is a feminist conspiracy to eliminate my constituional right to be an asshole without being called on it.

11. Paying a few hundred dollars a month is far more of a hardship than carrying a child to term, squeezing it out your vagina, and offering it love, attention, and support for eighteen years on your own.

12. An untrained woman who married a man and let her education and career lapse in order to supoport his dreams deserves to starve and live on the street once he strikes it rich and decides to find a younger wife.

13. A man who takes no personal involvement in raising a child aside from throwing money at it knows more about what that child needs than a woman who dedicates the majority of her life to that child.

14. Despite the fact that every man is a unique individual, and each man relates to women differently, saying that one man is being an asshole to a woman automatically means you think all men are assholes all the time.

15. Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you a hairy-legged man-hating lesbian separatist.

(Yeah, I know, this was too easy. But I was trying to relax this weekend.)