Monday, February 04, 2008

My heart's not in this one.

I should say something to this, since he uses my quote as the jumping-off point but I can only come up with a unenthusiastic response.

I don't really care for Journalista much anymore. The blog itself, while theoretically a useful link-source, is unreadable at work because of his use of images. I've taken it off my feed and gotten to checking it when I remember or when it comes up in my searches. Occasionally, I'll get a post or an article out of it. Most of the stuff he links I see in my normal rounds. More often I just link Dirk himself when he writes about women in comics. His opinions aren't particularly interesting, especially from the standpoint of such bitterness. His value as a journalist is debatable. Take this article for example. No neutrality, but it's an op-ed piece. But he gets the facts very wrong. Since when does operate from a "Think of the Children" standpoint? And how are Pink Raygun, the Spider-man movie-fans who were upset about the statue, Cheryl Lynn, Val, and me part of "the Girl Wonder" crowd? You can really only shove us all under the same tent if you're not paying attention to what we write. He uses the unreliable 10% statistic, and I've yet to see how it was figured out or how it is relevant. 1) Statistics are incredibly easy to manipulate and 2) Some things are wrong no matter who the audience is.

I mean, I know that this is a logical fallacy but Deppey's long since lost credibility to me. So I can't get interested in arguing his main point. Even about this.

And it's... disappointing. When he started up that blog I remember how excited much of the comics blogosphere was and he seems to be a very respected and widely-read person. Which tells me that's the standard of writing for much of the community.

And that makes me sad.


  1. Since when does operate from a "Think of the Children" standpoint? And how are Pink Raygun, the Spider-man movie-fans who were upset about the statue, Cheryl Lynn, Val, and me part of "the Girl Wonder" crowd?

    He seems to be of the "feminism is the borg" "the hive vagina has spoken" standpoint.

  2. I thought he made a pretty clear distinction about the Pink Raygun piece being where the "think of the children" stance came from, but I can see why it would irritate you to have words put in your mouth that weren't your own. But I do think he pointed out that the 10% statistic came from Valerie, and he pointed out that it wasn't clear where or with what methodology that number was settled upon, back when she first posted it.

    Either way, i guess it's not your thing--but truthfully, how often does Dirk even write those op-ed pieces? Usually it's just a bit of snark next to a link.

  3. I find him clever and insightful when he's not on the topic of Superhero fans and particularly feminist fans, and I think the blog's a huge service to the community. But yes, I do have to wonder why he's so very oddly, almost willfully misrepresentative of the "girl wonder crowd" which does seem to encompass different groups and individuals from day to day.

  4. But yes, I do have to wonder why he's so very oddly, almost willfully misrepresentative of the "girl wonder crowd"...

    Dear zhinxy-
    Everyone misrepresents the people they disagree with, especially when it's done in the online forums. It's much easier to win an argument in this way. Make up a false, easily-refuted argument, then cleverly destroy said (bogus) argument- and make yourself look like Clarence Darrow in the process. Set 'em up, knock 'em down.

  5. Ah, the old "Lookit how seriously the other person is taking comics, HURR HURR" argument. One thing we should all keep in mind is, the moment you decide to discuss comics at all -- and I'm looking at you, Dirk Deppey -- you are yourself taking comics too seriously, and have no business pointing fingers.

    Mind you, talking about comics is not a bad thing, in and of itself; it's a hobby and we treat it with the joy and passion that hobbies are supposed to instill. But you can't have your "not taking comics seriously" cake and eat it too.

  6. Actually, I think he makes a really good point. He does lump distinct people into a group for the purpose of his argument, but there's absolutely no one in the comics blogsphere who isn't guilty of that on a regular basis.

    I've long felt that the real problem underlying many feminist critiques of comics is that they are overly sexual and that the expression of that is often sexist in nature. Ultimately though, you have to applaud his fundamental point that if we want better comics, it has to be about more than statues and trophy cases.

    I'd never seen that blog before. Thanks for linking it.

  7. Oh and not to speak for him, but I don't think he claims that Girl-Wonder comes from a 'think of the children' angle. My interpretation is that thinking of the children would be more valuable than thinking of Stephanie Brown.

  8. Journalista is definitely a "passionate eye" kind of journalism (which is implicit in the title). In other words, there's an opinion at work, and you have to take things with a grain of salt. To me it's a link blog with some quite summaries and occasional op ed pieces.

    Details wrong or not, I thought the piece made a fair point, like Big Mike, that people are attacking small symptoms of the underlying problem rather than causes.

  9. He's been taking swipes at 'feminist comic fans' and particular blogs, since his friend at 'Comics Worth Reading' got butt-hurt when some 'female comic fans' disagreed with her about Superhero comics.

    It got to the point that whenever I saw the word 'feminist' in a sentence at TCJ, I just scrolled down and rolled my eyes; never in the mood for grudge-snark.

  10. I didn't delete it out of my feed, but it struck me as unusual in 1) its length; 2) its apparently random vitriol (or, at the least, sarcasm) directed at various feminist movements or writers; 3) the amount of sheer bone-thuddingly dumb fallacy/trolling.

    J! is normally good at bursting those fallacious bubbles out there, but this time . . . really, if you "really cared" you'd be pushing for the COMICS CODE?? Seriously? Has there ever been a more derided entity (save, perhaps, the MPAA?). And that's what the (troll-concern) mandates we should "rally around"?

    That was surprising to the point I thought it was a joke. Then I read it again and thought, yeah, he just doesn't get it. I think that it may be that Girl Wonder, Ragnell, Pink Raygun--it IS all the same thing to him.

    Disappointed, not surprised, giving it one more change. (As to the images . . . Google Reader doesn't import his in, for some reason, so it gives me some protection).

  11. "My interpretation is that thinking of the children would be more valuable than thinking of Stephanie Brown."

    This is better?

    Besides, if your interpretation is correct, someone ought to explain to him that Mo Willems, Brian Selznick, Jennifer and Matthew Holm, Dav Pilkey, Barbara Lehman, Gene Yang, the ALA, and plenty of others are already on the job. And that somehow, they usually find it easy and valuable enough to think of the Stephanie Browns of the world at the same time.

  12. About the images, you might try doing an 'other click' (usually called a 'right click', but I know left-handed already use the right button) and checking the section in the pop up menu where it says 'block images'. That works for me, as I am on dial up, and the pages load without the pictures, thus much faster.

    Alan Coil

  13. Gee, great counter-arguments Ragnell.

    "This guy is dumb and Imma not gonna read him anymore, so his opinions don't count! I'm not playing!"

    *Clap clap* bravo.

  14. And monroe provides us a fine example of what Anonymous 6:55 discussed, otherwise known as a Straw Man Argument.

  15. I think the most important thing to take from all this is that Dirk Deppy is a monstrously bitter man who fell out of love with comics long ago but clings to the artform's community because he thinks he has no place else to go.

    In other words, when people whose intrests you do not share, do not plan to share, and who you would not be caught dead dealing with in real life under any circumstances, are what provokes the most passionate responses from you, you're not having fun anymore.