August 18th, 2010

Uncle James

(no subject)

So when I was a little kid, in my folks ridiculously big library (places for bookshelves is a key part of their real estate planning), I found a book called "All In Color For A Dime." I was fascinated because it was both about comics, as you likely already guess, a favorite read of mine, and it was a look into my parents own childhood.

Which I was convinced in black and white, since all the films and photos from that time were in black and white. No, I didn't make the leap of logic that since the comics and paintings were in color, the world was in color. I was 5-6 years old and highly imaginative. Not logical.

Anyway, the book, besides being a great read about comics through the decades, also mentioned the classic comics hysteria, stoked by "Seduction of The Innocent." Written by anti-violence advocate, it claimed comic books were contributors to youth violence and there were all sorts of 'deviant' sexual lessons being communicated.

No, he didn't write the whole thing on Wonder Woman in the 40's. (dude, read up on that period. 500 words on it and it's creator. Go.)

Now, regardless of my folks regret at introducing me to comics, scifi, and role playing, video games, and peanut, I've lived through some of these pop culture hysteria as a fan.

The great D&D wank of the 80's. ALL THE video game scares- starting with anti-porn feminists freaking about porn gameson Atari 2600's. Harry Potter freak outs. Creed leading to the douchiest not crypto-enough-christian rawk evah.

And it comes back to comics.

A U. Mass researcher ( claims modern superheros are awful because they only encourage boys to be douchebag, female abusive superheroes, or school hating slackers. She also reveals a nice labor bias, claiming superheros used to be working men solving social problems.

And of course, society must be programing boys to be pro-social.

Read the article, than read more before telling me how much I butchered my summary.

Here's the thing: In every era, people will find what they think is wrong about comics, and freak out about it. In every era, people will blame media for training boys to do the wrong thing. (Sorry... not enough academics quoted in newspapers seem to worry about girls reading comics. Either they secretly like them growing up and wearing Supergirl outfits with a midriff, or they don't believe girls read anything but Potter and Twilight. Sexist bastards!!!!)

In every era, people will forget that the majority of boys who read comics are already school loving slackers, and that the boys who learn anything from comic book movies are likely way more complex than the ones who hear a pop song and want to bling it up.

Trying to find a single source to explain boys behavior and gender identity/role modeling is far too simplistic, and far too narrow. Also, not being self aware enough of your own political/gender biases undermines your credibility.

Read the article, tell me what you think. I need to sleep and dream of being a pro-feminist though very standardly masculine superhero.
Avenue Q

Dr. Laura, Heal Thyself!

So, Dr. Laura, who to be honest, I've never consumed except in small doses, is leaving AM radio.

Off course, she's claiming her First Amendment rights are being abridged.

Uhm, no.

Look all of us... yes, lefties too, confuse pressures on speech from non-governmental sources with governmental sources, and cite First Amendment issues. And we all forget,even when appropriate, that like other Constitutional rights ( Second Amendment, anyone?), as a nation of evolving laws and needs there are some restrictions on First Amendment rights.

This can get confusing. Especially with the way the FCC sometimes swings wildly from who it targets or regulates depending on the whim of the courts or the administration of the moment. But that's why free tv and radio are more regulated then pay tv and radio.

PBS stil gets away with some crazy shit because, well, who watches PBS in this country? Really.

But in this case, sorry. No 1st Amendment rights have been violated. Dr. Laura, who has always said crazy, hateful stuff over public airwaves, finally dropped the n-bob-omb right on her own position.

And as far as I can tell, the FCC isn't going after her.

Being very pro-First Amendment, I wouldn't want to see the FCC go after the crazy lady. I would honestly like to see them avoid content control ( excluding advertisers... they need a firm, guiding hand) and be more about guaranteeing access (net neutrality. duh.)

This isn't a First Amendment issue. Doc Laura, you said enough crazy stuff to get a chunk of the populace against you. And by adding element "N-What the fuck did you say?" you finally reached critical mass.

You aren't being punished by 1st Amendment issues. You are being punished by the marketplace.

Don't worry. Satellite radio or some cable channel well have a place for you broadcast wise, and the people who like your books will continue to buy them.

Yay, capitalism.
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