Jan. 12th, 2014

seriousfic: (Secret of the Kells)

So Alan Moore gave a very lengthy interview lately, though most of it was him ranting unprompted about various stuff bothering him. And I realize it's a bit dismissive to use language like "crazy old man," "ranting," "bitter," the usual, but damn if it doesn't seem called for. He pretty much writes a novella about a "Batman scholar" who criticized one of his short films (in a tweet!), talks at length about how he thinks Grant Morrison is gay for him, does the usual spiel about how comic book readers are immature (no, before he insults someone by calling them gay), and goes on for a while about how it's cool for him to write about rape and racial caricatures.

Of note is that he expands the "man-child!" thing to include people who just watch superhero movies. And I guess I just find that criticism so nonspecific as to be meaningless. Like sports? How immature. Like puppies? How immature. Like pornography? How immature. Like violent movies? How immature. Like romances that end happily? How immature. Pretty soon it would get to the point where if people wanted to be considered mature, all they would do is watch 12 Years A Slave. I'm 28 (today, in fact) and don't have Dumbledore's beard, but I would say the only real sign of maturity isn't not liking Disney films, but treating others with respect and kindness. If you do that, I don't care if you watch My Little Pony, you're mature.

His arguments on rape and the Gollywog also strike me as dodges--very well-considered and thoughtful dodges, but still dodges. I can kind of see his point on the Gollywog, even if I still find it super presumptuous to try and "reclaim" a black racist caricature while being white. Surely he knows that black people aren't going to rush to embrace this former offensive imagery that he's so thoughtfully reappropriated for them (I'm sure black kids are just poring over League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics looking for representation), and so he could avoid the provocation altogether and just write a strong black character.

But his defense of the rape scenes in his comics is to throw a line of bullshit about just how many there are, then discuss how many sexual assaults there are in real life, so, you know, he's just being realistic. (He actually frames it as being a kind of censorship to not depict rape, which admittedly takes balls.) Which, of course, doesn't touch on why he personally feels the need to write them. And I've just been around long enough and known enough people with rape fantasies to see that as basically a BS self-justification.

And that isn't to judge people with rape fantasies. I know that most of them would never in a million years approve of real sexual violence, anymore than someone who likes action movies would enjoy it if a real 'gunfight' broke out. But I don't think you come back to a plot device that often without having an affinity for it, and people have a right to criticize an author for throwing any sexual fantasy into their work outside of a pornographic content, if they judge that it detracts from the story.

If someone writes bondage into a story about BDSM, fine, you know, says it on the cover. If someone writes bondage into a story about a murder mystery, okay, I'm sure there are police detectives and amateur sleuths who like handcuffs for more than making sure drug dealers don't shiv them. If it gets to the point where I'm going "didn't this story used to be about a murder?", that's gonna make it into my review.

seriousfic: (Secret of the Kells)
Now, I don't want you guys to go all out. Just get me a three-layer cake, some books, and Leighton Meester. 

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