Archive for August, 2021

totally serious conversations

Thursday, August 5th, 2021

Big controversy in the world of comic books. Sexism reigns supreme, a story detail edited out, because

the creators of the HBO Max adult animated series Harley Quinn revealed that a scene depicting Batman performing oral sex on Catwoman was blocked by DC Entertainment because “heroes don’t do that.”

Well, this prompted some heated conversations on social media about the censorship of female pleasure and sex in comics, even as the sexualization of female characters has become standard in most storylines.

DC supporters agreed that scene wasn’t appropriate for a show aimed at kids, but Glen Weldon of NPR’s Arts Desk says that argument can get slapped down pretty easily.

“The Harley Quinn show is decidedly aimed at adults — it’s filled with cartoon gore and explicit language, but also some very funny jokes that’d go over kids’ heads,” he says.

Okay. Is there a similar scene of Catwoman servicing Batman? Therein lay the crux of solving the sexist double standard within this… issue… at hand.

More to the point — Are such things things that people want to see?

DC Comics and Time Warner are confronted with the products of “Rule 34“, and realizes they need to monetize it.

Weldon, who’s also the author of The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture, spoke to All Things Considered about how we’ve turned superheroes into symbols of American values, the relationship between show creators and companies like DC or Marvel and what it is about comic book culture and fandom that makes it a unique vessel for conversations about sex positivity in mainstream media.

I am a bit of a fan or sympathizer of sex negativity, which tends to shunt me away from these “conversations” on sex positivity — or, perhaps, I can put two cents in and listen as everyone else at the table — or the dominant lecturer tactfully dismisses me and moves to their preconceived ideas — here wrapped in a candy coating of… Superheroes. The new Greek mythology. And… — comics aren’t for kids anymore. Pow! Zip! Boink!

Admittedly the topic as subtext is what makes the early William Marston Wonder Woman interesting — and “woke” people view such as positive where they view Frank Miller’s edge gritty interpretations with Cat Woman as prostitute as “problematic”. (Maybe we can turn it all on the head and discover Batman as her customer, and make a Lifetime movie out of it.) And in deconstruction period, I never watched the movie adaptation for Watchman, but I understand a sex scene played out against Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was an especially low point in a movie that was a series of low points.

Having left that deconstruction period of superhero comics, moved past a neo-nostalgia period, I guess we land … Throw it against the wall, leave things sticking. Flipping through the comic book based on this adult cartoon — it heavily leans on a sexual relationship between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. I do not know if such gets grafted into some “LGBTQ” positivity, or if we are still just in the realm of male adult fantasies — rationalize it how you may. I guess it depends on how Batman intrudes, and in reality for it to actually add up, we need the actual creation of this plot element within the series.

there are nine democrats running

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

It figures as the California Recall slides into a dead heat poll wise that we see — heavy partisan Democratic California (voting as it may some conservative side on primaries) that we see the one way, in this century, a Republican gets on to the governor’s seat. The Democratic attempt to save Newsome becomes a comical partisan lob — “don’t even look at the replacements.”. So it is that whereas in 2002 Cruz Bustamante received his 30 plus percent against Schwarzenegger’s 50 minus percent, the Democrats cannot possibly be so consolidated and will flicker every which way — with the Democratic Establishment running as though there is no second ballot.

So, taking a view of the Democrats running on the second “Replacement” possibility.

  • Holly L. Baade, spiritual teacher and coach[123][126]
  • John R. Drake, college student[127]
  • Patrick Kilpatrick, actor, screenwriter, and producer[123][126]
  • Jacqueline McGowan, cannabis advocate and business owner[123][126]
  • Kevin Paffrath, YouTuber, real estate broker and landlord[128]
  • Armando “Mando” Perez-Serrato, business owner[129][16]
  • Brandon M. Ross, doctor, lawyer[123][126]
  • Joel A. Ventresca, perennial candidate (including in the 1995, 1999, and 2019 San Francisco mayoral elections, and the 1997 San Francisco Treasurer election)[130][126]
  • Daniel Watts, lawyer and Green candidate in the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election[123][126]

Only two candidates garner enough Wikipedia notabability for an article — the screenwriter/actor/director/speaker and the YouTuber who is a major (ahem) “landlord influencer”. (At least we know he isn’t a Maoist.)

We do see the Democratic Party Machine of Gavin Newsom has swung at bat to shut them down…

Instagram briefly removed Paffrath’s campaign announcement post from their platform. According to Paffrath, Instagram notified him that they had removed his post, in which he described Newsom as a “weanie baby”, under its harassment guidelines. Paffrath told Fox News he suspected the post was taken down intentionally, and that the removal was related to its parent company Facebook’s donations to Newsom’s causes. A Facebook spokesperson said that the company’s donations had gone towards coronavirus relief, not the governor’s campaign.[25] The Los Angeles Times has reported that such donations by Facebook and other social media companies were “behested” payments, or indirect payment’s to government causes on Newsom’s behalf.[26] Shortly after Fox News inquired about the removal of the post, it was restored, and a spokesperson said it had been removed in error.[25]

Kilpatrick they just have to do a whisper campaign that he is so very Hollowood.

Still, the Republicans running may just get splintered to the winds such that these two wikipedia notable figures just may sneak in at that 20 plus or 30 minus percent, the lazy partisan voter maybe not quite sure what they are voting for– perhaps seeing a character actor sitting there in that “don’t know the name, but recognize the face” manner.

Historical reaches

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

All right. Into the comments section of this oft silly Peter Van Buren attack on General Miley’s attack on Trump to find what people wish to argue the events of 1/6 compare to…

(1) Reichstag Fire. And to be sure, Van Buren does spot the difference — Hitler was already Chancellor and most of his way to total power!

(2) I’ve never seen the events of Jan6 likened to the Reichstag fire. Besides, I think they more resembled the failed 1923 Munich revolution – hastily planned, carried out by angry militia types without military support, and led by a guy who talked big and claimed to be in the midst of the fighting, but who was nowhere near the action and who got a slap on the wrist afterwards by authorities as punishment. Sounds better. The thing was a farce, but a farce that cannot be dismissed. One thing worth noting, in contemporaneous quick history accounts for 1928 when Hitler was still a footnote in German politics, the thing was called the “Ludendorff — Hitler Putsch”, the two names flipped as Hitler moved out of “footnote” stays.

Hitting somewhat closer to the bone, this one receives the most substantial give and take and sparring.

Except that, during the Beer Hall Putsch:

= Hitler had thousands of armed followers
– Government officials were detained at the beginning of the coup attempt
– Hilter acted to have the support of military officials
– Hitler sought to ally his efforts with existing authorities within the government
– Efforts were made to take control of military installations

That’s a far cry from a couple hundred people pushing their way into a building with flags and signs.

Except that, during the Jan. 6 self-coup attempt:

= Trump “had thousands of armed followers.”
-The followers attempted to detain government officials.
-Trump “acted to have the support of military officials,” perhaps.
-Trump “sought to ally his efforts with existing authorities within the government,” including inside Congress and state Secretaries of State.
-“Efforts were made to take control of” civilian installations

That’s a far cry from a couple hundred people pushing their way out of a Munich beer hall.

Fair to suggest that the road to autocratic power differs substantially — though it appears Trump had the rudiments of a plan in place — leaning heavily to the key state auditors.

(3). I wonder if Miley would apply his terminology to the pink-hat feminists who physically invaded the capitol during the Kavanaugh hearings; directly, personally intimidated US Senators trying to exercise their lawful obligations concerning the Supreme Court; and subsequently delayed Kavanaugh from taking office by forcing a postponement of the vote. I suspect not. Yet other than the ideological leanings, it’s hard to find many meaningful differences between that and 1/6.

Hm. Something there when Cindy Sheehan was barred from attending Bush State of the Union address, clearly for fear that she would act as Republican Representative Joe Wilson (in a more official capacity than Sheehan) did a few years later — and whose committed an act far more disruptive than what Republicans derided Speaker Pelosi for when she dramatically ripped up her copy of Trump’s speech after it was delivered. As it were, when I read the coverage in The Nation with an aside thrown in that they hope that woman can tie up Senator Flake in an elevator again, I really had to appreciate the partisan lenses in imagining how this would flip in approval /outrage should the parties be flipped. Boorish behavior or speaking truth to power aside, we remain far afield from seizing to retain the Executive Branch.

(4) In 1954, 1971 and 1983 when they* blew up bombs in the capital was that called a coup? No it wasn’t. * They were all leftist of one flavor or another.

The most useless and uninteresting of analogies. Individual acts of historic terrorism by lone actors. Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan are not in the picture.

(5) The media tried to do the same thing with “Charlottesville”, but it didn’t work cause it’s obviously a melodramatic attempt to memorialize something as “the greatest threat to democracy” that clearly was a mild protest by unarmed people.

And after all this, we just quote Trump on “good people on both sides” — the National Review defending on grounds of “he wasn’t speaking of the Nazis, it was the Confederate Monuments debate!” — though there I slide into the realm of “game set and match — there are good people with illiberal views, but they step away from this group of jackals”. But this moves to the attempt of an equivalence (or over a equivalence) on the further the antics of …

(6) Violent crime up-tiks tied in with “defending the police” calls and the heights of the blm protests, with recurrent “antifa” hit and runs, within the framework of the covid shutdowns. The intrusion into arguments on 1/6 present the own question — can you discuss two separate and fundamentally different problems without utilizing one as a rejoinder and stop cudgel against the other?

On the same website, much the same argument on much the same topic and we get this: One accuser even speculated that Trump may have been Moscow’s agent as far back as 1987 during the Soviet era—not the usual avocation of a capitalist billionaire. Do we have to dip into the move Network and the line about “what — do you think the Soviet government is studying and debating Karl Marx?”