When the left (or the right), get excorsized about a movie, an image, an article, a phrase, a talk radio host, etc., its
always hard to sort out the genuine outrage from the fundraising opportunism, but we can safely assume that there are a fair number of people who really do want to limit the ways in which human behavior is represented in art and media. In a week in which we’ve seen the Muslim world explode over a super low-budget Youtube video portraying Mohammed as a womanizing con artist, we now have several women’s advocacy groups asking Conde Nast to pull its latest French Vogue cover, which portrays a man either caressing a woman’s neck, or choking her, depending on who you ask.
This is just the latest in a long series of protests from women’s rights groups against media depictions of human sexuality that don’t conform to feminist doctrine. Let me just make clear, before I wade into this field of landmines, I would consider myself a feminist by every meaningful measure. I believe that every person, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religious belief and race should have equal opportunities, equal pay for equal work, and so on. But I’m also an artist, and as such I have an interest in the messy parts of human behavior, and nowhere is human behavior more messy, mysterious, and resistant to political indoctrination, than in the area of how people express their sexuality. The effort to limit the portrayal of sexual relationships involving women to those that reflect feminist principles is quixotic at best and censorship at worst. Going to the example of the picture in question, if you’ve had any sex in your life, you’ve probably found yourself in a similar pose spontaneously, at one time or another. In fact, I’d be surprised if most of the people protesting this photo hadn’t been. There’s something a little Stalinist about pretending that that part of human sexuality doesn’t exist, and that we should suppress all representations of it, especially at a time when 50 Shades of Grey is sitting on the nightstands of soccer moms all over the country.
‘Occupy [Wall Street]‘ is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by
Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America. [...] Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy. Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all
the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you’ve been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you’ve heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism.
- Frank Miller, 11.7.2011
With his recent diatribe against Occupy Wall Street, Frank Miller joins that great pantheon of super-geniuses with bat-shit politics, from Kipling, to Wagner, to Bobby Fisher. He also joins the smaller club of super-geniuses who fail to understand the implications of their own work. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “What do you mean, Russ? Look up crypto-fascism, and there’s a picture of the DK1 cover art.” Yeah, there’s a definite strain of Ubermensch-ism running through Miller’s world, particularly the Dark Knight series, and his preference for non-powered heroes makes the message all the more clear. Ayn Rand would have loved DK1, with its vision of a corrupt and mediocre society that just doesn’t understand a guy who wants to dress up as a Bat and beat the shit out of people. And Hitler would have appreciated its final act, in which its battered hero saves the day by enlisting a band of criminals and ruffians to impose order on Gotham. One of Miller’s bystanders in the series even draws the comparison to “Gestapo”, but he is portrayed as weak-kneed and foolish and Miller gives him a funny name. Read more
As promised I will now impart to you the tale of our fateful journey to the lands surrounding that magnificent bay, with it’s clear, icy waters, populated by fantastical creatures of the depths, and rounded on all sides by hills, and mountains, upon which the inhabitants have built the most spectacular, and unlikely city. Be forewarned gentle reader that within this idyllic, and paradisiacal setting, lurk things so strange, and terrifying, that were one who is faint of heart, or overly steeped in the mundane boundaries of that material stuff spoken of by the blessed ignorant as the real, to read my tale, the descent of raving madness that must follow, would be a kind of merciful escape from contemplation of the horrors contained herein. Continue only if you are, like myself, a fellow traveler in the worlds of the strange, and fantastic, so that the revelations contained here will seem no more threatening, or unlikely to you than your own mother’s milk, suckled from that bountiful breast of unique and peculiar knowledge that is the main sustenance for our kind. Gentle reader, you have been warned, and should you continue onward to the main portion of my narrative, remember that I have been your true, and honest friend, with only your best interests in mind.