Superheroines and Sex Objects

This is not the article I sat down to write.

Laura Hudson of Comics Alliance wrote an article in 2011 called “The Big Sexy Problem with Superheroines and Their ‘Liberated Sexuality’” http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/09/22/starfire-catwoman-sex-superheroine/#ixzz21lIdypBQ  denouncing the tasteless, fetishistic, and loveless way superheroines are portrayed in comics these days.

At first I thought the irony of an avowed feminist objecting to the objectification of women was ironic, if not funny in a pathetic way, and I felt that emotion so horrible that only the Germans have a word for it: Schadenfreude —pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

In this case, since I am not as horrible as a German, the pleasure was in seeing the justice of it; in seeing the feminist chickens coming home to roost.

My first reaction was, simply, that a woman whose philosophy is to celebrate vice in women as strength, and to celebrate the degradation of women as equality, deserves to see what a horrid thing she wishes for, once her wish comes true. My reaction, on behalf of all conservatives everywhere, was to say I told you so.

I thought: you cannot say you did not see this coming. We warned you and you ignored us and laughed at us. Who is laughing now?

But upon reflection my Germanic laughter choked and my heart melted, for I pondered the magnitude of what she was talking about, the grievous insult done her, and I join her in her righteous anger.

These comic writers repaid her lifelong loyalty with the back of their collective hand. They betrayed her. If this is cosmic justice, it is too Draconian for me.

So I am writing not to argue with her position (well, not just to argue) but also to salute her and tell you, my dear readers, to go read her article from last year. Because she is right.

I thought about reposting the pictures she uses as examples here so that you would see that she is not exaggerating in her claim, but even I, who delights in cheesecake images of toon women, particularly of the Catwoman, even I who am famed for my philistine tastes, even I am repelled by them.

Let us establish a basic point first. Miss Hudson and I are archenemies in the Culture Wars. I represent the side of law and order, decency and decorum, life, truth, justice and the American Way, and, in short, Christendom and Civilization. She represents Boskone, which is the mirror reflection and exact opposite of Civilization.

So an accolade coming from me is what we call a “statement against interest.” If your foe praises you, it is not out of party loyalty or fellowship. In this case Miss Hudson has earned my respect. (It is out of respect that I call her Miss Hudson and not Ms Hudson. I will not demean any lady, no matter how sharp my distaste for her, with that sexless and unfeminine honorific.)

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Boskone, either you have good taste, or shame on you for this hole in your pulp sciffy lit reading. Go out and read GALACTIC PATROL by E.E. “Doc” Smith today, and luxuriate in the purple prose and cardboard characters of true SF. The Boskinians are the intergalactic civilization of pirates based on slavery and tyranny, the ultimate totalitarianism diametrically opposed to ideals of cooperation, liberty, democracy.

In this case, our Boskonian, Miss Hudson, establishes unambiguously that she is utterly loyal to the indecency and filth of the modern world. Miss Hudson opens her article with this:

I’d like to dissect this a little bit and explain why these scenes don’t support sexually liberated women; they undermine them [emphasis in the original]

I would like to say first and in the strongest possible terms that I absolutely support the right of women to embrace and act upon their sexual desires in whatever way seems right to them, within consensual boundaries. My sense of justice is inflamed by the double standard that tells us that every person a man sleeps with makes them more of a stud, and every person a woman sleeps with makes them a little less valuable and less respectable. I know this in particular because unlike all the guys who sent me angry messages last night defending the sexual honor of an imaginary character, that double standard is something l have had to live with and be judged by for my entire adult life.

Before my accolade, my argument. As the voice of Civilization, I am required to point out the illogic of this stance. The two paragraphs contradict each other.

The first paragraph is an affirmation of a standard of decency, namely, that certain sexually alluring depictions of woman are unacceptable. In this case, such depictions are unacceptable for an allegedly partisan reason that they undermine the cause of women’s liberation. But, whether that is true in this case or no, and whatever standard of acceptability is being used, the inescapable logic of the statement is that there are certain standards governing the depiction of women, and those standards define acceptable depictions of sexual or romantic allure.

No matter how you slice it, by definition the first paragraph assumes a standard of decency.

It tries to disguise itself as a political or partisan standard, namely, by saying the indecent depiction is not bad because it is indecent but only because it undermines sexual liberation for women.

But then we find out what the article calls “that which undermines sexual liberation for women” to be one and the same as “indecency.”

The article is not complaining about portraying women as unable to compete with men. There is no mention of any “Lucille Ball” who is a scatterbrained and scheming housewife; there is no “Lois Lane” trying to trap Superman into marriage. There is not even a platinum blond gold-digger a la “Lorelei Lee” using her sex appeal to winkle diamonds, a girl’s best friend, out of a wealthy sugar daddy. Instead, the article is only complaining about the trashy and tasteless way the women are portrayed. It complains about immodesty. Immodesty is the violation of standards of decency.

The second paragraph is an absolute and utter denouncement of any standards of decency.

The only standard announced is the standard of consent. Rape, bestiality, and pederasty are illicit by this standard, since they are acts without consent, but (presumably) necrophilia, sadomasochism, homosexuality, massive multiplayer orgies, masturbation, adultery, pornography, child pornography, and fornication are all licit. The acts and attitudes depicted within these comics clearly and unambiguously fall within what the boilerplate standard of sexual liberation allows.

So by the simplistic logic of Boskone, game over. The comics cannot be called indecent because any standard of indecency is and must be denounced.

But Miss Hudson’s eyeballs tell her another story. She sees that the women in these works are being depicted as strippers and sluts because they are, and she sees that the depiction is degrading because it is.

And therefore Miss Hudson must denounce the indecency while also denouncing the standards of decency without which the indecency cannot be denounced.

Let me introduce a definition or two:

Doublethink is defined as the ability of the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. I will not dwell on the application of this definition, since it should be obvious by context to what I refer.

A slut is defined as a woman who embraces and acts upon her sexual desires in whatever way seems right to her within consensual boundaries.

A chaste woman is one who does not act upon her sexual desires except within the bounds of reason and logic and reality, those boundaries being, namely, within lifelong monogamous marriage and for the unitive and reproductive purposes natural to the sex act.

Now, technically, by this definition any woman who, without the prompting of reason and logic, and without a respect for the bounds of reality, embraced and acted upon her sexuality only with her husband and only for the unitive and reproductive purposes natural to the sex act would be both a slut and a chaste woman.

This paradox exists in words only, not in reality. It is because the wording of the definition is deliberately vague: it speaks in the language of choice, as if either choice were licit, but in reality one choice is licit (namely, chastity) and the other is not.

The PC language means and only means to justify the illicit choice by using terms which cloak its unchaste and imprudent nature. To be chaste is called by Newspeak word-fetish “the fear of embracing your sexuality.”  Word-fetishes merely use a set of words with a false-to-facts emotional connotation (calling evil good, and calling good evil) in hopes of deceiving the unwary into accepting the connotation without noticing the denotation.

So let us propose less ambiguous definitions.

Chastity means sexual self control. Sluttishness means no sexual self control.

Since self control is difficult, and is an admirable accomplishment when accomplished, lo and behold, gentlemen praise and admire it. Since self indulgence is both imprudent on a practical level and disgusting on a moral level, gentlemen of Civilization react with dispraise and disgust to a lack of sexual self control.

The Boskonians are required by the logic of their world view to dispraise self control in the sexual area, and to celebrate self-indulgence. They do this by substituting some noble sounding word for the weakness and vice of whatever perverted act they are protecting, excusing, promoting. Boskone must  dispraise what Civilization praises, and praise what Civilization dispraises.

But there is a cost to pay for serving Boskone, even when the Eddoreans who rule Boskone promise to liberate you and grant you new rights never before seen. The price is that you must eschew reason and truth and beauty but most of all reason. Reason, the intellectual integrity of your mind, is the small price you have to pay to be a Boskonian.

You cannot say that a woman has a “right” to demean herself and then has a right to object when she is demeaned. You cannot say a woman has the right to slut around and then object when decent men flee in disgust and the kind of kinky boys who are attracted to sluts collect like sharks scenting blood in the water, or like flies and maggots on filth.

And by demeaned, I mean to fall from the high estate of being treated like a human being and the image of God, a daughter of Eve and the final and fairest of God’s divine creations, to the lower plane of being merely an animal with raw animal needs, and then to the lowest plane of being no more than an object.

Once a woman exercises this alleged right to abdicate her maternity and femininity and fertility in order to be no longer a lady, no longer indeed a human being, but merely a meat sack and a sex toy, at that point she has no right to expect the respect and admiration gentlemen reserve for ladies.

Gentlemen do not withhold this respect and admiration out of penury or unkindliness. It is not because we are cruel or judgmental that gentlemen cannot treat strippers and boob-waggers and streetwalkers with dignity due to ladies.

It is because we cannot. Logically it is impossible, no matter what we might wish to do.

Should we attempt it, all that would happen is what did happen, and what did happen is what Miss Hudson finds offensive.

What did happen is that if you offer someone admiration for something that is not admirable, that is, offer her admiration she has not earned for something she has not done, then, like a currency inflated beyond use, the admiration means nothing. If you flatter a worthless behavior, your flattery becomes worthless. Like the notorious Continental dollar, flattery buys nothing because it means nothing.

You cannot admire a slut for her chastity. You can only admire her for her sex appeal.

If you admire a woman for her sex appeal, then the cartoonist (whose job it is to draw what draws your admiration) is going to draw the heroine in her lacy red bra with a close up of her cleavage and a tight close up of her bump-and-grinding buttocks, with her spine bent and her breasts thrust out, because that emphasizes the sex appeal which is the admired characteristic.

If you admire a woman for her pluck and courage and virtue, the cartoonist will draw her looking plucky and courageous, and perhaps even doing those acts of derring-do for which superheroines were admired when they are allowed to be superheroines and not softporn stars.

But let us put all that to one side. Is Miss Hudson right that such images hinder the cause of the sexual liberation of women?

Well, Newspeak is contructed deliberately so that words have no meaning, only emotional impact. The word “liberation” has a powerful emotional force to it, and so it is connected, entirely without regard for truth or logic, to the word “sexual” to produce a two-word phrase that means exactly nothing whatsoever. (Newspeak abounds in such phrases; it is their stock-in-trade. cf “social justice” and “sexual McCarthyism”.)

A whore in Vegas, where whoring is legal, is “sexually liberated” in the technical sense that no formal law forbids the grotesque act of self-degradation to which she lowers herself.

The various menfolk who exploit rather than employ her, who use her, abuse her, and treat her the same way you would not treat your worst enemy (would you force your worst enemy to serve in a brothel? Really?) would not call her situation a situation of liberty. In truth, those men, her johns and pimps, her enemies, they are the ones who are sexually liberated. Only they. No law hinders their dark and selfish or sadistic desires. She is the one who is constrained, bound, and limited.

So the question is meaningless. Let us ignore the Newspeak and ask what is it, in her article, Miss Hudson requests?

She wants respect for the fair sex. That is only reasonable.

Miss Hudson would like a portrayal of women who are filled with lust and the joy of life and have many short and meaningful partnerships for fornication within the bounds of consent, or so I assume. She wants to see happy hookers.

The twist in Boskonian logic is that “respect” is here defined as the admiration paid by shallow boys to the imaginary James Bond, a sex fantasy figure who never has  venereal disease nor  an emotional attachment. With the single exception of Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, there are no marital bonds for Bond. Bond never has babies, but always has babes. To be a female Lothario is the goal. Respectable behavior (by Boskonian standards) is to embrace your sexuality by sleeping around. To gain respect meant to be brave enough to commit acts of vice which neither you nor anyone can respect.

As it happens, Miss Hudson cannot square that particular circle. Erotic love is an exclusive emotion, because it can be given in truth to one true love only. You cannot demand that erotic love be shared among many. An “inclusive exclusivity” is a contradiction in terms.

Perhaps you will object that, for example, Starfire can be an advocate of free love, without the writers eventually portraying her as an unsmiling dull-eyed harlot. Perhaps you object when smiling and glancing-eyed Venus turns blank faced.

Here is the old Starfire. Miss Hudson uses it in her article as an example of which she approves.

And here is the new.

The new version is as creepy as hell. And I use that last expletive not as an expletive but as a comparative.

The first version is a smiling balloon-bosomed playboy bunny in a man’s shirt with her cleavage showing down her belly button. She is explicitly advocating what might be delicately called free love, that is, on her planet they love many people emotionally and (woo hoo!) physically. This is not a description of monogamy, and she is not discussing brotherly love or Platonic love.

To me, the second version is the logical outcome of the first version. A balloon-bosomed playboy bunny who has sex with anything warm and remembers nothing after. The only thing missing is the smile. They love people physically and not emotionally. The whole scene is as romantic as asking a mechanic for an oil change.

To Miss Hudson, the missing element is paramount. There is no love, and indeed, there seems to be a considerable degree of contempt, in the request (or demand) of the second version of Starfire for the warm commerce.

The argument could be made that an emotionally healthy sex bunny can be portrayed in comics since the first version is not only possible, it is the canonical version.

Maybe. I would not dismiss that argument out of hand.  But I wish to propose the idea that the first version leads to the second version.

Even if one or several writers hold out for a time, the innate logic of the situation will eventually force their hand. By this I mean that if you encourage your audience to be cads, more cads will be attracted to your audience and gentlemen will depart, your talent pool will have more cads, your writers will more often be cads, and the audience will applaud and reward them.

For a time you can hold the paradox of innocent unchastity. But only for a time, a season, an hour. Eventually the consequences catch up.

The free love of a smiling and innocent girl with many lovers is an innately unstable, unrealistic, and unsatisfying image. It is like a gateway drug. Like all false pleasures, it needs a stronger and ever stronger dose to satisfy.

Does the first image above seem tame to you? It does to me. But it is not. You and I have merely been desensitized. Once you have been desensitized, then the first image, and the first version of Starfire, can no longer serve the purpose of eliciting a mild erotic thrill. The writers can elicit that same thrill if and only if the image is changed to the second image, whereupon the cheesecake degrades into softcore.

There is, of course, a second choice. Cheesecake can be replaced with pure sweetness.

Let us call this the Bruce Timm choice. Here she is, younger and much less zoftig. Is there anything to which a Boskonian has a legitimate objection to in this version, artistic or otherwise? Is she not portrayed as attractive and brave and heroic, and all that feminists say they desire in the portrayal of women? Is she not the equal in power and dignity to the male Teen Titans on the team?

Is not this Starfire a perfectly good role model for young women seeking a career as a crimfighting Space Princess, or any other career that requires a modicum of decency and self-respect?

Next question:

Is Miss Hudson right that the images are indecent? She is indeed. Her objections are all valid, and I have no argument with her on that point.

The cartoon women have since the earliest days been the objects of cheesecake-style lust on the part of fanboys, but a line has been crossed when you move from innocent cheesecake to dead-eyed softcore porn.

Miss Hudson is correct in her assessment of how deeply the comic writers have insulted her, and insulted her whole sex, and I suggest that her reaction is much too forgiving and understated.

Is this how they repay her years of loyal patronage? If I were on the jury when she is put on trial for ax-murdering the freakish slugs who wrote, drew, inked, and edited this abomination of a comic, I would tell my fellow jurors about the doctrine of jury nullification.

Her anger is just and if anything too mild, considering when she is seeing.

The examples in her article are taken from RED HOOD and CATWOMAN: both indulge in the total degradation of superheroines to objects of fetishy lust, the first with a disgusting degradation of Starfire to an empty-headed nymphomaniac,  two men (heroes? Please tell me not) high-fiving over their sexual conquests of her; the second with panel after panel of the breasts and buttocks of Catwoman never showing her face, and then an on-panel image of Batman penetrating Catwoman while they copulate on a dark and dirty rooftop; and on and on.

The rebooted version of Starfire is portrayed as a member of a race which has sex without emotion, neither for reproduction nor for recreation, and the male members of the team (pun intended) all take advantage of her, and then boast to each other afterward of the ease of their sexual conquest, mocking her.

It is nauseating even to contemplate.

It is the second most disgusting and degrading thing I can bring to mind, considering particularly the sweetness and charm of the non-balloon-boobed version of Starfire which graced the television version of TEEN TITANS.

(The first most degrading was the retooling of an obscure character called Kid Eternity. In the original continuity written by Otto Binder, he and his grandfather were out canoeing when they were killed by a German U-Boat. In the style of HERE COMES MR JORDON/HEAVEN CAN WAIT the kid is granted more life by heaven because it was not yet his time to die, and returns to life with the power to call up the ghosts of heroes to his aid. In the DC reboot, written by Grant Morrison, the grandfather is a sexual predator who had picked up the young orphan boy for his own purposes, and it devils who return him to life. The one element which both reboots have in common is sexual degradation. )

I have one final question. Let me quote from Miss Hudson once more.

Most of all, what I keep coming back to is that superhero comics are nothing if not aspirational. They are full of heroes that inspire us to be better, to think more things are possible, to imagine a world where we can become something amazing. But this is what comics like this tell me about myself, as a lady: They tell me that I can be beautiful and powerful, but only if I wear as few clothes as possible. They tell me that I can have exciting adventures, as long as I have enormous breasts that I constantly contort to display to the people around me. They tell me I can be sexually adventurous and pursue my physical desires, as long as I do it in ways that feel inauthentic and contrived to appeal to men and kind of creep me out. When I look at these images, that is what I hear, and I don’t think I even realized how much until this week.

In many ways, the constant barrage of this type of imagery (and characterization) is not unlike the sh*tty neighborhood I used to live in where every time I walked down the street, random people I didn’t know shouted obscene comments about my body and told me they wanted to have sex with me. And you know, maybe a lot of those guys thought they were complimenting me. Maybe they thought I had tried to look pretty that day and they were telling me I had succeeded in that goal. Maybe they thought we were having a frank and sexually liberated exchange of ideas. I’m willing to be really, really generous and believe that’s where they were coming from. But in the end, it doesn’t matter that they didn’t know it was creepy; it doesn’t matter that they “didn’t get it,” because every single day I lived there they made me feel like less of a person.

That is how I feel when I read these comics.

Bravo and well said.

My question is this. Is it possible to portray a superheroine who is in keeping with the standards of Civilization?

Even Batgirl, who started out as innocent and sweet, was selected for how well she filled out the batsuit, like Emma Peal, selected for the most part for her masculine appeal (hence the name: Emma Peal is “M” appeal). Will fanboys like me, tasteless philistine that I am, admire and appreciate any superheroines who are not softporn stars?

It is a conflict of visions. Here is the vision of what Boskone thinks a superheroine looks like.

This is Voodoo, a DC heroine, an exotic dancer here posing as a stripper to catch a bad cop. Or something.

Here is what Civilization thinks a superheroine looks like.

This is Helen Parr AKA Elastigirl. She is tough, confident, funny, hardworking, morally straight, mentally awake, knows how to fly a jet, and knows how to keep cool during emergencies. She is a housewife with three children of whom she is very proud, and a husband, who, like most husbands, is a work in progress.

I assume she on at least three occasions was willing to embrace not only her sexual desires but also her lawfully wedded mate, within consensual boundaries (he did say “I do”!) because she has the abovementioned children.

(Note to the morally retarded: that is what sex is for, you morons, and that is when sex is fun and joyful rather than intoxicating and selfish and ultimately dreary. If you were not afraid of sex, you would realize this.)

Here is my question. Which woman is more inspiring? Miss Hudson says it is for this cause she (and I, and everyone I know who reads comics) read comics. To be inspired.

If you don’t know what “inspiring” means because your brain has been rotted with PC Newspeak, then let me ask which image of womanhood is more “empowering”?

Look at your daughter, if you have one. Which one would you rather she grew up to be and be like?

About John C Wright

John C. Wright is a practicing philosopher, a retired attorney, newspaperman, and newspaper editor, and a published author of science fiction. Once a Houyhnhnm, he was expelled from the august ranks of purely rational beings when he fell in love; but retains an honorary title.
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140 Responses to Superheroines and Sex Objects

  1. Zach says:

    Thanks, Mr. Wright. As always, I appreciate the clarity you bring. It’s a muddled world. Also, Incredibles is one of the greatest movies ever made for many reasons, not least of which is the one you highlight above.

    I have three daughters, ages 6, 4, and 2 (and two sons, one 8 and the other 6 months). I can’t see a woman depicted as a toy without thinking that she is someone’s little girl, and that she ought to be someone’s queen. I hope there are a few boys up to the challenge when the time comes for my girls to make their homes.

    If not, I have prepared a Remington 870 with appropriate shells.

  2. ladyhobbit says:

    Zach, what a great comment! And what a lovely family you have! You give me hope for the future!
    Mr. Wright, thank you for a terrific essay!

  3. Mary says:

    She ought to have read Burke.

    The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please; we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations which may be soon turned into complaints.

  4. Robert Mitchell Jr says:

    Sigh. You should refer back to your essay on how Heilein was treated by the Leftists. She was really not betrayed by the Comic Artists, she wanted them to break the taboos she did not like or understand. She’s upset because they did not stop……. Which, as your essay pointed out, is built into Leftism, the Revolution always eats it’s children.

    As an aside, I think this also explains the mess that was Marvel’s Civil War. Everything was going fine and making sense, until issue three, when the writers, all good New York Liberals, realized they were arguing against Gun Control. Whoops!

    • One could devote an entire book to everything that went wrong in Civil War. We can do that here if you’re ready.

      I often laugh at things like how everyone is in favor of say… “tolerance” right up until they actually have to tolerate something. Heck, I’ve heard more than once someone say in seriousness “We can tolerate everything but intolerance”, though I notice that everything which disagrees with them ends up being “intolerant” somehow… ;)

      • Stephen J. says:

        That’s because they’re operating under a fundamental misunderstanding of the word “tolerance”. They think it means impersonal approval of a particular predilection or way of life, even if you don’t happen to find said predilection or way appealing to you personally.

        The original meaning of the term — that tolerance was, by definition, the support of the legal right of others to do something you disliked or disapproved of, while maintaining your own right to criticize or condemn it as part of your free speech — has been lost, largely because progressivism sees even purely verbal criticism or condemnation as a form of physical attack. To be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome is the same as to be placed in actual physical danger or exile, and thus worthy of the same punishments.

  5. By this I mean that if you encourage your audience to be cads, more cads will be attracted to your audience and gentlemen will depart, or boys would might have grown up gentlemen will grow up cads, your talent pool will have more cads, your writers will more often be cads, and the audience will applaud and reward them.

    That’s been one of the points Susan Walsh has made so many times, that nowadays it seems women select more for cads than dads (as the saying goes). Which… well it gets hard to argue against when you see the protagonists (I won’t call them heroes) that are the more popular ones among women nowadays (you know who I mean). Heck, just recently I heard an older lady say that every girl goes through a “jerk phase” (and even she pointed out that not all of them seem to outgrow that phase).

    Increasingly I grow unsympathetic to the cries of the generations who find the costs paid for what they’ve received now too high. We were warned, but we stamped our feet and demanded to be left to our devices. Now it is time to suck it up and accept the consequences we paid for.

    • Foxfier says:

      Try when it’s your sister.

      Who went through an abusive marriage.

      Which she only left because she was too drunk to realize, when you picked her up before one rant, than your mom was in the back seat.

      Who is now on…boyfriend five or six, after said marriage, who is the same or worse than the same damned guy who pissed her off in the first place.

      And NOW she’s getting pissed about other people not “supporting her in her choices”– no matter that her parents pay most of her bills, including her alcohol bill. But hey, we shouldn’t be pissed she’s dating a known drug dealer who she previously complained about being an emotionally abusive piece of excretion, it’s her choice….Don’t worry, though, he only fled the cops because he was “confused” and “didn’t know what to do” when faced with multiple court orders, so of course he fled the state!

    • One point I wanted to make in the above article, but it was already too long is exactly this:

      …the costs paid for what they’ve received now too high. We were warned, but we stamped our feet and demanded to be left to our devices. Now it is time to suck it up and accept the consequences we paid for.

      Alas, but I think that the price is too high to bear. No one can pay it. The consequences are too terrible.

      When you have a whole generation of women taught and trained and hypnotized to press the brakes when the traffic light of morality is green and press the gas when the light is red, the traffic accidents that result are lifelong, and not something everyone is going to walk or limp away from.

      And a whole generation of blacks have been wiped out just by Planned Parenthood, who seek out blacks particularly to persuade their women to abort their children. Those children are not walking away from the carwreck of the sexual revolution.

      That is what I meant when I said the price of cosmic justice was too steep, that the justice of the cosmos too draconian.

      This may come off as sounding “Christian” but the facts are the facts. And the fact is that the price is too high to bear. No one can pay it.

      • I think you have the beginnings of a great sermon on the basics of Christianity there, Mr Wright.

        This may come off as sounding “Christian” but the facts are the facts. And the fact is that the price is too high to bear. No one can pay it.

        I’m not sure what you mean, as even I’ll admit that it’s more pagan than Christian. Though even as I say we should suck it up, doesn’t mean I’ve given up my charitable duties. But then I’ve probably learned this from my father who would scold, even as he would help. (I’m sure you know the type.)

        When you have a whole generation of women taught and trained and hypnotized

        I’m not entirely convinced it is a “taught, trained, etc” issue as much as same ole original sin rearing its ugly head. I think it’s not inaccurate to say that civilization was the one who tried to keep Pride, Gluttony, Lust, etc shackled and not Shazam in his Rock of Eternity. I think you have the problem backwards. This isn’t us (all humans, because I don’t think it’s endemic to either sex) being trained, this is us NOT being trained. This is human nature unleashed.

        That is what I meant when I said the price of cosmic justice was too steep, that the justice of the cosmos too draconian.

        Heh, ironic isn’t it? We demand that God leaves our world, we even “prove” it with science and math and all that. And yet we find the cosmos without Him to be a far crueler master than we thought He was.

        Still, you are right, we should work to save what innocents we can…

    • How far back are you going? The 20 somethings out there now have the modern worldview as almost an axiom. It is almost like being born in Christendom in the 13th century in its ubiquitousness.

      The sexual revolution was a generation and a half ago, closer to two. The kids growing up now are being raised by parents who grew up completely under its umbrella. The generation before that were the ones that fought the sexual revolution for or against. And the generation before that were the ones who caved to the demands of sexual revolution.

      Have no sympathy for the Blanche Devereaux’s, but the younger ones deserve sympathy. They have known nothing else.

      • I’m not entirely unsympathetic, but when I see even the younger generations (which would include mine) laugh, insult, make fun of, etc the only alternatives to this train wreck… Well, there’s a reason God is of infinite mercy.

        They’re not totally unaware (the Church still stands there, warning them the train wreck is coming – along with a crowd of other religions, traditions, etc) but they mock and sneer at Her. Perhaps the Lord will be gracious enough to grant us a miracle, but until then, it seems to me that the only hope is to let them discover the lessons our ancestors did so long ago one painful disaster at a time.

  6. Boggy Man says:

    You’re just getting around to this? Slowpoke; I was bitching about this between rounds of Heroclix months ago! All Star Western (Jonah Hex) is about all I read from the new 52.

    Wait till you get to Wonder Woman (illegitimate daughter of Zeus) twitching all crazy and shooting people with handguns… (Is there an emoticon that mixes devastation, ennui and homicidal rage?)

    http://comicbook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/wonder-woman-and-her-golden-guns.jpg

    • Oh no, let’s deal with the new 52… ;)

      Let’s see, of the ones I picked up:

      Green Lantern – Same as if the reboot never happened.
      GL Corps – Similar, but does it have to be so political? And are they trying to turn John Stewart into a new Mary Sue?
      GL:New Guardians – Actually rather enjoyable. But then I’ve always had a soft spot for Kyle.
      Demon Knights – Oh I was so looking forward to a medieval Justice League… but then they had to KEEP pushing modern issues into the book. EVEN WHEN IT DIDN’T MAKE MUCH SENSE. I ended @ 10.
      Justice League International – Eh, I rather enjoyed it, though Guy Gardner’s presence makes things weird in continuity to GLC. I could do with less “extremist bad guys” stories.
      Firestorm – Just… I’m going to keep buying it, because I have to, but… can’t we have interpersonal conflict without “OMG major [race/religion/political/etc]” conflict? Besides, I’ve never thought Firestorm worked that well as a “street-level” hero like Spider-man does.

      • Pierce O. says:

        Hey, another New 52 reader! :D

        I went with:

        Aquaman-Loved the first issue, but the story seemed to wrap up pretty quickly, and the storytelling paled in comparison to anything written by Scott Snyder(Batman & Swamp Thing). I stopped getting it after the first story ended. I’ll probably read the trade paperback once the library gets a copy.
        Batman-Excellent, excellent, excellent. No unnecessary batsex here, just good old fashioned detective work and caped heroics. Though, with my only prior exposure to Batman being the Dark Knight trilogy, I wasn’t used to seeing Batman with a chin!
        Blue Beetle-Very fun. I’m hoping he’ll get a movie treatment in the vein of the X-Men or Spiderman movies.
        Savage Hawkman-The art was very cool but the storyline was a bit weak (or maybe it was just suffering from Notscottsnyderitis like Aquaman). I dropped it when the changed artists.
        Swamp Thing-Another excellent comic, though quite creepy and violent at times. The “illuminations” between panels are things of beauty.

    • Slowpoke? The Internet is timeless. An article written a year ago is as fresh as anything written by Aristotle.

      But I do not read comics ever since Stan Lee killed off Captain America. Until they resurrect him, and Stan Lee comes by my house personally to apologize, no comic gets a dime of my money.

      So, I am not up on the latest controversy, or even controversies long stale.

      • lampwright says:

        Wait, didn’t they bring him back and it turned out that they shot a Skrull or something?

      • deiseach says:

        This is just one of the reasons that I stopped reading comics sometime early in the 90s.

        It’s partly the vicious circle of “girls don’t read comics, so we draw characters that appeal to boys, which mean that girls won’t read comics with those characters, so we assume only boys read them” and partly because, as the article you quote concludes quite rightly, the only thing “super” about these dolls (they weren’t real women, either heroines or villainesses) was what TV Tropes describes as Most Common Superpower.

        Of course these are fantasy images; if you really are as bosomy as they are all presented as being, and you need to run, fight, climb and be active, you will not be wearing two strips of ribbon or have your zipper pulled all the way down to your navel: you need support. I won’t even go into the high heels versus boots thing, which makes that image of Catwoman even worse; the artist is aware enough to draw her wearing sensible footwear (instead of spike heels or the like) even as he has her writhing around in her red lingerie.

        I was and would be even now perfectly willkng to throw my money at the comics companies; from the ages of six to early thirties, I bought the books, went to the movies and watched the cartoons (having young nephews was a great excuse for this: “I’m only watching these with the boys – hey, kids, is the Justice League on next? Great!”) but as I said, I was turned off by:

        (a) the plunge into grimdark and characters such as the Punisher
        (b) the notion that “adult” mean “sex, swearing and violence”
        (c) the treatment of women characters, whether heroine or villainess

        Look, if my eighty-year old granny and my six-year old self could watch the 60s “Batman” and recognise the mutual attraction and thwarted romance between Batman and Julie Newman-era Catwoman without any necessity for midnight rooftop fornication, who is this kind of thing serving?

        Not only is it bad for women, it’s bad for men. Because if twelve to twenty year old males are getting the message that real girls have zeppelin bosoms, jellyfish spinelessness flexibility and dress in less material than a handkerchief while being ‘hot to trot’ every hour of the day – how are they going to deal with the real women in the real world when they meet them? Or learn how to behave with honour, decency and respect?

        That’s one of the reasons, I think, that fans were so mad about the “One More Day” storyline; they weren’t just satisfied to split Peter and Mary-Jane up (which they could have done with a divorce or separation), they wanted to wipe out the very memory and fact of their marriage. I think that the fact that Peter and Mary-Jane were married is important, just like Reed Richards and Sue Storm, or Superman/Clark and Lois’ long running romance: that these characters are not running around being sexually liberated with everyone they see, but that they can and do have lasting relationships. Wiping that out is an insult to us all.

  7. Jordan179 says:

    That is so incredibly sad what they’ve done to the charcter of Kori. In her original appearances, she was someone who was often too full of love for her own good — and to some extent this was personal, not just a Tamaranian thing — in the issues where they showed her homeworld they also showed that they were not all or even mostly as nice as her. The problem of course with the idea was that Kori’s philosophy was based on a New Wave SF Countercultural ideal of “love,” and that doesn’t work so well in real life. (Actually, in the issues from the 1980′s, it didn’t always work all that well for Kori, because of the contradiction between really loving people and merely interacting with them sexually, and the fact that other people — including other Tamarianians — were willing to take advantage of her good nature).

    The version of her that the Teen Titans animated series used was basically true to her nature, save that they made her a few years younger and thus less explicity sexual. This actually made more sense, because they avoided running into the obvious contradictions in the old Free Love Plantary Culture concept. The animated version does show her tremendous warmth, kindness and overall sweetness, which was what I always loved about her.

    (There was btw a very dark possible interpretation of the concept. Her homeworld was in the Vega System and her people had been horribly abused by interstellar warlords. What was left of Tamaranian culture was what had been able to survive raiding and occupation, and it may be that some of it came from trying to reconcile their self-image as incredible warriors with the reality that they were perpetual victims).

    This new version you’ve shown makes me really glad I stopped following Teen Titans. It looks to me as if they’ve removed everything lovable about her and turned her into someone not merely promiscious by Earth standards (and the old Kori wasn’t actually all that promiscious, merely uninhibited which is not the same thing) but also cold. Whatever Starfire’s original character concept was like, it was never COLD — whether she was loving or fighting, she always did so with warm passion.

    What they are showing here is a Starfire who acts like Terra. Which is an abomination.

    (For that matter, Terra was an abomination, and one of the rare cases in which mainstream comics actually dared show someone who really seemed loveable but who was deep down a moral monster. But then, Marv Wolfman was a writer).

    • This actually made more sense, because they avoided running into the obvious contradictions in the old Free Love Plantary Culture concept. The animated version does show her tremendous warmth, kindness and overall sweetness, which was what I always loved about her.

      (There was btw a very dark possible interpretation of the concept. Her homeworld was in the Vega System and her people had been horribly abused by interstellar warlords. What was left of Tamaranian culture was what had been able to survive raiding and occupation, and it may be that some of it came from trying to reconcile their self-image as incredible warriors with the reality that they were perpetual victims).

      Throw in the oversexed version of Starfire and the logical conclusion of this dark reading would becomes: She will be raped. I do not relish this outcome, but it would be the only one possible. It fits the pattern of being a perpetual victim, but more over it would pervert and destroy a bubbly, beautiful thing, which is the final goal of the Revolution.

      One more reason to throw away the weird sexiness of this character.

    • DGDDavidson says:

      Okay, I gotta admit it, I don’t quite “get” the thing with Starfire, but then again, I grew up during the era of the degradation of all these comics, so I never got into superhero comics in the first place. The comics I read are typically indie titles that do a great job of portraying smart, heroic heroines without degrading them like this, comics like Bone and Leave It to Chance and Little White Mouse.

      But what I see in these two images of Starfire is almost the opposite of what Mr. Wright and others here seem to be telling me I should be seeing, perhaps because the pictures are out of context. The first image looks to me like a ridiculously unrealistic male adolescent fantasy from the ’60s or ’70s, the happily promiscuous bunny. The second image tells me what promiscuity really does to a person: it hollows you out, makes you jaded, degrades you. The second version appears more moral to me than the first; indeed, it looks like a stark moral lesson. Perhaps I would not think so if I read the whole comic.

      • Pierce O. says:

        From what little I’ve seen of that comic (just what the author of the linked essay showed in said essay), I’d hazard a guess that the comic writers aren’t trying to be moralizing. One a more positive note, and speaking of awesome heroines, have you ever read Zita the Spacegirl? It’s highly awesomesauce.

        • DGDDavidson says:

          I haven’t read it, but I looked it up and now I want it/need it. My first thought was, “It looks like something out of Flight,” so I was unsurprised when I read the author’s bio and found out he’s published in Flight.

          Flight restores my faith in both humanity and comic books. And that reminds me, I need more volumes of Amulet and Rasl.

      • Side note: The cartoon Starfire ended up being so popular, that the character of Miss Martian was created in the comics to play the role of sweet, naive alien outsider.

        She then went on to join the Young Justice cartoon playing a similar, yet distinct role.

        (this has a been a public service announcement by the “Moar Green-skinned redheads” Foundation)

        • Pierce O. says:

          +1 for moar green-skinned redheads. Maybe if we pester Mr. Wright enough, Vanity will shapeshift to green skin in EXILES OF CHAOS, or Quentin will cast Emerald Visage of the Deity Lesser on her (and since she went into space in TITANS, this would technically make her a Green-skinned Space Babe as well). :D

    • Mary says:

      Cultures that arise in very unstable locations, where plans are easily disrupted, are prone to live-for-the-moment, which can last long after stability returns.

  8. Foxfier says:

    The new version is as creepy as hell.

    Can I get an Amen?

    What… the FRICK where they SMOKING?!?!?

    That’s worse than Nightcrawler being “Carefully Not Christian At All Satan’s Son, And By the Way Nightcrawler Hasn’t Been Catholic For Ages” for insanely dumb comic junk.

    • Did they de-Catholicize Nightcrawler? Jeez Loweez, these guys are sick. Sick, sick, sick.

      Do they just want to destroy anything and everything that is good, decent, noble, natural, bright, happy, interesting, elegant, cool, or which gives anyone any personality?

      I am reminded of the character from LEGEND who gains the unicorn horn, and wants to use the infinite magic powers to turn the world into garbage. I was kidding when I called them Boskone. Now I see I was not.

      I liked Nighty being Catholic even back when I was an atheist. It gave him some old-world personality.

      • Foxfier says:

        Yeah, that’s when I quit buying their stuff. It was possibly the first time I had insane anti-Catholicism slapped into my face.

        How bad did they do it? TV Tropes has multiple entries on how head-bangingly dumb it is to have a Catholic mutant groomed by brain-washing so he can become Pope, short-circuit the thing that lets him look normal, then make all Catholics vanish by tainted Communion wafers to simulate the Rapture. Did Not Do The Research, indeed.

      • Mary says:

        Do they just want to destroy anything and everything that is good, decent, noble, natural, bright, happy, interesting, elegant, cool, or which gives anyone any personality?

        They also want to make money at it.

    • Boggy Man says:

      I used the phrase “What can you expect from a filthy Troq” about 10 times at my venue. ZOOM! Right over everyone’s head! XD

  9. Fabio Paolo Barbieri says:

    I hate your WordPress log-in facility with the intensity of a thousand burning suns.

    Having said that, what I would ask your disappointed lady would be: “Where have you been the last forty years, minimum?” The stylistic dependency of mainstream superheroes on porn has been OBVIOUS at least since the mid-seventies. The late and much-missed Dave Cockrum was a witty and talented artist, but that was not why DC comics hired him in the mid-seventies: it was because of his unfortunate ability to weave a nearly infinite amount of variations on the combination of skimpy bikini, cape (optional) and slutty thigh boots. The whole female half of the Legion of Superheroes was stripped nearly naked, leaving almost every one of the boys in their old sixties uniforms; the visual effect was blatantly to turn the Legion – who had originally been meant as the superhero version of a children’s neighbourhood club, with its clubhouse and secret decoder ring – into a visual image of a brothel with its customers. Steve Bissette said in an interview that Joe Kubert, his teacher, once showed him a piece of Legion artwork from this period in which the artist had amused himself, God forgive him, by filling panel after panel with people copulating or performing sex acts, expecting the inker to correct it; Kubert, the oldest of old pros and not a man to be shocked by little things, was disgusted. Marvel comics followed suit, contributing its own charmless variation in Killraven, a hero supposedly based on one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time, and designed to look like a homosexual stage show performer. His uniform – a skintight, deeply slashed V-shape hinging on the crotch, and again those thigh boots – would have made the Village People blush, and it was designed, I believe, by Neal Adams! Mind you, that proved a mixed blessing; on the one hand, if the gay element had not been so obvious, the very great but very queenly artist Craig Russell would not have staid on the series so long; on the other hand, had he not, readers would not have suffered through the hideously pretentious writing of the wretched Don McGregor.

    This was what was happening when we were teens. Since then things have done nothing but grow worse (look at the X-men franchise) and now a peculiarly contemptible and pathetically stupid brand of gay propaganda, which probably embarrasses intelligent homosexuals as much as it disgust me, has removed the last notion of heroism and common values from Marvel and DC’s franchises. Anyone who wants to remember what heroes were like must go to the movies, or perhaps to the better TV animated shows.

    But when I said that the stylistic dependency of superhero comics on porn had become obvious by about 1976, what I mean is that it goes back a long way further. And the name of the further is Wonder Woman. Let’s not have any nostalgic nonsense; although writers and artists have tried for half a century to give her some sort of dignity and decency (most absurdly when they tried to make her into Modesty Blaise, about 197 1-2 or so), the character was laid out on a framework of bondage-submission and lesbian porn. In Charles Moulton’s original stories, half-naked women went through an infinite amount of permutations on the catfight and bondage theme; and Moulton was a psychologist and knew what he was doing. Knew exactly what he was doing. (He was also an appalling libertine who found two women willing to be his harem brides and abused his psychological competence convincing them to do so – something he may have imitated from Carl G.Jung.) And Moulton had been commissioned to do so by National Comics (later DC), who wanted something that channelled the contemporary idea of the pin-up, to sell to soldiers. This may not be quite as obvious as the contemporary treatment of Starfire, but it was porn, it was deliberately libidinous, it was objectifying women in the worst possible way, and it was there at the very start of the age of superheroes. I had something to say about it here: http://fpb.livejournal.com/460186.html

    • “I hate your WordPress log-in facility with the intensity of a thousand burning suns”

      My apologies for that, but I found I was getting too many anonymous comments that rational discussion was impossible (because you could not tell who was saying what to whom) and I could not ban holocaust deniers. It is a necessary evil.

      As for the comment, agreed and amen.

    • deiseach says:

      That picture of Killraven has me torn between “Ha! Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander!” and “Good Lord above, what was in the water back in the 70s???”

      I mean, I was reading “Thor” in those days, and even at the age of nine I knew those costumes were not authentic Nordic-influenced (never mind Ye Olde Englishe Cod-High Style) but that outfit makes my eyes bleed.

      Sue Storm is about the only superheroine I can think of, off the top of my head, who was appropriately costumed (even with Supergirl, the artists as time went on seemed to be trying to see how much shorter they could make her skirt and get away with it) and I think both Reed Richards and Namor will back me up that being fully clad in a uniform comparable to the ones worn by her team-mates (well, her husband and her brother, when he wasn’t on fire) did not detract from her attractiveness one iota.

    • Boggy Man says:

      I’m well aware of Marsten’s lifestyle and of the Tijuana bible kinkiness in the early Wonder Woman issues. Not to get too fanboyish on you, but no character springs fully formed from the head of Zeus; even if they know him personally. To claim that Wondy is nothing but sexist fantasy is akin to claiming Batman a kill-crazy petty thug for shooting people in “his” first appearance. (In truth, it was The Shadow that pulled the trigger in that story. Kane merely swiped it, filed the serial numbers off, and traced Bill Finger’s new character over it.)

      If you can get past your ingrained distaste I’d suggest reading Perez/Wolfman’s post-Crisis WW, as well as Gail Simone’s stint. (You can call John Byrne’s run sexist tripe of course, and with my blessing.)

  10. momofthree says:

    Absolutely. More and more, I get the sense that my peers and those younger do not even understand the questions. They talk about pole dancing classes like they have been around the neighborhood for generations.

  11. Stephen J. says:

    Miss Hudson writes: “They” (the comics) “tell me I can be sexually adventurous and pursue my physical desires, as long as I do it in ways that feel inauthentic and contrived to appeal to men….”

    Unless her desires are solely, shall we say, autoerotic or Sapphic in focus, wouldn’t she have to contrive to appeal to men in pursuing them? And if they are ways that don’t come by pure nature or instinct, then aren’t they bound to feel a little “inauthentic”, at least at first?

    Another of the contradictions that inhere in wanting to embrace the benefits of promiscuity without incurring and enduring judgement thereof from the non-promiscuous.

    • Foxfier says:

      There’s a difference between something that’s created to appeal to guys, and something that’s been perverted to appeal to guys.

      Sex is good. (ignoring the chance for cheap jokes)
      That stuff up top? Not good. Not at all.

      Even if the lady quoted is guilty of wishing to make it possible for women to act like cads, she’s still right about how horrible it is to make them act like a cad’s dream girl.

      • Stephen J. says:

        “There’s a difference between something that’s created to appeal to guys, and something that’s been perverted to appeal to guys.”

        You make an important distinction here that I missed when thinking about Miss Hudson’s comment: the distinction between healthy and unhealthy appeal, and the fact that it is possible to condition somebody’s tastes to the point where only unhealthy degrees or amounts of something can exert appeal any longer.

        If Miss Hudson is complaining that to “explore her desires” involves appealing to men at all, my criticism of her is valid. If she is complaining that the only way she can do so is to appeal in this unhealthy degree or style, then I concede her point.

        My criticism then becomes, however, that she is unclear on which she means, either by accident or (if I were inclined to be more hostilely skeptical) deliberate obfuscation in order to have it both ways — to be appropriately contemptuous of men for her female readers while hinting to her male readers that she is still willing to be “sexually adventurous” if pursued in the right way. But it is far from proven that this level of cynicism is merited.

        • Mary says:

          The other real problem is that feminism, despite my repeated forays into the material, does not offer any real standards for determining healthy vs. unhealthy because it’s unable to draw a line saying that no matter how sincerely you want to do that, it is still unhealthy.

          Leading to a lot of nice ad hominem attacks because the only way they can dissent is to attack someone else as delusional.

          • Mary says:

            Was going for further reflections on that point. . . . thinking of Sinfest. Where the author is clearly straightening out the strip from the harsh, bitter, cynical and sin-laden earlier years (warning for anyone who checks it out: that includes a nasty depiction of God). He has some charming stuff — Fuchsia’s reformation, the Enlightened drones — but alas, he has nothing but feminism to guide him. To be sure, the actual acts of the feminists have been, thus far, to induce a succubus to quit working for Satan and affirm the wonderfulness of her love for the strip one unquestionably good character, and to persuade a woman to dress more modestly — and foil Satan’s work once. But while it can hit upon the effects of porn, it’s also vulnerable to feminism’s mixed messages.

            It’s also dishonest about blame. Only one of those women has been a continuing character from before, but she blames everything on patriarchy, and nothing on her own vanity, and self-absorption. (Really. She complained about Slick and how she would never go out with him, but deliberately foiled it when he had found another girl who seemed interested.)

            Which, my reflections led to me to conclude, was a good demonstration in microcosm of the problem.

            • joetexx says:

              What the hell is in the water in California?

              Everyone else in the world has gotten the message that feminism is nothing but a shake- down racket grubbing for money, status, and power. 

              Ishida’s positive portrayal of the ‘Sisterhood’ seriously creeps me out. They belong back in the ’70′s.  It not so much that they’re still around; bad pennies last forever unless you melt them. It that he treats them seriously, as idealists striving for a better world. 

              No serious feminist I have ever  known would have rescued Fuschia from Big Devil to set her up in a puppyish, innocent love tryst with Criminny. No, they would have sneered at that and tried to recruit her. 

              Cutting down the stripper pole forest to build an idyllic neighborhood park? That strip really frosted me. They wouldn ‘t have done it without a signed contract with the mayor to reserve the ball park for lesbian softball teams. 

              Feminism bah!

              Ishida should simply leave politics alone. When he touches it the PC is stifling, and the occasional cool stabs at St Barry don’t make up for it. 

              • Mary says:

                Dropping politics would be wise, but his big problem is that these are actually the best lights he’s got. He needs a better standard.

              • Mary says:

                A better light that would avoid the silliness of this. How could Satan hate something which glamorizes the seizure of power for its own sake? So much that reviewers will solemnly absolve the queen in a move of Snow White on the grounds that she is using the only means she has to get power?

    • Mary says:

      Realizing that appealing to men is necessary to gain their participation would require thinking rather than complaining.

  12. Stephen J. says:

    “My question is this. Is it possible to portray a superheroine who is in keeping with the standards of Civilization?”

    I think it is absolutely possible to create and portray such a character. The consequent question then becomes: Will such a character sell enough comics to pay what a writer and artist of the necessary quality, and a publisher of the necessary capacity, will require to produce her?

    Most significant publishers seem convinced, unfortunately, that the answer is “No”. I am not sure that this is necessarily true, but given that the comic book industry is contracting and fragmenting by the year, I am not sure how much longer their opinion will be the most important factor.

    • DGDDavidson says:

      To this I can only say that the failure of Leave It to Chance to pick up a significant readership, even though it was praised by critics and created by top talent, is a major tragedy of the comics industry.

      ‘Twas a series about a spunky girl paranormal investigator. She was smart, she dressed sensibly, she had a pet dragon, and the comic was all-around fun to read. There are paperbacks of most of the issues. Seek them out.

      • Foxfier says:

        To this I can only say that the failure of Leave It to Chance to pick up a significant readership, even though it was praised by critics and created by top talent, is a major tragedy of the comics industry.

        Should go the Girl Genius route.

        I can remember seeing the comic in stores back in ’02 or so– never got one, because I was still stinging from the Nightcrawler stupidity. (Total Kurt fangirl, here, even before I got “into” my Catholicism; he’s sweet, and goofy, and devout, and intelligent, and fluffy, and blue; what’s not to love?)
        Fast forward most of a decade, someone– I think it was Suburban Banshee, who every geek Catholic should read– suggested the free e-comic. Fell in love with the Jaegers.

        When their print run didn’t sell, they went online and into trade copies, as I understand. Also donation-based, although they give you WONDERFUL backgrounds for a donation, and I proudly wear my winged trilobite pin.

      • Three cheers for LEAVE IT TO CHANCE. It is a pleasant surprise that anyone has heard of it but me.

        • DGDDavidson says:

          Likewise! I found the collected issues in the comics section of a library. Then I later found the final issue, never collected, sitting in a little shop that I affectionately refer to as The Shady Bookstore Down the Street.

          I highly recommend Paul Sizer’s Little White Mouse if you haven’t read it. It has a spunky heroine somewhat like Chance, only better. I list Mouse‘s Loo T’heng on the short list of most unforgettable characters I’ve ever encountered.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri says:

          Hey, I gave an 8-rated review to every single issue that came out, when I was one of the most acerbic and best-known reviewers in English fandom.

  13. The Deuce says:

    She wants respect for the fair sex. That is only reasonable.

    Not really. She wants the fair sex to have respect without actually being respectable. That’s incoherent.

    She wants women to be “liberated” to behave in such a way that they have nothing to offer men other than sex (at least nothing that men would actually be interested in – no doubt she finds it horribly unfair that men don’t find college degrees, high powered jobs, and social status attractive the way women do), but then she wants to complain that it’s terribly unfair when men cease to find anything to value about women except sex.

    • “Not really. She wants the fair sex to have respect without actually being respectable. That’s incoherent.”

      Precisely, exactly, and well said. The goal of earning respect is respectable. The daydream of respecting unearned respect by doing that which no one can respect is incoherent. That was the point of the post.

      I sat down to write how irresponsible it was to have incoherent daydreams rather than coherent goals, but my sense of pity overcame me, because the price the universe exacts from the incoherent is too high.

  14. Robert Mitchell Jr says:

    Looking at Starfire (Teen Titans Go!), and then Starfire (The Comic Book), a thought occurs to me. They almost directly oppose each other, perhaps deliberately so. I wonder how much of this is (in this case) sexual license, and how much is Envy by artists who didn’t get the gold ring of (TTG) and are having to work on the tin ring of the comic…..

  15. Tim Ohmes says:

    “She wants women to be “liberated” to behave in such a way that they have nothing to offer men other than sex (at least nothing that men would actually be interested in – no doubt she finds it horribly unfair that men don’t find college degrees, high powered jobs, and social status attractive the way women do), but then she wants to complain that it’s terribly unfair when men cease to find anything to value about women except sex.”

    I see the problem as a basic social disconnect. Men are not much interested in the degrees, jobs, and status of other men; except in a competitive sense. If women seek these, they will suffer a lack of appeal in much the same way.

    “Feminism” demands women to function in the male world in essentially the same role a male fills, including the ‘sexual prowess’ assumed to have been the advantage of the male. Thus women are ‘only’ to seek degrees, jobs, status, and sexual promiscuity; just the same as men.

    Of these four items, only the last carries any prevailing interest to men.

    Many men are attracted by genuine feminism which involves commitment, love, marriage, maternity, motherhood, etc. but these items are not on the above list. So the only ‘correct answer’ of the multiple choice question is going to be sexual promiscuity.

    Everybody is conditioned to give the ‘correct answer’, after all.

  16. bear545 says:

    I am glad to see you pulled out Helen Parr as the best example of what civilization thinks a superheroine should look like. She and the entire cast of that movie have a warm place in my heart. It was well written, decent, and filled with explosions. Even with the recent spate of superhero movies, it remains my favourite of the genre. Sky High is second. Oddly enough, neither were ever comic books. I wondered for a time why my two favourite superhero movies were not comic book baed. Perhaps I now know: The comic books have lost their way, and those who wish to make something truly good have found they must return to the wellspring and begin again.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri says:

      To be fair, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow in Joss Whedon’s Avengers was excellent, and the whole movie worked at such a deep level that I felt at home from the word go. But then, Whedon is a genius. So are Alan Moore, Jack Kirby and a few others who really “got” superheroes and superheroines. And Moore looks like deliberately unlearning everything he knew; the most recent Terra Obscura was sex-ridden nonsense.

  17. I worked in the comic book industry as an artist and writer for most of the 1990s. I can tell you from firsthand, personal experience that it is a swamp. Doctrinaire cultural Marxism plus the seething sexual anger of the frustrated fanboy equals the typical U.S. comics industry professional. I’m glad I don’t work in ‘the biz” any more.

    Comics went bad when the 1970s fanzine publishers took over, circa 1980 or so. In earlier times, when the business was run by middle-aged Jewish family men and displaced Midwesterners, the characters and stories reflected family and Midwestern values.

    You want healthy, wholesome girl/woman characters? Look to manga. Sure, there a lot of manga that’s unreadable by anyone with taste or conscience. There’s also a lot of it that anyone of any age can read and enjoy with clear conscience. Need an example? Gentlemen, ladies, I give you Nodame Cantabile, one of the finest comics stories ever told. It’s available in English. Get it and know there is still goodness in this world.

  18. joetexx says:

    “I am not as horrible as a German. ”

    No, Sir. You are not. 

    The Germans are exceedingly fond of Rhine wines; they are put up in tall, slender bottles, and are considered a pleasant beverage. One tells them from vinegar by the label.    -Mark Twain-

    http://www.kombu.de/twain-3.htm

    • I will point out that Germans are also exceeding fond of Blonds who are tall and slender and considered pleasant. How one tells them from vinegar depends on their nature and yours, I suppose.

      Being from the country that invented Chow Main and the Pizza, as an American it is not my business to mock European cuisine. Except for Scottish haggis, of course, and English everything. Anyone is allowed to make fun of that.

      • Stephen J. says:

        Aye, so lang as they’ve nae objection to gettin’ a guid Scots hobnail oop thae nether end au’thair KILTS, they can mock auir guid haggis!

        (Full disclosure: I have never actually had haggis and am only half Scot. But the chance to break out the brogue was too much to resist.)

        • Full disclosure: I have had nothing but respect and fear for the Scots ever since I heard the phrase: “KILTS! When your stones are too big for trousers!”

        • joetexx says:

          Haggis I would at least be willing to try. Finnan haddie is really very good. 

          Nothing would induce me to set my teeth in a Scotch egg.  When I
          first saw the greasy ovoid lifted out of the deep fryer at a scots folk festival I knew we were eternal enemies.  

        • Mrmandias says:

          Irish have brogues. Scots have burrs. Dinna ye ken?

          • Boggy Man says:

            And please let’s not bring up our food. The Irish are the only people on earth that will start boiling water when you tell them you’re in the mood for toast.

            Of course we also have lots of fiery redheads; beat that with your frigid platinum milkmaids, Fritz!

            • joetexx says:

              Five course Irish dinner: Pack of Guinness and a potato?

              I like the blackhaired colleens with deep blue eyes. 

              Pot cheese is pretty good, but again, you need Guinness or Harp to wash it down.  

            • deiseach says:

              Of course we put the kettle on; how can you have toast without a nice cup of tea to wash it down?

              (I will neither confirm nor deny that my culinary efforts mostly revolve around boiling, with some roasting and frying thrown in).

              :-)

          • Stephen J. says:

            I do; one novel I’m working on has a character from fantasy-counterpart Scotland whose dialect is always described as a “Highland burr”. But the chance to break out the alliteration was too much to resist.

            And I have to admit that I do think Scotch eggs are horrible. I think eggs in general are horrible, however — quivering little jellylike blobs of slime! — so I can say that without slandering my ancestors.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri says:

          I have had haggis. It’s actually quite good, if properly done, but as it relies on the right cook and recipe, it can be extremely dull.

          • joetexx says:

            Dull sounds comforting. I had gathered the distinct impression that it was actively horrible.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri says:

              That’s all the Scots who know the rest of you will never try it and who therefore try to build up a spurious reputation for culinary machismo. (Remember Jack Kirby’s kid gangs’ ideas of cuisine? “Youse guys may be tough – but in Suicide Slum we eats barbed wire fo’ shredded wheat!” “Come over ta Flatbush, and we’ll teach ya how to warm it up wi’ a blowtorch!”)

      • joetexx says:

        I’m afraid I’ve known tall and graceful blondes, not German, whose dispostions would have been mightily improved by a stiff dose of vinegar. 

        I loved Rhine wines in youth, and must try some again soon. 

        I’m devoted to the cooking of my German  ancestors; including the Pennsylvania Dutch and Texas Hill Country variants. Never get enough Bavarian cream, wiener schnitzel, Rhineland white asparagus (That River  
        Rhine again!). 

        American cooking:

        “I am told,” Berin said, “that there is good family cooking in America; I haven’t sampled it.  I have heard of the New England boiled dinner and corn pone and clam chowder and milk gravy.  This is for the multitude and certainly not to be scorned, if it is good.  But it is not for masters.”

        “Indeed.”  Wolfe waggled a finger at him.  ”Have you eaten a plank porterhouse steak, two inches thick, surrendering hot red juice under the knife, garnished with American parsley and slices of fresh limes, encompassed with mashed potatoes which melt on the tongue, and escorted by thick slices of fresh mushrooms faintly underdone? Or Missouri Boone County Ham? Or the bouillabaisse of New Orleans, compared to which that of Marseilles is but belly-fodder, ballast for a stevedore?”

        Nero Wolfe to Jerome Berin, Too Many Cooks

        English:

        http://orwell.ru/library/articles/cooking/english/e_dec

      • jtherry says:

        “And this is how we say ‘goodbye’ in Germany!” *facepunch*

  19. You have several times said that “the price is too high”. Extending the metaphor a bit: When something bought cannot be paid for, you usually get either a repossession or, if that is not possible, a bankruptcy. What form do you predict this bankruptcy will take?

    Incidentally, what did you do to the formatting? I rather miss the list of ten older posts at the bottom of each page; it made it easy to navigate between the most recent discussions.

    • Foxfier says:

      Well, I’m not our host, but I’d suggest looking at the 30-year-old single women who are pissed at men, and constantly complain about there not being any good ones, even as they constantly choose total asses. Then look at the guys of all adult ages that constantly complain about how all women are manipulative, lying, cheating female dogs and how there just aren’t any good ones… and they keep picking flashy, manipulative women, who not infrequently leave them to hunt for men wearing wedding rings. I’m still disgusted at how many “dating tactics” sites for women suggest looking for men with rings, or who have the shadow of a wedding ring on their hand, since they’re likely to treat you right for the fling. The male “game” sites, likewise disgusting.

      Modern folks’ mate-finding methods are broken. Even the folks from solid homes have a chance of having learned the wrong lessons from society, and the folks from broken ones…where are they supposed to learn how to recognize a life-mate, a help-meet, a true husband or wife?

      I don’t like to say it, but look at the inner city, especially those neighborhoods with over 50% illegitimate births: that is the bankruptcy.

      • Mary says:

        It can take a while for the inner city to sink in. Here’s a good view.

        • Foxfier says:

          One of the things I was thinking of, although I didn’t remember it was so specific on this issue.

        • Foxfier says:

          Just as it is easier to recognize ill health in someone you haven’t seen for some time rather than in someone you meet daily, so a visitor coming into a society from elsewhere often can see its character more clearly than those who live in it. Every few months, doctors from countries like the Philippines and India arrive fresh from the airport to work for a year’s stint at my hospital. It is fascinating to observe their evolving response to British squalor.

          At the start, they are uniformly enthusiastic about the care that we unsparingly and unhesitatingly give to everyone, regardless of economic status. They themselves come from cities—Manila, Bombay, Madras—where many of the cases we see in our hospital would simply be left to die, often without succor of any kind. And they are impressed that our care extends beyond the merely medical: that no one goes without food or clothing or shelter, or even entertainment. There seems to be a public agency to deal with every conceivable problem. For a couple of weeks, they think this all represents the acme of civilization, especially when they recall the horrors at home. Poverty—as they know it— has been abolished.

          Before very long, though, they start to feel a vague unease. A Filipina doctor, for example, asked me why so few people seemed grateful for what was done for them. What prompted her question was an addict who, having collapsed from an accidental overdose of heroin, was brought to our hospital. He required intensive care to revive him, with doctors and nurses tending him all night. His first words to the doctor when he suddenly regained consciousness were, “Get me a fucking roll-up” (a hand-rolled cigarette). His imperious rudeness didn’t arise from mere confusion: he continued to treat the staff as if they had kidnapped him and held him in the hospital against his will to perform experiments upon him. “Get me the fuck out of here!” There was no acknowledgment of what had been done for him, let alone gratitude for it. If he considered that he had received any benefit from his stay at all, well, it was simply his due

    • You have several times said that “the price is too high”. Extending the metaphor a bit: When something bought cannot be paid for, you usually get either a repossession or, if that is not possible, a bankruptcy. What form do you predict this bankruptcy will take?

      I am a Christian. I think that if Christ does not pay down our debts with His blood, we go to hell.

      In the rather smaller example we have here, I believe that if the comic writers who offended Miss Hudson do not repent (and only a supernatural cause could cause such repentance — there is no natural reason for it) they cannot break free of the offends her world view that offends here, and the “price” there is they lost her business; and I believe that Miss Hudson must turn the other cheek and let them strike her again and learn to forgive them, and if she does not forgive (and only a supernatural cause can cause such forgiveness — there is no natural reason for it) she cannot break free from the logical paradox that created the problem, namely, her attraction to sexual liberation and the outcome of sexual liberation.

      Repentance and forgiveness is the only way out of the beartrap.

      The other way out is a more pagan way: the comic writers cling to their haughty price, and the offended fan challenges them to a duel with sword or pistol at dawn, and one slays the other, and the survivor outwardly vaunts at his vindication but is inwardly gnawed by guilt. We are too civilized in the West for this evil but healthy pagan solution.

      The bankruptcy is neither is done is what we have seen in the fine arts overtaking the popular arts: the world gets uglier and uglier, the aesthetic theory gets more and more openly satanic, degenerate, nihilist, broken, vile, and putrid.

      Incidentally, what did you do to the formatting? I rather miss the list of ten older posts at the bottom of each page; it made it easy to navigate between the most recent discussions.

      The format I was using was not allowing me to center images. I can look to see if there is a widget I can add to list the last ten posts.

      • Repentance and forgiveness is the only way out of the beartrap.

        I must say that this strikes me as somewhat unlikely to happen, if not quite so unlikely as a duel between offended fans and offending writers.

        The format I was using was not allowing me to center images.

        This may be a stupid question that badly underestimates your familiarity with the format; if it is so, I apologise. Did you try using explicit HTML tags? Unless the blogging platform strips HTML from posts as well as comments, you should be able to wrap the image in <center> image code goes here </center> tags.

        I can look to see if there is a widget I can add to list the last ten posts.

        Thanks. If not, don’t worry too much; if the three extra mouse-clicks to get to other posts become too much for me, I can always challenge you to a duel.

        • Pal, I tried five different solutions on how to correct the centering, and what you suggest is what I tried first, so, yes, I tried using explicit HTML tags. I haunted fora and websites asking for help, before I gave up on it.
          But looking for a widget that matches the old function is also only a matter of a few mouse clicks on my side. I aim to please.

          (quoting me) “Repentance and forgiveness is the only way out of the beartrap.” I must say that this strikes me as somewhat unlikely to happen, if not quite so unlikely as a duel between offended fans and offending writers.

          People turning their back on their pride or turning the other cheek is unlikely indeed without the grace and cooperation of heaven. But the alternative is, in this case, artists driving loyal customers away by such treason, and lifelong resentment by disgruntled customers against them.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri says:

          if not quite so unlikely as a duel between offended fans and offending writers.
          Personally, I would be quite willing to give Frank Miller the choice of weapons. Or to have a punch-up, if he prefers. Joe Quesada and the rest of the showers are also likely candidates, but the thing with Miller is that he betrayed his talent and the expectations of his fans, and took those who insisted on sticking with him on a road of utter cruelty and perversion.

  20. Mrmandias says:

    So I was thinking about your recent post on pulp fiction girls with guns, or knives, or electricity, or battle axes. I enjoyed those pictures very much.

    On the other hand the images in this post are gross.

    Why?

    I think its because the sexuality of the images in this post are exaggerated. Literally caricatured. Those postures and body parts and attitudes (both physical and otherwise) are not just idealized but pushed past the point of idealization.

    Why would anyone do that? The only things I can think of are (1) the audience is satiated with normal images of sexuality and needs exaggeration or (2) the perversion of the portrayal is itself part of the attraction.

    • Robert Mitchell Jr says:

      There is also (3), artistic drift, as artists copy and steal from artists before them. Shortcuts are developed, and can get out of hand. Especially a problem in Comics, where Jack Kirby’s amazing output seems to have given companies a unrealistic view of what artists can do in a month. And made worse by too many artist’s treatment of deadlines……

    • deiseach says:

      Apparently some of the trouble can be laid at the door of modern artists, some of whom don’t so much draw the characters as use photo referencing (translation: they trace figures from magazines or photo stills from movies) and for references sometimes they use – do you call them girlie magazines or what? – porn magazines, not to put to fine a point on it.

      To the extent that there is an actual expression, pornface, used to describe the expressions on the female (and some of the male) characters: wide-eyed, open-mouthed, looking like they are grimacing in (what passes for) ecstacy or have been slapped in the face with a wet herring.

      Ask me again why I gave up reading modern comics :-(

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri says:

        There is something else, and it is that these things are done by rote. There is an artist in Italy called Paolo Eleutieri Serpieri who has done out-and-out porn with a Playboy-proportioned protagonist and has managed to make it visually beautiful – I mean, as beautiful as porn can be. The difference I see when I compare Eleutieri Serpieri to this sort of thing is that there is no life in the DC comics pages, even where they are done by artists of talent. I do not recommend his work, unless you can put up with offensive material for the sake of exceptional artistic skills, but it stands head and shoulders above anything DC has tried to produce.

  21. I once wrote an article on the difference between cheesecake and pornography. The gist of it was that cheesecake (e.g., 1940s pinup calendars) is all about the tease. In classic cheesecake nothing “naughty” is ever shown, only hinted at — which is what makes it so deliciously tantalizing. In pornography, the naughty bits are displayed like cuts of meat on a tray. No mystery. No tease.

    Cheesecake is life-affirming. Its charm is in its evocation of girl-next-door winsomeness, not in sheer gynecological detail. A pinup girl makes the boys think of well water, the smell of a sharpened #2 pencil, and Betty Sue back home in Mayfield, not of Big-Arse Nancy the filthy whore twenty miles behind the front line in Olangapo. You marry the pin-up girl.* You just schtup the whore.

    I like pretty girls as much as more than the average guy. I have always enjoyed looking at pictures (illustrations or photos) of saucy wenches and blushing swimsuit queens. But pornography in any form is a turn-off to me and always has been. Not because of any of that feminist crap — I am the most philistine of traditionalists when it comes to sexual relations — but because I feel ugly inside when I look at it.

    I feel ugly inside when I partake of most modern comics, science fiction, or moving pictures. That is why I do not partake of them.

    • DGDDavidson says:

      Or is this just us making excuses for the girly pictures we like while condemning those we don’t? Are they really opposed to each other, or on a continuum?

      • Since I am a big fan of cheesecake and I hate this sleaze, I can assure you that the distinction Plymouthbelvedere proposes is true.

        Keep in mind, anyone can say “you like this and I like that so your opinion is no better than mine” until he is blue in the face — provided he never says WHY you like that and I like that.

        It is the studious avoidance of that WHY, and the cynical belief that all answers are merely excuses to justify an arbitrary appetite, which forms the core of the modern age.

        The belief that WHY cannot be answered and should not be addressed is nihilism: the dogma that there are no dogmatic truths.

        • DGDDavidson says:

          Oh, believe me, I don’t want to go that route: I’m not interested in defending relativism or landing in nihilism; in fact, I seem lately to have taken up the unpleasant hobby of preaching virtue ethics at relativistic bronies, which is sort of weird, because they all profess adoration for a show that already teaches virtue, but I digress.

          All I was doing there, with insufficient elaboration, was questioning whether my enjoyment of cheesecake (and I mean mine more than Mr. Belvedere’s or yours) is really healthy or just excuse-making. I think any of the Church Fathers I’ve peeked into wouldn’t approve of it.

          • Catholics are allowed to smoke and drink and gamble, so maybe looking at girly pictures is okay if and only if it is not done lustfully. Like anything, it can turn into an addiction, like anything, it can turn into a sin.

            No, I don’t think the Church Fathers would approve of them. But there is still a difference between Catwoman and Debbie Does Dallas.

      • Mary says:

        I will say that while some pinups are annoying — the woman with the baby innocent expression going gosh golly gee however could I have ended up in this grossly improbably state of disarray — others definitely have their aspects. Not looking like a nitwit helps.

  22. momofthree says:

    Everyone check out Simcha Fischer’s truly fabulous post: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/simcha-fisher/the-sorrows-of-young-sexpot over at the Register.

  23. Pingback: The Thinking Housewife › Comic Books Are Done Too

  24. lotdw says:

    Part of the problem is that you people are reading all the wrong comics. I know that in America comics has become synonymous with (DC/Marvel) superheroes, but most of the best comics out there aren’t about superheroes at all. In fact, the best-selling current comic is about zombies: The Walking Dead.

    There are so many good comics out there that have great art (no photoreferencing), don’t treat women like objects, and are well-written. After all, comics is a medium, not a subject, and blaming all of them for the death of Captain America seems a bit over the top.

    Some recommendations of ongoing comics (most not DC or Marvel, natch) -

    Smoke and Mirrors: a man from Earth winds up in a world where magic, not science, rules; and his simplest card tricks break the laws of (this) reality.

    Axe Cop: Written by a 7-year-old with hilarious child logic and drawn by his older brother. There are truckchucks. Those are nunchucks, except made out of semi trucks.

    Fables: Fleeing an evil conquering empire, the heroes of fable stories come to earth. Watch Cinderella, Beauty, Prince Charming and the rest attempt to set up a secret society on earth and fight to regain their homeland.

    Chew: The adventures of cibopath Tony Chu, FDA agent, tasked with finding evil chicken-pushers everywhere in the wake of the swine-flu epidemic. A cibopath, in case you were wondering, is someone who can see the past history of anything he eats.

    Rachel Rising: A horror (?) comic with beautiful black-and-white art. I can’t really explain the plot to this one, but it’s something special for sure.

    Casanova: Maybe the best comic ever made. I don’t know how to explain this one either. 70s Eurospy movies crossed with time/space/dimension hopping, giant robot combat, evil twins and whatever else crosses author Matt Fraction’s head?

    That’s not even getting into webcomics, but Girl Genius was already mentioned.

  25. Well I finally read through the whole original article. I could comment on most of it, but felt everything could be summed up with this:

    I would like to say first and in the strongest possible terms that I absolutely support the right of women to embrace and act upon their sexual desires in whatever way seems right to them, within consensual boundaries.

    it’s about men wanting to see them do things, and that takes something that really should be empowering — the idea that women can own their sexuality — and transforms it into yet another male fantasy. It takes away the actual power of the women and turns their “sexual liberation” into just another way for dudes to get off. And that is at least ten times as gross as regular cheesecake, minimum.

    It’s hard not to read the above in the same article and see an author that wants women to be proud of their sexuality and men to be ashamed of theirs.

    Wait a sec… isn’t this the same “double standard” that feminists have complained about was oppressing women for so long? (only flipped) That men could be as frank as they wanted to about sex while it was “creepy” and “wrong” if women expressed any desires?

    Reminds me of the wisest words I ever read on cracked.com:
    “They say one of the worst things you find out about the world as an adult is the way the oppressed, when given the chance, can be just as horrible as their oppressors.”

    • Robert Mitchell Jr says:

      No, it is a worse standard. It was not “creepy” or “wrong” for women to express desire in public, it was just understood they were not Marriage material, as opposed to the current standard, where men are “Peter Pans” if they don’t chase after women, and “Pigs” if they do. And certainly the old standard did not let men “opt out” like the current Age lets women bail out without any consequence or shame (For all the complaining about the “Patriarchy”, there was no Divorce on Demand, or the “Sacrament” of Abortion).

      • Exactly. I should have been clearer that what I was saying was the feminist VIEW of how things used to be. (whether it was or not…)

        Though when you said “opt out” I thought you were talking about “confirmed bachelors” which I’m like… “yeah they could”. lol ;)

        I did quite love Jonah Goldberg’s g-file today. Marvelous quote:

        Speaking of first wives, I think it’s interesting to note that Dan Cathy’s original controversial statement is more pointed at the institution of divorce than at gay marriage. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

  26. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2012/08/08 « Free Northerner

  27. arcaneshield says:

    So then, considering all this garbage going on… any suggestions on actually good, interesting comics that do not offend all sensibilities?

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