Saturday, February 13

The Tea Baggers Vs (Captain) America

Tea Baggers are again up-in-arms at being viciously attacked by those LEFTIES at Marvel Comics who dared to associate their cause with that of - a band of White Supremacists!

How Dare they! How could they so clearly misunderstand what Tea Bagging is all about?

Keith explains...

This is what the big stink is about.

Just how miffed are the Baggies about this? This miffed:

Like Dave Weigel I'm a longtime comics collector and fan, so let me take this piece by piece.

This guy complains that Marvel has been "influenced by the left" because of the Character Northstar from Alpha Flight - was one of the first openly gay Characters in Comics. (As a French Canadian, he was pretty much halfway there already wasn't he?) All kidding aside, Northstar actually came out in order to help bring more awareness to the epidemic of AIDS.
Yeah, Marvel was obviously out to help that "Lefty Conspiracy" to keep people from dying. This occurred during a time when President Ronald Reagan wouldn't even SAY the word "AIDS" in public.

He actually invokes Frederick Wertham and the "Seduction of the Innocent" in a positive light? A book that alleged that Wonder Woman was a bondage lesbian and Batman was a Gay Pedophile because of close relationship with orphan Dick Grayson?

The hysterical Reefer-Madness element of Wertham's 1954 book actually inspired congressional action with the Senate Subcommitte on Juvenile Deliquency. This frightened the Comics industry so badly that William Gaines publisher of EC Comics called together an emergency meeting of all the various companies to come up with a plan to combat this suppression.

Excerpt of Gaines testimony:

* Chief Counsel Herbert Beaser: Let me get the limits as far as what you put into your magazine. Is the sole test of what you would put into your magazine whether it sells? Is there any limit you can think of that you would not put in a magazine because you thought a child should not see or read about it?
* Bill Gaines: No, I wouldn't say that there is any limit for the reason you outlined. My only limits are the bounds of good taste, what I consider good taste.
* Beaser: Then you think a child cannot in any way, in any way, shape, or manner, be hurt by anything that a child reads or sees?
* Gaines: I don't believe so.
* Beaser: There would be no limit actually to what you put in the magazines?
* Gaines: Only within the bounds of good taste.
* Beaser: Your own good taste and saleability?
* Gaines: Yes.
* Senator Estes Kefauver: Here is your May 22 issue. [Kefauver is mistakenly referring to Crime Suspenstories #22, cover date May] This seems to be a man with a bloody axe holding a woman's head up which has been severed from her body. Do you think that is in good taste?
* Gaines: Yes sir, I do, for the cover of a horror comic. A cover in bad taste, for example, might be defined as holding the head a little higher so that the neck could be seen dripping blood from it, and moving the body over a little further so that the neck of the body could be seen to be bloody.
* Kefauver: You have blood coming out of her mouth.
* Gaines: A little.
* Kefauver: Here is blood on the axe. I think most adults are shocked by that.

If he thinks that was in "bad taste" he should see some Japanese Manga comics - or any of the Saw Movies. Not all of this is "kid stuff" simply because it's printed on paper with pictures.

EC itself was a great risk since the core of their line included various horror comics such as "Tales from the Crypt" and "Vault of Horror" - all of which were morality tales wear a person who has done some type of wrong or evil is karmically punished in inventive ways. These titles were highly popular and very lucrative allowing EC to also published a set of very intense and hyper-realistic Saving Private Ryan-styled war comics by artist Harvey Kurtzman such as Frontline Combat and Two-Fisted Tales.

As Dave Weigel alludes to in his segment with Keith, instead of coming up with a plan to fight back, Gaines meeting went horribly wrong as all the other publishers decided to create a self-censorship board called the Comics Code Authority, and made a pact with distributors not to sell ANY COMIC that didn't include a Comic Code "Seal of Approval" which could only be gained if the comic didn't include pretty much anything that was part of the basis for most of EC's Line of Books.

Like the previous (Hollywood) code, the CCA prohibited the presentation of "policemen, judges, government officials, and respected institutions ... in such a way as to create disrespect for established authority." But it added the requirements that "in every instance good shall triumph over evil" and discouraged "instances of law enforcement officers dying as a result of a criminal's activities." Specific restrictions were placed on the portrayal of kidnapping and concealed weapons.

Depictions of "excessive violence" were forbidden, as were "lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations." Vampires, werewolves, ghouls and zombies could not be portrayed. In addition, comics could not use the words "horror" or "terror" in their titles. The use of the word "crime" was subject to numerous restrictions.

Where the previous code had condemned the publication of "sexy, wanton comics," the CCA was much more precise: depictions of "sex perversion", "sexual abnormalities", and "illicit sex relations" as well as seduction, rape, sadism, and masochism were specifically forbidden. In words echoing the Hollywood Production Code, love stories were enjoined to emphasize the "sanctity of marriage" and those portraying scenes of passion were advised to avoid stimulating "lower and baser emotions."

The Wingnut Wetdream Comics Code essentially put EC and Gaines almost entirely out of business with one lone exception - Mad Magazine.

Harvey Kurtzman had to give up his war books, and over the next several decades spent his time doing a low-grade porn comedy strip in Playboy Magazine called "Little Annie Fannie".

From Tales of the Crypt and Frontline Combat to Mad Magazine and Little Annie Fannie - that is the legacy of what Dr. Wertham hath wrought.

But even despite the Comics Code, what the Bag-Boys apparently doesn't know is that Captain America has nearly always leaned toward Liberty and against angry radicalized movements.

During the 70's the turmoil and disillusionment of the Vietnam War and Watergate led the original Cap (Steve Rogers) to give up being Captain America - (as he wasn't sure what it stood for anymore) - and to become The Nomad.

Later in the 80's Steve again left behind his his Captain America identity after being pressured by government officials to work directly for them. He refused, and took the name "the Captain" and was replaced by an extremely unstable right-wing Super-Patriot named John Walker in the Captain America uniform.

Rogers eventually regained his CA uniform, and Walker became U.S. Agent. Rogers was eventually killed after a Marvel Civil War over the issue of whether all superheroes should admit their identities and register with the government in the wake of 9-11. Rogers had led the forces of those opposed to registration against other heroes led by former Secretary of Defense Tony Stark (Iron Man):

The current Cap is Roger's former partner Bucky Barnes - but he's not exactly the plucky kid side-kick he used to be. In a plot twist which seems taken directly from the Bond novel "You Only Live Twice", Bucky who had long been thought dead had instead been brainwashed and turned into an Assassin by the Soviet Union.

After being cured and the apparent death of Rogers (who has since been "Reborn") Bucky has become the gun and knife wielding latest version of Cap.

This is the guy the baggers are whining about being too "Lefty"? The sad part is how fast Marvel Editor in chief Joe Quesada capitulated and apologized for the "Mistake" of linking Tea Partiers to Racism. He gave in even faster than the industry cow-towed to Wertham's delusions back in the 1950s.

More on this from Raw Story:

It seems there's a new third rail in American politics -- don't mess with the Tea Partiers -- and Marvel Comics has inadvertently grabbed it with both hands. And even though members of the Tea Party movement have extracted a half-hearted apology and a promised retraction from Marvel, their anger has barely abated.

In a recent issue of Captain America, the long-time superhero and his African-American partner The Falcon travel to Idaho to investigate a white supremacist militia group, the Watchdogs, who are long-time villains in the Marvel Universe. On the way, they pass an anti-tax rally where the protesters are holding up signs bearing familiar Tea Party slogans, such as "Stop the Socialists!" and "Tea Bag the Libs Before They Tea Bag You."

This implied mockery of the Tea Partiers quickly aroused a firestorm of indignation on conservative blogs and message boards, made even worse by the implied association between the protesters and the local racist militia.

One particularly angry blogger, Warner Todd Huston, wrote, "So, there you have it, America. Tea Party protesters just 'hate the government,' they are racists, they are all white folks, they are angry, and they associate with secretive white supremacist groups that want to over throw the U.S. government."

Not to worry since Marvel has already apologized, and blamed the offending signs on a naughty inker and claim that they won't be included in future pressings of issue #602 of Captain America. Yeah those Baggers like nothing but some quick appeasement.

It really isn't all that far-fetched to think that the Bagger movement might, just might find common cause with Anti-Government White Supremacists. Maybe we should ask Tom "Literacy Test" Tancredo, or better yet, Meghan McCain?

McCain: "Literacy Test"? This is inate racism.

Gene Robinson: People who looked like myself died to help end the use of Literacy Tests and the Poll Tax to block blacks from voting.

Yeah, they do hate government. They do claim to want a "Revolution" and yeah, they do associate with "angry white folks" who fear and hate black people, minorities and those durn furriners who can barely say the word "Vote" in english.

The problem is that the Tea Party movement does have a clear racist streak - whether it's opposition to Barack Obama because he's black or whether they see him as a Liberal doens't much matter. Republican and Democratic Liberals on the Left have repeatedly been the champions of minorities and the disenfranchised achieving equal rights and protections - be they women, black, gay, young (SCHIP) or old (Social Security, Medicare).

The Right and Conservatives, regardless of party, have been historically in the way of this progress - they've fought time and time again to dismantle the protections for the vulnerable erected by Liberals be that the EPA or Medicare, they've have used cheap race baiting like James O'Keefe silly Pimp Tricks with ACORN to maintain the status quo power structure. They argue despite all evidence from the actual troops - that the troops couldn't possibly function with openly gay members.

Very often attacking the "Lefties and Liberals" is merely a way to attack minorities by proxy. Not everyone on the right is "racist" clearly, but they often find common cause with racists. The distinction between their agendas is paper-thin and should be called out often and loudly.

The fact is that Captain America is the least of their problems with race, but if they want to say that he has a "Liberal Agenda" - go right ahead, he certainly isn't on their side of this issue.


Monday, February 8

Sarah Hypocrit Palin Defends Rush Limbugh Calling Liberals "Retards" and "Kooks"

Not that any of us who've actually been paying attention would expect some type of consistency from the Half-Term Governor, but this is frankly mind-blowingly disingenuous. via HuffPo

She says that Limbaugh "Didn't call anyone retarded, it was merely satire"...

Satire? Y'mean like when a late night comedian makes a joke about your not-exactly-abstinent (adult) daughter being in the proximity of a known playboy baseball player?

That kind of Satire?

Not that any of us who've actually been paying attention would expect some type of consistency from the Half-Term Governor, but this is frankly mind-blowingly disingenuous. via HuffPo

She says that Limbaugh "Didn't call anyone retarded, it was merely satire"...

Satire? Y'mean like when a late night comedian makes a joke about your not-exactly-abstinent (adult) daughter being in the proximity of a known playboy baseball player?

That kind of Satire?