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Another dead to American gun crime!
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r2b2ct wrote:

Where did you get the idea that the X-men subplot was about the couple circumventing the scorn of society through court action?


That's the broad status of homosexual marriage in our society, which in turn is the context in which these comic books are being written and published. There's nothing subtle here.

r2b2ct wrote:
Or gay pride?


You're confused about what a gratutious gay marriage in a mainstream children's comic book has to do with "gay pride?"

Leon wrote:
It has been a long time since you were back in the states, though, right?


Yes, years.
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Leon wrote:

The Archie stuff, it makes sense from a marketing perspective. I didn't know they still made them, and would not have known if they didn't pull some stunt like this.


Back when I lived in the States, I remember there being Archie comics in the impulse purchase shelves in front of nearly every grocery store cash register in town. Was that just a Wisconsin thing? Because I thought, perhaps erroneously, that that was how Archie comics were generally distributed. It's certainly why I know of them (though admittedly I've never purchased one).


I was a big Archie fan when I was younger. They were the only comic books I'd read. Not a big fan of superhero comics and the like. Same with the manga I'd read- Maison Ikkoku or Lum or Nodame Cantibile. No thanks to robots, mecha, ninjas, and all that.

Archie comics were usually pretty devoid of any social or political commentary. The exception was when they'd publish special issues around a big current event. I know they did a special one for Desert Storm (this shows how long ago it was when I read them) and there was the whole 'Riverdale and Back Again' in the future thing, which would go a little deeper. They would sometimes look at things like sexism, body image, adolescence, bullying, and being greedy.

With gay and guns being such a big issue, I don't see it as much of a surprise that they'd do a special issue with those themes. Certainly Archie and all the characters don't seem like the type that would want anything to do with guns. Only Reggie seems like the kind of person who would have a problem with someone being gay, maybe Moose too. As long as they developed the friendship well between Archie and the guest character, I see no problem with it.

The only part I object to is that while Archie can be self-sacrificing, usually they inject a humorous element in it. I'm not a big fan of the darkening of everything these days. He could still die taking a bullet, but there should be something 'funny' in it. Like him not being able to decide between Betty and Veronica with his last breath and his organs being donated and certain people taking up characteristics of Archie.
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r2b2ct



Joined: 14 Jun 2013

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
r2b2ct wrote:

Where did you get the idea that the X-men subplot was about the couple circumventing the scorn of society through court action?


That's the broad status of homosexual marriage in our society, which in turn is the context in which these comic books are being written and published. There's nothing subtle here.

r2b2ct wrote:
Or gay pride?


You're confused about what a gratutious gay marriage in a mainstream children's comic book has to do with "gay pride?"

Yes, the comics are written to roughly match modern context. Gay people exist and get married. Including a gay character in a story is not necessarily gratuitous or political.

I happen to know the actual subplot. The couple has deep-seated problems with persecution in their relationship (only part of which is their sexual orientation) and one proposes marriage as a dubious solution to their problems. It actually does run well with X-Men themes. You claimed that the subplot represents circumventing the scorn of society through court action and culminates in a feel-good celebration of pride. This is not the case. It is actually much closer to your suggested version.

Also, your point about dumping identity politics on kids is wrong. The average age of comic book readers these days is mid-late 20s.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:
Fox wrote:
Leon wrote:

The Archie stuff, it makes sense from a marketing perspective. I didn't know they still made them, and would not have known if they didn't pull some stunt like this.


Back when I lived in the States, I remember there being Archie comics in the impulse purchase shelves in front of nearly every grocery store cash register in town. Was that just a Wisconsin thing? Because I thought, perhaps erroneously, that that was how Archie comics were generally distributed. It's certainly why I know of them (though admittedly I've never purchased one).


I was a big Archie fan when I was younger. They were the only comic books I'd read. Not a big fan of superhero comics and the like. Same with the manga I'd read- Maison Ikkoku or Lum or Nodame Cantibile. No thanks to robots, mecha, ninjas, and all that.

Archie comics were usually pretty devoid of any social or political commentary. The exception was when they'd publish special issues around a big current event. I know they did a special one for Desert Storm (this shows how long ago it was when I read them) and there was the whole 'Riverdale and Back Again' in the future thing, which would go a little deeper. They would sometimes look at things like sexism, body image, adolescence, bullying, and being greedy.

With gay and guns being such a big issue, I don't see it as much of a surprise that they'd do a special issue with those themes. Certainly Archie and all the characters don't seem like the type that would want anything to do with guns. Only Reggie seems like the kind of person who would have a problem with someone being gay, maybe Moose too. As long as they developed the friendship well between Archie and the guest character, I see no problem with it.

The only part I object to is that while Archie can be self-sacrificing, usually they inject a humorous element in it. I'm not a big fan of the darkening of everything these days. He could still die taking a bullet, but there should be something 'funny' in it. Like him not being able to decide between Betty and Veronica with his last breath and his organs being donated and certain people taking up characteristics of Archie.


Hmm. I'm reasonably familiar with X-Men, but like I said, I've never bought Archie in my life. If an evident Archie fan like you wants to tell me this kind of theme fits into the Archie series, I'll take your word for it. But, what you've described here seems to me to reinforce my main point. If special issues of Archie are expressions of big cultural trends and events, then this is surely indicative of such a trend as well.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r2b2ct wrote:
The couple has deep-seated problems with persecution in their relationship (only part of which is their sexual orientation) and one proposes marriage as a dubious solution to their problems.


This actually sounds reasonably close to my description. A couple, scorned by society, seek to deal with that through recourse to a ceremony only recognized at a national level in our country due to court action. But I like the way you've phrased it here, especially that word "dubious." Exactly, it's dubious. It seems -- at least to me -- a painfully contrived justification to get the issue of gay marriage onto the pages. If you as an X-Men reader want to say you personally think it fits the comic well, I'll accept that reasonable people can disagree on matters of thematic appropriateness, but the way you're describing this to me makes me feel my impression was correct.

r2b2ct wrote:
culminates in a feel-good celebration of pride.


An on-page gay marriage seems like quite a celebration of gay pride to me. I suppose we all see things differently.

r2b2ct wrote:
Also, your point about dumping identity politics on kids is wrong. The average age of comic book readers these days is mid-late 20s.


That's a fair point, but they are still rated for and sold to younger readers, aren't they? What's this one rated? T?
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r2b2ct



Joined: 14 Jun 2013

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't agree that it is gratuitous or contrived, but I do think it has to do with the fact that gay marriage is a popular issue. The character in question has always been gay according to his creator (since the early 80s), and was openly gay in the early 90s. Now that gay marriage exists, why not have him get married? If you can write it well and naturally it makes sense.

I feel like you are presupposing that it is contrived simply because it is a gay marriage in a mainstream comic.

I do think the story was written with more thought and care than you give it credit, but that's my opinion. The subplot is not a one-dimensional homophobic persecution story leading to a happy gay pride celebration, but of course the comic explores homophobia a little and uses it to amplify the difficulty. The general issues are traditional relationship problems, residency issues, and the usual mutant - non-mutant issues(one is a regular human). It seemed like a natural progression for the character and a thematic match for the series. I think it works and is not contrived. Maybe you disagree.

/nerd
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r2b2ct wrote:
I think it works and is not contrived. Maybe you disagree.


That's fine. Reasonable people can disagree, and contrary to what someone suggested in another discussion recently, I'm not here to tell people what to think. I understand why you see it the way you do. Thanks for challenging me in a polite, productive fashion. I'll give your position some thought.
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r2b2ct



Joined: 14 Jun 2013

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate your contribution.

But why shouldn't a mainstream comic book have a gay character? If so, why shouldn't he get married?
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

r2b2ct wrote:

But why shouldn't a mainstream comic book have a gay character?


I don't take any particular issue with homosexual characters in mainstream comic books. They are part of society like anyone else, and Northstar or Batwoman or whoever being gay in itself is reasonable enough.

r2b2ct wrote:
If so, why shouldn't he get married?


Well, first of all I'm not speaking normatively here. Remember, in my original post, I used these examples to reinforce the notion that there's a cultural trend at work, not strictly to say they are "wrong." But, from my perspective such a plotline is unnecessary, and even detracts a bit from the strongest point of the series, which is its universality. The X-Men deal with the theme of oppression in a largely symbolic fashion; any struggle against an oppressor can be projected upon them. That's why it works so well as a mainstream comic. But when you move from the symbolic to the specific, you lose some of that. Northstar, gay or otherwise, fighting against people who hate mutants is a symbol for anyone, because mutants symbolize anyone who feels oppressed; Northstar getting married to some guy is not. So when I see something like this, it leaves me feeling the answer isn't genuine artistry, but tackling political controversy. Why should political controversy be pushed in a comic book rated T (which is recommended for kids starting when, age 13?). It seems to me that it's best to leave such ideological material for the more intricate, focused, and mature works like Watchmen or V, and keep the mainstream stuff general and moderately apolitical. The people who own the intellectual content evidently disagree in the case of X-Men and agree in the case of Batwoman, and in each case I suppose that's that.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Titus wrote:
The Plutocracy uses identity politics as a means to distract people from their economic interests. It has worked.


People don't vote from their economic interests. They vote based on values.
The Plutocracy has two parties which present different value-points, but serve the same economic platform of hyper-capitalism and rent-seeking.

It is a mistake to blame one value system over the other (i.e. queer affinity over evangelical purity) in reference to the economic rape of the West, and this will become obvious once queer affinity becomes increasingly mainstream.

Indeed, you've become distracted from your economic interests with that egalitarian thread, and this mistake cannot be blamed on the Plutocracy.
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r2b2ct



Joined: 14 Jun 2013

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
r2b2ct wrote:

But why shouldn't a mainstream comic book have a gay character?


I don't take any particular issue with homosexual characters in mainstream comic books. They are part of society like anyone else, and Northstar or Batwoman or whoever being gay in itself is reasonable enough.

r2b2ct wrote:
If so, why shouldn't he get married?


Well, first of all I'm not speaking normatively here. Remember, in my original post, I used these examples to reinforce the notion that there's a cultural trend at work, not strictly to say they are "wrong." But, from my perspective such a plotline is unnecessary, and even detracts a bit from the strongest point of the series, which is its universality. The X-Men deal with the theme of oppression in a largely symbolic fashion; any struggle against an oppressor can be projected upon them. That's why it works so well as a mainstream comic. But when you move from the symbolic to the specific, you lose some of that. Northstar, gay or otherwise, fighting against people who hate mutants is a symbol for anyone, because mutants symbolize anyone who feels oppressed; Northstar getting married to some guy is not. So when I see something like this, it leaves me feeling the answer isn't genuine artistry, but tackling political controversy. Why should political controversy be pushed in a comic book rated T (which is recommended for kids starting when, age 13?). It seems to me that it's best to leave such ideological material for the more intricate, focused, and mature works like Watchmen or V, and keep the mainstream stuff general and moderately apolitical. The people who own the intellectual content evidently disagree in the case of X-Men and agree in the case of Batwoman, and in each case I suppose that's that.

I see what you mean. I do think Marvel (and really most comic companies) makes a concerted effort to include real-life political controversy, especially social stigma issues, in X-Men and other comics. I don't agree that this is inappropriate for T+ audiences (the equivalent of PG13 movies).
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it turns out that This whole gay thing is just the tip of the iceberg of Archie comic weirdness.

http://www.cracked.com/quick-fixes/4-ways-archie-comics-have-gone-f2A2A2Aing-crazy/

I suggest watching the video in entry #3
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
People don't vote from their economic interests. They vote based on values.


People vote for a lot of reasons. They vote because their friends are voting one way or another and they want to fit in. They vote because they want to get excused from work and pick up a burrito on the way back from the polling place. They vote on a singles issue that they passionately are concerned about. They vote because someone plans to put money back in their pocket with a tax cut or a new program. They vote because someone wants to build a casino right next to property they own. They vote to impress some political chick they like and think it will help them get laid.

As for Archie, I think its readers might have more interest in such a storyline than other audiences. Its interesting to see how the characters would respond and what they would feel and how their relationships would be affected.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:
Quote:
People don't vote from their economic interests. They vote based on values.


People vote for a lot of reasons.


Jonathan Haidt's research has revealed that they vote more based on values than any other reason.

http://chronicle.com/article/Jonathan-Haidt-Decodes-the/130453/

http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind

You may have also heard of "What's the Matter with Kansas?" Well: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2008/11/whats_the_matter_with_greenwich.html

Finally, notice states which subsidize the rest of the nation through the Federal tax code tend to vote blue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_taxation_and_spending_by_state

http://nickpaleologos.blogspot.com/2013/02/green-states-pay-more-in-federal-taxes.html
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Lucas



Joined: 11 Sep 2012

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
He could still die taking a bullet, but there should be something 'funny' in it.


They could shoot him up the a-hole, and he could bleed out. Rolling Eyes
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