Here We Go Again: Comicsgate

superman

A public service announcement published in a DC comic book in the early 1960s

I’ve heard of this thing called Comicsgate, and after doing a bit of reading, discovered it’s pretty much the same sort of critter that launched the efforts of the Sad Puppies a few years back.

Allegation: The mainstream comic book industry (DC, Marvel) is overrun by Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) forcing their very narrow agenda down the throats of all comic book readers, no matter how totally unrealistic it is, so we independent comic book creators will fight back by creating more classic heroes of our own.

You can find out more about this perspective by following Jon Del Arroz’s twitter feed, particularly THIS and THAT.

Counter-allegation: Conservative, white, racist trolls want to destroy all participation of strong women heroes, people of color, LGBTQ+ writers, artists, and characters, and all other marginalized and vulnerable populations in comic books so comics are totally owned by white people, and we have to stop them.

You can read about Bill Sienkiewicz rebuttal at “The Mary Sue” (a fairly biased publication) as well as on his twitter feed HERE.

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Peace on Earth

tribute lights

© Carla Bicomong

We launched the candles. The tribute was organized by telephone and mail so it was really hard, but we did it.

“Hi. I’m Jill.” She startled me. I’d been listening to other people talk, but I assumed they were already friends, I mean real life friends.

“I’m Dave. Pleased to meet you.” We shook hands and I started to blush. “Sorry. I’m a little nervous.”

“Me too.”

“Everyone’s so much nicer than I expected.”

“That’s the point. twitter, Facebook, Instagram turned us all into opinionated monsters.”

“But now that we destroyed them, there’ll be peace between people.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 97.

After yesterday’s “challenging” series of conversations on twitter (which admittedly, I asked for), I decided that the people I briefly sparred with are most likely much nicer human beings in person than they are on twitter. Libertarian commentator and Orthodox Jew Ben Shapiro even admitted that he’s more snarky on twitter than he is in real life. I suppose it’s the nature of the beast, the “beast” being social media, and particularly twitter.

So in my wee fantasy, I killed twitter, Facebook, and the rest of them. Would that bring peace to mankind? Probably not, but it wouldn’t be so easy to insult and slander people we don’t know if they didn’t exist.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

Has a New Civil War Been Declared?

trump

The man everyone loves to hate.

Warning: This essay discusses issues of Donald Trump, racism, physical assault, and other forms of violence, hate crimes, and whether or not people are ultimately responsible for their own actions. If you think reading about all that might be upsetting to you, please find something else with which to occupy your time. By the way, I’m sure I’m not going to win any friends by writing and publishing this essay. Thanks.

A few days ago, I wrote a fictionalized version of an incident where 25-year-old Chloe Wright allegedly used her car to deliberately attack a man, nearly hitting him and significantly damaging his car, all because he had a “Trump” bumper sticker on his vehicle and, in a verbal altercation, admitted to voting for Donald Trump.

I fact checked the heck out of the story, and that was the only motivation I could discover as to why she would risk seriously injuring or even killing another human being. He didn’t threaten her, he didn’t cuss at her, call her names, or do anything to her other than having a bumper sticker on his car and telling the woman who he voted for.

He’s fine, and I’m sure his insurance will cover the damages to his vehicle, but Ms. Wright, if convicted of all the felony charges against her, is facing several years in prison, and even once paroled, will forever have a criminal record as a convicted felon.

I wonder if she thinks it was worth it?

This isn’t an isolated case, but I could spend days and days chronicling similar incidents, although (hopefully) none of them were equally as potentially lethal.

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When Social Media Becomes a Lynch Mob

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Screenshot of Mark Duplass’s tweet about Ben Shapiro

There are days when I lose all hope for humanity. Really, it’s gotten that ridiculous.

First off, actor Mark Duplass said something nice about conservative speaker, attorney, and Orthodox Jew Ben Shapiro on twitter. Then he is immediately caught up in a twitter-storm so severe that the very next day, he formally apologizes.

Then “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn defends Duplass while at the same time, sliming Shapiro. And then, it’s discovered that Gunn made some pretty horrible tweets back in the day and is subsequently fired by Disney so you won’t see him directing “Guardians 3.”

I suppose Shapiro thought in the aftermath of all this, someone might take a look at his “dumb stuff” tweets, so he posted a list of them, and promised to keep updating it (I haven’t had the time to read that last article yet).

What the heck is going on? Have liberals have decided as a group, that no individual liberal can be friends with or even like a conservative without starting a social media flame war?

Why? How did we enter this twilight zone of dysfunctional communication?

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Can There Be Intersectionality Between Masculinity and Feminism?

ban men

“Ban Men” image found at Campus Reform website

I find myself writing more frequently about social issues on this blog for whatever reason. I probably shouldn’t, especially since I’m white, male, straight, cisgender, old, conservative (relative to liberal states – in relation to Idaho, I’m probably a moderate), and religious.

In other words, based on that collection of labels, I’m a pretty terrible human being, at least among a certain set of demographics.

I’ll say at the outset that the closest article I’ve written to this one in terms of theme is Injured and Dangerous about a group of hostile, aggressive, and potentially lethal men called Incels. Click the link I provided if you haven’t heard of them and prepare to be terrified.

Earlier today, I read an article from Campus Reform called Feminist prof doubles-down on call to ‘hate men’ written by Toni Airaksinen. She was referencing an opinion piece written by Suzanna Danuta Walters for the Washington Post titled Why Can’t We Hate Men?.

Yikes.

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Comic Books Have Gone Crazy

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The cover of The Fantastic Four issue 3 from 1961

“I’ve kept a limited number of comic books from my youth, ranging from the 1960s to the 1980s, and occasionally take a few out and read them. I’m not really into comic books anymore, especially the current titles, and for a lot of reasons.

Originally, I started collecting them in the late 1960s when I was in Junior High, and I’d been reading them since I was old enough to read because they were so much fun. In the ’60s and ’70s, I was mainly into Marvel comics (Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the X-Men and so on), but I rediscovered DC in the late 80s when they did the first reboot of their titles.

More recently, I used my local public library system and checked out Vertigo DC graphic novels such as V for Vendetta and The Watchmen as well as the Sandman (the Wesley Dodd costumed hero, not the other guy) because they were more edgy and I was an adult. In the case of the first two titles, I wanted to understand the basis for the films they became, and in the Sandman’s case, I just enjoy the character and the 1930s vibe.

I’ve kept in touch with how comic books have been morphing in more recent years, and generally give them a wide berth. The superheroes I once admired and who taught me about courage, innovation, and adventure, had become unrecognizable as well as unoriginal. Numerous reboots later, all of the old villains and storylines had been rehashed ad nauseam, just like what we see in both the film and television industries, and I don’t intend to pay for the privilege of being bored.

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