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Old November 16 2011, 05:32 AM   #41
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Location: Montgomery County, State of Maryland
Re: Frank Miller completely loses the plot

Distorted Humor wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Hound of UIster wrote: View Post
Thats not going to happen. The Congress is pretty much the personal courtesan of the big banks.
Which is why the Occupy movement is so important. If more and more people take to the streets and more and more people start changing the national conversation, that puts pressure on politicians to change their policies. That leads to new people running. If the national conversation changes, then Members of Congress will eventually find that the costs of being Wall Street's whores will exceed the benefits.
I can't see it, even if you hate the tea-party movement, at least you know what they where asking for. The OWS movement is too disjointed (at least right now) and lacks leadership to be able to clearly state what they want have happen.
Again, they don't have to clearly state any one agenda. By simply changing the moral framework by which we talk about and understand how an economy ought to function, they're changing people's expectations, people's ideas about what the government ought to do.

And that's already happening. Wealth disparity in America has become a much bigger topic of conversation in the national media in the two months since OWS happened.

And, frankly, the Occupy movement is much bigger than the Tea Party. I'm sorry, but the Tea Party never had thousands of people demonstrating in 18 major cities simultaneously. This movement is already huge, and it's only going to get bigger the more local governments try to shut it down.

Even if the tea party folks make you want to move to Canada, at least they have some sort of focus on what they want to get done.
Sorta-kinda. The Tea Party began as something similar to Occupy -- leaderless, without a common agenda. A lot of Tea Party groups got co-opted by establishment right-wing figures -- e.g., Dick Armey and his FreedomWorks group, the Koch brothers and their Americans for Prosperity group -- but the Tea Party still doesn't have any one single "agenda." Less government spending is very common, but we've already seen a lot of initial Tea Party supporters back away upon realizing how extreme the candidates they elected were. Witness the backlash against Ohio Governor John Kasich and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

But you don't have to have a clearly-defined policy agenda to affect change. Change can be the natural result of just working to change people's concepts and expectations of what government and economy ought to do for us. You don't have to demand a higher tax rate on the rich if you convince millions of people that there's something wrong with a scenario where millions of Americans are kicked out of their homes while Wall Street fat cats who scammed the rest of the country are high on the hog.


The Guardian takes an interesting look at the politics of Frank Miller's comic book work, and at other artists' reactions to his statements.

David Barnett, The Guardian, wrote:
At first glance, Miller's rant comes as something of a surprise. Is this really the same Frank Miller speaking who, in his 1987 comic Batman: Year One, had his fledgling superhero visit a gathering of Gotham's wealthy and inform them: "You've eaten Gotham's wealth. Its spirit. Your feast is nearly over. From this moment on, none of you are safe"?

Later, in his graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns (which reinvented the comics scene in the 1980s along with Alan Moore's Watchmen) Miller portrayed an aged Batman gone deep underground, disgusted with the fat cats in society and their super-powered poodle Superman, and in 1990's Give Me Liberty, his heroine, Martha Washington, fights her way out of the ghetto to take on the corrupt corporations who rule a future America. His characters seem, on the surface, to share many of the aims and ambitions of the members of the movement he's slamming.

But unlike his contemporary Alan Moore, Miller has always been more two-fisted in his deconstruction of the superhero. Whereas Moore's representations of his flawed heroes were always about the people behind the masks, Miller's broad brushstrokes seem to me to be more about the ideology of the all-American hero – and the freedoms of the individual weighed against those of the many.

Revisiting The Dark Knight Returns, it's altogether possible to conclude that Miller's super-gritty, ultra-violent Batman isn't fighting for social justice at all. He's been forcibly retired and doesn't like it. His world has problems of street violence and out-of-control youths, and he himself has no confidence that society can fix itself. So he turns vigilante, taking matters into his own hands: instead of fighting gaudy villains, he takes on the government, and ultimately assembles his own private army of disenfranchised youths to ensure his dreamed-of Bat-Law is enforced upon Gotham's streets. It makes you wonder what the idealistic young Batman of Miller's work almost a quarter of a century ago would make of it all.
Meanwhile, author David Brin has responded by writing a critique of what he views as Miller's anti-democratic messages, as exemplified in his graphic novel 300.

David Brin wrote:
Well, well. I’ve been fuming silently at Frank Miller for a years. The time’s come, so get ready for steam! Because the screech that you just read – Miller’s attack on young citizens, clumsily feeling their way ahead toward saving their country – is only the latest example of Frank’s astonishing agenda. One that really needs exposure to light....

For one thing, “300″ gave all credit to the Spartans, extolling them as role models and peerless examples of manhood. Adorably macho defenders of freedom.

Uh, right. Freedom. Sorry, but the word bears a heavy burden of irony when shouted by Spartans, who maintained one of the worst slave-states ever, treating the vast majority of their people as cattle, routinely quenching their swords in the bodies of poor, brutalized helots… who are never mentioned, even glimpsed, in the romanticized book or movie. Indeed, the very same queen who Frank Miller portrayed as so-earthy, so-kind, was said to be quite brutal with a whip, in real life.

Miller’s Spartan warriors honestly and openly conveyed the contempt for civilians that was felt across the ages by all feudal warrior castes. An attitude in sharp contrast to American sympathies, which always used to be about Minuteman farmers and shopkeepers – citizen soldiers – the kind who bravely pick up arms to aid their country, adapting and training under fire. Alas, Frank Miller’s book and movie “300″ ridiculed that kind of soldier...

... even though the first invasion by Persia, ten years earlier – under Xerxes’s father – had been defeated by just such a militia army... from Athens... made up of farmers, clerks, tradesmen, artists and mathematicians. A rabble of ill-disciplined "brawlers" who, after waiting in vain for promised help from Sparta, finally decided to handle the problem alone. On that fateful day that citizen militia leveled their spears and their thin blue line attacked a professional Persian force many times their number, slaughtering them to the last man on the legendary beach of Marathon....

I might have just sat and glowered, if they simply omitted the Athenians. But to sneer at them and call them effeminate cowards? After Athens’ citizen soldiers accomplished epic triumphs the Spartans never imagined and that they would never, ever come remotely close to equaling? At battles whose names still roll off our tongues today? Achieved by the same kind of “cincinnatus” militias that propelled both Republican Rome and the United States to unparalleled heights, during their time of vigor?

The kind of soldiers who make up our U.S. military today! Citizens-first, despite their vaunted professionalism....

No, this is not just artistic license. Expressed repeatedly – with the relentlessness of deliberate, moralizing indoctrination – “300″ idolizes the same arrogant contempt for citizenship that eventually ruined classical Greece and Republican Rome, and that might bring the same fate to America.
Democratic socialism is the hope of human freedom.

Last edited by Sci; November 16 2011 at 11:30 AM.
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