Monday, October 3, 2011

Can Someone Get Me Off This Planet, Please? Episode # 1,793: White Guilt

So, I don't even know why I do this any more, but I'm looking at CBR and see that Comics Should Be Good decided to review all 52 of the new DC books.  I decided to take a peek mostly because I'm leaning toward trying out Supergirl but I'd like a couple of outside opinions before I plunk down the money for it.  Fine.

Greg Burgas reviews the books, and then at the bottom of each review, and I swear to you I'm not making this up, he fucking counts speaking parts for minority characters.  As though that were something any healthy human would be interested in.  As though that were something anybody wanted, needed.  As though that were beneficial in any way. 

Someday you'll atone, Greg
And just so you know, a couple of minorities get top billing, and the rest of us can go fuck ourselves, I guess.  If you're black, or hispanic, or have a uterus, or you're known to be gay - than you ma'am, are a precious commodity.  You get your own count.  Now, I'm a white guy, so I'm tallied as well, but not for the same reasons.  As usual, I'm the unspoken but well understood evil mastermind holding the rest of you back, which is why the counting is necessary, right? 

I'm pretty used to that bullshit, by the way, so that's not really what has me upset.  I just don't understand what the Burgas agenda is.  Was it mandated that way from an editor?  I guess he thinks somewhere out there Immanuel Kant is collecting karma tokens for him, and maybe this will help pay off some of the evil he was saddled with when he had the audacity to be born white.  Who can say?

I don't know if he recognizes how pointless, counter-productive, and ridiculous it is to spotlight a couple of sects worthy of our current pity and attention, while the rest get prodded into the "other" cattle car.  If you're Jewish?  Fuck you, your pain don't rate.  You're in the "other" box.  American Indian?  Nah, that's old news.  The ol' Trail of Tears goes in the "other" crate, with the rest of the has-beens of Pity City. 

How about fat people?  Nope.  Fuck you, too.  We're hyper focused on race, sexuality, and gender at the moment, so if you'd just be a sweetie and park your fat ass in the "other" box for now?  If you can fit, I mean.  Thanks.  Thanks so much.  I doubt Burgas was even counting fat people when he did his charting.  He must be a raging Body Typist, (insert horror here!) and I a very holy figure for mentioning it.  Yes, that sounds right.

The whole thing is so ludicrous, and tired, and weak, and banal, and is it getting us anywhere?  I think I could live with being The Real Bad Guy every day of my life if I thought it might make a difference.

Not Super - DCs rampant glassesism!
How about people with glasses?  I don't remember too many of those in my new 52s.  I guess Clark Kent does, but when he goes Super, he's glasses free.  Shit.... I wear glasses.  Does that mean that I'm not super?  Is DC telling me that I'm not super in their super secret agenda of hate and intolerance? Am I under-represented as well?  Could I... please be a victim, too, huh? HUH?   Please?  Please?  PLEASE CAN I?  I'd like to paint myself as a victim like everybody else, that sounds ever so healthy.

Let me get this straight.  The operating philosophy is that we'd like to create a world which recognizes only the sublime ineffable special snowflake inside of us, and leave that extraneous and superfluous skin stuff behind.  How shall we create that world?  I know - lets hyper-obsess over the extraneous and superfluous skins stuff, and count speaking parts for a handful of Premier Gold Club minorities!  That should work, right?  I mean, we didn't completely subvert our entire philosophy by jamming attention into the exact area we claim to disavow, did we?  Oh...we did?  Ah.  Shit.

You can't do that chart right, folks.  In order to do it right, you have to shed your crocodile tears for all the minorities, and what will become painfully obvious in the process is that everybody is a fucking minority for some reason or another.  Life sucks.  Things are tough all over.  You don't like it?  Good!  That's called....wait for it....being human.  I'm human, too.  I know that's hard to recognize over my vitriol and the fact that you've been trained from the cradle to hate me, and I've been trained from the cradle to hate myself.

It's not helping.  White Guilt sounds awfully good until you get to the fine print where it doesn't work.  DC isn't keeping you down, folks.  Can we let that ridiculous fantasy go, please?  In 2011, DC will give you whatever you will buy, in whatever flavor.  That's the truth.  Buy the books you like and stop making check marks and putting people into stupid boxes, will you?  You're killing me over here.  Yeesh.   

- Ryan


Nick said...

No that you mention it, I see a sever lack of follicly challenged America's in the new 52. The only bald guy is Lex Luthor, so DC assumes that all bald white men are evil?? DAMN YOU DC!!!

Anonymous said...

Generally speaking I believe this to be mostly an American problem. The overcompensating. We do it all the time, and not just with race. Every time we see or feel an injustice is being done we need to beat it to death, until there's a complete 180. People have to realize that you can't please everyone every time. In the most diplomatic way possible we should all just take turns. Take turns being the "bad" guy, take turns being the "good" guy. If the premise is really equality, then the slate should just be wiped clean and we as HUMANS should just move forward and stop wasting time worrying about what some redneck did to someone "back in the day". Was that insensitive to rednecks?

Mike in NY

Detroit Dave said...

I quit reading the article when I saw the speaking part tally after the first entry. Just absurd.

I'm a fat white guy who loves comics. So, obviously, the only characters I can relate to are Bouncing Boy, the Blob and...The fat Flash from back in the day.

I bet there are probably more fat people eating parts than speaking parts in the DCnU. How is this possible in this day and age?!

I fear for our future.

Web Wreckage Stephen said...

In some ways the gender focus does not end with CBR; Rich Johnston has taken it upon himself to keep posting updates on the percentage of women involved in any area of the production of current DC comic books. This might even be more of a relevant issue to cover than minorities in the actual comics themselves, but it still starts to feel like someone is obsessed with banging a drum - and especially against one publisher over another (which Johnston has been accused of recently).

Chronic Insomnia said...

Nick - I think you've definitely got a case there. That shiny pate just bought you a ticket to the "other" box. YAY, you can be a victim, too!

NY Mike - I think you're 100% right about the overcompensating phenomena. Getting it straight isn't good enough, there seems to be a psychological American need to over-correct in the opposite direction. On most everything.

I think the healing is a little more complicated than just letting "bygones be bygones". As an example, American slavery is a real bitch. Disgusting shit that obviously still maintains a very real trickle-down that exists today. I'll never deny, for example, that if I don't get a call-back for a job, or I don't get invited to the work party, I never have to worry about my skin color being the culprit. (It's simply because I'm an asshole) If you're black, that's a real cross you have to bear daily. And that's just a tiny sliver of the pain. It's real. I'll never deny that.

My thing is that the "solution" to the problem seems to boil down to "white males suck", which is not proving to be helpful, (at least not that I can see) and kind of an odd philosophy for folks who claim to celebrate all races.

Yes, I will admit, certain morons will not like you for stupid reasons. Certain morons didn't like Germans for good chunks of this country's history. (I'm of German/Scandanavian descent) Where's my eternal victim pass? Why am I held accountable? Listen, Frederick Douglas had to trick white kids into teaching him to read and write, because it was illegal. He had a case for bitching. Jackie Robinson couldn't eat at the same restaurant as his Dodger teammates. He had cause to bitch. In 2011, when Barack Obama is President, and Oprah Winfrey can buy Australia, I just can't get worked up about a lack of black speaking parts in The Flash unless somebody can show me something more substantial than this ghostly assumption that all white people are obviously bad. I'm kinda over that.

Chronic Insomnia said...

Dave - you can also relate to the Kingpin. Very white, fat, and evil. Unless you watch the movie, in which case he's a large black man. (But I thought our limited concept of culture couldn't allow for such racial diversity? Ah, shit, you mean this all overblown nonsense? Crap.)

Web Wreckage Stephen - you are exactly correct, sir, and I'm getting a little tired of those pie charts myself. Especially when the women creators cited as "missing in action" either had future projects lined up, or simply couldn't/wouldn't agree to the work when asked.

Even Vaneta Rogers was saying how completely over-hyped and exagerated that situation was on the latest edition of Word Balloon. But we'll continue to see it, because it makes for juicy copy and it makes us feel good to have a target. If we can only just pound white men enough, everything will be better. News Flash: it won't.

Nick said...

Next time you watch TV count the number of stupid white guy commercials. I bet you hit ten in a 1/2 hour.