September 28, 2010

Grandmothers don't like radical advocacy?

Recently I proposed doing a comic book about the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. This comic would let them share their message of healing and reconciliation with today's youth.

This proposal led to the usual tiresome debate with Michael Cooke:Please explain your thesis? The 13 grandmothers are cool and could be used to good effect in a comic from the point of view of telling a good story. But the idea young people are especially drawn to do-good grandmothers--I wish it were true, but I'm a skeptic. Sell me.The grandmothers could produce an educational comic without worrying about whom it appeals to. But if they want to appeal to kids, I think they'd need some youth-oriented characters to complement the wise elders. I'll urge that kind of approach if we get that far.Well, the context I could use the 13 grandmothers is relevant to a meta storyline [about an animal character named Ithacat]. ... If anyone can get him to accept himself as a 'sacred animal' and have self esteem as such, the 13 grandmothers fit the bill! But I'm concerned because the comic is not meant for young readers and it does have a lot of contentious political content that I don't preach with (I leave readers to their own conclusions).I'm guessing the 13 grandmothers wouldn't approve of your gay or Satanist themes. But what kind of approval do you want? Just make up a fictional version of the grandmothers if you want to use them as a one-time plot device.

You could write them and ask them for their approval. You'd have to submit your script to them, of course. But how would it help you if they happened to approve?

Grandmothers and Sodomight?The comic is unusual because it is a fantasy but also grounded in reality, I'm thinking of it as an alternate reality co-existing with ours, so the 'actual' grandmothers would be preferable to use as characters.

I would only use them for one story, and the story as yet is undefined, if I can find pro native right angle for a story of course I'll use that.

In issue 4-5 the one Satan/gay plot is like so:

The one story featuring satanic elements (also features the gay character) is about a husband kidnapping his daughter from his ex-wife and her same sex partner, who evokes demons to ward off the police and accidentally brings on the end of the world--Sodomight turns back time to give Ithacat a chance to save the world, but Sodomight can't help more because the time travel has upset his sense of causality and driven him insane temporarily.

The Ithacat comic is like PG-13, it will feature no depiction of graphic sex or gratuitous violence--but those things may be implied.
Demons and a character named Sodomight might be a problem. Especially with the grandmothers' religious and spiritual focus. I doubt they'd approve something that was inconsistent with their beliefs.Well it's not an issue with the story they would be featured in, as that wouldn't require those elements. Because of my chaos magic background, there will be no consistent model of almost anything--the comic will pose questions more than answers.

Even with the demons, because the insanity experienced by Sodomight actually helps him master his powers in the long run, it's not clear if they really posed a threat to the world or if they, like 'demons' of Buddhism, played their part so that Sodomight can be a better hero and Ithacat can build some self esteem.

That said, I'm Gay, if they don't want to have anything to do with me because of my sexuality, I will not work with them and I no longer want to.

But I do condemn you for suggesting the grandmothers are anti-gay because I believe you are guessing and it is a deplorable thing to accuse someone of without knowing it for a fact. I expect their spiritual beliefs serve to enlighten them and that such bigotry is beneath them.
Avoiding controversy = opposing gays?!

I "condemn" you for wasting so much time explaining your comics when I can't tell you more than "you'll have to ask them." Talk about someone who seems desperate to justify his position...!

I'm confident the grandmothers aren't anti-gay. As you may recall, however, I read one of your online comics when we first started talking. It may have featured Sodomight. I also read your comics back in APA-5. From what I've seen, I doubt the grandmothers will want to have anything to do with your controversial, in-your-face brand of pro-gay advocacy.

These people come from traditional cultures, and they don't talk about gay issues on their website. Based on what I know about you and about them, I'm giving you my best guess. If I was sure, I wouldn't use phrases like "I doubt." Therefore, it's a waste of time to talk about this too.I'm a creative guy, I'm thinking you feel that I'd embarrass you if I contacted this group, so I won't. I'll come up with a better solution.

I am not certain you're no homophobe though.

Think about this turn of phrase: "controversial in your face advocacy of Native American rights"--as if that's a negative thing.

Bring up advocacy of gay rights as a negative again and I'll know exactly where you stand.

Good luck to your comic venture Rob, sincerely. Even if this is the end of our friendship.
You can contact them all you want if you don't drop my name into the mix. Since they barely know me, I don't want to confuse them about my association with you.

Are you familiar with the American Indian Movement, Ward Churchill, and other leftist Indian activists? (Or "Indian," in Churchill's case.) They're the type who will flat-out say Americans are racists, "little Eichmanns," and genocidal maniacs. They'll denounce moderates as Uncle Toms or hang-around-the-fort Indians. They'll write "AmeriKKKa" instead of "America." Etc.

They're what I think of when you write "controversial in your face advocacy of Native American rights." And I absolutely would say the same thing. I doubt the grandmothers would want to have anything to do with AIM's controversial, in-your-face brand of pro-Native advocacy. I'm not sure, but that's my best guess.

If you're too dense to get the point, it has nothing to do with the value of gay or Native advocacy. It's about the grandmothers being a moderate spiritual organization with no strong stances on political or cultural issues. Not that I can see, anyway. Nothing about abortion, gay marriage, Leonard Peltier or Mumia Abu-Jamal, etc.

Given your utter failure to address my points--my knowledge of your past work and the grandmothers' work--I couldn't care less if you think I'm homophobic. Clearly you were too stupid or lazy to engage in a serious argument, so you simply labeled me. Great tactic if you're in kindergarten, but not persuasive to anyone else.

Mike doesn't know Rob

You're too dense too "know exactly where I stand" based on this thread. You have an amazing ability to ignore the evidence in front of your face (e.g., multiple pro-gay Facebook postings) and jump to unwarranted conclusions.

Here we see your anti-intellectual idiocy in action. I've written about gays dozens, maybe hundreds, of times. You don't know jack about any of these writings and you won't get off your fat ass and read them. Instead, you're ready to assume I'm a homophobe based on your stupid misunderstanding of my point in this one posting.

Incredible, and incredibly asinine. Since you're earned the label of a stupid jerk, I'm calling you one once again. Learn to read, dumbass, so I don't have to explain my position on gays again.

You can start educating yourself about my views here:

Homosexuality isn't a choice
Historical antecedents of gay marriage

Finally, I'm not certain you're not bigoted against Native Americans. So we're even.

Comment:  For more tiresome debates with Cooke, see Star Trek vs. Star Wars and Educating Cooke About Confirmation Bias.


Anonymous said...

Re: Explaining comics, it doesn't work. True art doesn't require explanation; indeed, according to Death of the Author, the audience is supposed to have their own interpretation.

Satan is an interesting character. You can have him be evil (playing the God vs. Satan thing straight), rebel against a tyrannical deity (inverting it, since most Americans like rebels anyway), or simply turn him into Starscream (in which case both God and Satan are evil). But as a rule, it's been done. A lot.

Sodomight...Oh, God, change the name. That would be like calling him Rump Ranger or Anal Avenger. No, not kid-friendly at all. And it's easy to write kid-friendly homosexuality; Japan does, to the point that Shinji and Kaoru's relationship is just about the only kid-friendly thing about Neon Genesis Evangelion. Of course, everything but Eva gets Macekred into "friend" or "cousin".

"I wanted to be called Supervolt. Aquaman came up with Black Vulcan. I said 'Why don't we just call you Whitefish?'" -Black Vulcan

Rob said...

Even if the grandmothers support homosexuality, I doubt they'll come out in favor of sodomy. That's basically what Cooke's asking them to do with a character named Sodomight.

Cooke said his comic is the equivalent of a PG-13. I don't even have to know why it's PG-13 to guess the grandmothers would consider it too risqué.

I agree with you about kid-friendly comics. That's about what I think the grandmothers would approve: a G-rated comic without sex or violence.