Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fifteen All (A Revised Reply To Brad Weber)

Yesterday, I found a comment on this blog by Brad Weber rebutting my post earlier made this week addressing a recent article about comics pariah Dr. Frederic Wertham, and his impact on the medium.

In response, I rattled off a reply on Brad’s blog last night, one I still largely stand by.

However, after taking my time to rethink both Brad’s position on Wertham (see above links) and my own, I wrote the following clarification today:

Dear Brad:

The point I was (perhaps too casually) trying to make in my post about Wertham is that the period sensibilities which enabled his moral crusade against an apparently leztastic Wonder Woman in 1954 have today been neutered by a far more liberal (read as, post-1960s) mainstream American culture.

Thus, as McCarthy is now widely considered a ideologue crackpot for chasing pinko wild geese during the same era, Wertham is as much an intellectual daisy today for his misadventures in logical thinking made in Seduction (e.g. “Johnny reads comics. Johnny starts fires. Therefore, comics cause Johnny to start fires”).

Now granted, the disdain levied against constitutional freedoms by McCarthy--and others like him during the ‘50s—are still relevant, as those carried out by the Bush Administration today nearly as grave. But my comparison, were the second coming of Frederic Wertham to come along in 2008, he’d be ignored by everyone in the popular culture except, say, Bill O’Reilly.

Sure, we’ll always have local imbeciles who protest books by Mark Twain and Alice Walker, but those individuals—whose rants are almost always inevitably rejected by their local school boards under ACLU pressure--are more the exception to how pop culture is regarded in this country than the rule.



1 comment:

Brad Weber said...

The prosecution is still considering a re-cross.

It’s a matter of not what to say but how to say it, and whether anything else need be said. There are numerous comics-related pissing matches soaking the interweb; I’m reluctant to spread the stain.

That being said, you well know it doesn’t take much to provoke me.

So, if I do post anything, it will likely be late tonight and will be my final word on the subject.