Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Here's a LiveJournal I Won't Be Reading

Actually, I wanted to title this, Here's a LiveJournal I Won't be Adding to My Friends List, but that seemed a bit long.

Anyway, here's the post that I found out about thanks to Ragnell. I could've signed into LJ and posted a comment there, but figured, why bother? I don't invite myself in where I'm clearly not wanted and I don't look for fights. But since it's making the rounds, I thought I should post my position on it, even though I also commented on The Written World about it.

Yes, I think it can be worse for a parent to see their child, the life they helped bring into the world, suffer. Yes, Babs was crippled, never to walk again, although she did pass up a turn in the Lazerous Pit a while back in BoP, but still, she (thanks to Ostrander and Yale, now that I know who to thank) found her inner strength, remade herself, and made a damned fine life for herself. And while she looks in the mirror and sees the legs that can no longer support her, she's still whole where it counts.

Whereas, Jim will always look at her and see his little girl in that chair, the little girl he swore to protect and love, who is in that chair because the Joker had a beef with him.

So yes, they both suffered, but my point was that to make this about some woman-hating writer doing bad things to yet another female character is to miss the point of the story. If only Jim had had a son instead of a daughter for the Joker to have shot, but then, folks would have decried the lack of female costumed characters, because it would've been Batboy, not Batgirl who would've been crippled.

Sheesh. Get a grip, people. I offer my opinions. I don't insult anyone about theirs. I simply disagree. Whether or not I'm a parent has nothing to do with what I enjoy reading. I write male characters being raped, back in my fanfic days and now in my original fic, but not the science fiction novel I'm working on. Maybe in the sequel. But that doesn't make me a man-hater. Really. I actually married one.

Anyway, thanks to Ragnell, and SallyP, and others who commented that the LJer was off-base with the personal comments. I abhor abuse of anyone. Fiction reflects life. The bad things are written up for a variety of reasons in fiction. And we read them for a variety of reasons. Doesn't mean we want life to be that way. And it doesn't make us bad people.

Geez, and I thought folks writing incest fic and mpreg* were weird, though I certainly would never call 'em on it. To each his/her own, as long as it stays on the page and isn't how they live their lives.

*mpreg = male pregnancy fic, quite popular with some people in the fanfic community. Right up there with emasculating men fanfic.


  1. I'm sorry that my response to you was thrown out into the blogosphere like that without even a link on your blog to tell you about it first. As the thing grew, I stuck it on my own page, then neglected to link back to you; that was careless.

    In my mind, I was trying to ask a question. To ask you--really, to ask you to ask yourself--if you saw the child as somehow a function of the parent, the woman as function of the man. There is a trope in literature that does exactly those things.

    It's quite a leap to claim that you see people in real life that way. But characters in literature are imaginary versions of persons, based on how we see people in real life. So I threw that out there.

    As I said, it was a creepy feeling, & out of the blue. It wasn't something I could prove, just a hunch. If I got you wrong, fine, I got you wrong. I have no intention of spreading lies about you & your family.

    I do commonly say, with fewer qualifiers, far, far worse--about comic book editors, or, say, the UK's social mores. As I did in that piece. So feel free to consider me a jackass, 'cos I am. I shoot from the hip, I don't always catch myself in time to pull my punches, & sometimes I really don't want to.

    You seem to me to be defending the literary trope that supporting cast are there basically to provide trouble for the protagonist. I find this annoying when it comes to a comic-book universe, where there is not only one protagonist, for there are many stories to tell. And in general, it bespeaks a sort of odd way of looking at human beings, wherein some people are "stars" & others are more or less "props," even if beloved props.

    Am I sorry for challenging that? No. I'm sorry for doing it badly.

    The Killing Joke is an old pet peeve of mine, & I can rant for hours about it. And when I rant about something, I get very emotional, & tend to compress a lot of technically distinct things together, irrationally.

    In short, I can range from griping about the characters in their "secondary reality" to griping about the artist, the editors, or whatever else grabs my thoughts (retailers, fans, whoever set me off...) in a single breath. That's bad form.

    I'm sorry.

  2. You're entitled to your opinions, so no apology is necessary, Philip. I'm more bemused than annoyed. I'm 54 years old. I don't get insulted much anymore. I don't get offended much anymore. I take most things with a grain of salt.

    I think bringing up personal issues when discussing works of fiction is bad form. I wouldn't do it. I have no say in what other people do or how they discuss things.

    I think your question is irrelevant to The Killing Joke, which is why I choose to not answer it.

    I've long ago realized that my reading taste, my writing habits, and how I view the real world are separate entities. You have no clue what my life is like. I could have been abused as a child. And while it can be interesting to know where someone is coming from emotionally when forming opinions about others and their opinions, I don't give a shit. It's the behaviorist in me coming out. I mostly ignore it, but in some instances, I find that way of looking at things to be useful.

    I was a psych major with 15 grad credits in psych. I'm not a no-nothing when it comes to matters of the psyche.

    That I have no problems with violence in fiction is my business. If I thought The Killing Joke was advocating shooting up women and crippling them, then I'd have a problem with it. I saw it as tale about a horribly psychotic villain and the lengths he'd go to for his vengeance. I saw a woman cut down because of who her father is and I saw that father emotionally tormented by being unable to protect his beloved daughter. The anguish of a parent, IMO, CAN (not a given, but simply a possibility) be more traumatic. I was making a point and perhaps overempahsized it. But I write these posts, and my comments, on the fly. I don't agonize over the wording. Same as I would open my mouth and let words tumble out in conversation.

    My opinions stand. They are, after all, my opinions. Everything I felt I needed to say was in the post and the follow-up. I do not feel the need to explain further, simply because you or anyone else tries to make it personal, as to how I'd feel if it was my daughter. I can hate what happened to Babs in the story, and still think the story was well done.

    You still seem fixated on as you say "But characters in literature are imaginary versions of persons, based on how we see people in real life" which is so not the point. In real life, I'd want no one to get hurt. No wars. No rape. No murder. No car accidents. No bombings. No plane crashes. Etc, etc, etc. But life is NOT like that. And as long as things like rape, shootings, etc exist, they are fodder for writers. And we'll just have to agree to disagree as to when those writers do a good or bad job with it.

    I thought about commenting on the rest of your comment, but it started getting rather tedious. This isn't a writing blog, nor is it a writing clinic. My views on supporting characters, literary tropes, ad nauseum are not worth discussing here. You have your opinion. I have mine.

  3. Check out my recent blog entry on this. Short and simple and to the point.