Monday, April 07, 2008

Nothing to blog about

I have nothing to share. I wish I did.

The weekend was slow. I haven't been feeling particularly great.

Jamie has been playing Mario Galaxies, and is much better at it than I (despite my attempts at coaching). Its interesting to see how two people will attack the same challenge in different ways.

I don't link nearly often enough to Sleestak's site, but here's a little bit of the way, way back machine. Paired with this post today from Occasional Superheroine, in which Valerie tries to figure out what women want in comics... Anyway, it wasn't that long ago that romance comics were being targeted at girls and young women, and a world which would make Betty Friedan's head explode was pretty much what they were selling.

Weird, no?

Way back when I was contributing to Comic Fodder, I posted on the topic of what women want in comics, and I admit... the answers were a little less concrete than what I would want as a market researcher. Could have something to do with women being a wide and diverse readership or something. And then young women getting creeped out when they visit comic shops and have to deal with the He-Man Woman hater's club-house atmosphere. I have no idea.

But at one point, the romance comics and comedy comics were selling. And it's interesting to note that manga brings both, whereas the average modern superhero comic is supposed to be grim'n'gritty for the most part, and therefore devoid of romance or humor, items which once drew in large numbers.

Also, you know, wider distribution channels when you could pick up comics at the drug store.

I've also been pondering a bit about the Warren Jeffs' commune interception by local authorities in West Texas.

For those of you not familiar, Jeffs led a community in Arizona, Colorado City, which was solely occupied by his followers. The community was comprised of a splinter group from the LDS, which still practiced polygamy, and tended to set up marriages between minors and dirty old men. As the minors were raised in the colony and told Jeffs was a prophet, they didn't know any different, and believed themselves to be doing God's bidding.

Colorado City came under fire in the first year or so when we'd moved to Arizona, and it was announced that Jeffs was buying land in West Texas and trying to rebuild his cult fantasy land in the Lone Star State. I had a good laugh at that.

Arizona has a sort of "go along to get along" sort of attitude. I guess its a weird side-effect of Goldwater conservatism, but people tend to stay out of each other's business to a much, much higher degree in AZ than folks tend to do in Texas. At least traditionally.

Jeffs managed to grab some extra media attention last year when he went on the lam and was arrested (and I think, convicted) for arranging marriages between unwilling teenagers and dirty old men. I imagine the folks of West Texas did not cotton to the idea of polygamist statutory rapists living nearby.

Well, it seems things have come to a head.

400 kids have been pulled from the West Texas compound. Whether El Dorado, Texas can absorb 400 kids raised in bizarro-polygamy-cult land into their foster care system remains to be seen.

If I seem uncharacteristically judgmental of the Jeffs followers, its because I consider them to be evil, evil bastards. Essentially Jeffs has found followers who managed to lay claim to the city government of a corner of Arizona, and were able to milk the system for years, use their official power to keep official power out, and had systematically set up a system to keep women/ girls uneducated and, essentially, as breeding stock. Further, I am deeply suspicious of what became of many of the young men of the community. If each man could have many wives, the math doesn't add up. And while some young men were run out of town... I'm just saying.

So if the El Dorado authorities seemingly overstepped their boundaries, in this case, maybe I understand. What was going on behind the walls of the compounds was not a secret. In fact, In Arizona it was very well known thanks to a few women who had escaped. (And I do mean escaped. These women were more or less free to stay and be happy, or... leaving was not really an option when you knew no one outside and were told Satan himself controlled the world outside the city).

I would like to hope that everything that has occured has been "by-the-book". Letting the Jeffs cult have any legal ground to stand on isn't any good for anybody, and many of the 400+ pulled from the community might now actually have a chance to have some say in their lives, not have their lives directed by cult leaders.

Anyhow, I'm tired. I'm going to bed.


Sleestak said...

Comic Books are Romance Soap Operas and have been for ages. Every story in even the strict Super Hero mags of the 60s, 70s and 80s was all about if someone really liked someone else. Spider-Man is still like that.

Go through old super hero comics and count the incidents of Love Angst vs Slugfest and I think you'll see the scale tip heavy on the romance side.

J.S. said...

You sure had a lot to say for someone who had nothing to say. ;)

The League said...

Well, I honestly find the Showcase Presents: Superman and Superman Family collections a lot of fun due to their "romantic comedy" aspect between Superman and Lois Lane. I certainly remember the romantic angst of comics in the 1980's (of, Kitty and Peter, you crazy kids!).

Comics could use more of the "everyday" side of life. I dig superheroic exploits, but in many ways, that's a given. While I don't need to see Bruce Wayne grocery shopping, I wouldn't mind seeing more of the fleshed out lives (love life and all) of many of DC's characters.

J.S. said...

By the way, does this whole cult prosecution thing mean that you're going to have to give up one of your two wives? I think Jamie was just getting used to having Nicole within your "circle of blessed matrimony".

The League said...

Well, to be fair, Nicole was an adult when she decided to join my cult. Alas, I have not been able to get her to give up all of her worldly possessions or sign over her paycheck.