This may seem a little bit irreverent in light of what is going on in Ferguson, I mention it because it seems to be a little bit indicative of a toxic mindset.
A while back, after seeing peaceful protests all over the world ignored by the supposedly leftist media, I wrote a comic book called the Movement.
It was a superhero comic, of a sort, put out by a mainstream publisher and clearly meant to be an action/adventure comic, rather than a deathly serious political tract.
However, despite the powers and costumes, it had a few themes up front; economic disparity, the pervasiveness of classism and racism, the danger of militarizing the police force, and the deliberate marginalization of young people’s attempts to enact change for the better.
The odd thing about the book was people who would review it and critique it had a theme, too. That these problems were ‘over,’ and all linked to the Occupy movement, and thus the themes of the book were ‘dated’ and ‘obsolete.’ Somehow, pretending that these things belonged to one particular protest was absolutely essential to nearly every news story done about the book.
You could sell the scorn by the pound. These people who did stories on the book had their noses so far in the air, and were so rich with entitlement, that a comic that dealt with these things (instead of, say, alien invasions or jewel heists) was somehow ‘jumping on a bandwagon’ and ‘no longer relevant’ at the same time.
That’s fine, you expect that, people don’t want to face unpleasant realities. I get that.
But every day one of these stories came out, every day, there was a story in the news about an unarmed POC being killed by police, or a peaceful protest being met with a Draconian police response. Every single time. It got so odd, I figured it was a bizarre coincidence.
But it’s not. It’s just that those things are so common they occur with far too much regularity.
I love comics. I am not an expert in politics.
But I do think we can have characters doing more heroic things than punching poor people in the face for a hundred issues.
This stuff is still happening. I get that superhero comics are escapism for most of us, including me.
But it’d be nice to see Superman stand up for the people of Ferguson, wouldn’t it?