The Thor Message Board >> View Post
·
Post By
Late Great Donald Blake
Moderator

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,460
In Reply To
Upper_Krust

Member Since: Fri Aug 21, 2015
Subj: a double debunking! (actually not a debunking here, just an attempt at a thoughtful response)
Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 at 04:47:24 pm EST (Viewed 88 times)
Reply Subj: Debunking your argument...
Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 at 06:23:53 am EST (Viewed 96 times)

Previous Post


    Quote:
    You are trying to say that someone cannot understand something unless they do it (at presumably the same level) themselves. Which is total nonsense. Extending your lack of logic to its extreme how can Donny write about Thor when he's never been an immortal super-hero himself?



    Quote:

    LGDB: lol I mean that's a fun comic analogy. But no. But IF immortals were real and existed in our world, and then regular mortals posted constantly about how to be the God of Thunder having no experience, know how etc, should be better at being God's, despite not knowing a thing about being a God, that'd be a closer analogy.


False analogy; you are assuming we have zero exposure to immortals when in comics terms we have 59 years of Thor material.

In terms of overall comic book stories we have almost a century of exposure.

In terms of storytelling itself we have millennia of exposure.


    Quote:
    My point is more that art and writing are ones of those things where people feel free to criticize publicly and mercilessly despite having no idea how to do it. And people free to do that because there's no pressure to be good or fair at being a critic. In our society now, critic means license to crap on things, and everyone's a critic.


Well certainly that's a byproduct of social media. But anonymity doesn't necessarily mean individuals can't make valid criticisms.


    Quote:
    When you let people who hate characters, write those characters, don't expect good things.



    Quote:
    LGDB: you can do whatever you want. My point isn't what people should have qualifications to express an opinion. My point is more about there being a disparity between how easy it is to criticize something even when you don't know how to do it, and have never risked doing it versus actually knowing how to do that thing.


But you don't know that I am not a writer? You don't know if I have created a comic book or not. So even under your criteria (which is completely elitist) you don't know my credentials.


    Quote:
    If you can make a good argument about something, I don't care if you're qualified (whatever that means) if the argument is good. My point here is about our character, our humility or lack there of, not our epistemology.


That's just a roundabout way of saying I shouldn't criticize someone (even though I am not, I am criticizing their stories measured against past stories) because I may not have 'walked a mile in their shoes'.


    Quote:
    I think the political argument here doesn't work. I think you make a good point that at some level my point about artists should also apply to politicians, in that I don't know what it's like to be one or know how hard it is to be one. But I think the difference is that as a citizen, you're going to be affected (often times at life and death stakes) by the consequences of political policy. So the citizen who criticizes the politician does so not on the basis


How is that different from being a fan of Thor and seeing the character (in my eyes) systematically deconstructed (which is modern code for ruined).

If someone grows up a fan of Star Wars, loving Luke Skywalker and then they see the hateful deconstruction of the character in the Last Jedi - then that fan is AFFECTED.


    Quote:
    of expertise or understanding of the process of politics, but instead on the basis of their being a stakeholder, i.e. they're going to suffer the consequences of bad politics. In contrast, no one is forcing us to read these comics, and if the comics don't come out to our liking we're not seriously affected by it.


If I have been reading Thor for almost 40 years and then new leadership at Marvel deems deconstructing Thor is fair game then yes I am affected by it because I am emotionally and financially invested in it for 75% of my entire life.

Which is of course directly the point of activist writers.


    Quote:

    Also, where are you getting the idea that these creators hate these characters? That seems very left field to me. I think Donny Cates is a self professed Thor fan.


When a writer stands for the complete opposite to the mantra of the character, yet still chooses to write that character (for the purposes of activism) and then deconstructs (ie. changes and ruins them) to the point that character is unrecognizable to the fan, then its hate.

For instance who would have guessed an admitted feminist atheist (Aaron) would make Thor unworthy and give his power, possessions and NAME to an undeserving mortal woman (and by undeserving I am referring to the old story where Odin makes Jane an immortal and she is literally found unworthy).



False analogy; you are assuming we have zero exposure to immortals when in comics terms we have 59 years of Thor material.

In terms of overall comic book stories we have almost a century of exposure.

In terms of storytelling itself we have millennia of exposure



LGDB: yeah, well living in a house for an entire lifetime doesn't make you qualified to build one or even evaluate properly its construction, but of course you're perfectly qualified to say if you like it or not.




Well certainly that's a byproduct of social media. But anonymity doesn't necessarily mean individuals can't make valid criticisms


LGDB: Agreed



But you don't know that I am not a writer? You don't know if I have created a comic book or not. So even under your criteria (which is completely elitist) you don't know my credentials


LGDB: That true. But to Norvell I said, if you are a writer let's see what you've written and we can compare. That would be an open invitation to anyone. Yourself included. And I think that could be really instructive. If someone's a really bad writer and they're criticizing a better one, it looks completely ludicrous, but when someone's not a writer whatsoever, we don't think that looks pompous. I find that pretty curious. And my criteria here isn't anymore elitist than saying medical professionals understand medical procedures far better than the general public, and that it's hard to become a doctor and be a doctor, and easy to watch Youtube clips online and espouse strong uninformed medical opinions. There are somethings that we believe require expertise (which is only meant to represent work and time spent) ; while other things we think by virtue of having an opinion we're an expert. Fooling ourselves that our preferences are grounded not in taste, but in authoritative understanding, which I think it's basically fraudulent. I'm saying that I think art criticism that is strong and definitive should have a high burden of proof, and critics on the internet want virtually no burden of proof. It seems unfair to me to have such a high standard for art, but to have such a low standard for people that contribute nothing to that art except the low price of admission and a lot of bluster.

I'm saying while there are difference of course, writing expertise is way more like medical expertise than internet critics would have it. Does this mean, a person who isn't a medical professional can't be right about a medical issue. Of course not. Just like of course a person that's not a writer CAN be right about a piece of writing. What would help I think is for you to subtract from your idea that I'm trying to say you need credentials to criticize writing, because I'm not. I'm saying criticism should be held to a higher standard if it presents itself as authoritative and shouldn't present itself as more than mere preference when that's all it is.





That's just a roundabout way of saying I shouldn't criticize someone (even though I am not, I am criticizing their stories measured against past stories) because I may not have 'walked a mile in their shoes.


LGDB: it's a round about way of saying what YOU'RE trying to say. It's a direct way of saying what I'm saying. You absolutely should criticize someone if you've got a criticism to offer. But that criticism I think should invite as much criticism in the public square as it doles out.



How is that different from being a fan of Thor and seeing the character (in my eyes) systematically deconstructed (which is modern code for ruined).


LGDB: Well for one your feeling like Thor isn't being written to your liking I think is pretty low on the priority list relative to people not having sufficient access to health care. But basically I think otherwise your analogy holds, which is to say that if you're not necessarily criticizing the writing so much as its effect on you that is similar to a political constituent complaining about the bad political effects (despite not necessarily understanding the political process.) So basically yes they're similar in principle, but what separates them is the nature and the severity of the consequences. Nature, as in you just not liking something versus it having an objectively or materially deleterious effect on your person or your life; and severity as in the relative severity of not liking a thing you read vs the pain of losing your home or losing a loved one.


If someone grows up a fan of Star Wars, loving Luke Skywalker and then they see the hateful deconstruction of the character in the Last Jedi - then that fan is AFFECTED.


LGDB: yeah I agree with this, or at least some of it. So I agree that fans have a right to hate something and not like it and bitch about it. And they are some what affected for sure. So perhaps surprisingly I don't think that fans have no right to complain about anything. And I actually find it annoying when writers suggest that fans are too attached to character; because ultimately the entire business runs on fans attachment to these characters. But many complaints, especially on this board still have to do with the personal feelings and preferences of a specific group of people, a group that doesn't necessarily speak for everyone else. So with Star Wars and lot of people like Star Wars, don't hate Luke, but still like what happened in the Last Jedi. ( wasn't one of them but what can you do?) Some people like deconstructions of characters, and I definitely disagree that a deconstruction of a character is meant as an attack or as a sign the writers hate the character.







If someone grows up a fan of Star Wars, loving Luke Skywalker and then they see the hateful deconstruction of the character in the Last Jedi - then that fan is AFFECTED.


If I have been reading Thor for almost 40 years and then new leadership at Marvel deems deconstructing Thor is fair game then yes I am affected by it because I am emotionally and financially invested in it for 75% of my entire life.

Which is of course directly the point of activist writers.


LGDB: Yeah I mean I definitely think you have a case to be mad. Basically relative to what you're saying here, my position is that writing can still not be objectively bad, but you can have a reason to not like it. The best example is that you can find some of the political content in it objectionable, while the execution of the writing is still basically sound. A lot of times fans don't like a change or a choice the company makes, and I think the fans distaste is totally warranted. And at any given time it's up for debate as to whether fans have a strong point and whether there's an actual organic fan backlash versus a loud minority of fans who have their own nonrepresentative axes to grind. Basically what I'm saying is that my position in this thread isn't that all fan criticism is without merit or in poor taste or bad faith.

But I think what complicates this is there some plurality here. So I've been reading Thor for a long time too and I've spent a lot of money as well. And you and I feel very different about what the comics should be like. Is Marvel just supposed to at any given time just publish stories by referendum? I suppose they do in some sense, which is to say they respond to the market, but as I've said, both Aaron's and Cates comics are good sellers, so more or less Marvel is just following the money. What I will say is that this writing, because of it's political undertones CAN be divisive, but I think that's just politics today. this isn't something that's starting with the comics, it's just something that's captured the culture. Things are overwhelmingly tribal, and there's less and less of a center to occupy. So while I agree the comics can be divisive, almost anything the comics go with is going to be divisive in that it's going to piss off half of the country, or at least the angry vocal minority voices on either side.

And I don't think they're activist writers. I mean you're calling them that because they espouse politics you don't agree with. I usually don't agree with Aaron's politics either for the record. But that doesn't make him an activist. Not different at least than most writers and artists. I think this is similar to when people say they were people political, and this usually just means, political... in a way I don't like.








When a writer stands for the complete opposite to the mantra of the character, yet still chooses to write that character (for the purposes of activism) and then deconstructs (ie. changes and ruins them) to the point that character is unrecognizable to the fan, then its hate.



LGDB: Well what do you think Thor's mantra is and what do you think these writer's mantras are? I mean certainly whatever Thor stood for as a mythological figure, and then a figure in ambient Western culture that absorbed him into various literary forms, and then Stan Lee's idea of what the character's about, down through the decades of comics and on to now... clearly that's changed quite a bit over time. So from my perspective what Thor stands for has changed over time; the writers chose to write Thor (or were assigned to) for a number of reasons none of which do we have any direct evidence they wrote it intentionally bad for a political purpose; Thor's not unrecognizable to most fans though like all characters he's changed over time. And even if all that was true, it could still likely be just a questionable reinterpretation and not hate.



For instance who would have guessed an admitted feminist atheist (Aaron) would make Thor unworthy and give his power, possessions and NAME to an undeserving mortal woman (and by undeserving I am referring to the old story where Odin makes Jane an immortal and she is literally found unworthy)


LGDB: Yeah, I do think you have a bit of a point here. Which is to say that much of Aaron's political and even cosmological perspective does have a tendency (especially in Thor) to seep into his storytelling. And if you're fundamentally opposed to those things I can definitely see not liking it it. You and I don't agree about those philosophical and political positions, but I agree if those are your commitments it's exceedingly difficult (I imagine) for you to enjoy his comics. I think that's totally legitimate. But my contention in this larger thread is that those considerations track far more to the criticism of writers like Aaron and Cates than an objective evaluation of the writing, at least most of the time. I don't conflate being a bad writer with being a competent writer whose writing has a strong political point of view.



cheers,
---the late great Donald Blake





Posted with Google Chrome 96.0.4664.110 on Windows 10
Alvaro's Comicboards powered by On Topic™ © 2003-2022 Powermad Software
All the content of these boards Copyright © 1996-2022 by Comicboards/TVShowboards. Software Copyright © 2003-2022 Powermad Software