Monday, September 14, 2015


My New Bleeding Cool Article: Why Prez Is The Most Necessary Mainstream Comic Out Right Now.

No mainstream comic has more to say than DC Comics' Prez; a true gem of a comic; I was happy to write about it for Bleeding Cool.

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I wanna hear about your Go-Bots reboot idea!

About "Prez" ... you make a great case for it, but I don't think I can possibly be the audience. Every single day, I see a real-world political system that is equal parts farce and idealism, and that's heartbreaking enough. We have a system that doesn't require all that much upkeep -- stay informed, vote every so often -- and even so that's too much for most people. And the people who most want the system to change are very often the people who feel that doing the work is beneath them.

Reality is already surreal and tragic enough for me. I think Congressman Barney Frank (one of the most talented, dedicated, and outspoken politicians we've ever seen) said it all in comments to Rachel Maddow about the OWS crowd, most of whom don't vote:


[S]imply being in a public place and voicing your opinion in and of itself doesn’t do anything politically. It is the prerequisite, I hope, for people getting together and voting and engaging things.

And I understand some of the people on Occupy Wall Street are kind of critical of that. They think that’s conventional politics.

Well, you know, the most successful organization in America in getting its views adopted is the National Rifle Association. They are in many cases a minority. But in addition to everything else they do, they very effectively identify who the members of the Congress are, the legislatures and vote for them.

So, as I said, I welcome the Wall Street energy. I don’t agree with everything some of the people say. I agree with the general thrust of it. But it’s not self-executing. It has to be translated into political activity if it’s going to have the impact. And – you know, I would just say, the last thing, we had an election last year in which people who disagree with them, and disagree with me and with you, got elected.

I want to be honest again here. I don’t know what the voting behavior is of all these people, but I’m a little bit unhappy when people didn’t vote last time blame me for the consequences of their not voting.
That's what makes this comic so great is that she's responding to the apathy. Mostly her own.

She knows she's not qualified but she has this insane opportunity to make change happen and she's too young to know how awful the whole thing can be.

I find it pretty fascinating, to be honest.

Especially as I read this in a new election cycle in my my hometown, Washington DC.
Maybe it'll work out to be a tale of how Corndog Girl learned to love government, a la Goldie Hawn in "Protocol". In which case perhaps I'll be able to warm to it.

But I spend about 10% of my time on the Internet talking about comic books, and 90% yelling at people about politics. And most of the yelling I do consists of: "If you don't like where the country is going, why didn't you vote in 2010 or 2014?" and "If you don't show up on Election Day and the bad guys win, how is that anyone's fault but yours?" I am completely burned out on tolerating apathy; but that's my damage and I can't fault anyone for being less damaged.
The businesses have convinced younger folks that voting changes nothing so, why bother?

Meanwhile, the older generation shows up to push their agendas forward. They've convinced so many people that the abdication of their rights is a choice and it is sad.
I am so not clear on whether you're talking about the comic, real life, or both.

In real life, I say (and remember I have zero remaining tolerance for apathy) that people choose the "voting doesn't matter maaaaaan, if it could change anything it would be illegal" stance because it is the easiest, laziest way to see one's self as smarter than all the sheeple out there. It also depends upon people being just content enough with their lives that they don't feel there is genuinely anything at stake, and elections have no more impact than the winner of "American Idol". In other words, so lazy that they're not even willing to use their imaginations or even open their eyes, yes I've gotten very bitter in my old age.

There is a big exception to this, and that is groups that the system has routinely and systematically failed; I can't fault members of those groups from feeling there's no point in trying. I happen to be a straight white guy who grew up under a major Christian sect; there is no reason for someone in my shoes to pretend the system is not responsive to me, when the system was pretty much built to cater to me. I may be stepping into sensitive territory here and I would be very much interested in your thoughts, though I can understand if you wouldn't want to go there. Suffice it to say that I can see how voting might seem a sham to someone whose comfort society wasn't built around.
Very much talking about reality.
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