For the People

I learned this week that a seventeen-term US Representative from Texas—the oldest living member of Congress, was turfed out of his seat. I was horrified.  

I am not horrified that a millionaire Tea Party candidate with beliefs that most certainly clash vehemently with my own won the primary, and, in a gerrymandered, middle-class, Caucasian district in a restricted-voting state like Texas, will more-than-likely go to the Capitol next year to vote on a straight party line and may or may not grandstand while doing it. 

I am horrified that a ninety-one-year-old white man has been sitting in that seat since I was four. I’m upset that, when this man was my age, segregation was legal, and there was no such thing as Medicare. Women had the right to vote for only five years before this man was born. He has been a politician for sixty-four years. During his political career, he has been a CEO and a bank chairman and a corporate lawyer and We the People of the United States have the audacity to call him a “representative.” 

He is not unique. Our government is made up of entrenched millionaires being fed by millionaires, regardless of whether an (R) or a (D) follows their name.  

I am exhausted and cynical and, as long as someone like Ralph Hall’s primary challenger can spend $400,000—money that would take the average American about eight years to earn—of his own money to get himself elected, I have no hope of it getting better. 

Comics of Errors

I am done with DC Comics. 

What did it for me was their offering for Free Comics Day, an annual event where publishers create a title to hook new readers. For example, Marvel released a Guardians of the Galaxy book to get the attention of anyone interested in the movie. 

DC released one in which Batman Beyond, a character created for a cartoon show aimed at children (and adults, but mostly children), has to fight against the cyborgs decorated with the horribly mutilated corpses of beloved superhero icons. The specific image that broke my back features Black Canary, whose head and face have been sewn to the chest of Frankenstein for use as a weapon. 

And that’s it for me. I’m done. 

I’m done because, after their big mega-crossover events like “Final Crisis” and “Countdown” and “Blackest Night” and “Injustice: Gods Among Us” and now this “Futures End” thing, I am sick of seeing shock deaths, dismemberment, and rape of well-known characters because that’s edgy or something. Also, the Joker ripped off his face and stapled it back on because he is also edgy. 

I’m done because I can’t read a title without it being interrupted by one of these mega-crossover events every few months, and I’m not willing to invest in all these books to follow the story. 

I’m done because they’ve adopted a house art style that makes all the artists kind of boring and interchangeable. 

I am done because their TV animation department canceled the smart, popular Young Justice and Green Lantern: the Animated Series to revisit the Teen Titans—except even more hyperkinetic now—as well as another Batman series, because the former didn’t appeal to the young, male demographic who buy toys. 

I’m done because I kind of hate all the new Jim-Lee-designed costumes. 

I am done because DC’s live-action movies and TV shows* are joyless, monochrome, and just soullessly destructive. Likewise, their animated movies, like Green Lantern: First Flight (i.e. Training Day with magic rings) and Wonder Woman (i.e. the goddamn Wonder Woman), were once clever and exciting, but are now adaptations of ultra-violent Batman or Batman-worshiping graphic novels with endless blood-splatter and death (there were eye-gougings in the last two, and a full-body, third-degree-burn-causing electrocution in the one before that–all taking place onscreen).** 

I am done because they won’t do a live-action film of the most recognizable super-heroine in the world, but are instead giving her a glorified cameo in what we all know will be a movie about Batman beating up Superman (because apparently that’s edgy too). 

I’m done because awesome, diverse legacy characters like the Hispanic Kyle Raynor and Jaime Reyes, the Asian Ryan Choi, and the African-American John Stewart have been replaced and upstaged by their presumed-dead white-guy predecessors. 

I’m done because Starfire, who potential fangirls met as a quirky, adorable, tough kid through the Teen Titans cartoon***, became a sex-toy who can blow up tanks. Likewise, bureaucratic badass (How many times can you use that to describe anyone?) Amanda Waller went from CCH Pounder to Halle Berry, and Harley Quinn went from wearing a cute-but-sexy body-stocking to a corset. 

I’m done because DC these days seems to stand for Dudebro Comics, and that’s just not my thing. 

_____ 

* I am a huge fan of Arrow, FYI. Dark doesn’t mean bad; it just doesn’t mean good by itself. 

** One of my favorite movies in 2012 was The Raid: Redemption, which featured the most creative use of both a door frame and a fluorescent light bulb. What I’m trying to say is that I’m not squeamish, just exhausted. 

*** Yes, I know how scantily clad and sexual she was during the Wolfman/Perez era, but I also know she had a personality back then.