Dick Hyacinth on “Ten Reasons Why American Children Should Not Be Allowed to Read Comics”
Dick Hyacinth’s blog, Dick Hates Your Blog, is, according to Hyacinth, “Everything you hate about comics-related internet content, filtered, magnified and supplemented for your convenience.” In other words, it’s Graeme McMillan’s Fanboy Rampage done for comic book blogs. I think it is a lot of fun. For his guest spot, Dick is sharing with us “Ten Reasons Why American Children Should Not Be Allowed to Read Comics.”
TEN REASONS WHY AMERICAN CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO READ COMICS
1. Comics are stupid, and make you stupid. They rot your brain. If you don’t think this is problematic, it might be too late for you. Just think of the most beloved era of Superman comics-the high Weisenger years, when Jimmy Olsen was forever doing stupid things like turning himself into a fish because he was using a special Kryptonian fishing pole, or turning himself into a giant parrot because he ate Kryptonian crackers. These comics were written for children-particularly unsophisticated and dull children at that-but you’d think they were Shakespeare (or even Stephen King!) from the way people speak of them today. If you like them, you’re likely pretty unsophisticated and dull yourself. It’s probably too late to change this now, so feel free to keep reading drivel like Superman or Blankets. But we really should limit our children’s exposure to that kind of trash, especially during the formative years when their brains are like soft, leaky sponges.
2. Comics aren’t doing enough to convince kids that violence isn’t cool, and yet they might not be doing enough to convince kids that violence is cool. What is our future as a nation? Leading futurists see two possibilities. The first is a Mad Max-type world, in which the young rule over the old, enslaving them for work in spice mines. (The tragedy here is that the children of the future, while handy with a whip, are too stupid to realize that spices come from mercantile vessels with names like Fortune’s Wind rather than subterranean caves.) The other possibility is a global fascist dictatorship controlled by some foreign boogeyman (the current favorite is China, followed by a unified Europe; India is a fast-rising boogeyman of the future). If comics tell our children that violence is cool, we might find ourselves chipping away at a cavern wall in a futile search for cumin. If comics persuade our children that violence isn’t cool, the Chinese might have us building space railroads for them as a form of ironic punishment. Neither is an appealing prospect. Better to take out the X-Factor (literally!).
3. We can finally quit pretending to care about Marvel Adventures and Johnny DC. This will free up more time to think about what important alterations to continuity are occurring in the pages of Ion.
4. Kids mess up comics. I know I did as a child. When I was nine years old my father gave me permission to read his vast trove of Silver Age comics, mostly Marvel (because college students in the 60s all thought Stan Lee was a righteous messiah-like figure). But I did so much damage to them that the average grade dropped from VG to G. I told him that I was willing to work off the difference, but instead he made me tear up each and every comic, which we then converted into papier-mÃ¢chÃ© bricks. We used these bricks to build a bomb shelter, which mostly served as my detention cell when I misbehaved. Sometimes I deliberately put out the wrong table settings just so that I could spend a few hours in solitary confinement. I couldn’t make out any images in the papier-mÃ¢chÃ© bricks, but the wonderful, musty smell still lingered.
5. Now we can finally see our favorite characters naked. Kaare Andrews gave us a taste of this, and now we want more. Much more. I’m not asking for explicit sex scenes-yet. But if comics are ever going to be a mature medium on par with video games, we need to see Wonder Woman’s breasts.
6. Comics create an unhealthy and possibly misogynistic image of the feminine form, a danger to both girls and boys. Female characters fare poorly at Marvel and DC-they are far more likely than their male counterparts to suffer rape, murder, disempowerment, and various other indignities. Boys who read these comics are more likely to think of women as submissive damsels in distress or mentally/emotionally broken sex objects. The few young women who bother with these Marvel and/or DC might contend with body image issues and other psychological problems. We can blame all of this on a misogynistic industry whose leading figures have never really “known” any women, if you know what I mean. (WINK, WINK.)
7. Comics are gay, and make you gay. Americans aren’t reproducing fast enough. We need a steady stream-maybe even a flood-of pregnancies if we want to have enough warm bodies available to fight in future wars of conquest. We could mandate pregnancies, using modern technology to ensure continued production of baby materiel, but this would mean fewer resources allocated to producing non-baby materiel. In order to ensure another millennium of American Centuries, we must rely on natural reproduction, even though it’s icky and gross.
For those of you who doubt that comics promote a homosexualist agenda, you aren’t spending enough time reading patriotic anti-comics blogs. These blogs reveal, via scans of selected comic panels, that comics are part of a homosexualistic-Euro-Chinese-spice mining conspiracy to weaken the American military. Our proud bloggers are carrying on the tradition of Dr. Frederick Wertham; they are a cherished national resource. Read them and learn the horrible truth about comics.
Oh, and for those wondering, I would favor legislation requiring citizens to sire or bear at least two (2) children before being permitted to read comics.
8. Keeping our children out of comics stores keeps them safe from the perverts like Gordon Lee, and also maybe Mike Diana (remember him?). Whatever happened to Mike Diana anyway? He was a promising cartoonist-such a skilled draftsman.
9. If children learn to love Peter David, it might lead to the collapse of human civilization. I know what you’re thinking-there’s no way in hell this will ever happen. But did you know that if even 5% of children between the ages of 6 and 16 became Peter David fans, it could lead to the collapse of the global economy and civilization as we know it? Scientists estimate that in 2005, Peter David incorporated an average of 1.24 Star Trek references in every page he wrote. In 2006, that number rose to 1.89 references. Some are predicting a rate as high as 2.56 by the end of the year. If this trend continues, scientists estimate that Peter David’s dialogue will consist of nothing but Star Trek references by 2011.
If even a small minority of children were to become Peter David fans, the results could be catastrophic. Star Trek references might become a “language virus,” altering the way America’s youth communicate. Everyday conversation would deteriorate into nonstop, word-for-word recitations of Star Trek episodes. Global communications would grind to a kitschy halt, as would productivity and research. Soon we could all be mining cave walls for tumeric, while cruel adolescent slave drivers taunt us with cries of “Live long and prosper,” and “May the force be with you.”
The danger is minimal, but the consequences are severe.
10. You’re going to die eventually, at which point you probably won’t care whether or not children read comics anymore. You can plan for the future by ignoring this problem today. This will give you more time to complain about Civil War online, especially if you’re going to do so by scanning pages of it and changing the dialogue in Photoshop.