Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ich bin ein otaku

New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane is always witty and often perceptive. That is, when he's talking about movies and books. I do wish he wouldn't review audiences. Actually "stereotype" might be a better word here.

In the opening paragraph he compares graphic novel fans to devotees of Wagner. But it's hard to imagine a New Yorker writer dismissing Wagnerians in such a heavy-handed manner, in part because you never know when they're carrying firebombs.

This is the part that really sets my teeth on edge.

“Watchmen,” like “V for Vendetta,” harbors ambitions of political satire, and, to be fair, it should meet the needs of any leering nineteen-year-old who believes that America is ruled by the military-industrial complex, and whose deepest fear—deeper even than that of meeting a woman who requests intelligent conversation—is that the Warren Commission may have been right all along.

Now, I haven't seen Watchmen, and I don't have many expectations of it. A lot of my friends, however, are in the expanded target demographic. You know, Trekkers, gamers, non-Scientologists who've read Battlefield Earth. And the thing is, a lot of these guys are husbands and fathers, and some are women. So the idea that anyone interested in Alan Moore must be pimply and terrified of girl cooties is demonstrably false. So the cocktail circuit insults are out of line.

I'm close to talking about "narrow social circles" and "elitist snobbery," but if Lane's article reduces me to the pseudo-populist rhetoric Karl Rove has gummed to mush, we all lose.


susan said...

I have it on good councel that some of those fans are well educated, rational, mature adults.

Ben said...

Believe it.

I have a general rule about not typing people of a certain group when I'm not familiar with said group. For example, I try here not to make blanket statements about fundamentalists, because I'm not in a megachurch or anything. If you're not talking to people, you don't know what they're sayiing to each other.