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Post By
Menshevik

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,013
In Reply To
America's Captain 
Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,192
Subj: Re: What confuses me is...
Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 04:36:08 pm EST (Viewed 54 times)
Reply Subj: Re: What confuses me is...
Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 12:40:12 pm EST (Viewed 70 times)



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      The term "soap opera" doesn't tend to be associated with 'relevance' in storytelling. It has more of a history of being connected to personal entanglements and relationships. Sort of a drawn out drama or melodrama.



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    I see your point. Still, the things I most dislike reading about are sexual things - rape, child abuse, prostitution - which would fall in the realm of personal entanglements and (sometimes) ongoing relationships. I'm open to the use of some other word or phrase.


If your definition of child abuse only means sexual abuse of children you could have made that clear from the start.


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    I also dislike stories about severe power imbalances; I.e., oppression. Rape and child abuse (and in some cases prostitution) fall into this category. Helpless and hopeless... so bleak.


A bit strange really, since the superhero genre very often is about severe power imbalances. (And I think some aspects of this are relevant, especially when I reflect on how differently we've come to assess e.g. the actions of certain powerful telepaths etc. Back in the 1960s and 1970s readers and fans would probably not have used a term like "mind-rape", which nowadays is used quite often to label the unethical use of telepathy etc. (as you do further below with reference to the Purple Man).


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      Which, to me, makes your usage of Spider-Man perplexing. The soap opera aspects that Stan Lee injected are usually cited as the thing that truly helps define the character.



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    Oh definitely. But Spider-Man surely went decades without ever referencing rape, child abuse, or prostitution.


But that was mainly because the Comics Code prohibited it and many other things (e.g. vampires, zombies, and stories involving drugs, even if they had an overt anti-drug message). Although Stan Lee did have a story of spousal and child abuse in Charles Xavier's and Cain Marko's origin over in X-Men and one might have to analyse closely from what point on Norman Osborn's relationship to his son Harry could be seen as psychologically abusive. And of course you may also have to look at the not exactly infrequent trope of a powerful male supervillain menacing a weaker or even non-powered female character to check in every case if there wasn't at least an implied threat of rape present (although that may have been more obvious in pre-Code comics).


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      And with the advent of binge watching shows, the idea of soap opera elements become more and more pushed in fiction to get people to watch. So, I would take it you don't partake in say Netflix's Daredevil... since those elements were transferred to some degree from the comics.



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    I watched the Marvel Netflix shows. The one I didn't like was Jessica Jones, which was too depressing. It also had rape in it, beginning with mind-rape, in the person of the Purple Man.



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      Which is of course, perfectly fine. Though, that does leave me curious as to what you do watch, since that not only dominates most popular shows (even sitcoms, ever since Cheers) but also i lesser watched shows.



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    There are endless hours of TV that don't deal with rape, child abuse, or prostitution. And if they pop up in a show that doesn't continually deal with those topics, I accept their appearance as episodic and keep watching, unless the whole thing just gets too irritating.


And why can't you accept the appearance of rape, child abuse or prostitution as episodic in comics?


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    I still have this question in my head. Do most of us (any of us) actually enjoy reading comics that feature such things as rape, child abuse, or prostitution - or do we merely accept them as "what the writer felt like writing about" and move on?


The question is: can good stories be told which feature any of those three, or indeed of all seven subjects you regard as taboo? And the answer is of course: yes, they can and have been often enough in the past, in comics, in literature, in films and on TV. If it's a good story, I can enjoy it or at any rate derive artistic satisfaction for it (some of these stories can be a little too intense for my comfort).




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