A short while ago
, we discussed comic book writer/artist (and alleged representative of Hollywood) Frank Miller and his scabrous remarks on the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Annoying as his views are, what really bugs me is his prose style. Everything he says nowadays sounds like a bad imitation of Frank Miller. This guy probably can't even write down a recipe for potato soup without resorting to unimaginative tough guy patois: "All right, scumbags -- peel the spuds right or I'll use your guts in my next cassoulet. What, are you retarded or something? I'm the goddamned entremetier
A reader directs our attention to a new interview with Alan Moore
-- the other big name to emerge out of the comics world in the 1980s. Right now, he's working on a book called Jerusalem
, which I eagerly await. (And I'll be very pleased if this book does not have a long opening chapter written in caveman-ese.) A few highlights:
Well, Frank Miller is someone whose work I’ve barely looked at for the past twenty years. I thought the Sin City stuff was unreconstructed misogyny, 300 appeared to be wildly ahistoric, homophobic and just completely misguided. I think that there has probably been a rather unpleasant sensibility apparent in Frank Miller’s work for quite a long time. Since I don’t have anything to do with the comics industry, I don’t have anything to do with the people in it. I heard about the latest outpourings regarding the Occupy movement. It’s about what I’d expect from him. It’s always seemed to me that the majority of the comics field, if you had to place them politically, you’d have to say centre-right. That would be as far towards the liberal end of the spectrum as they would go. I’ve never been in any way, I don’t even know if I’m centre-left. I’ve been outspoken about that since the beginning of my career. So yes I think it would be fair to say that me and Frank Miller have diametrically opposing views upon all sorts of things, but certainly upon the Occupy movement.
The characterization of comics professionals as right-wingers goes against the reports I've heard from others. Perhaps those reports are out of date.
As far as I can see, the Occupy movement is just ordinary people reclaiming rights which should always have been theirs. I can’t think of any reason why as a population we should be expected to stand by and see a gross reduction in the living standards of ourselves and our kids, possibly for generations, when the people who have got us into this have been rewarded for it; they’ve certainly not been punished in any way because they’re too big to fail. I think that the Occupy movement is, in one sense, the public saying that they should be the ones to decide who’s too big to fail. It’s a completely justified howl of moral outrage and it seems to be handled in a very intelligent, non-violent way, which is probably another reason why Frank Miller would be less than pleased with it. I’m sure if it had been a bunch of young, sociopathic vigilantes with Batman make-up on their faces, he’d be more in favour of it.
"Very intelligent"? Not always. There were many missteps at first. The protesters were wrong to insist on consensus democracy, and wrong to distrust of the very idea
of leadership. Worse, too many of the OWS-ers were -- and are -- attracted by libertarian solutions, which would only make things much worse. But the strategic errors proved unimportant; the country simply needs
a movement like this one.
Obviously, the emphasis on non-violence is something we should all applaud.
When asked what aspects of our current system need to be changed, Moore responded:
Everything. I believe that what’s needed is a radical solution, by which I mean from the roots upwards. Our entire political thinking seems to me to be based upon medieval precepts. These things, they didn’t work particularly well five or six hundred years ago. Their slightly modified forms are not adequate at all for the rapidly changing territory of the 21st Century.
We need to overhaul the way that we think about money, we need to overhaul the way that we think about who’s running the show. As an anarchist, I believe that power should be given to the people, to the people whose lives this is actually affecting. It’s no longer good enough to have a group of people who are controlling our destinies. The only reason they have the power is because they control the currency. They have no moral authority and, indeed, they show the opposite of moral authority.
I can't agree. Neither, for that matter, do most of the OWS protesters. In a previous post, I mentioned a poll which revealed that more protesters favor a flat tax (Rick Perry's big idea) than favor a radical revamping of the entire economic system. The numbers were five percent versus four percent, if I recall aright.
I don't believe in anarchism. We need a return to the "New Deal normal" that held sway during this country's most prosperous years -- the decades between Roosevelt and Reagan. Those policies created our middle class.
Moore would probably find my stance naive, bourgeois, perhaps even reactionary. Many Americans, however, would consider me a radical socialist. In the U.K., the political center is located in a very different place.