Wednesday, November 08, 2006

And the hits keep coming!

You know, I've been picking on Marston's pretty severely this week, and that's not fair. So what if he was a demented perv who passed off his plethora of fetishes on a generation of innocent children, while conning the public so that he got not only money but acclaim for doing so, when, in any decent society, he'd be sent to live in solitary on a desert island?

He gets points for creating Etta Candy. Besides, he's about to become my best friend...

Yes, bloggers care only for hits and comments, our common currency. And today Marston is going to bring me more hits than I usually get in three months. Why? Because I've finally figured out how people actually use the internet....

"sorority girls spanking blindfolded blonde nazi woman"It was a very long time before I noticed the group bedroom.

"bound all female roleplaying hynoptism exhibitionist submission"
Honey? Can I be 'Ruth Smith' this time?

"dominatrix whip chained slave girls discipline"Ha, Wonder Woman and her Golden Age sarcasm! Er... at least... I think that's sarcasm... .

"cops bound straps straightjacket woman harsh lighting"How much you think the guy watching pays for that sort of thing?

"women bound baked pie"
I'll, uh... I'll skip dessert, thanks.

"hooded women spanking paddled kneeling blonde girl bonbons"
It's the photo on the wall that really makes this one.

"convict naked bare legged glasses female prisoner lesbian guard"
"You'll look pretty behind bars" is my new favorite pick up line.

"fat girl pretty woman kissing hugging woo woo"Hold you closer? If I were any closer I'd be behind you!

"rope bound gagged boxed C.O.D."

I hope they remember to put in some grass and punch a few holes in the lid.

"men women co-ed chained slaves pulling chariot whipped man in skirt"
Welcome to Dr. Seuss's Planet of Pain and Pleasure;
Grab a chain and enjoy your leisure!

Remember what Wonder Woman says, folks:

"Don't hate the game; hate the player!"


Anonymous said...

Best. Post. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Not the best post ever, there is no furry! :D

Nick said...

"let's give her the hitler cure"?

I... Scipio, I'm speechless. Wertham was looking in all the wrong places.

Jason Langlois said...

I don't think I've laughed that hard in forever.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hold you closer? If I were any closer I'd be behind you!

Give yourself an extra $100 out of petty cash for working one of my favorite Marx Brothers lines into this post.

Hypersmash Studios said...

Scipio, I'll be honest, as an educated gay man who seems clearly aware of what it feels like when minority groups are persecuted by conservative moralists, I am really confused by why you are so harsh and judgmental concerning Marston. Yes, he has a bondage fetish. But I don't see why his sexual preferences make him a "pervert" who "in any decent society, he'd be sent to live in solitary on a desert island."

I don't know if it's because I'm too accepting, but I've found Marston's recurring themes of bondage and discipline to be playful and amusing. In modern books, Wonder Woman murdered Maxwell Lord, Superman murdered Zod, a Thor clone murdered Black Goliath, the Punisher has murdered hundreds of criminals and Lobo committed planetary genocide. And yet spanking someone is seen as being sick and twisted? Brad Meltzer writes about raping members of the Justice League, but tying someone up is so unforgivable?

I understand that everyone has their own standards, everyone has their own sensibilities, and everyone has their own sense of morality. Advice columnist Dan Savage often points out that he will support any consensual activity except for pedophilia, scatophilia, and bestiality. Maybe I'm irredeemably corrupt, but his value system lies close to mine.

Marston had preferences. He was never disingenuous about it. He was very open and frank about his theories on relationships. He lived his life practicing his beliefs with other consenting adults. DC put him in charge of the book, and he wrote them to the best of his ability. I'm not sure why we feel the need to pillory him.

Yes, Marston enjoyed S&M,and B&D. Yes, his fantasies reflect these preferences. Yes, these predispositions expressed themselves in his scripts. All of this is true. What I don't understand is why this is such a big deal?

I guess I am more sympathetic to the open, honest kink of a Marston than to the boorish, petulant arrogance of a Byrne, or a Macfarlane, or the vapid, mercenary artlessness of a Liefeld, or Pulido.

But I confess that maybe I am far too lenient in my standards and your mileage may vary.


Scipio said...

Have ever read a Golden Age Wonder Woman story, Roel? They are actually much MORE disturbing than I am showing here.

What people do with each other is, of course, their business. But comic books in those day were (supposed to be) written for children, not adults. I think it's fair to say that utilizing your credentials as a psychologist to play out your personal sexual fantasies in a child's comic book and displaying the "pleasures of bondage" (including whipping, spanking, and gagging) is, on the whole, inappropriate, if not reprehensible.

Anonymous said...

Woman Bound Baked Pie.

I'd sure like to know what Thanksgiving was like at the Marston estate.

Hypersmash Studios said...


No, I have never read Golden Age Wonder Woman. So I suppose I am offering the uninformed perspective. Which, regrettably, is a dangerous tack to take.

Also, I concede the point that comics were meant for kids in that time period. That seems unequivocal. I can offer no counter-argument.

I guess (and again, I could be way off-base here) from what I've read in your posts and about Marston, he doesn't seem to be doing things out of malice or ill intent. The man felt "bondage and discipline" led to healthy and trusting relationships. It's not like he set out to corrupt kids. He was writing what he felt was proper. I don't know. I suppose I just have a hard time getting too indignant about it.

During WWII, comics books taught us that Japs were sneaky and evil. War and violence have always been the modes of discourse in comics. There are tones of fascism in almost every disproportionately powerful hero who solves dilemmas with his/her fists. Sometimes, the writers of comic books are limited by their worldview. I'm not convinced that's the worst crime in the world. And I worry too much about becoming like Wertheim to cast blame.

These days, there are similar arguments made about heavy metal or rap or video games ("it's violent and aimed at kids and a bad influence!") And in every case, my libertarian streak tends to side with free expression.

This is not my field of expertise. I am not a sociologist nor a psychologist. I am not the last word on behavior and causality. Basically, my unscientific argument comes down to "I don't think it's a big deal. I doubt that kids ended up too damaged from reading this stuff/ listening to this album/ playing this video game." I mean, if that was the case, and entire generation of kids who watched Tom and Jerry cartoons would be homicidal maniacs, right? Or generations of kids who read the Grimms' Brothers fairy tales would be scarred for life (Hansel and Gretel, or Little Red Riding Hood, for example.)

We all have to pick our battles. And I guess I'll just refer back to my original post where I mentioned "everyone has their own standards, everyone has their own sensibilities, and everyone has their own sense of morality." You feel that Marston was potentially damaging, you've actually read the source material, and you offer up a well-reasoned argument. I don't feel Marston was any big threat, I have not read the source material, I readily admit that I am not an expert in the field of psychology, and I just wanted to pipe in with my contrasting viewpoint.

SallyP said...

Why,..Etta is as kinky as Diana! I had no idea!

Anonymous said...

Y'know, the '60s Batman TV show ALWAYS showed him and Robin getting bound, usually together. And I seem to recall that aspect of superheroism stimulating some...odd play in my youthful social circles.

But I doubt it hurt anyone.

Scipio said...

Oh? Ever been to the "Heroes and Villains" website, for people obsessed with superhero bondage?

Evan Waters said...

Are you actually serious with this "reprehensible" stuff? Because to me, it seems like the sort of material that would go over kids' heads. There's no invocation of actual sexuality in the whole thing, just the trappings of fetishistic imagery.

LurkerWithout said...

Oh. My.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think there are quite a few things out there in the wide world of mass media that are totally bad influences, on adults just as on children! Is that so weird? I mean how weak is our commitment to freedom of expression anyway, if we won't also extend it to things that we genuinely believe are no damn good?

Too often, it seems that if I'm to believe in the sanctity of free speech and free expression (which I do), I'm also required to accept that anything protected by it must therefore be less than odious (which I don't). Protected speech is a wonderful thing! But I have no problem saying that I think some of the things it protects can also do harm, even if they don't do enough harm, or sufficiently obvious harm, to warrant stripping that protection away. Just because we agree that something shouldn't be banned, that shouldn't mean we automatically agree about its quality! Hey, forget heavy metal and rap: I think there are episodes of Friends which make kids stupider, and that Law & Order just barely stops short of being propaganda for a loathsomely anti-human philosophy.

Ha! Ha! Well, I do.

Not at all setting out to bash Roel here, far from it. Just wanted to say that.

Scipio, can't we have GA Wonder Woman MONTH?

Anonymous said...

This is so dead-on I can't even comment--but I'm still commenting. Thanks for existing, Scipio.

Anonymous said...

We need to find some people who read Golden Age Wonder Woman comics when they were children in the 1940s. They could comment on how it affected them. I'm sure there are a FEW left who haven't died from auto-erotic asphyxiation. One or two. Anybody?

Anonymous said...

Unlike Roel, I have read quite a bit of the Golden Age WW (though, no, not back when they were first created).

IMO Roel's right on the money. That said, I've no big disagreement with Scipio's having fun with the WW oeuvre; it's pretty damn near impossible not to find a lot of it risible. But damaging-- nahh.

Gene P.

Anonymous said...

>>utilizing your credentials as a psychologist to play out your personal sexual fantasies in a child's comic book and displaying the "pleasures of bondage" (including whipping, spanking, and gagging) is, on the whole, inappropriate, if not reprehensible.<<

Does ... does that make me bad for liking this stuff? [mops forehead, glances furtively around]
Not that I do, no no, certainly not, just, um, hypothetically, you know?
Ironically, I meant! Yes that's it, I like it, but only with archly ironic detachment, yes.

mmmmm doe pie!