Oh how your humble correspondent has yearned for his own Marshall McLuhan moment. You might remember that scene from the movie "Annie Hall" when some pompous blowhard on a theater line pontificated about the thoughts of the author of "the medium is the message." An irritated Woody Allen then pulled out McLuhan himself to harshly rebuke the guy.
Well, now I get that opportunity with comics artist and writer Frank Miller severely criticizing the Occupy Wall Street protests. First let us look at Stephen Kelly of the UK Guardian speculating that Batman could become a hero for the OWS movement:
This weekend, following speculation that Christopher Nolan is going to use the protests as a backdrop for scenes in The Dark Knight Rises, the movement could play host to a caped crusader who's both friend and foe. And if it does turns out to be false (Entertainment Weekly rebutted the rumours earlier this week), then it's a missed opportunity.
...Batman is one of the most politically complex fictional characters there has ever been. By his very nature and ideals, he is not only more relevant to the Occupy Wall Street protests than its current anarchist veneer of V for Vendetta, but also holds up a mirror to its uneasy reality. Such is the beauty and the beast of subversive popular culture.
For, while you cannot deny the revolutionary backbone of V and the ability of his masks to lazily signify automatic rebellion, he is not the hero we need right now. Batman, on the other hand, is a hero rooted in our reality – one set in a fictional city beset by economic deprivation and grotesque greed. His main animus, if not his methods, is defined by the ideals of philanthropy and a simplistic sense of justice: a selfless billionaire by day who strives to protect the defenceless people of Gotham by night – the 1% fighting for the 99%. In Frank Miller's fantastic comic, Year One, the character crashes a dinner party of a corrupt elite and issues the following warning: "You have eaten well. You've eaten Gotham's wealth. Its spirit. Your feast is nearly over."
Kelly invokes Frank Miller to make his case for Batman being on the side of the OWS protestors. So what does Frank Miller think of the OWS protests? Well, take a look at some of what Miller himself posted last week:
The “Occupy” movement, whether displaying itself on Wall Street or in the streets of Oakland (which has, with unspeakable cowardice, embraced it) is anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment. “Occupy” is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.
...This is no popular uprising. This is garbage. And goodness knows they’re spewing their garbage – both politically and physically – every which way they can find.
Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy.
Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you’ve been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you’ve heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism.
...In the name of decency, go home to your parents, you losers. Go back to your mommas’ basements and play with your Lords Of Warcraft.
Read the entire post and I think even fantasist Stephen Kelly would agree that the chances of Frank Miller ever creating a Batman story in which he defends the OWS protests ranks somewhere between nil and none. Meanwhile, as you can see from the reaction at the Democratic Underground, the Left appears to be in a state of shock over Miller's "Thought Crime."