espanolbot: (Default)
[personal profile] espanolbot posting in [community profile] scans_daily
In which Alan Moore continues his tenuous streak from the last book of not treating his female characters like crap.

A bit of context: Following the marriage of her daughter to the son of Robur (the air-pirate from Master of the World), Janni (daughter of Nemo) decides to only attack German vessels when World War Two starts. 'Cause her son in law in French, and she wants to show solidarity.

Unfortunately, Robur Jr. and his wife are shot down by the Luftwaffe, so Janni and her husband Jack rush off to rescue them. Arriving they find Berlin, they find the remains of Germany's own version of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (called the Twilight Heroes) waiting for them, and are now pursued through a Carl Rotwang-designed Berlin by a mysterious blonde and stormtroopers controlled by a procedure designed by Dr Caligari...

Heh, both a reference to the robot from Metropolis (called Futura or Maria depending on who you ask), and to a certain story that features a German accented robot with an artificial skin coating to look more human... and by that I mean Harlan Ellison's Outer Limits episodes Soldier and the Demon with the Glass Hand!

Spoiler free mini-review here,

Date: 2014-03-02 01:47 pm (UTC)
superboyprime: (Default)
From: [personal profile] superboyprime
"In which Alan Moore continues his tenuous streak from the last book of not treating his female characters like crap."

Hmm. Moore took some time to address this very criticism just a few months ago,

"My thinking was that sexual violence, including rape and domestic abuse, should also feature in my work where necessary or appropriate to a given narrative, the alternative being to imply that these things did not exist, or weren’t happening. This, given the scale upon which such events occur, would have seemed tantamount to the denial of a sexual holocaust, happening annually. I could not, in all conscience, produce work under those limitations without at least attempting to change or remove them. Presumably, my current critics would have done differently, and indeed, as I remember, most people in the field found it more convenient simply not to address issues of sex or sexuality – or those of race, politics, gender and any other matters of social substance, for that matter.

"As to whether it worried or concerned me that I may have been alienating part of my audience by addressing any or all of the above issues, why would I be concerned about alienating part of my potential audience on a moral issue which I had already thought through and come to what I felt was a considered opinion upon? Surely, the only reasons an individual would have for concern in such circumstances, and the most likely reasons why the majority of other comic professionals of that period chose not to risk any form of controversy in their work until ground had been broken and it was safe and indeed profitable for them to do so, would be reasons of financial gain and career advantage? But perhaps it might be thought that by discussing all of this context at such length – I’m told that context is not necessarily a welcome commodity in this type of discussion – I am attempting to evade the central issue, which is presumably the question why I, as a male, should feel privileged to discuss such matters in my work. How can someone who has not, to the reader’s knowledge, suffered rape or any other form of sexual invasion, conceivably be qualified to handle such topics in their fiction?

"I hope readers will understand that I am being anything but flippant when I point out that, as yet, I have not been murdered either. Certainly I have known murder victims and their families, and I have likewise met murderers and their families too. While I cannot say whether this qualifies me to talk about murder or not, I am fairly confident that it has afforded me a more informed and compassionate view upon the subject than I might otherwise have had, which as a writer I presume to be a good thing. This is also true regarding the subject of sexual violence. While I myself only suffered an attempted abduction at the age of six or so and the minor molestations of a paedophile head of first years at the age of eleven along with almost everyone else in my year, I have known a distressing number of women, including women who are or have been close to me, who have been raped, sexually assaulted or otherwise threatened with sexual violence. In fact, when I think about it, I’ve had a lot more contact with people who’ve suffered from the effects of sexual violence than I’ve had contact with people either killed or devastated by their proximity to a murder. Lest this be thought a purely personal perception or perhaps a blip in highly localised statistics, I would cite the figures mentioned in my most recent copy of prison newspaper Inside Times (the most convenient source of information to hand at the moment for someone without an internet connection). From what I understand, last year there were 60, 000 rapes in the UK. I’m assuming that this is reported rapes, and that actual incidents of rape are possibly two or three times as high. There were a further 400,000 cases of sexual assault, and a frankly horrific 1.2 million cases of domestic abuse.

"Leaving aside the sexual assault and domestic abuse figures and just focussing on the rapes – which is of course rather my ‘thing’ – I would have to say that I do not recall the sixty thousand homicides that occurred in the U.K. last year, possibly because – well, they didn’t, did they? Except, of course, in the pages of fiction, where I would imagine that there were considerably more violent deaths than the above-mentioned figure. It would appear that in the real world, which the great majority of people are compelled to live in, there are relatively few murders in relation to the staggering number of rapes and other crimes of sexual or gender-related violence, this being almost a complete reversal of the way that the world is represented in its movies, television shows, literature or comic-book material. Forgive me if there is something glaringly obvious that I am missing here; some evident flaw in my reasoning that I myself am blind to, but why should this marked disparity be so? Why should murder be so over-represented in our popular fiction, and crimes of a sexual nature so under-represented? Surely it cannot be because rape is worse than murder, and is thus deserving of a special unmentionable status. Surely, the last people to suggest that rape was worse than murder were the sensitively-reared classes of the Victorian era. Certainly, the actual victims of rape that I’ve known and spoken to don’t seem impressed with the idea of a ‘fate worse than death’. Most seem of a mind that while what they went through was unbelievably horrible, at least they hadn’t been killed, even if they had been threatened to that effect by their rapist. And yet, while it is perfectly acceptable (not to say almost mandatory) to depict violent and lethal incidents in lurid and gloating high definition detail, this is somehow regarded as healthy and perfectly normal, and it is the considered depiction of sexual crimes that will inevitably attract uproars of the current variety.

"Again, if nobody is seriously arguing that rape is much more serious a human event than the actual violent termination of a life in its entirety, why should this be so? Why should sexual violence be ring-fenced when forms of violence every bit as devastating are treated as entertainment? If I may venture an answer to my own question, might it be because the term ‘sexual violence’ contains the word ‘sexual’, a word relating to matters traditionally not discussed in polite society? As I affirmed earlier, thirty years ago rape and sexual violence were unmentionable in comics. Now, God bless everyone who imagines that this was because the comics editors of thirty years ago were more sensitive to the possible upset feelings of women readers than their equivalent today, but I’m afraid this is not the case. Mentions of any form of sexual activity, positive or negative, were out of bounds and the reason for this is that since the Victorian period, sex had been considered rude and dirty by the middle classes. Indeed, the avowed sexual control exercised by that class was one of the main features by which they differentiated themselves from the more animalistic urges present among the lower orders and immigrant communities. I am not attempting to be disingenuous here, but I genuinely cannot see any reason why lethal non-sexual violence should be privileged over sexual violence, other than a residual middle class discomfort or squeamishness over all matters pertaining to sex, which in this instance has taken on the protective colouration of a fairly spurious appeal to contemporary sexual politics. Nor can I see any compelling or worthy reason why I, or any other writer, should restrain themselves from addressing whatsoever issues they feel are worthy of address, if they have the courage to engage with those subjects in the face of the possible approbation and loss of livelihood which may be entailed. Fortunately for those who think differently to myself, this is one of several traits which very few modern commercial career writers would seem to possess."
Edited Date: 2014-03-02 01:50 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-03-02 02:52 pm (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
I'm pretty sure he answers his own question there? Murder is over-represented in popular fiction because most people don't have any direct experience with murder, and can enjoy it as a fictional idea. People can get excited with shootouts on TV/movies because they've never been shot at themselves and don't know anyone who has; people who actually have been shot at will probably be more uncomfortable watching gunplay.

Also, c'mon, murder in fiction can have any number of meanings and serve a multitude of purposes in the plot - the heroes can blow up a patrol of armed guards while trying to infiltrate a fascist metropolis, for example, and this is a very different thing from a serial killer dispatching his victims. Whereas with rape, there's a fairly limited set of motivations for a character raping someone.

Date: 2014-03-02 02:58 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
What a fascinating interview that is... I may have to re-read it in stages because there's a lot of stuff there.

I am very glad my general ambivalence to Moore since... well, a long, long time ago, and Morrison, probably since Doom Patrol, allows me to distance myself from the actual substance of the disagreement (Since I don't actually care) and simply enjoy the snark and lovely turns of phrase. Describing Morrison's version of occultism as being closer to an episode of "The Only Way is Essex" (For those blessed by never having seen this, it's a "scripted reality show" along the lines of (I think, based on comments) "Jersey Shore") is wonderful!

Date: 2014-03-02 04:49 pm (UTC)
bizarrohulk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bizarrohulk
As entertaining as I find Moore's rants (they're always so much more eloquent than, say, John Byrne's), I tend to think that if you've parted on bad terms from practically everyone you've ever worked with, at some point you really need to give serious consideration to the idea that perhaps "other people" aren't necessarily the problem.

Date: 2014-03-02 06:28 pm (UTC)
althechi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] althechi
Well, from the perspective of individual serial killers, there evidently was some quality or property of their victims (usually beyond convenience) that attracted the killers to them, such as Jack the Ripper and sex workers, or Ted Bundy and young, attractive women.

But otherwise you're right in that society in general doesn't attribute culpability to possessing these qualities and chalks them up to the mania of the killers themselves.

Date: 2014-03-02 10:40 pm (UTC)
althechi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] althechi
That's true. Although sometimes the counterarguments can be taken to ridiculous extremes, where any precaution is tantamount to being a component of "rape culture", as though wearing seatbelts is feeding into "crash culture" or leaving one's door unlocked is part of "theft culture".

Date: 2014-03-03 08:12 am (UTC)
benuben: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benuben
I don't know. Most of the criticized "precautions" I've seen in such discussion really are components of rape culture like "don't dress up provocatively" bullshit.

Date: 2014-03-04 08:05 pm (UTC)
althechi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] althechi
Society in general already teaches people not to rape in the same way it teaches people not to murder or to steal. Would locking my room merely be diverting a thief's attention to my neighbour?

Date: 2014-03-05 12:32 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
Society does not adequately teach people not to rape. The most common defense against accusations of rape is "she wanted it", ie, that the sex was consensual. The idea is, that if a woman dresses in revealing clothing, or goes to a party and gets drunk, or goes somewhere to be alone with a man, she wants to have sex regardless of what she actually says.

If you leave your door unlocked and all your stuff gets stolen, some people might say, wow you're an idiot. No one is going to seriously propose that you secretly wanted someone to break into your room and take all your stuff, and that no crime actually occurred.

Date: 2014-03-03 03:26 am (UTC)
lissa_quon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lissa_quon
Yea - Moore's use of rape in League felt almost comical. Trite. The random Egyptian attack when I was younger I sort of assumed it was staged to get Alan moving. Since I couldn't fathom any other reason that was happening in such a stupid way.

I then grew up and learned that nope- random rape is apparently a thing. That happens in Moore's writings.

Date: 2014-03-10 01:20 am (UTC)
zaqari_waliz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zaqari_waliz
Shows what you know about Egyptian men of the 1800's who hang around opium dens.

Date: 2014-03-04 03:15 am (UTC)
alschroeder3: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alschroeder3
Oddly enough, a lot of murder---at least of the serial murderer variety---is sexual in nature at heart, in that many serial killers literally get off on the murder of their victim. It's a compulsion because it's their own way--after a while, their only way--to get sexual release. But that's something that is rarely touched on in fiction of any kind, and hardly at all in comics, although the Joker's crippling and THEN undressing of Barbara Gordon in the KILLING JOKE comes close. (Is that why Moore insisted that Barbara wasn't raped in that sequence? That he realized that such violence, such death and near-death, was the Joker's only way to get satisfaction, that any overt sexual act was not as fulfilling to the Joker's sick mind as what he just did?)

But second-guessing Moore, though a fascinating pastime, always leaves you unsatisfied, because he is subtle even when he is obviously justifying.

Date: 2014-03-04 02:08 pm (UTC)
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)
From: [personal profile] wizardru
I'm not sure if I agree or not, but I understand his point, at least. I do think that there's a greater meme which is false, that suggests that Moore can't and doesn't write good female characters. Having read him over 30 years, I just can't accept that he writes weak or poor female characters as a rule: he may have written some, but he's also written plenty of strong, competent female characters, as well.

Date: 2014-03-02 05:04 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I don't think it's even a reference to The Outer Limits, really - just a straight-up reference to Metropolis. Even the idea that the robot is disguised for 'propaganda purposes' mirrors it's original use in the film, where Robot Maria essentially subverts Maria's role. Even the skin being burnt off is seemingly just a nod to the scene where the robot is burned at the stake - the special effects of the time just weren't good enough to depict it as such.

Date: 2014-03-02 05:11 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Ahhhh, my bad. Yeah, I remember Cameron having to give Ellison a credit for that.

Date: 2014-03-02 06:18 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I watched the Best Friends playthrough recently. That game is fucked up, to say the least.

Date: 2014-03-02 06:30 pm (UTC)
althechi: (dave lincoln doesn't take crap)
From: [personal profile] althechi
Fun fact: The fact that it has a "happy" ending makes it less fucked up than the original story (which is briefly referenced in the game during Benny's segment), which ends with four corpses and an immobile, but still sensually aware, blob unable to kill itself.

Date: 2014-03-02 06:32 pm (UTC)
althechi: (LOL!)
From: [personal profile] althechi
Displaying the exact same misanthropy, I might add.

Date: 2014-03-02 06:50 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
A fair point.The man's consistent if nothing else.

Date: 2014-03-03 01:14 am (UTC)
big_daddy_d: (Default)
From: [personal profile] big_daddy_d
Topless lady terminator walking through fire? Never thought I'd put nudity and badass in the same capacity but... that looked pretty freakin awesome.

Date: 2014-03-03 01:31 am (UTC)
skemono: I read dead racists (Default)
From: [personal profile] skemono
An artificial blonde woman facing off against an Indian pirate on a narrow catwalk? That does sound familiar, actually...


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