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March 31, 2014

Not Comics: Andrew Wheeler On A Pair Of Odd And Depressing Gay Prison Jokes In Marvel Films Short

Andrew Wheeler wrote a passionate essay here over dismay he felt when seeing not one but two strong jokes in the recent Marvel Films short with basically "being-gay-in-prison" as the punchline, and how this plays out against a backdrop of an entire movie universe with no gay characters whatsoever that aren't, apparently, jokes (and significant shortcomings in non-white guy leads more generally). Those strike me as shitty jokes, and I wonder if they didn't develop from an arrogantly assumed comfort level along the lines that we are surely so far past the point of making such crude jokes as a matter of course that these would have to be taken as ironic and knowing. Who knows?

I think as those movies enter into a space of being so broadly mainstream as to be almost unfathomable for a comic book they will have a lot of eyes on them. They're therefore bound to be looked at with a greater scrutiny than they were even all the way up to that first Avengers movie. And good. I suppose there's a discussion to be had -- Wheeler hints at it -- in terms of how much we have a consumer's reaction to art, where that takes us and to what extent that's wise. It's not a way of looking at the world and art that comes naturally for me, so it's something I have a hard time grasping. Here, though, what Wheeler's written just seems like a critical and personal reaction to being demeaned. It's hard for me to even conceive of a counter-argument to that.
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink

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