Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It Would Be A Stronger Loving World

I think my blog writing block started after I saw the "The Watchmen." I had several rather strong opinions on the subject, and realized that none were really fit for print. Not the usual topics -- sexism, violence, blah blah. No, just topics...the danger and folly of the industry putting their hopes on one particular comic book movie to save them (especially when the movie was R-rated and featured characters that were not part of the collective mass consciousness), Rorschach the hip anti-hero who is also the embodiment of everything his fans probably profess to hate, Zack Snyder's blatant 9/11 references sprinkled throughout and what they might mean, and, finally, Alan Moore's ultimate prophecy embodied in the nerd with the ketchup stain on his shirt on the last page of the graphic novel.

Lots of topics there to have fun with. Just couldn't do it. This wasn't the forum. I mean, just the statement that I don't think the Watchmen are a part of the collective mass consciousness alone could spark the sort of angry debate that takes up an inordinate amount of my time and again fulfills Moore's prophecy.

There were other things. I had hired a career coach to look at my various projects objectively and give me some advice. I explained to her everything about the "Occasional Superheroine" blog -- how it started, about "Goodbye To Comics," everything about the blog up to this point. And she said what I had already figured out myself. That the blog was so tied into this strong, adversarial, tumultuous energy that even if I wrote about harmless topics, it would still attract some people who wanted more anger, more tumult. So I could write about daisies and there would be some brilliant individual who would react angrily with: "Daisies?! What do you have against petunias?!" And so on and so on. Because they're addicted to the drama. I get it.

I get told every once in a while by well-meaning people that this sort of tumult and schadenfreude is just the warp and weft of the Internet community, and not a big deal at all. Within that point of view, I often feel as if I'm the one singled out as doing the worst behavior of all -- being real and saying how I actually feel at any one given time. I'm told not to act like a martyr, and then instead to just sit and not say anything. Which is sort of like...being a martyr. I guess it's better to be a quiet pious-eyed martyr, of the old Christian variety, than an annoying loud-mouthed spouter of opinions. That's what I got from those conversations.

My career coach said to me that that I wasn't a muckraker or a ball-breaker, but I was a truth-teller. Or, at any rate, that's how I should be. The difference was in how I presented that truth. A big stumbling-block for me has been my perception that ultimately, society hates the truth and truth-tellers. That if somebody went through the trouble of burying that truth, it's probably because society wanted it *gone*, dead, away. Is there even any market in the truth these days? Can we make a CW show out of it? Or maybe truth is okay, as long as it's gory and full of that familiar schadenfreude. Jade Goody dying of cancer = acceptable truth. Because of all the gory details. They can film that shit, package it, put it on the cover of OK magazine. But being sit down and told in detail why your economy is fucked? Before the crisis? Nobody wants to hear that. That's like stuff you see on public television.

This blog jumped the shark for me several times. By "jumping the shark," I mean that my desire to continue it and my mission were severely shaken. They were not the times you might think. No, they were really subtle. Hearing the "he's just a big lovable grumpy guy" about the man who sexually harassed me -- from somebody who had originally convinced me to sue DC Comics for the harassment -- was one such instance. In one sense, it was harmless. It was a harmless comment. But it just sat with me. It knocked my equilibrium off. I still remember where I was when I read this as a text message. I remember the patterns the varnish made on the wood of the library desk when I read this message.

There were things at DC that happened years after I left that shook, for me, the mission of this blog. On one hand, I think they validated things I already said. On the other hand, they were so real, so really messed up, so beyond the pale, that to write about them in a flip manner had become completely inappropriate. It explained everything and yet couldn't really be talked about. I just wanted to go back and write about daisies and call it a day.

People have been asking me about that whole "Scans Daily" fiasco, and the only thing I have to say about it is that I followed the recent controversy and it further helped to shake my mission. I read the X-Factor issue in question, by the way, because my BF had purchased it and said "you must read this!" and I did and I loved it. That's how I expanded my current reading list and tried new things. There was a purchase involved.

Finally, a recent post I did regarding Friends of Lulu was like the cherry on top of the shark jumping, but in an ultimately positive way. Being yelled at and told "there's no need for Friends of Lulu!" only convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that there absolutely needs to be a Friends of Lulu. Being told that there was no need for women to support each other only convinced me that there absolutely was a need for women to support each other. And so I turned my attention to just that. I took the type of work I was doing for my clients -- blog consultation, the strategic utilization of content, and the development of social media outreach -- and decided to apply it to Friends of Lulu. Which takes a lot of time to do. But I felt it went back to what my coach said. "How do you tell that truth?" Am I a muckraker or a truth-teller? How am I going to make a difference?

I do think there will be an end-point to this blog very soon, and I will carry the conversation onto another blog under my name. I will certainly talk about comics, pop-culture, my life, etc, but it will be done from a new forum. A lot of the passion I put in my posts...maybe it's time to put them in my comic book writing. I need to do this. I'm not the same person I was when I started this blog. I'm not better or worse, I'm just different. My goals are different. My perception is different. It's been almost three years this April since the accident that helped inspire my writing of "Goodbye To Comics," and I've changed a lot. What really needs to happen is to compose the final sentence on this blog, thank everyone who supported it, and write "The End." And start anew. And let the fun begin.