Sunday, February 13, 2005

Trolling Message Boards

I'm a fanboy, so, yes I still do it. SPOILER WARNING! For those that don't want to know which X-Man is about to be killed off.






Ok, I got into a discussion about the news of Northstars death in the upcoming Wolverine #25 recently, I pretty much made this same remark on Dorian's blog, but I don't think X-Men fanboys are active readers there. What I said was, given Marvel's recent hiring of an anti-homosexual writer, Orson Scott Card, and now the news of them killing off a prominent gay character, one could take this as the company sending some sort of message. I don't, but given the way people are prone to blow things out of preportion, some might. Of course many were qick to point out that,
A. Northstar isn't exactly a popular character, so I'm wrong, and
B. That he's a big asshole and no one really likes him, so why not.

On top of that, most of them had no idea who Orson Scott Card was or what he was writing.

So, here's one posters response:

The comment about Ultimate Iron Man is simple. Series writer Orson Scott Card wrote (I believe it was on his blog) a diatribe against same-sex marriage in which he presented no new arguments for his position but resorted to the same old bigoted viewpoint. (Note, he's perfectly entitled to his opinion, but one would expect a prominent science-fiction and fantasy writer to have a more enlightened viewpoint or, if not, to be able to present more rationalized arguments.) No one said that Northstar was a "pro-gay" character. Jean-Paul Baubier came out as a gay male (though Byrne has noted that he was hinting at that virtually from the beginning of his run on Alpha Flight). Being gay, by simply being an out character, is a positive thing; it doesn't mean the character has to be completely likable. As one might note, for Northstar, being gay was just a part of his life, not the way he was defined as a character. It's like being gay in real life. If you're not out, no one will judge you based on who you sleep with, but rather, your overall personality. If you're a jerk, people will think you're a jerk. If you're kind, people will think you're kind. It only seems that when you're out as a gay man or lesbian that you suddenly become the "gay" jerk or the kind "lesbian". Imagine how people would feel if they were judged that way based on their religion or race (oh, well he's the "Baptist" jerk or he's the kind "Black" man). Unfortunately, too many anti-gay people in the real world only want to define gays and lesbians solely based on who they have sex with, as though that somehow makes their prejudice more acceptable. If you dislike someone solely because of their skin color or their religion or their ethnic heritage, your prejudice doesn't get a pass. Of course, since Ultimate Colossus was made an out character, we have a "nice" gay character to offset Northstar's being such a jerk. Most gay comic-book fans would prefer a bigger name character be out, but there's also the acceptance that when there is an out gay character, he (or she) should be a fully-developed character, as Northstar is, rather than a simple little stereotype.

Pretty right on, no? Apparently he's never lived in the South, where people are judged daily by their skin color AND religion (not by me of course), but other than that, I couldn't have said it better myself.

-L

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