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foogledricks

Bill Maher: Comicbooks are for Children

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This is old news now, but Bill Maher pissed off lots of people by criticizing Stan Lee and dismissing Comics as a legitimate form of art:

 

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“To every person on social media who’s asked me since November, ‘Bill, what do you have to say about Stan Lee?’ – and to every paparazzi outside a restaurant who’s still shouting at me, ‘Bill, what about the Stan Lee thing?’ Okay. Your day has come,” said Maher.

He continued: “You can, if you want, like the exact same things you liked when you were 10, but if you do, you need to grow up. That was the point of my blog. I’m not glad Stan Lee is dead, I’m sad you’re alive.”

 

 

 

Granted, this here is a discussion forum for man-children, so I cannot imagine the people here will have much tolerance for Bill Maher's remarks.  But I have no problem with what he says.  

 

I've always enjoyed Maher's irreverent politically incorrect roastings of groups I don't like.  I have enough humility to allow Maher to target my demographic without losing my shit.  Maher's wrong about this.  But so what.  He can be wrong.  I'm sure all his other victims of his monologs thought Maher was wrong about them too.  

 

So what that Maher makes fun of our videogames and comicbooks and comicbook movies.  I make fun of my wife's watching of the Bachelor.  Anyone who watches the Bachelor is human trash in my estimation.  Half the fun of living is making fun of other people's ways of having fun!

 

You love what you love and if someone makes fun of it, let them.  Then make fun of them right back.  Its all good.  Now back to my Mom's basement.

 

 

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This thread can get very political very quickly. Just saying to keep it to the topic at hand cause I have no issues shutting it down if it becomes a commentary on left vs right. 

Thanks.

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I really do not give a shit what he says, because he has no idea what he is talking about. Frankly a majority of comics are not for kids anymore , and that is a problem with the industry, but that is a entirely different conversation.

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I spend my work day in public accounting.  When the day is over, I watch sports, cook, play video games, listen to music, and watch fictional movies with superheroes, wizards, ghosts, and what not.

 

After giving some thought to what Bill Maher said, I will still spend my work day in public accounting.  When the day is over, I will still watch sports, cook, play video games, listen to music, and watch fictional movies with superheroes, wizards, ghosts, and what not.

 

He could've said the opposite thing, and nothing would change. If getting older has done anything to me, it's I have a better appreciation for the simple pleasures I had as a ten year old.

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I’m 41 years old and I’ve never been a more avid gamer. That should tell you how much I care about Bill Maher’s opinion on people holding onto supposed perpetual youth. ;)

 

Also, Chris hit the nail on the head. Most comics are what? $3.95 or more a pop? Kids have more and better choices on where to spend their money these days. Especially considering the state of comics anymore.

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I am shocked that his statement lacks nuance, understanding, empathy or indeed anything of substance other than a desire to wish away the modern world. Shocked. 

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Remember when Roger Ebert said videogames aren't art (or something thereabouts)?

 

It felt like it was designed to provoke discussion, at last in part. I think the difference in this case is that it was just designed to provoke.

 

Maybe I'm not giving Maher enough credit. I mean, the part of the video I saw not entirely unreasonable and seemed to be saying, hey, have a sense of perspective as well as a sense of shame. I mean, I've been a huge fan of the Miles Morales Spider-Man, but could I say that it gives insight into the human condition like Patrick O'Brien's novels? And, as an adult, shouldn't I be a little ashamed if I say that I learned about the Holocaust from a Captain America comic and not an school or an afternoon at the Holocaust Museum? But then he goes and attacks people for basically enjoying something. That's a hard sell. 

 

And people have been stopping him in the streets, clamoring for his take on Stan Lee's death? Really? Does he have a picture of his hot girlfriend from Canada, too?

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Did everyone actually watch the video, or just read the quote?   I think his monolog is funny.  Just reading the quote is a different experience than actually watching the full monolog.

 

It is very common these days for people to rage in response to a subset of what someone actually says.  Just wanted to make sure everyone at least watched the video before forming an opinion.

 

We're all on the same page as far as "live and let live" - what ever floats your boat.  Each of us is fortunate to find anything that makes us happy and we should all be comfortable with what makes us happy.  But I think we should also be comfortable with comedians making fun of us.  I love comics, comic-based movies, and videogames.  But I still think his monolog is funny.

 

I think this is an important topic.  Not whether videogames and comics are a legit pass-time.  That people take themselves too seriously and can barely survive being made fun of, criticized, or disagreed with.  Right?  If we get upset about a comedian making jokes about playing videogames, its no wonder the public discourse on more serious issues(guns, abortion, healthcare, etc.) is impossible.

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He’s a comedian, it’s a bit, he and his writers wrote in the same vicious critic Bill Maher voice he’s always used. I actually enjoyed it and didn’t disagree with the premise, which I think was prompted by #adulting.

 

 

Let the flocking commence :)

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1 hour ago, Angry the Clown said:

Can I leave this here? I’m leaving this here.

 

 

 

I love culturally-superior or morally superior people who enjoy human beings beating each other to a pulp for sport.  To be honest, I enjoy UFC, Mike Tyson, and the Rocky movies very much.  But I still think fighting for sport is barbaric and will eventually be banned.  Just like videogames and comicbooks.

 

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1 hour ago, AlbertA said:

He’s a comedian, it’s a bit, he and his writers wrote in the same vicious critic Bill Maher voice he’s always used. I actually enjoyed it and didn’t disagree with the premise, which I think was prompted by #adulting.

 

 

Let the flocking commence :)

flock-of-common-teal-duncan-shaw.jpg

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3 minutes ago, foogledricks said:

 

I love culturally-superior or morally superior people who enjoy human beings beating each other to a pulp for sport.  To be honest, I enjoy UFC, Mike Tyson, and the Rocky movies very much.  But I still think fighting for sport is barbaric and will eventually be banned.  Just like videogames and comicbooks.

 

 

I was mostly tickled by who it was posting that tweet.

 

A three-hour cut of Waterworld sits on my shelf right next to Rosellini's War Trilogy. I like whatever the hell I like. 

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I loved this. While I enjoy videogames (not all, but some), I have zero interest in comics, superhero movies, and fantasy fiction. I'm not really bothered by those who do, but my problem with it all is that there's so fucking much of it. As he says, literally every movie is "GLOWY THING". I'm sick of it. Every flippin' big-budget movie is a comic-book movie. And they're all the same to me. I just cannot invest myself in characters that just happen to be able to see through walls and jump on top of buildings. It's lazy writing, in my opinion. But then again, I like boring shit so I'm not a very good critic here. To be fair the same plot-trope criticism could be said for almost any overplayed genre. I suppose that's what fandom is all about.

 

Normally it wouldn't bother me, but it does seem as though comic / superhero people get abnormally sensitive about this. Enjoy your thing and don't ask me what I thought about Stan Lee's death or his work. As someone whose career is entirely based on writing about and commenting on what happens in tech, I get asked about comics (and Stan Lee) quite a bit, so I wouldn't be surprised if he Bill was asked it. The look I get from people in my circles when I say I don't like comics and I think superhero movies are the death of Hollywood the surprise and subsequent anger is real.

 

Few things are funnier to me, though, than comic book and superhero fans being told that they're pretty silly sometimes. The reaction is always priceless. Bill Maher is doing some high-level trolling here and it's pretty hysterical.

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18 minutes ago, Josh said:

I loved this. While I enjoy videogames (not all, but some), I have zero interest in comics, superhero movies, and fantasy fiction. I'm not really bothered by those who do, but my problem with it all is that there's so fucking much of it. As he says, literally every movie is "GLOWY THING". I'm sick of it. Every flippin' big-budget movie is a comic-book movie. And they're all the same to me. I just cannot invest myself in characters that just happen to be able to see through walls and jump on top of buildings. It's lazy writing, in my opinion. But then again, I like boring shit so I'm not a very good critic here. To be fair the same plot-trope criticism could be said for almost any overplayed genre. I suppose that's what fandom is all about.

 

Normally it wouldn't bother me, but it does seem as though comic / superhero people get abnormally sensitive about this. Enjoy your thing and don't ask me what I thought about Stan Lee's death or his work. As someone whose career is entirely based on writing about and commenting on what happens in tech, I get asked about comics (and Stan Lee) quite a bit, so I wouldn't be surprised if he Bill was asked it. The look I get from people in my circles when I say I don't like comics and I think superhero movies are the death of Hollywood the surprise and subsequent anger is real.

 

Few things are funnier to me, though, than comic book and superhero fans being told that they're pretty silly sometimes. The reaction is always priceless. Bill Maher is doing some high-level trolling here and it's pretty hysterical.

 

No one asked Bill Maher anything. He took the time to write a blog post about people mourning Stan Lee's death and then tenuously pushing that as one of the reasons the country is stupid enough to elect the current President in his opinion (and that's about as far as I'll go on the politics side of the equation).

 

http://www.real-time-with-bill-maher-blog.com/index/2018/11/16/adulting

 

The view that Maher is some poor innocent bystander being accosted by the nerd army on social media for his opinion about Stan Lee is laughable. Jay's statement was on the money, IMO. If your intention is to provoke, well don't be alarmed when folks come at you.

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Romier S said:

 

No one asked Bill Maher anything. He took the time to write a blog post about people mourning Stan Lee's death and then tenuously pushing that as one of the reasons the country is stupid enough to elect the current President in his opinion (and that's about as far as I'll go on the politics side of the equation).

 

http://www.real-time-with-bill-maher-blog.com/index/2018/11/16/adulting

 

The view that Maher is some poor innocent bystander being accosted by the nerd army on social media for his opinion about Stan Lee is laughable. Jay's statement was on the money, IMO. If your intention is to provoke, well don't be alarmed when folks come at you.

 

 

 

 

Yeah I'm aware of the background of this. But they literally are asking him about it now, so he's allowed to respond in the way that he does.

 

"But then twenty years or so ago, something happened – adults decided they didn’t have to give up kid stuff. And so they pretended comic books were actually sophisticated literature. And because America has over 4,500 colleges – which means we need more professors than we have smart people – some dumb people got to be professors by writing theses with titles like Otherness and Heterodoxy in the Silver Surfer. And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it “adulting,” and act like it’s some giant struggle"

 

I mean, he's not wrong.

 

EDIT: Also, I don't think anyone thinks Maher is an innocent bystander here. He's clearly the instigator, which is what makes all of this even more hysterical.

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27 minutes ago, Josh said:

 

Yeah I'm aware of the background of this. But they literally are asking him about it now, so he's allowed to respond in the way that he does.

 

"But then twenty years or so ago, something happened – adults decided they didn’t have to give up kid stuff. And so they pretended comic books were actually sophisticated literature. And because America has over 4,500 colleges – which means we need more professors than we have smart people – some dumb people got to be professors by writing theses with titles like Otherness and Heterodoxy in the Silver Surfer. And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it “adulting,” and act like it’s some giant struggle"

 

I mean, he's not wrong.

 

EDIT: Also, I don't think anyone thinks Maher is an innocent bystander here. He's clearly the instigator, which is what makes all of this even more hysterical.

 

I find the entirety of the situation stupid and the discussion surrounding it even more so. A supposed "grown-up" essentially trolling a bunch of people who happen to enjoy a hobby for no other purpose than to be a dick and make a political point that has no basis in reality? I mean if you find it funny, who am I to judge? For me, I got a giggle or two out of jokes in the video (the Kevin Smith thing was admittedly good) but the whole thing is meaningless.

 

Troll Stan Lee to own the nerds....herp derp. Who's the adolescent here, again?

 

I'd also remind the "grown-ups" here your nerd asses are on a video game forum where we pass our days discussing the finer points of 50+ hour games that eat up extended portions of our free time.:) We're hardly in a position to go casting aspersions at the supposed comic book folks...lol.

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1 minute ago, Romier S said:

I'd also remind the "grown-ups" here your nerd asses are on a video game forum where we pass our days discussing the finer points of 50+ hour games that eat up extended portions of our free time.:) We're hardly in a position to go casting aspersions at the supposed comic book folks...lol.

 

Fucking right. I'm into some goofy things and I'm not apologetic about it. That said, I also do not care a single lick if someone else makes fun of it. I mean, I do karate. I collect records. I have every book written about Paul Weller. I'm a dork. I just think it's funny when dorks get mad about being called dorks.

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10 minutes ago, Josh said:

 

Fucking right. I'm into some goofy things and I'm not apologetic about it. That said, I also do not care a single lick if someone else makes fun of it. I mean, I do karate. I collect records. I have every book written about Paul Weller. I'm a dork. I just think it's funny when dorks get mad about being called dorks.

 

I find it equally funny when a political commentator uses his bully pulpit to broadcast reductive arguments tenuously linking the intelligence of people who read comic books to the current political mire that the country finds itself in. So much so that he suddenly finds it surprising that people are giving him enough shit about it that he needs to post a response video. I mean, Bill come on. What did you expect, bro? Nerds are a passionate bunch.

 

I mean, lets be frank - there are no grown-ups in this scenario and that's my point. 

 

I give Keith props for his intention to have us "bridge the divide" so that we can better conduct political discourse in the future. Keith, my friend you're a true patriot but as long as social media exists, there will be outrage about the dumbest shit and that's not going to change.;) It's ingrained in our society at this point.

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3 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

Can I leave this here? I’m leaving this here.

 

 

 

I'm surprised he didn't list movies in general. Considering some of the cinematic atrocities the man has committed to film, a pure hatred of the medium is the only explanation.

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Me like high end restaurant. Me drink aged wine and single-malt whiskey from the un-sodden sphincter of a dead Scottish man. Me superior. Oh and punk rock and something something Muppets or Hunter S Thompson. Whichever because both make me sound cool. KTHXBYE.

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29 minutes ago, Josh said:

Me drink aged wine and single-malt whiskey from the un-sodden sphincter of a dead Scottish man.

 

Sorry to be that guy, but Protected Designation of Origin only requires single malt Scotch whisky (note the lack of an "e") be from the un-sodden sphincter of a dead Scottish man. A regular single malt whiskey can be from the un-sodden sphincter of a dead man of any nationality as long as it isn't labelled as Scotch.

 

Indeed, people in the know have been enjoying single malt whiskies from the un-sodden sphincter of dead Japanese men for ages now.

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3 hours ago, Josh said:

I loved this. While I enjoy videogames (not all, but some), I have zero interest in comics, superhero movies, and fantasy fiction. I'm not really bothered by those who do, but my problem with it all is that there's so fucking much of it. As he says, literally every movie is "GLOWY THING". I'm sick of it. 

 

Let's get one thing out of the way first. Please at least see Into the Spider-verse. :)

 

Seriously though, I've lamented this very fact many times but these days do my best to force myself to step back a little from having that kind of knee jerk reaction. On one level we can liken the popularity of Super Hero movies to that of the Western in their heyday. They too struck a distinct chord with audiences and were churned out ten a penny. It was the most popular genre for almost three decades. On another level these are positive stories, and it's not difficult to understand why audiences might want a piece of that right now. They are fun adventurous escapism, filled with eclectic characters of various ethnicities and genders, where you know good will always triumph over evil in the end. It doesn't hurt of course that the Marvel films are well thought out and generally well told in the grand scheme of things. At their best, for me, I've realised they get very close to capturing a spark that I've not really felt with superhero movies outside of Donner's Superman, which is to say a playful sense of earnestness that I genuinely find quite charming. 

 

I'll also say this. While I don't go and see all of the Marvel films in the cinema, some of the big ones, Infinity War most notably, have captured the increasingly rare sense of community in cinema going. I have no real history growing up with these characters, no deep investment, but nevertheless there's an engaging atmosphere at a lot of these screenings that even I can feel part of. Infinity War's end credits tease made a girl in the audience squeak with delight at my screening, which triggered a lot of laughs and suddenly a bunch of people who sat as strangers for two and a half hours were talking and joking with one another, with a lot of long term fans excitedly explaining who Captain Marvel is to those who only know the MCU. I just can't be cynical about that. It was a lovely moment and I walked out happier because of it.

 

I never looked into how much flack Samuel L Jackson got after he recently said there are more films out there than comic book movies. I could see some taking that the wrong way, criticising him for being in two dozen of them or however many it's been now, but that wasn't his point of course. He wasn't crapping on the genre, he'd just sooner people merely broadened their interests and I share the same feeling. Society benefits the more people broaden their cultural interests. I'm perfectly at ease having Amarcord and The Avengers in my collection, Black Narcissus and Black Panther...etc. Here's what I wonder though. For someone who might worship these movies, maybe their fondness for them or one of their stars like Mark Ruffalo for example leads them to checking out Zodiac or You Can Count on Me. Maybe a fan checks out Under the Skin because of Johansson, or someone who sees Captain Marvel will suddenly then go and discover Room and Short Term Twelve. There are positive knock on effects of these movies being as dominant in public consciousness as they are right now.

 

Genuine dismay I think is to be found in the the cynical attempts to cash in on Marvel's success, and stars you know are just in it for the pay cheque. What's equally sad is when audiences eat that stuff up too, why the Bay Transformers movies could do so well whilst Bumblebee, clearly a more thoughtful Amblin-esque take on the franchise, floundered. Sadly when you force feed a lot of people on candy, even offering up something just a tiny bit more nutritious doesn't go down as they only have a palate for sugar. That fault is the shared responsibility of producers and audiences. Of course I dearly wish more people would see Burning, Shoplifters, You Were Never Really Here, Leave No Trace...etc, but as far as Marvel are concerned I have to take my hat of to them and what they have achieved because a Marvel film is practically a genre unto itself at this point in time. I can't dismiss the cultural phenomenon they've skilfully created, and honestly think they deserve the success.

 

I also think we've come to place too much blame on the abundance of blockbusters being the sole contributor forcing other films out of view. Steven Sodebergh has been talking openly recently about his failed self-distribution experiments with Logan Lucky and Unsane citing the sad reality that most movies need a 30million marketing budget for people to know they even exist, which is just something the majority of today's best films don't have (he put 20 million into Logan Lucky, and got it into 3000 screens and it wasn't enough, and that's a terrific caper of a movie). I share Soderbergh's interest in what a behemoth like Disney does with Fox because Disney have child and family entertainment covered, they've said they intend to keep Searchlight and allow them to keep doing their thing, which leaves a potential resurgence for the mid budget films that have fallen by the wayside this past decade which could re-emerge under the central Fox label. I truly hope that's one of the reasons behind acquiring Fox in the first place. If Disney have shown anything these past ten years it's that if they lead, others will follow. 

 

 

Quote

Normally it wouldn't bother me, but it does seem as though comic / superhero people get abnormally sensitive about this. Enjoy your thing and don't ask me what I thought about Stan Lee's death or his work. As someone whose career is entirely based on writing about and commenting on what happens in tech, I get asked about comics (and Stan Lee) quite a bit, so I wouldn't be surprised if he Bill was asked it. The look I get from people in my circles when I say I don't like comics and I think superhero movies are the death of Hollywood the surprise and subsequent anger is real.

 

Few things are funnier to me, though, than comic book and superhero fans being told that they're pretty silly sometimes. The reaction is always priceless. Bill Maher is doing some high-level trolling here and it's pretty hysterical.

 

I do definitely worry how much people get attached to pop culture , particularly how possessive it makes them. Typically it worries me most when they direct abuse at the creators. Did it start with the prequels I wonder? I was frustrated with those movies, but never felt hate for anyone involved in making them, and could then, and still today, find positive things to enjoy about them. Today there's a level of toxicity which is genuinely quite worrying however. It's interesting because ultimately all these things revolve around good triumphing over evil, and send out a lot of messages about the value of tolerance, but these values seem to fly completely over the head of an increasing number of people who claim to love all this stuff. 

 

While I don't think it's particularly healthy to be so attached to these things, to be buying lots of toys and whatnot in your thirties, I've also learned a hell of a lot over the last decade about just what these characters mean to a lot of people, particularly people who felt ostracised in life on account of their gender, sexual preference, the way they look, their ethnicity, living with a disability...etc. That's fandom that exists on a rather endearing level. I wish I wasn't so overwhelmed by the sheer number of comics on sale as a kid because I didn't know where to start and was too embarrassed to ask staff in comic book shops where I was supposed to begin. I got by exploring Batman and 200AD, but my connection to most of today's popular characters comes from things like the 80's Hulk TV show, the 90's Saturday morning cartoons and movies, but the things going on on a subconscious level in Spider-man, Black Panther, X-men comics...etc I can see being of genuine value to kids unsure of their place in the world, and sadly we are in an age where a lot of adults can't figure it out either. To that extent, I get it.  

 

 

2 hours ago, Josh said:

 

"But then twenty years or so ago, something happened – adults decided they didn’t have to give up kid stuff. And so they pretended comic books were actually sophisticated literature. And because America has over 4,500 colleges – which means we need more professors than we have smart people – some dumb people got to be professors by writing theses with titles like Otherness and Heterodoxy in the Silver Surfer. And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it “adulting,” and act like it’s some giant struggle"

 

I mean, he's not wrong.

 

It's a condescending statement. Like them or not, what is a comic book other than modern mythology? We should hold biblical, Greek and Norse parables in higher esteem for what? Their age? Honestly, the fact I can only now recognise the value of two jews creating Black Panther in response to what was going on with the civil rights movement, how x-men was regularly a reaction to threats of nuclear war and politics of the 60s (married with underlying narratives about what it is to feel or be different), actually leaves me more interested in exploring comic books as an adult than they ever did as a kid, and more inclined to recognise them as sophisticated contributions to popular culture. Then there's level of visual artistry which is unquestionably iconic and, certainly this day in age, exquisitely rendered in some comics. I still need help in knowing what characters, issues/stories throughout the decades that I should be exploring, but again I've never been more interested and feel no shame in that at all.

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