Comics

"Grasping the Ontological Significance of Janet…"

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"Congratulations," writes Bright Lights Film Journal Associate Editor Alan Vanneman re: my recent piece on TV and radio regulation, "on, um, grasping the ontological significance of Janet's jug. I wrote in a similar vein at http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/49/batman.htm."

I recommend highly Vanneman's bit about Batman Begins, where he mentions Jackson along with the Caped Crusader's anti-areoline makeover Snippets:

Were you, like me, drawn as a moth to a flame to attend the premiere of Batman Begins by the iconographic publicity shot of a brooding Batman holding a recumbent Katie Holmes in his arms, a picture seemingly formed by waves of radiant energy spreading from Katie's magnificently erect right nipple? If so, mon ami, you don't need me to tell you that you've been hosed. You've been hosed, you've been posed, you've been diddled, dished, and done, because it ain't in the picture.

It's been a long time since the American public has been hustled in such a crass and craven manner. Roger Corman built a career out of making third-rate films to accompany first-rate posters, but the collapse of middle-class prudery in the sixties, coupled with rising production budgets, rendered such petty fraud unnecessary. But now, it seems, the bitch is back. The question is why.

Whole thing here.

Or, hell, just read the footnotes, which are pretty damn funny:

1. Male tits, dismissively described as "neither ornamental nor useful" by that galloping hetero Roscoe Conkling, simply don't arouse the same passion in the public mind. You can see, if you want, George Washington's nipples in a statue in the American History museum in DC. You won't be seeing Laura Bush's nipples for a long time.

2. If you're willing to risk it, there's more of Janet's nipple in her recent DVD, Janet in Hawaii, which is definitely an above-average concert film.

3. One presumes they went the same route in Spiderman 2, but I took a pass on the sequel. I just couldn't get excited about "Doc Oc." I mean, it wasn't like he was a real octopus.

4. And no one can tell me anything about the original comics. I read every Batman (all Batman and Robin), Detective Comics (Batman and Robin and assorted lesser DC deities like Aquaman), and World's Finest Comics (Batman and Robin and Superman!) ever printed between about 1950 and 1960. But I never could get into the "angst of the Dark Knight" graphic novels of the past twenty years. Angst? What angst? Batman didn't have angst. He was fucking Batman.

Update: In other breast-related musings, National Review's John Derbyshire, channeling Monty Python's Dirty Vicar, lets it all hang out re: "Jennifer Aniston's bristols." The Javert of homosexuality writes, "While I have no doubt that Ms. Aniston is a paragon of charm, wit, and intelligence, she is also 36 years old. Even with the strenuous body-hardening exercise routines now compulsory for movie stars, at age 36 the forces of nature have won out over the view-worthiness of the unsupported female bust….a woman's salad days are shorter than a man's–really, in this precise context, only from about 15 to 20." Alas, Derb's clock ticks even for the Olsen twins. More here.

NEXT: Blog the Jubilee

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  1. Way to bury the lede on the aureolage of Batman Begins. The big news there was that we were mercifully spared a batman suit that included plasticized nipplage.

  2. NANANANANANANANANA BATMAN!

  3. Mr. Gillespie:

    I’m Batman.

  4. Of course, Gillespie and all right thinking people know that the issue when Mephisto reduces the Surfer to a thought and tries to bury him in his mind, but the Surfer is so noble that not even the devil himself can take it is the all time best, ever.

  5. All this argle-bargle over nipples and their political upshots (hee). Yet no one (until now) has made mention of John Ashcroft unfurling his crazy flag during those halcyon days of pre 9/11 Bushdom.

  6. Witiest website on comic eroticism – funny beyond belief.

    http://www.superdickery.com/seduction/1.html

  7. The Filthy Critic had one of the best takedowns of fanboys ever in his review of Batman Begins. A movie which I dug and he hated. But, I still appreciate the sentiment of this rant.

    I know I will get plenty of e-mail from people who love Batman and think they are grown up. They aren’t, especially not if they have the time to e-mail me and whine. These are the same assholes who stole him from the kids, and now children can’t even see the movie. It’s PG-13. They probably can’t buy the action figures either, since slobbery fatsos will horde them all the first day to populate the tops of their monitors in computer-science-job cubicles. The fanboys have beat the shit out of poor Batman for years, dressing him up in ever darker and more lugubrious histories in order to justify their own refusal to mature. Rather than move on, they just keep redressing Batman. And now the story meets their idea of what becoming a grown up means. To them, this Batman is like finding hair on your balls or switching from Cap’n Crunch to Grape Nuts. The problem is that for all the dress up and revision, it’s still a really superficial story with simplistic right and wrong, a mess of connect-the-dots psychobabble, and not at all relatable to the vagaries of real adulthood. Its supporters call it an allegory or legend, but it isn’t even close, unless you’re being tormented by a man who wears makeup, waddles like a penguin or tells horrible riddles.

    If you have never checked out the Filthy Critic’s stuff at Big Empire you should. He’s funny, a good critcic and a heck of a writer.

    http://www.bigempire.com/filthy/

  8. Even though I hated the nickname Doc Oc, I was pleasantly surprised at how well Spiderman 2 turned out. The scene where Spidey had to stop the train actually added some humanity to what might have been just another cardboard superhero. Vanneman should try it.

    Batman Begins was just bad. The martial arts training thing is so tired — and this movie spent an hour on it. Yawn.

    Speaking of revealed breasts, if you can find a copy of the original version of “Return of the Jedi”, watch the scene where the dancing girl is dropped into the pit with the beast. As she falls, part of her skimpy costume flies off.

  9. Geez, you’d think a comic book killed the Filthy Critic’s dog or something.

    Also, everyone knows the Joker doesn’t wear make-up! His skin and hair colors were changed after falling into a vat of chemical! DUH!

  10. Jennifur’s butt is still fine however.

  11. DAG NABBIT NICK
    I thought I told you to never link to NRO again. Now ize got tah burn me eyeballs out with a hot iron. I swear, next time this happens, I?m renting a Tahoe. I?ll start in Maryland and work my way north.

    I am astonished at the breadth of vitriol that flows from John D’s self-loathing quill.

  12. love the DIRTY VICAR sketch!

    yeaaaa

  13. Lonewacko, just post using your own screenname.

    Complaining about the nofollow tag = unfunny, old meme.

  14. John Derbyshire, channeling Monty Python’s Dirty Vicar, lets it all hang out re: “Jennifer Aniston’s bristols.” The Javert of homosexuality writes, “While I have no doubt that Ms. Aniston is a paragon of charm, wit, and intelligence, she is also 36 years old. Even with the strenuous body-hardening exercise routines now compulsory for movie stars, at age 36 the forces of nature have won out over the view-worthiness of the unsupported female bust….a woman’s salad days are shorter than a man’s

    If only Jennifer Aniston possessed as much sex appeal as John Derbyshire.

  15. Geez, you’d think a comic book killed the Filthy Critic’s dog or something.

    I don’t agree with his blast at comic books, but I do agree that fanboys have sucked the fun out of them. Not every character needs a dark and brooding side. I love the Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, but you have to admit that the whole industry took a nosedive with the mad rush to imitate them. Between that, cross over mania and the need to “re-imagine” characters that didn’t need any re-imagining I quit collecting. With notable exceptions like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that is.

    As far as the movies go I think the Spiderman flicks are a good example of how you can make a comic book movie that works for adults, but doesn’t alienate kids.

  16. How is the word “ontological” being used here? Is someone arguing that Jackson’s nipple is it’s own category of existing thing?

    I hereby sentence… somebody… to go and read a bunch of stuff that Quine wrote.

  17. ralphus — I was semi-agreeing with some of the sentiment behind that review until the last line, where he seemed to completely miss the meaning of the word “allegory” which is not, last time I checked, “a literal depiction of the concrete facts of everyday life”

  18. I said he was a heck of a writer, not a great writer. The last line is a misfire, but I think the point he was trying to get at is that a comic book is just that – a comic book. Some fans of things considered low culture – comics, professional wrestling, action flick, fart jokes – have a pathological need to come up with reasons why the stuff they like is really smarter than everyone thinks. Those fans can be really annoying. And the worst part is often times the creators of start buying into it. Look at Lucas. He turned a fun homage to Saturday morning space serials into a self-important snore fest all because the eggheads couldn’t admit that they liked the movies because lightsabers are cool and Wookies kick ass.

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