Fascism isn't socialism. This isn't the sort of thing that one should have to say, but apparently it is.
Politics has content as well as form. It is not, as fascism always tries to make it, a game of aesthetics. No matter how superficially similar fascist and antifascists may be - and I contend that, with a very little good-faith scrutiny, they are not actually very similar at all - there is a world of difference, so much difference on every level that equivalence of any kind is a gross falsehood, a catastrophic failure of understanding. It is the content of political action which gives it meaning, not the form. And the content always ultimately derives from the class content, which ultimately derives from the class basis. The class content and basis of fascism, whatever the rhetoric, is bourgeois, based on the defence of capital either directly or via the defence of those divisions and oppressions which are both generated by and bolster the rule of capital. They don’t need to be generated by or to bolster capital to be wrong, but they are and do. The class content and basis of antifascism, by contrast, is found in defensive reaction ...
Bowing to necessity, this week Daniel and Jack talk about the Boogaloo, the shortcomings of the current discussion around it, and the reality.
Bundyville Podcast https://www.opb.org/news/article/bundyville-occupation-podcast/
Robert Evans; Jason Wilson: The Boogaloo Movement Is Not What You Think https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2020/05/27/the-boogaloo-movement-is-not-what-you-think/
Robert Evans guests on Qanon Anonymous, on the Boogaloo Boys https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-qanon-anonymous-30956096/episode/episode-96-the-boogaloo-boys-feat-63994902/
And what of Moore? Where was he as the company he forsook remade itself in what they imagined his image to be? How did the Prophet of Eternity respond to what he had wrought?
At first, retreat. As he told an interviewer around the time he was finishing the script for Watchmen #12, “I’m going to take a couple of months off and basically not have a single creative thought in my head for that entire period.” This was both unsurprising and necessary. By this point it would have been clear to him that Watchmen was going to leave him in a vastly changed financial situation (he suggested in 1991 that it had” made me hundreds of thousands of pounds” though noted “that's not a fraction of what DC made out of it”). On top of that, he was understandably tired. Since his career had taken off in earnest in 1981, he’d been working at a staggering clip across multiple publishers. V for Vendetta, Miracleman, Watchmen, Swamp Thing, The Ballad of Halo Jones, The Killing Joke, and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow had essentially all come in a five year frenzy of productivity with ...
This week, Daniel and Jack are honoured to be joined by Prof. Megan Squire, Antifascist data-miner. Geeking-out ensues. You're gonna love it.
Megan's Twitter: @MeganSquire0
Spoilers: probably not.
Content Warning / Contains Clips
Notes and Links:
SPLC article 'Two Prominent Neo-Nazis Recant, but Their Actions Sow Doubts' https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2020/05/14/two-prominent-neo-nazis-recant-their-actions-sow-doubts
Everything You Love Will Burn. https://www.amazon.com/Everything-You-Love-Will-Burn/dp/1568589948
Vice White Student Union documentary (from 2013). https://youtu.be/GJ_MHp8iqtQ
Matt Heimbach assaults woman at Trump rally 2016. https://youtu.be/-YeYZtXHo8E
Kelly Weill article on Night of Wrong Wives. https://www.thedailybeast.com/matthew-heimbachs-traditional-workers-party-implodes-over-love-triangle-turned-trailer-brawl
Matt Heimbach joins Light Upon Light. https://youtu.be/w4DGkvsJLP8
Light Upon Light Upon Light (independent blog critical of LuL.) https://lightuponlightuponlight.home.blog
Take A Walk On the Right Side podcast. https://anchor.fm/take-a-walk-on-the-right-side
Relevant previous episodes:
The core of the problem was that from DC’s perspective, the lesson of Watchmen could only ever be one thing: things like this sold. And within the post-Crisis reality of the direct market, what DC specifically cared about was what fans said. The simple reality is that what the vocal fans who showed up and bought Watchmen in their specialist comic book stores liked most about the book wasn’t the moving explorations of sexuality in “A Brother To Dragons”; it was Rorschach being a moody badass in “The Abyss Gazes Also.” And so this is what DC imitated.
This, of course, was not unique to Watchmen—the kind of hard-edged and violent antihero represented by Rorschach was, to DC’s mind, part and parcel of a trend of dark and violent superhero comics that also included Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Mike Grell’s Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters. This, in other words, was something they already knew how to imitate, and that Moore was always one of several writers capable of providing. Indeed, in most regards Moore was always an imitator in this regard, putting his own spin on a foundation that had been laid down ...
CW: rape, sexual assault, violence against women, transphobia, and homophobia. This chapter contains multiple NSFW images.
There is, however, another important sense in which Rorschach represents a myopia within Watchmen and, more broadly, Moore’s larger artistic vision. As mentioned, a crucial part of Rorschach’s psychology is his tortured relationship with sexuality. Sex is a major theme of both Watchmen and Moore’s career, and one that he has much of value to say about, but there is something unseemly about the directness with which Rorschach’s disgust with sex is pathologized, not least because it’s a character trait inherited from his underlying relationship with the apparently asexual Steve Ditko. More broadly, there is something oversimplified and unsatisfying in Moore’s approach to sexuality—a flaw intimately connected to his persistent inadequacy on the subject of sexual assault. This would be a relatively minor issue were it not for the awkward fact that the relationship between superheroes and sexuality is one of the comic’s major themes.
The theme of sex within Watchmen ignites in the seventh issue, “A Brother to Dragons,” which forms, along with “The Abyss Gazes Also,” a symmetrical axis at the center of the series. Watchmen can be divided into ...
The line, of course, belongs to Rorschach, the glamorous poison at the heart of Watchmen’s appeal. Moore is self-effacing about the character these days, joking that his popularity is down to the fact that Moore “had forgotten that actually to a lot of comic fans that smelling, not having a girlfriend - these are actually kind of heroic.” But unlike a lot of Moore’s self-deprecation, there’s an edge to this quip. He’s emphasizing his failure to anticipate the reaction to Rorschach, but only as a means to insult Rorschach’s fans even more spectacularly. There are obviously a lot of things about Watchmen that have gone sour for Moore, but at times it seems that there is nothing he resents quite as deeply as the reception of Rorschach.
|Figure 977: The Zodiac Killer, a Californian serial killer named for his literally cryptic letters, has nothing to do with either Watchmen or From Hell.|
In some ways it’s no wonder. It’s not just the throngs of fans eager to tell Moore how much they admired Rorschach, a phenomenon that is surely associated with the sudden spike in Moore’s popularity that turned comics conventions into deeply unpleasant experiences where he felt crushed ...