Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
Skip to search.
 

Hysteria over "Histeria"

Expand Messages
  • 73472.324@compuserve.com
    Indian Comics Irregular #22 I ve argued that stereotypes pervade our culture. That their influence is subtle but real. I ve used Native American stereotypes
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2000
      Indian Comics Irregular #22

      I've argued that stereotypes pervade our culture. That their influence is
      subtle but real. I've used Native American stereotypes as examples.

      Some people still don't get it. They think the problem can't be serious
      because the examples are trivial. To show the problem goes further than the
      "trivial" treatment of Indians, let's examine one cartoon.

      On 11/17/99 I watched part of the WB's "Histeria." "Histeria" tells a
      fractured fairy-tale version of the past. It's history tricked up as
      entertainment for kids.

      This episode featured the "Legion of Super-Writers" vs. a team of wordsmiths
      gone bad. While it was good to see writers given their due, the show was rife
      with stereotypes. One couldn't help wondering what the average viewer would
      think.

      The villains of the piece were:

      * American mystery/horror writer Edgar Allen Poe, who suffered "melancholy" and
      depression. "Histeria" portrayed him as a raving lunatic scheming against
      literature.

      * Greek poet Sappho, a lesbian. "Histeria" portrayed her as a cackling
      man-hater obliterating any mention of men.

      * Japanese poet Basho, the foremost practitioner of Haiku. "Histeria"
      portrayed him as a crazed Samurai chopping books in half.

      The heroes were Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare, and Charles Dickens--all
      WASP males. Hemingway, known for his macho exploits, led the way. The cartoon
      gave him a heroic build and costume and showed him manhandling the stunted Poe.

      The typical American child knows nothing of Poe, Sappho, or Basho. Nor of
      depression, homosexuality, or Japanese culture. So what is this youngster
      supposed to conclude? Mentally ill = maniacal? Lesbian = misanthropic?
      Japanese = fanatical?

      But manly = virtuous, of course. In "Histeria's" scenario, healthy, white,
      Anglo-Saxon men are the norm and other people aren't. That Hemingway's bravado
      ultimately led him to suicide didn't earn a mention.

      Is the picture clear now?

      "Aztec Autumn," the Sequel

      Gary Jennings's sequel to "Aztec" is more of a potboiler than the original.
      Though the short-lived rebellion may have been historically accurate, the
      Amazonian warrior women and Indian reinvention of guns stretch the reader's
      credulity. Worst is a fictional "island of women" off the western coast of
      Mexico. No man had ever shown the inhabitants the pleasures of sex, so
      naturally the heroic Tenam´┐Żxtli had to service all 60 or whatever of them.

      Some protagonists have all the hard luck. Rob's rating: 7 of 10.

      PEACE PARTY on the Air

      On 1/27/00 advisor Steve Russell and I appeared on K103 Mohawk radio. We
      chatted with host Joe Delaronde about--what else?--PEACE PARTY for 20 minutes.
      Steve spoke eloquently, reading bits from issue #1, and I muddled through. To
      get a tape of the interview, visit members.xoom.com/peaceparty/pages/customer.htm.

      We also received a much-appreciated review in the San Antonio Current. Writer
      Gregorio Rodriguez called PEACE PARTY "intelligent, poignant, and a much needed
      comic for the times." For more of his assessment, head to members.xoom.com/peaceparty/pages/reviews.htm.

      Rob Schmidt
      Blue Corn Comics
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.