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Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Crotch-Gate Strikes Back
Just when I thought we had finally put that nonsense behind us once and for all, Crotch Fear rears it's ugly head once again. Unsurprisingly, this time it's another Alex Ross cover that has led fanboys to the uncomfortable realization that men have external genitalia.
Here's the cover, so that we have an idea of what the hell they're going on about.
And here's what they had to say about it, in a thread titled "What's the deal with Alex Ross, JSA and penises?:"
Why are you looking?
Of course Ross will throw in some pantyless snatch from time-to-time, so it all evens out
Maybe he is teh ghey.
I think Alex Ross is repressing something.
That's some lovely gay-baiting, innit?
To be fair, unlike the last time this nonsense reared it's head, most people acknowledge that it's not a big deal that Alan Scott isn't a Ken doll, but there's still that element of shock that some people seem to get at the merest suggestion of a penis in a picture. I know a lot of straight men labor under this belief that their penis is the only one in the world, and that's why everyone wants it, and the suggestion that there are other ones out there sends them into an existential panic, but come on...this is what people think an erect penis looks like?
That is not an erect penis; that's an intense, soft light shining on reflective material. Ross if far from one of my favorite artists, but technically he's very good, and all he's done there is a very slight suggestion of an absolutely normal pants bulge on a man. It's nothing to be excited about.
Here, this is what an erect penis looks like:
You'll notice they appear to be pointing in one direction. If Alan Scott is pointing with that tiny bulge, and comic fans think that's a big penis, then the significant others of comic fans must be very disappointed.
Zodiac was very good. And by "very good" I mean "exceptionally good." Easily Fincher's most accomplished and mature film. I wish I had more to say about it, but it's the kind of film that requires another viewing or two to really appreciate the craftsmanship and intricacy of it. It is not the sort of happily and easily resolved, meaningless serial-killer thriller that audiences are used to seeing, which sadly I expect is hurting its popular and critical reception. I've even seen and heard people complain about the ending in which (SPOILER ALERT) the cops fail to capture, or at least satisfyingly blow away, the killer.
Which is the sort of thing that makes me think someone, somewhere, has missed the point. And I don't think it was me.
On a similar note, I rewatched Dario Argento's Bird with the Crystal Plumage recently. It still holds up as a well-crafted, though not entirely fair-play, thriller. It's stylistic tics and innovations still impress me. The early scene, with Tony Musante trapped between the security doors of an art gallery, unable to either get out and call the police or get in and help the woman who has been stabbed, is still one of the most nerve-racking set pieces I've come across. Oh, sure, Argento's latest films are fairly crap. And I think I've decided that Stendahl Syndrome is the most misogynistic film I've ever sat through. But I still like Argento's formula. It's hard to go wrong with: black-gloved killer, secret from the past menacing the present, misremembered clue, work of art providing critical clue. Death or serious injury by modern sculpture optional.
Oh, come on, the character was named Osiris! If you didn't see that coming from the moment he was introduced, I'm sorry, there's no help for you.