Sunday, November 13, 2011

Frank Miller, You Are The Opposite of Batman

I'll try and be polite about this nonsense:
This little post isn't going to try and sort out the ways 9/11 impacted Frank Miller and all Americans, nor is it going to attack an artist who clearly has lost his perspective.

What I will try and do here is talk about art and agenda. Every work of art has one. Art is its own agenda; what it tries to convey through you, or about you, your circumstances or those circumstances you may find necessary to shine a light on, art communicates. Art is message. Art then must speak for itself. If you as the artist decide to be the messenger, or if you confuse the form - writing, in this case - with a bully pulpit, or worse, a weapon, then you are not an artist anymore. You are a propagandist.

Frank Miller rants against the Occupy movement in his blogpost. He's entitled to his opinion about the movement. As someone who visited the protesters in Zucotti Park last month, I have mixed emotions about the movement. I also have perspective. Frank Miller does not, it seems. His anger - real, visceral anger - over the protest quickly collapses into his real issue with them. These people hate America, because they aren't protesting the terrorists.

'This enemy of mine' he says, of al-Qaeda. Frank Miller is at war, and art is his weapon. His recent, um, piece - Holy Terror - makes it clear his art no longer speaks. He speaks for his art. He uses it as a means to exact a revenge for what happened to us ten years ago; he uses it as a means to ridicule and diminish Muslims in a way that is ignorant. 

The real enemy of America is ignorance.

Ignorance of our evaporating quality of life. Ignorance of those who do mean us harm. Ignorance of why.  So, I would say to Frank Miller, and to any writer, write about 9/11. Write about revenge. Write about an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan or a Muslim community in Michigan.  Shine a light on the things we don't want to think about. That we don't know about. Let your art speak for itself. Let your reader use their imagination to understand - or reject - what you confront them with. If you are only passing on your own personal judgement of a situation or people, then you are not a writer.

A writer cannot be a judge. A writer protests. A writer prosecutes. A writer defends. In the end, a writer doesn't decide. If they did, they wouldn't need readers.

Sent from my iPad


Ty Johnston said...

I think Miller has lost it. Actually, I thought he had lost it at least ten years ago. His sequel to the Dark Knight left me unimpressed and nearly sick to my stomach with its over-the-top morality.

Darby said...

Thanks for the comment, Ty. I agree, the Dark Knight sequel was misguided, in a lot of ways.