Doesn’t Mean That Much to Me to Mean That Much to You

This twitter thread by Catherynne Valente gets it pretty much right:

Last night, Bill Maher went on a rant about comic books & those who love them & the generation (it rhymes with Schmelennials!) that uses words like #adulting & doesn’t want to give up the things they loved as kids or grow up

Well my name is Miss Valente & I got something to say

First of all, Mister Bill Maher, I’m not sure how smugly bloviating, smoking pot, and screwing people way too young for you is any more mature than reading comic books but okay buddy. Secondly, I’m not even going to get into the literary merit of comic books. Some are great art. Some are ridiculous trash. Kind of like every other genre & medium out there. It’s not worth discussing as it’s obvious on the face of it that adding pictures does not subtract value. I want to say this.

Do you know why millennials “refuse to grow up”?

Because we finally figured out that the whole idea is bullshit designed to suppress human joy enough to keep them grinding for an uncaring company for 50 years in unhappy marriages until death is a mercy. The reason my generation still plays in ball pits & reads comic books & plays dress up is that contemporary society has made most of the good parts of adult life financially unreachable: home, family, travel, even theater is $500 a ticket

All that’s left is the crushing despair! In the vacuum left by the loss of reachable life goals, we 80s kids kind of figured: fuck it.

Why the hell should we give up what is good & joyful & rich of the art & accoutrements of childhood in exchange for a yawning grey void? How was that ever considered a fair deal? What Maher and his peers cannot understand is that even their generation returned to the beautiful well of childhood—to share it with their own children.

The problem is, many in my generation cannot afford to have kids, or must wait until very late. You are not superior because you collect items from the Sharper Image catalogue rather than Comic Con. You have just allowed what others think of you to dictate a narrow range of joy you are allowed to experience.

Unless you really love $5000 massage chairs I guess. Adulthood has always been a trick played on the whole of humanity. Convincing us to give up magic & beauty & fun for their own sake in exchange for our labor & loyalty to whatever boss is going around

Only recently has society become decentralized enough to re-examine the terms

When complaining that millennials refuse to grow up, it might behoove the media to stop referring to 35 year olds as though they’re hapless children who don’t know what’s good for them. Companies will give us nothing but a company store. Governments sell out to each other and burn the planet. Markets offer no safety. There is almost nothing left of our parents’ world.

So read a fucking comic book if you want to, life is so heartbreakingly brief. Maybe, just maybe, consider the idea that the millennials got this one right.

It was always a bad deal that only benefitted the masters.

You get one life on this rock. Why in the hell would you give up something you love just because you got old enough to really appreciate it? Give us back the social contract, make the hallmarks of adulthood remotely reachable for us, and maybe we’ll consider putting down the comics.

Probably not, but we’ll have a house to read them in.

Boomers like Maher who reflexively dunk on the young, who have been fucked out of many of the social benefits that boomers take for granted, deserve this and more.






261 replies
  1. 1
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    No argument against this rant. I grieve that my thirty-something-year-old sons and their peers have a significantly narrowed opportunity horizon than my ex-husband and I did at their age.

    Edit: And I also note that in some aspects they’re having a lot more fun. Maybe they also decided fuckit, let’s just enjoy life. (Although I’d like that enjoyment to include giving ME grandchildren, since as a late-stage Boomer, it’s all about ME.) //

  2. 2
    Brachiator says:

    Do you know why millennials “refuse to grow up”?

    Because we finally figured out that the whole idea is bullshit designed to suppress human joy enough to keep them grinding for an uncaring company for 50 years in unhappy marriages until death is a mercy. The reason my generation still plays in ball pits & reads comic books & plays dress up is that contemporary society has made most of the good parts of adult life financially unreachable: home, family, travel, even theater is $500 a ticket

    Not a good argument for perpetual childhood.

    Signed, a grown ass man

    ETA: Bill Maher is full of shit.

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hear hear!

  4. 4
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Brachiator: Not sure they are arguing for perpetual childhood, but instead for having fun in the midst of adult life struggles. I know how hard my millennial children work with far fewer prospects to accumulate wealth (i.e. buy a house) and get out from under university debt. Why can’t they choose their own forms of enjoyment where they can get it?

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    Intergenerational wars are stupid. I blame Maher in this instance because he apparently started this one.

  6. 6
    David Hyland says:

    No argument from this boomer; but I’ve always been well to the left of most of my peers. I do have hope though, with the likes of AOC and others unapologetically storming the gates. I like to think that Speaker Pelosi got a huge jolt of “damn, gotta ride this wave” in dealing with the guy in the WH. So far, so good…

  7. 7
    cmorenc says:

    Adults take care of shit that needs to be taken care of
    Children enjoy shit without full responsibility for taking care of shit.

    There are two key insights there:
    1) taking care of shit and indulgently enjoying shit are not necessarily incompatible with being adult.
    2) so long as you’re taking care of essential shit, don’t let anyone give you shit about it being childish to indulgently enjoy yourself in shit that makes you happy..

    /loads bowl with good shit.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    I personally never got into comic books but who cares if people like them.

  9. 9
    hells littlest angel says:

    She’s just jealous that Bill Maher has cool friends like Ann Coulter and RoseAnne Barr.

    Seriously: if he didn’t laugh at his own jokes, who would?

  10. 10
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Brachiator:

    In this argument (in the OP), I’m rooting for injuries.

  11. 11
    Hitlesswonder says:

    @cmorenc: Thumbs up for that comment. It surprising how often people imagine things to be mutually exclusive when they are not. Moreover, I’m very annoyed that so many people object to the activities of others based solely on the fact that they don’t enjoy that particular activity. What the hell is wrong with people.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    $500 theater tickets? I detect a certain amount of exaggeration there; there certainly are tickets which cost that much, but the great majority don’t.

    That nit aside, complaining that $YOUNGER_GENERATION doesn’t like the same things as $OLDER_GENERATION goes back at least as far as the ancient Greeks and the only reason we can’t prove it goes back further is because of the paucity of older written records.

  13. 13

    Bill Maher is the not the boss of what people like to read or should read or can read. Nobody should have to make excuses for what they like to read. Nor should they have to agree that reading comic books is childish and then explain why they cling to childish things. BS on that.

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    My teen and her group of friends of whatever we’re going to call her peer generation don’t do comics or flock to superhero movies so watch out millennials, your Habits of the Old may soon be under attack via dual-generational pincer.

    But this is ‘murica, so spend your money however you care to. Just don’t expect people to not notice and point. We had the same thing happen to us. Nobody apologized, they just published Greatest Generation books. I no longer have a lawn to shoo you from.

  15. 15
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    Maher is soooooo behind!

    I remember in jr high sitting in.the city library in the early 50s reading a book–by an adult!–about how comic books were destroying the kids ‘of today’!!

    Comic books seem to be a convenient stick with which to best up the ‘not-measuring-up-to-my-standards target of the day!!

  16. 16
    JR says:

    Romanticism versus the Enlightenment, updated

  17. 17
    Kirk Spencer says:

    FY Bill Maher. I’m just short of 59 and still read comic books. As a former librarian I could go on about strength of characters and plotting in serials but I’d rather just agree with Miss Valente. Your way is not the only way, and frankly I’m more disgusted with your antivax stance than anything you complained about in your little whinefest.

  18. 18
    Jack the Cold Warrior says:

    Bull shit. You think this is bad? The Greatest Generation fought through a Great Depression and WWII and created the richest and largest Middle Class in history. Did Boomers fuck it up? Yes.
    But whining about it and escaping into comic book fantasy is not going to fix things. Hard work and organizing and electing leaders that will fight and establish a Green New Deal, which is supported by 65% of the. American people will solve your problems. We got a good start with the 2018 Congressional elections. And because life goes on, you will then encounter new problems. Fix them.

    As progressive TR said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

    Grow the fuck up.

  19. 19
    trollhattan says:

    @dmsilev:
    If it’s not Broadway it’s not “theater” donchano. That said, the “Watch Elton Before he Dies” show that just hit town had gobs of four-digit tickets and nothing below three. That’s fucking nuts.

  20. 20
    tobie says:

    I haven’t attended Comic-Con but I’ve been in town while it’s happening and the attendees look like they’re having the time of their lives. Maybe Maher’s jealous?

  21. 21
    The Dangerman says:

    @Baud:

    I personally never got into comic books but who cares if people like them.

    Ditto and exactly. I found Nirvana (and most Grunge) to be schlock, but couldn’t care less if others liked it.

    Kinda the same thing with smoking (tobacco, I mean) and tattoos; don’t understand either, don’t care if someone feels differently (well, I’ll never kiss a heavy smoker again; ewwww).

  22. 22
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: AND a guy from Germany in grad school in the 60s smugly lecturing us about how childish Americans were—because we had comic strips in our newspapers!!

  23. 23
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oh and for the record, I used to be a grown up. It sucked.

  24. 24
    geg6 says:

    Well, I agree with Maher about comic books and how they have taken over every possible cultural niche and how boring I find it all. Sorry, I know there are a lot of fans here, but I generally don’t go to or watch movies because of the ubiquitousness of them on every freaking screen. And the idea that they are great literature (with a few exceptions that aren’t anywhere in the Marvel/DC universe) is laughable.

    However, I find the idea that millennials have not grown up to be ridiculous. I know plenty of millennials who have gotten jobs, many of them good jobs, and are doing actual, real adulting quite well. Both Maher and Valente are insulting to every one of those young adults. It’s condescending to them and the millennials I know would be insulted by both equally.

  25. 25
    raven says:

    @Baud: I agree, this is bullshit even though I don’t like Maher at all. What social benefits we talking about, the fucking draft?

  26. 26
    The Moar You Know says:

    Why is Maher back in the news? The guy is seriously one of the most awful human beings on the planet – AND has a goddamn media soapbox to spread his mental herpes virus everywhere.

    He should take his money and lock himself behind the gates of a closed estate with his BFF Ann Coulter and leave the rest of us who want to lead decent lives alone.

  27. 27

    “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – CS Lewis

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Jack the Cold Warrior says:

    @hells littlest angel:

    Enough so that he contributed several millions to Obama, Hillary, and other progressive candidates

  30. 30
    wasabi gasp says:

    Maude/Harold 2020

  31. 31

    Who is this Valente person, and why should I care. As for BM he is an obnoxious loud mouth. I guess he still has his HBO show.

  32. 32
    The Moar You Know says:

    Not sure they are arguing for perpetual childhood

    @O. Felix Culpa: They are not.

    I know how hard my millennial children work with far fewer prospects to accumulate wealth (i.e. buy a house) and get out from under university debt. Why can’t they choose their own forms of enjoyment where they can get it?

    At least you get it. My parents ask, at least twice a year, when we can take “a few weeks off” and “visit them at the lake”. All three of us kids have very carefully explained that we simply can’t do that, nor can our spouses. A three-day weekend mandated by the Feds is about as much vacation as any of us get, and God help you at any 21st century workplace if you ask for time off for any reason. Odds are far better than even that you will not have a job upon your return.

    I have taken one vacation of over four days in the last ten years. I will take one more early next year. And that will be all until retirement. I have months of vacation banked, but it’s been made clear that if you use it, that’s your severance pay.

  33. 33

    @Baud: Agreed, grinning, smirking mini Kavanaugh of last week was no Boomer.

  34. 34
    Mike in NC says:

    Couldn’t pay me to watch Bill Maher and company. However, way back when I was responsible for the operation of the propulsion plant on a Navy ship, I was at times somewhat concerned that the kid in charge of making sure a boiler didn’t explode often had his nose buried in a comic book.

  35. 35
    oatler. says:

    I wish Maher had taken a shot at John Hughes, who in the 80s I considered to be the Leni Riefenstahl of the Reagan era. Even Molly Ringwald has expressed regrets.

  36. 36
    Cashworth says:

    @Baud:

    I personally never got into comic books but who cares if people like them.

    Long-time lurker, first time commenter; I think some who care are people invested in conspicuous consumption – comic books and similar small-ticket sources of entertainment are a rebuke to “traditional” reasons to make and spend money (like prestige-brand cars or watches).

    Another group might akin to those doctors who insist residents work 48-hour shifts (even though it’s counterproductive and dangerous) simply because “that’s what they did.” Misery loves company and all that.

    And I suppose some people are just haters who gotta build themselves up by bringing others down.

  37. 37
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    God help you at any 21st century workplace

    This. The argument of “comic books good” vs. “comic books bad” is silly and beside the point. Personally, my eyes glaze over during the intricate comic book discussions on this very blog, but I don’t begrudge people who enjoy them. I have my own amusements.

    THE BIG ISSUE IS THAT OUR FUNDAMENTAL ECONOMIC STRUCTURE HAS CHANGED AND WITH IT DIMINISHED OPPORTUNITIES FOR MILLENNIALS AND YOUNGER PEOPLE. OH, PLUS CLIMATE CHANGE.

    Those issues are worth discussing and addressing. The rest is noise.

  38. 38
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    @Kirk Spencer: This 62 year old still reads comic books and loves them.

  39. 39
    guachi says:

    My wife (52) and I (45) went to a Lego ‘convention’ at our local convention hall here in Augusta. Mostly, it was a medium sized area of the convention with displays of Lego creations from six or so people. There were also some booths selling stuff, mostly minifigs.

    It was great!

    A few of the designers showed immense creativity and ability with Lego techniques. I’ll take the guy who used a 1×2 grate tile rotated on its side to use the small openings in the grate to represent tiny windows over Bill Maher any day. The attendees (especially the kids) were incredibly impressed with all of the creations and this gentleman was appreciative that I recognized the technique he used.

    I’ll take Legos any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  40. 40
    The Dangerman says:

    @raven:

    Ever see Hype?

    No, but doesn’t look like my cuppa tea. There was a certain “hypocrisy” to grunge I just couldn’t get over; same thing happened to my joy of Metallica. Ulrich bitched up a storm about Napster (and he was right), but I saw a Metallica show in Long Beach and the fans just fucking trashed the place. I mean, the damages fee (presumably paid for by the band, I would guess) musty have been astronomical. They could’ve stopped the show and said “knock that shit off” but … then there would have been a riot, so maybe not…

    Anthony Davis joining LeBron and it only costs Lonzo and Ingram and a bag of balls? Where can I sign up for that deal?

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    Not sure they are arguing for perpetual childhood, but instead for having fun in the midst of adult life struggles.

    I think I see your point. I’m all for growing up and having adult fun. But I know people who use ideas similar to the writer’s to justify perpetual childhood, almost to the point of competing with their children or never looking beyond whatever it is they enjoyed when they were 16 years old. They talk about “having fun” like they used to, but they are hiding fear and a lack of curiosity about the world.

    I know how hard my millennial children work with far fewer prospects to accumulate wealth (i.e. buy a house) and get out from under university debt.

    Isn’t this ultimately kind of a separate (and serious) issue? And even here, it doesn’t mean that they are limited to the same entertainment options of their childhood or teen years.

  42. 42
    Kelly says:

    thread needs a sleeping kitten, Phoebe 6 months old
    https://imgur.com/a/Ao1lu2W

  43. 43
    MattF says:

    Well, I think both sides are wrong. I’m a Boomer who loves comics– old and new. Krazy Kat, Little Nemo, Howard the Duck, Spiderman, whatever. If the art is good and the story is well-told, I’m in.

    And it’s fun to be in good company, like at the annual SPX convention in Bethesda, where you can meet people like Roz Chast. What’s not to like?

  44. 44
    JustRuss says:

    Comic books are dumb, but devoting hours to watching young men chase a ball around is grown-up and manly.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Mike in NC says:

    @The Moar You Know: I worked most of my career in IT as a federal government contractor, for several companies large and small. Was grudgingly permitted to take a week or two off every year to complete mandatory Navy Reserve annual training. Had I asked for some actual vacation time on top of that I’d have been kicked out the door. “Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve” is an oxymoron.

  47. 47
    Peale says:

    I kind of like the fact that Millenials are getting ragged on for stuff that GenExers pioneered. Sometimes it’s great to be the overlooked middle child.

  48. 48
    Citizen Alan says:

    I haven’t collected comics in many many years, but when I did, they were an enjoyable leisure activity. Perhaps Bill Maher could suggest some other leisure activity millennials could engage in on an entertainment budged of maybe $20 a month. Or perhaps Bill Maher is just a loud-mouthed muppet who should shut his cake hole.

  49. 49
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Brachiator: There have always been people stuck in perpetual childhood. That is a developmental, not a generational, issue. I don’t care what form of amusement people choose in adulthood as long as it doesn’t harm others. The Boomers (of which I’m one) seem to have an endless franchise on childhood nostalgia. Why is it less adult for millennials to choose their own entertainments? Forgive me if I misread, but you also seem to be assuming a lack of intellectual curiosity among those who fancy comic books. You might want to that up with one A. Silverman. :)

  50. 50
    wasabi gasp says:

    OMFG…this thread has fun police.

  51. 51
    raven says:

    @The Dangerman: That’s actually the point of the film. The “big” groups would do LA and SF and go back east and ignore Seattle so a local scene developed that had great audience/band interaction and Sub-Pop came in to promote it. It goes on to show how the GAP and other “fashion” outfits created “grunge” One band dude explains “we dress like this cuz it’s fucking wet and cold!”

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    OT, but LOL

    Howard Schultz May Save the Democratic Party From Itself

    The Atlantic / by David Frum / 45min

  53. 53
    mr gravity says:

    Were it not for comics I would be a pretty marginal reader.

    As a ten year old I found the moral concepts in the comic universe to have much greater clarity than those presented in that other source of magical thinking and super heroes.

    Looking at you King James Version.

  54. 54
    wasabi gasp says:

    @Peale: lol

  55. 55
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kelly: Heh.

  56. 56
    raven says:

    @Brachiator: Mother mother ocean, I have heard your call. . . .

  57. 57
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jack the Cold Warrior: That period is also known as the Golden Age of Comics. They were HUGE during the late Depression and WWII.

    The audience was largely kids– but some of the kids were old enough to fight the war.

  58. 58
    opiejeanne says:

    @Baud: Hear hear! Maher is an idiot.

  59. 59
    trollhattan says:

    @Baud:
    Jesus. A Frum cannot change his spots.

    No matter how bad Republicans become, freeing Frum to attack them, Dems will always be worse. Because.

  60. 60
    MattF says:

    @Baud: And Democrats must heed this important advice from David Frum. Sheesh. Frum’s not so bad, but there’s ample evidence that his judgement is not so good.

  61. 61
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Baud: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! and HA!

  62. 62
    hueyplong says:

    The saddest part of this is the concept of feeling obliged to respond to anything Bill Maher says. In a just world we have no idea who he is.

  63. 63
    Radiumgirl says:

    This crap is as old as the hills. Ranting about the younger generation and how it isn’t living up to the expectations of the ‘adults’ goes back to the Stone Age. Every generation defines itself in its own way. Every generation responds to the economic opportunity or lack of it, that they face.

    One sure indication of your increasing irrelevance is the inability to resist the urge to dump on younger people. Not a good look for anyone.

  64. 64
    grubert says:

    Touchy, touchy! Maher needs some materiel for his show and does a little light-hearted millenial bashing. Low hanging fruit, and signifying *nothing*.

    Me, pushing 60, still reading comics and watching anime, in moderation. I know who Goku is, and World Breaker Hulk is the best, tho One Punch Man. Is pretty cool too.

  65. 65
    trollhattan says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    That period is also known as the Golden Age of Comics. They were HUGE during the late Depression and WWII. The audience was largely kids– but some of the kids were old enough to fight the war.

    Absolutely true, and as well for newspaper comics, which were a huge Sunday paper component. If only those GIs had the good sense to carefully put their comics into proper envelopes after reading and ship them home for storage and later sale, they’d have become RICH!

  66. 66
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Radiumgirl:

    One sure indication of your increasing irrelevance is the inability to resist the urge to dump on the younger people.

    Hear, hear.

  67. 67
    Baud says:

    @grubert:

    I know who Goku is

    Duh. He’s a valued commenter here.

  68. 68
    The Dangerman says:

    @raven:

    The “big” groups would do LA and SF and go back east and ignore Seattle….

    Well, yeah; the only venues in Seattle were the Kingdome (let’s bow our heads in memory) and the Tacoma Dome (which should also be blown up). Outdoors is a possibility for about a month out of the year (I went to an outdoor show on July 2nd one year and it was so cold I was in my heaviest down jacket).

    Now, there is the Gorge and, I assume, Safeco (never went to either) and Seattle has rather exploded (it’s one big construction project these days), so maybe things have changed.

  69. 69

    I’m 66 years old, retirement is looming, and I still have yet to grow up, according to Bill Maher, who is younger than me. It sounds like he’s just jealous of the kids who refuse to let go of something they enjoy just because some social dicta (and I added the extra syllable just to be polite) says they have to.

    Frodo gave his finger for you, Bill.

  70. 70
    Cacti says:

    Not a Maher fan by any means, but in this case, he’s the proverbial stopped clock that’s right twice a day.

    Millennials suck.

    Exhibit A: The inability to accept that Wilmer shouldn’t be named Dem nominee just for showing up.

    Exhibit B: President Trump due to Exhibit A.

  71. 71
    grubert says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Oh I think not. Maher is more politically savvy then most of the commetariat here, and BJ has one of the best collection of thinkers in the blogosphere.

  72. 72
    Mike in DC says:

    Comic books have a variable reading level, but generally have matured with their readership. They’re not just for 10 year olds anymore, haven’t been since at least the mid-80s. Maher is sorta dating himself, because comics were less sophisticated when he was a kid.

  73. 73
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Cacti: Nope and nope. Materially comfortable (that is, “economically anxious”) older white assholes gave us T.

    And let’s drop the generation bashing. It’s just stupid.

  74. 74
    chris says:

    Goddam kids! Why can’t they watch shitty TV like the rest of us? Harumph!

    ::Walks away tucking in shirt::

  75. 75
    opiejeanne says:

    @Jack the Cold Warrior: Boomers did not fuck it up. Our Greatest Generation parents and that group that came between us did it by voting for Republicans and wanting lower and lower taxes. I get tired of being part of a group that is blamed for fucking everything.

    Oh, and another thing, Bill Maher, my dad who fought in WWII read comic books while he was in the service. It’s how he and his buddies figured out that what they were being trained to use was called “radar”.

  76. 76
    grubert says:

    @Baud:

    Yes, someone here has chosen as a pseudonym the Earth name of the most powerful fighter in universe seven, who’s proper name is Kakkarot.

  77. 77
    The Moar You Know says:

    I worked most of my career in IT as a federal government contractor, for several companies large and small.

    @Mike in NC: This is exactly what I do. Yeah, the companies even get bitter about your Reserve/ROTC time. My current (small company) shitcanned a guy who (involuntarily) got sent to Iraq. Granted, he didn’t come back for over a year, we couldn’t hold the job open for more than a few weeks.

    But yeah, this job, you don’t get vacation that you can take. Oughta be illegal, IT guys need it more than some I can think of.

  78. 78
    different-church-lady says:

    The only thing worse than a smug boomer is a smug millennial. And vice versa.

  79. 79
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @grubert:

    Maher is more politically savvy then most of the commetariat here

    How droll.

  80. 80

    @Baud: Frum is pretty awful. I checked his Twitter feed the other day. He approvingly retweets morons like Jordan Peterson and Christina Hoff Summers.

  81. 81
    trollhattan says:

    @The Dangerman:
    Prior to the Kingdome big groups would play the (relatively small) fairgrounds Colosseum (now Key Arena). Saw Who, Zeppelin, Tull and the like there. Jimi’s final CONUS concert was outdoors (in the rain of course) at Sick’s Stadium, a show I heard but did not attend because a kid I was. Little did we know….

  82. 82
    opiejeanne says:

    @trollhattan: Our kids, one of whom is a Millennial, gave us coupon/tickets to Zinzanni. The lowest cost is $125.

  83. 83
    12xuser says:

    How can people forget that we Boomers did Generation Gap on the so-called Greatest Generation? To me this was a much bigger redefinition of what it means to be an adult than what’s happened recently. The cultural changes of the 60s, including the Civil Rights, Women’s Rights and Antiwar movements, were by and large generational. There was much hand wringing about “kids these days” refusing to grow up and become June and Ward Cleaver. Aging Boomers growing up and raining Hot Takes on younger generations takes a lot of selective amnesia.

  84. 84
    Cermet says:

    Considering the laughably silly “Greatest generation” won the war (they most certainly didn’t – Russia won that war), got us out of the depression (again, that was just war economy which allowed people in power to do what they already knew needed to be done but weren’t allowed to without the war), created the greatest economy in the world (again, the war did that by destroying everyone else making it easy to do this) no one need praise those lucky ducks; rather, they also fought against integration, equal rights for anyone that wasn’t a white male, homophobic such that it allowed for murder of such people, created numerous wars in central america and created draconian drug/criminal laws that have destroy many people and countries, to boot. They also helped to encourage, then got into, and kept the Vietnam war running that ended up killing well over a million people for zero result. Fuck all that these ass wipes accomplished – glad people are waking up to the fact that “How it was done” is often a crock of shit.

  85. 85
    JR says:

    @Cacti: you’re thinking of this

    i’m countering with this

  86. 86

    @mr gravity: When I was growing up, I used to read comic books called Amar Chitra Katha (Immortal Picture Tales) about stories from Indian epics like the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Old Sanskrit literary masterpieces and historical figures from ancient India to the freedom struggle. I loved that series. I still have many of the comics.

  87. 87

    I just finished reading an account of the making of Lord of the Rings that I got for Christmas. This discussion reminds me of the fears Peter Jackson had over the films getting an Oscar. The Academy has trouble seeing fantasy films (or comedy either) as capable of being real art with things to say about the human heart. In LOTR’s case, they waited until the third movie to see if they were wrong. But fantasy can be art. So can comedy. So can children’s lit. So can anything, including comic books, if it’s done right.

    ETA: I don’t mean to imply that art is the only thing to aim for either.

  88. 88

    @geg6:

    Sorry, I know there are a lot of fans here, but I generally don’t go to or watch movies because of the ubiquitousness of them on every freaking screen. And the idea that they are great literature (with a few exceptions that aren’t anywhere in the Marvel/DC universe) is laughable.

    Only a tiny fraction of any form of fiction is great literature; the vast majority has always been intended as a pleasant diversion. It should come as no surprise that comic books follow the same rule, or that the biggest publishers have concentrated on entertainment rather than great literature. That said, I think there are good reasons that comics have become such a big source material for movies:

    1) Comic books are a naturally visual medium, just as movies are, which makes it much easier and more natural to translate between the media.

    2) The comic companies have founded their own studios, so there are now movie makers working exclusively at adapting comics. It’s natural that this would produce at least a temporary boost in the number of comic movies out there.

    3) Marvel’s idea of a shared cinematic universe is genuinely novel and well realized. It’s also a commercial goldmine, since it gives all their movies a built in hook that attracts people who might otherwise not be interested in seeing everything they produce. That commercial success has made every other movie studio want to copy the idea, even if they’re failing to produce a comparably good product.

  89. 89
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud: It’s good The Atlantic does not have a paywall. Cuz I sure would not pay for it. Did you notice how much they have been propping up the Covington Catholic kids? Two big stories on how the media got it all wrong. It’s appalling. Jeffrey Goldberg is, I guess, a neocon editor.

    Do love me some James Fallows, though.

    And where do we find Ta Nehisi Coates these days?

  90. 90
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Zeke Miller
    ‏Verified account
    @ZekeJMiller
    21m21 minutes ago
    More
    Mike Bloomberg responds to Schultz: “The data was very clear and very consistent. Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win. That is truer today than ever before.”

    They’re like a caricature of “technocrat”. I love how they talk like voters can’t hear them, too. “The data indicate the drooling morons won’t vote for us, although of course we are clearly superior and therefore of no party or clique, other than ‘rich people’.

    Such passion and heart! I am swept off my feet.

  91. 91
    JR says:

    @Cermet: If the Germans were fighting a one front war, Russia certainly would have lost. We very nearly came to that point anyways.

  92. 92
    wasabi gasp says:

    @Cacti

    And that there is the clown that this here blog aligned with a couple years ago. Way to go.

  93. 93
    grubert says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Best comics in the world are French and were done in the 60’s and 70’s. My personal favorite, Jean Giraud aka Moebius, was a Picasso of comic art. Enki Bilal is crazy great, and here in US we had Will Eisner. These guys work borders on proper fine art, IMHO.

  94. 94
    different-church-lady says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the fact that millennials fill our shared aural landscape with auto-tuned crap is a good enough reason to eradicate them from the planet.

  95. 95
    bemused says:

    @Baud:

    Ha, David Jolly seems to be on the same page. Now to see how Rubin and a few other conservatives who have trump/GOP bashing for awhile.

  96. 96
    Steve in the ATL says:

    I don’t care for comic books or graphic novels or manga or anime or superheroes or tattoos or candy crush or hair gel or my wife’s Pac-Man machine but I can’t think of any way that I am harmed by other people’s enjoyment of them.

    Smoking is another story. As is axe body spray.

  97. 97
    grubert says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: a savvy response. Priceless.

  98. 98
    The Dangerman says:

    @trollhattan:

    …(now Key Arena)…

    Huh, forgot KA. Shameful. Saw Clapton there, but he wasn’t BIG by that time. A decent place but, yeah, not that big (seeya later, Supersonics).

    I’ll give it up for Seattle for Bumbershoot; I loved that festival (which was tied to Key Arena). But, that was typically during the one month of good weather up there.

    Seattle’s staggeringly gorgeous when it’s gorgeous. It just doesn’t last long enough for my thin blood (SoCal lad).

  99. 99
    Kay says:

    I think millennials have it more right than generations prior, and Generation Z are even better, so look out :)

    It’s supposed to progress! That’s the right direction!

  100. 100
    ThresherK says:

    @trollhattan: Back when newspaper comics were a thing. Now all the best stuff is in webcomics, and I’m a bit on the old end of the demographic to be as big a fan as I am.

    But it beats the largely ossified stuff being printed in largely ossified papers.

  101. 101
    patroclus says:

    I thought Maher’s bit was funny as hell (especially that picture of Kevin Smith). And I agree that comic books are childish and superhero movies are over-rated. Graphic novels, however, are a high art form and fantasy genre cinema is cutting edge and meaningful, in my view.

  102. 102
    ruemara says:

    I’m 49. Everything she said hit POC first. I feel a lot of empathy and I can’t stand Bill Maher, but it knocks me for a loop that people really thought that the economic bullshit that decimated the black working & middle class in 2000 wasn’t going to wander over to the rest in 2010+ once it was done with us. And shit, you’re talking GenX on down being very, very fucked.

  103. 103
    Brachiator says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    Forgive me if I misread, but you also seem to be assuming a lack of intellectual curiosity among those who fancy comic books. You might want to that up with one A. Silverman. :)

    I don’t care if someone reads comic books. I have no time for people who read nothing but comic books (and I know people like this).

    True story: When my family moved to California, I had an English teacher (my arch nemesis) who assumed that I was a dolt because I was from Texas and loved comic books. She noticed a comic among my school books, and went on a long rant about how evil this stuff was.

    But even at a young age, I quickly discovered that there was a more mature vocabulary in comics (especially Marvel comics) than in the text books for my grade level.

    And when I later went to a very fancy ass college, one of the most popular, and rigorous, courses was Literature X, which dealt with — you guessed it — comics and genre literature. And of course I graduated as an English major, with departmental honors. And I thank comic books in part for this.

    People like Bill Maher come from a kind of middle brow culture which still sees some forms of entertainment and literature as not good enough. These people will make a big deal about “high culture” without understanding it at all.

    OTOH, there are fools who think that anything that is not popular mainstream culture is “pretentious.”

  104. 104
    raven says:

    @The Dangerman: I went to the first Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter than Air Fair in Sultan a month before I shipped to Vietnam!

    he first Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter than Air Fair’, took place on August 28 through September 3, 1968; the town of Sultan, Washington was visited by approximately 4,000-5,000 young people during the festival.[2] Though the event was ticketed, many people showed up without tickets and snuck in. The promoters claimed to have lost $6,000, although proceeds were to be donated to the Mexican American Federation of Washington, the Foundation for American Indian Rights and the Central Area Peace and Improvement Cooperative.[1] The Camlin Hotel hosted performers for the festival.[citation needed]

    Bands and Musicians scheduled in the lineup were; the Grateful Dead, Santana, Country Joe and the Fish, Richard Pryor, Dino Valente, Freedom Highway, Blues Feedback, Sandy Bull, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, John Fahey, Byron Pope Ensemble, H.P.Lovecraft, Country Weather, Easy Chair, Floating Bridge, Frumious Bandersnatch, New Lost City Ramblers, It’s a Beautiful Day, My Indole Ring, Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck, Billy Roberts, Alice Stuart Thomas, Josh White, San Francisco Mime Troupe, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Juggernaut, Phoenix, Sons of Champlin, Mystic Knights of the Sea, Gale Garnett’s band The Gentle Reign (sans Garnett), The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, The Allman Joys, Black Snake Boogie, Flamin’ Groovies, Salvation, Anonymous Artists of America.

  105. 105
    Mandalay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    And where do we find Ta Nehisi Coates these days?

    It’s ironic that you should ask in this thread because….

    CAPTAIN AMERICA – FUGITIVE! SUPERSTAR ARTIST ADAM KUBERT JOINS TA-NEHISI COATES FOR THE NEXT DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE LIFE OF MARVEL’S SOLDIER SUPREME!

    Yes, TNC is writing comic book stories.

  106. 106
    Kay says:

    And I mean who could top the incredible complexity of Pretty Woman and Kindergarten Cop?

    Clearly young people have lowered our cultural standards with these silly fantasy stories.

  107. 107
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Kay: Snort. “It’s not a tumor!”

  108. 108
    Nicole says:

    A guy who disdains marriage and never had kids and once went off on how no one could possibly find 65 year old Sophia Loren sexually attractive because “she’s Grandma” thinks he’s an authority on what qualifies as behaving like an adult?

    Oh, right. Straight white male privilege. The ultimate superpower.

  109. 109
    raven says:

    @Cermet: 3 million

  110. 110

    Just remember for every Boomer and Millennial, there’s a Gen Xer who hates them both. //

  111. 111
    opiejeanne says:

    @raven: It was hilariously incongruent to see a group of girls getting off of a plane from Seattle at the Ontario airport in CA, dressed grunge-style complete with knitted hats. The rest of us were in shorts and tank tops because it was fucking hot.
    Now I live in Seattle and right now I have on a plaid flannel shirt and jeans.

  112. 112
    raven says:

    The comic book cop in Three Billboards is pretty funny.

  113. 113
    burnspbesq says:

    Well, gee … I’m in my 60s and my career gives me intellectual challenges and the joy of solving them just about every damn day.

    What an un-person I must be …

  114. 114
    grubert says:

    @Kay: best reply imaginable

  115. 115
    laura says:

    @The Dangerman: I love the Crocodile!
    So intimate. Great pizza oven. Adjacent to the skankiest motel -the legendary Kings Inn.

  116. 116
    Fair Economist says:

    @Cashworth:

    I think some who care are people invested in conspicuous consumption – comic books and similar small-ticket sources of entertainment are a rebuke to “traditional” reasons to make and spend money (like prestige-brand cars or watches).

    Yeah, playing games you played as a kid is childish but watching games you played as a kid at sometimes great expense (professional sports) is grown-up? I’m happy many millennials can find comparatively inexpensive ways to have fun.

    I think a lot of the drive is that the people who “won” the spendy status competitions for biggest house, fastest car, furthest vacation, etc., are pissed that the “losers” don’t really care and are having fun while ignoring their “achievements”.

  117. 117
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mandalay: Cool. I knew TNC was doing comic books (is that one a graphic novel??). And a new one comes out January 30th.

    Wondered if he was doing any essays or blogging or longform writing too, but cool if he is not. I know he was serious about learning French.

  118. 118
    ThresherK says:

    @Brachiator: “Allman Joys” is the kind of pun I wish I had already thought of.

  119. 119
    AliceBlue says:

    @opiejeanne: that group that came between us

    That’s the so-called Silent Generation (born late 20’s to mid-40’s), who really are to blame for much of the shit Boomers take heat for.

  120. 120
    opiejeanne says:

    @grubert: Yeah, a politically savvy guy who slept with Ann Coulter. His wit can be entertaining but he’s more acerbic than astute.

  121. 121
    eemom says:

    @Brachiator:

    And when I later went to a very fancy ass college, one of the most popular, and rigorous, courses was Literature X, which dealt with — you guessed it — comics and genre literature.

    A friend of mine from high school is a tenured English professor specializing in comic literature.

    I’m not into comics myself, but it seems to me that the very essence of ignorance is to diss something without understanding it. And the very essence of the utterly insufferable smug ass Maher, as well. Talk about a face that cries out for a fist.

  122. 122
    Mandalay says:

    @raven:

    It’s a Beautiful Day

    They’re still playing, 52 years later, with two of the original members!

  123. 123
    Kay says:

    @grubert:

    Maybe the decade prior was more rigorous and intellectual.

    1983:

    Scarface (1983) R | 170 min | Crime, Drama. The Outsiders (1983) PG | 91 min | Crime, Drama. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) Vacation (1983) WarGames (1983) Trading Places (1983) Christine (1983) Flashdance (1983 …

    Flashdance! My God, that alone should give us pause before we start ragging on these people.

    Christine was about a car that was possessed by a demon.

  124. 124
    AliceBlue says:

    @ThresherK: They later changed their name to the Allman Brothers.

  125. 125

    @The Moar You Know:

    But yeah, this job, you don’t get vacation that you can take. Oughta be illegal, IT guys need it more than some I can think of.

    The obvious solution is to require employers to pay their employees for unused vacation time. I’m fortunate that my employer is pretty good about this stuff. We’ve been told flat out that we’re expected to use our vacation time, and I’ve never met anyone who was punished for taking it. We even have a formal policy that if an employee has maxed their vacation time, their manager needs to provide HR a written justification for denying a vacation request, and that justification has to include a time limit for how long they can continue to deny it.

  126. 126
  127. 127
    raven says:

    @AliceBlue: Meaning I saw Duane three time before he died.

  128. 128
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Your employer is going to do a shit job of attracting, motivating, and retaining millenials.

    Whatever else you want to say about them, they do not stand for that shit. They’ve already turned law and accounting upside down.

    You’re next.

  129. 129
    Doug R says:

    @trollhattan:

    If it’s not Broadway it’s not “theater” donchano. That said, the “Watch Elton Before he Dies” show that just hit town had gobs of four-digit tickets and nothing below three. That’s fucking nuts.

    I think theater and other labor intensive business like movies show true inflation. Basing the CPI on a switching basket model hid the true cost of living-the lowering cost of electronics and mass manufactured goods was another factor.

  130. 130
    bjacques says:

    Back when Time Magazine was a thing, Baby Boomers who became Yuppies supposedly bought condos and BMWs because they couldn’t raise the down payment on a mortgage on a real house like their Greatest Generation parents. Generation X could only afford tattoos, cigars and whisky because they all had slacker jobs because their managers were Boomers still a long way off from retirement. Millennials got beards and craft beer because they’re paying off eye-watering college debt from gig economy jobs. Or something like that. These are all caricatures but the economic trend stinks. Each generation, as defined by marketers, has been encouraged to scorn the one immediately before and after them, but also to consume the cultural output from two generations back. Ted Sturgeon’s “94% of everything is crap” is the only constant.

    Tale end of the Boom (1963) and damn lucky to get what I got.

  131. 131
  132. 132
    Mandalay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I know he was serious about learning French

    He wrote one of the best essays I’ve ever read on that: How Learning a Foreign Language Reignited My Imagination

    The man can write. Bill Maher should read what he has to say about imagination.

  133. 133
    ThresherK says:

    @AliceBlue: Oh, I figured as much; how many folks names Allman are there? But still a good pun band name.

  134. 134

    One thing Maher said in his ridiculous rant was that people never claimed that Dickens or Shakespeare were lowbrow.

    …In fact, that was exactly what their contemporary critics said of both of them. And Melville, another author he brought up, was largely ignored during the latter part of his career, including Moby-Dick, which of course is now his best known and most renowned novel.

    This isn’t to say all comic books are Shakespeare. Sturgeon’s Law applies for comics just as much as it does for any other medium. But the best comics can hold their own against any literary fiction coming out this year. I defy anyone to read Watchmen and claim it’s not great literature. And as for film, no new films brought me more joy last year than Black Panther and Into the Spider-Verse, and I didn’t see any better new films last year, either.

    The rant quoted in the OP is 100% correct.

  135. 135
    trollhattan says:

    @The Dangerman:
    Bumbershoot was one of those things I loved and had zero idea how they were pulling off, given it was free admission. And the folks I was able to see. Willie Dixon? Clifton Chenier? X? Nina Hagen? Pinch me.

  136. 136
    Doug R says:

    @The Moar You Know: This is why we have a Department of Labor. We’ve taken past employers to the labor board, the law here in Canada is that employers must give you vacation pay and two weeks off every year. It goes to 3 weeks after 5 years at the same employer.
    Is this employer you work for really that fantastic? I’d have one eye on getting a better job, life ain’t just work.

  137. 137
    geg6 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I don’t agree with anything you have to say about comics. They aren’t visually interesting. Marvel didn’t do anything very novel. And just because they created their own studios doesn’t mean they put out anything worth watching. Because they don’t. They are boring, boring, boring. At least as far as I’m concerned. I find nothing interesting or novel about them.

    However, if people want to waste their time with them, go for it. I just want the movie studios to understand that they will never put me in a seat again until they start providing some actual entertainment on more than one, small room screen. Oh, and I don’t rent them either. Netflix and OnDemand rarely have anything meant for the big screen that I would pay one cent for, let alone actual dollars.

    TV is much better than movies, which is a damn shame. Because the people I know with the most discretionary funds are all middle aged white and black women. But movies have decided that white adolescent boys are the be all and end all, so they made their beds.

  138. 138
    trollhattan says:

    @ThresherK:
    Shoutout to the Wailin’ Jennys. Pun for the ages and damn good, to boot. Not to overlook the Winona Riders.

  139. 139
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So who gets to point out to slow Billy that comics have been such an adult thing since the ’80s that most major movies are based on them? Welcome to the party Mr Maher, thirty years late.

  140. 140
    chopper says:

    basically, older folks are waving their hands at the smoking ruins of the future and telling younger folks ‘someday, son, all of this will be yours’. is it any wonder younger people are saying NAH?

    wages have been generally flat for 40 fuckin’ years. home prices are more and more out of reach. and we’ve spent many years pointing out to the younger generation that we’re leaving them a shitty hellscape of a climate out of our refusal to do anything because JERBS AND FANCY CARS. the only thing here that surprises me is that younger folks haven’t worked to find a way to just up and leave the planet en masse in a big rocket the shape of a middle finger.

  141. 141
    Spanky says:

    @cmorenc: I’d like to upvote this comment, as well as wanting to upfinger Bill Maher.

    Wait. Did that sound right?

  142. 142
    geg6 says:

    @Mandalay:

    Wasting his very considerable talents and I told him this several years ago. But whatever. I just won’t ever read them and will probably make fun of those who do.

  143. 143
    geg6 says:

    @Nicole:

    I disdain marriage and have no kids. Can’t disagree with him on any of that. He also disdains religion, which is also a form of comic book thinking in my estimation.

  144. 144
    Luthe says:

    The truest sign of maturity is knowing when you can be immature.

    Also, I will take the ‘immature’ adult who reads comic books over the temper tantrum throwing ‘mature’ adult in the White House any day.

  145. 145
    Kay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Whatever else you want to say about them, they do not stand for that shit.

    This is true and a net positive, I think. I actually think it’s a rational result of the breach of the bargain between employees and employers. If employers aren’t offering any security then employees aren’t going to offer loyalty. There was two sides to that, and the employers breached first.

  146. 146
    JPL says:

    @guachi: Your local news media had a video of the event. Very cool! I also noticed that they are going to start treating roads near you tonight. All the public schools in the Atlanta area are closing tomorrow. It makes sense because we can’t handle an inch of snow.

  147. 147

    I know we’re arguing about comic books, but this is so Trumpy that I thought it was a parody. Nope. It’s real. Eat your hearts out, SNL writers.

    Howard Schultz doesn’t have the “guts” to run for President! Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the “smartest person.” Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2019

  148. 148
    opiejeanne says:

    @Brachiator: When I was 7 I was given a 6 month subscription to Donald Duck comics for Christmas. One morning at breakfast my dad expressed the need of a haircut, and I made a comment about the “tonsorial arts”. His jaw dropped (my mother had no idea what I had just said) and asked me where I’d heard that word. I told him it was in one of those Donald Duck comic books.
    He turned to Mom and said, “Don’t tell me they aren’t educational!”

    Alas, the subscription expired and they did not renew it and I had no idea how to renew it myself.

  149. 149
  150. 150
    trollhattan says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    Cripes. Can Trump, himself, become so Trumpy he’s passed Peak Trump?

    Now I want Howard to sue Trump for a million bucks the next time Starbucks is invoiced for the Trump Tower lease. Demonstrate he’s learned the Trump Discount from the master himself.

  151. 151

    @JR:

    If the Germans were fighting a one front war, Russia certainly would have lost.

    And if Russia hadn’t gotten a shit ton of Lend/Lease war materials they would have lost. One of the most interesting things about the war, IMO, is that Japan was terrified of the USSR. Something like half of our Lend/Lease material to the USSR went through Vladivostok on Soviet-flagged ships and was completely unmolested because Japan didn’t want to give the Soviets a reason to declare war.

  152. 152
    opiejeanne says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: I think my three kids are in three different cohorts. The oldest is Gen X, the youngest is a Millennial. The middle one is Gen Y. I think. There was an 8 year gap between the first two, nearly 4 years to the next one. I had a kindergartener and a college freshman the same year.

  153. 153
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @David Hyland:

    I do have hope though, with the likes of AOC and others unapologetically storming the gates. I like to think that Speaker Pelosi got a huge jolt of “damn, gotta ride this wave” in dealing with the guy in the WH

    Right, because before the 2018 elections Nancy Pelosi was notoriously timid and conservative. :eyeroll:

  154. 154

    @trollhattan: I know! Someone retweeted that and I went to the source to check because I didn’t believe it was real.

  155. 155
    AliceBlue says:

    Does anyone remember a series of comic books called Classics Illustrated? They took novels like A Tale of Two Cities and The Count of Monte Cristo and put them in comic book form. As a child I devoured them; they were my first introduction to “grown up” literature.

  156. 156
    Brachiator says:

    @opiejeanne:

    When I was 7 I was given a 6 month subscription to Donald Duck comics for Christmas. One morning at breakfast my dad expressed the need of a haircut, and I made a comment about the “tonsorial arts”. His jaw dropped (my mother had no idea what I had just said) and asked me where I’d heard that word. I told him it was in one of those Donald Duck comic books.
    He turned to Mom and said, “Don’t tell me they aren’t educational!”

    Love it.

    I learned the word “invulnerable” from Superman comics.

    @geg6:

    I don’t agree with anything you have to say about comics. They aren’t visually interesting.

    So sad that you cannot appreciate the visuals of Jack Kirby and other comic artists.

    Marvel didn’t do anything very novel.

    Also, simply not true, whether or not you value what Marvel did, which I can understand and respect.

  157. 157
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Besides, America already has that!

    Um, so, someone without guts and not the smartest?

  158. 158
    Cermet says:

    @JR: Maybe – at the time it was a essentially a one front war when the Germans “lost” the war at Stalingrad; the British in N. Africa were fighting a very tiny fraction of the German forces. However, that isn’t the issue. The so-called ‘greatest generation’ saw less than 15% of the German army (1944 and onward after Germany was defeated in the East) so calling themselves by that false title is laughable.

  159. 159
  160. 160
    opiejeanne says:

    @Raven: Heh. It’s a shock to see a price tag like that on something we have in our closet, or a set of kitchen bowls we were given when we got married.

  161. 161
    Brachiator says:

    @AliceBlue:

    Does anyone remember a series of comic books called Classics Illustrated? They took novels like A Tale of Two Cities and The Count of Monte Cristo and put them in comic book form. As a child I devoured them; they were my first introduction to “grown up” literature.

    Yep. Had a bunch of these in my yoot.

  162. 162
    David Evans says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Neal Gaiman’s Sandman series is also pretty good. Even if (like Shakespeare) a lot of it is a reworking of older stories.

  163. 163
    catclub says:

    @Jack the Cold Warrior:

    The Greatest Generation fought through a Great Depression and WWII and created the richest and largest Middle Class in history.

    Did you know also that John McCain was a POW and Tom Brokaw discovered the greatest generation? Who knew they were doing things almost as great as Frederick Douglas?

  164. 164
    Citizen Alan says:

    @JR:

    IMO, one of the dirty little secrets of WW2 era history is that if Hitler had been really smart, he’d have condemned Pearl Harbor as a dishonorable action, used it as a pretext to cut ties to Japan, and offered up neutrality and even alliance with the US against Japan in exchange for the US staying out of Europe. The Republicans would have taken him up on it. Certainly, we would not have responded to Pearl Harbor by making Germany our #1 priority if he hadn’t done FDR the favor of declaring war on us first.

  165. 165
    Nicole says:

    @geg6:

    I disdain marriage and have no kids. Can’t disagree with him on any of that. He also disdains religion, which is also a form of comic book thinking in my estimation.

    And you’re also coming down very hard on people who like comic books, because you don’t happen to like them.

    I myself couldn’t care less whether people get married or don’t, have kids or don’t, read comic books or don’t, brag online about making an eye appointment for themselves or don’t. The thing with Maher is he himself has made a lot of choices that are against traditional ideas of what it means to be an adult, and yet sees fit to mock those who have made their own choices.

    The other thing that’s amusing is, as someone pointed out upthread, he buys right into the socially constructed idea of some entertainment as “highbrow” and some as “lowbrow.” Funny enough, “highbrow” entertainment tends to be expensive to view and participate in, while “lowbrow” is something people of limited means can access.

  166. 166
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    And if Russia hadn’t gotten a shit ton of Lend/Lease war materials they would have lost. One of the most interesting things about the war, IMO, is that Japan was terrified of the USSR. Something like half of our Lend/Lease material to the USSR went through Vladivostok on Soviet-flagged ships and was completely unmolested because Japan didn’t want to give the Soviets a reason to declare war.

    Japan had kicked Russia’s ass in 1905. The Japanese had concerns about retribution, but were prepared to try to kick their asses again.

  167. 167
    opiejeanne says:

    @Doug R: An odd thing I’ve noticed is the cost of fabric has more than doubled in the past two years; I don’t sew constantly and I didn’t make anything last year, but I did the two years prior so I do remember that a yard of calico (calico!, not even a fancy fabric like velvet or satin) didn’t cost $16. I can’t account for it without wondering if Trump’s trade wars are to blame.

  168. 168
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator:

    I learned the word “invulnerable” from Superman comics.

    Oddly, bridge players have never learned it. they use vulnerable and not vulnerable.

  169. 169
    Nicole says:

    @AliceBlue:

    Does anyone remember a series of comic books called Classics Illustrated? They took novels like A Tale of Two Cities and The Count of Monte Cristo and put them in comic book form. As a child I devoured them; they were my first introduction to “grown up” literature.

    Ha! My dad told me about being assigned A Tale of Two Cities in high school, opting to read the comic book adaptation of it instead, and the day of the exam on the book, his teacher announcing she had read the comic book edition and made sure that nothing on the test could be found in the comic book version. He said it was the only test he ever failed in high school.

    I read a comic book version of the New Testament when I was 10. Everything Jesus said was printed in pink.

  170. 170
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Brachiator: Me too. I also devoured Readers Digest condensed books at other people’s houses when I was babysitting. All of which whetted my appetite for “real literature,” which I too studied at my fancy-ass college. These days I mostly read mysteries, travel memoirs, favorite children’s books…and Balloon Juice. Mind candy, and I like it that way.

  171. 171
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Something like half of our Lend/Lease material to the USSR went through Vladivostok on Soviet-flagged ships and was completely unmolested because Japan didn’t want to give the Soviets a reason to declare war.

    More strategic genius. Allow potential enemy to build up strength, rather than kick while they are down and struggling against your Axis ally.

  172. 172
    Brachiator says:

    @Nicole:

    The other thing that’s amusing is, as someone pointed out upthread, he buys right into the socially constructed idea of some entertainment as “highbrow” and some as “lowbrow.” Funny enough, “highbrow” entertainment tends to be expensive to view and participate in, while “lowbrow” is something people of limited means can access.

    Yep. Early films were ‘lowbrow” but became universal entertainment. When sound film came along, some studios tried to class up the joint by redoing Broadway plays. And a lot of the early adaptations were deadly dull and almost killed the movies.

    And, in Western culture at least, “middle brow” art tends to become the “high art” of future generations. In Shakespeare’s time, narrative poems were more respected than plays. And later, novels were less respected than other narrative forms.

  173. 173
    Thaddeu says:

    He he – Tolkien answered shit like this years ago, and there is no better retort than that

    “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

    ― J.R.R. Tolkien

  174. 174
    CliosFanBoy says:

    As an almost 60-yo Boomer can I say I think they’re both full of it, although Maher is worse. The responder makes some good points, but it smacks to much of “we can’t do anything, so f-it” to me. . If you enjoy Comiccon, fine. I am reading the Sandman comics for the 1st time now and enjoying them.

    However, the whole

    Do you know why millennials “refuse to grow up”? Because we finally figured out that the whole idea is bullshit designed to suppress human joy enough to keep them grinding for an uncaring company for 50 years in unhappy marriages until death is a mercy.

    is utter crap. No, growing up means taking responsibility for yourself and those who depend on you. And that often requires you do things that you find hard, or boring, or uninteresting. If that means taking a crap job for awhile so you don’t have to live in mom and dad’s basement so they can retire, then so be it. But no one says you have to do it forever. Hell, MY generation abandoned it.

    Yeah, you guys got f’d up the bum on college loans. Fight to change the system if not for yourself, then for the next generation.Or, better yet, fight for both. But saying “it all sucks, pass the graphic novel” is lazy and, yes, immature. Maher is wrong though. It’s not the comic that’s immature, it the “f-it I’m going to just have fun” that’s childlike.

  175. 175
    IImmanentize says:

    Hmmm. I just saw that Ted Lieu has endorsed Kamala Harris. I like them both!

  176. 176
    Daniel'sBob says:

    @Cermet: Yeah, that whole thing from Normandy to Germany was a cakewalk. Just like that thing in the South Pacific.

  177. 177
    geg6 says:

    @Brachiator:

    I find the Marvel “universe” to be a modern version of Greek and Roman myths. So, not original. At all.

    As for visually interesting, it’s like any art. Those who aren’t into painting and other visual arts will go for a more pedestrian version of it. Comics are the more pedestrian version. If that floats your boat, fine. But that doesn’t make it all that interesting to someone who prefers things with more meaning, creativity and originality. I don’t like cartoons or most animation either, for the same reason. But you are certainly welcome to it if it’s your thing. It’s not mine and you can’t convince me otherwise. I’ve had many people, in my 60 years, try to convince me of your opinion of comics. I didn’t agree when I was 8. I didn’t agree when I was 13. And I don’t agree at 60.

  178. 178
    chopper says:

    @Nicole:

    he may as well have read the porn comic version A Sale Of Two Titties, for all it was worth.

  179. 179
    Immanentize says:

    Hmmm. I just saw that Ted Lieu has endorsed Kamala Harris. I like them both!

  180. 180
    Nicole says:

    @Brachiator: My over 50 husband thoroughly adores comic books and superheroes to this day. It’s not my thing (although I have a working knowledge, thanks to being married to a comic book geek) but I’m really grateful for it because our son, who’s 8, adores them and has a parental figure always happy to talk about them. Those lines of communication will be really important when he becomes a teen.

    Our son’s school had a workshop for parents on kids and navigating the online world and one of the pieces of advice was to play the video games our kids like, so that we know what they’re involved in (and, especially with boys, it’s often easier to talk about things sitting side by side with a console in their hands, rather than face-to-face). Now see, if Bill Maher wasn’t so set on clinging onto a responsibility-free lifestyle, and instead had been a grownup and had children, he’d know these kind of things. ;)

    (THAT LAST BIT IS SARCASM, FOLKS. EVERYONE SHOULD GET TO DECIDE WHETHER THEY WANT TO BE MARRIED, HAVE KIDS, READ COMIC BOOKS, PLAY VIDEO GAMES, READ SHAKESPEARE, WATCH PRO SPORTS, EAT CEREAL FOR DINNER OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF WITHOUT ANYONE MAKING THEM FEEL BAD ABOUT IT).

  181. 181
    different-church-lady says:

    Did you ever notice everyone else’s stuff is shit, and your shit is stuff?

  182. 182
    grubert says:

    @opiejeanne:

    ( Maher )’s more acerbic than astute.

    I’ll give you that.

    But Maher does successful political comedy and his acerbic opinions are based on understandings of political realities that most *serious* opinionaters prefer to not examine or simply ignore.

    Principled people can be the biggest fools because strong principles seriously impede understanding of those who don’t hold those principles.

    Men’s taste in women is often hard to explain.. plenty of examples of that around.
    I wouldn’t give Ann a glass of water..

  183. 183
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @catclub: the Soviets kicked their butts in late August 1939 in a short border war. Japan made initial gains, then got stomped. Neither side wanted further such battles at the time. Japan had its hands full in China and the USSR with Germany.

  184. 184
    ruemara says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’d love to have so much unearned hype.

  185. 185
    The Moar You Know says:

    the law here in Canada is that employers must give you vacation pay and two weeks off every year. It goes to 3 weeks after 5 years at the same employer.

    @Doug R: I don’t live in Canada.

    Is this employer you work for really that fantastic? I’d have one eye on getting a better job, life ain’t just work.

    No, but when you’re an IT manager who is over fifty, you’re never getting another job after the one you have when you hit fifty.

  186. 186
    Salty Sam says:

    I’ll agree with whomever commented earlier that “inter-generational wars are bullshit”. Same for the nonsense about comic books. My Medicare kicks in on Friday, and I still love me some graphic novels.

    As for slagging on Millennials, I’ll just say that I am jealous of our kids. Elderdaughter and her husband just returned from a three month visit to Indonesia, returning to their home which is almost already paid off. The other three kids are doing just as well. In all their cases, they seem to have learned the lesson that life is for living, not trudging endlessly on a treadmill for increasingly unattainable shiny toys. None of them are “rich”, but they have wealth far beyond their years. I guess if they learned that from watching Ma and Pa struggle their entire adult lives, maybe it was worth it.

    ETA- Bill Maher is a fckin’ idiot.

  187. 187
    Doug R says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): I don’t think Spider Verse should have been nominated for Best Animated Feature, it should have been nominated for Best Picture.

  188. 188
    geg6 says:

    @Nicole:

    Funny enough, “highbrow” entertainment tends to be expensive to view and participate in, while “lowbrow” is something people of limited means can access.

    Must have been said by someone who never had limited means. Growing up, my siblings and I didn’t buy comic books because it cost too much. But we went to the library and read great books and the local museums (because my parents splurged on $50/year on a family membership for their six kids) to look at great art. It’s kids with disposable income who can afford to buy comic books.

    And you’re also coming down very hard on people who like comic books, because you don’t happen to like them.

    No, I said people can do as they wish. I’m only coming down on comic books and superhero movies very hard. I don’t care if you like them. I just hate them taking over all of American culture.

  189. 189
    Nicole says:

    @chopper: Ha! For what it’s worth, I dutifully read A Tale of Two Cities in high school and didn’t like it. Same with Great Expectations. I like a lot of 19th century and early 20th century writing; Dickens is just not my thing. Although I did enjoy hearing A Christmas Carol read out loud last year (he could write funny, that Dickens guy), so maybe I should give him another shot.

  190. 190

    @opiejeanne:
    This reminds me of a classic Uncle Scrooge comic. The setup is that Uncle Scrooge is faced with a problem of having more money than will fit in his cubic acre money bin. It wouldn’t be cost effective to build a new money bin- it would cost more than the amount that won’t fit- so he doesn’t know what to do with it. Donald convinces him to (gasp!) spend it by going on a lavish vacation. Donald naturally has no problem spending the money while Scrooge has conniptions about everything he does. The story ends when he gets home from his very stressful vacation to the news that he has even more money than before because some eccentric billionaire has been running around buying cars from his factories, spending money in his hotels, eating at his restaurants, etc. It would be hard to think of a better introduction to the difference between micro- and macroeconomics.

  191. 191
    grubert says:

    @Kay:

    Excellent! ( as in LOL true )

  192. 192
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @geg6: Shakespeare was largely derivative in his plots too. I’m with you in not being an afficionado of most contemporary comics, but I sense more hostility to the genre on your part than it warrants. Mere indifference works for me.

  193. 193
    guachi says:

    Spider Verse is better than Black Panther. The story was better and the visuals were light years better. Black Panther’s visuals were weak enough it didn’t even get nominated for Best Special Effects.

  194. 194
    The Moar You Know says:

    if Hitler had been really smart, he’d have condemned Pearl Harbor as a dishonorable action, used it as a pretext to cut ties to Japan, and offered up neutrality and even alliance with the US against Japan in exchange for the US staying out of Europe. The Republicans would have taken him up on it.

    @Citizen Alan: Not just the Republicans. The America electorate by overwhelming margins would have absolutely forced FDR to take that deal. As a nation, we have done a stunning job of collectively stuffing down the memory hole not just how popular Hitler was here, but how his ideas, especially regarding the Jews, were regarded by a solid majority as a really good idea.

    That’s how we ended up with the stain of the St. Louis on our good name, among many other ways in which we utterly failed to help the Jews of Europe.

  195. 195

    I have to go write for a while. Driving is so bad I’ll just use the café here. I finally got some insight into what I’m trying to write about. It may not be on the page yet, and may never get there, but at least now I know. Later.

  196. 196
    ruemara says:

    No offense, but you can manage to dislike something without seeming very disdainful of those who like it. As for me, I like my comics, my graphic novels, my garbage movies & tv, but I also love taiko, opera, classical, novels, politics & high end dining & couture. It’s cool to like what you like. It’s cool to not like things. I will never finish “A Separate Peace” or “Little Women”. More for others & I am happy to let them have it.

  197. 197
    Kelly says:

    @AliceBlue:

    Classics Illustrated

    My grandparents had a stack of them for us. Read them all several times. Still my basis for understanding literary references on some occasions ;-)

  198. 198
    Doug R says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    @Doug R: I don’t live in Canada.

    Maybe you should
    https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/jobsearch/jobsearch?sort=M&searchstring=it+manager&button.submit=Search
    PS Canada is often looking for temporary foreign workers and SS is interchangeable by treaty.

  199. 199
    The Moar You Know says:

    I dutifully read A Tale of Two Cities in high school and didn’t like it. Same with Great Expectations.

    @Nicole: It pains me a great deal that the schools teach the two worst Dickens novels. He wrote some really great stuff. Those two novels are not in that category.

  200. 200
    trollhattan says:

    @grubert:
    IMHO Maher has demonstrated he’ll always break for the Democrat no matter what, but he is also libertarian-curious and tempers his enthusiasm because of that and further, feels obliged to take shots at social justice norms. He’s also far too deep into Wilmerphilia.

    Even though at the end of the day he’ll unleash a righteous rant at Republicans–many of which are viciously spot on–he’s still going to boff-sides most issues in a manner that a John Oliver–the far more astute political observer–not only avoids, he highlights and destroys. Maher is shot full of blind spots.

  201. 201
    Brachiator says:

    @geg6:

    I find the Marvel “universe” to be a modern version of Greek and Roman myths. So, not original. At all.

    Obviously, we don’t agree. But I don’t need to try to change your mind.

    As for visually interesting, it’s like any art. Those who aren’t into painting and other visual arts will go for a more pedestrian version of it.

    A number of comic book artists were also commercial artists and also dabbled in the fine arts. They had to dumb their work down for the commercial or fine arts market. So, your dismissal is objectively false, but again, I would never try to dissuade you from your opinion.

  202. 202
    Nicole says:

    @geg6: So, if your parents have the financial means to buy memberships to museums ($50 in the 1970s is over $300 today) you are forever inured against the mind-rotting effects of comic books? People like comic books because of bad parenting? Is that what you’re saying?

    The high-brow vs low-brow attitude towards art forms is not a new position. It’s ballet vs hip hop, and skiing vs skateboarding. It’s Impressionism vs Graffiti Art. One is not necessarily superior artistically because rich people can pay money for it that poor people can’t.

  203. 203

    @Brachiator:

    Japan had kicked Russia’s ass in 1905.

    They had, but they were already in the middle of a big, nasty war in China. By the time it was obvious that the USSR had all it could handle from Germany, Japan was already committed to the conquest of southeast Asia and the war with the US and UK that would necessarily entail. They were probably right not to start yet another war against another country that was massively bigger than they were.

  204. 204
    Nicole says:

    @The Moar You Know: Which of his books would you recommend? I’m always open to having my mind changed.

  205. 205
    Aleta says:

    @Cashworth: I think some who care are people invested in conspicuous consumption – comic books and similar small-ticket sources of entertainment are a rebuke to “traditional” reasons to make and spend money

    this

  206. 206
    Brachiator says:

    @Nicole:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Ha! For what it’s worth, I dutifully read A Tale of Two Cities in high school and didn’t like it. Same with Great Expectations. I like a lot of 19th century and early 20th century writing; Dickens is just not my thing. Although I did enjoy hearing A Christmas Carol read out loud last year (he could write funny, that Dickens guy), so maybe I should give him another shot.

    Love both these works. Great Expectations was the third book I ever checked out from the city library when I was maybe 8 years old and I have loved it ever since.

    I didn’t read A Tale of Two Cities until much later, but love the word play and all the references to death and resurrection, some of which, fittingly enough, were alluded to by Christopher Nolan in The Dark Knight Rises.

    One of the joys of my theater-going life was seeing Patrick Stewart do his one man show of A Christmas Carol.

    Also, fittingly enough, when I was a kid, I was Tiny Tim in a stage production. My mother did not want me to go into show business (and I didn’t much care), so she turned down a chance for me to audition for some other play.

  207. 207
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Nicole: Bleak House is his masterpiece, far as I am concerned.

  208. 208
    bemused says:

    @Thaddeu:

    I want a fridge magnet with that quote.

  209. 209
    artem1s says:

    Maher is as wrong about this as everything else he gets wrong. WTF he actually wrote this the week of Superbowl? We spend ridiculous amounts of money in this and other countries so boys can spend their entire lives playing and being connected to and worshiping sports. Sports is all about delaying adulthood, whether you are a player or a spectator. 30-40 year old men who spend every day waiting for the captain, or coach or manager, tell them what to do and when to do it. When to cheer, when to take a knee, when to stand and put our hands over our hearts. The only comparison for not having to make decisions your whole life is if you are career military. You have a greater chance of getting killed in the latter, but the way football is going….. It’s all Bread and Circuses. Who the hell is Maher to decide what anyone else chooses as a distraction from their own mortality.

  210. 210
    Nicole says:

    @Brachiator: And in fairness to Dickens (and to all writers), I think WHEN we read a book also has an effect on the experience. In my 20s I picked up James’ The Wings of the Dove because I loved Washington Square and thought the film version of TWoftD was hhhhotttttt. Couldn’t get into it. Ten years later, I gave it another go, and flew through it; I loved, loved, loved it. Likewise, I adored For Whom the Bell Tolls in college and tried some years later to give it a reread and… I dunno. The magic was gone.

  211. 211
    Nicole says:

    @Miss Bianca: Okay, I’ll give Bleak House a go. Maybe I’ll even freak out my brand-new book reading group and suggest it after the next book. ;)

  212. 212

    @Doug R: Agreed wholeheartedly. It was snubbed. I think it very well may have been the best film of 2018. I was honestly pleasantly surprised that even Black Panther got nominated, though, honestly. The Academy does not have a great track record recognising genre pictures, to put it mildly.

  213. 213
    Mike in NC says:

    @AliceBlue: Those were great. My favorites were based on the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. I think Classics Illustrated moved lots of kids to read fine literature.

  214. 214

    @trollhattan: Maher doesn’t have a particularly coherent political stance, honestly. He somehow manages to be both lolbert-curious and socialism-curious at the same time. He can be funny, but yeah, most other political comedy shows have better analysis and grasp of the issues, particularly Oliver, Bee, and Minhaj.

  215. 215
    Mandalay says:

    @catclub:

    Tom Brokaw discovered the greatest generation

    Speaking of that racist piece of shit….

    Brokaw then appeared to cite the fear of racial mixing and a majority-minority nation expressed by some Americans.

    “Also, I hear, when I push people a little harder, ‘Well, I don’t know whether I want brown grandbabies,’ ” he said. “I mean, that’s also a part of it. It’s the intermarriage that is going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other.”

    He broke off to offer his own commentary. “I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation,” he said. “That’s one of the things I’ve been saying for a long time. You know, that they ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English, and that they feel comfortable in the communities. And that’s going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.”

    That fossil needs to be put out to pasture.

  216. 216
    raven says:

    @Nicole: I know it just confirms that I’m low brow but I got into Dickens via all the Masterpiece programs and I have really enjoyed them all. Even Dickensian!

  217. 217
    raven says:

    @Nicole: We got into Dickens watching Bleak House on Masterpiece and have enjoyed most of them including Dickensian!!

  218. 218
    rikyrah says:

    The 2020 Election Will Be a Competition of Two Stories About America
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    January 28, 2019

    ……………………………….

    I would suggest that the reason Sanders was unable to come up with an answer to his own question is because he got caught up in the need to address the lies and failed to see that the underlying issue that must be addressed is the fear mongering. Until Democrats are able to do that, they’ll be playing on Trump’s home turf and giving him the advantage. In other words, they’ll fail to provide an alternative story of America.

    After watching Kamala Harris’s speech to launch her candidacy on Sunday, at least one GOP political consultant saw something important.

    If you listen to voices in Democratic Party like Senator Harris or Beto, striking how Democrats have seized a big, optimistic message while Trump era Republicans have abandoned optimism for fear. Trump says he will protect America from future. Dems say they are the future.

    — stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) January 27, 2019

    As I’ve noted before, the only thing stronger than fear is hope. Of course a candidate’s history, their policy positions, their ability to learn, and their worldview are important things for voters to assess. But the candidate that is most likely to prevail against the fear mongering of Trump and the Republican Party will be the one who tells a story of America that instills optimism and hope.

    I’m not talking about the kind of false hope that is more a function of sentimentality than reality. After articulating many of the difficult truths this country needs to hear during her speech on Sunday, Harris put it this way, “America’s story has always been written by people who can see what can be unburdened by what has been.”

    There are now a handful of Democrats who have announced their intentions to run in 2020, and several more to come. The one who tells a compelling story of optimism in America to compete with Republican fear-mongering is the one most likely to produce the kind of victory this country needs both up and down the ticket to address the challenges we face.

  219. 219
    Brachiator says:

    @Nicole:

    For what it’s worth, I dutifully read A Tale of Two Cities in high school and didn’t like it.

    The assigned high school reading that I did not enjoy were Silas Marner and The Scarlet Letter. I was OK with Melville’s short story, “Bartleby the Scrivener.”

    We dutifully read Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” which, I later learned is on many school reading lists because of America’s slavish imitation of old British school traditions. Julius Caesar has no sex scenes, so is “respectable.” And when some British school kids were reading it in the 19th century, the were also studying Latin and reading of Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul.

    For many kids, I think this is a terrible introduction to Shakespeare. The obvious go-to is “Romeo and Juliet.” Or some of the comedies, for Pity’s sake.

  220. 220
    Hob says:

    @patroclus:

    I agree that comic books are childish and superhero movies are over-rated. Graphic novels, however, are a high art form

    “Graphic novel” is a very poorly defined term – it was basically a marketing idea, to make bookstores more receptive to carrying comics in paperback format, and also to suggest to readers that they were getting something more highbrow than a “comic.” It does connote the idea of “this is a complete long-form work, not a serial story” – or it would if people consistently used it that way, but they don’t. I know more cartoonists than I know non-cartoonists and they’re nearly unanimous in thinking it’s a useless bullshit phrase, but one that they nonetheless have to deal with because that’s how publishers talk now.

    Anyway, in no possible sense is it a separate art form! You’re saying the equivalent of “music sucks, but I like symphonies” or “I don’t watch movies, I watch films.”

  221. 221
    Gavie says:

    I thought somebody would’ve posted the Calvin & Hobbes “Childhood is short, maturity is forever” panel but I don’t see it and can’t figure out how to copy it here. I am old and not wise in the ways of the internet. C&H was my millennial son’s favorite strip when he was a kid, and it was a great one. Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” is also spectacular illustrated literature. Seems that “comics” can mean a lot of things and wholesale denouncements like Maher’s are just broadcast clickbait.

  222. 222
    Nicole says:

    @raven: Well, cool. I’m game to watch an adaptation, too. I’ll probably do the book first, though. I find it generally makes me like the movie more. I didn’t love No Country for Old Men when I saw the film (I adored the first two thirds and didn’t like the last part), but then after I read the book I rethought the movie and liked it all much better.

  223. 223
    jl says:

    Comic books have been big for decades and decades. My granpappy had old comic books.
    Were comic books banned during boomer years? I should know, since I am a later boomer, or maybe Generation Jones, or pre-Gen X-er or some such nonsense.

    So, known pompous self-righteous and smug TV dude Maher spouts nonsense, and innocent people are duped into paying attention to it?
    Very boring bad karma for some folks explains it, I guess.

    Edit: sounds like an Elizabethan pedant and fop complaining about people wasting their time with those popular trash Shakespeare plays put on in theaters for the rabble out in dubious London suburbs.

  224. 224
    The Lodger says:

    @grubert: I’d throw a glass of water at Ann Coulter. Although it may require an entire bucket of water to have the desired effect.

  225. 225
    Avalune says:

    Oh lawd – another “millennials are killing X” style rant. The my gen vs your gen trope is quite overdone but maybe I’m just mad because I don’t get to play because no one cares what my generation is doing or not doing. That said, I have yet to see too many instances where any of this generational argument is anything more than opinionated bs.

  226. 226
    Brachiator says:

    @The Lodger:

    I’d throw a glass of water at Ann Coulter. Although it may require an entire bucket of water to have the desired effect.

    A glass of water would be sufficient. Like most wicked witches, it would make her melt.

  227. 227
    Nicole says:

    @Brachiator:

    For many kids, I think this is a terrible introduction to Shakespeare. The obvious go-to is “Romeo and Juliet.”

    And the funny thing is, I didn’t like Romeo and Juliet, which was the first Shakespeare I read in school. THOUGH- my 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Church, assigned us Macbeth, and required us all to memorize 50 lines from the soliloquys in it, our choice (except we were all required to memorize the “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” speech). I can still remember wandering up and down the hallway in my house, miserably trying to memorize these stupid obscure words and then BAM I had a literal epiphany and suddenly I understood EVERYTHING I was reciting. Everything. And then I started reading Shakespeare for my own pleasure.

    I’ve seen and read a lot, a lot, of Shakespeare in my life, but Macbeth will forever be the dear one to my heart because that was the one that made it all exciting. God bless Mrs. Church and making us memorize 50 lines.

    I like Romeo and Juliet now, by the way.

  228. 228
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Brachiator: Aw, I like Silas Marner, and most of what I’ve experienced of George Eliot’s work.

  229. 229
    different-church-lady says:

    @Brachiator: I was slogging my way through an assigned Silas Marner in High School while looking at all my friends carrying around Catcher in the Rye and Slaughterhouse Five and 1984, and wondering what I had done to deserve such punishment.

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    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Cashworth: In early 70s a Swiss doctor cousin spent 1 year as interñ? resident? in a Chicago hospital. She was appalled at the super long shifts they were expected to work.

    Apparently such is not the practice on the continent or in the UK. (She also spent some time working in a UK hospital. Doctors and nurses in Switzerland are expected to work/study for a period in other countries.)

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    JLowe says:

    Catherynne makes sense here, and I fit in the baby boomer age range. Also, Space Opera was a fun read.

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    FlipYrWhig says:

    @different-church-lady: Catcher in the Rye SUUUUUUUUUCKS. So much hype, so little substance, so much self-satisfaction. It’s like the Wilmer of novels.

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    Brachiator says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Aw, I like Silas Marner, and most of what I’ve experienced of George Eliot’s work.

    I like George Eliot. Just not Silas Marner. Not even the loose Steve Martin adaptation, A Simple Twist of Fate.

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    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Citizen Alan: In mid 70s in Newfoundland we got a bunch of used Little Lulu (for me) and Uncle Scrooge (for now ex) comics.

    Sure wish we’d saved them!!

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    different-church-lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yeah, but I didn’t know that at the time. I just knew I was in a dungeon of the 19th century.

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    @grubert:

    Maher is more politically savvy then most of the commetariat here …

    bwhahahahahahahahahaha no he isn’t.

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    Barbara says:

    @Brachiator: I don’t know. My son’s class is reading The Taming of the Shrew, which I think is worse than Julius Caesar (which, yes, was my introduction as well). Henry V would probably be a good introductory work.

    But as to the general subject, it seems especially pathetic for an older generation to lambaste younger generations who are mostly trying to cope in a world that has been fashioned by their elders. It’s just too bad that their “too high cost of a starter home” is your cushy retirement going up in smoke because they won’t live in penury just so they can own a home.

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    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @mr gravity: At some point after 50s attacks on comics, researchers started showing up that kids would read comics when they didn’t want to read anything parents or teachers approved.

    So comics began being accepted as a reading gateway.

    There were even enlighted teachers and schools that provided car, clothing,etc magazines in the classroom for free reading periods.

    Some got it through their heads that if the goal is to get people to read and want to do it, you let THEM choose the material–not rule everyone by some ‘high culture’ concept of good literature.

    Also a turn away from the stilted, white middle-class texts of Dick and Jane and similar series of the 40s.

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    different-church-lady says:

    Also: people who only communicate via texting suck.

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    @raven: that was a great movie, was unprepared at how riveting the performances were.

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    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Elizabelle: Looking for Coates too.

    Was Sullivan the Atlantic editor who pushed/published The Bell Curve?

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    Hob says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    They were HUGE during the late Depression and WWII. The audience was largely kids

    Once you get into the ’50s (but prior to the “decency” crackdown) the audience was basically everyone. The Golden Age superhero stuff was on the decline, but every other genre you could think of was huge– crime, romance, war– it was basically like the movie industry, just much cheaper to produce. There aren’t good statistics on readership, but publishers were clearly targeting all ages.

    Wertham’s decency crusade was based on the idea that comics were still supposed to be just for kids, which was clearly not true any more if it ever had been, but he managed to make it true for a long time by suppressing all but the most lightweight content. Superheroes happened to be among the few genres that were still deemed acceptable.

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    Hob says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Coates left the Atlantic last summer. He’s still writing comics and according to Wikipedia he has a couple of film and TV projects in the works, plus a novel.

    And yes, Andrew Sullivan both promoted The Bell Curve and published some of it. And continues to defend it.

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    Brachiator says:

    @Barbara:

    I don’t know. My son’s class is reading The Taming of the Shrew, which I think is worse than Julius Caesar (which, yes, was my introduction as well). Henry V would probably be a good introductory work.

    Oh no. “The Taming of the Shrew” can rightfully be a problem because its treatment of women does not play well anymore. Similarly, “The Merchant of Venice” cannot be read as a comedy anymore.

    In my ideal world, I would have kids act out Shakespeare starting in junior high school, not reading the text as literature. I’d pick a comedy or romance and gender swap the roles.

    I mentioned “Romeo and Juliet” earlier because Oxford has a First Folio, and since time began, this is the play most turned to by students. People have even written letters to Romeo and Juliet asking for romance advice. But a lot of other plays might work as well.

    But as to the general subject, it seems especially pathetic for an older generation to lambaste younger generations who are mostly trying to cope in a world that has been fashioned by their elders. It’s just too bad that their “too high cost of a starter home” is your cushy retirement going up in smoke because they won’t live in penury just so they can own a home.

    I agree that they ain’t no point in lambasting the younger generation.

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    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @geg6: About 10 yrs or so ago I realized the real stars of many movies were the car chases and explosions!! At least those on tv.

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    zhena gogolia says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I still have my copy of Classics Illustrated Crime and Punishment (they leave out Sonia), and I got Jane Eyre on eBay because my daddy threw out my whole collection except C&P and I wanted to replace at least that one.

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    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @AliceBlue: Yes.

    Then in 60s I think there were comic books about basic Marxism.

    And various philosophers. I think there was even one about Kant!!

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    zhena gogolia says:

    @ruemara:

    I have never understood the appeal of Little Women. (Although I enjoyed the Susan Sarandon film, this was before she really went nuts.)

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    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    Another comic book I got on eBay to replace my lost childhood stash is about the French Revolution. It’s wonderful, and is still the major source of my information on that topic. Only decades later did I realize that the panel illustrating Marie Antoinette on the way to the guillotine, which haunted me as a kid, is based on a drawing by Jacques-Louis David.
    https://www.wga.hu/html_m/d/david_j/7/702david.html

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    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Nicole: Hated Tale of Two Cities. Read David Copperfield on my own in HS. Glad I did, but will never willingly do it again.

    Like and have reread Nikolas Nikleby, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, and Our Mutual Friend.

    Some compelling scenes in those books. Eg, the dust heap in Mutual Friend. And the man who lost an arm haunting the store that sells amputated limbs, sure the owner has hidden his arm!

    Learned yrs ago that Kafka read Dickens. Read that after I read the scenes in the courtroom in Bleak House about the old woman spending yrs in court waiting for a verdict. Shades of Kafka’s The Trial!!

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    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @The Moar You Know: See PBS domementary America and the Holocaust, part of their series The American Experience. Lots of info about anti-semitism in US . Help wanted ads with ‘no Jews wanted’ to resort closed to Jews etc. And the extreme anti-semitism of the State Dept that had the US consulate in Lisbon throw up road-blocks for Jews trying g to get to US.

    Students in my college German classes were stunned to see the extent of US anti-semitidm then depicted in that docu. Many had grown up in Evangelical churches that constantly push pro- Israel

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    Edward Brennan says:

    @Peale: It helps even more that a lot of the older Gen x people want to be considered Baby Boomers, and the younger ones want to be considered Millennials. Take a small generation and make it even smaller.

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    JR says:

    I forgot to mention

    Bill Maher sucks

    That is all

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    Raoul says:

    My snapshot into Swedish culture is limited, but in several visits to my cousins there, I’ve met and hung out with a number of millennial young adults, in big cities and small towns, with both working class and executive class parents.
    While the latter have a little more access to home ownership, all these kids (I’m 53, they’re still ‘kids’) have very different outlooks that millennial USers.
    Probably because the Swedish system isn’t a capitalist meat grinder that has lower prospects at greater costs than their parents experienced (Stockholm real estate excepted).
    I think that rant at top is great.

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    Raoul says:

    @Edward Brennan: Eghad. I thank the stars regularly that I was born in ‘65 and claim X happily.

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    J R in WV says:

    @grubert: Oh, man, all your comments turned into PIE! ! !

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    Procopius says:

    @hells littlest angel: He tells jokes?

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    Procopius says:

    @dmsilev: There was an Egyptian papyrus I read about when I was a teenager (i.e. sixty years ago), possibly the Rhind Papyrus, from about 3,500 years ago, that complained about the “youth” of the day lacking manners, being unwilling to learn, and generally lazy, wanting everything to be handed to them.

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    Procopius says:

    @Kirk Spencer:
    Anybody who likes Ann Coulter is abhorrent to me.

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    cleosmom says:

    @Brachiator: My first thought was “hey, the Sixties might not be dead after all.” Some of what people are touting as generational differences are arguably more a function of age.

    Then, of course, there’s the “greatest generation.” Which is truly great as long as you overlook the racism, sexism, warmongering and homophobia.

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