Over at Rich Johnston’s blog, some b-team scrub named Ryan Mullenix wrote up a post in response to Chris Sims’s piece on the racial politics of DC’s current style. Sims’s piece was good, and I liked seeing frank discussion of racial issues on a big-name site. Mullenix’s piece… well.
I’ve got a gang of problems with the piece. There’s no citations, no context, nothing that explains what was going on in the books, no creative teams, no historical context, and nothing worthy of examination. It’s a loose collection of anecdotes piggybacking on a pretty good piece in an attempt to troll for hits. It’s lowest common denominator work at best, and cynical hit-whoring at worst. If you can’t even spell somebody’s name right… well, the craft shows.
These lists do no one any favors. All they do is arm people for crappy, hysterical battles where both sides are too busy shouting to do any listening or learning. “Well CASSANDRA CAIN is ASIATIC!” You couldn’t get any more specific than that, man? What’s more, you couldn’t find something better than some outdated way to say “asian?” Is Cass Cain a member of the Nation of Gods and Earths? You couldn’t take the time to figure out which type of Latino Kyle Rayner is? You couldn’t spell Teth-Adam correctly?
Johnston says that Mullenix “seems to find a striking overall theme.” I think he found the exact sort of thing that makes talking race online such a pain in the neck. I think he found a surefire, cynical, and effective way to log some fat hits for advertisers. I think that he didn’t say anything worth reading. Maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m wrong.
But people who don’t know anything should speak when spoken to.