Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Empress on a Nude Beach

This may be considered to be jumping onto a bandwagon. This may well be true. At any rate, I'll take that risk.

Recently my friend and blogging partner Ragnell wrote a post taking a very popular "feminist" blogger to task.

I can't claim to be unbiased. I don't agree with said feminist blogger, well, hell, let's not be coy. I don't agree with Valerie D'Orazio on many things. I have often blogged these disagreements. But I have always tried to keep it to the scope of the disagreement and not my feelings about Ms. D'Orazio herself.

I have a lot of respect for what Ms. D'Orazio's achievements and her ability to market herself to her audience. I admire her ability to reinvent herself on a fairly regular basis, taking hits that would actually cause the average blogger to pause and re-evaluate the whole situation, re-grouping and coming back on a 75 degree angle stronger than ever.

What I've never liked was what I see as her inclination to use other people. She's used WFA as a stepping stone more than once, which actually doesn't bother me that much, as I'm aware that many people have used WFA to reach a wider audience quickly and hell, I've done the same thing myself.

Her tendancy to twist the words of other people and make them into strawmen, I'm far less fond of.

I don't know what Ms. D'Orazio's actual beliefs are. I don't know whether she's a feminist or not. I do know that I have seen her spin a blogger's minor plaint into an attack on all men in feminist discussions. And well, we all remember the comment moderation kerfluffle and the John Stewart incident. Hmm, come to think about it, I seem to remember my DC Legacy Hero post getting linked a few times to argue in contexts that were not mine. Ah, Here's one!:

Lisa Fortuner provides guidelines for writers of international characters, courtesy of "The Mainstream Comics Industry":

"However, the Mainstream Comics Industry advises against researching another culture and creating a well-rounded original character based on actual facts, because this could result in your readers thinking of foreign nations as places with a rich history and culture populated by a variety of individual thinkers who are worthy of respect as human beings. This leads to the audience raising their standards and refusing to pay for books that don’t adhere to that standard."

But Lisa, if you just think of those characters as Legacy Heroes, and give them a chance instead of tearing them down because of supposed inaccuracies and "uninspired characterization" (my God, as if there really is such a thing), maybe they can blossom.


You know, considering the extensive editing experience Ms. D'Orazio has under her belt, I'm surprised she doesn't know that quotations in a block quote are redundant.

I suppose there's also this one:

An interesting note in terms of the nominees for best character in both the male and female categories -- while Luke Cage and Amanda Waller received nods, DC's "Legacy" characters, with the exception of David Lapham & Eric Battle's The Spectre in Tales of The Unexpected, did not.

It's not that I mind the extra attention, but I find it odd to be linked there at all. Unless of course she were trying to attack my argument indirectly.

I suppose I do tend to hold a grudge for a long time. :-)

You know, it strikes me, that that's a lot of effort. (Especially considering that the first of those two posts went up a MONTH after mine.) When I want to attack my opponent's argument I just post a blog post to explain why I think they're wrong. Much easier that way. But I digress.

What actually prompted this post today though was this.

Apparently Ms. D'Orazio believes her "posts hit a cord" (I presume she meant "chord". A common mistake, I've made it myself. I don't pride myself on my editorial experience mind you) and thus compares herself to Jennifer Walters being asked to not be She-Hulk and be "acceptable instead". Oh and somehow porn got involved in it. Which is bizarre to me, as the only critiques I've seen of Ms. D'Orazio's post I've seen never mentioned porn. But then I don't know about every piece of criticism she's recieved, so maybe that was the issue.

But I want to talk about the Jennifer Walters comparison for a moment. I read Savage She-Hulk too. Adored it. Blogged about it. I think it's amazingly feminist and Jen is an amazingly strong character.

You, Ms. D'Orazio, are no Jen Walters.

The whole point of Ragnell's criticism, which I believe was the critique that got the most attention and rightly so, wasn't to somehow force you into some mold of respectability or acceptability.

She was calling you on a) being an idiot. Which you are. Seriously. All that whole John Stewart/Jefferson Pierce experience from you would have needed was an "Oh, sheesh, sorry, I was tired. I MEANT to type Jeff Pierce." We'd have been okay with that.

She was calling you on b) inconsistency. Which you are. I read your blog with sheer amusement and joy to see where you're going to heel turn next. I actually PRAY Cloak and Dagger is an ongoing just to watch you change the series' focus and direction each time you get a bit of pointed criticism.

She was calling you on c) pandering to the lowest common denominator. My words, not hers. Your target audience is people unhappy with change to their comics and needing a scapegoat. You target Dan Didio at every possible time. You once wrote an ill-conceived and illogical diatribe predicting Dan Didio getting fired, (which I'm very proud to have countered and called you on.)

Hmm, apparently Countdown didn't kill his career after all. Huh. Fancy that. (By the way, your predictions? The same kind of generalized tripe that ANYONE with half a brain can come up with and be at least 85% right in the end.)

She also called you d) superficial and e) the "safe feminist". Meaning she was accusing you of BEING JEN WALTERS FOR THAT DINNER EVERY POST OF YOUR BLOG.


I read Ms. D'Orazio's blog for WFA reasons and sometimes because she does have something interesting up. I try not to comment because I don't like being a troll, I do and will post my disagreements here.

And go ahead and TRY to burn me in effigy. I'd like to see it.

Or, you know, stop being that Empress and actually put on some real damn clothes.


  • At October 01, 2008 3:15 PM, Blogger Dreadful Rauw said…

    You know, when I first started reading comic blogs a year or so ago, I was fascinated by the intelligent feminist critiques of comics out there. But you know, it's frustrating that every few months or so many of the bloggers whom I admire and who's opinions I respect start taking potshots at each other. It's starting to remind me of the Marvel universe. Aren't there any villains out there? Do the heroes really have to spend all their time fighting each other

  • At October 01, 2008 3:18 PM, Blogger Chris Sims said…

    Did somebody ask for a villain? 'Cause I'm here.

  • At October 01, 2008 3:27 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Dreadful rauw:

    Oddly enough, I don't recall anything in my feminist bible commanding me to like (or pretend to like) every person who shares my cause. :-)

    And pot-shots are one of the purest joys in having a blog. :-)

    Chris: Duly noted. :-)

  • At October 01, 2008 3:27 PM, Blogger Dreadful Rauw said…

    Quick Chris, while they're distracted, let's release a statue of Black Canary doing Ollie's laundry.

  • At October 01, 2008 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So are y'all pissing for distance, strength of stream, or what? Just want to keep the scorecard accurate for the kids at home.

  • At October 01, 2008 5:37 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I don't see it as a competition personally. But I'm sure the "kids at home" can judge as they see fit. :-)

  • At October 01, 2008 5:46 PM, Blogger Mana G said…

    Wow. Seriously? You're going to compare this to a pissing contest?! Did you just read Kalinara's post? Because, I'll tell you truly, there's no "pissing contest" in there. It's confrontational and it's challenging, but the one thing I didn't read there was any sort of competition between Occasional Superheroine and Pretty Fizzy Paradise, at least not from Kalinara's side. This wasn't so much calling Valerie D'Orazio out, as it was calling her on what many people out there see as her bullshit.
    It is bullshit, by the way. Of course, take my opinion with a grain of salt: I was a fan of hers until a year ago, and, with disillusionment, my opinions may have become tainted. Nonetheless, there's something about OS that I didn't notice until I started reading other, better blogs, that bothered me. For me, it was her tendency to begin with what she says is the point of the article, go off into a tangent that may or may not have anything to do with the original point, and then finish as if she had made her point perfectly, even though she never seemed to have returned from the original tangent. That's my own personal reason why I won't read OS anymore, just as Ragnell and Kalinara have their reasons. I read neither Ragnell's nor Kalinara's posts as an attempt to compete with OS, as much as I felt they were saying, "What the hell?" and realizing that pointing out that bullshit is becoming necessary. No pissing contest, there. Just two pissed-off people.

  • At October 01, 2008 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Interesting note: Heel Turn is a Pro Wrestling term designating when a good guy turns bad.

    Also you tell her she's no Jen Walters then you compare her to Jen Walters at the end. It's a negative comparison but just stuck out to me some.

  • At October 01, 2008 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! It took me about 90 minutes to read all the linked posts in order to try and make sense out of all of this. I must confess that I'm still very much in the dark.
    No,wait. That's not quite right. I know that I should never piss Ragnell off. Yow!

  • At October 01, 2008 10:41 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    I'll be the villain, but only if it's the type of villain who's in it strictly for the money, not for personal vendettas or to rule the world. The type who doesn't really want to kill or humiliate Batman or Superman or any other superhero unless it serves my plans for making said money.

  • At October 01, 2008 11:03 PM, Anonymous Najika said…

    I used to love Ocassional Superheroine and now I can't stand it. Val's vendetta against DC is just too much now. It has blown away any objectivity she may have had towards the industry. She'll spend post after post pointing out everything that's wrong with DC and say nothing about Marvel, even if Marvel messes up big.

    I still kinda of want to read her series when it comes out though.

    (I wish I could post this to Val's own blog, but she doesn't accept anon comments and for the life of me I can't set up a Google account.)

  • At October 01, 2008 11:57 PM, Blogger Ghost In The Shadows said…

    OK, I will say this, I have been reading Kalinara's Blog for at least three years, wow has it really been that long, I think it has. While the Comic Book Ghost Blog is new because I work in an industry that is filled with vindictive "right" minded religiosos that think reading anything with thought to it. The Blog I had to shut down was often linked by WFA. I was grateful when I said something that was seen as interesting enough to put out there by the ones who run it. WFA was how I first came across Occasional Superheroine, Thing is I read Pretty, Fizzy Paradise regularly, the other not so much. It pretty much boils down to what this post said about it.

  • At October 02, 2008 12:21 AM, Blogger Frank Lee Delano said…

    I've been reading Val's blog for a while now, and only stumbled upon this one fairly recently. Val's is better grist for the rumor mill/drama queen, while this one is more insightful and easygoing.

    I do wonder sometimes who Val is, and whether she's sincere about some of her nuttier stances, or just a mixer. OS definitely pisses me off sometimes, especially when Val starts a discussion, then ignores or shuts down contrary opinions. Her hysterics can get rather shrill, as well.

    I think my tastes are more aligned with this joint, which is less political hipster and more geek friendly. Still, I'm drawn to the provocative nature of OS. I'm too much a contrarian not to enjoy railing against/alongside Val, whereas here I'm more prone to nod, smile, and move on.

    Having read some of Val's prose and Kalinara's character commentary, I'd be much less apprehensive about Kal writing comics than I am "Cloak & Dagger." I do appreciate Val's loosening up to "erotica" discussions recently though, as I have more to say on that than '80s barbarian movies. I do hate the current state of DC Comics and do a weekly post on "Emmanuelle" movies, so there's simpatico to consider.

    No agenda here. Just stuff I've wanted to say without previously having a comfortable venue.

  • At October 02, 2008 5:05 AM, Anonymous PepperSpray said…

    I like reading pretty fizzy paradise and the occasional superheroine about equally. Both are just blogs, with different but rather entertaining insights on comic news. If one is biased against one thing or another, i don't hold it against them. I don't agree with everything that's posted on either journal, (I love Nightwing and I love Batman RIP) but that doesn't stop me from reading them everyday. I don't hold either higher than the other. I don't really hold anyone's blog higher than anyone elses at all. Seems kinda redundant to call anyone empress. Don't tons of people act that way in their blogs? I thought it was a given that its common behavior. (Your journal, your world, your rules...doesn't make them right, but it is what it is...)

  • At October 02, 2008 8:37 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Actually the "Empress" thing comes from a metaphor on Ragnell's blog: "The Emperor has no clothes."

    Translation being that Ragnell and I tend to think (if I may put words in her mouth) that what we're saying is something that needed saying for quite a while.

    That said, I didn't make this post to attack anyone who likes both blogs and I hope it doesn't come across that way. I have nothing against anyone who likes reading both PFP and OS.

  • At October 02, 2008 9:29 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    I've read Valerie's blog off and on over the years, and at the beginning thought she was a decent enough writer and had some interesting things to say. Lately however, I really do think that she's gone off the rails a bit.

    I don't know if this whole "Lulu" thing has gone to her head or what, but her writing hasn't improved, it does seem to be more rambling. She just leaps from topic to topic without really resolving any of them. She's a bit too self-congratulatory, and much to quick to claim victimization. I'm also getting quite tired of her paranoia about DC.

    Plus she has no sense of humor.

    So there. You may not agree with Kalinara or Ragnell, but you have to admit that they both write VERY well, and have wicked senses of humor.

  • At October 02, 2008 1:29 PM, Blogger Chris Sims said…

    I'm definitely the villain who's in it for a personal vendetta.

  • At October 02, 2008 3:43 PM, Anonymous Marionette said…

    I stopped reading much of what Valerie had to say after she deleted her blog that time. At least in those days she would respond to criticism, rather than just delete it.

  • At October 02, 2008 4:26 PM, Blogger Evan Waters said…

    I found some of "Goodbye to Comics" worth reading, though the fictionalization makes it difficult to get confirmation or denial on some of it. (The "We Need a Rape" thing is troubling if true.)

    I think the author, though, has gotten too wrapped up in a persecution complex. She can't admit a basic mistake and say "my bad", at least not without still casting curses on those who called it. Which is a damn shame, because I don't think she doesn't have anything worth saying. If she had a higher threshold for disagreement, as it were, this kerfluffle wouldn't be happening.

  • At October 04, 2008 8:55 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    As long as your vendettas don't get in the way of my money-making schemes, Sims, we'll be fine.


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