Erasing History
A Romantic Hostility

Frank Miller and the Flag

Thanks to Franklin at Artblog, I rediscovered Frank Miller’s NPR piece on patriotism and real-life supervillainy. Given some of Miller’s previous work, it’s an interesting development. Here’s an extract: 

“To me, [the flag] stood for unthinking patriotism. It meant about as much to me as that insipid peace sign that was everywhere I looked: just another symbol of a generation's sentimentality, of its narcissistic worship of its own past glories. Then came that sunny September morning when airplanes crashed into towers a very few miles from my home and thousands of my neighbours were ruthlessly incinerated… Now, I draw and write comic books. One thing my job involves is making up bad guys; imagining human villainy in all its forms. Now the real thing had shown up. The real thing murdered my neighbours. In my city. In my country...

For the first time in my life, I know how it feels to face an existential menace. They want us to die. All of a sudden I realize what my parents were talking about all those years. Patriotism, I now believe, isn't some sentimental, old conceit. It's self-preservation. I believe patriotism is central to a nation's survival. Ben Franklin said it: If we don't all hang together, we all hang separately. Just like you have to fight to protect your friends and family, and you count on them to watch your own back.”

More here.

The creator of Sin City and The Dark Knight Returns has described his next book, Holy Terror, Batman! as “a piece of propaganda” and “a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we're up against.”



I heard him interviewed on Talk of the Nation. Neil Conant was polite, but his tone and attitude sounded as if he was talking to a convicted baby-cannibal. Because we just don't express ideas like patriotism in polite society nowadays.


Several commentators have denounced Miller as “far right”, “Islamophobic”, “homophobic”, etc. But evidence to support these claims is harder to find. It seems to me that those calling Miller a “far right homophobe” or whatever are trying to reinforce their own prejudices. Miller’s certainly mocked liberal commentators who see terrorism and blame anyone but the culprit, and he’s mocked them rather well; but that alone hardly makes him a capital ‘C’ Conservative or a kitten-eating monster.

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