catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Batty projections

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Over at Club Troppo, Ken Parish has a post on an academic picking up the scent of homosexuality in children’s cartoons. Interestingly enough, the earliest example of literary interpretation gone wild was exhibited not by some cultural studies academic with too much time on his hands but an influential US psychiatrist of the 1950s, Fredric Wertheim, who launched a peculiar fatwa against the comic book industry for allegedly promoting juvenile delinquency. Among his charges was that Batman had a hidden homosexual subtext as this highly amusing excerpt from his book ‘The seduction of the innocent’ (reproduced on the rotten.com website) demonstrates:

Sometimes they are shown on a couch, Bruce reclining and Dick sitting next to him, jacket off, collar open, and his hand on his friend’s arm. Like girls in other stories, Robin is sometimes held captive by the villains … Robin is a handsome aphetic boy, usually showing his uniform with bare legs. He is buoyant with energy and devoted to nothing on earth or interplanetary space as much as to Bruce Wayne. He often stands with legs spread, the genital region discreetly evident.

Other times Batman ends up in bed injured, and young Robin is by his side. At home they lead an idyllic life. They are Bruce Wayne and “Dick” Grayson. Bruce is described as a “socialite” and the official relationship is that Dick is Bruce’s ward. They live in sumptuous quarters, with beautiful flowers in large vases, and they own a butler, Alfred. Batman is sometimes shown in a dressing gown.

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Written by Admin

April 7, 2006 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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