What a complete and totally piece of Leftist Liberal Progressive Democratic Trope & horseshit! Gee Whiz, man, look at it for what it is…FREAKING ART!, and leave all the self-loathing, delusional, Leftist psycho-babble angst manure out of it…complete and total nonsense, and so totally typical of the self-centered introspective auto-flatulent smelling morons that have ruined this country…. -- Poster under the name "DaleinAtlanta"," from a 2013 post on this HU comment-thread.
I found this apt summation of the HU mentality while buzzing through the site's longest thread relating to Frank Frazetta. I don't agree with the poster on everything. What I call "ultraliberals" haven't as yet "ruined this country." They're just annoying because of their hypocrisy; the way they pretend to intellectual honesty when in fact they're as primed to lynch their pre-selected victims as any Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. I also don't know that any of the HU staff suffer from the horrors of foul body odor. I'm only aware of the *intellectual* stench of their "delusional, Leftist psycho-babble manure." (I left out "angst" and "self-loathing" because these qualities can't be logically demonstrated via the critics' own printed words.)
It should be evident from the toss-off title of this post that I wasn't anticipating a major altercation with respect to Ng Suat Tong's recent essay about the black-on-white sex-art of the late Frank Frazetta. I also stated that I wasn't going to try to preserve all the comments I put on HU-- which may or may not disappear in future-- but I am going to expand on the arguments already there. The only reason I gave a quick-read to HU's earlier Frazetta essay, and its resultant comments-thread, was to see either one discussed anything of substance with regard to Frazetta's use of alleged racist tropes. I don't claim to be an expert on the oeuvre of Frazetta, and I was willing to see whether or not the HUddites could present evidence more compelling than Ng did. I found little substance, but an awful lot of psycho-babble circle jerking, though a few readers tried to argue against the dominant tendency to lynch the then-recently-deceased Frazetta-- and yes, in more nuanced terms than Dale above.
So I return to Ng's essay, which, in one of the deleted comments, I called "thoroughly illogical." No one will read that condemnation now, but I can at least expand on it here.
In his opening paragraph, Ng displayed his capacity for even-handedness:
What could possibly be so disgusting that it could be auctioned but not included in the printed catalog? Surely nothing as pathetic as cunnilingus, female ejaculation, or facials. So perhaps bestiality or necrophilia? Don’t those horrible Europeans also sell Crepax doggy art? What’s wrong with that? As it turns out, it was nothing quite so gross, just a “simple” case of white slavery (+/- rape).
So far NB has not deleted any of my numerous attempts to get Ng to justify the remark re: "slavery."
Ng himself only responded to a side-point I addressed-- which I'll get to later--, and thus the essayist himself never enlarged on why he felt that the Frazetta drawings implied any element of compulsion. The posters who commented never showed the cojones to admit that (1) there was nothing in the sex-pictures that indicated that any slavery at all, be it historical or contemporary, or (2) that, counter to Ng's proposition, the white girl is enjoying her sex with the one black stud who does her. In one of the drawings she even encourages him to commit what looks like that "horrible Crepax sin" that Ng works into his essay.
At no point does Ng say anything about the provenance of the drawings, but he claims that their subject matter is comparable to pornography's "white slavery/inter-racial trope." He also claims that these antics are usually presented as "fun and games." I don't want to know how this species of porn gets from Point A-- "interracial slavery of any kind"-- to Point B, "fun and games." But I know that there's nothing in the drawings presented on HU that involves slavery, or even the trope of rape, which another HU contributor laid at Frazetta's door.
Surprisingly, it's not even clear from Ng's short, muddled piece that he has a problem with the way Frazetta had rendered the Negroes in the sex drawings: this objection is raised only by other persons in the comments-thread. So, without even proving his charge of slavery-- except through a very tenuous association on the part of the author-- Ng then tries to prove racism in the drawings through a second association, even more tenuous. He reprints a Frazetta pen-and-ink drawing of Tarzan battling a bunch of African savages, using it to "prove" that this in itself is a racist image. I've made my own observations on problematic aspects of Edgar Rice Burroughs in my essay TARZAN THOUGHTS, but it would never occur to me that a simple illustration of the white ape man fighting with Black Africans was automatically racist. If one reversed the races of the principals, would it still be racist?
I knew that abstract thoughts like this would receive no substantive reply, so I queried Ng about his most fevered assertion: "The Tarzan of the comics (let’s forget about Burroughs for the moment) was, of course, deeply invested in white supremacy and purity; with the great apes afforded an even greater status than the Africans who appeared in them periodically." Ng did answer my question, and sure enough, he proved his statement about the superiority of the apes with one incident from a 1930s Hal Foster comic strip-- which I think may come down to projection on his part. I guess the fact that he mentioned a few other non-Tarzan jungle comics also constituted some sort of proof in his eyes.
I'll expand on my other responses in Part 3, but I'll close this part by saying that one of Frazetta's best known artworks should have been used to head Ng's essay. And why--?
BECAUSE. IT. WAS. A. HATCHET. JOB.