Friday, January 11, 2019

Comics and Congress

I think we may have reached peak nerd culture - the point where comics references get thrown out by Congressional Representatives.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been a flash point of criticism and analysis from both the left and the right.  As the youngest woman ever elected to Congress she has been both a popular and polarizing figure in social media, news, and culture.  She has over two million Twitter followers and is quick to fight back on social media when attacked.

Regardless of what you think of her politics, at times it seems she is playing a completely different game than the other senators and representatives.  When the different groups attack her or criticize her, she is able to turn it around quicker than any other politician I've seen.

This morning, an article on Politico suggested that nearly 20 members of the House Democratic Caucus was "exasperated" with her threat to back primary opponents against members of their ranks she deems too moderate.  They are worried that she is not using her notoriety in the best benefit of the Democratic Party.

Her response was to re-tweet a post that said you "cannot rein in Latinas," adding a quote from Alan Moore.

The quote is from Watchmen, referencing a scene where the damaged vigilante Rorschach has been put into prison with a number of criminal that he himself put behind bars.  The criminals thought they could get a jump on him.  After one criminal tries to shiv him and he scars him with hot grease from the food line, he responded with the quote above.  Indicating that he was glad to be in prison because it affords him the opportunity to continue to punish them.

Ocasio-Cortez makes it clear from her use of the quote she is a reader and a fan.  She not only includes the quote but attributes it to the author Alan Moore.  It shows her youth, it shows her nerd culture, and it shows the depths that nerd culture has just become pop culture.

We've had touches before.  Obama was a self-proclaimed comic reader, particularly an avid collector of Spider-man and Conan the Barbarian.  But that was always an exception.  A rarity.    Now, as the age of our representatives gets lower/as more Generation X-Millenials become elected officials, the connection to deep fandoms will become more common place.

That's a long way from the Wertham hearings.

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