The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Anonymity & Logical Fallacies

I want to set a couple of things straight.

First and foremost, I don't take anonymous posts as seriously as posts with a name attached. However, if you are anonymous and generally respectful, I tend to overlook that. If you are anonymous and antagonistic, as far as I'm concerned, you are a coward. And a pretty loathsome coward at that.

If you disagree with me, that's cool. I welcome and enjoy conversation. But if you disagree with me in a disrespectful manner, expect me to return that disrespect. Actually, expect me to multiply it. In other words, this is my house and I believe if someone comes into my house and behaves like an asshole, I have the right to kick their ass.

Now, if you have a problem with my opinions, guess what, nobody is making you read my blog. I'm not going to sanitize and sugarcoat how I feel so as not to offend your precious little sensibilities.

Shifting gears, let me discuss a couple of logical fallacies that have shown up in the comments section here. Actually, I suspect these both are originating from the same guy. But they were anonymous posts, so I don't know for sure. Although the similarities are pretty close. Personally, I suspect this individual has a condition.

Someone took issue with my reviews of the 2011 "ThunderCats" series (fuck that show!) and said that I should refrain because there are people who put in a lot of long hours and work very hard on that show. So because of all the hard work, I shouldn't have been as hard on that show as I was. Of course, that very same person did not mind that I am so hard on Michael Bay's movies, or the "Twilight" movies or the "Star Wars Prequels" or any of those atrocities. And, I don't know, maybe I'm taking crazy talk, but a little bird told me that there were pretty big production teams on those and they all worked very hard.

I remember pointing that out to this person, and he accused me of making bad comparisons. Of course he just didn't want to admit that he came up with a very stupid defense, and he would not apply that defense to material he didn't care for. Just material he does care for. Sounds hypocritical, doesn't it?

Of course, I think the idea that work shouldn't be criticized, even severely, because people worked hard on it is just stupid. I'm judging the work, not the people behind the work. If a movie or a TV show sucks, I'm going to say so. If I go to a restaurant and order a steak, and the steak sucks, I am going to say so. If a house is built, but comes crashing down later, regardless of how many people worked hard on it, something in the work itself was deeply wrong.

Finally, my opinions on the "The New Batman Adventures" episode, "Over the Edge" generated some controversy. I expected that, of course. That episode is a sacred cow in geekdom. But another anonymous poster (probably the same one) not only could not handle my criticism of it, but decided he had to get personal with me specifically. Well, when you do that, out come the claws.

He accused me of "slandering and berating btas" and went on and on about how "Batman the Animated Series" was groundbreaking and at the time no animated series had strong continuity or character development, and he felt I was holding "Batman the Animated Series" to some very unfair standards.

First, I feel I should point out the obvious. I was not even criticizing an episode of "Batman the Animated Series" much less "slandering and berating it." I was just voicing my dislike for one episode. One episode that isn't even an episode of "Batman the Animated Series" for crying out loud! "Over the Edge" is an episode of "The New Batman Adventures" which is a spin-off of "Batman the Animated Series." And don't tell me it's not, the series was retitled, the series was re-designed, they jumped forward in time a few years, the story tone and style was different. It was a sequel series.

Second of all, yes "Batman the Animated Series" was a groundbreaking series, and I wasn't criticizing it at all. But honestly, I should be allowed to if I want to. As my friend, AJ Wells said: if there isn't a criticism-related logical fallacy in which a work must be treated fairly simply because we ought to be grateful it broke ground, there ought to be one.

And I think most would agree that "The New Batman Adventures" was an inferior show to "Batman the Animated Series." And before someone brings up "Mad Love" that episode was written for the former show, and made into a comic. It wasn't a "New Batman Adventures" episode, it was just adapted into one.

The complaint I received was that in 1992, hardly any animated series had continuity and character development, so I shouldn't be pissed off that "Batman the Animated Series" didn't have it. And guess what, I'm not. However, "The New Batman Adventures" premiered in 1997, and by then continuity and character development were quite common in action dramas. Now, I'm not criticizing them for choosing not to have it (although, I still hate that it was teased in "Over the Edge" and squandered, but that's a whole other post), but if they decided to evolve the art style and change the tone already, maybe they could have tried something new. Or maybe not.

But I hardly slandered or berated "Batman the Animated Series." If anything, I was the one being slandered and berated in that exchange. And by an individual too cowardly to even sign his name. I am sure he is reading this, and I am sure he will likely post to continue his anonymous berating, as well as completely miss the point. But, to quote Tony Soprano, those who want respect give respect. And I will give him just as much respect as he gives me.


  1. I pretty much agree with the idea that we should be allowed critique shows like B:TAS for what flaws they had without being hounding by the Geek Inquisition.

    B:TAS was indeed groundbreaking but if we allow something to become a sacred cow and make any critique of it tabbo, we lose all ability to talk about it meaningfully.

  2. Indeed, but the ironic thing is that I wasn't even talking about B:TAS in the first place!

  3. Yeah I have to agree that BTAS isn't free of problems. An example I've made since the Critic's Top 11 Episode video is the handling of Two-Face.

    Yeah the concept was definitely good, but after Second Chance, Harv pretty much became a basic villain. Batman trying to help him find redemption was gone, as was the tragic element. Now there was a transition story behind that, but only in the first two issues of The Batman & Robin Adventures comic. Great story, and I suggest it, but it's a story that should have happened onscreen.

    Judgement Day seemed like an attempt to elevate him above the common crook status, and even Dan Slott's Batman Adventure added the idea that he would help Batman and the police as a result of the coin flip, but by then it's a case of too little too late.

    The Batman actually outdid it with Ethan Bennett. To top Harvey appearing several times, Ethan was actually a regular until the first season finale, and he didn't devolve into and stay as a typical villain. His final appearance gives hope that he will be cured, and Artifacts even alludes to him beinf back on the police force.

  4. Antiyonder: I agree entirely, and I think it's worth noting just who it was who wrote the first three Clayface episodes for "The Batman," and thus really set the stage for his (mostly) well-done character progression.

    [I say "mostly" because I'm discounting the Solomon Grundy episode, which just feels completely out of place in Bennett's storyline.]

    But back to topic, who was the freelance writer who authored "The Rubber Face of Comedy," "The Clay Face of Tragedy," and "Mudslide"? Why, our good ol' pal Greg Weisman, that's who.

  5. Greg: At minimum, I would recommend the Greg W.-penned "Strange Minds," featuring Hugo Strange and the Joker. While the quality of "The Batman" varied WILDLY (though I definitely think it receives far more flack than it really deserves), that one's a pretty good indicator of how good the series could get when the creative team was really on point.

    On the whole it may pale in comparison to B:TAS or Batman: Brave and the Bold, but it was still a solid series when taken on its own.


    [Here's looking at you, any and all Penguin-centric episodes.]

  6. Generally I find 'Over The Edge' to be a bit overrated. There's lots of shock value in it (Batgirl dying, Gordon hunting Batman) but there's not much else to it. Because it's all Barbara’s dream we get no character insights except for how she fears Batman and Gordon will act, not how they'd actually act in that situation.

    The problem with it stems from the fact that they were making it overly action packed rather than drama packed like in BTAS. Which was a problem with TNBA as a whole, imo.

    On the subject of continuity: BTAS had continuity, just small amounts of it. Harvey Dent appearing a few times before becoming Two Face, Mr Freeze's episodes, Harley's friendship with Ivy, the majority of Catwoman episodes, were all things that added to continuity in an episodic show. My point is that even though the show was episodic they had continuity when they wanted to. They could've had it in Over the Edge if they wanted to, but they clearly didn't. Then again TNBA was not BTAS and it tended to shit on continuity from BTAS.

  7. You blinked first, Bishansky. I put up evidence that your precious Greg Weisman sockpuppeted from his Warner Bros and Sony Pictures offices and you deleted it. Monday morning, I intend to publish it in the Station 8 Comment Room for everyone to see and where you can't delete it. You pissed me off way too often, Bishansky.

  8. I remember you, Merc. You were the one who decided to introduce yourself to s8 by calling us all retards for disliking your favourite supervillain.

    Bite me, asswipe!

  9. (My thoughts after reading Merc With A Mouth's comments):

    Someone needs to get laid.

  10. Merc: Please tell me you're sitting in a leather chair with a cat in your lap. Otherwise, you just sound completely fucking foolish right now.