Dan E Kool wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:10 pm
I don't see an agenda. Torres attempts to show how Dozier and the Batman PR team tried to influence public perception of the show by tagging it to the Pop Art movement as opposed to the Camp scene. Dozier did this (or tried, anyway) to avoid any connection between his show and a very gay sense of humor. I think she states her case well.
Agenda exists when a preconceived conclusion leads research and investigation. For example, over the decades, agenda-minded "writers" all sold themselves on the idea that The Rolling Stones' 1968 song "Sympathy for the Devil"
was written because of some long disproven idea that the band were "caught up" in the nonsensical Satanism sub-culture of the mid-late 1960s.
They were not. The song's authors (Jagger, Richards, et al.) looked at a few specific literary sources and some cultural ideas, but contrary to the hollow conclusions of the aforementioned "writers," the band did not create the song as some genuine paean to Satan and his alleged acts throughout history. Ah, but never let objective truth / historical fact get in the way of whatever personal beliefs--agenda--which had a conclusion in place before one investigative word was ever read or heard.
Again, the following is crucial: anything Adam West (and anyone else from the '66 series) had to say about the tone and meaning of the series should be broken up into a few categories:
1. What he said while the series was in production.
2. What he said in the first decade after its ABC run.
3. What he said in the 80s - forward.
4. Can the production years stories be corroborated with other interviews conducted in the same period?
Torres does cite a Rolling Stone article from the time where Adam West is pretty open about Batman's gay audience. Perhaps a reason we don't see much else said about the queerness of the show during its run (by Burt Ward, for example, who changed his tune when he wrote his book) is for the same reason that Sontag denies camp's inherit queerness - Camp, as well as the rest of America, is still very much in the closet in the mid 60s. We are barely a decade removed from the Lavender Scare and still three years before the Stonewall Riots. That is to say, as homosexuality has become less taboo, people have more to say about it. Gay people have always existed, but what is or isn't acceptable discussion has evolved since the 1960s.
This is the reason I said West quotes--and anyone else from the '66 series has--for the sake of honest, objective investigation--had to be placed in several categories to view in that chronological order, as those who created the series knew what their goals were and why the show was shaped in a certain way.
Going into it assuming something exists and completely ignoring even the possibility
that "what you see is what you get"
(in other words, there's no need to read anything into it, as it is plainly self-explanatory) cannot lead to a conclusion based on truth. See that Rolling Stones reference.
BATWINGED HORNET wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:07 pm
Honestly, when Peter Parker had to lie to Aunt May (when he was living with her) to change into Spider-Man was it some suggestive idea of his hiding a secret life in a gay sense? How about Clark Kent: when he had to bail on his Daily Planet co-workers? Silver Age Tony Stark when he had to lie to Pepper in order to live that other life as Iron Man?
Right. Exactly. All in the closet.
Incorrect. Secret identities are an ancient concept in civilization--both as a real tool for concealment and in creative concepts. The need to conceal one's 2nd or other half dealt with safety, usually in trying to achieve some goal/mission that was dangerous to the one on
the mission, or was designed to protect others from the potential of revenge against relatives or friends. There's no camp or queer element to that original, basic motivation.
.What matters is that, as a man with a secret life which he guards at all costs, who embodies masculinity with his muscular frame in a pair of tights and leather boots, Batman can and does represent something other than what he was designed as to a very specific audience. Taking that character from the pages of a comic book and putting it on screen only amplifies those qualities.
Notice what you're saying--"...to a very specific audience."
In other words, a group--by no means a majority--will and have decided to see whatever they desire in anything, no matter what the truth of the creation was and continues to be ("what you see is what you get"
). Once again, I refer to the Rolling Stones example, as some will use their isolated, preconceived conclusion and attempt to turn that into the official
meaning/idea of an entire concept, which is what's happening in the '66 Batman
It's not Torres' goal to redefine Batman's sexuality. She only writes of the queerness of the character as a way to understand Camp, firstly. And secondly, as a way to explain why Dozier was so eager to distance the show from that term.
For all his fault$, Dozier was wise in trying to make a comic book adaptation appeal to a mid-late 1960s audience of both kids and adults, and there was a careful way of achieving that goal--which did not need misinterpretations, hence his desire to steer the show away from the waiting-at-the-gates group waiting to tell Dozier (in a most arrogant fashion) what he
meant with his
Especially in a post-Wertham world, it's impossible to imagine that no one in production of the show saw these connections. Multiple characters were created for the comics to combat these very allegations
That was reacting to--once again--an agenda (Wertham's) with no basis in fact. Either one knows his own creation, or he allows someone else to attempt to redefine it for him.
That is perhaps my biggest takeaway from this article. Previously I thought of the Batman show as being very aware of itself - campING, as Paul has said before. But now looking back at some of the innuendo (Burt Ward as Molly as Robin, styling his hair in the most effeminate way possible springs to mind)
You realize as part of the "joke," Molly as Robin had to act in that manner. Part of its humor coms from Burt (or perhaps at the insistence of director Robert Butler) going overboard, which is a very old routine predating film. However, for accessible visual references, look no further than The Three Stooges, who were just as exaggerated as Burt in their behavior/mannerisms anytime one of the Stooges dressed as a woman (typically to escape some crook or con someone out of something). To say there is something inherently queer in that (as a default definition) misses the entire point of assuming other characters or identities, then exaggerating it for obviously and outrageously comedic purposes.