Frank Miller’s America

"Take that, you hippie scum!"

I haven’t kept up with the popular comics for decades and names like ‘Frank Miller’ don’t  mean that much to me — I have vague notions of who he is based on movies like ‘The 300’  and I know he is credited with breathing new life into the Batman franchise. So I wasn’t in the loop when news broke of Frank Miller’s diatribe against the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement.

Miller had this to say: “The “Occupy” movement, whether displaying itself on Wall Street or in the streets of Oakland (which has, with unspeakable cowardice, embraced it) is anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment. “Occupy” is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.”

I want to ask Mr. Miller to explain why he thinks that citizens assembling and making their grievances known will result in harm to America. Isn’t the ‘right to assemble’ and all that other stuff really the central point of democracy?  Our leaders certainly seem to like public demonstrations against the corruption of rulers when they occur in places like Egypt; why doesn’t Miller like them when they occur closer to home?  If the Egyptians want to hold their rulers accountable for mismanagement, shouldn’t US citizens help the Egyptians on their steps to democracy by cleaning our own house, too?   And, while there have been examples of vandalism, theft and other bad behavior at the Occupy protests, the number of ‘bad acts’ has been statistically insignificant.  Some people  misbehave whenever a hundred or a thousand folks gather in any place for any reason (including shopping on Black Friday).  And, compared to the Penn State students who rioted when their favorite coach was fired, the Occupiers have been angels.  Calling them “louts, thieves and rapists” is just inaccurate.  There may be ‘louts, thieves and rapists‘ in the crowd at the Occupy assemblies, but they (we) did not assemble because they (we) wanted to behave badly.  We assembled because our government and our economy has been broken by corruption and greed and neither the democrats nor the republicans are willing to try to fix it.

“Occupy’ is an effort to save democracy, not an attempt to tear it down. I’m surprised that Miller does not understand that.

(edited for sentence fragment)

12 Comments on “Frank Miller’s America”

  1. Dave says:

    First, they’re squatting, not assembling. They’re “occupying” public property for their own self-interests. You can’t occupy public land any more than I can walk into my neighbor’s house and say that I live there now.

    Second, the Constitution gives you the right to “lawfully assemble”. What part of rape, sexual assault, killing and public urination falls under “lawful”?

    Frank Miller seems to have it figured out just fine.

  2. jrients says:

    “What part of rape, sexual assault, killing and public urination falls under “lawful”?”

    What part of rape, sexual assault, killing and public urination is normally consider assembly under the law? Anyone committing those crimes should be arrested and punished. But holding the whole group responsible would be like, I dunno, holding the military as a whole responsible for war crimes committed by individual soldiers.

    • limpey says:

      Crimes like rape, sexual assault, public urination and even ‘killing’ (‘killing?’ Can we get any more non specific?) occur every time we have a sporting event at our local stadium. That doesn’t make every attendee guilty nor does it prove a fallacy like, ‘sports cause crime.’

  3. crusssdaddy says:

    Frank Miller went off the rails a while ago. He’s embraced noir in this weird way that’s soaked through into his real life — it’s almost like he thinks if he doesn’t perpetuate the ugliness, anger, and despair in his stories, he’s not being true to the game. Now he just lashes out at any convenient target: women, Muslims, protesters.

    Doesn’t keep me from re-reading Dark Knight Returns and Ronin on a yearly basis, but it’s a shame.

  4. Nom De Guerre says:

    Miller was great back in the 80’s, but he is someone who started to believe his own cult of personality. Crussdaddy is right when he says he has given into the darkness, and now he perpetuates it on groups he can stereotype with typical ideological hatred. His latest crap is a Batman cypher killing a bunch of Muslims/terrorists (In Miller’s world, it is the same thing), with a neocon sense of self-righteouness and inability to look in the mirror.

    Sadly, crussdaddy, what he has become does interfere with my enjoyment of his classic works – but that is my failing.

    Dave, what else did Fox News tell you to say about those occupiers?

  5. clawcarver says:

    First Dave Sim, then Frank Miller. It’s sad. Miller’s best work (Ronin, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, Elektra: Assassin, Sin City, etc.) remains outstanding in the field, but he’s been irrelevant ever since he fell in love with Hollywood. Of course he’s entitled to his opinions, but this is just a cringe-inducing, hate-filled rant. What a maroon.

  6. Zak S says:

    The Occam’s Razor explanation (friend of a friend) here is: he’s a fucking alcoholic.

  7. artikid says:

    No matter how good his comics, Frank Miller has always been a right-wing nut

  8. limpey says:

    I’ve tried to make peace with the idea that I can like a creator’s work without having to like the creator themselves, but it can be hard, especially since I often find myself wanting to look for traces of whom they are/were in the work. I don’t really know Miller’s work; I just find his take on OWS to be extremely ungenerous and just not based on the facts of the protests themselves.

  9. mikemonaco says:

    I rather liked David Brin’s take on this, although he erroneously says that an entire army ran 26 miles after Marathon…

    I’ve never read any of Brin’s books though.

  10. onepoint61803 says:

    i just figured he was a shill. Who knows

  11. Malcadon says:

    I have been keeping up with the Occupy Movement, like the Tea Party Movement before it. There are folks who think they are different, and yes, they have differing ideologies and such, but in truth, they are both an angry and disenfranchised mob venting their frustration at the system.

    It is all too easy to brand a whole group for tho actions for a few rabble-rousers in the lot. With Oakland, there was violence and vandalism, but the movement quickly worked to eject the trouble-makers out of the movement and they even organized to clean-up the graffiti – damn good damage-control given their size. There was also a deadly shooting, but the Oakland/Richmond community have trying to deal with this issue well before the protest (in fact, there was a big protest a few years ago in Oakland and Richmond to deal with random violence and police corruption/brutality). I have lived in the worst part of Richmond – the “Iron-Triangle” (q.v. it) – and they have came around a lot (with rearguards to social justice and the crippling “ghetto mentality” that keeps killers free on the streets) since I moved away in the late ’90s.

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