Author Topic: The Black Superhero Argument Thread  (Read 78328 times)

Offline Jonathanos

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #255 on: January 16, 2007, 11:24:24 am »
I notice no one has yet to state why marketing a book to a specific race/ethnic group is segregationst.

The magazine industry does this all the time. Latina, Yolk, Black Enterprise, et al.

Other posters have commented at length on how a Black Superteam could be formed without it being contrived. Although, what constitutes contrivance in the realm of superteams is too pointless to be worth debating.

The Avengers, New Warriors, Marvel Knight and Justice League were formed on the "varied group of superdudes team up to face rampaging threat, form team" concept.

The X-books involve active recruitment to create the various teams.

Suicide Squad team members (and the Defenders to a certain extent) were forced into service.

Any of the above could create an all black or all minority team just by dint of where you set the book.  

I think this dead horse has been beaten enough.    

For the record, I don't have a problem with marketing to a particular group of people so I didn't see a reason to respond.  It's better to market to as wide of an audience as possible, though.

But contrivance is an issue I'm interested in.  I have a problem with Panther being on a team like the Avengers.  He's the king of a country.  Being part of a team based in another country is contrived, imo.  Now should Panther form a group within his own country where he acts as chief executive... Works for me.

Or as I suggested earlier, if Cage, Night Thrasher, and Rage got together and formed the core of a team.  That works for me.  I could see how those three might mesh well together.  Find a couple of other characters who'd have reason to join up with them and run.

Offline DarkCrawler

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #256 on: January 16, 2007, 11:29:57 am »
Hey, I am not judging anything. You are free to express your opinions.

But the original thread base was to say that creating an all-black team for the sake of having an all-black team isn't good, and I agree.
No, that wasn't the "original thread base" that was AJ's comment.  But that's OK, let's carry on.

I'm pretty sure AJ's comment was the first post of this thread...

I wasn't saying anything about that having an all-black team is bad.

I mean, let's say that there is a team up of...Luke Cage, Falcon and Kasper Cole where they protect the bad neighborhoods in US. That makes sense, majority (correct me if I am wrong) of people living in the bad neighborhoods are minorities. But IMO, if the team has the idea of "lets make a book with only black people on leading cast so black people can enjoy comics" it is a bit racist actually.
Actually, what is racist is the presumption that the only valid reason for having a black team book is to appeal to black readers.  There are plenty of non-black consumers of black culture.  It would be smart for a comic company to try to reach beyond its dwindling base of readers. 

Hmm. Okay, let's say this book would embrace black culture. Now, I'm not against it or anything, but really, how many people would read COMIC BOOKS to get to black culture? TV and movies go to that area. I don't really see Marvel pushing something like this regulary. The majority of comic book readers do not buy comics to read about different cultures. I see this more like Vertigo type book, or individual publisher.

They would basically say that if you are black, you can't enjoy a comic unless there is black people on it. That is total bullsh*t.
That would be bullsh*t.  Except for there is no such claim being made except by you.  Why can't non-black people enjoy an all-black comic?  And why can't black people wish for an all-black comic?

The reason is, WHY do they need all-black comic? I have nothing against them wanting it, just asking. Are they not entertained enough by the comics there are now?

I'm black, and my favorite comic book character is white. I see nothing wrong on that. Stories are good even if the leading character doesn't have the same skin color then I have.
How nice for you.  Is it OK with you if others choose a character that resembles them for their favorite? 

Others can do what they want, but choosing your favorite because of skin color isn't very good, really.
 
And I have no doubts that white people are able to enjoy books with black leading character on it.
That's nice, too.  Especially for Black Panther.  However, the question is would white readers be able to enjoy a black team book.  Actually, I think many would.  Just not the ones who are bitching about merely discussing the possibility.

I'm not bitching. I'm not saying that enjoying the book is wrong. However, reading a book because of the quality I understand, reading a book because of how the characters look...

So, let's return to the Luke Cage and others team. African-Americans are not the only minority in States. What if some Mexican (or hispanic?) superhero joins the team in second issue? Would the black people enjoy it any less? Would you?

Guess what I am saying is that I don't see any good reason why we would need an all-black, all-white, all-female, all-mexican or all-jewish comic book.  I can enjoy a good comic book fight without caring about the skin colour of the fighters. I enjoy comic book humor without caring about if the guy who makes a joke is white or black. 

I really pity the people who cant...   
And I don't see any good reason why we shouldn't want an all-black comic book.  And I kind of resent the people who can't even entertain the idea.

But WHAT is your reason?

And I don't really care IF they will put a all-black book out or not, if it is good I might read it. But NOT for the sole reason because the people in the book are black.
Well, you make sure you do it for the right reasons then if that makes you feel better.  'Cause I'm definitely checking it out...
Black Avengers?  I'd be all over it.

I would check it out too, but I usually read books because of the quality of them, not because the character has same skin color then I have.

Offline Hulkster

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #257 on: January 16, 2007, 11:30:52 am »
But the original thread base was to say that creating an all-black team for the sake of having an all-black team isn't good, and I agree. I wasn't saying anything about that having an all-black team is bad.


The original thread base comes from here:

http://hudlinentertainment.com/smf/index.php?topic=1176.0
http://hudlinentertainment.com/smf/index.php?topic=105.0

This thread was just split off and merged by the moderators and moved to this forum probably because it became so argumentative.  AJ's post was originally in the middle of one of the linked threads.

Quote
I mean, let's say that there is a team up of...Luke Cage, Falcon and Kasper Cole where they protect the bad neighborhoods in US. That makes sense, majority (correct me if I am wrong) of people living in the bad neighborhoods are minorities. But IMO, if the team has the idea of "lets make a book with only black people on leading cast so black people can enjoy comics" it is a bit racist actually. They would basically say that if you are black, you can't enjoy a comic unless there is black people on it. That is total bullsh*t. I'm black, and my favorite comic book character is white. I see nothing wrong on that. Stories are good even if the leading character doesn't have the same skin color then I have.


Reality is that people tend to be drawn toward characters they can most identify with.  That is why black characters generally sell horribly in title roles.  Whites are the majority of comicbook buyers and their lack of support for black characters equates to the books being cancelled.  So since it is quite clear that white comicbook fans tend to more so identify with and support white characters, why is it so racist for blacks to more so identify with and support black characters?

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And I have no doubts that white people are able to enjoy books with black leading character on it.


Of course they are.  But it is clear that they tend to support such books at a much lower rate than they do books with white lead characters.  See what happened to The Crew.  See what happened to Milestone.  See what happened to Priest's Panther.  See what is happening to the current Blade series.  See how low Spawn currently sells.  If Firestorm was a Marvel title, it would have long been cancelled.  

Whites enjoy an abundance of heroes that they can most identify with, but a group of black folks on a message board fantasizing about one hypothetical group is somehow a travesty.  

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So, let's return to the Luke Cage and others team. African-Americans are not the only minority in States. What if some Mexican (or hispanic?) superhero joins the team in second issue? Would the black people enjoy it any less? Would you?


I don't recall anywhere where membership by anyone who is not black is restricted.  The original threads involve several posts where several whites and other non-blacks are included in individual dream teams.

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Guess what I am saying is that I don't see any good reason why we would need an all-black, all-white, all-female, all-mexican or all-jewish comic book. I can enjoy a good comic book fight without caring about the skin colour of the fighters. I enjoy comic book humor without caring about if the guy who makes a joke is white or black.


If black comicbook fans couldn't enjoy books without black characters, then there would basically be no black comicbook fans.  All that a few of us desire is at least one team that is highly represented by the characters that we can most identify with.  This doesn't mean that we will drop all of our "white titles".    

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I really pity the people who cant...


Then you must pity the large number of white fans who will not support a "black book".  

Quote
And I don't really care IF they will put a all-black book out or not, if it is good I might read it. But NOT for the sole reason because the people in the book are black.


Unfortunately, there will a lot of people who will NOT read it for the sole reason that the people in the book are black.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2007, 11:37:36 am by Hulkster »

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #258 on: January 16, 2007, 11:31:35 am »
Hopefully this response won't cue another meaningless essay from sinjection detailing how I'm a white troll. :P
Frankly, I'm suspicious of your motives also.  However, I've got a simple solution for you:  don't act like a troll.  Keep rolling along, post with civility and everything will be fine.  If sinjection's essay doesn't apply to you, shrug your shoulders and carry on.
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Offline Jonathanos

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #259 on: January 16, 2007, 11:46:44 am »
Hopefully this response won't cue another meaningless essay from sinjection detailing how I'm a white troll. :P
Frankly, I'm suspicious of your motives also.  However, I've got a simple solution for you:  don't act like a troll.  Keep rolling along, post with civility and everything will be fine.  If sinjection's essay doesn't apply to you, shrug your shoulders and carry on.

I really don't care if someone's suspicious of my "motives."  I've been nothing but civil, even rolling with insults to me, so if you have a "suggestion" it should be directed at the one who was decidely uncivil.

Offline Action Jackson

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #260 on: January 16, 2007, 11:54:01 am »
I have just finished reading all of the comments in this thread and the despite the logic, rationale, and specific reasons given for the creation of an all black team by every Hef intellectual ( even the man himself weighed in!) the main point the naysayers made had more to do with THEIR comfortability with an all black team than the merits of what true comic book collecting is all about; a good or great story which has the ability to take the reader on an adventure.


I've noticed that it doesn't matter how many times I explain my viewpoint in detail.  You'll all just keep debating a strawman version of, anyway.

Quote
AJ/KK/MARK/Nick/whatever, if you are truly a screenwriter in college no less then you need to open your eyes up to the world so that you may grow as a man/writer. Whites are 14% of the worlds population what makes you think that only YOUR story makes a good read? Reginald Hudlin no matter if you like his writing or not has been compensated for his efforts! but i'm sure you already knew that. Who has paid you for ANYTHING you have written? (Grammy giving you $10 for a handmade B-day card doesn't count!)

Once I get some great actors interested in one of my screenplays, the whole world of writing will open up to me. 

Does anyone know what Kid 'N Play have been up to lately?

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #261 on: January 16, 2007, 12:05:06 pm »
I'm pretty sure AJ's comment was the first post of this thread...
Yes, the merged fragments of two other threads across which this argument was raging.  Hulkster is correct.  Minor detail though.

Actually, what is racist is the presumption that the only valid reason for having a black team book is to appeal to black readers.  There are plenty of non-black consumers of black culture.  It would be smart for a comic company to try to reach beyond its dwindling base of readers. 
Hmm. Okay, let's say this book would embrace black culture. Now, I'm not against it or anything, but really, how many people would read COMIC BOOKS to get to black culture?
Not that this addresses my point or anything.  However, how many people watched say, The Cosby Show to get to black culture?  I don't think the question is pertinent.  Isn't the question how many people would read a black superhero team book?

TV and movies go to that area. I don't really see Marvel pushing something like this regulary. The majority of comic book readers do not buy comics to read about different cultures.
So you're saying that Marvel wouldn't do it.  Or do it well.  You might be right.  Doesn't mean we can't talk about it.
You seem to also be saying that white folks ("the majority of comic book readers") won't buy it.  Again, maybe so.  Why not?  And for the sake of a thread on a discussion board, so what?

They would basically say that if you are black, you can't enjoy a comic unless there is black people on it. That is total bullsh*t.
That would be bullsh*t.  Except for there is no such claim being made except by you.  Why can't non-black people enjoy an all-black comic?  And why can't black people wish for an all-black comic?

The reason is, WHY do they need all-black comic? I have nothing against them wanting it, just asking. Are they not entertained enough by the comics there are now?
Nobody but you said anything about needing.  When you get right down to it, we don't need comics at all.  The people want what they want and they wants it all the time.

I'm black, and my favorite comic book character is white. I see nothing wrong on that. Stories are good even if the leading character doesn't have the same skin color then I have.
How nice for you.  Is it OK with you if others choose a character that resembles them for their favorite? 

Others can do what they want, but choosing your favorite because of skin color isn't very good, really.
Sez you.  Seems to me that folks have demonstrated the potential harm to one's mental well-being brought on by worshiping only heroes that don't look like you in societies where those differences have great impact, e.g. the US.

And I have no doubts that white people are able to enjoy books with black leading character on it.
That's nice, too.  Especially for Black Panther.  However, the question is would white readers be able to enjoy a black team book.  Actually, I think many would.  Just not the ones who are bitching about merely discussing the possibility.

I'm not bitching. I'm not saying that enjoying the book is wrong. However, reading a book because of the quality I understand, reading a book because of how the characters look...
I didn't say you were bitching.  What difference does it make to you why anybody else enjoys something?

So, let's return to the Luke Cage and others team. African-Americans are not the only minority in States. What if some Mexican (or hispanic?) superhero joins the team in second issue? Would the black people enjoy it any less? Would you?

Guess what I am saying is that I don't see any good reason why we would need an all-black, all-white, all-female, all-mexican or all-jewish comic book.  I can enjoy a good comic book fight without caring about the skin colour of the fighters. I enjoy comic book humor without caring about if the guy who makes a joke is white or black. 

I really pity the people who cant...   
And I don't see any good reason why we shouldn't want an all-black comic book.  And I kind of resent the people who can't even entertain the idea.

But WHAT is your reason?
Me, I like black people.  Most of my friends are black people.  I see very little in comics that resembles my experiences and worldview outside the pages of BP since Milestone.  I'd like to see more.
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Offline Hulkster

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #262 on: January 16, 2007, 12:13:46 pm »
Does anyone know what Kid 'N Play have been up to lately?


No, but we know what Reggie has been up to lately.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117956183.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #263 on: January 16, 2007, 12:14:31 pm »
Quote
AJ/KK/MARK/Nick/whatever, if you are truly a screenwriter in college no less then you need to open your eyes up to the world so that you may grow as a man/writer. Whites are 14% of the worlds population what makes you think that only YOUR story makes a good read? Reginald Hudlin no matter if you like his writing or not has been compensated for his efforts! but i'm sure you already knew that. Who has paid you for ANYTHING you have written? (Grammy giving you $10 for a handmade B-day card doesn't count!)

Once I get some great actors interested in one of my screenplays, the whole world of writing will open up to me. 

Does anyone know what Kid 'N Play have been up to lately?
[/quote]
If your last remark is an insult to your host, it's sort of confused.  Or maybe you're jealous.  I can't tell. 
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Action Jackson

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #264 on: January 16, 2007, 12:17:02 pm »
No, but we know what Reggie has been up to lately.

Unfortunately.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #265 on: January 16, 2007, 12:19:05 pm »
Keep this in mind, Action Jackson.  If you don't want to be here, then why are you?

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This is my house.  You’re here because you read my book, and I made a forum where you can talk about it.  Many people come here with a bone to pick, but if they have open hearts and minds, they find an engaging and fun community where people can agree to disagree, whether it is over politics, plotlines, sports teams or whatever.

But if you walk in, insult the host, and generally act an ass, I will treat you like I would treat you if you came into my house and behaved that way…i.e., punch you in the face and toss you into the street.  I owe you nothing.
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Offline DarkCrawler

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #266 on: January 16, 2007, 12:21:41 pm »
I'm pretty sure AJ's comment was the first post of this thread...
Yes, the merged fragments of two other threads across which this argument was raging.  Hulkster is correct.  Minor detail though.

Actually, what is racist is the presumption that the only valid reason for having a black team book is to appeal to black readers.  There are plenty of non-black consumers of black culture.  It would be smart for a comic company to try to reach beyond its dwindling base of readers. 
Hmm. Okay, let's say this book would embrace black culture. Now, I'm not against it or anything, but really, how many people would read COMIC BOOKS to get to black culture?
Not that this addresses my point or anything.  However, how many people watched say, The Cosby Show to get to black culture?  I don't think the question is pertinent.  Isn't the question how many people would read a black superhero team book?

TV and movies go to that area. I don't really see Marvel pushing something like this regulary. The majority of comic book readers do not buy comics to read about different cultures.
So you're saying that Marvel wouldn't do it.  Or do it well.  You might be right.  Doesn't mean we can't talk about it.
You seem to also be saying that white folks ("the majority of comic book readers") won't buy it.  Again, maybe so.  Why not?  And for the sake of a thread on a discussion board, so what?

They would basically say that if you are black, you can't enjoy a comic unless there is black people on it. That is total bullsh*t.
That would be bullsh*t.  Except for there is no such claim being made except by you.  Why can't non-black people enjoy an all-black comic?  And why can't black people wish for an all-black comic?

The reason is, WHY do they need all-black comic? I have nothing against them wanting it, just asking. Are they not entertained enough by the comics there are now?
Nobody but you said anything about needing.  When you get right down to it, we don't need comics at all.  The people want what they want and they wants it all the time.

I'm black, and my favorite comic book character is white. I see nothing wrong on that. Stories are good even if the leading character doesn't have the same skin color then I have.
How nice for you.  Is it OK with you if others choose a character that resembles them for their favorite? 

Others can do what they want, but choosing your favorite because of skin color isn't very good, really.
Sez you.  Seems to me that folks have demonstrated the potential harm to one's mental well-being brought on by worshiping only heroes that don't look like you in societies where those differences have great impact, e.g. the US.

And I have no doubts that white people are able to enjoy books with black leading character on it.
That's nice, too.  Especially for Black Panther.  However, the question is would white readers be able to enjoy a black team book.  Actually, I think many would.  Just not the ones who are bitching about merely discussing the possibility.

I'm not bitching. I'm not saying that enjoying the book is wrong. However, reading a book because of the quality I understand, reading a book because of how the characters look...
I didn't say you were bitching.  What difference does it make to you why anybody else enjoys something?

So, let's return to the Luke Cage and others team. African-Americans are not the only minority in States. What if some Mexican (or hispanic?) superhero joins the team in second issue? Would the black people enjoy it any less? Would you?

Guess what I am saying is that I don't see any good reason why we would need an all-black, all-white, all-female, all-mexican or all-jewish comic book.  I can enjoy a good comic book fight without caring about the skin colour of the fighters. I enjoy comic book humor without caring about if the guy who makes a joke is white or black. 

I really pity the people who cant...   
And I don't see any good reason why we shouldn't want an all-black comic book.  And I kind of resent the people who can't even entertain the idea.

But WHAT is your reason?
Me, I like black people.  Most of my friends are black people.  I see very little in comics that resembles my experiences and worldview outside the pages of BP since Milestone.  I'd like to see more.


So.

You like reading about black people. You like the African-American culture and mannerisms. So you want an all-black comic book team with no people from other races in it. Okay. Thank you for providing me with a reason.

And if the question is how many people would read a black superhero team, I'm sure people would. I would read it...but just for the reason that the people in it are black? Not for the story, the character interaction, art or anything else that makes up a (good) comic? Not my cup of tea. Thus far I have seen pretty much nothing in comics that resembles my worldview or experiences, but that is not why I usually read fiction or comics. If I want to read stuff that has something to do with my worldview or experiences, I'll go to message forums...plenty of similar people there.

And frankly, I would doubt it that majority of the comic audience would buy the comic for simply the fact that the people in it are black. Hence, not many companies would sell it.

If you like to read stuff because the people are similar then you, and need nothing else to be entertained, good for you. I stay with the quality stuff.

Offline Action Jackson

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #267 on: January 16, 2007, 12:25:17 pm »
If your last remark is an insult to your host, it's sort of confused.   

Not really.  He made a borderline mediocre movie with Kid 'N Play, which served as a springboard to land some directing jobs as what we call a gun-for-hire on SNL movies and things like that.

I'm trying to go the hard route and create something worthwhile, as opposed to writing a brainless college humor flick in the hopes of becoming a voiceless studio director.

There's nothing wrong with the route Reggie took.  It worked out for him.  But don't give me this "he gets paid" crap.  I wouldn't want Reggie's career.  I have no desire to produce a bunch of crap in the hopes that one day in the future I'll finally get the opportunity to do something I believe in.

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I owe you nothing.

See, entertainers with class tend to believe that they do owe the audience something.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2007, 12:27:57 pm by Action Jackson »

Offline bluezulu

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #268 on: January 16, 2007, 12:32:17 pm »
I have just finished reading all of the comments in this thread and the despite the logic, rationale, and specific reasons given for the creation of an all black team by every Hef intellectual ( even the man himself weighed in!) the main point the naysayers made had more to do with THEIR comfortability with an all black team than the merits of what true comic book collecting is all about; a good or great story which has the ability to take the reader on an adventure.


I've noticed that it doesn't matter how many times I explain my viewpoint in detail.  You'll all just keep debating a strawman version of, anyway.

Quote
AJ/KK/MARK/Nick/whatever, if you are truly a screenwriter in college no less then you need to open your eyes up to the world so that you may grow as a man/writer. Whites are 14% of the worlds population what makes you think that only YOUR story makes a good read? Reginald Hudlin no matter if you like his writing or not has been compensated for his efforts! but i'm sure you already knew that. Who has paid you for ANYTHING you have written? (Grammy giving you $10 for a handmade B-day card doesn't count!)

Once I get some great actors interested in one of my screenplays, the whole world of writing will open up to me. 

Does anyone know what Kid 'N Play have been up to lately?
-----------------------------------

Kid is a positive black man, who has been behind the scenes producing and doing television and writing.
Play is doing black gospel hip hop plays, again is a positive black man.
Both are finding work within their communities. That is the thing about black america. Once the cross over fans have whipped your butt you can always come back home. These guys might not be cashing million dollar checks but they made their mark in my adolescence and they are continuing paying their taxes and doing what they do. I know you were trying to be a smart a**, I just wanted to point out that while you were trying to be funny kid n play still is accomplishing more then your a** right now. In fact when they were your age they were making movies, banging chicks, number one songs you know the stuff you aint doing.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: The Black Superhero Argument Thread
« Reply #269 on: January 16, 2007, 12:34:19 pm »
If your last remark is an insult to your host, it's sort of confused.   

Not really.  He made a borderline mediocre movie with Kid 'N Play, which served as a springboard to land some directing jobs as what we call a gun-for-hire on SNL movies and things like that.

I'm trying to go the hard route and create something worthwhile, as opposed to writing a brainless college humor flick in the hopes of becoming a voiceless studio director.

There's nothing wrong with the route Reggie took.  It worked out for him.  But don't give me this "he gets paid" crap.  I wouldn't want Reggie's career.  I have no desire to produce a bunch of crap in the hopes that one day in the future I'll finally get the opportunity to do something I believe in.

Quote
I owe you nothing.

See, entertainers with class tend to believe that they do owe the audience something.
Well, thanks for showing your true colors.  So, you apparently have contempt Mr. Hudlin's body of work in all media.  And you misconstrue (deliberately?) his admonition to behave yourself while visiting his e-space. 

Again, why then are you here at all? 
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."