Donald and Daisy / Sleuth & Diaz
mouse-ducks at orange.fr
Mon Nov 12 18:59:53 CET 2007
Gary quoting me:
>>>> Dr Wertham [...] might even have said that the ending shows
>>>> [...] beating Daisy was not enough; even her true self is violent [...]
>>>> she (and women, through her) was depicted as evil, and/or [...]
>>>> Donald had not beaten her enough (a woman needs a good beating).
>> This is a more problematic assessment.
>> I didn't take that meaning at all.
>> You do say that you didn't think the creators meant to convey it
>> so it would appear were both taking things more subjectively here.
Right. I did not even think of this interpretation of the ending when reading the story; it just occurred to me when going through it again for this discussion.
I'm sure this is not the author's intent, and rather an ironic twist to the ending, with Donald being again the victim, however heroic he may have acted; countless Italian (European?) stories end thusly, to the point of it seeming to be a tradition, some sort of requirement (like Krazy Kat always getting the brick in the head).
Seeing this ending again, however, I could easily see how it could be interpreted this way.
>>>> You explained your views well and honestly.
>>>> And, as you've probably discerned, your points interest me.
Thanks. I hope other readers will join the discussion (on either side).
>>>> This one in particular: above you venture the statement
>>>> "…but I can't find justification for one character so graphically
>>>> beating up a female character…", which is perfectly straightforward.
>>>> But I have a problem with the object's adjective, which leaves us
>>>> with the idea - my extraction, not your intent - that it is okay
>>>> for a male character to be beaten up without justification.
You got me there (almost); I did think of children when typing this, but not the other around-- for the very reason you give below.
>>>> That's actually the idea that sits at the center of how things
>>>> work between Donald and Daisy. [...] Daisy has been depicted
>>>> as a thoughtless, selfish, reactionary shrew who thinks nothing
>>>> of beating Donald to a pulp verbally and/or physically on the
>>>> slightest pretext. It's a horribly dated stereotype of the female psyche,
>>>> yet Daisy is still saddled with it, and Donald still takes the abuse with
>>>> equally stereotypical male aplomb.
I also did think of referring to the stereotypical hen-pecked husband that is humiliated or beaten in many plays, symbolically or very concretely, but frankly, I did not know where to insert it in my paragraphs. You expressed it a lot better than I would have.
>>>> More generally, we've got two characters who visually
>>>> appear to be physical equals, assigned gender roles mainly through dress
This does add an interesting layer to the discussion (regardless of the story considered).
>>>> Here we have a story where Donald finally responds to Daisy's abuse
>>>> in kind...sort of. Donald's justification for beating up the possessed Daisy
>>>> may seem flimsy, but it's still far sounder than Daisy's justification for her relentless
>>>> hammering on an unpossessed Donald.
>>>> I'll be straightforward myself: I've never found Daisy's abuse of Donald funny.
>>>> I accept it as a convention of long standing
The thing is, I'm not sure it's meant to be funny, like slapstick. Donald is the eternal victim (starting with the animated shorts, then more especially in the European tradition; Barks managed to show him as capable of much bravery): always down on his luck, always fired, always a failure, and often quite literally kicked around, including by Daisy.
The point, I think, is to make us feel sorry and care for him, rather than laugh at him, so that we may identify with him and rejoice at the redeeming portion of a story that shows him to be worth a lot more-- it so happens I have just read "Crystal Ball" (DD99093, Spectrum Associates & Bancells, MMA pocketbook 8) while downloading & installing software; first Donald is told off as being a nuisance, then he accidentally saves the day, and his family eventually apologize to him.
>>>> When a story comes along that actually forces that convention
>>>> out of its usual channels, or at least pokes it in the eye,
>>>> that gives it a leg up in my book (so to speak).
I can understand this view.
Still, I think the same result could have been achieved by being less graphic.
To end on a lighter note (interesting as the discussion is, it is not exactly a funny subject), I'll say I have always enjoyed the "Mickey and the Sleuth" stories which Jonathan found asinine; their very silliness makes them funny.
I'm not sure whether the "utterly horrid Disney Studio stories" you mentionned included or were one with the Jaime Diaz stories, which I also like (though all the Goofy stories published in the eponymous comic were not good); I read "Goofy King Midas" last night.
The literally goofy and absurd details of this silly story (again) make it a fun experience.
The thing I absolutely adore and admire in Diaz's stories is the layout, the way he plays with the page's composition, the division into panels using background & set props-- a temple's columns, for instance; my favorite layout in this story is the vine whose grape (still on the stalk) is pressed, and the juice flows in a tube that loops around to form a medallion panel, and ends up watering the very same vine in its pot.
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