WaP!: “The Politics of Cowardice” Part 5 (Conclusion)
The Forgotten Activist Prozine: Part 9
This is the final installment of my serialized essay on ratings and censorship, which concluded in Wap #6—cover, below—and having completed this serialization of “The Politics of Cowardice” today, we’ll backtrack next week and fill you in on the complete contents of the respective issues of WaP! my essay appeared in. I’ve got a corker in line for Monday, so stay tuned.
WaP! #6 was a key issue, as it was WaP!‘s self-publishing issue. I’ll be sharing a bit more of that issue’s contents than others, given the role it played in my own decision to finally self-publish fully in the 1990s.
OK, then: back to my own serialized article “The Politics of Cowardice” in its final installment, as it originally ran in WaP!#6 (September-October 1988; pp. 20-22). This was the toughest portion of the article to write and whittle down to bite size, given the enormity of the movie industry’s waltz with the Code and the Ratings system, and the pervasiveness of the arguments that the comics industry should adopt such a system.
I kept it short and sweet, as best I could, though I could have said more—and no doubt will, another time, another place.
Also note: the correct spelling of Jan Strnad‘s name is Strnad, not “Strand.” Apologies, Jan; not my typo.
Evolution of the MPAA Ratings system, 1968-1990: It’s largely forgotten today that the original 1968 MPAA ratings were quite straightforward: G, M (for Mature), R, X—that was it. Mainstream studios released X films initially, one of which—Midnight Cowboy (1969)—won the Best Picture Academy Award. The M rating was revised to GP by 1970, and then PG; the heated 1984 controversy over three Steven Spielberg productions—Poltergeist, Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom—resulted in the PG-13 rating being created. The stigmatizing of the X rating led to the revisionism of the NC-17 rating, which accomplished nothing, really.
Monday: Alan Moore, “A Letter from England.”
To be continued!
Repeating: This material has never been seen online before, anywhere.
I’ll continue sharing it, as long as the following groundrules are honored.
This serialized essay is ©2013 Stephen R. Bissette. The individual archival images are ©1988 their respective authors and creators.
Note: I have not granted permission for these posts to be shared at Goodreads.com or any other thieving sites that cull blog content from non-participating creators; if this post is appearing anywhere but at the genuine Myrant blog/site (http://srbissette.com), it is stolen and should be immediately shut down and reported.
Some ground rules: Please respect these rules, and please report to me (via comments thread or email — firstname.lastname@example.org) any breaking of these rules.
If all goes well, I’ll do more of this at Myrant; if the virtual archives are robbed, so to speak, this will be the last and only time I get into these kinds of archival materials at Myrant.
1. Post links to the relevant Myrant posts; please do NOT lift the graphics to place them on your own blog, journal or website.
2. Please do NOT lift these posts, and my text, verbatim and place them on your blog, journal, flicker pages or whatever.
3. Please note all copyright notices at the end of each post, and respect them. I do not own this copyright material, nor do I claim to; I am sharing it here (with correct copyright ownership noted) to share this material with fans, scholars and researchers.
4. If there are any problems, I’ll just tear this all down and abandon the project.
PS: I have removed subscription info from all images/text; the WaP! address is no longer active, subscriptions/copies are obviously no longer available (and no, I don’t know where/how you can find copies, sorry).
Let’s see where this goes. Thanks!
“The Politics of Cowardice” ©1987, 1988, 2013 Stephen R. Bissette, all rights reserved. All WaP! images, content ©1988, 1989 the respective creative contributors and proprietors. All other cover art or comics images © respective year of original publication their original creators and/or proprietors. Excerpted essays ©2009, 2010, and this text material ©2013 Stephen R. Bissette, all rights reserved. Permission to link, post pingbacks granted, but please do not quote excessively or post these essays on your own blogs, websites or venues; it’s not yours to play with. NOTE: All images are posted for archival and educational purposes only, under applicable US Fair Use laws.