Monday 11 January 2010

Baz Bamigboye Doesn't Like Being Told He's Wrong

Baz Bamigboye is a prat.

When Robert E. Howard penned stories in the 1930s about his comic book hero Solomon Kane, he would write of nubile lovelies in need of rescue by the 'vengeful Puritan' (as Kane was known).

The phrase "nubile lovelies" is misleading, giving the impression that the 'vengeful Puritan" was going to engage in some very non-Puritan activities. It's also a complete crock.

Surprise Quiz: how many Solomon Kane stories feature "nubile lovelies in need of rescue"? Answer: two I can think of, "The Blue Flame of Vengeance" and "The Moon of Skulls," and calling little Marilyn "nubile" is really pushing it. Two stories. Out of nine complete stories, four fragments, and three poems. Two. So no, he kind of wouldn't "write of nubile lovelies in need of rescue" when it comes to the Kane stories.

Many feminists have complained that Howard demeaned women, and in his Kane tales that's probably true

No, it probably isn't. There are only a handful of women in the Kane tales to begin with, but they are hardly the worst in Howard's fiction, let alone pulp fiction at large. Marilyn is a virginal, tortured girl who's had to put up with untold horror, and who Kane considers to be incredibly brave and resilient: hardly "demeaning." Nakari, while depraved, sapphic and predatory, is also the Queen of Negari, and is the absolute ruler of the kingdom. She's large and in charge: also hardly "demeaning." The girl from "Blue Flame" I can't remember, but I seriously doubt she'd be particularly egregious.

Of all the Howard series to consider "demeaning to women," the Kane series is the last one that I'd suppose. Shoddy journalism.

(although he also wrote the Conan the Barbarian books, and there's nothing subservient about Red Sonja)

But, of course, no amount of mud could diminish our heroine's beauty.

I think that last line's from the 1930s as well...

Cute. If I could get Baz into a room with Red Sonya for five minutes...

Now, here's the interesting part: I posted a comment repeating the above sentiments shortly after it was printed. Yet now, lo and behold, my comment has mysteriously vanished, and Mr Bamingboye's article is no longer accepting comments!

This is entirely appropriate to Mr Bamigboye's character: he is notorious for having a massive ego, and I've read more than a few of his hissy fits recounted in Private Eye. I don't think I'll bother going over to his blog, since I doubt he'd be receptive to me calling him out on his half-baked "journalism."

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