Who is the manliest man? (Batman!) With the buns of steel? (Batman!) Who could choke hold a bear? (Batman!) Who never skips leg-day? (Batman!) Who always pays their taxes (NOT Batman!) — “Who’s the (Bat)Man” (from The Lego Batman Movie) written by Neal Hefti, Jason Rabinowitz, Colton Fisher, Jaron Lamot, Mansa Makili, Brayden Deskins, and Barry Pointer.
According to the Associated Press, the overseers of all things scholastic in a suburban Atlanta Georgia county had Marc Tyler Nobleman, author of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, over to speak to their students about legendary comics writer Bill Finger. However, they would not permit Nobleman to speak about Finger’s relationship with his gay son, Mark, who died thirty years ago from AIDS complications. According to Nobleman, that relationship was critical to defining Bill.
It was Mark Finger’s daughter Athena who, after being found by Nobleman, worked out a deal with DC Comics’ owner du jour in which her grandfather finally received due credit for his work in co-creating Batman a mere 76 years after the feature was first published. She is, to comics fans, a hero. There’s quite a story in that, and that story has been well-publicized. I should point out that Marc Tyler Nobelman also appears in the Bill Finger documentary Batman and Bill.
As it so happens, Georgia does not have a state law restricting what people can say about their fellow human beings in the scholastic environment — at least, not as of this writing. Evidently, they’re too busy trying to get rid of judges who won’t look the other way at presidential acts of treason. That’s a big thing in certain Confederate states. The school district in question has banned certain wholesome yet annoying-to-the-bigots books from their school libraries, but thus far they have yet to actually pull a Texas and start closing down said libraries.
School spokesperson Jennifer Caracciolo told the AP, “We have a responsibility to parents and to guardians that they will know what students are learning in school.” Well, there’s quite a yang to that yin: now the students know what they are not learning in school — in its stead and they have learned a thing or two about bureaucratic cowardice and government-sanctioned censorship.
While following the progression of this story, I have made the following assumptions:
1) Through word of mouth and social media coverage, most if not all of these students now know Bill Finger’s son was gay, and they know that their state government dictates that sharing such knowledge is forbidden.
2) Some, if not most, of these students will have their belief confirmed that their school administration is made up of imbeciles bent on mind control and the manipulation of children’s brains.
3) Some bigoted zealot, and likely more than one, will think this is a major victory for their invisible friend and their shared hideous cause. They are wrong.
4) Some of the aforementioned zealots believe Batman and Robin are gay as well and should never be mentioned in schools or any other place on their invisible friend’s exclusive Earth. Just don’t get them started on Wonder Woman.
5) After learning about the sexual orientation of Bill Finger’s son, not a single child will feel motivated into turning gay.
Please let me know if I am mistaken about any of these assumptions, providing links to evidence from genuine, honest and truthful sources. Good luck with that, and no, your magic book of fables is neither a genuine, honest nor truthful source.
(Thanks and a tip of the hat to former Newfangles contributor and my old pal Charlie Meyerson at Chicago Public Square for the story. All art work copied right © DC.)