- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Archie Andrews: Death By Homophobia

A Facebook friend writes:

I used to read Archie when I was a kid. I think I speak for all of us when I say that his ending went pretty much as we all expected… he dies saving his gay friend from a hate crime assassination attempt.

Seriously, this happens today in the comic universe: [1]

The character’s impending death comes in Wednesday’s installment of “Life with Archie,” a spin-off series that centers on grown-up renditions of Archie and his Riverdale pals. It brings a bold conclusion to Archie Comics’ four-year-old modern makeover of the squeaky-clean, all-American character.

Freckle-faced Archie will meet his demise when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on senator Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’ first openly gay character, who’s pushing for more gun control in Riverdale. Archie’s death, which was first announced in April, will mark the conclusion of the “Life with Archie” series.

“I think Archie Comics has taken a lot of risks in recent years, and this is the biggest risk they’ve taken yet,” said Jonathan Merrifield, a longtime Archie fan who hosts the Riverdale Podcast about all things Archie. “If it shakes things up a little bit, and people end up checking it out and seeing what’s going on in Archie Comics, it will be a risk that was smartly taken.”

Archie Andrews, killed by a homophobic gun nut. Right. More from the story:

Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO, defended Archie’s demise being a lesson about gun violence and diversity.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don’t agree,” said Goldwater. “I think Riverdale is a place where everyone should feel welcome and safe. From my point of view, I’m proud of the stance we’ve taken here, and I don’t think it’s overtly political on any level.”

Nope, nothing overtly political here. Hey, since I was last in Riverdale, they’ve got teen lesbians [2], one of whom is a “fierce Latina.”

Seems like everybody is gay in pop culture today. In 2011, a Gallup poll [3] found that Americans on average believe that 25 percent of the country is gay or lesbian. Yesterday, a new survey of nearly 35,000 adult Americans by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [4] came out. Guess what?:

Based on the 2013 NHIS data, 96.6% of adults identified as straight, 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identified as bisexual. The remaining 1.1% of adults identified as ‘‘something else,’’ stated ‘‘I don’t know the answer,’’ or refused to provide an answer.

Nope, nothing political in any way, shape, or form about the media campaign over the last decade or so. Keep moving, folks, nothing to see here.

Seriously, it is a fascinating question how two percent of the population can have had such a tectonic effect on a culture, and in such a short time. Two percent of the population with 100 percent of the news and entertainment media on its side can make a cultural revolution. They just did. If this isn’t confirmation of sociologist James Davison Hunter’s theory [5]that true change happens through networks of elites and their institutions working with a common purpose, I don’t know what is.

Advertisement
155 Comments (Open | Close)

155 Comments To "Archie Andrews: Death By Homophobia"

#1 Comment By Wes On July 18, 2014 @ 5:14 am

Fran Macadam, you wrote this: “Wes, watch out that your unfounded idealism when confronted by the realities doesn’t create the cognitive dissonance that eventually put Manning and Snowden in an ethical quandary. If so, I hope conscience dictates that you will act as they have and be accountable to principle.”

I’m idealistic, but not naïve. And I would never betray my country like Manning and Snowden did.

JonF:
Nobody in the U.S. has seriously talked about executing gays or even recriminalizing homosexuality. I was talking about the push for gay marriage and compelled social acceptance of homosexuality.

Erin Manning:

Thanks for your words of encouragement.

David, MikeCA, and Darrel:

My unwanted same-sex attraction isn’t a constant, daily struggle. Every once in a while, I get temptations and have fantasies and I have looked at gay porn. I also think about it somewhat more than that. But that’s about all. My sexual attraction toward females is a lot stronger than my sexual attraction toward males. I reject my same-sex attraction partly due to my Christian beliefs, but also because I associate my same-sex attraction with my insecure masculinity. I happen to believe that these two reasons are connected. I believe that God wants me to reject my same-sex attraction as I try to strive toward the traditional ideal of masculinity.

David, you wrote this: And where I think you both tread too far in the “sad” part is focusing as much on the sex and “pleasures of the flesh”. Sex does have a unitive aspect, one which I think is too often ignored in cases where the situation involves same-sex pairings. “

The “unitive aspect” of sex can never be separated from the physical or pleasurable aspect of sex no matter how much people sometimes try to. Opponents of gay marriage are sometimes accused of being over -obsessed with sex. This may be true to some extent. But, and I don’t want to assume that you’re like this too, many gay men are known for their sexual promiscuity.

M_Young:

Thanks for the words of encouragement. And I’m not worried about what people in the Army may think. If I’m not really vocal about the topic, they can’t make me believe one way.

#2 Comment By ratnerstar On July 18, 2014 @ 7:16 am

*Interesting to note that the ‘gay’ men and women in the survey are significantly more likely to be smokers and to have had at least one episode of binge drinking (defined as having had five or more drinks in a day) in the past year.

They’re also much less likely to be obese. Sounds like a perfect fit for the military.

#3 Comment By David On July 18, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

David, you wrote this: And where I think you both tread too far in the “sad” part is focusing as much on the sex and “pleasures of the flesh”. Sex does have a unitive aspect, one which I think is too often ignored in cases where the situation involves same-sex pairings. “

The “unitive aspect” of sex can never be separated from the physical or pleasurable aspect of sex no matter how much people sometimes try to. Opponents of gay marriage are sometimes accused of being over -obsessed with sex. This may be true to some extent. But, and I don’t want to assume that you’re like this too, many gay men are known for their sexual promiscuity.

I appreciate your reply, Wes. I divide this into separate issues… I’m biased in that when I talk about gay pairings and relationships, I really mean that, a “pairing” and not the promiscuous pleasure-seekers (or whatever their motivations). It perturbs me when those two groups are lumped together into a mass called “gays”, ignoring for convenience those of that mass who do want partners and the pair-bonding that is almost inseparable from sexual acts.

Promiscuity is its own topic to me. There are many people who drink alcohol to excess, but that doesn’t–by itself–make drinking alcohol bad or a reason to lump all people who indulge in a glass of alcohol as beyond humanity and compassion. Condemn the excess.

I don’t approve of sexual promiscuity and think it is actually quite dangerous on many fronts. My friends will tell you I’m pretty judgmental about that (though I tend to attract friends of a similar mindset on the issue). I’ll be right there with you lamenting it until about the moment it turns into a “See?! This is just proves the depravity of gays” diatribe.

A bitter part of me thinks that because I’m not confirming the worst examples of the gay community, I’m not at the forefront of the minds of the Erin Mannings of the world when they pontificate about gays and their behavior. It’s way too easy to treat people as groups rather than individuals, unfortunately (I’m as guilty of doing this as any, as I assumed when you said you had unwanted attraction toward men, you had none toward women. I apologize for that).

#4 Comment By B. Wooster On July 19, 2014 @ 4:29 pm

The most preposterous section of this article concerns this quote from a fan named Jonathan Merrifield: “I think Archie Comics has taken a lot of risks in recent years, and this is the biggest risk they’ve taken yet.”
Where, exactly, was the risk in taking this stance? Making a gesture or statement in favor of gay rights, same-sex marriage, or similar causes is the safest play in the book.
Yet these advocates can’t help congratulating each other on how courageous they are. Give me a break.

#5 Comment By Pam On August 5, 2014 @ 10:53 am

I used to love Archie Comics. I didn’t object when they added a gay character. I draw the line, however, at the thoughtless interjection of politics.

Jon Goldwater says “I think Riverdale is a place where everyone should feel welcome and safe.”

So if that is the case, what point is he making by transforming Riverdale from Mayberry to little Detroit?

My brother, who also loves Archie Comics, offered me the comic and said, “You gotta see this.” I said, “No thank you. I’m through with Archie and this anti-2nd amendment crap.”