How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm?


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The U.S. Enters World War I

The good news: he was granted funding to fully support tuition and room and board. This success fueled his plans either to become a county agent or land a position with a large agricultural company like Monsanto or Cargill. In an effort to ensure a well-rounded education, Nick enrolled in a sociology course taught by Fr. Paul Marx. Nick enjoyed the course but assumed he was falling short of expectations when Fr. Paul asked to meet with him after class. Instead of a reprimand, Fr. Paul asked Nick a life-changing question: had he ever given any thought to becoming a physician?

Nick admitted that he had but -- with the DVR restriction looming in the back of his mind -- believed his disability would prevent him from pursuing a career in the medical profession. Cloud in In an effort to express his deep gratitude, he and his wife established the Nicholas and Bernice Reuter Professorship of Science and Religion. Bernice and I hope our gift will serve as a catalyst for these conversations for generations to come. Noreen Herzfeld has held the Reuter Professorship since it was established in Hence the use of the best known touristic places, which will be identified as non-American and yet be famous enough for American readers to dispense with further explanation.

Besides, super-hero comics published by the two giants of the sectors, DC Comics and Marvel Comics, have historically been conceived as ephemeral and cheap cultural products, often created under serious time constraints. The city has a unique advantage over the rest of the country, in that it possesses that internationally famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower leaving aside the red-and-white Tokyo copy. Paris represents metonymically France as a whole, and the Eiffel tower is but the ultimate stage in this synthetic representation of the country. It appears that no super-hero story set in France can dispense with a panel depicting the monument, even in those rare cases when the action does not take place in Paris.

Besides, this use of a visual synecdoche is not specific to comic books, and similar examples could be found in most of popular culture. However, the effect creates strange distortions when the inclusion of the Eiffel tower is supposed to provide all the necessary French background for an extended number of pages.

Thus, the Eiffel Tower appears as a necessary element in any representation of France, but also, to a large extent, as a sufficient visual marker.

How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm When They Can Roost Next Door? • Long Beach Post News

The reader is not expected to be fooled by these hastily composed French settings, but he is expected to accept the convention, along with the many other pre-requisites of the well-codified genre. Most stories use both conventions alternatively, with main characters speaking in English while secondary characters provide colorful touches of French. The device is also simple enough to be used in long stories without becoming too cumbersome. While this would appear to be a fitting way to keep the original French in word balloons and provide a translation, the device is barely used at all.

In general modern super-hero narratives use fewer captions than their predecessors, but the main problem with this type of translation appears to be the creation of a back and forth between the balloon and the notes, which disrupts the flow of the story. The device creates the kind of tension which the use of familiar places is meant to avoid: by having extra-diegetic translations, this type of translations calls attention to itself. It disrupts the narrative illusion to provide what amounts to superfluous cultural information. Narrative efficiency demands that devices which go against the unfolding of the plot be used sparingly.

A striking example of this strategy is to be found in a recent issue of Daredevil , 3 set in a well-documented Paris. For a page and a half, the hero interrogates thieves and crooks in French and is answered in the same language, without any translation. In this case, the writer, Ed Brubaker, consciously uses the fact that similar scenes are a recurrent motif of the Daredevil narrative, a fact also underlined by the captions, which should allow non-French readers to fill in the gaps for themselves.

How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm

Daredevil is also a character relying on sound rather than sight to find his way, and this use of authentic French is fitting in that respect. Obviously, this means that no crucial piece of information could be given in these pages. Distinctly French elements — the Eiffel Tower, the language — are used in a recognizably American context. With all the important characters eventually resorting to using English, with numerous out of place visual details Newyorkish fire escapes in Parisian buildings, American letter-boxes or street signs, etc. Were it not for the Eiffel Tower, most representations of France would simply fail to evoke anything but the United States.

Because comic book demands that anything included in the narrative be drawn and documented, they reduce France to a limited sets of symbols and expose the reduction process at work in other media but made less conspicuous, notably in mainstream cinema, by the ability to shoot on location. However, some of their usual foes happen to be French, who seemingly spend most of their time in the United States. Paris has the Tour Eiffel, Batroc, the leaping batracian has his accent.

His Frenchness is all the more significant in that he was created as an enemy for Captain America, himself a national symbol. While his Frenchness has been downplayed over the years, this accent and its hints of foreignness remain, to this day, the most significant trait of the character. His role as a stereotype was made even clearer for comic book readers in the sixties by his thin moustache, a distinct trait of stereotyped character in Hollywood movies.

Just as Captain America is more than the embodiment of mainstream American values, France, as embodied by Batroc is not simply the excuse for comic inefficiency. Indeed, there is something Vernian in this character devoid of super powers, but possessing a strong sense of honor, a demonstrative individualism and some hints of cynicism. I am desolate with grief! It seems I have so carelessly stepped upon your little toy! A thousand pardons!


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Batroc is an aristocrat, a gentleman-thief displaced from 19 th century French popular fiction into a new world. At the end of his second confrontation with Captain America, the contrast between the two characters even takes a Tocquevillian undertone. This boisterous escape contrasts strongly with the complete defeats inflicted by Captain America to a nazi-Russian army, in the previous issue, and to an operation led by Mao himself, in the next.

Significantly, in their first two encounters, Batroc and Captain America actually join force to stop a catastrophic event which their confrontation has triggered. Yet, this identification of Frenchness not only with the archetype of the aristocrat-thief but also to a peculiar flavor of popular culture, originating in the late 19 th to early 20 th century, has been reused in other characters.

Some characters simply happen to be French, and do not seem overly affected by this origin; the Grey Gargoyle, a minor Marvel villain, is an example of these perfectly assimilated Frenchmen. Nor is stereotyping applied specifically to French characters. A issue of Alpha Flight , a series focusing on a Canadian team of super-heroes, thus presents us with a tour of a few European countries and their respective super-heroes. An accent however, does.

The representation of French people is however more nuanced and varied than the representation of France itself. Frenchness defines Batroc, but it is unnoticeable in many other characters. Super hero comics represent France more than they represent the French. It was created in , and resurrected the concept of the Justice Society of America , a previous short-lived team of super-heroes of the forties.

Originally composed of the best known characters owned by the editor, including Batman, Superman and Wonder-Woman and written by veteran Gardner Fox, the league went through numerous changes in membership and authorship over the years, until it settled in , into a successful semi-parodic version, written by Keith Giffen and J.

M DeMatteis. The series lasted for four years and fifty issues, before spinning back in, but it used France as a setting for only twenty issues, after which the French embassy was destroyed, and the team moved to London.

How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On the Farm?

The massive growth of the comic book market at that time explains the existence of this spin-off, which duplicated the formula of the original series to the extent that the change of setting and the choice of such an unusual location as Paris remain its most notable claim to originality. While these dominate the very first issues the Eiffel Tower is present in six different pages in the first issue, then on the first page of the second issue , they fade quickly once the series and the team have settled in.

By de-emphasizing the most obvious contrasts between the United States and France, the rest of the series creates some space to explore more subtly the idea of Frenchness. France stops being that painted set seen in The Amazing Spider-Man , to become a more complex place, caught in an uneasy dialectic between its rich history and its current geopolitical role as a minor power.

The obligatory Eiffel Tower, on the first page of the first issue.

by Joe Young, Sam M. Lewis, and Walter Donaldson

The irony here lays in the fact that nothing indicates that the author themselves have anything but a superficial knowledge of the setting of the series. While the presence of some visual research about Paris is manifest in those first pages, it is also apparent throughout the series that this documentation is limited to a few key places. Though more convincing than most, this is still a shallow depiction of Paris, and it bears only intermittent resemblance to the actual city.

Possible factual mistakes in the representation of France do not matter much, as long as they cannot be spotted by American readers. France in JLE is not an absolute, the series never tries to present anything but a country reimagined through American eyes, those of the heroes and those of the authors. This sense of an accessible past even has a distinct graphical presence in the series, through the careful rendering of architecture.

While Parisian geography changes issue after issue, the embassy where the team has settled is drawn in a detailed and consistent way.

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A comparison with the other Justice League titles published at the time shows this care devoted to a background element to be atypical: in contemporary issues of Justice League international or Justice League of America , the headquarter of the team is hardly ever pictured from outside, and scenes taking place inside use functional and anonymous backgrounds.

Leaving aside the Eiffel Tower, several other buildings are also treated with a care that emphasizes their richness and their age. Even the use of the Cannes film festival could be included in this evocation of the cultural importance of France, though the manifest lack of documentation in this episode JLE 14 suggests that it is used more as a touristic landmark - with a symbolical value comparable to that of the Eiffel Tower - than as a cultural event.

They can therefore be mistaken for one another in most cases. The story could have taken place in New York or in Massachusetts, two usual locations for the series, saving the writer Chris Claremont and penciller John Romita Jr. The opposition between their tourist mentality of the Americans and the cultural and historical background of the country is woven into the early plots of the series. Symptomatically, in the third issue, the Justice League is accused of having blown up a museum, suggesting a truly explosive confrontation between the two cultures. In this sixth issue of the series, the super-heroes are taught French by an old-fashioned school-mistress, with predictably disastrous results.

Arthur Fields - How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm (1919)

Their constant bickering, between themselves or with the members a team of super-villains who have coincidentally enrolled for the same class, and their eventual inability to master the language locates them as children, unable to focus and learn from adults. Thus, JLE echoes the popular opposition between France as a place of intellect and culture against the United States and its popular culture. For instance, two bilingual French characters are introduced, which function as bridges between the two countries, but even these are set in a distinct opposition.

Super hero narratives do not rely much on peaceful acceptance, their attempt to adapt to France, or to make France accept them predictably turns into a violent conflict. While the members of the Justice League try to come to term with their incompetent leader, Captain Atom, their embassy is attacked by a mind-controlled mob. The physical threat posed by the rioters is answered by the arrogance of the costumed heroes. It is worth noting that this reference to the Second World War is also employed in the issue of Uncanny X-Men, in the second confrontation between Batroc and Captain America, and in numerous other examples.

How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm? How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm?
How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm? How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm?
How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm? How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm?
How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm? How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm?
How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm? How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm?

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