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  1. #31
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    If I recall correctly, Superman has been dabbling in the idea of being a "citizen of the world" at least since Superman IV - you know, the one with Jon Cryer and the hammy villain with the mullet.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I was always a bigger Batman fan but reading Whatever Happened To The Man of Tommorrow? A hypthetical final issue of Superman which was in part an Alan Moore work, made me rethink that. Probably Smallville too.

    Batman has been savagely attacked as an Ayn Rand uber mensch sadistically preying upon poor criminals and creating the culture in which freak show psychos can thrive, at least in the UK. It something I hate about the UK, it demonstrates unheard of propensities to trash heroes.
    Then the UK must demonstrate an equal propensity for leveling everybody and everything down to the lowest common denominator. That's the social goal there. The psychological goal is fear of envy.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  3. #33
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    That is a shame, I didnt notice that so much, I thought that the GI Joe movie went on for too long and it reminded me of another ill fated movie of the same special effects genre, it was about some sort of super computer called over mind and a group resisting it, there were two or three big robots, one was like a terradactyle and flew another a kind of big bruiser monster thing. Wish I could remember the name.

    I knew about the phrase being expunged in the Superman Returns movie, to be honest its a shame, although in some ways its understandable, given what "Americanism" came to mean at home and abroad around about the time those films were filmed. I didnt like it and I'm a one time "anti-american" but got tired of over simplified appraisals of geo-politics.
    I think it has more to do with the decline of Platonism within the Western psyche than everything. "The American Way" was an acceptable phrase, because it was understood that this didn't refer to how the United States was, but rather the ideal that it aspired to be - a global ideal of justice, generosity and equality. Now that the US is the sole global hegemon, it's impossible to divorce that ideal from the reality of imperial power that American institutions exert over wide portions of the globe. After all, if the US is so powerful, why can't it attain its ideal?

    Re: Batman - he speaks to the power of the marginalized and invisible in society. Even Bruce Wayne can't solve the crime problem in Gotham through force of personality - he has to go to the shadows.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    I think it has more to do with the decline of Platonism within the Western psyche than everything. "The American Way" was an acceptable phrase, because it was understood that this didn't refer to how the United States was, but rather the ideal that it aspired to be - a global ideal of justice, generosity and equality. Now that the US is the sole global hegemon, it's impossible to divorce that ideal from the reality of imperial power that American institutions exert over wide portions of the globe. After all, if the US is so powerful, why can't it attain its ideal?

    Re: Batman - he speaks to the power of the marginalized and invisible in society. Even Bruce Wayne can't solve the crime problem in Gotham through force of personality - he has to go to the shadows.
    I dont understand about Platonism but I'm not sure that becoming hegemon would mean that "the American way" cant remain a message, I think its in part because "the American way" is disputed even in America and become such a fractious topic that its featuring in things like Superman and GI Joe has changed, the idea of America used to be a universal one, it is looking more like an exclusive one and so there's an understandable issue there. Anti-Americanism is fashionable intellectually even with Americans too.

    I would link it to other things too, I know plenty of people who feel the need to affirm seriously identity politics which really dont reflect who they are and only to affirm their own identity as an after thought, with some embarrassment even. Its almost like its more respectable to feel shame than pride or even just neutrality if you're not able to strongly identify with or claim to be part of a presently persecuated or historically persecuted community.

    I tend to see Batman as a classic example of crime fighting, he could probably influence things through the levers in the economy and the newer films do feature that to an extent but he needs to have hands on experience himself, maybe he has a death wish and maybe he doesnt but I dont think he's a mirror image of the joker or penguin. I think the myth is a little like either the scarlet pimpernel or zoro, he plays a playboy, that's his false self, and it may resemble an Ayn Rand charactature but the real him is the crime fighter.

  5. #35
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont understand about Platonism but I'm not sure that becoming hegemon would mean that "the American way" cant remain a message, I think its in part because "the American way" is disputed even in America and become such a fractious topic that its featuring in things like Superman and GI Joe has changed, the idea of America used to be a universal one, it is looking more like an exclusive one and so there's an understandable issue there. Anti-Americanism is fashionable intellectually even with Americans too.
    In the mid-Century, universal Americanism was seen as an acceptable antithesis to international Communism, especially since the experience of 1848-1945 had heavily damaged the status of Capitalism as an ideal for much of the world's population.

    Within intellectual circles, there are two types of domestic "anti-Americanism" - the annoying coastal cosmopolitan elitism that retains the centuries-old attitude that anything American is particularly defective, compared to its European counterpart, and the idealist left, that dislikes the more imperialistic aspects of American policy. They are very different from one another, though we have a tendency to conflate the two.

    I would link it to other things too, I know plenty of people who feel the need to affirm seriously identity politics which really dont reflect who they are and only to affirm their own identity as an after thought, with some embarrassment even. Its almost like its more respectable to feel shame than pride or even just neutrality if you're not able to strongly identify with or claim to be part of a presently persecuated or historically persecuted community.
    That's simply the brutality of the American class system. Identity politics work to keep working-class whites and minorities at each other's throats, and working-class whites disgusted with the left, instead of focusing their frustrations at their masters. It is almost sinful to suggest that working-class whites are just as oppressed as working-class minorities in this country, even though this is the reality. So, you get people in the cities who pooh-pooh you if you don't act with proper sophistication (which requires leisure time to develop that sophistication), and the media outlets that they control let everyone know that you're some level of subhuman. Meanwhile, the silver-tongued devils come in, say some nice words, and make sure you vote against your interests.

    This whole Superman thing is part of that process. Those who feel an intimate connection to the land they live in (since it is what sustains them) shall be mocked and disrespected. Those who buy into the religion of global capitalism and consumption shall be exalted.

    I tend to see Batman as a classic example of crime fighting, he could probably influence things through the levers in the economy and the newer films do feature that to an extent but he needs to have hands on experience himself, maybe he has a death wish and maybe he doesnt but I dont think he's a mirror image of the joker or penguin. I think the myth is a little like either the scarlet pimpernel or zoro, he plays a playboy, that's his false self, and it may resemble an Ayn Rand charactature but the real him is the crime fighter.
    Oh, most certainly. That's always been the fun debate, that of the actual identity, and I've always come out thinking that Bruce Wayne is Batman's secret identity, while Superman is Clark Kent's secret identity. In fact, this step may be trying to change the latter characterization.

    All of those stories and myths have a similar main conceit - society's authorities are corrupt (because they usually are), and it will take someone from the dregs with resources to clean house. A bat, after all, is a small, dirty creature that lives in a hole and comes out at night - much like how many perceive the lower classes of society.

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