Politics, Pop Culture

politicizing villains

I retweeted this so fast without thinking it through.

If we lived in a world of superheroes and supervillains, I think it would be more like The Watchmen than the world of Marvel or DC. In other words, one can’t tell immediately if someone wants to harm or protect. The repeated phrase in Alan Moore’s The Watchmen is “Who Watches the Watchmen?” Even those who say that they are superheroes should be watched because anyone can err on the side of manipulation, corruption, and deceit.

To take it a step further, it is because of this election season I can imagine people defending a villain like Batman’s Joker. “He had a bad childhood, he’ll turn over a new leaf. He has the organizing skills, we just have to help redirect them toward better things.” I’ve heard more people make excuses for political candidates, treating them like goddesses/gods rather than like human beings. 

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If Trump is a supervillain, surely Clinton is not a superhero. In superhero movies, it’s not  those in political office who are superheroes. Although, it becomes fuzzy with S.H.I.E.L.D., which is an arm of the government and includes superheroes (Captain America, Black Widow, etc) working for them. It’s not the political conventions we should be looking to for superheroes, but for those who stand for justice, not through speeches, but by caring for the poor and the working class and shouting to the hilltops Black Lives Matter. These are the people who are overshadowed by all the talk about the middle class. 

I’m reminded of the immortal words in the song “Eyjafjallajokull Dance” by The World is a Beautiful Place and I am no longer Afraid to Die:

“Today we are superheroes, but tonight we’ll just be tired”

Perhaps the singer is tired because they realize that a true superhero does not exist and they were trying to live up to an impossible expectation. I think it’s only right not to cast this expectation of pureness/trueness on anyone either. No one is a supervillain and no one is a superhero, we’re all mixed like cyborgs with brokenness, love, hope, despair, sadness, and joy. I agree with Donna Haraway when she ends The Cyborg Manifesto declaring, “I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.” We don’t need more people who think that they are the answers to our world; rather, we need people to be committed to communities of struggle, understanding that they are flawed, but something must be done to create a better world for us and generations to come.

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Monday Quote, Pop Culture, Theodicy

mr. robot questions theodicy

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Mr. Robot‘s Elliot gave an epic rant before a faith-based support group in the latest episode, k3rnel-pan1c.ksd, saying,

“Tell me, why didn’t God help my innocent friend who died for no reason while the guilty ran free? Okay. Fine. Forget the one offs. How about the countless wars declared in his name? Okay. Fine. Let’s skip the random, meaningless murder for a second, shall we? How about the racist, sexist, phobia soup we’ve all been drowning in because of him? And I’m not just talking about Jesus. I’m talking about all organized religion. Exclusive groups created to manage control. A dealer getting people hooked on the drug of hope. His followers, nothing but addicts who want their hit of bullshit to keep their dopamine of ignorance. Addicts. Afraid to believe the truth. That there’s no order. There’s no power. That all religions are just metastasizing mind worms, meant to divide us so it’s easier to rule us by the charlatans that wanna run us. All we are to them are paying fanboys of their poorly-written sci-fi franchise. If I don’t listen to my imaginary friend, why the f*ck should I listen to yours? People think their worship’s some key to happiness. That’s just how he owns you. Even I’m not crazy enough to believe that distortion of reality. So f*ck God. He’s not a good enough scapegoat for me.”

I will be chewing on Elliot’s words this week. Hopefully I’ll have something constructive to say by Friday.

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Pop Culture, Sunday Reading

bft’s reading,listening,&watching list

This week I attended my first poetry workshop at a New York Public library. It made me realize how much I miss the structure of school. I may have not enjoyed writing papers or having deadlines, but school brings with it a sense of purpose and form that shaped my time. I thought that I could return to having a simple structure through this blog, that I have been less than faithful to, by attempting to post each day. On Sundays, I have decided to post podcasts, articles, songs, etc., that have inspired or made me think this week. 

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Article

Why Are Voters Angry? It’s the 1099 Economy, Stupid by David Dayen from New Republic

This article sums up many of my frustrations when it comes to describing the US economy.   We are not creating lasting or full time jobs, but rather giving out 1099s that benefit employers, not workers. 1099s do not allow for benefits and, as I have done for the last 6 six years, workers have to save their money to pay for their taxes at one time. Ugh.

Podcast

Sooo many white guys hosted by Phoebe Robinson and WNYC

The concept: a show without the presence of white men. Great! What I sometimes get worried about with this kind of concept though is that then the show continues to discuss one’s relationships with white men, usually comparatively. The barometer for success then is still white men, rather than the persons own worth. I just finished listening to Phoebe’s interview with Ilana Glazer from Broad City and I thought it was incredible. Phoebe asked Ilana about Broad City’s cultural appropriation of black culture and why Ilana is going back to stand-up comedy. Ilana’s responses were spot on and humble. I can’t wait for new episodes.

TV Show

BoJack Horseman, Season 3

Last Friday, Season 3 was released on Netflix and I watched all 12 episodes in two sittings. This season has taken far more creative liberties than either of the two seasons, especially with episode 4, “Fish Out of Water.” I recommend this whole series as it raises the issues of depression, happiness, and loneliness as never have been done.

Song

Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home”

Mr. Robot Season 2, episode 2 has an amazing montage and this song plays in the background. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.

Lastly, Movie Trailers

Marvel’s Luke Cage

Wonder Woman

 Justice League

Super excited for all of these, especially Luke Cage. I wish I was at Comic Con!

 

Thanks for reading, watching, and listening to my recommendations for this week!

 

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