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Politics and Storytelling (Superheroes)

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I know a lot of storytellers tend to find themselves in more "liberal" societies, but I think there are a lot of conservative values inherent to storytelling.  Especially certain genres.

Recently, several superhero things have stuck out to me as very odd.  The Mrs. and I were watching this season of Smallville (Superman's a conservative, right?) and they introduced a "right wing radio host who is on a campaign against [Superman]".  And my first thought, as a conservative with more than his fair share of comics and other superhero paraphernalia around the house, is- Yeah, because conservatives haaaaaaaate superheroes.

I mean, there's all of that "right and wrong" and "with power comes responsibility" and "using violence to solve problems" and "criminals are bad" and "people using violence to solve problems CAN BE THE GOOD GUYS" and "saving innocent people from guilty people" etc...

Maybe it's one of those issues where both sides of the political divide want to claim what's good and desirable from pop culture... but I thought it was sort of a given that the superhero genre had certain tropes that made it more conservative friendly than a lot of other genres ("adult" comedies, for example).

I was reading Green Lantern Blackest Night which also had some liberal jabs at conservatives, and there was something else recently too.

Anyways, have at it.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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 (Edited)

xhonzi said:

I know a lot of storytellers tend to find themselves in more "liberal" societies, but I think there are a lot of conservative values inherent to storytelling.  Especially certain genres.

Recently, several superhero things have stuck out to me as very odd.  The Mrs. and I were watching this season of Smallville (Superman's a conservative, right?) and they introduced a "right wing radio host who is on a campaign against [Superman]".  And my first thought, as a conservative with more than his fair share of comics and other superhero paraphernalia around the house, is- Yeah, because conservatives haaaaaaaate superheroes.

Maybe it's one of those issues where both sides of the political divide want to claim what's good and desirable from pop culture... but I thought it was sort of a given that the superhero genre had certain tropes that made it more conservative friendly than a lot of other genres ("adult" comedies, for example).

Anyways, have at it.

 For starters, even though I love it, "Smallville" has some of the worst writing I've ever seen on television.

But if you're talking a character who is a yelling, angry, hate-spewing talk radio guy, there aren't a lot of liberal types in that genre. Also, the dude was poccessed by Darkseid.

And back in the day, Superman was a reformer. He used to beat up wife-beaters, slumlords, and corrupt politicians. Then in WWII he started beating up the Japanese all the time and by the 1950s he was practically Dwight Eisenhower in tights. I'm not up to date on Superman comics, but I don't know his view on taxes, but he IS an illegal immigrant.

And Green Arrow has always been portrayed as a total leftist. He's the hippy superhero.

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TheBoost said:

But if you're talking a character who is a yelling, angry, hate-spewing talk radio guy, there aren't a lot of liberal types in that genre.

I guess that's my point.  It's almost as if the liberal showrunners are nodding to the (presumed?) liberal audience and saying, "Man have you had enough of how wrong all of those idiot right wing radio hosts are?  Amiright, folks?!?!"  For a minute, it had me thinking, "Yeah, those stupid conservatives" until I realized I WAS a conservative.  And I have to imagine that a disproportionally large fanbase for superhero stuff is conservatives, due to the traditional values represented therein.  So, it just seems odd to me that (I'm assuming) that the liberal show runners are assuming that their audience is also liberal.

You're right about Green Arrow being the liberal hippie.  I had forgotten about that when, again on Smallville, he recently starting spouting off on how the only thing illegal aliens (Clark excluded, I guess) wanted was the same freedoms that our forefathers sought when they came to this country.  *rolls eyes*  Yeah, it's totally the same thing.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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xhonzi said:

TheBoost said:

But if you're talking a character who is a yelling, angry, hate-spewing talk radio guy, there aren't a lot of liberal types in that genre.

I guess that's my point.  It's almost as if the liberal showrunners are nodding to the (presumed?) liberal audience and saying, "Man have you had enough of how wrong all of those idiot right wing radio hosts are?  Amiright, folks?!?!"  For a minute, it had me thinking, "Yeah, those stupid conservatives" until I realized I WAS a conservative.  

But if the character is a big blowhard screaming fearmongering radio guy brewing irrational hatred, is it somehow the writers fault that is automatically assumed to be a conservative?

And I have to imagine that a disproportionally large fanbase for superhero stuff is conservatives, due to the traditional values represented therein.

What traditional values exactly?

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TheBoost said:

xhonzi said:

TheBoost said:

But if you're talking a character who is a yelling, angry, hate-spewing talk radio guy, there aren't a lot of liberal types in that genre.

I guess that's my point.  It's almost as if the liberal showrunners are nodding to the (presumed?) liberal audience and saying, "Man have you had enough of how wrong all of those idiot right wing radio hosts are?  Amiright, folks?!?!"  For a minute, it had me thinking, "Yeah, those stupid conservatives" until I realized I WAS a conservative.  

But if the character is a big blowhard screaming fearmongering radio guy brewing irrational hatred, is it somehow the writers fault that is automatically assumed to be a conservative?

You saw the episode, right?  He was described, in words, as being right winged.  And I don't think he screamed, though he might have been a blowhard, and I suppose you could call him fearmongering...  But wait, if I said "big blowhard screaming fearmongering senator guy brewing irrational hatred" or "big blowhard screaming fearmongering TV guy brewing irrational hatred" or "big blowhard screaming fearmongering newspaper guy brewing irrational hatred", would anything about their profession indicate their political preference?  I mean, talk radio is sort of the domain of the right wing pundit, regardless of how much vitriol is in play.

And I have to imagine that a disproportionally large fanbase for superhero stuff is conservatives, due to the traditional values represented therein.

What traditional values exactly?

The clear distinction between right and wrong, foremost.  Objective morality.  The identification of good guys and bad guys.  However, a lot of modern comics/superheroes are less like this.  One of the things I didn't like about Spider-Man 2 was that Dr. Octopus was no longer "bad" he was just the victim of his AI controlled arms taking over his brain.  Because all criminals are just victims, right?  None of them are actually bad people.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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 A message of "THEY" are out there threatening "US" tends to sound very conservative in America. Welfare moms, immigrants, mosques, homos getting married; being threatened by an internal "THEM" and being pissed about it resonates with a lot of conservative political messages in the media.

Imagine if they had Al Franken playing a latte-sipping, arugala eating intellectual liberal-type. He drives a hybrid, gets pedicures, hugs Muslims, etc. Now imagine this character gets all riled up about how those damn Superheroes are out there, with their secret agendra, sickos who are trying to threaten OUR WAY OF LIFE and getting all pissed off about it.

The character no longer makes sense.

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Superman used to be a hideous git who devoted his life to the humiliation of soft target Jimmy Olsen and his hair brained schemes but he was a pussycat next to Louis who was prone to some of the most out there behaviour ever committed to print.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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TheBoost said:

 A message of "THEY" are out there threatening "US" tends to sound very liberal in America. Welfare moms, immigrants, mosques, homos getting married; being threatened by an internal "THEM" and being pissed about it resonates with a lot of conservative political messages in the media.

 

A message of "THEY" are out there threatening "US" tends to sound very liberal in America.  Fox news, evil corporations, white people, conservatives, the "man", churches, right wing radio hosts, the tea party movement, global warmers, oil companies, Glenn Beck, drug companies, drug restriction fascists, fee charging Fire Departments, etc...; being threatened by an external "THEM" and being pissed about it resonates with a lot of liberal political messages in the media.

?

And Al Franken doesn't disapprove of anybody?

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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Time

xhonzi said:

You're right about Green Arrow being the liberal hippie.  I had forgotten about that when, again on Smallville, he recently starting spouting off on how the only thing illegal aliens (Clark excluded, I guess) wanted was the same freedoms that our forefathers sought when they came to this country.  *rolls eyes*  Yeah, it's totally the same thing.

well there are comparable.  After all, did the people on the Mayflower have visas from the Native Americans?  


E!-A!-G!-L!-E!-S! EAGLES!!!
SUPERBOWL LII CHAMPS!!!

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No, I'm sure they were MasterCard folk.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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Time

xhonzi said:

No, I'm sure they were MasterCard folk.

ha ha :-[


E!-A!-G!-L!-E!-S! EAGLES!!!
SUPERBOWL LII CHAMPS!!!

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It seems like Batman tends to lean towards the conservative end of the spectrum, especially in The Dark Knight.

http://i.imgur.com/7N84TM8.jpg

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TheBoost said:

For starters, even though I love it, "Smallville" has some of the worst writing I've ever seen on television.

 

But if you're talking a character who is a yelling, angry, hate-spewing talk radio guy, there aren't a lot of liberal types in that genre. Also, the dude was poccessed by Darkseid

 

Now they introduced Darkseid on the show!?

I am so glad I stopped watching after the fifth season.

TRANSMODERNISM > POSTMODERNISM > MODERNISM > PREMODERNISM

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 (Edited)

Nanner Split said:

It seems like Batman tends to lean towards the conservative end of the spectrum, especially in The Dark Knight.

huh, I never got that idea from Batman.   I never got the idea that he was a bleeding heart liberal, either.


E!-A!-G!-L!-E!-S! EAGLES!!!
SUPERBOWL LII CHAMPS!!!

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On episode 5 of Smallville, an innocent "whitebread" girl remarks that she will "never understand liberals" when she is witness to an ~Egyptian human sacrifice ritual.  Boy, are stupid naive conservative kids stupid and naive, or what?

And then on episode 6, Lois is almost sacrificed by Amish-like religious zealots.

Can you deny that there's a pattern here?

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

Author
Time

Your mom is boring.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!