Fat Steve's Blatherings

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Talk About Missing the Point!

      K. and I saw The Incredibles last week, at a Thursday midnite show.  If you knew us, that would tell you how eager we were to see it, because it meant we had to pay full price for the tickets, something we never do (We'd have waited till the next day, but K. had to work, and we didn't want to wait till this week).

      So, it's no surprise to us that it was #1 at the box office, with a gross of over $70 million.  But it is a surprise that the latest New York Observer has an article explaining that it's a right wing movie!
"And what is The Incredibles?" said Richard Goldstein, author of The Attack Queers: Liberal Society and the Gay Right. "It’s really a movie about people sort of bursting out of this model of decency and concern for others, and all of those values that now get labeled politically correct, and bursting forth with their true strength and power, like an animated Hobbes. I guess the bet is that the rest of the world, looking at this spectacle, will actually just say, ‘Holy cow—we’d better do what they say!’ And this Hobbesian idea will be proven correct."

"It’s kind of ironic that superheroes now have these fascist, right-wing connotations," said Ted Rall, the editorial cartoonist for United Press Syndicate and author of Wake Up, You’re Liberal! How We Can Take America Back From the Right. "The right has stolen the flag and our superheroes, too."

      The article goes on to discuss "liberal superheroes," as distinguished from "conservative superheroes," or maybe "Republican superheroes."  The discussion degenerates into idiocy almost immediately
By the 1960’s, Spider-Man showed up, "a poor schlub from a lower middle-class background who has these powers he doesn’t really want. He’s called to duty; he doesn’t really want to go, but he doesn’t have a choice," according to Neal Pollack, comics enthusiast, humorist and author of Never Mind the Pollacks: A Rock and Roll Novel.

"That’s how a lot of liberals feel," Mr. Pollack explained. "A lot of those are archetypes that came out of the 60’s: the Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, the X-Men. Things have changed a lot in comics. Spider-Man is a good archetype for a liberal hero—he wants to give up his powers, he wants them back, he’s conflicted, he’s trying to hold down a job, he wants the girl. Whereas a conservative superhero just wants to fight evil."

And show his own super strength.

      Yeah, we all remember how Superman just hated being super, and was looking for a way to get rid of his powers.

      But I suppose it's symptomatic of modern liberals that, fantasizing about being superhuman, the first thought that crosses their mind is 'Gee, I wish I was weaker.'

      Read the whole thing while you can, because the Observer doesn't have archives.  Or e-mail me, and I'll slip you a copy.  But lordy, don't miss it, it's hilarious.



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