WHEN I BEGAN THIS BLOGGY THING, I never intended to drift into politics. Quite the opposite, really. My fantasy—and it was fantasy—was to transcend politics, leap over or slide under it. Good luck with that, Maureen. The art world itself is so sodden with politics that it becomes impossible to ignore the drift. Even comic books are driven to parade some political stance or other.
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Thanks to Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit, we learn today that, now, even Superman considers himself a citizen of the world and is trading in his American identity. He wants to work for global justice and harmony through that sacred organization of upright, right-minded states, the United Nations. Kumbaya, Clark Kent. Peace be upon him.
Hoft links to Comics Alliance, which has the whole sorry scoop:
Superman announces that he is going to give up his U.S. citizenship. Despite very literally being an alien immigrant, Superman has long been seen as a patriotic symbol of “truth, justice, and the American way,” from his embrace of traditional American ideals to the iconic red and blue of his costume.
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What it means to stand for the “American way” is an increasingly complicated thing, however, both in the real world and in superhero comics, whose storylines have increasingly seemed to mirror current events and deal with moral and political complexities rather than simple black and white morality.
Moral complexity. Got that? The pursuits of truth and justice, as incorporated in the phrase “the American way,” is a simple, even simplistic thing. The achievements of the still historically brief American experiment—moral, civic, economic, and cultural in the largest sense of the that word—were child’s play. The real adult stuff is handled by the grown ups on the UN’s Human Rights Council. All the heavy lifting to achieve racial, religious and gender harmony are carried on by the such forwarding thinking states as Cuba, the Congo, China, Libya, Russian, North Korea, Venezuela.
It is a lovely world. Let’s cheer Superman when he flies down to keep Muslims from using machetes on Christian political opponents. Let’s hear it for our superhero when he smashes the files kept by local bureaucrats on the menstrual cycles of young, fertile Chinese women. Huzzahs galore when he stymies Hamas sympathizers from slitting the throats of Israeli children asleep in their beds. We can look forward to episodes where Superman joins UN peacekeeping troops; his presence will goad them into action to stop rape and pillage across Darfur, the Sudan, the Congo. Lois Lane can wave see-you-later to Clark Kent as he changes costume to save the rule of law in tribal states that know only the rule of power.
Heaven knows, we could use him here at home to prevent honor killings of Islamic girls who go on dates or like to dance. Or put him to work in upstate New York to put the head back on the shoulders of an Islamic wife who wants a divorce.
David S. Goyer, tattooed from his wrists to his shoulders to illustrate his creativity, is the Sixties wannabe behind Supeman’s trendy perfidy. He is the latest useful idiot in our accelerating slouch toward life in Kafka’s castle.
© 2011 Maureen Mullarkey