Truth, Justice, and… All That Stuff

Wednesday , 10, May 2017 5 Comments
“If you want people to employ traditional virtues in service of civilization, they first have to be able to imagine them. Heroism and romance were suppressed specifically to make it easier to destroy a people. The poindexters hold loyalty in contempt and sneer at sacrifice. They think goodness is for chumps. And they have held the reigns of culture for decades.”

This, right here, is why the iconic comic lines are dying. Captain America, and Superman, are at their best when they are demonstrating the best ideals that we, as Americans, can aspire to. Those ideas include standing up for liberty, dedication to family, discipline and hard work, and a basic “can do” world view pared with a cultural orneriness that drives one to individual achievement and self-sufficiency.

The current crop of comics writers simply can’t imagine this. They cannot imagine anything good or inspiring in America, projecting their own failures and insecurities and insufficiencies on the culture as a whole, without realizing that they should have been among those propping up such icons.

The largest icon, of course, in this trope is Jesus. They can’t imagine him either.

I’m not a Christian. But you have to be daft not to credit Christianity’s influence on Western culture and (frankly) dominance in the world.

But they can’t imagine that. Reason number two is because of their self-imposed lifting of hypocrisy as the “ultimate” sin. It is better to not have a code at all than to have one and fail to live up to it. This is reflected in the method by which they try and tear down icons – hell, they even said it in Spider-Man 1 (Toby MacGuire), “the thing people like best is to see a hero fall.” (Paraphrased). They cannot fathom that the (a) the purpose of a code, even an unreachable one, is to set a goal for all people to strive to achieve, and (b) that you can’t live up to it all the time is because we are flawed, fallen, and human. However, (c) that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop trying.

As a people, a country, and a world, we’ve stopped trying.

  • Rawle Nyanzi says:

    My Hero Academia, on the other hand, takes the exact opposite approach to heroic icons. All Might isn’t shown to be some hypocrite, but a man who supers and non-supers alike look up to.

    • JD Cowan says:

      It’s unique in the modern superhero world for having heroes who try their best to be good and villains who choose to be evil.

      Those in the market for a good superhero story really should give it a read or watch.

  • Daniel says:

    We haven’t stopped trying.

    We’ve only just started fighting.

    Those who really have “stopped trying” are those people who nominally control the icons now: Marvel and DC SJWs, a converged Disney that openly mocks the secular fantasy of its own founder and namesake, violent, suicidal and perverse Archie stories and so on.

    But the more these Western heroes are squeezed by their present overseers, the more they slip through their fingers.

    See, because Rey Wins! Awakens! is not Star Wars, and TruthJusticeStuffSuperman is an obvious joke, a screenplay authored by Bizarro in another one of his doomed to fail plots.

    These overseers and doppelgangers in charge of these “properties” have already projected all their fears to us.

    A hundred years ago, Chesterton called it the rule of the ignorant.
    In the 1920s, TS Eliot called them “hollowmen.”
    In the 1940s, Lewis called them “Men without Chests”
    In the 1950s, Tolkien named their leader of the month Saruman, their spirit Sauron (and Lewis named him the Unman Weston)
    In the 1970s, Stormtroopers, the Empire.
    In the 1980s, Buggers, the Joker, Ozymandias.
    In 2010 or so, they told us, openly and admittedly, all along, that they “did not build that,” but that we finally needed to get used to them running the show.

    They aren’t running the show. Hell, they aren’t even ruining the show.

    Not if we keep standing up.

    Not if we stop showing up to pay homage to their fake heroes.

    Not if we do what we promised in our hearts when the real ones rallied us for truth, justice and the American Way.

    Not if we fight.

  • H.P. says:

    It does still have resonance, even if its not done openly and the creators may not want to admit it. Both the Spider-Man and Wolverine movies have used pretty blatant Jesus imagery. Jesus is as much an influence on Rand’s story in the Wheel of Time as Norse myth and Arthurian legend.

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