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Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Why would a university diversity advocate screen the Spider-Verse cartoon for his family if he thought it didn't suit his standards?

Here's a puzzling case of a writer at the NY Times (via Daily Caller) who thought the recent Into the Spider-Verse animated movie didn't live up to his PC expectations, yet wouldn't argue with his kids when they wound up loving the film more than he did:
I liked “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” It is quite good, but I didn’t love it — and I feel bad about that.

Growing up, I did not see myself in popular culture. Cyclops, Wolverine, Captain America, Luke Skywalker, Spider-Man — these were my cultural heroes, the characters I wanted desperately to be. The truth is, I could never inhabit their lives. I knew it then, and, as a scholar of race, I know it now. My heroes were in bodies that were different from mine — they were white, I was black — and that ontological chasm was too much to cross.
I don't know just how old he is, but didn't he see Black Panther and Luke Cage in pop culture? Heck, didn't he even see Monica Rambeau, the 2nd character to take the Captain Marvel mantle, in pop culture, or anything Marvel-related? Oddly enough, he does mention BP further down in the article, but it's still bewildering how he couldn't possibly have noticed T'Challa in any medium back in the day. Unless maybe he didn't care then as much as he does now? I don't know.
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a movie in love with comic books. It does not apologize for the source material nor feel the need to try to ground the story in “real life” as Marvel movies have often tried to do. Like comic books, it is full of colorful villains and brimming with one-liners. This film manages the delicate feat of embracing its source material while also satirizing it.
Depending on how you view the film, of course the filmmakers weren't going to do that, if their whole objective was to pander to the modern leftist diversity propaganda machine. For the original white Peter Parker's been all but marginalized thanks to these bizarre "experiments", which adapt material penned by the awful Brian Bendis, who's already wasted no time harming Superman following his move to DC over a year ago.

And isn't that funny how this kind of SJW has no issue with a movie like this refraining from grounding the story in "real life"? Because these people will use every excuse they can to say anything they dislike should, science-fiction genre and surrealism be damned.
Miles Morales, the first Afro-Latino Spider-Man, was the focus for the first half of the film, but, thereafter, he became a Spider-Man among Spider-Men. He was no longer the focus, and that puts me in a tough place as a father of young children.
So he wanted Morales to be the foremost focus on this cartoon, not just one of the several variations written up in Marvel's recent attempts to pander to everyone who believes in being "woke". If that's all he cared about, not the entertainment value, why even bother seeing the film? It's either one or the other, and he's having it both ways.
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” with its racially indelicate portrayals of black people in the form of the Skids and Mudflap characters, was an easy fix: I took away the film. They have not watched “Pocahontas” yet because the movie’s whitewashing of American history is too much for me — and, thankfully, the movie has not been requested. We’ve discussed why films like “Revenge of the Fallen” and “Pocahontas” are a problem, and when we talk about the kind of racial stereotypes those films present (the ghettoized machines of the former, and the noble Indians vs. the violent savage dichotomy of the latter) they usually shrug their shoulders and move on to the next toy.

But I could not imagine having a similar conversation with them about “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” They loved it too much.
So he was let down because it didn't meet his social justice standards, yet he took his family to see it and doesn't want to argue about it? I don't understand this at all. What I do know is that Spider-Verse is the kind of product that drew from directions taken too far for the sake of politically correct narratives on race and gender, as only Bendis could possibly perform. And the man who set the Avengers - along with the rest of the MCU - on the path to destruction is not somebody I can admire for having his concepts based on pandering adapted to other mediums.
“Spider-Verse,” more than any other movie we’ve seen together, puts me in a precarious position. My sons loved this movie. They have taken to listening to the music from it. They told all their friends to watch it. They deem it the best Marvel movie to date (and it is). They have not stopped talking about the film, and this is all because they saw themselves in the characters that looked like them on the screen.

Miles spoke to them in a unique way, and while I want them to see the world clearly and learn to critique the pop culture they consume, I am going to let them enjoy this imperfect superhero movie. For LJ and Quinn to identify so deeply with black characters onscreen is important. I have decided to lay aside analysis and allow them to love this movie … in spite of its flaws.
By that logic, any following movie they see built on similar grounds they end up loving is free of analysis too. And honestly, one shouldn't have to identify with a fictional character simply based on skin color and gender, let alone a particular ideology. I don't base my "identification" with most casts of characters solely on whether they're of Jewish/Israeli background, so why must this guy either? If that's what he cares about, it's all he'll care about.

This kind of identity politics is exactly what's ruining entertainment, because politically correct advocate like these with their selective positions can't look past whether specific characters get the amount of prominence they expect and simply enjoy the film without making such a fuss over whether the film caters to their personal wishes. Simultaneously, it's strange how a guy who's that fussy suddenly decides to give what he perceives as flaws a pass just because his kids thought it was awesome. Will he end up discussing any of this a decade later, and will perceptions change then? Only time will tell, but even now, he's being pretty silly to make an exception just because his children decided they loved this cartoon featuring characters who were probably created as springboards for merchandise in other mediums, an idea that may date back as far as the original Batgirl's creation in 1967, the difference being that most successive writers actually made an effort to build entertaining stories around Barbara Gordon, something later generations didn't always do a good job at when they dealt with characters like Gambit in X-Men.

And why does he say it's "good" if he "didn't love it"?

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Peter is not exactly 'marginalized' - he appears regularly in 3 or 4 comic books a month, plus a daily newspaper comic strip, plus annuals and events and guest-star appearances and reprint collections. How much more can he do? He has to be able to sleep sometime.

Meanwhile, Vox is putting this up:

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/1/14/18182744/cleopatra-white-actress-liz-taylor-angelina-jolie-lady-gaga

I prefer Steve Sailer's retort to that, and I more or less got the same thing reading that NY Times writer, "There really are a lot of people out there reading Vox who sincerely believe: “If Rihanna gets cast as Cleopatra, my life will be better.”"

http://www.unz.com/isteve/vox-should-rihanna-play-cleopatra/

I liked this comment, too:

"There are only two categories – white (bad) and not-white (good). Since Cleopatra is not-white, she must be played by a fellow not-white. This compensates somewhat for the many decades in which Hollywood used white actors to portray not-whites and helps to right the scales of cosmic justice. Hollywood insulted our intelligence for decades by having Charlie Chan played by a Swedish white guy so now to even the score they must insult our intelligence for the NEXT 7 decades by having Cleopatra played by a Puerto Rican."

http://www.unz.com/isteve/vox-should-rihanna-play-cleopatra/#comment-2763121

Yeah. Also, reminds me, I need to watch those old Charlie Chan films....

Nobody knows what skin color Cleopatra had; so it doesn't really matter what skin color the person who plays her has. just get a good actor, don't freak out if she isn't Anglo.

Have you ever heard of the term, "simp"?

Avi's comments about the NYT guy are a bit clueless and show that he doesn't know much about parenting, but he does not deserve to be called a simp just for expressing his opinion.


"Simultaneously, it's strange how a guy who's that fussy suddenly decides to give what he perceives as flaws a pass just because his kids thought it was awesome. Will he end up discussing any of this a decade later, and will perceptions change then? Only time will tell, but even now, he's being pretty silly to make an exception......."

You left out the paragraph in the article at the end where he explains all this:

"We cannot expect kids to be as woke as we are. When I was younger, my mother let me love imperfect things. I loved the second Indiana Jones film despite the racism. I loved the “The Bad News Bears” despite the racism and sexism of the character Tanner Boyle, a player on the team, and I loved “Dumbo” despite the jive-talking crows. With that in mind, my kids can love this Spider-Man film."

The guy is exaggerating a bit; it was Miles' movie all the way through.

Barbara Gordon, by the way, was the second Batgirl. The first one debuted in 1961.

Yet another instance of separate public and private lives.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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