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Wednesday, November 13, 2019 

Washington Post says Disney's bound to ruin Marvel, but then suggests a double-standard

The Washington Post theoretically made the points detractors have made about Disney serving as an example of corporations destroying what they get their mitts on, yet at the same time give strong hints of double-standards at work:
But while Disney executives appear convinced that Marvel’s star will make Disney+ the center of gravity in the vast and dangerous streaming universe, the consolidation of Marvel’s canon on Disney+ presents a fresh opportunity to reflect on the company’s domination of mainstream American culture — and all that comes with it. Marvel’s radical storytelling made the company a fixture of the comic book ecosystem, but the growing stakes present fresh problems. Corporations are notoriously obsessed with unrestrained growth, and their politics (and many compromises) have come to usurp the political efforts of the source material itself. Burning bright with commercial and mainstream success, those pressures threaten to strip Marvel of its radical roots — and to destroy everything that made the weird, wonderful property so valuable in the first place.

Indeed, there’s a growing anxiety over the hegemony of the Marvel Universe, captured in Martin Scorsese’s recent critique of Marvel’s place in the American cinematic cosmos. While Scorsese’s main target is corporatized entertainment — “market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they’re ready for consumption” — the subtext of his complaint is that Marvel lacks the daring to produce an impactful cultural product. [...]
My, there's something fishy in their allusion to political efforts. I don't deny politics were alluded to in the older material, but it was never in such a blatant way as modern ones have come to do. Here's where things become really troubling, and reveal the hypocrisy of the writer's arguments:
But now that Marvel is a central pillar of American culture, Feige and his corporate paymasters are not immune to the politics that shape cultural products such as TV and movies. Sure, readers have complained about changes to their beloved characters for years — establishing African American Sam Wilson as Captain America or Jane Foster as a female Thor, for example — but Marvel enterprise has faced growing criticism for this apparent corporate spinelessness in recent months after the comics publisher pulled a pair of essays from upcoming collections. One, by “Maus” author Art Spiegelman, referred to President Trump as the “Orange Skull” — a reference to Captain America’s Nazi foe, Red Skull. The other, by longtime Marvel scribe Mark Waid, criticized the current state of American civil society as “deeply flawed.” Both removals, in the eyes of devoted Marvel readers, represented acts of political cowardice. There’s also Feige’s feeble response to Scorsese’s criticism: that “Captain America: Civil War” was a powerful piece of cinema because it included a “very serious theological and physical altercation” — not, despite the movie’s focus on a piece of legislation, a political debate.
I beg your pardon? Who says most people have a serious issue with Marvel avoiding the kind of politically charged leftist items Spiegelman and Waid came up with? Or, isn't it funny how the reporter's making it sound like left-liberals are the only devoted ones who found the diversity-pandering tasteless? Besides, Feige and his filmmakers are already preparing their movie and TV slate for the very politics the WP's advocating, and they're not in charge of the comics per se.

IMO, the essays themselves were cowardice. And if the WP thinks leftist essays are valid, then rightist essays must be considered the same. Yet in all their own leftism, they have no interest in pondering that.

With that kind of double-talk and obsession with politics, it's no wonder this pathetic article holds no weight. It's just more tedious attempts to blur out what went wrong with Marvel in any capacity or division, while failing to admit the obsession with far-left agendas is exactly what brought down the publisher. What made Marvel special was the entertainment value and story merit, not the politics.

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"isn't it funny how the reporter's making it sound like left-liberals are the only devoted ones who found the diversity-pandering tasteless?"

He is not saying that. He is saying that the Jane Foster Thor and the Sam Wilson Captain America were not particularly controversial or daring, and that Marvel has been too timid to do anything even remotely controversial. Marvel made a name for itself by being irreverent and invidualistic; now even mild jokes about the president, like Spider-Man calling Ben Grimm his second favorite orange-skinned monster, are censored.

Marvel may no adhere to the latest standards of right wing political correctness, but they are not exactly obsessed with left wing agendas. They are not calling for revolution, they are not tearing down prison walls, they are not even advocating for better health care or a tax system less favorable to wealth; they are just fighting bad guys and pushing traditional values of tolerance and mom's apple pie.

Yeah, actually, there's been quite a few comics that push for illegal immigration and treat immigrants as the victims and, a few times, even sing praises for AOC.

As far as the topic, I'll be honest, while I'm not fond of what Disney's been doing to Marvel, or to Star Wars, or even to itself, I'm not going to blame corporations for this (and quite frankly, if we're to blame corporations, we're not much different from the leftists, since they rail against corporations all the time). We should blame the leftists who basically have held the corporations hostage to their radical left-wing views. And until we do something about the leftists that are doing this, shut down leftist universities and all of that, then it won't stop even if we shut down Disney.

that line in the last comment, 'the immigrants are victims', really demonstrates what the problem is. Immigrants are not a monolith; some immigrants are victims, some are not. Some come to this country, make millions of dollars and employ thousands of people. Others come and make major contributions to American culture (think Isabel Allende, or Isaac Bashevis Singer, or Albert Einstein, or in comics people like Sergio Aragones, Al Williamson, Hal Foster, Alfredo Alcala, Neil Gaiman). They are not victims. The Russian oligarchs to whom Trump sold so many of his condos are not victims. Some immigrants victimize other people, although on the whole the crime rate among immigrant populations is lower than among native born. On the other hand, the kids put in for-profit internment camps that are an excuse to funnel government money to the cronies of politicians, the migrants who are shot or who die in the desert because government officers empty out the water that aid workers leave out for them, are definitely victims. Each case is different; it is because people lump all immigrants in one piece that so much conflict erupts.

Immigration isn't a conservative or liberal issue; it is just a basic decency and human rights issue.

I have not seen any comic book from a major publisher that advocates illegal immigration, or illegal anything. It is hard not to like AOC. She is the only politician on the scene who has any real personality that comes through on camera, other than Trump or Pelosi. She has Trump's crowd and media savvy and Pelosi's wit and intelligence. All the rest just seem like suit stuffing in comparison to these three.

AOC's stupidity is matched only by her arrogance. Her tweet that "we're in charge, and (her opponents) are shouting from the cheap seats" reveals her true attitude: that government, run by a few self-imagined elite, should rule over the rest of the country.

Pelosi, Obama, Clinton, and the other "moderate" Democrats believe the same, but they are not stupid enough to openly admit it.

Trump is an obnoxious putz. But he is not a communist, and he at least pays lip service to the concept of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

That's how low the bar is now.

I don’t think Trump “pays lip service to the concept of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” ‘Send them back’ is undemocratic. ‘Lock her up” was undemocratic. Relying on voter suppression and ‘Goofy kicks Mickey' gerrymandering to get elected is undemocratic.

The best you can say is that he pays lip service to the concept of ‘government of some of the people, by some of the people, and for some of the people.’ Over all of the people.

And if you are talking about arrogance, I think the guy who says he could murder someone on Fifth Avenue and still get elected has OC beat all hollow.

As for the cheap seat talk - isn’t regular rotation of who’s in charge part of what democracy is all about?

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