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Thursday, December 31, 2020 

Comic Years has no issue with America transformed into "best villain"

Comic Years listed their choices for the best non-superhero comics, most of which are no better than the mainstream. First, there's this fawning take on Marvel's Star Wars adaptations, here being the spotlight on a most notable villain:
Ever since Marvel took over the Star Wars comics, they’ve been wonderful. In the past, they weren’t great. Some were brilliant, but for every good one, we had Jaba the Hutt’s Art of the Steal. The writing was messy, and the art constantly subpar, with some exceptions. When Marvel took over and provided Star Wars comics with the one thing they hadn’t had before. Money. They take the Star Wars franchise just as seriously as their own superheroes.

But this newest Darth Vader series hit us with a Sith vengeance we haven’t seen in him before. We also learn a lot more about Vader, like why he doesn’t use force lightning. We even learn why the Sith all have red lightsabers. Greg Pak’s series gives us entirely new stories but still entrenched in Star Wars mythos.
It sure is strange why we're being told this at a time when, last time I looked, the Star Wars series had pretty much all been cancelled. And if the art and scripts for Jabba the Hutt were so bad, why should we assume this is any better? Better yet, why are we expected to embrace the villains like Darth almost wholesale? And since when didn't the Star Wars franchise itself have money? That one really sent me into a confused state.

And here's 3 titles from Image, that really leaves a bad aftertaste:
In the past four years, we’ve seen many “America-gone-wrong” stories, almost all of them focused on right-wing extremists. In 2020, many of these titles were some of the best non-superhero comics in general. Undiscovered Country portrayed an America that literally cut itself off from the rest of the world and went all Mad Max inside its walls. The Scumbag showed us that the worst person on the planet is still better than any white supremacist. And The Department of Truth terrified us by suggesting ALL the conspiracy theories we’ve ever heard of were real and connected. And those are just three comics showing us the worst America has to offer in the best way possible: pages and panels.
And the propagandist who penned this showed us that harder hitting issues like Islamic jihadism and anti-white racism are not concerning at all, because such leftists are too cowardly to recognize these facts. At this point, it's enough to wonder if they also despise all the times in past Marvel books where Black and Asian villains would make appearances, including Eric Killmonger and the Mandarin. Say, would the Department of Truth also be something to tell us that 9-11 Trutherism is factual in every possible way, and that al Qaeda was working as tools for right-wingers? That sure is some way to abuse the meaning of Orwellianism.

Most saddening is how sites like these want us to just see the ugly side of America, and not its more positive sides. Worse is when they don't want to advocate for building and mending more positive elements of the USA. And just as bad is when villains are promoted as the best thing you can check out. These are some of the worst beliefs and double-standards the left can go by.

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"Better yet, why are we expected to embrace the villains like Darth almost wholesale?"

In all fairness, Darth Vader pretty much getting redeemed in Return of the Jedi probably helped with him being embraced. Besides, ironically enough, Vader was in overall characterization when "evil" closer to that of an actual comic book hero, even if somewhat dark, the 1950s heroes in fact, back when comic writers still actually believed in a fine line of good and evil.

As far as the Anti-American image comics bit and how they made America out to be the villain, that unfortunately isn't anything new, considering that Marvel Comics turned Captain America into an anti-American zealot since at LEAST the War on Terror, not to mention having retconned him recently into aiding the Vietcong. Heck, it's not just with comics, either: Hideo Kojima was using the Metal Gear franchise as a sounding board for his radical anti-American politics since Metal Gear Solid 2, certainly Peace Walker which had Big Boss and Kazuhira Miller, aka, Master Miller with the latter character, basically singing so much praise for the likes of Che Guevara you'd think he walked on water. Heck, Star Wars? That franchise literally EXISTED to condemn America and its efforts in the Vietnam War, and in fact, the so-called "heroes" were explicitly modeled by George Lucas's own admission after the Viet Cong, aka that Communist terror group that was terrorizing South Vietnam on behest of Ho Chi Minh and ultimate to the Soviets/Red China. Don't believe me? Just watch this clip from AMC (and this was even worse than other times he stated their inspirations, since he implies that he did so knowing full well at the time that they were a terrorist group when he used them as the basis):

https://youtu.be/Nxl3IoHKQ8c

Heck, if anything, the Jedi were closer to those far-left journalists, especially when they claim that truth is all relative and dependent on a point of view.

Wherever Lucas drew his inspiration from, no-one could tell from the movies alone that it was a metaphor for the Viet Cong against the United States. It was a metaphor for any David and Goliath struggle. The Jedi were spiritual; the Viet Cong were adherents to a materialistic communist ideology. The Jedi believed in the restoration of the old order; the VC wanted to create a new one. The Empire was explicitly patterned after Nazi imagery and propaganda films, not American army imagery. The Jedi and the Empire were two sides of the same people or collectivity; the American presence was foreign to Vietnamese history. You have to strain to see the comparison.

Right now in America, it is the extreme right that is claiming truth is relative and dependent on point of view - think of all the cries of 'fake news', and 'alternative facts' and the rush to abandon Fox when it doesn't toe the Trump line - while it is the liberals and the left who believe that there is a truth that should be held to.

"Wherever Lucas drew his inspiration from, no-one could tell from the movies alone that it was a metaphor for the Viet Cong against the United States."

Most kids who played Peace Walker (and yes, Peace Walker was explicitly geared towards kids, even given the kids rating by CERO, to say little about Kojima himself outright stated it was aimed for kids, even having the School Bus yellow as part of the marketing for that reason) would not have any idea of who Che Guevara and the FSLN were, either, yet it's still propaganda, and if anything, them not even knowing the actual origins behind the scenes is PRECISELY what makes it effective propaganda. Don't believe me? Look at this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usYtK3d2ydk&t=1s

"It was a metaphor for any David and Goliath struggle."

It was a metaphor for how the Vietcong were deemed by George Lucas to be our moral superiors, as George Lucas himself repeatedly stated since at least 1983 (since Richard Nixon was apparently familiar enough with George Lucas at the very least modeling the Ewoks after the Vietcong and the Empire after America to specifically note it in his book "No More Vietnams", which implied that it was thanks in large part to Lucas and people like him that America is now afraid of projecting its power even to defend its allies.).

"The Jedi were spiritual; the Viet Cong were adherents to a materialistic communist ideology."

I never said the Jedi were modeled after the Vietcong, I said the Rebel Alliance/Ewoks were modeled after that group (not to mention that, technically, the Rebels as a whole didn't actually give a darn about the Force, light or dark, until ROTJ). Besides, want to know who else were spiritual ultimately? The Sith. Or maybe you have forgotten that they ALSO worship the Force, it's dark side more specifically.

"The Jedi believed in the restoration of the old order; the VC wanted to create a new one."

Again, stop saying the Jedi, it was the Rebels/Ewoks that Lucas specifically modeled after the VC, not the Jedi. Not that the Jedi were much better, though, especially when their old order involved literally lying to each other and to others, not to mention being free to use Jedi Mind Tricks whenever the heck they wanted to, and basically bashing anyone who fought in a war, excommunicating them even, even when they did so to stop the Sith. Some "old order", if anything that's more like the actual new order the Communists adhered to.

"The Empire was explicitly patterned after Nazi imagery and propaganda films, not American army imagery."

And that changes anything? Maybe I should remind you the leftists absolutely LOVE to use Nazis as imagery when disguising their anti-American screeds as a cynical attempt at tricking Americans into rooting against their own country. Paul Verhoeven, for example, used a lot of blatant Nazi imagery for Starship Troopers to essentially condemn America as being Nazi-like just for even entering a war, in specific contrast to the book it was derived from, something which he himself said. I believe his exact words were "If I tell the world that a right-wing, fascist way of doing things doesn't work, no one will listen to me. So I'm going to make a perfect fascist world: everyone is beautiful, everything is shiny, everything has big guns and fancy ships, but it's only good for killing fucking bugs!"

"The Jedi and the Empire were two sides of the same people or collectivity; the American presence was foreign to Vietnamese history. You have to strain to see the comparison."

You know who else was foreign to Vietnamese history? The Soviets and the Red Chinese, and even Ho-Chi-Minh, who was a founding father of the French Communist party AND went over to Soviet Russia for Stalin's funeral, yet Lucas didn't seem to mind their presence at all, or the fact that they literally bankrolled them. Heck, technically, Lenin was also foreign to Russian history, yet literally got in due to funds by Western powers such as certain financial people in the United States and Great Britain, and even Germany during World War I (a stupid mistake especially in hindsight). Same goes for Ayatollah in Iran, who only became absolute leader of Iran because Jimmy Carter stupidly backed him.

And I'm not straining anything. George Lucas himself made those comparisons, and you know what they say, a creator of a work's statement is law, regardless of what we ourselves personally think.

"Right now in America, it is the extreme right that is claiming truth is relative and dependent on point of view - think of all the cries of 'fake news', and 'alternative facts' and the rush to abandon Fox when it doesn't toe the Trump line - while it is the liberals and the left who believe that there is a truth that should be held to."

Do you even REALIZE what absolute truth that needs to be held to actually means? Denouncing stuff as fake news and alternative facts, not to mention abandoning FOX when it blatantly started lying to people, is literally what adhering to absolute truth means. If anything, it's the liberals and the left who believe that truth is relative, based on how they are blatantly lying on the air, including claiming BLM were doing peaceful protests despite literally being in front of a torched building as they claim this. After all, how can ANYONE denounce something as being "fake news" or "alternative facts" (which, last I checked, essentially means that someone is up and out LYING) if they don't even think truth is absolute. Denouncing something as false generally implies there is a singular truth out there. In fact, absolute truth, in other words, literally REQUIRES, as you put it, "toeing the line," as even God and Jesus THEMSELVES declared.

"Alternative facts" does mean that someone is up and out LYING, for sure. But it has nothing to do with denouncing media lies. Back in 2017, Donald Trump, who had just been elected President, was pressuring Sean Spicer to say that Trump's inauguration crowd, like Trump's everything else, was bigger than Obama's. Problem is, it wasn't. So Spicer lied under pressure from his boss, and was easily proven wrong by those facts-obsessed journalists out there. Kellyanne Conway defended Spicer's lies by calling them "alternative facts", that is, facts that were different from the reality-based facts. Up and out lying. Ever since, the phrase has been used derisively to refer to the pattern of lies coming out of the White House, and the alternate reality which Donald Trump spins around himself while trying to discredit anyone who does speak the truth.

Hard to see Ho and Lenin as foreign to the history of their countries. Ho was Vietnamese, Lenin Russian. Ho was educated in France, an admirer of the US who first turned to the US for aid and support; when he was rejected by them, he looked to the Russians. China has been a player in Indochina forever, so they are not exactly foreign to the country either, even if unwelcome.

Fake News is not a cry for truth. It is a pre-emptive effort to discredit genuine news sources by labelling them as untrustworthy, so that when they do publish the truth no-one will believe them. When Don Trump cries "fake news" he is not trying to lay out genuine facts, or to address specific criticisms raised by the media. He is telling people not to even consider what these guys have to say. Problem is, that as the facts turn further against Donald, there are less and less willing to lie for him; Fox and Breitbart have now joined the enemy, in the eyes of true believers, and they are abandoning Fox and BB to go to fringe sites that have no overlap with the truth.

1. It was your beloved journalists who were engaging in fake news and alternative facts since long before Trump ever considered running for the presidency. If anything, it at least dated as far back as the Vietnam War, maybe as early as when Walter Lippmann wrote Public Opinion and thus started new media as we know it today. They aren't obsessed with facts, as even Walter Lippmann himself admitted. Don't believe me? Read this excerpt from his Public Opinion book (you can even read the page here: http://books.google.com/books?id=ZQsaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA358&dq=%22news+and+truth+are+not+the+same+thing%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QV1GT7WzN4SWgweG9M2cDg&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22news%20and%20truth%20are%20not%20the%20same%20thing%22&f=false):

"The hypothesis, which seems to me the most fertile, is that news and truth are not the same thing, and must be clearly distinguished. The function of news is to signalize an event, the function of truth is to bring to light the hidden facts, to set them into relation with each other, and make a picture of reality on which men can act. Only at those points, where social conditions take recognizable and measurable shape, do the body of truth and the body of news coincide. That is a comparatively small part of the whole field of human interest. In this sector, and only in this sector, the tests of the news are sufficiently exact to make the charges of perversion or suppression more than a partisan judgment. There is no defense, no extenuation, no excuse whatever, for stating six times that Lenin is dead, when the only information the paper possesses is a report that he is dead from a source repeatedly shown to be unreliable. The news, in that instance, is not "Lenin Dead" but "Helsingfors Says Lenin is Dead." And a newspaper can be asked to take the responsibility of not making Lenin more dead than the source of the news is reliable; if there is one subject on which editors are most responsible it is in their judgment of the reliability of the source. But when it comes to dealing, for example, with stories of what the Russian people want, no such test exists.
The absence of these exact tests accounts, I think, for the character of the profession, as no other explanation does. There is a very small body of exact knowledge, which it requires no outstanding ability or training to deal with. The rest is in the journalist's own discretion."

Sorry, but journalists were NEVER on the side of truth and facts, as even Lippmann himself admitted.

2. Lenin might have been born in Russia, but he hated Russia, and wanted to make things international and destroy Russia as a country, destroy the very concept of nationhood in fact (https://russia-insider.com/en/politics_ukraine_opinion_culture_christianity_society/2014/11/04/02-06-53pm/stop_saying_lenin). As far as Ho Chi Minh, considering he took orders from Stalin and even was a key founder of the French Communist Party (which, last I checked, is antithetical to American values, and if anything derived more from Jacobin values as even Karl Marx admitted in one of his writings), and clearly sold out actual nationalists for gold and prestige, he's as much of a "nationalist" as Barack Obama is (and he clearly isn't, not when he's condemning America to die). Besides, last I checked, anything not within the immediate borders of a nation is by definition "foreign". Besides, he took more after Robespierre than after George Washingon: http://www.triumphforsaken.com/index.php?pr=Excerpt

Thing is though, "fake news" doesn't just point out when journalists do the wrong thing; it says all journalists are bad and shouldn't be listened to. Lippman got some things wrong, so you point it out; other journalists did better. You have to evaluate what they say for yourself, not dismiss it as fake before you hear it.

I don't think that what Lippman said was as bad as you paint it, though. He was pointing out that some things journalists report on are clearly falsifiable, either true or not, while other things they report on, such as the mood of the country, rely on the journalist's sensitivity and insight and are more open to interpretation.

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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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