Way to Go, Brainiacs

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Author and former Reasonoid Jeremy Lott has a hilarious take on culture-war readings of "Superman Returns" over at the Christian magazine Books & Culture.

If we wanted to construct as unreasonable a reading of the scene as possible, could we do any better than the reaction of many of America's conservative culture warriors?

They were informed–via stories in the New York Post and the Hollywood Reporter–that "the American way" had been "removed" from the normal run of things that Superman stands for, and, well, they promptly lost it:

On the blog of the Independent Women's Forum, the usually sensible Charlotte Allen called for conservatives to celebrate the Fourth of July by boycotting the film.

Carol Platt Liebau wrote in the American Spectator that "Superman no longer fights for 'the American way' because, for at least some Americans, it's nothing worth defending."

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  1. “In a review titled, “So, Lois Lane is a Single Mom? & a Slut,” Debbie Schlussel complained that while Superman fought the Nazis in World War II propaganda, the current movie doesn’t feature the Man of Steel taking the fight to Muslim terrorists. Lex Luthor should have teamed up with al Qaeda, which would have made for a “dynamic and exciting” plot.”

    Yes, because a plot wherein a technocratic, multi-billionaire industrialist bent on world domination teams up with a bunch of inbred, illiterate, cross-eyed, hyperreligious jackfucks from the backwaters of the Middle East makes perfect rational sense.

    Debbie Schlussel, you are a dunce.

  2. Y’know, even when I was a kid, the thing about Superman fighting for the American way seemed kind of provincial. Well, I didn’t know the word “provincial” at the time, but it seemed kind of small, and overly specific, and kind of like playing favorites.

    Now I understand that the new movie’s promotional materials (as opposed to the actual script) say that Superman fights for “truth, justice and all that is good.” That strikes me as a bit too broad. All that is good? Does that include prolonged, imaginative foreplay and affordable health care?

  3. With the foreign market being so huge for US films now, and the US rep being so tarnished in so many people’s eyes right now, it’s a no-brainer to remove “American way” from the dialogue.

  4. Yes, because a plot wherein a technocratic, multi-billionaire industrialist bent on world domination teams up with a bunch of inbred, illiterate, cross-eyed, hyperreligious jackfucks from the backwaters of the Middle East makes perfect rational sense

    You know…this response would be valid, if most moivie superhero villians didn’t surround themselves with some of the stupidest and inept “henchmen” around. So maybe teaming up AQ with LL wouldn’t have been so out of place…..they couldn’t be any worse as a teammate to Lex Luthro than ‘Otis’ from the 1978 Superman — or any of Batman’s villian’s henchmen.

  5. Man, needy little twerps. Need to be affirmed every minute.

  6. These fucking idiots. Superman only punched out Hitler on the covers of comics. Editors during the early 40’s knew that it would be absurd to have Superman solving problems that were real and ongoing.

  7. Superman…….un-American? Say it ain’t so! Next thing you know, they will try to tell us Jesus is un-American.

  8. If English was good enough for Jebus, then it’s good enough for me!

  9. Since Superman hails from Krypton, which even Debbie would have to agree is outside the U.S., I for one would have to take any deprecated claims about standing for “the American Way” with a grain of salt.

  10. “Yes, because a plot wherein a technocratic, multi-billionaire industrialist bent on world domination teams up with a bunch of inbred, illiterate, cross-eyed, hyperreligious jackfucks from the backwaters of the Middle East makes perfect rational sense.”

    Isn’t that basically what every lefty “Bush Did It!” 9/11 conspiracy theory of the last five years amounts to, anyway?

    Why would a right-wing pundit want to support such a notion?

  11. “You know…this response would be valid, if most moivie superhero villians didn’t surround themselves with some of the stupidest and inept “henchmen” around.”

    Touch?…

  12. You know…this response would be valid, if most moivie superhero villians didn’t surround themselves with some of the stupidest and inept “henchmen” around. So maybe teaming up AQ with LL wouldn’t have been so out of place…..they couldn’t be any worse as a teammate to Lex Luthro than ‘Otis’ from the 1978 Superman — or any of Batman’s villian’s henchmen.

    I love that comparison to Otis (the Ned Beatty character, right?) Putting Al Qaeda thugs in these types of movies as comic relief dunces would be fantastic.

  13. Before the 1950s it was “truth, justice, and tolerance”. Smallville gave a nod to the discrepancy by having Clark Kent say he was for “truth, justice, and…other things”.

  14. Superman is the epitome of “illegal immigrant.”

  15. HOW DARE THOSE KRYPTONIANS SEND THEIR ANCHOR BABY OVER OUT BOARDER FROM OUTER SPACE? NEXT THING YOU KNOW MARTIANS WILL SEND THEIR BABIES TO BE ADOPTED. WE NEED TO BUILD A FORCE FIELD TO PROTECT THE JOBS OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROS LIKE BATMAN AND CAPTAIN AMERICA.

  16. Ain’t it great to live in a world where the neocons (and their brain-stem counterparts in political squawk radio) have nothing better to talk (squawk?) about…

  17. I for one am calling for an immediate boycott of this movie on grounds that it promotes illegal aliens and immigration. He doesnt get a pass just because hes white and speaks english.

  18. Not to mention that the line is used in a totally inconsequential and forgettable scene.

    I was far more ticked off that Luthor’s evil scheme was so derivative and mundane. Come on, creating a new barren island made up of jagged rocks and kryptonite? I’d rather live on King Kong’s homeland. If you’re going to kill billions at least do it for something worthwhile-like becoming emperor of Australia.

  19. AQ=cannon fodder
    At least the ‘foot soldiers’
    And what AQ get is all those cool toys

  20. AQ=cannon fodder
    At least the ‘foot soldiers’
    And what AQ get is all those cool toys

  21. I’m glad the kultur warriors didn’t stay up late on Saturday, January 27, 1979. The “What If” sketch about “Ubermann” would have surely upset them.

    Klaus Kent: Ja! He’s right! I will use my powers for the fatherland. For I am … Ubermann!

    http://snltranscripts.jt.org/78/78jwhatif.phtml

  22. “Yes, because a plot wherein a technocratic, multi-billionaire industrialist bent on world domination teams up with a bunch of inbred, illiterate, cross-eyed, hyperreligious jackfucks from the backwaters of the Middle East makes perfect rational sense.”

    It doesn’t make any sense, but that hasn’t stopped George Soros!

  23. The movie is visually beautiful and when Superman is flying around saving people and actually BEING Superman, it’s a great flick.

    But the movie should have been titled “Lois Lane — Featuring Cameos By Every Minor Character In The Superman Universe Plus A Few The Scriptwriters Invented.”

    I’m not a huge fan of the “Superman as divorced, dead-beat dad” sub-plot in “Superman Returns.”

    Admittedly, I was disappointed by what seemed to me a cop-out with the “Truth, Justice… and all that other stuff” line.

    Either leave the line out entirely, or say the line the way it was originally written. The change to fit “modern, global sensitivities” or whatever the reason was for changing it just sounded incredibly off-key.

    Frankly, I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to guess that an alien raised by Kansas farmers would miss the lesson on what the American Way is really all about and want to be identified as supporting it. The staunchest patriots are often first-generation immigrants, in my experience.

    Personally, I support the “American Way” in much the same way that Captain America does: “In the stories published after the 1960s, Captain America becomes a more serious and less jingoistic hero. Writers often use the character to reflect upon the conflict between politics and ideology by placing him at occasional odds with the United States government or showing him being troubled about the state of the country. He considers himself dedicated to defending America’s ideals rather than its political leadership, a conviction Captain America sums up when confronted by an army general who attempts to manipulate him by appealing to his loyalty: Rogers responds, ‘I’m loyal to nothing, General … except the Dream.’ (Daredevil #233, Aug. 1986)”

    From
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_America

    Of course, no one wants to turn Supes into Cap, right?

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