Finally, some SJW news that isn’t them taking a steaming dump on video games. This is new. Well, unless I perused sites like The Mary Sue, which I don’t. I have only so much patience before I lose my mind and rage-quit. However, the film industry is at their same level of “standards” that video games are. Meaning that they think that movies are filled with sexism, racism, and misogyny. Because – men. Men are everything’s that wrong with society. Just ask Jonathan McIntosh. He’s been hating on men for all his life. He’s an entitle trust fund baby who wants everyone to know just how awful men are. You disgusting pieces of shit. Unless you’re gay. Then you’re fine. Or black. Or any ethnicity but white. But those white men are just so EVIL! Never mind that he’s a white trust fund baby. SJW types don’t self-aware much. In any case, our dear #FullMcIntosh decided to express how upset he is with the new Captain America film, which had a trailer released recently. It looks awesome. But not according to McIntosh, who thinks that it is just the world. Here’s a link to what he wrote. Let’s talk about it.
The trailer for Captain America: Civil War premiered this week and geeks all over the internet exploded with excitement. This is the 13th movie in the Marvel cinematic universe and there are at least 10 more on the way. Superheroes have gone mainstream in a big way. Comic book stories are no longer the exclusive domain of geek subcultures.
This is true. And it’s a good thing. It’s good that nerd fandoms have more of a place in mainstream culture. It can lead to new ideas and new forms of expression. Granted, not all of them are appreciated. Like the new Star Trek movies. I think I’m the only person I know who actually likes those. What can I say, it’s popcorn entertainment with fun characters. I like character-driven stories in general, so yeah. But nerd culture has become much more mainstream, and thus we get films like this, made by the same guys who made Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was fucking awesome. So you know that this will be good too. Stoked.
Part of that success lies in the appeal of an old-fashioned tale of good versus evil. The scenes of conflict and destruction in these films are viscerally exciting and certainly get the adrenaline pumping.
Some of them are, but this one isn’t. Most comic book films are about good fighting evil, but the thing that makes this plot so engaging and the reason why so many people were stoked for this movie is the fact that here it’s very morally gray where the line is. You have sides being drawn, and both sides have good points. At least in the comic. This film has a smaller cast, but I hope they don’t shy away from the ethical ambiguity of the situation. I’m pretty sure they won’t, given that it’s the guys who made the last film, but we won’t know until we see it.
But there is something else at work here, something that has drawn self-described geeks and nerds to comic books for nearly a century, and that is an idealisation of the aggressive hyper-masculine superhero archetype.
Wow. What a lot of words to say absolutely nothing. I hate this terminology. It means nothing. “idealization of the aggressive hyper-masculine superhero archetype.” That means nothing. Absolutely nothing. It’s a smokescreen for what McIntosh’s actual problem is – men. Men exist, and in this movie, men do stuff. Violent stuff. He doesn’t like men doing the violent stuff. He also don’t like male superheroes. We’ll get into that soon. Let’s continue.
A staple of the superhero genre is the tendency to concoct these elaborate scenarios where “good guys” end up having to fight each other for some reason. This is often framed as a way to resolve their interpersonal issues before they can go beat up the “bad guys” and save the world. The ultimate macho pissing contest. Who’s the toughest tough guy of them all?
Um, no, you daft fuck. Did you not watch the trailer? This whole film frames the conflict as born out of two sides unable to see eye-to-eye. Stark has been awakened to the fact that their conflicts are doing real damage to the world. It’s getting really out of hand. Rogers, on the other hand, wants to protect his friend. And that desire to protect the only connection he has left to his past is tearing their camaraderie apart. This one act of kindness sets off a powderkeg that has been building since the previous Avengers film. This isn’t a macho pissing contest. It’s a melancholy tale of two sides who should be together, fighting each other because of the fact that they can’t reconcile. It’s what makes that line at the end where Rogers says that he has to protect Bucky because he’s his friend, and then Stark replying, “so was I” so intense. Rogers knows that he is fighting a friend, and that isn’t easy for him. For someone who rails on the fact that the plots of these films tend to be very stereotypical good vs. evil, you certainly are going out of your way not to acknowledge that this is a little more complicated than a “macho pissing contest.”
How do superheroes make friends? By punching each other. How do you resolve conflicts, big and small? By punching each other. Whose plan will be followed? How is trust built among teammates? Face-punching can accomplish all this and more.
What?! Do you even watch these movies? Stark and Rogers made friends when Stark came in to save him during the fight with Loki. Sure, things with Thor got off to a rough start, but they did find time to bond. I mean, did you watch the scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron when they are all just chilling? The whole bunch of them are sitting and shooting the shit, then trying to life Thor’s hammer and giving each other shit for it. It’s a sign that they are more than just people who do “face-punching.” Do you just look for whatever bullshit excuse you can to dismiss something? Does context mean anything to you? Oh, right, you’re associated with Feminist Frequency. Of course it doesn’t.
Hypermasculinity manifests everywhere in our culture and can be seen reflected in politics, international conflict, municipal policing, domestic violence and interpersonal relationships. All you have to do is look at global leaders who routinely pound their chests while advocating for the use of deadly force as a solution to complex social problems, as if they aren’t talking about delicate matters of international diplomacy but rather boasting about taking down a super villain like Ultron.
Yeah, we’ve had the likes of George Bush and the current French Prime Minister, who were eager for war. But that was after both their nations were attacked. I don’t think that what they did was right, but I get why it happened. Tons of people dead, a nation in mourning, looking to hurt those who hurt us. The problem is that they wanted to go in with a sledgehammer, when they should have gone in with a scalpel. But does all the history where diplomacy has happened mean nothing to you? Like, here’s an example – the Cuban Missile Crisis. That could easily have led to World War III, if this “hypermasculinity” that you talk about had been the go-to method. But it wasn’t. Thank Groj that we had JFK in office. I like that bit in Family Guy where Stewie and Brian end up in a universe where it was Nixon in office, and he fucked it up. Or there was the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Or the annexation of Crimea. Do you just pull this shit out of your ass? Are you able to give a SINGLE example to back up your claims? I gave more examples than you, for your position! What a fucking idiot.
Given the current state of the world, we could certainly do with a hell of a lot more heroes who solve complex problems with innovation and ingenuity rather than by punching each other in the face. Perhaps it’s time to move on from these tired masculinised concepts.
Or maybe, just maybe, people want good entertainment. Hey Jonny Boy, here’s something you didn’t know. I’m about to get into some context. I know that scares you. There is a huge network of people who smuggle things into North Korea. It’s dangerous, but can make you a ton of money. You know what one of the biggest things to smuggle is – western movies. Specifically western action movies. Part of a movement that is resisting a dictatorial regime involves the very films you deride. So excuse me if I can’t take your bullshit seriously.
Jonathan McIntosh has this view of the world that is as juvenile as it is full of shit. He thinks that masculinity and men are the cause of all the world’s problems. I don’t suppose he ever read history, and looked at people like Queen Elizabeth I, or Margaret Thatcher. People who had huge body counts to their name. But I’m sure his defense would be – they were just trying to be masculine! There have been studies done which show that women in positions of authority act very similar to how men do. Because the truth is – the more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s not as simple as – man EVIL! Just like the new Captain America movie, there are shades of grey. But McIntosh wouldn’t know that. He’s too busy hating on everything, just because it has men doing man-stuff. What an idiot.
Until next time, a quote,
“If you can’t accept limitations, we’re no better than the bad guys.” -Tony Stark, Captain America: Civil War