I just love how everything is now a virtue signaling thing. No matter what you do, you have to find a way to make everything that people like somehow bad. There was this great article in The Onion about how a girl takes a brief break from being a feminist to actually enjoy something. That’s how I feel about every single piece of click-bait crap that is on display these days. If these people could take a break from their latest pet issue, who knows what they would enjoy. Let’s see an example from an article from some teen magazine. I won’t be talking about the article, but rather the images they use to sell their narrative. Because it’s all so stupid.
Okay, let’s break this down. I could go into all of these characters, but I want to focus on just one. But before I get there, let me make a point about the characters shown here. First, they are all heroes. Second, they are known for their disfigurement. Third, their deformity is part of their narrative in an important way. Like how Big Boss (second from top-left, for those who don’t game or pay attention to modern culture in any way) lost an eye because the Boss took it from him. His predominant eye. The goal was to hurt his ability to fight, and it was achieved. Or how Old Snake (top-left) was disfigured stopping Liquid Ocelot’s plan. Or maybe I could get into how Deadpool’s *second from bottom-left) whole arc in the film is that he is grotesque and deformed, but desperately wants to get the woman he loves back. How about Darkman (second from bottom-right)? His whole story is depressing. Underrated superhero movie.
The one that I really want to look at though is the character on the far-right – Auron from Final Fantasy X. Let’s get into the fact that he’s disfigured and really show how featuring him in an article this stupid is fucking ridiculous. There’s a story about why he is so messed-up, and it is equal parts tragic and central to his character. See, Auron went with Braska to fight Sin. In the end, when Braska called the Final Aeon, he used his other Guardian, Jecht. After seeing Braska die, and seeing everything that happened as all for nothing, he chose to go back to Zanarkand and confront Yunalesca about the futility of it. After a very grueling battle, he was defeated. The battle killed him. But instead of simply allowing himself to die, he chose to fight it, and came back as an Unsent. He crawled his way out of Zanarkand and back up Mt. Gagazet, before nearly dying again on the side of the mountain.
Aside form not being able to follow that story if you never played the game, did you catch something about it? Like how Auron was a good man who became disfigured from the cruel injustice of the world. Now one of his arms doesn’t work right and his eye was destroyed. He’s arguably the coolest character in the entire game.
Here’s my point – fucking know what you’re talking about when you use shit like this! Are there a lot of disfigured villains? Sure. But there are also a lot of disfigured heroes whose disfigurement is part of their character. A central part. Like Nice from Baccano, who blasted half her face because of her love of explosives. Tsume in Wolf’s Rain, who has a massive scar on his chest because of a sin he committed. Edward Elric, in Fullmetal Alchemist, who lost an arm and a leg in a horribly-botched alchemy attempt to bring his mother back to life. Just got done watching the first season of Westworld, and you see Ed Harris character go from being an unlikable monster to an almost-sympathetic character, because we learn what got him to where he is and it’s kind of depressing.
This idea that pop culture at large says that only villains are disfigured is laughable. I hate how every little thing is some stupid social justice thing. Like some guy who said that Game of Thrones doesn’t have enough black people. Are you fucking kidding me?! So, a series set in a medieval world, with the largest amount of focus on a very Anglican part of that world doesn’t have enough black people?! No! Really?! You’re putting me on!
For all the legitimate points that are made about pop culture and the flaws in it, we then have to deal with shit like this, and it is insufferable. I hate this crap. But everywhere I look there is more and more of it. Can we please grow the fuck up?!
Until next time, a quote,
“When you don’t know what you’re talking about, it’s hard to know when you’re finished.” – Tommy Smothers