June 8, 2011

"X-Men: First Class"

Here's an excerpt from my review of the new Marvel comic book movie in Taki's Magazine:
X-Men: First Class is the fifth screen adaptation since 2000 of the Marvel Comics series. What’s the appeal of these Homo superior mutants whose superpowers cause them to be oppressed by the bigoted and backward majority, us genetically inferior Homo sapiens?

Read the whole thing there.

By the way, the "First Class" in the title refers to the initial cohort of students in 1962 at Professor X's school for mutant superheroes. There really does sometimes exist a "first class phenomenon" where the first year of students at a new elite academy or program goes on to great success. This is most notable in Hollywood, where the first class of the American Film Institute school included Terrence Malick, David Lynch, Paul Schrader, and Caleb Deschanel. Similarly, the first students of CalArts in Valencia in Character Animation in the 1970s included Brad Bird, Tim Burton, John Lasseter, and John Musker. Congregation of talent or old boy's network?

Here's Matthew Yglesias's posting "Magneto Was Right" on why the mutant supremacist Magneto is right and the nice integrationist Professor X is wrong:
... if you restrict your attention to what’s actually in the text Magneto is clearly in the right and Xavier’s X-Men are a bunch of dupes. The film is a pretty serious departure from the conventional depiction in this regard, but it’s quite thoroughgoing. Magneto’s mutant pride attitude is in every way more admirable than Xavier’s preference for the closet, and Xavier’s political view that mutants and humans can coexist peacefully if mutants avoid provocations is directly contradicted by the events at the end of the film. When Xavier is trying to convince Magneto (and the audience) that Magneto’s more militant methods will cost innocent life he literally says—to a Holocaust survivor!—that “they were only following orders” and therefore their sins are forgivable. 
The mutant pride message is a radical one. It’s too radical for those whose WASP male privilege in their non-mutant lives makes them instinctively want to identify with existing power structures. But a mutant who’s also a Jew, or a woman, or a racial minority, or has had blue or red skin all of his or her life doesn’t suffer from that kind of false consciousness and gets ahead of the curve.

My take is similar but less impressed:
The basic conflict in X-Men between the Martin Luther King-like Professor X and the Malcolm X-like Magneto over whether to tolerate the majority’s prejudice or to give them what they have coming is similar to the struggle in the Harry Potter series between the saintly Dumbledore and the sinister Voldemort. 
In contrast to J. K. Rowling’s tale, however, First Class sympathizes less with Professor X, the outdated assimilationist, and more with Magneto, the mutant supremacist who learned not to trust the majority during the Holocaust. In First Class, one mutant has an epiphany: “We shouldn’t try to be more like them. Society should aspire to be more like us.”

Read the whole thing there.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

While not a fan of comic books and/or their film adaptations, I'll probably end up watching this for January Jones. She plays my favorite character on Mad Men (rather well I think).

Also, I think you need to keep your Jewish obsession in check, Steve. It's clearly taking you over.

--Le Sigh

Anonymous said...

Ugh, another comic book movie.

I Liked The Film said...

You way over analyzed this movie and got a few things wrong (January Jones' character, who is white, followed Magneto)

It was a pretty good movie to be enjoyed for what it is - an escape.

Anonymous said...

"The mutant pride message is a radical one. It’s too radical for those whose WASP male privilege in their non-mutant lives makes them instinctively want to identify with existing power structures. "

Obviously, Matthew Yglesias wasn't hit in the head hard enough.

Thursday said...

At the beginning, institutions are often founded out of idealism and there is a lot of room for individual genius. Once things have been rationalized and bureaucratized and a clear career path set out within them, they sink down to mediocrity.

Zarathustra said...

I worked with a bunch of Cal Tech grads at a Silicon Valley startup who loved the earlier films.

It was my unspoken assumption that unusually high intelligence was the best real-world analogy for the mutant powers of X-men.

Too high of an intelligence ends up both giving one a great power while at the same time being misunderstood, disliked and even persecuted by the masses. It's deeply personal and the best map onto the X-men mutation (extremely high IQ must also come from uncommon genetic mutations).

Jewish and gay don't seem as good real-world analogs for X-men mutations. The overwhelming majority of any sizable group is by nature unremarkable. Think of Nietzsche's individual and anti-Nazi/anti-group sense of ubermensch.

agnostic said...

Harvard writing at it's finest from Yglesias. All of that obsolete pomo jargon from a '90s English / philosophy seminar -- almost as good of an investment as learning to program HTML in 1999.

Now we know why that pack of "youths" punched him in the head. They must have overheard him rehearsing a blog post out loud, probably one about gay pride.

"Man, did dat fool just link butt-buddy pride with racial emancipation? Aw hell naw! Let's go teach that mini-cracka a lesson!"

Murphy's life said...

"The mutant pride message is a radical one. It’s too radical for those whose WASP male privilege in their non-mutant lives makes them instinctively want to identify with existing power structures. But a mutant who’s also a Jew, or a woman, or a racial minority, or has had blue or red skin all of his or her life doesn’t suffer from that kind of false consciousness and gets ahead of the curve."

I love people like this. They guilt those who fit in with the status quo not because they want a better world for everyone but in order to marginalize them as moral reprobates. First they emerge as the reformers who are fighting the hypocrisy of exploiters. Then they become despots the likes of which the once dominant culture never was.

Does Yglesias know how atavistic he sounds? "False consciousness" sounds an awful lot like what the rest of us would call principles, values or moral reasoning. It also goes beyond ends justifies the means approaches to injustice by indicating that the "wronged" have a right to abuse their power if and when they take control.

David Davenport said...

Steve, where's your iSteve column on the Mavericks-Heat playoff? You'd better get one done while the topic is hot, don't you think?

Dirk the great white hope, who's better, Dirk or LeBron, how many drops o'chocolate in Jason Kidd's genes and is Jason showing his 38 years? Etc.

( Do some current events elude Steve because there's no TV in the Sailer home? )

Anonymous said...

I've said it before...is Yglesias just always stupid? I keep hearing how smart he is, but I've never read anything of his that would even qualify as C work in college.

agnostic said...

What great role models the so-called family values revolution has brought us, eh?

A bunch of whiny misfits who are only superheroes in their fantasies, whose feelings toward the larger community are either tepid or outright hostile, and who are too busy wallowing in their marginal victim status to have a sense of humor about life.

This is part of Greg Cochran's observation about Heroes of Accomplishment vs. Heroes of Suffering.

You didn't see the Ghostbusters crying about being persecuted and tossed out by their university, getting shut down by the EPA, and winding up in the slammer. They sucked it up, did what they had to do, and kicked ass on behalf of mankind, thumbing their nose only at the bureaucrats -- not at their fellow man.

I say we cross the streams and send this bunch of anti-social emo pansy "heroes" back to whatever dimension they crawled out of.

Thripshaw said...

Wow, man. You actually sat through this worthless garbage bag of a moovee?

Yglesias is an idiot. He and his fellow tribesman love this type of cheap prolefeed borderline pornography. They've been churning out this crap for decades. His analysis is probably correct, if unsurprising. Yeah, a trash piece of entertainment has a radical message that promotes hatred of everything normal and traditional.

Isn't this too lowbrow for you, Steve? You must be a better man than I. You certainly have more inclusive tastes.

Thripshaw said...

Ok, this is a very good review of a movie that I would never watch. It reminds me of your excellent post about Borat which pointed out that much of the movie was based on anti-Goy cliches from Yiddish literature (too lazy to look for the link).

Reading Steve's movie reviews at his best is like being given a secret decoder ring for Hollywood's inside jokes and hidden agendas.

Thanks.

David said...

“We shouldn’t try to be more like them. Society should aspire to be more like us.”

Could be the basis for a cool bumper sticker.

Garland said...

The main point about Magneto and the sympathy that Yglesias-types have for him is that he is murderous. It's less significant that WASP-sympathizers are more comfortable with Xavier than it is that Jew-sympathizers find Magneto sympathetic despite his genocidal equation of all gentiles/sapiens to Nazis. If he were just a tough non-assimilationist it would be one thing. But he's as evil as Shaw or Hitler and yet the Yglesiases find him sympathetic. Who-whom, that's all it is.

Also the movie stacks the deck with the insane callousness of the humans and Xavier's ridiculous "just following orders" dialogue. That may be how Jews see WASPs but it's an exaggeration.

Mr. Anon said...

I've always thought of comic-book stories as childish, lower middle-brow trash. I find it interesting that comic-book movies are now the in-thing in Hollywood - it seems that they crank out a new one every month. Especially interesting given that so many of them (perhaps most of them) are jewish revenge fantasies in disguise.

Garland said...

People have been making the MLK-Malcolm comparison for decades, I guess thinking it elevates the material, and I guess Xavier can be MLK, but Malcolm X never killed anybody. Magneto's more like Hitler.

I think the X-Men works much better as a metaphor for adolescence. But writers have only been inspired to go for that take maybe 5% of the time. They're way more inspired, and incentivized, to make it about racism/antisemitism.

Anonymous said...

Oh good, it's all about the Jews again!

Thanks, comments. I was afraid we were going to stop wishing Jews were dead.

Garland said...

One more nerdism and I'm done: there was a really great run of X-Men by Grant Morrison in the early '00s which was the opposite of the usual take--Mutants were no longer considered an oppressed minority as it had become understood they were the future. Mutants were actually considered cool. The themes were more directly about change and evolution in general, not racial conflict. It became a groovy sci-fi story that celebrated diversity and the future in a good way, not the moaning victimhood way.

It was also more plausible since obviously mutants would be hip if they were real. And anyway does the racial conflict thing even make sense considering mutants are not an endogamous group (they spawn from any and all sapiens)? They're the children of humans why would humans treat them as an enemy tribe?

Once Morrison was done Marvel undid it and went back to mutants being targeted with pogroms and having to start their own Israel etc.

Garland said...

"Oh good, it's all about the Jews again!"

That's what I think every time yet another Nazi movie comes out. Oh good it's all about the Nazis again! I was afraid we were going to stop pretending Nazism is the reigning power in the world today.

Severn said...

The mutant pride message is a radical one. It’s too radical for those whose WASP male privilege in their non-mutant lives makes them instinctively want to identify with existing power structures. But a mutant who’s also a Jew, or a woman, or a racial minority, or has had blue or red skin all of his or her life doesn’t suffer from that kind of false consciousnes

You've gotta love that bizarre Jewish fantasy that they are not part of the "existing power structure" (or even just "are the existing power structure") but are more analogous to a racial minority.

Yes, the X-Men comics are the most explicitly Jewish of them all. A "superior" people who are oppressed and threatened by unthinking stupid bigots - that's how most Jews like to think of themselves.

Wandrin said...

"Also, I think you need to keep your Jewish obsession in check, Steve. It's clearly taking you over."

If Hollywood was completely dominated by Cambodians i expect Hollywood movies would be full of the sort of things Cambodians are obsessed by.

Hollywood is completely dominated by Jews and therefore Jewish obsessions constantly pour out of Hollywood - often unconsciously no doubt. Once you notice it's very hard to stop noticing.

And then, if you try to stop noticing just long enough to enjoy an escapist movie along comes a persecuted member of the priviliged MSM elite obviously salivating at the thought of ein volk, ein reich, ein Magneto.

Wanting revenge on the majority for being the majority is what led to 30 million people getting murdered by the Bolsheviks.

Thripshaw said...

Nice interview with Gretchen Morgenson on the Charlie Rose show from Monday here.

She hits the Sailer themes about 5:00 into the video, but the whole 20 minutes is worth watching.

Truth said...

"Man, did dat fool just link butt-buddy pride with racial emancipation? Aw hell naw! Let's go teach that mini-cracka a lesson!"

Somehow, I don't think those gentlemen you are lampooning use the word "emancipation" or would even think to draw this parallel.

glib, facile n snarky said...

BTW, does anyone else think Sailer has a ghost writer these days. Better flow on this review than one a few days ago yet the sentence structure, the length of paragraphs don't jibe with the Sailer style. Also, the lower level of snarkiness. I'm thinking the old man is on vacation.

Fred said...

"That's what I think every time yet another Nazi movie comes out. Oh good it's all about the Nazis again!"

That's not what you would think if you watch the Nazi movie by the gay Jew Bryan Singer, Valkyrie: in that one, every other German is a courageous anti-Hitler patriot.

Anonymous said...

O/T but If you're down at Taki's site, DO NOT miss Joe Bob Briggs on Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Gilbert P

Anonymous said...

"That's not what you would think if you watch the Nazi movie by the gay Jew Bryan Singer, Valkyrie: in that one, every other German is a courageous anti-Hitler patriot."

Yes, because unlike the fantastical X-Men, the story of Operation Valkyrie is real, and these anti-Hitler patriots actually existed, and died for their heroism.

Anonymous said...

"Somehow, I don't think those gentlemen you are lampooning use the word "emancipation" or would even think to draw this parallel."

In other words, Twoof: the wascally wascists are giving the urban yoots credit for far more intellect than they actually possess. Coming from you, wow, what an admission against interest.

Fred said...

"Yes, because unlike the fantastical X-Men, the story of Operation Valkyrie is real, and these anti-Hitler patriots actually existed, and died for their heroism."

They also waited until 1944 to make their move, and the colonel could have killed Hitler if he hadn't been so eager to escape with his life. But the point is that Singer's movie is very pro-German, and goes out of its way to portray the anti-Hitler conspirators in the best light, and before the end credits further highlights all the Germans who tried to oppose Hitler.

In other words (to connect the dots for you), Singer's Valkyrie exhibits the opposite of the the "Everyone's a Nazi" mentality Singer is accused of bring to the X-Men. In Valkyrie, most of the Germans we meet are anti-Nazis.

Whiskey said...

The Harry Potter books were not really about "muggles" the non-magical, who neither Voldemort nor Dumbledore really cared about much either way. It was always **within** the elite group, if an old-line, old-blood aristocracy (which makes sense to an Englishwoman writing in the very tail end of the Aristocratic power) would run things, or the "sensible middle class" like the Weasley family.

There is an extended sequence of the "Gaunt Family" from which Voldemort sprang (as the illegitimate kid of the local aristo non-magical squire and the debased magical aristo family, able to talk to snakes but living in total squalor and very inbred-stupid).

The major point of Harry Potter was that a "sensible" middle class magical faction would self-rule through informal middle class networks over cruel aristocrats who do bad things (nearly all of them to the nice middle class magical people).

Whiskey said...

The Gay Jew crack may have been funny, on the Gary Shandling show, but lots of gays are uber powerful and not Jews: Ellen Degeneres, Garth Ancier (a Black man), Rich Ross of Disney, all come to mind.

It is worth noting that the original run of the X-Men in comics had little of the teen angst and Civil Rights struggle -- it was straight up superheroics and did not get much attention. Chris Claremont's run in the late 70's cemented all that stuff, teen angst plus political correctness meant media attention thus sales.

Whiskey said...

Besides, Yglesias is an idiot. Power flows, as Mao said, from the barrel of a gun. But guns do not march around by themselves, you need men, money to pay them (no one will fight for you for free, even conscripts have to eat, your officers CERTAINLY do) and there are always enemies all around you.

The idea that gays or Blacks or anyone will rule the world is monumentally stupid. Neither Adolf Hitler and the mightiest war machine on the planet (at the time when the US was mostly disarmed, the USSR had purged its top generals and had mostly shoddy weapons, and the British had only a second rate navy) could do it, nor could the Imperial Japanese War Machine under the same conditions.

The AK-47 alone guarantees that no world-striding conqueror will ever duplicate Alexandar's feat. Even illiterate tribesman can operate them. That timid, PC-driven Westerners appeasing their women (look at how many hot women found Weiner's tweets "hot" because he was uber-liberal) in a 60 year run of good times is not a call for non-Whites to rule over Whites in America. Like Yglesias thinks it is. The X-Men is a just a crummy comic. The movie is just a dumb movie.

Whiskey said...

The better analogy, and one that is made CONSTANTLY and EXPLICITLY by comic book writers, editors, and publishers, not to mention the press, is the Mutant = Gay analogy.

Think about it. They "come out" to their families. They only manifest their mutant-ness around adolescence. They are "born this way" like Lady Gaga. They are persecuted for their "difference" and find more in common among themselves than their families (a constant, recurring theme among the X-Men comics). Often their own families hate them.

Mutant = Gay. Singer did not make a movie about Jews. [Here's Steve's blindspot.]

HE MADE ONE ABOUT GAYS! Because duh, Singer is GAY GAY GAY. And the material has been written that way since the 1980's. Women of course, LOVE LOVE LOVE gays. Pretty much most women would break their fingers pushing a button that would turn all non-Dominant Alpha A-hole men gay, gay, GAY! No more icky unwanted sexual interest. Or icky straight male obsessions (stats, guns, sports, big trucks, etc.) A whole new era of fabulousness!

Whiskey said...

Indeed old-line Jews pretty much created old-line Hollywood and comics. Yankee Doodle Dandy with Jimmy Cagney. Captain America! Superman! Batman. Hulk. Thor. Spider-Man. Captain Marvel.

It has been the influx of PC-driven, arty/hip writers who aim for critical acclaim, not making 10 year old boys say "Kewl!" that comics ran off the rails into PC idiocies.

I don't see how you can equate say, Thor or Batman or Captain America as some nefarious Jewish plot to create a master-race (I don't see too many Jews shouting "I say thee nay!") Meanwhile a gentile named Chris Claremont created most of the iconic X-Men stories and characters, including: Rogue, Psylocke, Shadowcat, Phoenix, Mystique, Lady Mastermind, Emma Frost, Siryn, Jubilee, Rachel Summers, Madelyne Pryor, Sabretooth, Strong Guy, Captain Britain, Mister Sinister, and Gambit.

Hell even Singer himself cops to the gay themes. The "Legacy Virus" is mutant AIDS, there's tons of gay and trans-sexual characters, and so on.

Murphy's life said...

"Could be the basis for a cool bumper sticker."

Not really. People tend to establish a pecking order at whatever their level is. It's all relative so the assertion isn't logical. If they had the ability to be exceptional members of society, the masses wouldn't be the masses; likewise, the mutated wouldn't be the mutated.

How many of us have discovered this fact in transition from an environment where we are exceptional in some way to one in which we are merely average and vice versa?

glib, facile n snarky said...

I guess calling these characters idiot savants instead of mutants or X-men would lessen some of their appeal. Really who would want to admit they were a maladapted misfit who happened to have a mental trick or two keeping them from being entirely useless. When such people in real life get together a form a club, often even dressing up for role playing games, and thriving on the energy built by their shared wish-fulfillment fantasy that they are in fact special, misunderstood and superior, sometimes they even start biting people.

Reality can bite in more than one way it seems.

Anonymous said...

Somehow, I don't think those gentlemen you are lampooning use the word "emancipation" or would even think to draw this parallel.

Aw, hell naw! Nah'mean?!

Garland said...

"That's not what you would think if you watch the Nazi movie by the gay Jew Bryan Singer, Valkyrie: in that one, every other German is a courageous anti-Hitler patriot."

I know, it's a fine movie and about as sympathetic to Germans as I've ever seen. But it's still a movie about Nazis.

Ian said...

Jeez. I read the Xmen religiously in my early teen years, 1980-85. They were colorful, exciting, and filled with battles against vicious aliens, monsters, underworld ninjas, and evil mutants (Magneto falling into the last category). The whole "progressive", "social justice" angle was touched on here and there in a graphic novel special or two, but those could be safely ignored in favor of the action-packed main threads.

I suppose a leftist's embrace of a fictional arch-villain is not surprising, in light of Ward Churchill and others' cheering of 9/11, Fisk and Chomsky's general empathy for Al Queda, many "progressive"s' defenses of Mumia, Tookie, and the Jenna 6, and earlier generation's embraces of Stalin and Mao.

Yglesia's siding with Magneto also does remind me of an article I did enjoy and thought actually did make sense, Jonathan Last's "The Case for the Empire" in the May 16 2002 Weekly Standard, which argued that the stability of the Vader and Palpatine's Empire probably brought more goodness to the galaxy's people than would the chaos of Luke and Leah's rebellion (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/248ipzbt.asp).

londoner said...

For Singer it's all about the Nazis, isn't it. Always all about the Nazis. I remember "Apt Pupil" many years ago - at the time I had no idea how or why Hollywood does what it does, but even then, as a teenager, it struck me as an utterly lurid, poisonous piece of propaganda accusing all white euro types as either wannabe nazis or actual nazis.

I see from Steve's review that Singer's war against us is far from over, though it's refreshing to see that a director with an actual fondness for pre-1965 America is (seemingly) trying to subvert his propaganda onslaught.

Yeah Bryan, you must feel like such an outsider, being a jew in Hollywood and all that. I don't know how you cope with the loneliness and exclusion.

Anonymous said...

I've always found the Xmen franchise, both comic book and the Bryan Singer movies, to be significantly more nuanced than the formulaic comic book fair of recent years. Actually, Xmen is derivative of the golden age sci-fi novel Slan by van Vogt. Steve should really read this book, as this Steve has. Three guesses as to whom the Slan allegorize! Xmen's creator Stan Lee was heavily influenced by van Vogt and Sturgeon. Thus, the high intellectual caliber of his comic series.

Mr. Anon said...

"Fred said...

""That's what I think every time yet another Nazi movie comes out. Oh good it's all about the Nazis again!""

That's not what you would think if you watch the Nazi movie by the gay Jew Bryan Singer, Valkyrie: in that one, every other German is a courageous anti-Hitler patriot."

Well, it was about the (admittedly, pretty lame) german resistance movement, so it did indeed portray a lot of anti-nazi germans. It was also a departure for Hollywood. I think Garland's point is quite apt.

If there was an agenda behind the movie, it was that it was a love-letter to Germany by two Hollywood scientologists (Cruise and Singer) in an attempt to show the germans that scientologists aren't all bad (the german government has been trying to suppress scientology).

Anonymous said...


You've gotta love that bizarre Jewish fantasy that they are not part of the "existing power structure" (or even just "are the existing power structure") but are more analogous to a racial minority.


A Jew denouncing "WASP male privilege" is truly rich.

map said...

The problem with these X-Men movies and their majority-minority conflict is that they really ignore the richness of the Marvel Universe that spawned them. In that universe, being "a mutant" (that is, born with abilities that do not manifest themselves until puberty) is just one more interesting origin story among many others. Other super heroes exist because of distinctly non-mutant reasons so their motivations and agendas do not match with that of the mutants. Furthermore, mutant abilities are a small percentage of all of the abilities that exist in the Marvel Universe, making "super power awareness" both fairly common and generally accepted. The universe is not divided into homo sapien and homo superior.

Super heroes with mutant origins present for some interesting story lines. Xavier's "School for Gifted Youngsters" was created to teach mutants how to control their powers so they do not pose a danger to themselves and others. Consider an ability like Cyclops' eye-beam. His eye beam is activated when he opens his eyes. In other words, for him not to use his power makes him effectively blind. That's why he wears a visor. Now, if his power manifests itself in puberty that means he can unknowingly kill someone. Families would want to screen and identify kids with those abilities and put them in a place where they can do little harm.

At the same time, mutants would attract the attention of the government and any other organization that would find mutant abilities useful. The first reaction would probably be to try to recruit them by paying well or appealing to patriotism, not by killing them.

Some writers have suggested that X is a hippy assimilationist and Magneto is a realist, but this is probably incorrect. Xavier understands that all mutants are not equally powerful. Mutants may be superior to humans, but there are mutants clearly superior to other mutants. Should the more powerful mutants rule over the less powerful? Arguably...yes. So Magneto's position has less to do with knowledge and experience about humans and more to do with him being arguably one of those most powerful mutants on the planet, Magneto sees himself as a natural King. Xavier, who could also be king, understands Magneto is motivated by pure will to power and opposes him because he is evil...just like any other super villain.

At least, that's what I got from reading comics as a kid.

As a hat-tip to Whiskey, he is right when he says the Jews were not so monolithically anti-Western in the past. Even a decade or two after the holocaust, Stan Lee seemed to have continued many of the themes that Louis B. Mayer pushed.

Anonymous said...

That may be how Jews see WASPs but it's an exaggeration.
I am a wasp, grew up in NYC, have jewish friends. ...
it is difficult to exaggerate some of the hatred and paranoia they have about us.
It may seem 'weird' or made up but they literally freak out over the sight of a christmas tree, a blond mother with blond children, any sort of racially homogenus small town upstate immediately becomes their nazi nightmare, no matter how out of touch with reality it is.

IF you think this is an exaggeration, you simply don't know NYC jews very well. I don't know about the rest of the country.

Svigor said...

To understand why the X-Men movies are such bumbling, inept propaganda, you have to understand that they're superheroes first, and mutants second. That is, they do all the same crap superheroes always do, but with a "poor oppressed minority" limb grafted on after the fact.

So, there's no real way to avoid the fact that mutants are dangerous. They cost huge amounts in property damage wherever they go, at best.

Humans would clearly be better off if all the mutants died.

It occurs that the epiphany you mention is really the whole point, if there is one; pretty people in spandex with superpowers whining about the hand life has dealt them, making minority status "cool." The more the writers explore the separatist issues, the more they're doomed to shoot themselves in the foot.

"The mutant pride message is a radical one. It’s too radical for those whose WASP male privilege in their non-mutant lives makes them instinctively want to identify with existing power structures. "

Obviously, Matthew Yglesias wasn't hit in the head hard enough.

Yglesias' mind is cocooned in Jewish privilege, in a Bizarro World where WASPs aren't far more negatively impacted by law than Ashkenazis, Ashkenazis don't run the show (WASPs do), etc.

WTF would a Jew know about disenfranchisement? Stories from grandpappy? Don't make me laugh.

"False consciousness" sounds an awful lot like

Liberalism. It sounds a lot like "liberalism" according to LINOs (Liberals In Name Only). "False consciousness" is precisely what LINOs are all about.

Truth said...

"In other words, Twoof: the wascally wascists are giving the urban yoots credit for far more intellect than they actually possess."

Do five syllable words equal "intellect"?

Fred said...

"So, there's no real way to avoid the fact that mutants are dangerous. They cost huge amounts in property damage wherever they go, at best."

That's true of pretty much all superheros. The first Fantastic Four movie (which was made barely watchable only by the presence of Jessica Alba in a skintight suit) featured the four fighting their erstwhile-friend-turned-bad guy, who was transformed by the same gamma rays or whatever as them. They finally subdue him, after much property damage, and the crowds in NYC cheer. But the city would have been better off if neither the Fantastic Four nor their nemesis got their powers in the first place.

Garland said...

"IF you think this is an exaggeration, you simply don't know NYC jews very well. I don't know about the rest of the country."

I meant that the anti-minority bigotry on the part of the establishment is exaggerated, not the Jewish paranoia about it. The latter I can believe easily.

Anonymous said...

Is there a list of the top ten Gulag revenge movies?

goatweed

Udolpho.com said...

"Too high of an intelligence ends up both giving one a great power while at the same time being misunderstood, disliked and even persecuted by the masses. It's deeply personal and the best map onto the X-men mutation (extremely high IQ must also come from uncommon genetic mutations)."

More accurately, "too high of an intelligence" gives you lots of personality problems and makes you pointlessly abrasive, awkward, arrogant, etc. Especially these days.

Anonymous said...

"Mutant = Gay. Singer did not make a movie about Jews. [Here's Steve's blindspot.]"

I think the reaction was more to Yglesias' reaction than to the film itself. The film itself could be about a lot of things or nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

Hollywood nowadays seems to be controlled by gay Jewish fascists.

X-men is a sort Jewish fascist fantasy, but then most superhero comic books are. "We are the superior race VICTIMIZED by inferiors." It's a way of having the cake and eating it too. Victorism and victimism.
Jews, victims of Holocaust; Jews, badass warriors of Zionism and inventors of the Bomb.

There is also dual Jewish consciousness in ANNA TO THE INFINITE POWER where all these Aryan-like Anna-duplicates are clones of Anna Zimmerman, a Jewish woman whose mother was killed by Nazis.

It's like a part of Jewish consciousness defines itself as the victim of racial supremacism and another part desires racial supremacy over the rest of mankind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-SfFnYo_5k

gfs said...

"It's like a part of Jewish consciousness defines itself as the victim of racial supremacism and another part desires racial supremacy over the rest of mankind. "

I see this more as a people who were devastated by being scapegoated en masse obsessively seeking control so this never happens again. This tendency should fade over a few generations.

I realized recently, however, that my knowledge of political systems is woefully inadequate for making informed decisions in a world that has been created so that every nation can have its fingers in every other nation's pie.

Anonymous said...

"That's what I think every time yet another Nazi movie comes out. Oh good it's all about the Nazis again! I was afraid we were going to stop pretending Nazism is the reigning power in the world today."

Coolest of stories, broski!

The Jewish Version of History said...

"I see this more as a people who were devastated by being scapegoated en masse obsessively seeking control so this never happens again. This tendency should fade over a few generations."

In other words you see them the same one-sided way they have seen themselves for millenia - as eternal scapegoats. It makes a nice excuse for their obsession with seeking control, which also goes back millenia.

Anonymous said...

TRON LEGACY, another gay Jewish fascist movie.

Svigor said...

That's true of pretty much all superheros.

That was my point.

The difference being, everybody just smiles at the "normal" shit-sandwiches - non-mutant superheroes. But for whatever reason, being born a menace to society is a source of contention, but being made into one later in life is a-okay.

Because the writers had a narrative to tap into.

Anonymous said...

"I think you need to keep your Jewish obsession in check, Steve. It's clearly taking you over."

----------------

Rotfl.

A Jewish guy: "I'm about Jews, Jews, Jews, Jews, and Jews."

Gentile observer: "That Jewish guy is about Jews, Jews, Jews, and Jews."

PC guy: "Hey, let's not be obsessive about Jews."

Svigor said...

In other words you see them the same one-sided way they have seen themselves for millenia - as eternal scapegoats. It makes a nice excuse for their obsession with seeking control, which also goes back millenia.

Right. If anti-semitism didn't exist, they'd have to invent it.

Svigor said...

Mutant=homosexual

Yes, the homosexual theory is at least as plausible as the gifted theory in terms of agreeing with the random distribution of the mutant gene in the population. Actually moreso, since the distribution is, at least ostensibly, racially neutral, which is not true of the gifted.

But the homosexual theory falls flat on it's face on the "with great power comes great responsibility" axis, whereas the gifted theory is a perfect fit. Sops to homosexuals ("have you tried not being a mutant?") notwithstanding.

Svigor said...

Jeez. I read the Xmen religiously in my early teen years, 1980-85. They were colorful, exciting, and filled with battles against vicious aliens, monsters, underworld ninjas, and evil mutants (Magneto falling into the last category). The whole "progressive", "social justice" angle was touched on here and there in a graphic novel special or two, but those could be safely ignored in favor of the action-packed main threads.

I think my main X-Men years were the mid 80s too. Sounds like you're referring to the Byrne years. I was reading during the Claremont/Romita Jr. run. Romita Jr was at the height of his abilities, halfway between his old-school style and what he would later become (way too geometric/graphic, not nearly enough love (he was drawing several books a month not too long ago)). Yeah, the oppressed minority thing was mostly backdrop, but there were more than a few occasions when it took center stage. Days of Future Past (and all the stuff that followed from it) hung a lamp on it, for example. But I think the basic formula there was more to tap into teen angst, and less to push an agenda, though the latter is obviously there too.

Simon in London said...

"It’s too radical for those whose WASP male privilege in their non-mutant lives makes them instinctively want to identify with existing power structures.."

Is Yglesias saying that Jews should rule us because they're superior to us?

X-Men seems to be a mix of Jewish and Homosexual tropes. I get the impression that the creators see it as about a debate within American Jewry ('Assimilate or Dominate?'), but the structure they created makes Homosexual analogies easier.

Anonymous said...

These movies are explicit gay rights parables. See this:

http://www.movieline.com/2011/06/the-gay-rights-parable-of-x-men-first-class-is-very-real-says-screenwriter.php

I enjoy the part where one of the writers hits the stupid woman commenter on the head about missing the joke. Of course the dumb old broad was talking about the comics and brought her assumptions from them to the screen. What an old fool!

I don't read comics. Can anyone tell me whether Stan Lee was making closeted gay allusions? Or is this strictly a feature of the movies?

Puff Mammy

gfs said...

"In other words you see them the same one-sided way they have seen themselves for millenia - as eternal scapegoats. It makes a nice excuse for their obsession with seeking control, which also goes back millenia."

I see it more as political technique. Learn it, improve on it, counter it or be left behind.

David said...

>Is Yglesias saying that Jews should rule us because they're superior to us?<

Who isn't saying or implying it? Evangelical churches in the Bible Belt are, and so were the various media stories on that study of Ashkenazi intelligence a few years back.

Heck, even "Family Guy" repeated the assumption of our grandfathers when it said one's money is best handled by a Jewish accountant. (Our grandfathers were wrong.)

Ian said...

I think my main X-Men years were the mid 80s too. Sounds like you're referring to the Byrne years. I was reading during the Claremont/Romita Jr. run. Romita Jr was at the height of his abilities, halfway between his old-school style and what he would later become (way too geometric/graphic, not nearly enough love (he was drawing several books a month not too long ago)).

Issues #120-200, 1979-1985 for me - the Chris Claremont years for me. What I remember (especially the early issues of the run, John Byrne pencilling) were how detailed, exotic, and pretty the art was.

Yeah, the oppressed minority thing was mostly backdrop, but there were more than a few occasions when it took center stage. Days of Future Past (and all the stuff that followed from it) hung a lamp on it, for example. But I think the basic formula there was more to tap into teen angst, and less to push an agenda, though the latter is obviously there too.

Yup, as you say, issues 141-142 was PC-ed out. Also, the "God Love, Man Kills" graphic novel. Even as a little brainwashed communist/feminist/PC teenager, though, I remember thinking, "Can we skip the boring preachyness, and get back to smashing Brood aliens?"

TGGP said...

Whiskey, Rich Ross is Jewish. "Ross" is a fairly common jewish surname.

I always thought from the beginning the X-Men series was supposed to be an analogy to the civil rights movement (and could have sworn I heard Stan Lee say something to that effect). But since that's old news the movies switched the focus to gays.

ATBOTL said...

"I've said it before...is Yglesias just always stupid?"

Yes. Then he has the nerve to talk about "WASP male privilege" from his elite perch.

Simon in London said...

David:
">Is Yglesias saying that Jews should rule us because they're superior to us?<

Who isn't saying or implying it? Evangelical churches in the Bible Belt are..."

From what I know of Bible-Belt evangelicals, they believe that the Jews are still God's (most) Chosen People and that they embody certain admired traits such as hard work (the 'Protestant Work Ethic'). I've never heard any say anything like 'We Protestants should be ruled by Jews' though. In fact there's a lot of hostility to New York City with its 'Yankees'(!) - of course these New York Yankees are no longer New England WASPs, they're actually Jews and Catholics, but this is not something the Bible Belter thinks about.

So the Southern Evangelicals both:

1) Are strongly philo-Semitic, and will react strongly against any criticism of Jews as Jews.

2) Are hostile to 'New York Liberals', who happen to be mostly Jewish.

They do tend to be ecstatic about (even secular) non-Liberal Jews like Netanyahu, as Sailer has noted. They'd probably love our British Jews, who tend to be notably more religious and more conservative than in the US. My good ole boy Southern Redneck brother in law had a very religious London Jewish boyfriend for awhile. My wife commented wryly that when the girlfriend stayed overnight at our house, she brought her own provisions - "She'll have sex with my brother but won't eat my food" - well, she put it less delicately than that.

Simon in London said...

"London Jewish boyfriend" - should have been "girlfriend"!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of British Jews and the film industry, gorgeous Jewish Rachel Weisz said:

"Hollywood's run by Jews. I was advised by an American agent when I was about 19 to change my surname.

And I said "Why? Jews run Hollywood." He said "Exactly." He had a theory that all the executives think acting's a job for shiksas.

EMMA: Of all the self-loathing Jews
in the world, the most self-loathing are the Hollywood Jews. They don't want to see images of themselves on screen. That's why Lauren Bacall had to hide her identity, and Winona Ryder changed her name from Horowitz.

RACHEL: In some way acting is prostitution, and Hollywood Jews don't want their own women to participate. Also, there's an element of Portnoy's Complaint — they all fancy Aryan blondes."

http://www.indexmagazine.com/interviews/rachel_weisz.shtml

http://www.jewishjournal.com/hollywoodjew/item/is_rachel_weisz_an_undiscovered_box_office_gem_20091022/

Puff Mommy

Anonymous said...

Puff Mommy says:

No one answered my question about whether the comics were gay parables.

I'm guessing not, this is what the latter-day screen writers tacked on.

I think gorgeous Rachel's comments are a little yesterday.

Hollywood is run by gays. Mostly Jewish but a lot of goy gays too. The predominant identity is gay. Most of the top actors are bi or gay.

Puff Mommy

I wonder how long this can remain closeted.