Stan Lee, on Iron Man.
His intention, shared by many Iron Man writers over the years, is part of what makes this character for me. The best Iron Man stories put the character right on the edge of privileged despicability, and then make it all better somehow.
It’s when writers take Tony over that edge that he falls apart. He’s not self-important or theatrical enough to carry off pure villainy like Doom, or weird enough to be an Osborn. The interesting thing about Tony is his heroism.
it seems like the Oscars have just been BURSTING with white guilt these past few years - The Blind Side, Avatar, The Help (I’m sure the list is a hell of a lot longer - Blood Diamond?)
okay so hollywood is just bursting with white guilt. And racism! Simultaneously! I guess white guilt sort of depends on racism.
Good observation. Feeling guilty is probably the easiest, most do-nothing response to ~discovering racism. You’re like, totally concerned about these issues, man, but you like, don’t know what to do about them.
So you do nothing except experience all the feelings, all over the place. Everything is so horrible, so horrible… you need a break from the horrible, perhaps a heart warming animal story.
I’ve found a couple of untagged posts through reblog chains, so now I’m wondering if there are more eluding me.
Thanks in advance!
Trigger Warning: discussion of sexual assault.
Sexual violence is so ubiquitous in superhero comics that it is a part of the language. It’s a trope, a shortcut, a means to an end. It’s use is fetishistic: it’s about the hero; it’s about the trope itself. The dead girlfriend, the tragic sex worker, the battered wife—these are not characters, they’re props. Their abuse has a mystical value within the story. It signals that our hero is going to go dark, and then he’s going to prove his worth, by coming through the other side. And just trotting it out has some kind of value. It says, or tries to say, “this ain’t no funny book; this shit is real.”
Deep ecologists see this vague and undifferentiated humanity essentially as an ugly “anthropocentric” thing — presumably a malignant product of natural evolution — that is “overpopulating” the planet, “devouring” its resources, and destroying its wildlife and the biosphere — as though some vague domain of “nature” stands opposed to a constellation of nonnatural human beings, with their technology, minds, society, etc. Deep ecology, formulated largely by privileged male white academics, has managed to bring sincere naturalists like Paul Shepard into the same company as patently antihumanist and macho mountain men like David Foreman of Earth First! who preach a gospel that humanity is some kind of cancer in the world of life.
It was out of this kind of crude eco-brutalism that Hitler, in the name of “population control,” with a racial orientation, fashioned theories of blood and soil that led to the transport of millions of people to murder camps like Auschwitz. The same eco-brutalism now reappears a half-century later among self-professed deep ecologists who believe that Third World peoples should be permitted to starve to death and that desperate Indian immigrants from Latin America should be exclude by the border cops from the United States lest they burden “our” ecological resources.” —
Murray Bookchin (via servile-masses-arise)
Here’s the source: Social Ecology vs Deep Ecology: A Challenge for the Ecology Movement. Had to google this, because I’d never thought of Hitler as an environmentalist before.
Daniel LeBlanc (Globe and Mail) writes:
The first cracks have appeared in the NDP’s massive Quebec base, fuelling the sense the leaderless party is losing momentum in the province that is key to its dreams of forming the next government.
Elected as part of last year’s “Orange Wave,” Lise St-Denis stunned her colleagues Tuesday as she crossed the floor to the federal Liberals, arguing the NDP has lost the drawing card that proved so popular with electors eight months ago.
“They voted for Jack Layton. Jack Layton is dead,” Ms. St-Denis said about the former leader of the NDP at a news conference.
Well, it’s hardly the first time an MP has crossed the floor. For reference:
The NDP’s position on party switching is that MPs shouldn’t be able to retain their seats, but should stand up in a by election. That St-Denis chose to cross the floor and join the Liberals, and that this was in part motivated by the NDP’s stance on the Senate (they want it gone), is a pretty clear indication that she was never a good fit. It’s interesting that this involved a refutation of two of the party’s more radically democratic principles. (ie. that floor crossing is basically spitting in the face of constituents who put their faith in not just you, but your party, and that the Senate is an anti-democratic sham).
Technocracy’s been in the news a lot lately. @illusclaire asked for an explainer. This is… a post on the subject, although not as efficiently explain-y as it could be.
As a form of government, technocracy is sort of a hypothetical, sort of not. It’s a hypothetical in that no government has been constituted as technocratic, but it’s not hypothetical in that technocratic principles have been key to so many modern political movements.
Technocracy refers to rule by experts, usually scientists, both soft and hard.* The idea is that highly skilled people make better, more informed and more efficient decisions, than can regular elected representatives, kings and queens, and (especially) the people themselves. Political culture debased and your legislative process deadlocked? Send in the experts to right the wrongs of those vote-currying politicians and irrational voters!
It is, therefore, a profoundly undemocratic mode.
The temptation of technocracy is obvious. The political process is almost always frustrating, slow, and too often ridiculous. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just cut through that red tape and find real, lasting solutions? The fantasy is that the experts: a) have the best interests of the people in mind; b) know who the people are and what their interests are; and c) are capable of implementing complex solutions without having any previous experience in public policy. The technocratic fantasy relies on the common sense view that politicians are incompetent, corrupt, or both. Insoluble social problems are actually the result of political stupidity—therefore, experts will be able to find solutions. They can make society better, faster, stronger.
Probably the closest we’ve seen to a baldly technocratic government, is the Soviet Union. We can also see technocratic thinking in the new philanthropy exemplified by Bill Gates, and its underlying assumption that international development can be fixed by the hard work of a gifted few. Think too, of the post-war push to build highways in the United States, and thereby, to transform the country. And of course currently, technocracy is enjoying a vogue in Europe. Debt crisis? Why, send in the economists and CEOs. They’ll sort everything out, and ensure that we’re back to business as usual in no time. CEOs, of course, recognize that it just takes the right (and right thinking) people in charge.
Technocracy is, at it’s base, the idea that experts can, through the application of logic, expert knowledge, and technological solutions, re-engineer society so that it runs better. It’s been around since we first started fetishizing technology and rational thought, and it’s unlikely to go away any time soon. The more we’re inundated with reams of information, the more a kind of political curation (o brave new world, that has such political initiatives in it) is going to appeal.
* Some people argue that technocracy only refers to rule by HARD scientists and engineers. This is clearly not the case wrt the common usage. And considering most economists and finance people now start out in math, I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to link economists with technocracy. A quant, for example, is no Adam Smith style economist.