And all that stuff

Some notes on the Fourth of July….

: I was upset that the new Superman now fights for, in Perry White’s words, “truth, justice, and all that stuff.” Yes, all that stuff that we hold so dear on this day.

Was this a crass business decision in the age of globalism? Was it American self-loathing? Was it a joke?

Yet, of course, the movie is really about the American way. The dramatic theme underlying the action revolves around Lois Lane’s disillusionment with Superman. She wins her Pulitzer prize — as they are won these days — arguing against the use of power with an editorial that announced we don’t need Superman anymore.

But, of course, we do. The question is, who is Superman? Superman himself wonders that and so he goes off for five years to discover not much. And we in America wonder that. We used to see ourselves as the superpower that came to the rescue. But now we’re bungling a war. It is becoming popular to vilify us. And, I’m horrified to say, Americans abroad are starting to masquerade as the nationalistic version of Clark Kent: Canadians.

Yet we live in an age when evil is cartoon-clear. The bad guy today is not some vague and shadowy bunch hiding under beds. The bad guy today is as clearly identifiable as a comic-book villian. Lex Luthor is Bin Laden.

Where is Superman when we need him? He used to be around here somewhere.

: As it turns out, the abandonment of the American way was no accident and no joke. The Hollywood Reporter talks to the screenwriters, Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris:

“The world has changed. The world is a different place,” Pennsylvania native Harris says. “The truth is he’s an alien. He was sent from another planet. He has landed on the planet Earth, and he is here for everybody. He’s an international superhero.” . . . .

[T]hey penned their first draft together and intentionally omitted what they considered to be a loaded and antiquated expression. . . .

“We were always hesitant to include the term ‘American way’ because the meaning of that today is somewhat uncertain,” Ohio native Dougherty explains. “The ideal hasn’t changed. I think when people say ‘American way,’ they’re actually talking about what the ‘American way’ meant back in the ’40s and ’50s, which was something more noble and idealistic.”

Which is them saying that we’re not noble now.

While audiences in Dubuque might bristle at Superman’s newfound global agenda, patrons in Dubai likely will find the DC Comics protagonist more palatable. . . .

“So, you play the movie in a foreign country, and you say, ‘What does he stand for? — truth, justice and the American way.’ I think a lot of people’s opinions of what the American way means outside of this country are different from what the line actually means (in Superman lore) because they are not the same anymore,” Harris says. “And (using that line) would taint the meaning of what he is saying.”

The American way now taints movies. Every American should should be insulted that Superman is in such hands as theirs. If you think the American way needs updating and buffing up, what better way to do that than through an idealistic movie? But, no, now being pro-American — even at a time when America is attacked — us politically uncorrect.

: See this interview with Christian Cox, an American living in London, on the BBC web site.

She says the level of anti-Americanism she has experienced “feels like a kind of racism”.

“I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for Americans, or me, I just want people to realise that we are dealing with hatred too.” . . .

Ms Cox, 29, says she has been called, among other things, “terrorist”, “scum”, “low life”, and feels that she is constantly being held to account for the actions of President Bush and for US foreign policy. . . .

“But some people just fly off the handle without even talking to me – it’s as if they had been waiting to run into an American all day to let their feelings out,” she says.

To avoid confrontations she says she lowers her voice on the Underground and in pubs.

But in one incident an older man asked her directly if she was American.

“When I said yes he said: ‘I just want you to know that I think you are the poorest people I have ever met in my life’ – meaning we were low-life.

“I said I was sorry he felt that way, but that I disagreed.”

The man started shouting obscenities at her group. The row developed into a brawl and Ms Cox suffered a black eye as she tried to pull two people apart.

“After that I cried for two days, then booked a flight back to the States. I felt so hated, I needed to be with people who loved me.”

Some friends now advise her to tell people she is Canadian, to deflect potential abuse, an option she calls “sad”.

Yes, it is a form of racism. It’s not cool to announce a dislike of races or religions or nationalities — except, these days, America.

: It’s enough to make us feel German.

Thanks to an accident of junior-high teacher politics (nobody liked the French teacher), I ended up studying German and, as a result, came to visit, enjoy, and do business in Germany. Often when this comes up in conversation in America, there’s an awkward moment when it becomes clear that others think this makes me weird or worse and sometimes I find myself in the position of needing to defend Germans.

But a few weeks ago, when I was in Munich, I heard Americans say that they, like the American in London above, feel the need to hide their nationality for fear of attack or shame. They start saying ‘eh’ and ‘oot.’

At the same time, Germany, which for obvious reasons has tried to avoid pride and patriotism for 60 years, is suddenly rediscovering the swollen chest thanks to the World Cup. They produced a booklet listing 250 reasons to love Germany. They bought ads on my PATH trains saying that we should be friends. They held an adopt-a-German tour.

Yet while I was there, I also went to a movie about the dark days of the Stasi infiltrating friendships and offices and marriages in East Germany, leading to betrayal, imprisonment, and even death. That same is still fresh, still to be grappled with.

Who’s the Supermensch?

: Yesterday, I picked up The Times of London and read an essay — A Call for Clear Thinking — by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch MP who challenged Muslims to join the civilized order. In it, I see more stirring words about freedom than in Superman or any Independence Day picnic. It’s also timely coming just a few days before the first anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in London. She writes:

After the carnage of the terrorist bombings in London on July 7, 2005, Tony Blair defined the situation as a battle of ideas. “Our values will long outlast theirs,” he said, to the silent acquiescence of the world leaders who stood alongside him. “Whatever (the terrorists) do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilised nations throughout the world.”

By defining this as a battle of values, Blair raised the question: which values are at stake? Those who love freedom know that the open society relies on a few key shared concepts. They believe that all humans are born free, are endowed with reason and have inalienable rights. These governments are checked by the rule of law, so that civil liberties are protected. They ensure freedom of conscience and freedom of expression, and ensure that men and women, homosexuals and heterosexuals, are entitled to equal treatment and protection under the law. And these governments have free-trade practices and an open market, and people may spend their recreational time as they wish.

That is what I call truth, justice, and all that stuff. Perhaps she is the Superwoman we’ve been waiting for.

: Yet in our own Congress, our lawmakers do not understand all that stuff. Be very afraid that in multiple votes lately, a majority of both houses has cast off the First Amendment to vote in favor of censorship on our airwaves and for restricting the right to burn the flag. It’s so obvious: by trying to protect the symbol, they defeat what that symbol stands for — the very essence of truth, justice, and the American way.

Happy Fourth.

  • http://robertdfeinman.com/society Robert Feinman

    The question you are dancing around is: “Are Americans becoming good Germans?”

    If we don’t agree with actions being taken in our name what is the proper response? If one gets into an argument with a foreigner and says “well I don’t support the policies of my government”, then isn’t the proper response, “well what are you doing about it?”

    In prior periods of internal dissent civil unrest was much in evidence, from Bloody Kansas, to Civil War draft riots, to imprisonment and deportations of Wobblies and pacifists during WWI, to the Vietnam War protests.

    These days most people are disengaged. So I ask again, are we being good Germans?

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    Was this a crass business decision in the age of globalism? Was it American self-loathing? Was it a joke?

    I would have been willing to chalk it up to just Perry White being Perry White, the gruff, no-nonsense newsman. But the writers had to go and try to explain themselves.

    The question you are dancing around is: “Are Americans becoming good Germans?”

    Godwin. Take care.

  • http://dcwatch.com Gary Imhoff

    Bravo; you wrote exactly what I was thinking when I read the Hollywood Reporter story. The problem, however, is not what other nations think of America. We are the only superpower, and it is natural that other nations would be envious and spiteful toward us, reluctant to work with us and assist us, and happy at any of our stumbles or defeats. We can live with that, and eventually recapture their admiration. The problem is the fifth column at home, the intellectuals and pseudointellectuals anxious to prove their superiority to other Americans by parading their low opinion of their country and countrymen; and the copperhead Democrats who root for America’s enemies to defeat us.

  • http://lonewacko.com/ TLB

    Note that in addition to excising “the American way”, they also portray Superman as “undocumented”. Things don’t just appear in movies by accident. While there might even be a memo somewhere, I’d imagine that it was probably made known that those behind the film wanted to promote a certain outlook.

  • http://erasend.blogspot.com kingdom2000

    Sorry but I agree with the writers on this one. “American Way” no longer has the clear “we want to be them” meaning it used to. The world sees the American Way as ignorance, violence and the attempt to force rule over others. They don’t see it as democracy (say gay admendments), justice (OJ, the litigation society we have), truth (foxnews), and a better way of life (off shoring, a sputtering economy).

    Using the term is simply not the endearment it use to be nor is the definition nearly has universial as it used to be many moons ago.

    Also, economics forces one hands. For a movie that costs $265 million to make, you want audiences to pay to see it all over the world, not refuse to see it because they use their definition of “American Way” instead of our definition. For all that talk, I don’t recall that phrase even being used in the Chris Reeves movies. It was probably smarter to have left it all out then even use a bit of it.

    Lke it or not, the definition of “American Way” is not what it use to mean nor is it looked kindly upon by the rest of the world. Using the phrase in some hollywood movie will not change that either. That takes leadership and vision, something we currently lack across the board in our political environment.

  • http://www.syracuse.com/news/tracker/ Brian Cubbison

    Does anyone remember the New York Newsday slogan, “Truth, Justice … and the Comics”?

  • Jimmy

    Why does this matter? So what if he doesn’t say “the American way”? When did Superman become only an American ideal? Why is it in the 21st century Superman must only fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way? Why can’t he fight for Truth and Justice for all people in the world? This is such a silly and childish discussion. Granted, the producers could have bypassed all this crap by just not saying it at all, but now it’s too late and the right wing is screaming about a liberal Hollywood plot.

    By the way, kingdom2000, the phrase “truth, justice, and the American Way” was used in Superman: The Movie when Lois is doing her original interview. Moreover, in Superman II, after Supes has defeated the super villains from Krypton, he’s shown carrying a flag back to the destroyed White House. I do think you’re right, however, a $200+ million movie must be palatable for the entire world, not just the American market, which often doesn’t allow a movie to recoup all costs. However, movies can be edited for different markets, so that point is really moot.

    Let’s remember, people, it’s a movie. If we want to reclaim the American Way for the world, we need to get our shit together at home.

  • Mark

    But now we’re bungling a war.

    By what objective measure do you conclude that we’re bungling a war?

    It is becoming popular to vilify us.

    It’s not “becoming” popular, it has always been thus and will always be — we still help any comers though and always will.

    Anyway, from my reading of a variety of reviews and informal comments here and there, I think Superman sounds like a good flick overall and will look forward to the DVD release.

  • adslfan

    superman creator is not from the USA .

    Joseph “Joe” Shuster (July 10, 1914 – July 30, 1992) was a Canadian-born artist best known for co-creating Superman with Jerry Siegel.

  • http://conservatism.crispynews.com/ ashok

    Mr. Jarvis: I thought your meditation was beautiful. Some points of disagreement, but they’re trivial.

    Mr. Feinman: You ask “If we don’t agree with actions being taken in our name what is the proper response?”

    That’s a very good question, and a very difficult question. Lincoln’s Lyceum Speech is what I use to generate discussion about all the issues it raises.

    In Lyceum, Lincoln wonders what we ought to make of the acts of lawlessness that are gaining acceptance as a legitimate form of popular expression. He argues that even when the acts of lawlessness end up remedying a great injustice, they only do so temporarily, because they attack the order which all is founded on.

    His solution is that we reverence the Founding, and not look for populist solutions to immediate problems always. Populist solutions can bring tyranny into play very quickly. So “truth, justice and the American way” meant a lot to Abraham Lincoln. You couldn’t have either “truth” or “justice” without a respect for the “American way,” which is republicanism making democracy feasible as opposed to purely popular rule.

    The question for is whether lawlessness is the same thing as dissent in our current times. We’re clearly not lawless in terms of lynch mobs and riots and a civil war in Kansas. But we suffer from something analogous: there is active lawlessness, where one forms mobs to kill people, and passive lawlessness, where we advance skepticism and conspiracy theory to put down anyone that has been charged with “leading” us, or express complete shock at the notion that a great power might have to have a foreign policy.

    We shout people who know better down; cite what we Google as a relevant source of “facts” (I’ve been told more than once all I need to know about Iraq comes from googling the words “miserable failure”); put down our leaders no matter what they do, wrong or right, and agitate ourselves over trivial issues without complete knowledge of the facts, because we have a voice to be heard, and it must be heard. That’s what democracy is all about. Shouting and whining.

    I argue that what we’re seeing in the ambivalence about American goodness isn’t legitimate dissent. It’s the “why can’t we all get along” feeling that underlies anarchist sentiments, at best. The larger truth is that we’re decadent, and that tendency will create lawlessness the second our wealth and power can’t solve every problem.

  • http://zmannzilla.com Z. Mann Zilla

    While we’re discussing this, what about the implications of “Nacho Libre”? Is this a metaphor for all our jobs (represented by Jack Black) going to Mexicans? Is “Snakes On A Plane” a metaphor for the state of the U.N., since all the snakes come from different countries? Did anyone catch the subtle undertones regarding our dependance on foreign oil while watching “Cars”?

    I have a sense of what’s going on in the world, I have a desire to prove that, American or otherwise, I have a desire to do good for people, and I have a voter registration card. What I DON’T have, is air-conditioning and a big screen TV. I go to movie theatres for these things, not political commentary. If Al Gore really wants to make his point, he can air his documentary as a free internet download, or as a free rental at Hollywood Video. If Superman wants to reinforce (or censor) my visions of the American ideal, he’ll have to come to my house during Monday Night RAW and do it himself.

  • http://www.downes.ca Stephen Downes

    As a Canadian, I am genuinely sorry to see the state of the union south of the border.

    The problem with “Truth, justice and the American way” is that it conjures up an image of Superman standing beside a pile of naked, tortured Iraqis, puffing on a cigarette. Of him lashing out with indiscriminate force, not caring whether he kills insurgents or young children. Of him callously executing prisoners. Of him abandoning rule of law, imprisoning people, most of whom are innocent, without trial in illegal detention camps. Of him invading nations on false pretexts, lying to Congress and the people.

    It’s tempting to say it’s just Bush, it’s just the government. But the American people turned around and re-elected the same government that did all this, by an even wider margin.

    That’s how it became ‘the American Way’. And that’s why the American way is considered repugnant to so many people around the world today. That’s why the phrase can no longer be associated with a universal symbol of truth and justice.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    Hollywood is about thirty years behind the curve on this one — comics have been wrestling with what it “means” to be a superhero ever since the 60′s, when all of a sudden the previously unquestioned assumption (in popular culture at least) that the United States was always on the side of the good became a legitimately debatable point, even in the funny pages. Bradford Wright’s Comic Book Nation is a great exploration into the relationship of comics to the American Weltanschauung. DC icons such as Superman and Batman and Marvel heroes like Iron Man and Captain America all started out as unequivocal champions of the status quo, only to have their motivations shift and become more complex over time as our own understanding of the world outside our doorstep broadened and deepened.

    Superman still stands for truth and justice, but even though he was literally born on another planet, he’s no longer so naive as to assume that any one nation has an exclusive claim to such concepts. I fail to see how the idea that right and wrong transcend any superficial notions as the country one was born in (or adopted by in Supes case) is “insulting” to anyone except for people who are so vested in an infantile view of the world that they cannot tolerate the fact that even our popular culture must eventually grow up.

    Interesting aside: DC Comics occasionally explores the relationship of Superman to America in the form of a series of graphic novels called “Elseworlds” which lie outside of the regular continuity of established characters and their respective plots. In one of the most popular of these offerings — called Red Son, written by Mark Millar — Kal-El crashes in the heartland of the Soviet Union instead of Kansas and is raised to be a champion of truth, justice, and the proletariat. Does the hero emerge, regardless of the accidents of one’s upbringing? And they say that comics are only for kids!

  • http://www.mguhlin.net/blog Miguel Guhlin

    Excellent points made. The only question I have is, and as Stephen alludes to, “If Superman were really here, on whose side would he fight?”

    THAT is a question that would make Captain America bow his head in shame…of course, this excerpt from Wikipedia is relevant to Superman, wouldn’t you say?

    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.”

    Good thing Captain America isn’t around anymore. Maybe we should let Superman slip away, too.

  • http://conservatism.crispynews.com/ ashok

    This has been a very good thread. Am learning a lot from all of you.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.gheffect.com Rachel

    Happy 4th of July. A lot has been achieved in a short period of time, enthusiastic Americans.

    Live long America but that’s gonna be possible only when a saviour Superman replaces Bush, how cum country’s trusting a man who’s always sitting on a fence(halting between two sides, which one to go). Instant action is needed. Nways…………..

  • Brian

    Good job keeping on top of the news, Jeff — the New York Times had an op-ed about this a week ago.

  • David

    >I heard Americans say that they, like the American in London above, feel
    >the need to hide their nationality for fear of attack or shame.

    Now you know how muslims and south asians feel when they walk down the streets of america.

    >But, no, now being pro-American — even at a time when America is
    >attacked — us politically uncorrect.

    Being PC has nothing to do with why they made the change from the American Way, it has to do with $$$$$$$$$’s which is what the American Way has become these days.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Well, Brian, ducky for them. I decided to write about this on July 4.

  • Pingback: Winger Blog » …and all that stuff

  • http://www.wingercomics.com/ Carson Fire

    This is a little off topic, but Jeff repeats something here that really annoys me, especially around Independence Day. I really like this “bungling the war” meme that’s developed on the left. “We’re bungling the war — but we support the troops!”

    Getting Zarquawi embarrassed Democrats just as they thought they were winning the global war against Republicans, and I’ve heard nothing but the desperate chant of bungling bungling bungling ever since. But if we are bungling the war, you cannot say that the troops are doing a great job, but Bush is bungling; they are not that separable. How do you think the troops feel hearing you say that we’re “bungling”, especially after Zarquawi?

    The greatest bungling going on right now is coming from the left — the bungling of the New York Times in printing harmful secrets, the bungling of the left in doing everything they can to assist our enemies in fighting us. And, of course, the bungling of Democrats of being incapable of winning elections that are prefaced every time with great predictions of a massive shift in public opinion against Bush, the war, and Republicans. Bunglers, indeed!

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    Miguel,

    Captain America is alive and well, and currently leading the “resistance” against the government’s mandatory registration of superheroes in the much-ballyhooed Civil War crossover event that’s going on in Marvel Comics right now. The NYT wrote about it back in February.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    But if we are bungling the war, you cannot say that the troops are doing a great job, but Bush is bungling; they are not that separable.

    Absolute rubbish. The disconnect between an individual soldier’s honor and the incompetence of his generals has been recognized since Homer’s Iliad (the original “bungled” war). You have the burden of millennia against you in attempting to sell this desperate logical fallacy.

    Anecdotal evidence to further disprove your claim: up here in Gloucester, Mass. — a fiercely patriotic town since World War Two, when twice the average number of residents enlisted to fight the Axis Powers — we had a demonstration by the local Veterans for Peace chapter in the annual Fishtown Horribles/July 4th parade. I expected an ugly reception, but the lone boo was drowned out by applause and cheers.

    Don’t tell the families of active servicemen and veterans that they can’t support the troops while at the same fault the leadership which gambles away their lives so carelessly. In doing so you insult both their honor and their intelligence.

    That being said, of course it’s good news that al-Qaeda’s number two is dead. But it’ll be even better news when the carbombings stop in Iraq. Even the more red-meat hawks on your end of the political spectrum are beginning to suspect that the two have very little to do with one another, and that even if we paraded Osama bin Laden’s severed head on a pike through downtown D.C., we’d still have a godawful mess on our hands in downtown Baghdad with no end in sight.

  • http://www.wingercomics.com/ Carson Fire

    “The disconnect between an individual soldier’s honor and the incompetence of his generals”

    That’s right, you’re dragging the generals into it, as well. You have to, because the Bush administration has for the most part avoided micro-managing the military, which is why the left insults the troops every time they complain about specific failings. Bin Laden didn’t elude capture in the Oval Office, after all, he eluded capture in the field.

    And, yippee for self-deceptive anecdotal evidence of the huge shift away from Bush and to the anti-war left! If anecdotal evidence counted as votes, you’d rule the world by now. Did you really expect people to boo *veterans*? I’d applaud them, myself, as they walked by, even though I disagreed with their message.

  • Andy Freeman

    > we had a demonstration by the local Veterans for Peace chapter in the annual Fishtown Horribles/July 4th parade. I expected an ugly reception,

    Why would you expect an ugly reception? It wasn’t our side that said it “supports the troops” but spat on them.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    That’s right, you’re dragging the generals into it, as well. You have to, because the Bush administration has for the most part avoided micro-managing the military, which is why the left insults the troops every time they complain about specific failings.

    First of all, I was using the term “general” loosely to connote the leadership as a whole. Second, are you nuts? Rumsfeld has not only been micromanaging the Iraq war since day one (when he gutted General Shinseki’s call for a half million troops), but he’s also allowed the troops to suffer on the macro level as well in order to prove his pet theories about what the military of the 21st century should look like.

    As for Bin Laden, if anyone should be to blame for his still being at large, it should be General Tommy Franks, who so thoroughly botched operations in Tora Bora back in 2002 that most of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda who weren’t completely suicidal were able to escape before being killed or captured. And yet how was this man rewarded for his incompetence? Why, he was put in charge of the Iraq invasion! How can you not lay this kind of serial stupidity at the feet of the Bush Administration?

    Finally, my anecdotal evidence had nothing to do with proving any shift away from Bush but disproving your assertion that one cannot support the troops and find fault with military leadership at the same time. Your statement “Did you really expect people to boo *veterans*” in fact proves my point, not yours. Americans are smart enough to know the difference between decent people forced to do a crappy job and the ones who created the shithole in the first place. Attempts to conflate the two are rightly being seen as the desperate rhetorical scramblings of a party about to get hammered at the polls come November.

  • http://www.wingercomics.com/ Carson Fire

    But, little one, you said that they marched as the “Veterans for Peace”, which only proves that a) veterans can be peace activists, and b) people generally aren’t going to boo veterans. If you have a quote from one of the Veterans for Peace accusing Bush of bungling, that still doesn’t address how the current troops feel about this abhorrent leftist rhetoric.

  • http://www.lostremote.com Safran

    May I offer that it’s possible the quote was simply meant to reflect Perry White’s cynicism? (I don’t know that I believe it, but it’s a thought.) Sometimes when people quote Shakespeare, they’re really quoting one of his characters. It’s not that Shakespeare believes “neither a borrower nor a lender be,” it’s that the character Shylock does. Maybe this is simply a case of this – that Perry White is cynical about “the American way” now.

    Oh, and for a totally different take on Superman, I highly recommend “SUPERMAN: RED SON” which envisions what the Caped One would have been like if he had been born in the Soviet Union: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman:_Red_Son

    Or, SUPERMAN: TRUE BRIT which dittoes above, born in the UK (and was co-written by John Cleese) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman:_True_Brit

  • T. Tucker

    To Jimmy: (posted above) If this is such a “silly and childish” discussion, why are you participating in it? Yes, it is just a movie, but Hollywood movies are one of America’s biggest and most important exports, and movies influence culture and opinion.

  • bago

    Lets face it, when the country advocates the suspension of habeas corpus and the use of torture, why would the ultimate symbol of good want to weigh himself down with such barbaric atrocities?

    When the manuals of the NKVD and the NSA can’t be told apart from context, you’ve got some serious thinking to do.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    Carson: I don’t have any quotes, but how about the fact that three of the veteran activists were dressed as Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld in chains and prison uniforms, while others carried signs accusing the three of war crimes? For a display like that to have garnered a significant amount of applause and only one lone boo seems quite remarkable to me. Even my mother-in-law clapped for that, and she’s a far cry from a liberal!

    And as for this “abhorrent leftist rhetoric”, 62% of Americans polled currently disapprove of the way Bush has handled the situation in Iraq. Awful lot of leftists out there these days, eh? Boo! We’re hiding under your bed.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    Lets face it, when the country advocates the suspension of habeas corpus and the use of torture, why would the ultimate symbol of good want to weigh himself down with such barbaric atrocities?

    That’s basically the central theme to Marvel Comics’ Civil War, in which Captain America refuses to help the government round up and imprison vigilantes who refuse to reveal their identities in the wake of a 9/11-like event involving superheroes. It’s a bit heavy-handed as far as plots go, but I’m glad that someone feels the need to open a discussion about whether our country has lost its way over the past five years.

    Another extremely successful Marvel franchise has been their Ultimates series of comic books, in which they reimagine their flagship characters without any the tradition constraints imposed by maintaining continuity. In this 21st century reboot pretty much every superhero is the result of a national super-soldier experiment, so the issue that Jeff originally addressed in this entry is explored at length: what does it mean to be an American hero?

    Safran: I haven’t had a chance to pick up True Brit yet, but I absolutely loved Red Son. The artwork alone (riffing on the Soviet realists at their best/worst) was worth the cover price!

  • Sick N’ Tired

    I am sick and tired of everyone (mostly non-Americans but plenty in our own country) who describes our prosecution of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as some sort of reckless rambage leaving a wake of dead and mutilated innocents in our path. These people have obviously never been to war or given any thought as to the realities of how a war is fought. War is not “Heck”. War is “Hell”, pure and simple. And the war in the Middle East is its own brand of that hell.
    The terrorists choose to integrate themselves into the civilian population by turning schools and hospitals and mosques into military encampments. They launch their attacks from these locations and intentionally slaughter men women and children indiscrimenantly. To stop these horrific attacks our military has to go where the terrorists are. They use extraordinary restraint in ferreting out these murderers but unfortunately the occassional innocent gets caught up in the honest attempt to protect them. This is an sad, unfortunate result of war.
    Remember, this is a life and death struggle for our military personnel as well and often times they are injured or killed in their attempt to avoid civilian casualities.
    Where is the discussion about the schools and hospitals that have been built?
    What about the basic utility services that are available to more people than ever in those regions and would be available to even more if the terrorists would stop trying to knock them out as fast as we can provide them?
    What about the little girls attending school and learning to read and write? They never were allowed to before.
    How about the tens of thousands of people avoiding prosecution and persecution simply for belonging to the wrong religious sect that never enjoyed that sort of protection before?
    You want to call America scum because we say a harsh word to a prisoner that days before was blowing up school busses with children. We’re suppossed to feel guilty for using sleep deprevation in an attempt to find out where Bin Laden is hiding.
    I’ll tell you what, call me anything you like. Just don’t call me the next time you’re up to your ears in alligators.
    For those who think we are never justified in using our military I can only say if you think you’d be comfortable wearing a turbin, go right ahead, but I’ll stick with my baseball cap and anyone who tries to take it from me had better be ready for a brawl.

  • http://www.francispage.net Christopher Francis

    If Americans are being called “terrorist,” “scum,” and “low life” like Ms. Cox says, isn’t the problem the ignorance of the accuser rather than the bad image of the accused? Yes, a lot of Americans voted for Bush. But a lot of them didn’t. If the haters would do their homework, they would see this. I don’t see this as a new problem, just a particularly depressing one, made more depressing by Americans posing as Canadians to avoid bullying.

    Be American. Be proud to be American, even if you don’t approve of your government. Tell the haters you don’t approve of (Iraq/Bush/torture/whatever) but you love your freedom. Tell them you voted for Kerry (if you did). Hiding your nationality will do nothing to end prejudice. Peaceful, moderate Muslims have suffered for years because their leaders have not raised their voices loudly enough against prejudice and terrorism. You are not to blame for the misdeeds of governments, even if you voted for the people in them. They messed up, not you. The inability of the ignorant to separate governments from the governed will not go away. Do not allow others to make you carry that cross.

  • William

    Superman stands for Truth, Justice, and the American Way! There is no play of words that make that not so. He is an American Icon…about America, from America.

    So we’ve reached the point where we sell our contry for a few marketing bucks from other countries where American isn’t a shinny as she used to be. Business has no pride

    It’s becuase we’ve sunk to this level that this makes me angry.

  • Spunky

    . . . the last time I checked, Canada was part of America.

    nationalist asshats.