Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Thursday, May 27, 2004  

At the Movies

My recent excursion brought me into contact with a number of trailers for upcoming films. A lot of them are comic book super hero movies.

I noted to my wife later that it seems to me that ever since the first Batman movie came out, comic book movies portray their heroes as deeply conflicted, ambiguous about their power, lonely, isolated, and set in very dark, menacing worlds and cities.

I said, "It can't be an accident that all of these movies (see the new Spiderman 2 trailer)are so dark, somber, and joyless. Hollywood is injecting some sort of corporate angst into these things, a pyschological projection of sorts."

Then it occurred to me that they are projecting America's position as super power and our national attitude about it. Our hegemony is not a welcome situation (though why not? Someone might as well be the grown up.) to ourselves. We'd rather be left alone. We aren't rewarded for our labors or sacrifices in the world. And it isn't a lot of fun having to clean up other people's messes.

We are reluctant warriors, and hesitant hegemons. I think these movies about super heroes reflect that; or rather that the corporate mindset of Hollywood people reflects that (because red state Americans are generally optimistic and bold). The elite Hollywood artist liberals are timid, soft, and fearful. They hunger for power, but flatter themselves that they are sensitive to its corrupting influence, and are reluctant to have it.

To Hollywood's lost souls today, courage, strength, boldness, and leadership are to mocked, shunned, questioned, and despised. Why? Because even weak men want to feel good about themselves, so why not make weakness the virtue, and moral clarity the sin?

Notice how often that the villains in most movies have been created by greedy corporations or businessmen. We're supposed to hate, not the villain (he always gets humanized a bit), but those that created him -- the evil capitalists.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 2:43 PM |