Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man is the hero we Need

Kyle Smith has a real sharp analysis of the wonderful Iron Man 2, the kind of true blockbusters we really need today. Let me tell you, Avatar and its pseudo liberal (primitivism) is really annoying because it is not even thought out.
But what the heck. Hollywood's two biggest - Iron Man and Batman - are not liberal in any sense of the word. And I bloody love it.

Read the wonderful article here -


Just Another Film Buff said...

I haven't seen the film, but was interested by your synopsis yesterday. AFAIK, Individualism is in fact a liberal policy than conservative. And both of them neatly fall under capitalism. It's only the socialist liberals (why call themselves liberals, I don't know. May be to prevent red scare).

Smith's article is provocative, well written and questionable on many grounds. Yes, even I'm for a honest superhero movie instead of fake liberal films. But that does not give a reason to shed important, liberal tendencies.

America is already seeing the deadly consequences of a privatized defense system and advocating it further is only problematic.

"It celebrates the smartest, richest, most successful and most sophisticated among us because even when they pursue selfish goals, we benefit."

Civilization stands proof agtainst that statement. I'm suprised Smith still sticks to this.

In fact, TDK got it right. It cleraly elucidates what The Bat's neo-conservative policies result in - loss. I'm pretty sure that the film was critical of Batman's methods.

man in the iron mask said...

My man, individualism sure as hell is a liberal tendency, but it is a tendency based upon selfishness too. How much of today’s liberals really, truly believe in the virtues of selfishness?

As you so aptly put, much of today’s liberal tendencies flow along with the winds of socialism. I don’t know why everyone is so guilt-ridden, and why this streak of primitivism abounds much of our intelligentsia’s thinking.

I am with you, about important liberal tendencies, and I’m all for them. But, as humans, are we really liberal? As in, our basic nature? I don’t know. You name a liberal, and I show you a man guilty of his existence. In some of the other way.

The Dark Knight? I’m not sure it is critical, because the film, and Nolan, is never judgmental in his films. He is just digging deeper beneath the layer, and asking of us more and more about the true nature of things. What I would say is, that The Dark Knight is a conservative-authoritarian film, that is noble in its nature, that is aware of its power, and thus sharing truly compassionate (liberal) tendencies. In fact, Batman has just got started, because he, of all the people, knows there’s no other way the romantic anarchic/revolutionary tendencies can be stamped out of existence.

God I really missed these discussions man!!

Just Another Film Buff said...

God knows why Hollywood's pseudo-liberal films imbue the worst part of liberalism out there - primitivism - and damage the reputation of liberalism even more. Primitivism is just the liberal counterpart of the conservative demonizing of enemies and is equally harmful.

Both liberalism and conservatism are philosophies that are equally valid and deeply flawed. One advocates that the individual need not have any social responsibility and the other integrates the individuals for faux nationalistic causes. One needs to find a rational middle ground (that is if we still are speaking FOR capitalism).

Ronak M Soni said...

TDK: I found this film to be a thematic mess. It just felt like a sequence of Ayn-Rand-level-philosophy-questioning set-pieces that failed to become anything as a whole.
Wikipedia says that it is as often construed as a liberal film as a conservative one.

Smith's article: While he man went to great pains to prove to us that Stark is conservative, he doesn't spend a fraction of that effort telling us why that is such an awesome and laudable thing.
Look at this:
"Liberals may read this as an homage to their idol, but it’s a wicked takedown — because Iron Man is so obviously everything Obama isn’t. He represents the profit-hungry corporation heedless of "responsibility," military saber-rattling rather than soothing placation, America first rather than just one of the pack, individualism rather than the committee and the community, the super-rich spending their money on toys rather than spreading the wealth — and impish wit instead of sonorous self-importance."
How does this show stark in a positive light (except that he's funny, which he gloriously is).
And the part where he says "He vows to continue to "protect the world at the pleasure of — myself. And if there’s one thing you can count on me to do, it’s pleasure myself.""
Aren't many of the problems today that private people find the wrong thing pleasuring themselves?

I understand that these are larger problems with (economic) conservatism, but what I'm really trying to take to task here is Smith's one. He is elated while saying things that few but the stereotypical Southern Americans would not find ... well, not a good thing.
Instead of saying elated things about the good parts and saying "... and the bad things too", the man is saying elated things about the bad parts and (in some cases) expecting us to infer the good, which is plain wrong.

(On the con/lib debate, I am almost exactly where JAFB is.)

man in the iron mask said...

Ronak, Tony Stark is that rare superhero, probably the only one, who doesn’t give a hoot in hell about the other nations. He doesn’t believe, like Obama, in all nations equal (which I honestly believe is a pseudo-liberal thought), but instead believes that Uncle Sam is the man. That is a patriot, and as Oscar Wilde said, patriotism is a virtue of the vicious.
But then, more than patriotism, it is self righteousness that is virtue of the vicious, and I believe liberals who might hold Stark in negative light for this belief might be guilty of a certain degree of self righteousness.
So yes, Stark’s utter patriotism, and his honest belief in his own superiority makes him a true SUPERHERO. That is what makes him special. We all know what that honest belief is capable of. Otherwise, there has only ever been one Gandhi.
And as for The Dark Knight, well, the man in the batsuit is the classic iron hand. He knows we all ought to be disciplined. We just cannot be left to ourselves. There has got to be a larger eye which keeps us honest. We all got God. Gotham has Batman. I believe, what you refer to a thematic mess, is probably a clash of two ideologies – Batman and Joker.

Ronak M Soni said...

I don't think you quite got my point. I have no problems with Iron Man's and Batman's ideologies, but I felt that the article was celebrating the wrong things about Stark.
I think that most good things come with bad ones attached, and it is our responsibility to, first, weigh the two against each other and, second, celebrate the good and try to mitigate the bad. First step in mitigating the bad: not celebrating it.

I understand that the Joker's and Batman's were conflicting ideologies. I just felt that neither was particularly deep (see last paragraph for at least one important prerequisite for deep -- of course, Joker is exempt from said condition), and I also felt that there was ambiguity in the film's position which wasn't there.
However, it was wrong of me to mention it, because:
a) it was irrelevant.
b) I'll need to watch the film again before I can say more than I've just said.

Finally, I did watch Iron Man 2, and I'm not so sure that it's really in favour of Stark. Certainly, it takes an Ayn Rand's view of the liberals, but Stark employs his powers very irresponsibly. Yes, he gathers himself up for the final ac, but there's a reason Black Widow disqualifies Stark (but not Iron Man) for the Avengers initiative.
Of course, this stand would have had more prongs if glass actually hurt people in this world.