Wednesday, April 09, 2008
superman that ho:
Ezra has a great column pivoting off Yglesias's great book:
Yet the internationalist vision was more deeply interwoven into our cultural fabric than we often realize. Superman and Captain America were superheroes of an odd sort: Tremendously powerful beings whose primary struggle was often to follow the self-imposed rules and strictures that lent their power a moral legitimacy. Neither allowed themselves to kill, and both sought to work within the law. Given their strength, either could have sought world domination, and even if they didn't, could have been viewed with deep suspicion and even hatred by those who were convinced they one day would seek world domination. It was only by following ostentatiously strict moral codes that they could legitimize their power, and thus exist cooperatively with a world that had every right to fear them. Indeed, soon enough, both were forming communities of likeminded super beings (The Justice League for Superman, the Avengers for Captain America) and generally operating much like, well, the nation that birthed them. As Spiderman -- a later hero who, like so many heroes, bought into the idea that rules and restraint separated the good guys from the bad guys -- liked to say, "with great power comes great responsibility."
An excellent point. For years I've had a burr under my saddle about an admittedly rare neoconservative trope: to advocate a "heroic" foreign policy. Tom Donnelly and Vance Serchuck wrote a 2004 piece for the Weekly Standard attacking John Kerry for not realizing that the U.S. is Batman. It was admittedly odd: I like my comic books, but I can also distinguish fantasy from reality.

Ezra's making me think twice. Maybe there's something to be said for Justice League or Iron Man approaches to foreign affairs.
--Spencer Ackerman
I always thought the original Startrek did more than a bit of proselytizing for "benign" US intervention in other parts of the world.

I guess its hard to do a "flying through the universe at warp speed" type of science fiction without getting that. But then that is not what happened when we sailed across the world in the last few centuries.
Blogger ndm | 11:18 AM

Punisher for President!

That ticket could've won in 2004.
Blogger Zed | 1:55 PM