RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 145,294
Posts: 5,720,325
Members: 25,765
Currently online: 356
Newest member: tiffany1994

TrekToday headlines

Where No Garden Gnome Has Gone Before
By: T'Bonz on May 22

Scotland Yard Trekkie Fear
By: T'Bonz on May 22

Koenig Joins Captain Pike Project
By: T'Bonz on May 22

Retro Review: Ex Post Facto
By: Michelle on May 22

Smallwood: Creating The Xindi
By: T'Bonz on May 21

Greenwood Joins O.J. Simpson Series
By: T'Bonz on May 21

The USS Enterprise Building
By: T'Bonz on May 20

Wheaton Guests On Mission Log Podcast
By: T'Bonz on May 20

Pegg: Star Trek 3 Less Trek-Y
By: T'Bonz on May 20

Two Trek Book Covers Unveiled
By: T'Bonz on May 19


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

Science Fiction & Fantasy All your nerd stuff goes here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 12 2008, 03:41 PM   #1
stj
Rear Admiral
 
stj's Avatar
 
Location: the real world
politics of iron man

Ran across this in the Superman under pressure thread---
...on the subject of Iron Man, if you think that everybody loved it, I've got something to show you.
As for generally praising the Air Force, I think after Stargate SG-1's ten year run, nothing---no, not anything---will compete in shameless flattery. Just not worth talking about in connection with Iron Man.

One ironic reversal they omitted to discuss was Iron Man saving some Afghan villagers. In reality, the US and its cohorts are indifferent at best to civilian casualties from indiscriminate use of its superior firepower. At worst, the civilian population is attacked to punish it for supporting opponents.

If the movie had left Stark's kidnappers as Asian Communists, it would have properly been perceived as hysterically villainizing the People's Republic and/or North Korea. These authors miss that not only did the real Talebans and predecessors receive US backing, but that the villains in the movie are receiving US backing. Stark seeing his company logo on the weapon that takes him down was a major moment. The story later on tells us that Stane was doing so as a rogue. The way that Stane at one point locks out Stark out of his own office rather does make Stane seem rather official though.

When Stark comes back to the US, and takes up beating swords into plowshares and talking about taking control of his weapons, it is not a ringing endorsement of the Afghan war, to say the least. Indeed, given the US' role in the creation of the Taleban, it reads as if the script is saying that we in the form of our hero should take control of foreign policy. Of course, not only is taking control not quite the same thing as antiwar, even if the story advocates disarmament of a sort. Also of course, what Stark actually does is perfect his battle armor. But then, the character is explicitly portrayed as quite unskilled in serious thinking about anything but engineering (to put it generously.)

I was not a big Iron Man reader. I had no idea who Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger was. In fact, I hadn't heard of Rhodes and only heard of War Machine on this bbs in discussions of the movie. However, even I had heard of the Mandarin and his Ten Rings. The fact that the movie explicitly names the villainous band the Ten Rings, aside from foreshadowing the Mandarin (Iron Man 2?) also explicitly makes the movie not about kicking Taleban ass. There are no visual tags of the band as Muslim. The villagers Iron Man saves look like stereotypical Muslims, but not the Ten Rings band, at least to my unsophisticated eyes.

The question is, what did the story say to people who didn't know what Ten Rings meant? Did those people just overlook the somewhat atypical look of the Ten Rings soldiers and read them as Taleban? The intentional changes to the basic Iron Man origin story---blown up by his own weapons, tortured by a non-Muslim warlord in Afghanistan (an astonishing concept, no?) dissenting from government control of his weaponry, leaving the arms business, saving Afghan villagers (nothing like that happened in early Iron Man to my knowledge---or even later?) Stane's official role, if only as stockholder---reveal the intent to minimize prowar implications of the movie.

But Hollywood does like to play it both ways. The new story says one thing. Visually, the torture scenes and Iron Man blasting the evil kidnappers are most easily read as saying the opposite. What did people like about Iron Man? Was it the excellent humorous dialogue, the antibombastic score, a Pepper with some brains and dignity, the careful rewriting of the basic story against gungho warmongering, the warmth of the Stark/Yensin relationship and Stark's humanity? Or was it just the cool way he's blasting the bad guys?
__________________
The people of this country need regime change here, not abroad.
stj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12 2008, 04:08 PM   #2
stonester1
Rear Admiral
 
stonester1's Avatar
 
Re: politics of iron man

One ironic reversal they omitted to discuss was Iron Man saving some Afghan villagers. In reality, the US and its cohorts are indifferent at best to civilian casualties from indiscriminate use of its superior firepower. At worst, the civilian population is attacked to punish it for supporting opponents.
I love how you say this as if a. you are an authority on this and b. this is actually standard procedure.

Have you ever actually been to war, stj? Have you ever seen a fire support mission up close.

I have.

I can tell you this, this is NOT typical. Does it happen? Yes. But to describe standard US combat procedures as callous towards civilians is at the very least one of ignorance. At worst, it speaks of an agenda against those who defend your right to slam them on the internet.
stonester1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12 2008, 05:03 PM   #3
Sharr Khan
Rear Admiral
 
Sharr Khan's Avatar
 
Location: USA Ct
View Sharr Khan's Twitter Profile
Re: politics of iron man

In reality, the US and its cohorts are indifferent at best to civilian casualties from indiscriminate use of its superior firepower.
In your delusional mind maybe...

As someone already said, yes these things happen but not out of callousness that you think they do happen out of disregard for civilians says more about yourself then anything the US Military does.

I also take umbrage with your characterization "indiscriminate", as if every Soldier's John Rambo rising out of a swamp to fire on anything that moves: Target, child or small puppy without care for the actual mission. That's not how it works but for in hollywood.

Sharr
Sharr Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12 2008, 07:59 PM   #4
Temis the Vorta
Fleet Admiral
 
Temis the Vorta's Avatar
 
Location: Tatoinne
Re: politics of iron man

stonester1 wrote: View Post
One ironic reversal they omitted to discuss was Iron Man saving some Afghan villagers. In reality, the US and its cohorts are indifferent at best to civilian casualties from indiscriminate use of its superior firepower. At worst, the civilian population is attacked to punish it for supporting opponents.
I love how you say this as if a. you are an authority on this and b. this is actually standard procedure.

Have you ever actually been to war, stj? Have you ever seen a fire support mission up close.

I have.

I can tell you this, this is NOT typical. Does it happen? Yes. But to describe standard US combat procedures as callous towards civilians is at the very least one of ignorance. At worst, it speaks of an agenda against those who defend your right to slam them on the internet.
And what exactly does this topic have to do with SF/F? Sounds like a weak excuse to try to drag TNZ into this forum. Lame.

I think I'll believe the word of the guy who's actually been in combat over anyone else.
Temis the Vorta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13 2008, 01:41 AM   #5
Harvey
Admiral
 
Harvey's Avatar
 
Re: politics of iron man

Can't say I agree with the OP on all counts, but Iron Man definitely appeared to be a war on terror fantasy to me. Nothing strikes home this point further than the scene where Iron Man goes to rescue the Afghan villagers from the terrorists who previously captured him. Tony's suit perfectly differentiates between enemies and friendlies, conveniently marking them in red and green, and takes out the bad guys with complete precision.

Of course, in reality, the trouble with American war efforts in the middle east is that it is often impossible to differentiate between civilians and combatants. And, with nearly three decades of "smart bombs" under our belt, it's pretty clear that such weapons are never as accurate as we'd like them to be.

My biggest beef has to be with how completely stupid the terrorist characters act, in order to faciliate the plot, but I'd rather not linger on that.

The thing I liked about Iron Man had nothing to do with its insipid politics. Tony Stark was just a lot of fun to watch (the humor carried the movie), as were Gwenyth Paltrow as a surprisingly capable Pepper Potts and Jeff Bridges as a character who is totally subservient to the plot, but manages to eat up the scenery with such glee that he's almost as much fun to watch as Robert Downey Jr.
__________________
"This begs explanation." - de Forest Research on Star Trek

My blog: Star Trek Fact Check.
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13 2008, 06:56 AM   #6
stonester1
Rear Admiral
 
stonester1's Avatar
 
Re: politics of iron man

Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post

Of course, in reality, the trouble with American war efforts in the middle east is that it is often impossible to differentiate between civilians and combatants. And, with nearly three decades of "smart bombs" under our belt, it's pretty clear that such weapons are never as accurate as we'd like them to be.
Welcome to insurgency 101.
__________________
"New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled, the humiliating question arises, 'Why then are you not taking part in them?' " - H. G. Wells
stonester1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13 2008, 09:56 AM   #7
Andrew Harris
Writer
 
Andrew Harris's Avatar
 
Location: San Diego
Send a message via AIM to Andrew Harris
Re: politics of iron man

I think people read into the film a bit too much, probably because of the current political climate. The way Tony Stark is portrayed in the film is pretty much the way he's always been in the comics, for 40+ years--in fact, if I'm not mistaken, legend has it that Stan Lee created him as a writing challenge specifically to see if he could take an arrogant bastard weapons dealer and still make him a hero.
__________________
Andrew Steven Harris
Blog: http://andrewstevenharris.wordpress.com
AIM/Twitter: XAndrewHarrisX
Andrew Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13 2008, 10:59 AM   #8
darkwing_duck1
Vice Admiral
 
Location: the Unreconstructed South
Re: politics of iron man

stonester1 wrote: View Post
One ironic reversal they omitted to discuss was Iron Man saving some Afghan villagers. In reality, the US and its cohorts are indifferent at best to civilian casualties from indiscriminate use of its superior firepower. At worst, the civilian population is attacked to punish it for supporting opponents.
I love how you say this as if a. you are an authority on this and b. this is actually standard procedure.

Have you ever actually been to war, stj? Have you ever seen a fire support mission up close.

I have.

I can tell you this, this is NOT typical. Does it happen? Yes. But to describe standard US combat procedures as callous towards civilians is at the very least one of ignorance. At worst, it speaks of an agenda against those who defend your right to slam them on the internet.
Indeed...IF we were as callous as the OP suggests, we would have won the actual combat phase of the war much sooner utilizing total war concepts rather than the limited war strategy we ultimately chose.

IF we didn't care about the civilians, we wouldn't've had soldiers brought up on charges by "chair-borne ranger" REMF officers who decided that soldiers on the battlefield should abide by Law Enforcement RoEs.
darkwing_duck1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13 2008, 02:04 PM   #9
stj
Rear Admiral
 
stj's Avatar
 
Location: the real world
Re: politics of iron man

Judging from the posts I've bothered to read, it is plain that Iron Man is indeed like Dark Knight---the heroes' cruelty to "bad" guys is what it's all about.

The US in not at war in Afghanistan or Iraq to defend my right to free speech. The US, via Pakistan's InterService Intelligence, created and funded the Taleban, as well as its predecessors in the mujaheddin. Repeatedly bombing a country that has already surrendered also inevitably kills civilians. Both policies inevitably kill civilians. Both policies are intentional. Intentionally killing civilians shows indifference. No reason for staying in Afghanistan and Iraq shows anything but indifference to the population. It's this bigoted tripe that exposes an agenda.

Anyone who believes that the US is defending the right to free speech in Afghanistan and Iraq is plainly too nuts to reliably understand his own personal experience. On the other hand, veterans of comabat like William Lind (try your Lew Rockwell link!) and Dan Taylor and independent journalists like Patrick Cockburn are much more reliable sources. Also, the notion that only veterans can talk about Afghanistan and Iraq is ridiculous. Militarism has rotted the brain completely. Or it's just dishonest.

The idea that the US has held back militarily is extraordinary. Such a remarkable claim really needs some support. As it is, it just smells like blood lust.

Andrew Harris---the simpleminded viciousness of the other posts reinforces my belief that the political overtones are a great source of pleasure. As to your belief that movie-Stark is still comic-Stark, well, that also reinforces my conclusion now. Comic book Stark really had a lot of anti-Communist rant, Yellow Peril bigotry and general idolization of the rich. Apparently these are still attractive qualities for the modern movie audience.
__________________
The people of this country need regime change here, not abroad.
stj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13 2008, 02:28 PM   #10
Andrew Harris
Writer
 
Andrew Harris's Avatar
 
Location: San Diego
Send a message via AIM to Andrew Harris
Re: politics of iron man

stj wrote: View Post

Andrew Harris---the simpleminded viciousness of the other posts reinforces my belief that the political overtones are a great source of pleasure. As to your belief that movie-Stark is still comic-Stark, well, that also reinforces my conclusion now. Comic book Stark really had a lot of anti-Communist rant, Yellow Peril bigotry and general idolization of the rich. Apparently these are still attractive qualities for the modern movie audience.
STJ--well, I'm not going to get into a political scratch-fight with you, but I would say that your critique of Tony Stark is misplaced--remember, he was created back in the 1960s, at the height of the Cold War and just a few years after the Cuban Missile Crisis. An anti-Communist outlook was de riguer for comic book heroes for decades--even Fantastic Four #1, which launched Marvel comics, was based on anti-Communist sentiment. (Sue Storm, perhaps the most wallflower character ever to be called a superhero at the time, urged Reed to hijack the rocket to unlock the secret of cosmic rays before "the Commies" beat them to it.) Batman, meanwhile, was even saving Ronald Reagan from the KGBeast well into the 1980s.

The challenge that Stan Lee (an avowed liberal) took upon himself was not to create a character who was popular because of his politics, but in spite of them. It's pretty much still the same theme that you see with the Iron Man stories today.
__________________
Andrew Steven Harris
Blog: http://andrewstevenharris.wordpress.com
AIM/Twitter: XAndrewHarrisX
Andrew Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13 2008, 02:57 PM   #11
stonester1
Rear Admiral
 
stonester1's Avatar
 
Re: politics of iron man

Anyone who believes that the US is defending the right to free speech in Afghanistan and Iraq is plainly too nuts to reliably understand his own personal experience.
Too nuts to reliably understand my personal experience? At least I've got personal experience to be plainly nuts over. At least I'm not on the reading list of a bunch of far left blog sites, taking every anti-US bilge as frickin' gospel straight from the holy lips of Noam Chomsky himself.

Let's get a few things straight. I'm NOT in favor of the war in Iraq. I think it's one of the worst strategic blunders ever committed in world history, as well as being completely immoral in it's origin, if not in the intention of those on the ground. I AM for the war in Afghanistan, for we were responding to an aggressor, and it is a damn shame that the forces that should be in play there are instead unnecessarily are tied up in Iraq.

I think the Bush admin sucks. He will go down in history as one of our worst.

But I'm also a US servicemember who has proudly served, has been deployed in harm's way, and have seen it all up close. A bit different from your position of safety provided, insured by the US forces you decry. And yes, Afghanistan is a war that that applies.

Efforts against terrorism are also of that sort, bad management, poor decisions and incompetence from the current Admin excepted.

The idea that the US has held back militarily is extraordinary. Such a remarkable claim really needs some support. As it is, it just smells like blood lust.
Actually, it doesn't need any support. As I said, I've been there. You are a mouthy left wing loon without the sense to know that you don't know what you think you do, only that you've been told such from other loonies.

But ok, what the hell. Operation Just Cause-Panama. I was working for an artillery battery at the time. We are supporting infantry moving in Panama City, a major concentration of the local population. We get a request for fire from one of those infantry units pinned down by machine gun fire. The guns prepared to send their round downrange, once we got the coordinates. Then, suddenly, the battery commander cancells the mission. According to our maps and intel, those rounds will be landing in an area where civillians are likely to be on the receiving end. The fire mission was cancelled as a result. Instead, armor was dispatched to aid them. More precise, but would take longer to get there.

Andrew Harris---the simpleminded viciousness of the other posts reinforces my belief that the political overtones are a great source of pleasure.
I enjoyed a great adaption of a comic character, with action in a relevant area in current events.


As to your belief that movie-Stark is still comic-Stark, well, that also reinforces my conclusion now. Comic book Stark really had a lot of anti-Communist rant, Yellow Peril bigotry and general idolization of the rich. Apparently these are still attractive qualities for the modern movie audience.
What, did you want a pro-Communist bent? Of course, you are the guy who believes the New Battlestar Galactica is propaganda for the Republican Party.

Nutbag.
__________________
"New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled, the humiliating question arises, 'Why then are you not taking part in them?' " - H. G. Wells
stonester1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13 2008, 07:03 PM   #12
stj
Rear Admiral
 
stj's Avatar
 
Location: the real world
Re: politics of iron man

Andrew Harris wrote: View Post
STJ--well, I'm not going to get into a political scratch-fight with you, but I would say that your critique of Tony Stark is misplaced--remember, he was created back in the 1960s, at the height of the Cold War and just a few years after the Cuban Missile Crisis. An anti-Communist outlook was de riguer for comic book heroes for decades--even Fantastic Four #1, which launched Marvel comics, was based on anti-Communist sentiment. (Sue Storm, perhaps the most wallflower character ever to be called a superhero at the time, urged Reed to hijack the rocket to unlock the secret of cosmic rays before "the Commies" beat them to it.) Batman, meanwhile, was even saving Ronald Reagan from the KGBeast well into the 1980s.

The challenge that Stan Lee (an avowed liberal) took upon himself was not to create a character who was popular because of his politics, but in spite of them. It's pretty much still the same theme that you see with the Iron Man stories today.
Since the Fantastic Four did indeed have the same anti-Communist politics as Stark, Stan Lee could not have thought that Stark's politics made him unpopular. So he wasn't making a character popular in spite of his politics. As for the bastard, well, the origin story in the comics redeemed him just as in the movies. As for the womanizing, since it was the Sixties, expanding the hero definition to an Errol Flynn type wasn't an enormous challenge, I think. On the other hand, the Mandarin was a tired Fu Manchu ripoff if ever there was one. His likely appearance in Iron Man II is much too be dreaded.

Comic-book Tony was rightwing in most ways---yes, you're right that was not unique, but how is that relevant? And movie Tony turns out to have had the same kind of political appeal---you're right, that is like the comic. We actually seem to agree but somehow you think that doesn't support the case that Iron Man the movie is appealing to the desire to see a superhero beat up political enemies of the US.
__________________
The people of this country need regime change here, not abroad.
stj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13 2008, 07:13 PM   #13
Spaceman Spiff
Intrepid Explorer
 
Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
 
Re: politics of iron man

stonester1 wrote: View Post
What, did you want a pro-Communist bent? Of course, you are the guy who believes the New Battlestar Galactica is propaganda for the Republican Party.

Nutbag.
One warning for flaming.
__________________
"Love means never having to say you're ugly."
- Dr. Phibes
Spaceman Spiff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13 2008, 07:39 PM   #14
stonester1
Rear Admiral
 
stonester1's Avatar
 
Re: politics of iron man

Comic-book Tony was rightwing in most ways---yes, you're right that was not unique, but how is that relevant? And movie Tony turns out to have had the same kind of political appeal---you're right, that is like the comic. We actually seem to agree but somehow you think that doesn't support the case that Iron Man the movie is appealing to the desire to see a superhero beat up political enemies of the US.
A weapons designer has slightly right wing politics. This is a shocker?

As for the appeal of the film, most people I saw loved it because it was a cracking good superhero story, that did just about everything right. The comic book geeks loved it, because it was a true adaptation. The general public loved it because it was a well done, sophisticated yet still accessable popcorn summer film.

It's nothing more complicated than that.
__________________
"New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled, the humiliating question arises, 'Why then are you not taking part in them?' " - H. G. Wells
stonester1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13 2008, 07:40 PM   #15
stonester1
Rear Admiral
 
stonester1's Avatar
 
Re: politics of iron man

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
stonester1 wrote: View Post
What, did you want a pro-Communist bent? Of course, you are the guy who believes the New Battlestar Galactica is propaganda for the Republican Party.

Nutbag.
One warning for flaming.
Anyone who believes that the US is defending the right to free speech in Afghanistan and Iraq is plainly too nuts to reliably understand his own personal experience.
Oh, so this gets to fly free, yet "nutbag" gets penalized?
__________________
"New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled, the humiliating question arises, 'Why then are you not taking part in them?' " - H. G. Wells
stonester1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
iron man, superheroes

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:06 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.