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Old August 14 2008, 07:31 PM   #31
Harvey
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Re: politics of iron man

stj wrote: View Post
Iron Man was about the thrill of beating up on Afghans.
The film might be about the thrill of beating up on its villains, sure. It is a summer popcorn movie after all. Of course, not all of the villains were Afghanis. And neither were all of the Afghanis in the film villains.
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Old August 14 2008, 07:57 PM   #32
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Re: politics of iron man

Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
Iron Man was about the thrill of beating up on Afghans.
The film might be about the thrill of beating up on its villains, sure. It is a summer popcorn movie after all. Of course, not all of the villains were Afghanis. And neither were all of the Afghanis in the film villains.
Exactly correct.

One of the most obnoxious aspects of "political correctness" is the assumption that addressing any INDIVIDUAL in a particular way automatically carries over to every other individual who happens to share certain characteristics with that first individual.

The truth is that the world is filled with good people, and with bad people, and with a whole lot of "in between" people. It's not "racist" to suggest that there are some bad people who happen to be part of a particular race or group. In fact, to insist that you can't acknowledge that... that every individual, regardless of race, creed, color, etc, can be good, bad, or somewhere in between... ie, that somehow it's race which is the deciding factor, not individuality... THAT is racist.

This film happens to have a few bad guys of middle-eastern descent in it. To assume that this carries over into the assumption that the film is saying that everyone of middle-eastern descent is a bad guy... well, that's just stupid.

Having arab "mafia" be the bad guys is no different than having American "mafia" be the bad guys, or Columbian "mafia"... and it doesn't tar the entire related population with that same brush.
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Old August 14 2008, 08:53 PM   #33
darkwing_duck1
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Re: politics of iron man

"Iron Man" had Arab terrorists.

There, I said it.

SO FRAKKIN WHAT?

There are no Arab terrorists?!?!?

It's a nice updating of the origin to bring it into the 21st century, and at least the studio didn't fall to the same sort of craven PC crap that Paramount pulled with "Sum of All Fears" by substituting European Neo-Nazis in the film for the Arabs in the book.

(The same craven PC attitude is probably why the "Debt of Honor"/"Executive Decisions"/"Bear and the Dragon" trilogy will probably never be made. Can't p-o the Arabs or the Chinese, now can we?)
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Old August 14 2008, 10:51 PM   #34
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Re: politics of iron man

Since Afghanistan is not an Arab country, for the audience to see Arabs anyhow makes it perfectly plain.
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Old August 15 2008, 12:03 AM   #35
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Re: politics of iron man

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Since Afghanistan is not an Arab country, for the audience to see Arabs anyhow makes it perfectly plain.
I didn't make that mistake, but given how the mainstream media (especially television) tends to equate everyone in the middle east with both Muslims and Arabs, can you really act so surprised?

And my previous point still stands.
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Old August 15 2008, 01:39 AM   #36
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Re: politics of iron man

At least they didn't go the 24 route.

Tony Stark gets kidnapped in a unnamed middle eastern country by an unnamed terrorist group because the writers don't want to offend anyone. A nuke goes off in the middle of LA when the movie starts but people living there are still playing tennis hours later. Also Tony's friend from the cave comes back from the dead and it's revealed that he was evil all along.
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Old August 15 2008, 02:28 AM   #37
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Re: politics of iron man

The "problem" with Iron Man (and I put it in quotes) is that it fuels the American fantasy of technology solving all our problems in a quick and easy manor.

Another good example of this is the phrase "smart bombs." It lets us believe that war is easy, clean, and safe. We don't have to worry...the bombs are SMART!

All this kind of stuff leads to the our current situation where we can have a war going on and the population at large doesn't even have to think about it. Forget the "we're in this together" attitude of WWII. Nope. These days the general feeling is "War? What war? Oh right...I remember, I guess."

We are insulated and our view is sanitized so we just don't have to think about it. It's a real shame and an insult to everyone who's died on BOTH sides. How many American deaths have you seen on the news lately? They make it real easy to pretend they're all over there playing superhero...all action-movie stars who never die. That's a pretty poor view to hold, but it's an easy one to maintain these days.

So, back to Iron Man...the film just fuels this fantasy of an "easy war" where ONLY the bad guys die because our technology can just fly in, blow them up, and fly back out. It's the whole Superman mentality.

Now, I LIKE superhero movies. I like Superman. I like Iron Man. They're fine films and I don't want them to change. I'm just saying that Americans remain FAR too insulated from reality, and these films are playing into that a bit.

It's not the films' fault, but there it is.
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Old August 15 2008, 03:55 AM   #38
Cary L. Brown
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Re: politics of iron man

Small White Car wrote: View Post
The "problem" with Iron Man (and I put it in quotes) is that it fuels the American fantasy of technology solving all our problems in a quick and easy manor.

Another good example of this is the phrase "smart bombs." It lets us believe that war is easy, clean, and safe. We don't have to worry...the bombs are SMART!

All this kind of stuff leads to the our current situation where we can have a war going on and the population at large doesn't even have to think about it. Forget the "we're in this together" attitude of WWII. Nope. These days the general feeling is "War? What war? Oh right...I remember, I guess."

We are insulated and our view is sanitized so we just don't have to think about it. It's a real shame and an insult to everyone who's died on BOTH sides. How many American deaths have you seen on the news lately? They make it real easy to pretend they're all over there playing superhero...all action-movie stars who never die. That's a pretty poor view to hold, but it's an easy one to maintain these days.

So, back to Iron Man...the film just fuels this fantasy of an "easy war" where ONLY the bad guys die because our technology can just fly in, blow them up, and fly back out. It's the whole Superman mentality.

Now, I LIKE superhero movies. I like Superman. I like Iron Man. They're fine films and I don't want them to change. I'm just saying that Americans remain FAR too insulated from reality, and these films are playing into that a bit.

It's not the films' fault, but there it is.
I actually agree with a fair amount of your point there, but disagree almost entirely on one KEY point.

It's generally the folks who are not "insulated" who are the most positive about these things. Folks who've spent time outside of their local cul-de-sac, folks who've traveled internationally and experienced more of the world... and yes, people who've served in the military... who are the least "anti-war."

The people who believe that "smart bombs" are somehow supposed to be clean are almost universally the anti-war types. "Smart Bombs," however, are FAR CLEANER than the historical alternative... as anyone who knows the history of, say, Dresden can tell you. Taking out a target means destroying and killing... but it DOES limit the scope of the destruction necessary to accomplish the necessary task. If you want to take out a factory... you take out the factory, not the entire city in which the factory is located.

For the record... I'm not "pro-War" as a concept, but I'm absolutely not "Anti-War" either. I can't remember it word-for-word right now, but there's a quote that I've always loved... and I'll paraphrase it here.

"War is a terrible thing, but not the MOST terrible thing. Far worse is the state of being where a man sees nothing as being worth fighting, much less dying, over. Such men have their freedom only because of the efforts of far better men than themselves."

I agree wholeheartedly.

The thing is, it's usually the people who are anti-war who are the most likely to not understand the realities on the ground, and who are most likely to treat the soldiers as "fictional characters" rather than as actual human beings.

I'm very much in favor of SOME form of compulsory national service. It wouldn't necessarily have to be the military... if you're a conscientious objector, there are other things you can do (peace corps, forestry service, whatever..) but EVERYONE who is able to do so should be required to spend two years of their life serving others in some organized, regimented form. If this were the case, the attitudes of the population would be far less egotistically-self-centered, and far more realistic about how the world actually works.
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Old August 15 2008, 04:23 AM   #39
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Re: politics of iron man

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
It's generally the folks who are not "insulated" who are the most positive about these things. Folks who've spent time outside of their local cul-de-sac, folks who've traveled internationally and experienced more of the world... and yes, people who've served in the military... who are the least "anti-war."
This seems to me to be little more than a stereotype. I could continue on about how anti-war types also drive Volvos and eat granola.

Even if that's true (I have no clue) it tells us nothing about how people think who drive Fords or Mazdas or Outbacks.

In other words, your argument strikes me as a stereotype that I doubt, and a even if it IS true, it only describes a small portion of the population, and thus tells us nothing.

For example:

What about 12 year old boys who know little more than World of Warcraft and Tom Clancey video games. According to you, they'd be mostly anti-war. I don't think there's any clear reason to think that about this group. Do you?

Just to be clear, I'm not arguing the opposite of this point, I'm saying there's no point to be made at all based on these very simplistic criteria.

EDIT: Perhaps this is the pot calling the kettle black. My original post could be criticized similarly. I like to think, however, that I made a vague point about vague people. You took a similarly vague approach, but then applied it to very specific types of people. I think that's where your argument breaks down, and where it differs from mine.
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Old August 15 2008, 07:02 AM   #40
darkwing_duck1
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Re: politics of iron man

stj wrote: View Post
Since Afghanistan is not an Arab country, for the audience to see Arabs anyhow makes it perfectly plain.
Only to hyper-sensitive, politically correct kool-aid drinkers...
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Old August 15 2008, 08:54 AM   #41
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Re: politics of iron man

I'm very much in favor of SOME form of compulsory national service. It wouldn't necessarily have to be the military... if you're a conscientious objector, there are other things you can do (peace corps, forestry service, whatever..) but EVERYONE who is able to do so should be required to spend two years of their life serving others in some organized, regimented form. If this were the case, the attitudes of the population would be far less egotistically-self-centered, and far more realistic about how the world actually works.

It's good for people to get out of their paradigms and see the world, see life, from a different angle.

The military has permitted me to do it and I'm better for it.
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Old August 16 2008, 03:06 AM   #42
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Re: politics of iron man

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
I'm very much in favor of SOME form of compulsory national service. It wouldn't necessarily have to be the military... if you're a conscientious objector, there are other things you can do (peace corps, forestry service, whatever..) but EVERYONE who is able to do so should be required to spend two years of their life serving others in some organized, regimented form. If this were the case, the attitudes of the population would be far less egotistically-self-centered, and far more realistic about how the world actually works.
I'm very dubious about schemes like this. I feel that if such a program were to be implemented, the compulsory period should be before the individuals are legally adults. After all, forcing people to into some kind of national service is not treating people as adults at all. It is very much treating them as children saying that they don't know "good" without some compulsory national organization directing their lives for 2 years.
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Old August 16 2008, 03:36 AM   #43
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Re: politics of iron man

Citizenship should be dependant on service. Would you like to know more?

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
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Old August 16 2008, 03:43 AM   #44
darkwing_duck1
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Re: politics of iron man

Trent Roman wrote: View Post
Citizenship should be dependant on service. Would you like to know more?

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
Sarcasm aside, I've always thought that wasn't all that bad an idea...
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Old August 16 2008, 03:55 AM   #45
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Re: politics of iron man

So long as we're quoting,

"People shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."
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