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Leon Trotsky 2012
Aug 27, 2009


It's kind of weird that the major plot point of the movie is that Killmonger was trained by the CIA, explicitly wants to mimic their actions, and cloaks his anger and desire for domination in the language redressing centuries of systematic oppression in order to deceive people and then so many people in the real world are actually tricked by the fictional character.

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POWELL CURES KIDS
Aug 26, 2016


Leon Trotsky 2012 posted:

It's kind of weird that the major plot point of the movie is that Killmonger was trained by the CIA, explicitly wants to mimic their actions, and cloaks his anger and desire for domination in the language redressing centuries of systematic oppression in order to deceive people and then so many people in the real world are actually tricked by the fictional character.

...oh, poo poo.

Neurolimal
Nov 3, 2012


"Dont worry, they were both CIA assets" isn't exactly a message of empowerment

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Leon Trotsky 2012 posted:

It's kind of weird that the major plot point of the movie is that Killmonger was trained by the CIA, explicitly wants to mimic their actions, and cloaks his anger and desire for domination in the language redressing centuries of systematic oppression in order to deceive people and then so many people in the real world are actually tricked by the fictional character.

Hereís the real trick: Disneyís got you fretting about the black leftistís scary anger and ďantifa are the real fascists, because fighting back is violence too.Ē Youíve been bamboozled.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Leon Trotsky 2012 posted:

It's kind of weird that the major plot point of the movie is that Killmonger was trained by the CIA, explicitly wants to mimic their actions, and cloaks his anger and desire for domination in the language redressing centuries of systematic oppression in order to deceive people and then so many people in the real world are actually tricked by the fictional character.
I agree, the black man made some good points and has legitimate grievances, but he's too angry and went too far.

Leon Trotsky 2012
Aug 27, 2009


SuperMechagodzilla posted:

Hereís the real trick: Disneyís got you fretting about the black leftistís scary anger and ďantifa are the real fascists, because fighting back is violence too.Ē Youíve been bamboozled.

My man, if that rhetorical flourish is all it takes for you to cheer lead and label the CIA operations manual as "Leftist," then I think you are kind of leaning into the point.

Mechafunkzilla
Sep 11, 2006

If you want a vision of the future...


Killmonger is a revolutionary, but I'm not sure he's a coherent enough character to really describe him as leftist. He's just, like, a boogeyman of vaguely radical-sounding ~stuff~. He's an anti-establishment despot and ethno-nationalist imperialist. In short, Killmonger is a land of contrasts.

Mechafunkzilla fucked around with this message at 01:56 on May 5, 2021

POWELL CURES KIDS
Aug 26, 2016


Connecting some dots on Killmonger and the CIA changes my read on the character a bit, but the overall criticism of the film remains exactly the same, and concluding that there's some comparable moral deficit between the wanton global cruelty of the entrenched, nigh-omnipotent "post"-colonial order and the struggles of the marginalized to overthrow it falls pretty short analytically. "Truly, are you not also monsters" is a bad equivocation, and it still serves to bury the relentless and structural violence directed against the oppressed.

Killmonger might be a Bad Guy--the name tips it off a bit--but the ideological universe of the film within which he exists is still a false one, and the overall effect is still to conceal the (truly unfathomable) sins of the system.

Also, really can't overstate how much the Blade thing irks me. Marvel is skating way uphill on this one, morally, and as history has repeatedly shown, this is a bad thing for motherfuckers to attempt.

POWELL CURES KIDS fucked around with this message at 02:06 on May 5, 2021

Neurolimal
Nov 3, 2012


"This character defined entirely by this struggle doesnt actually care about the struggle and is just an evil monster man" is honestly the lamest characterization, in any movie or game or comic it gets used in. It's backpedaling at the 11th hour because you aren't confident in your heroes' motives.

I'd honestly have more respect for Black Panther if they had the stones to not have any Evil Monster Man moments. Black Panther triumphs over the radical while mockingly bearing the title of a radical group, and you will cheer, drat you.

POWELL CURES KIDS
Aug 26, 2016


Neurolimal posted:

"This character defined entirely by this struggle doesnt actually care about the struggle and is just an evil monster man" is honestly the lamest characterization, in any movie or game or comic it gets used in. It's backpedaling at the 11th hour because you aren't confident in your heroes' motives.

I'd honestly have more respect for Black Panther if they had the stones to not have any Evil Monster Man moments. Black Panther triumphs over the radical while mockingly bearing the title of a radical group, and you will cheer, drat you.

Yeah, lovely Blade jokes aside, the general assertion of moral superiority about this one is incredibly insulting, and calling this apologetic milquetoast bullshit Black loving Panther is just a breathtaking "gently caress you".

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Timeless Appeal posted:

Alternatively, enslaved people literally told folktales of their African ancestors having Superpowers.
Cool, could you name one?

This is a weird thing that I find keeps coming up in defenses of this movie's politics--appeals to African traditions that are never specified. I'm not saying that they don't exist. Like, Africans have myths about supernatural powers? Okay, so they're not an exception to every single culture I've ever heard of. (Which Africans, by the way? Africa is a pretty big place.)

For a movie that makes a show of anti-colonialism, there's a conspicuous lack of even a shred of actually existing African anti-colonialism. Between the time when Africans created unspecified hero myths and the release of Marvel Studios' Black Panther, a lot of stuff happened in Africa besides imperialism. For example, anti-imperialism and revolution.

Timeless Appeal
May 28, 2006


Halloween Jack posted:

Cool, could you name one?
I did. The People Could Fly which I cited in my original post.

Edit: To be clear that title is from the retold version from Virginia Hamilton who preserved and retold a lot of African-American and enslaved narratives.

Timeless Appeal fucked around with this message at 03:38 on May 5, 2021

Mechafunkzilla
Sep 11, 2006

If you want a vision of the future...


Halloween Jack posted:

Cool, could you name one?

This is a weird thing that I find keeps coming up in defenses of this movie's politics--appeals to African traditions that are never specified. I'm not saying that they don't exist. Like, Africans have myths about supernatural powers? Okay, so they're not an exception to every single culture I've ever heard of. (Which Africans, by the way? Africa is a pretty big place.)

For a movie that makes a show of anti-colonialism, there's a conspicuous lack of even a shred of actually existing African anti-colonialism. Between the time when Africans created unspecified hero myths and the release of Marvel Studios' Black Panther, a lot of stuff happened in Africa besides imperialism. For example, anti-imperialism and revolution.

The guys who dress up as gorillas and live in the mountains are shown adhering to the beautiful African tradition of Scandinavian minimalist interior design

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Leon Trotsky 2012 posted:

My man, if that rhetorical flourish is all it takes for you to cheer lead and label the CIA operations manual as "Leftist," then I think you are kind of leaning into the point.

I was referring to a person, not a "manual". Why would I 'cheer for' or 'label' an object that way?

Like, let's simplify for you: Killmonger was trained to use punches by white supremacists, but is now planning to punch white supremacists. Would you say that it is wrong to punch white supremacists?

Mechafunkzilla
Sep 11, 2006

If you want a vision of the future...


In a weird way, anti-racism can't actually be represented in a Disney film, because racism as it actually exists -- embedded in structures and dissociated cultural/historical trauma -- has been extracted from the worlds being portrayed.

Mechafunkzilla fucked around with this message at 04:06 on May 5, 2021

LesterGroans
Jun 9, 2009

It's funny...

You were so scary at night.


POWELL CURES KIDS posted:

Also, really can't overstate how much the Blade thing irks me. Marvel is skating way uphill on this one, morally, and as history has repeatedly shown, this is a bad thing for motherfuckers to attempt.

This was something that was really annoying when Wonder Woman and even Captain Marvel came out. Patting themselves on their backs for having a black or female lead for the first time in the specific universe the studio made up is such low-stakes nonsense that it's insulting.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Mechafunkzilla posted:

In a weird way, anti-racism can't actually be represented in a Disney film, because racism it actually exists -- embedded in structures and dissociated cultural/historical trauma -- has been extracted from the worlds being portrayed.
Also, the cooperation of the American MIC is worth a lot of money.

LesterGroans
Jun 9, 2009

It's funny...

You were so scary at night.


It's very strange to me to paint the opinion "monarchies are bad" as pearl-clutching.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Halloween Jack posted:

I agree, the black man made some good points and has legitimate grievances, but he's too angry and went too far.

He did go too far because he's too angry at Wakanda. I'm sure that Erik Stevens bears a cordial hatred for the white power structure that trained him and used him to kill. But it wasn't the white power structure that left him effectively an orphan at the limited mercy of that white power structure. And while that structure could be blamed for his mother's imprisonment, they're not the only ones. Because Erik Stevens's father did not die at the hands of the white power structure. He died at the claws of the then Black Panther King T'Chaka.

Erik Stevens's "revolution" doesn't end with Wakanda conquering the world and a rousing cry of "Black People (literally) Rule!" It ends with Wakanda conquered and colonized, overwhelmed by sheer numbers. It ends with Wakadans lost and displaced like he was lost and displaced when they murdered his father.

Snowman_McK
Jan 31, 2010
ASK ME ABOUT MY SELF-PUBLISHED WARHAMMER FANFICTION AND MY KNIFE COLLECTION


POWELL CURES KIDS posted:

Be pretty cool to see Winston Duke get a bigger role, though. I've liked him since Us.

It's pretty impressive to be the size of a tractor and convincingly play a dorky suburban dad. He was being tapped for a Kimbo Slice film at one point too.

Halloween Jack posted:

I agree, the black man made some good points and has legitimate grievances, but he's too angry and went too far.

Yes, and he was written that way in a cinematic universe where the literal power of creation was used to restore the status quo.

LesterGroans posted:

It's very strange to me to paint the opinion "monarchies are bad" as pearl-clutching.

Especially when Wakanda's extremely stupid monarchial system is made the focus of the plot rather than just window dressing for a better plot.

I do wonder if the initial treatments for Black Panther and Aquaman were written by people who hung out, because the latter is a much better version of the same plot.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Everyone posted:

Erik Stevens's "revolution" doesn't end with Wakanda conquering the world and a rousing cry of "Black People (literally) Rule!" It ends with Wakanda conquered and colonized, overwhelmed by sheer numbers.

Colonized by who? The international proletariat?

Lord_Magmar
Feb 24, 2015

"Welcome to pound town, Slifer slacker!"




Erik Stevens either wants to replace White Supremacy with Black Supremacy (that's kind of the line he plays up, that Wakanda should rise up in support of it's brothers and sisters across the globe and crush everyone else to do so) or he wants Wakanda to enter a war it cannot win and thus have it be destroyed whilst doing as much damage as possible to as many people around the world as possible.

He explicitly, in the text, does not actually care about the future of Wakanda, it's people, or the world at large, that's why he destroys the Heart Shaped Herb, he intends to be the only person with the power of the Black Panther, and possibly for there not to be a king after him (because Wakanda will be destroyed, not because he's abolishing the monarchy).

Now whether or not this is a particularly well written thing is separate, but this is what the movie portrays. You don't get to use cinematic analysis to twist around what the movie portrays directly.

Collapsing Farts
Jun 29, 2018

√į¬ü¬í¬Ä

His goals are split because on one hand he wants to arm the weak and create revolutions but he also says he wants to conquer the world and create an eternal wakandan empire. The movie could never decide with him. They'd make him cool and sympathetic and in the next scene he goes full psychopath and kills his girlfriend. He brings up legitimate issues with Wakanda and in the next scene he twirls his moustache and wants to take over the world. He's a really badly written character

Lord_Magmar
Feb 24, 2015

"Welcome to pound town, Slifer slacker!"




Collapsing Farts posted:

His goals are split because on one hand he wants to arm the weak and create revolutions but he also says he wants to conquer the world and create an eternal wakandan empire. The movie could never decide with him. They'd make him cool and sympathetic and in the next scene he goes full psychopath and kills his girlfriend. He brings up legitimate issues with Wakanda and in the next scene he twirls his moustache and wants to take over the world. He's a really badly written character

It could be that he's lying about one set of goals, and between them I imagine the more sympathetic goals are the ones he's lying about to maintain power. It certainly felt that way sometimes when I watched but I haven't watched in years.

Grendels Dad
Mar 5, 2011

Popular culture has passed you by.

Yeah Killmonger is very aware of what sells to the Wakandans. He kills Klaue as an In to the councel because he knows people there will want to see him dead for his crimes, not because he gives a poo poo about the crimes. His talk about freedom for his brothers is more of the same, he pushes their buttons.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




The idea that revolutionaries seeking justice for understandable reasons through radical means are always lying about what they believe just to enrich themselves/burn everything down for lulz isn't exactly a good thing, especially because it appeals so much to right-wingers as well as liberals.

Come to think of it, a freakin anime did something like the whole arc so much better, One Piece with the Fish-Man Island saga, with at least their equivalent of Killmonger (and his precedent far earlier in the series) is specifically pointed out as a piece of poo poo with few to no redeeming qualities who's contrasted with the people who actually do want to take radical action to make things better and are presented in the right for doing so. (and often get killed for their trouble) And the Straw Hats' fish-man ally does actually fret about the nuances of the situation, including the optics of a bunch of mostly human pirates beating down rebels could easily be seen as just another case of the domineering overgroup smacking down any dissent.

Lord_Magmar
Feb 24, 2015

"Welcome to pound town, Slifer slacker!"




Black Panther does have the revolutionary who is earnest in their beliefs, itís Nakia, and her revolution does in fact occur at the end. Whether you think itís enough or not is a separate discussion, but the end result of the movie is Tíchalla and Wakanda performing a global revolution (hopefully) with zero bloodshed.

Also in terms of the One Piece thing Fishman Island does do that incredibly well, but the thing with Wakanda compared to Fishman Island is that Wakanda is not intended to be representative of an oppressed people, theyíre in a position where their lack of oppression allows them to help oppressed people and their isolationism has stopped them doing so. Fishman Island isnít even recognised as a formal nation by the World Government and the Fishman and Mermaids are literally animals in the eyes of the law offered no protections at all and raided constantly if not for Whitebeard/Big Mom.

multijoe
Oct 15, 2007

NYO~HO


Lord_Magmar posted:

Black Panther does have the revolutionary who is earnest in their beliefs, it’s Nakia, and her revolution does in fact occur at the end. Whether you think it’s enough or not is a separate discussion, but the end result of the movie is T’challa and Wakanda performing a global revolution (hopefully) with zero bloodshed.


Buh?

Nothing remotely assembling a revolution occurs at the end of the film. The rightful king is restored to his throne with the aid of the CIA and builds some coding centres in disadvantaged neighborhoods, doing some charity work whilst preserving the existing power structures is about as far away from revolutionary as you can get

Lord_Magmar
Feb 24, 2015

"Welcome to pound town, Slifer slacker!"




multijoe posted:

Buh?

Nothing remotely assembling a revolution occurs at the end of the film. The rightful king is restored to his throne with the aid of the CIA and builds some coding centres in disadvantaged neighborhoods, doing some charity work whilst preserving the existing power structures is about as far away from revolutionary as you can get

Actually no youíre right I was being overly generous, itís still an attempt at global equality and life improvement which could lead to cultural or industrial style revolutions, but from the perspective of actual revolution against existing power structures itís mostly shaking up with the new super power. It is however worth noting Nakia and Killmonger are intended to be saying similar things, Nakia wants outreach and improvement to help those who have been oppressed, Killmonger wants to arm and provide military support to them.

Lord_Magmar fucked around with this message at 08:53 on May 5, 2021

Snowman_McK
Jan 31, 2010
ASK ME ABOUT MY SELF-PUBLISHED WARHAMMER FANFICTION AND MY KNIFE COLLECTION


Lord_Magmar posted:

Actually no youíre right I was being overly generous, itís still an attempt at global equality and life improvement which could lead to cultural or industrial style revolutions, but from the perspective of actual revolution against existing power structures itís mostly shaking up with the new super power.

It's not even shaking up. The status quo is never, ever allowed to change in the MCU.

Lord_Magmar
Feb 24, 2015

"Welcome to pound town, Slifer slacker!"




Snowman_McK posted:

It's not even shaking up. The status quo is never, ever allowed to change in the MCU.

Wakanda being a super power feels like it would be a shame up of global politics, and I think this argument is somewhat disengenuous because we so rarely get a look at the setting outside the superheroes until the most recent tv shows (which I would say does show a fairly different world from where we started. Honestly so far all of Phase 4 seems to be showcasing the ways the world has changed. Maybe weíll see the results of Wakanda Outreach in the new Black Panther being a bunch of small Wakandas popping up around the world post-blip.

josh04
Oct 19, 2008

I'll see you in the dome





Lord_Magmar posted:

Maybe we’ll see the results of Wakanda Outreach in the new Black Panther being a bunch of small Wakandas popping up around the world post-blip.

And hopefully the Avengers will be fighting this outbreak of monarchist revanchism.

josh04
Oct 19, 2008

I'll see you in the dome





Avengers: Age of Principalities

Necrothatcher
Mar 26, 2005






Lord_Magmar posted:

Maybe weíll see the results of Wakanda Outreach in the new Black Panther being a bunch of small Wakandas popping up around the world post-blip.

Hey guys, you want to check out that new bar in Wakanda-town tonight?

Grendels Dad
Mar 5, 2011

Popular culture has passed you by.

Lord_Magmar posted:

Wakanda being a super power feels like it would be a shame up of global politics, and I think this argument is somewhat disengenuous because we so rarely get a look at the setting outside the superheroes until the most recent tv shows (which I would say does show a fairly different world from where we started. Honestly so far all of Phase 4 seems to be showcasing the ways the world has changed. Maybe we’ll see the results of Wakanda Outreach in the new Black Panther being a bunch of small Wakandas popping up around the world post-blip.

Dangerous Lives, but it's Shuri instead of Michelle Pfeiffer.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Lord_Magmar posted:

Erik Stevens either wants to replace White Supremacy with Black Supremacy...

So heís sending materiel support to... Hong Kong???

First half of the first sentence, and itís already a weird smear on the fictional character. Brothers and sisters are obviously not just one race. Second half:

Lord_Magmar posted:

...or he wants Wakanda to enter a war it cannot win

Second half of the sentence is just an exhortation to give up.

Now, do we say this same stuff about, like, Captain Falcon and Spiderman? Iron Manís dying in combat against idiot-god Thanos? Do we wring our hands about the looming threat of brutal gynocracy under Captain Marvel? Is Bruce Banner gonna turn the frogs gay?

No?

So why this particular character?

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


SuperMechagodzilla posted:

So heís sending materiel support to... Hong Kong???

First half of the first sentence, and itís already a weird smear on the fictional character. Brothers and sisters are obviously not just one race. Second half:


Second half of the sentence is just an exhortation to give up.

Now, do we say this same stuff about, like, Captain Falcon and Spiderman? Iron Manís dying in combat against idiot-god Thanos? Do we wring our hands about the looming threat of brutal gynocracy under Captain Marvel? Is Bruce Banner gonna turn the frogs gay?

No?

So why this particular character?

Because this particular character is a bad-faith actor who is clearly using revolutionary rhetoric without giving any real shits about the oppressed people he theoretically champions. Note that in almost every scene in the "Spirit World" Erik Stevens appears as the little boy instead of as a man. That's showing that in his heart he's still the angry little boy whose father was murdered. He's essentially playing a gambit similar to what Zemo used in Civil War, trying to get Wakanda and the White Patriarchy to destroy each in a war he provoked.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Everyone posted:

Because this particular character is a bad-faith actor who is clearly using revolutionary rhetoric without giving any real shits about the oppressed people he theoretically champions. Note that in almost every scene in the "Spirit World" Erik Stevens appears as the little boy instead of as a man. That's showing that in his heart he's still the angry little boy whose father was murdered.

Why is the nation prioritized over the people? Wakanda isnít a real utopia. Thereís inequality both within and without.

Iron Man has severe personal brain issues and a contradictory goal of ďprivatized world peaceĒ, but dozens of name-brand superheroes flew to his aid - and a god wizard personally spent several million years working with him.

Weird gulf, no?

SuperMechagodzilla fucked around with this message at 10:47 on May 5, 2021

Roth
Jul 9, 2016


I wonder how many times the MCU can use "Well meaning villain with good and reasonable leftist points, who just so happens to be a completely evil psychopath willing to murder for no reason" before people starting thinking about it.

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SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Captain America is always flashing back to when he was a four foot teen and furious about bullies. He also got all his weapons/training from the US military, HYDRA, and Lockheed Martin.

Clutch those pearls, baby!

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