Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘x-men

X-Men and the 60’s

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If taken in the context of the 60’s, the idea of the X-Men is an interesting one. During the 60’s, the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing. The African-Americans fought for their rights and eventually won them from the suppressing forces of America. This plight is echoed in the pages of the X-Men Comics with ever more parallels that just this recurring theme.

The X-Men must deal with prejudice in the pages of their comics much the same as the African-American did in reality. The X-Men are persons with special powers such as flight, fire manipulation, etc. and are often refered to as mutants because of this. They must fight to become accepted in a world that sees them as freaks or as lesser beings. They have to fight against extremist groups such as the Friends of Humanity (F.O.H.) which has the particular ring of the Ku Klux Klan. They have to fight the prejudice and even lose members of their community to these persons. They also have to deal with the Sentinels, huge robots that are built to hunt mutants. These robots come to take them in the night. Much like the groups that used to come and burn down African-Americans’ houses during the night.

The leaders of both the main groups of mutants, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants, are reminiscent of the two main African-American figures of the time. Dr. Charles Xavier (X-Men) is the spitting image of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He believes that humans and mutants can live together in harmony and tries to work through peaceful methods to end the human/mutant prejudice. He thinks that man and mutant kind can live together in peace if they just try much as King did. With the help of his X-Men, he tries to show the world that mutants are not all bad and that they peacefully coexist.

Magneto (The Brotherhood of Mutants), on the other hand, is more proactive like Malcolm X. He believes that coexistence can be achieved mainly through force and uses his groups of mutants to try to subjugate the human race to that of the mutants. He openly attacks groups that threaten mutants and is continually in conflict with those who oppose his ideals. With his group, he becomes a threat to the idea of peace that Xavier hopes to make possible. He himself could be viewed regressing the steps forward that any others had made because the majority of the world does not respect violence (think of the War in Iraq, the Rwandan Genocide, etc.) and deal with it swiftly and with equal violence.

The X-Men are a subject that are near and dear to my heart. It seems to me that Stan Lee and the other creators had a specific idea in mind when they started publishing this comic. They used the struggle of the mutants to be a metaphor for the struggle of the African-Americans. It seemed that they used this as their own individual method of protesting the unfair treatment of African-Americans everywhere.

Superpowers

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Quite often, I am reminded about why we as normal people do not have superpowers. I believe that the world would be plunged into anarchy because let’s face it for every Spiderman or X-Man there are at least 10 supervillains that are out there. Also, I believe that normal people would not be able to deal because “With great power comes great responsibility.” Thanks Uncle Ben…but what is it about ourselves that makes us unable to have said superpowers…let’s just think about that.

1. Most of the superhumans that exist in our wonderful fantasy worlds tend to have moral compasses that go to either extreme of “good” or “evil”…there are few rare instances of the “gray area’ that most normal people would live in. Think of Charles Xavier and Magneto. They are both people who are run by specific goals: one the cohabitation of mutants and humans…the other for superiority of the mutant race over humanity. Professor X would be considered to have his compass pointed toward the good, and Magneto would be pointed toward the evil. Each tend to try to achieve their goals by means that would support this…However, in the real world, we tend to be neither good nor evil…we tend to have our moments of brilliance on both ends of the spectrum.

While our powers would be morally ambiguous, the minds running the powers wouldn’t…and sometime, we would invariably do “evil” with them. Whether this be blowing up the guy who cut us off in traffic or beating someone to a bloody pulp because they spited us, I guarantee it would happen.

2. While there seem to be plenty of people in the comic worlds to uphold truth and justice, I believe there would be more people who would fall into the scope of evil simply because using their powers to better themselves would be too great a temptation to avoid. If I could control the weather like Storm, I’ll be honest I’d probably sell my services to the highest bidder because it would be easy money…doing so would probably effect the global ecosystem pretty badly.

3.What happens if someone gets a power so phenomenal that they can shape the world? (That’s all I’m going to pose because the idea is intriguing and frightening at the same time.)

4. Finally, we are human. That is my biggest reasons superpowers would never work for us because if suddenly by some tremendous happenstance we did gain some sort of power we would be humans with superpowers. We would bring all of our driving forces to the table. Something bad is bound to happen if you drop a lit match into a room filled with propane…

Now, I’m not saying that some people wouldn’t make the wise choices because you would have those out there who would become the heros. However, all the superheroes in comic-dum have had their bouts of falling between one extreme and the other. Superpowers are fine and dandy…and honestly, if I ever got one, I would be super-excited like any fanboy would…however, I don’t know how I would react…I would like to think that I would be good, but the allure of the darkside (to reference Star Wars) might be too great.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

February 22, 2010 at 11:29 am

Opinions: Like a Butthole

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I am an opinionated person myself. However, I never claim to have an opinion on everything. Quite frankly, there are just some things that I don’t give a damn about. In my mind, there are three types of people who fall somewhere along a spectrum if you will.

1.The first being those who don’t really care one way or another on most subjects. These people are often times referred to as apathetic which is cool. If you can go through life without really caring about things (other than the big things), I say more power to you. One thing I will stress about these people is that they do have opinions about subjects but generally only share them with certain people.

2. People who have opinions and know when they should share them. This is the group that most people fit into. The people in this group usually share their minds when something piques their interest such as a comic book conversation, politics, religion, etc. This group also tends to have information to back up their perspective that they’re trying to get across (i.e. they “know” something about what they’re talking about). These persons tend to be very agreeable unless you willingly push their buttons to try to get a rise out of them.

3. The final group….these are the people who have an opinion about everything and will share it with anything that sits still long enough. These are the people that all the other groups find a little annoying because no matter how smart you are no one knows something about everything. That segways into another point: these people tend to think that they are very, very intelligent people. Now, don’t get me wrong. These people may be intelligent, but there is always a limit….just because you have read some X-Men comics doesn’t make you an expert on the X-Men or you have talked with a Muslim doesn’t make you an expert on Islam…One more thing about these people, not only do they think they know something about everything…they also believe that they are never wrong which will frustrate all those level 1’s and 2’s out there….it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re right because they “always” are.

 In the end it’s like my Grandpa used to say, “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.” So, the next time you think about butting into a conversation I would suggest thinking about whether you’re a 1, 2, or 3.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

February 18, 2010 at 10:00 am