News & Politics

Liberals Suck the Joy Out of Everything: Superhero Movie Edition

(CC/Flickr/Mount Wall)

It is difficult to figure out how the far-left in America went from the “Summer of Love” and advocating unbridled hedonism to finding misery in everything in forty years but here we are.

Jim Treacher wrote a post yesterday about some modern BBC guy going on about the Monty Python gang not being diverse enough. Liberals never let context factor into their grievances so, hey, let’s retro-gripe.

Probably because the week had been filled with too much patriotic joy for most Americans, The New York Times opinion page decided to close it out with a zillion-word dissection of the current popularity of superhero movies. A dissection, by the way, that seems to have as its sole intent making the reader not enjoy superhero movies ever again.

The author begins with a premise that isn’t as true as he thinks it is:

Films reflect the tastes and values of the period in which they are made. We can trace the changing status of women, evolving ideas about masculinity, war, crime, journalism, the C.I.A. or anything else by Hollywood treatments over the decades. So when historians look back at this glut of superhero flicks, what will they say about us? What are they about?

Films reflect the tastes and values of the coastal liberals who make them, for the most part. That’s why anti-military flicks that invariably bomb at the box office still get the green light.

The dirty little secret — one they’ll never admit to — about the Hollywood power players is that they know they can’t afford to be raging leftists unless they’re making a ton of money.

Sometimes films merely reflect the fact that some marketing lightning in a bottle has been captured and is being milked for all it is worth.

Hello Marvel and DC Comics.

The guy who wrote this actually gets it:

There is no rule, of course, that says films have to be about anything. One way of looking at comic book movies is to see them simply as mental popcorn, meant to be rapidly consumed and forgotten — this may be precisely why so many people love them. They are harmless. Armies of Hollywood professionals get paid, megamillions enjoy them and nobody gets hurt.

So why follow that with 24 paragraphs of what they’re really about? Hey, I get the need for a freelance writer to crank out content, but this could have easily been a celebration piece that examined the fact that maybe, just maybe, things aren’t as serious as many would have us believe, as indicated by the money being spent on “mental popcorn.”

There are a lot of us who still view entertainment — especially movies — as escapism. I am one of them. I get enough reality in real life, I don’t need more of it in a film. If I am going to commit to a movie for ninety minutes or two hours I don’t want to have a bunch of lessons about the real world forced down my throat. I stopped watching Showtime’s “Homeland” three episodes into Season 6 because I felt as if I were being lectured to by Bill Ayers.

I want to see the Hulk smash things.

I don’t want to wonder why the Hulk smashes things. I’m not his therapist. The reason I enjoy watching the Hulk smash things is because I loved reading Hulk comics when I was a kid and feeling like a kid again is FUN.

I submit to you, dear readers, that liberals are, by and large, anti-fun.

They will tell you that this isn’t true, most likely using their enjoyment of John Oliver, Bill Maher, and the current crop of late-night shows as proof that they are practically addicted to mirth. Those are all comedy shows after all, right?

Eh.

It has been this way for a while but has gotten worse in the Trump era: what liberals are calling comedy has really become “cheering in political agreement.” Sure, they chuckle a little, but most responses to the repetitious political “jokes” are nothing more than a big “Hell yeah!” as a show of solidarity.

Cheering on invective hurled at a president they don’t like is not the enjoyment of comedy, it’s the enjoyment of a never-ending political rally.

As long as comedians stick to progressive orthodoxy, the left will invariably say they are funny, even when they aren’t. If a comic wanders off of the progressive script he or she will be excoriated, such as when Bill Maher speaks his mind about Islamic terrorism or Ricky Gervais tells a joke about transgender people.

Real comedy fans don’t look to comedians to be their moral compasses.

They’ve managed to suck the joy out of comedy with their political prism.

The kicker to this op-ed is that it was written by Mark Bowden, the author of “Black Hawk Down.” A lot of his writing for The Atlantic and others doesn’t make him seem like a knee-jerk lefty. Then again, he’s one of “those” guys who think Trump is going to start a nuclear war.

In his conclusion, he once again shows that he gets it at the same time that he’s not getting it:

The stories I read as a boy were no better and generally worse than those now on screen, but my dreams have all changed. Even as the utterly fantastic is made real, the superheroes seem silly, the stories fake. Still, the kid in me keeps coming back. I haven’t seen “Ant-Man and the Wasp” yet. Maybe that will be the one.

One would hope that a grown man would find the idea of a bite from a radioactive spider giving a teenager the ability to cling to walls sillier than he did when he was a kid.

But if the kid in you is going to make you keep going back to watch superhero flicks, why not use a little suspension of disbelief and let him enjoy himself for a couple of hours?