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Bort

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Comments
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 14:45

People argue it. Deconstructing superheroes has been a growth industry since "The Watchmen". It's still typically shit.

There are about 15 million alternate-timeline Supermans out there, and the clever approach to almost all of them is: they decide to take over and run things fascist-style. Yawn. (Peter Tomasi's "The Mighty" isn't bad, though.)
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 14:41

Zimmerman's life was not at risk, so lethal force was not justified.

Even with Superman on the scene, though, it's still possible for someone to get shot. Maybe Superman gets distracted, or misjudges his actions. Even that portion of things doesn't track with Zimmerman.
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 14:27

"No, it's not. Again, proportionality and the escalation of force. That was the central issue of the Zimmerman trial, and it is the central issue of this side discussion here."

That might be what the trial swirled around, but that's not what you asked. You asked my opinion of Zimmerman's actions, and the answer there is: Zimmerman was a bigot who tailed a kid for no other reason than his skin color, continued the pursuit even after being told not to by the police dispatcher, got into a fight, found himself hilariously outmatched, and then shot the kid when he got scared.

There's no way to tie any of that bullshit to superheroes. I knew where you wanted to go with that, but it doesn't hold up. Even if Superman has sufficient power to infallibly prevent all harm in an armed bank robbery, that's still different from a thug trying to take his frustrations out on the first nigger he can find.
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 14:20

"Bort - so what exactly is wrong with that definition of fascism"

I just told you -- it fails to capture any of the criteria that differentiate fascism from, say, Soviet-style communism. It doesn't hint at any of the racism, nationalism, or militarism of fascism.

"(it's actually a very common liberal reading of fascism, found not just in libertarian or anarchist circles, but also in democratic socialist and hippie-communitarian ones as well)?"

Well, a great many Lefties are retards -- their hearts are in the right place, which is more than I can say for the Teabaggers, but having a heart does not mean you're in a position to discuss or defend your opinions.

"If you've got a word which you'd rather use to describe fascism"

No, I think fascism is a fine word for describing fascism. But you're describing something else, and that's where I feel it's up to you to be clearer. So far, you are likening stopping armed bank robbers to annexing the Sudetenland, and I feel it's up to you to fix your own argument. If it were up to me, I'd recommend scrapping that perspective altogether, because it's more rooted in fear of what superheroes like Superman COULD do rather than what they ACTUALLY do (in comics, I mean). Mind you, the fact that they won't just take over Hitler-style is one of the starting assumptions of (most) superhero comics, so it's kind of like saying "yeah but suppose Romeo and Juliet didn't even like each other, what then?"
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 13:17

I think you're trying to make a ridiculous and invalid comparison, that's what I think of George Zimmerman's actions.
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 13:16

EH, I get that you have minarchist / libertarian leanings, and you have an instinctive fear of anyone powerful. But you've let that drive you to a pretty ridiculous place, where anyone who uses power, no matter how benignly, and no matter with what level of respect for the law and civil liberties, are fascists.
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 12:22

"However, self-defense requires that the person against whom you are acting as judge, jury, and executioner, is *actually an imminent threat to your life*"

Not true. Self defense applies to protecting other people. Next.
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 12:14

"Fascists"

EH, I have a real problem seizing upon the point you're trying to make, because you seem to have defined "fascist" to mean "anyone who could beat me up". That's my best guess, anyway. But that's not what fascism is, and every time you reduce the term to mush, it makes it impossible to get your meaning.

Not that there is a firm definition of fascism, but there are certainly some traits that make it recognizable: glorification of The State, a militaristic world view with an eye towards conquest, a leader whose will is to be obeyed completely, curtailing of freedoms, contempt for the weak and for minorities held to be weak, and free enterprise but ultimately in service to the requirements of the government, for starters.

And none of that -- not one jot, not one tittle -- tracks with typical superheroes. Which is why I implore you to quit saying "fascist" to mean "Superman scares me".
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 10:17

Quit using the word "fascist" if you're not going to use it right. Please.
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 09:59

"Since when has Superman EVER cared about legal cases, Bort?"

For years and years, Lex Luthor said to Superman, "you'll never prove I had anything to do with Intergang's new high-tech weapons! Even if you tie it back to LexCorp, you'll never be able to prove I knew about it! HA, HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAA!"

"He's a fascist bully"

Yeah, you know what the problem with the fascists was? They voluntarily opted to serve their fellow man, to protect those without power, and to save life wherever they could. No wonder fascism gets such a bad rap!
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 08:36

B&B embraces the characters, and starts with the proposition, what do our viewers want to see? Then they deliver.
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 08:35

"I've seen this angle done in the cartoons and I'm assuming its been done in the comics, where Lois Lane dies causing Supes to become a dictator. Batman of course is the only dude who can stop him."

No thank you; that's plotting by Mad-Lib: "What if _____ turned evil and ______ had to stop him?" That's about the weakest, least imaginative way to generate conflict between heroes.

People say Superman is so powerful that you can't create any threats he can't easily beat, but that's not true: all you have to do is come up with a threat that can't be punched into submission, or one that enjoys legal protections. Lex Luthor was a respected businessman for years and years, and Superman couldn't just punch him because he couldn't construct a legal case against him.
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 08:01

The problem is that it's also a Superman movie that apparently wants nothing to do with what makes Superman work as a character (he truly sees himself as no more important than anyone else despite his powers, and he tries to set a good example and bring out the best in people).

It's possible to do a Superman vs. Batman movie, but pretty early in the thing, Superman and Batman are going to realize their main differences have to do with M.O. and not with intentions.

DC already set the standard for this on Saturday mornings anyway, almost twenty years ago. They're going to need to beat this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F90nxOlsm1s
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 07:52

DC has a massive inferiority complex where Marvel is concerned; when Marvel showed up and was appealing to teen audiences by creating protagonists their readers could identify with, DC's heroes were typically wooden types. Marvel's writers had lots of experience writing teen romance comics, so they mostly transposed what they knew to the superhero genre.

Ever since then, DC has been trying to "Marvelize" and to become more "adult", and the results have been pretty reliably bad. The big difference between DC and Marvel is that DC is about crimebusters and Marvel is about soap opera: Batman's foes are usually engaged in criminal activity which is what brings Batman into the picture, while it's been years since Spider-Man's foes have cared about anything except crushing that meddling wall-crawler once and for all. You can't apply the Spider-Man dynamic to Batman or Superman or even the Metal Men, it just doesn't work.

As Patton Oswalt said, you have to embrace the characters for what they are.
Batman v. Superman: Darkness, No Parents
04/19/15, 07:33

Batman's son, Damian, has a cat named "Alfred". Also a dog (Titus) and Bat-Cow:

https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/batcowtitusalfred-415x615.jpg
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The IRS
04/19/15, 06:55

There are a lot of politicians who want the tax code written to serve the common man better, but it's out of vogue to believe that any politicians at all believe in public service.
MST3K - Grateful Dead
04/18/15, 18:42

May Mike Nelson do a manly beach dance at you.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The IRS
04/18/15, 16:08

Funny how our most informative news sources these days sound like a fever dream. "Michael Bolton sang to me about the IRS while a little British man talked about looking at his anus with mirrors."
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Official Teaser Trailer
04/18/15, 15:31

They really ought to consider putting out a movie that viewers might enjoy, rather than try so very hard to pretend comics are for adults.

I say this as an adult who enjoys comics, but without any illusions that I am reading high-brow literature.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Official Teaser Trailer
04/18/15, 14:22

Gw/H: You have sound arguments, and I think we're stuck at the point of conflicting opinions that are supportable within the work we're discussing (qf Talmudic scholars arguing about TV dinners). There's that interview with Ozymandias where he discusses how the Soviet Union was invaded once, and they'll prevent it ever happening again by any means necessary, and Dr. Manhattan is pushing them towards that point again. Part of Ozy's plan is to send Dr. Manhattan away from earth, so that much is in keeping with that interview and is a smart move. The vagina monster, if it is intended to be a crazy bad idea, is following on the heels of a good idea, and it does seem to temporarily work as intended, so I feel like Moore meant it to be a success (if only on a limited basis).

The Ozymandias / Black Freighter thing might speak to Ozy's lucidity: he's aware that he's going to cause all this death over what might well never come to pass.

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