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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 07:32am
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Sarevok wrote:
Are you saying the writers put it in there intentionally ? I don't think they were as clever or thought as much as you give them credit for. A lot of things in a lot of movies come off as homosexual when viewed in hindsight, unintentional gay subtexts are pretty much one of the most common tropes ever in fiction.


'Written and directed by Joss Whedon'. Yeah, I'd say he's clever enough to build a sexual subtext into his villain.



What is Project Zohar?

Here's to a certain mostly harmless nutcase.

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 07:37am
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Maybe, but I would rather wait for confirmation in an interview rather than jump to a conclusion. I mean we do know he has something of a foot fetish and loves to feature underweight girls manhandling huge thugs. But subtle hidden gay characteristics is something he has never done before IIRC. It would be the first time he did this but correct me if I am wrong (I only watched Firefly and Dollhouse mainly).



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 07:37am
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Stofsk wrote:
One more spammy one-liner post Ryan, and I will split you the fuck out of this thread.

Wait, wait, you people are actually taking him seriously? Fuck that noise, I've got way better things to do with my time than listen to Freud here try to convince me that this is a horrible movie about fascism and teh gheys.

"Loki is a gay rapist", indeed. He's a creepy megalomaniac. If you read any more into it than that, you are the problem.



SDN Worlds 5: Sanctum

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 07:43am
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A cigar is not just a cigar in Bakustras world. He probably does not smoke because the idea repulses him...



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 07:46am
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Speaking up about an uncomfortable portrayal of a minority does not make Bakustra the bad guy here.



What is Project Zohar?

Here's to a certain mostly harmless nutcase.

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 08:17am
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Perceiving a portrayal where none exists, does, however. This subtext is so fucking flimsy as to be the product of an overactive imagination, an obsession with finding things to fucking complain about. Furthermore, it doesn't even make sense. Joss Whedon is a rather outspoken supporter of gay rights. He's expressed interest in writing a strong, openly-gay male protagonist. He might not be great at always depicting feminism or homosexuality in positive ways, but he's at least got good intentions. It does not make any kind of sense for Loki to have been any way intended as a gay-rapist allegory and I sincerely doubt almost anyone could come to that conclusion, except for apparently Bakustra here, who's concluded that if a character has an evil phallic device and acts like a misogynist, he must be some sort of statement about gays being evil.



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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 08:23am
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Bakustra wrote:
Having seen this just a few days ago, one thing that really stood out for me is how they made Loki so obviously gay and something of a predatory rapist.

Er... what?

Look, I know my gaydar sort of sucks, but I honestly don't see anything gay about Loki. I mean, I read the words you post and I sort of follow your reasoning, but no, I don't agree and just don't see what you see here.

No, wait – I can see the “rapist” thing with the mind control, but mind control arguing is a violation and rape. That does not, however, make it gay. As near as I can tell there is nothing sexual about what Loki does to peoples' minds with his Magic Stick. To paraphrase Freud, somethings a scepter is just a scepter.

I mean, based on the shape you could argue that Tony Stark's/Iron Man's chest reactor thingy is a vagina and Start is thus a hermaphrodite and represents the power of the gender queer to block the attempted imposition of the phallic norm's fascism onto those who don't fit the binary male/female categories but that would just be ridiculous. I mean, Stark is the distilled essence of heterosexual playboy, isn't he? Despite his chest vagina. Which in a prior movie was “serviced” by Pepper Potts inserting her hand into it in a thinly disguised gender queer sex scene where she was lesbian hand-fucking with her boss's sexual body mod – except that's even more stupid and ridiculous.

In other words, why did you pick up on all this supposed male symbolism but not a single mention of all the female stuff? Or maybe you're bringing something to this the rest of us aren't?

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In the process, it succeeds in making an overtly fascist movie and undermines the subtleties of Iron Man and Captain America (I haven't seen Thor or Hulk) too, but it had a bunch of explosions and whatnot.

Um... “subtle” is not a word I'd use when describing Marvel's comic-book movies. Since I have seen Thor I'll just say if anything it's less subtle that the ones you've mentioned seeing.

There really isn't a super-deep subtext in these movies.

Bakustra wrote:
His glowstick-spear is obviously phallic. Like, they make jokes about it being a cock in the movie.

Tell me, have you spent any time around heterosexual men? I have. I'm assuming that when I've been around they've held back just a bit on their more offensive tendencies but they describe everything as a cock. Garden hoses, stick pretzels, pens, pencils, hammers, loaves of bread... Phallic does not equal gay. Phallic equals male. That includes heterosexuals.

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So his mind-control involves him sticking what is basically his dick into somebody. He only targets men with this, and seems contemptuous of the only woman he interacts with.

And heterosexual rapists aren't contemptuous of women? Really?

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His victims view it in terms of a violation once the effect wears off. The only person he can't fuck wears protection- a sort of chastity belt, in fact (chastity reactor?).

Chest vagina. See above.

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This also presents a corrosive view of his sexuality- his penis is literally a corrupting influence on people. Just having it present in the same room messes with their minds.

This is actually a view a lot of people have of penises, regardless of the sexual orientation of the owner.

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This is probably a deliberate poke at The Dark Knight, but then we have Phase 2, which the movie's internal logic endorses, we have the actual conflict be between those who want to rule the world through mass-produced superweapons and the one guy who wants to have it be ruled by superhuman individuals... we have what is basically a fascist film. This is a shame, because superheroes are nowhere near inherently fascist or even reactionary.

Er... the Avengers look more like independent contractors hired for a job here, not some sort of shadowy rulers of Earth. That's why they had to be recruited, and why they went their separate ways after the show was over. Well, after getting a bite to eat, saving the world and epic beatdowns making one a bit peckish, after all – but they aren't plotting and planning, they're eating shawarma in near complete silence. Oh, yeah, fascist plot there!

I think you've totally misread what's going on.

gigabytelord wrote:
How is he obviously gay? He's the god of lying, trickery, and deceit, there's nothing gay about him, megalomaniacal maybe and very misguided with a dash of schadenfreude but not gay.

The funny thing to me about this is that in the original tales about Loki, from the actual Norse mythology, he's not gay he's actually transgender and omnisexual (in a nutshell: in the form of a mare he had sex with a Jotun's horse and that's where we get Odin's steed Sleipnir, who is actually one of Loki's sons). But even these days I just don't see getting that past the mainstream censors. But Marvel played very fast and loose with the Norse mythos for their comic book so I don't worry about it.

Marvel's Loki is not gay. At most I could argue metrosexual, but that has a connotations of a heterosexual man adopting some stereotypical gay things, like a concern for fashionable appearance, as much as it means “gay”, or perhaps more so. Likewise, someone else mentioned “Eurotrash vibe” which isn't entirely surprising in an American-produced movie as Hollywood has a long history of making movie villians with a European back-story or stereotypical European traits. Even that isn't very strong and isn't going to be picked up by most of the audience, even subliminally.

By that same reasoning Black Widow [lying and deceitful spy] and Thor [drunken idiot, probably a football hooligan] are also “Eurotrash” and Stark with his suits and jewelry is a metrosexual [closet gay guy]. You're picking and choosing here to support a foregone conclusion.

Bakustra wrote:
Instead, the conflict is over whether the "council" or Fury will rule the world and dictate its course. The council wants a world dominated through mass-produced weapons of war- Phase 2. Fury wants a world dominated by superhumans. Both of these are authoritarian worlds, but the second is actually fascist because fascism, as "radicalism of the center" relied on subverting democracy rather than replacing it- the will of the people could only be effectively interpreted by the superhuman leader. Fury is a conniving bastard who spies on the entire world, but in the end he's proven right and we must trust him.

No, you're wrong. The sub-conflict (it's not even the main point of the movie) is whether the Earth's defense is in the hands of a shadowy, paranoid council that seems to have no problems with nuking New York City and who clearly want to pull strings from safely in the background where they experience no personal loss or risk, or whether Earth will be defended by folks who will do what's necessary even at the risk of their own lives then go home afterwards because, frankly, they don't want to rule the world or have that kind of power. It gets in the way of other stuff, like going home to Asgard, inventing cool new toys at Stark Industries, or whatever else Captain America, Hawkeye, and Black Widow are going off to do at the end of the movie.

It's oligarchy vs. free individuals.

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Also, Coulson's death becomes hilarious once you realize that he's the nerd/audience stand-in.

Fuck, I wish I could be as cool and capable as Coulson. Check out A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer. That's not a “nerd boy”. Or if it is, it's one that's actually done more than sit on his ass and play video games all day. He's every bit as much as Badass Normal as Black Widow or Hawkeye and if he wasn't a government agent he could be a super-hero, or a demi-super-hero, in his own right.

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Nobody cares about any of the other people Loki has killed, and instead it's Coulson who motivates Cap and Iron Man.

Here's an idea – Coulson is someone Rogers and Stark know PERSONALLY. People die every fucking day, but let's be honest here, it's the ones we know and like/love that we give a real damn about. Sure, I feel bad watching some poor guy in Japan trying to outrun a tsunami on some March afternoon but it's hearing about a former co-worker drop dead that makes me actually sad and a relatives dying that makes me cry about it.

Rogers and Stark can care about those unknown folks getting hurt and killed – hell, they're risking their lives to stop the crisis, obviously they give a damn – but it's a guy with a name and a face they know personally that's going to make them really be angry and motivated. And there's a definite hint whack with a clue-by-four that Fury knows this and is deliberately manipulating the two heroes by making Coulson's “death” (which actually isn't as certain as it seems) even more poignant than it actually was.

And I'll further underline that this isn't Fury scheming to take over the world, it's him trying to get the superhumans to do the job of ending the crisis. If you think that such things aren't done in the real world – emotional manipulation of folks about to go into battle – you have your head up your ass. It isn't inherently evil, it can be quite vital for those about to go to war to be in the proper frame of mind and clearly motivated.

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Needless to say, I'm delighted with Joss Whedon declaring that comic nerds exist primarily to be exploited by the comic book companies.

Uh, yeah. You know, for decades it was only nerds who bought comic books so yeah, the comic book companies rely on “exploiting” the only people who buy their products. That actually is how capitalism works you know – a company supplies stuff to the people who want it. I realize this might be offensive to some types of communists but you're talking about a movie that comes out of a capitalistic system and is, itself, capitalist in that a significant motivation in making it was to make shit-tons of money for all involved. Which, by the way, it did.

Bakustra wrote:
Look, they outright acknowledge that the glowstick is a penile substitute and his brainwashing is treated as a mental rape and he goes above and beyond "not being feminist" when he calls Black Widow a quim. This is not exactly a subtle approach here. This ain't Dashiell Hammit using "gunsel" ambiguously.

Again, sometimes a giant glow stick is just a giant glowstick.

Loki says “quim” because there's no way in hell they were going to get “cunt” by the censors. I'm sure a lot of people had no idea that “quim” was even a word, but a lot of others knew damn well it was a stand in for “cunt”. Let me clue you in my friend, using the word “cunt” does not make a person gay. I honestly don't know where you get that idea. Being contemptuous of women does not make a man gay. LOTS of heterosexual men are sexist bastards with no inhibitions on using the word “cunt” when speaking to a woman. In fact, when a man calls a woman a cunt I'm far more likely to think it's an insult from a heterosexual man than a homosexual one.

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Fury and the movie insist that we ought to revere the Avengers because of how cool they are.

Really? I thought we were supposed to revere them for, you know, saving the Earth from an alien invasion. Did we see the same movie?

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A properly-done Superman work will not insist that you ought to do anything, and Superman will explicitly disavow temporal power. Avengers doesn't- and given that Iron Man 1 & 2 and Captain America show similar ways of averting fascism when you have a superheroic character (though arguably Iron Man doesn't go far enough), Avengers is thus a disappointment.

Well, hon, if you don't like the movie that's your opinion and you're just as much entitled to it as those who enjoy it are entitled to their opinion. But I still can't see how a bunch of superheros going to a shawarma shop for a quiet bite to eat afterwards then going their separate ways somehow implies a fascist takeover of the planet by superhumans. Really, I think it's just not there.

Sarevok wrote:
Maybe, but I would rather wait for confirmation in an interview rather than jump to a conclusion. I mean we do know he has something of a foot fetish and loves to feature underweight girls manhandling huge thugs.

He's also insisted on have a major character in a TV series that “looks like she enjoys a cheeseburger occassionally” and forbid the actress playing her from losing weight while in the role (for those not getting the reference, that's Kaylee from Firefly and Serenity). In other words, Joss Whedon doesn't always go to his box of Stock Characters and How They Look and pick the same thing over and over. For that matter, Zoe from Firefly/Serenity wasn't exactly a stick, either, and I don't recall her walking around barefoot. So yeah, Joss likes certain things and repeats them, but that doesn't mean all characters in his stories are hammered into the exact same mold.

Ford Prefect wrote:
Speaking up about an uncomfortable portrayal of a minority does not make Bakustra the bad guy here.

True. And he's completely entitled to his thoughts/opinions/reasoning about the movie. On the other hand, some of us disagree with his interpretation. Doesn't make either side bad.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 09:55am
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Ryan Thunder wrote:
Stofsk wrote:
One more spammy one-liner post Ryan, and I will split you the fuck out of this thread.

Wait, wait, you people are actually taking him seriously? Fuck that noise, I've got way better things to do with my time than listen to Freud here try to convince me that this is a horrible movie about fascism and teh gheys.

"Loki is a gay rapist", indeed. He's a creepy megalomaniac. If you read any more into it than that, you are the problem.

Hey dipshit, you might notice I haven't cracked down on anyone else in this thread who has disagreed with Bakustra. Wanna know why? They've all bothered and put in (some) effort to address his points - you on the other hand, did nothing but post a one-liner that contributed nothing to the discussion.

So, if you have 'way better things to do', then get the fuck out of this thread. Or, start participating properly.



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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 10:02am
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SilverWingedSeraph wrote:
Perceiving a portrayal where none exists, does, however. This subtext is so fucking flimsy as to be the product of an overactive imagination, an obsession with finding things to fucking complain about. Furthermore, it doesn't even make sense. Joss Whedon is a rather outspoken supporter of gay rights. He's expressed interest in writing a strong, openly-gay male protagonist. He might not be great at always depicting feminism or homosexuality in positive ways, but he's at least got good intentions.

Author's intent does not enter into the picture here. Literary criticism does not take it into account, because what a writer consciously or unconsciously intends is practically unknowable unless said author literally stated his intentions in some kind of interview or preface or whatever.

This is not to say that you can't look at subtext or what-not as being deliberately placed. Everything that get's written or filmed was put there deliberately; but everything also has multiple meanings, and sometimes those meanings can be unintentional.

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It does not make any kind of sense for Loki to have been any way intended as a gay-rapist allegory and I sincerely doubt almost anyone could come to that conclusion, except for apparently Bakustra here, who's concluded that if a character has an evil phallic device and acts like a misogynist, he must be some sort of statement about gays being evil.

It's one interpretation, yes. Not the only one.



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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 10:19am
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Simon_Jester wrote:
Ahriman238 wrote:
Bakustra, I think you're reading way too much into the staff, or a Norse God not being really feminist.

I can see both sides of the phase 2 argument. Fury is right, after two alien invasions that resulted in substantial death and property damage, Earth absolutely needs the means to defend itself.
No, no, you see. The author is dead, there is no author, there is no in-story logic, you're missing the point.

The real point, the real reason fiction exists, is to make critics look clever. And the way the critic looks clever is to use the critical equivalent of a stock footage montage: Condemn the story as homophobic, because if you look hard enough you can find enough 'evidence' that anyone is gay.

Seriously, guys, you're wasting your time. You can't argue with a deconstructionist, you just look, nod, chortle when they say funny things, and get on with your life.


Simon, I have enacted a terrible right-brain ritual. C. P. Snow and Isaac Asimov have risen from the grave. They are coming for you...

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Bakustra wrote:
Who appoints the Avengers? Who holds them accountable? Fury does. Fury, who is accountable to none but another group of unaccountable types, who he breaks free from anyways. Fury and the movie insist that we ought to revere the Avengers because of how cool they are. This is fascistic.
And rule by shadowy oligarchs armed with superweapons and troops equipped by a monopoly on super-science personal weapons isn't. Riiight.

See, I always thought of fascism as a kind of dark-populist tyranny, where the few justify their rule by their power to command the affections of the many. But that's the historian's version, not the lit-crit version.


Nothing about these two sentences make sense when put next to each other. Given how violently you're reacting to any sort of literariness, I guess context is a bit difficult for you, though.

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EDIT: Also, within the movie's framework, Phase 2 is A-OK. There's nothing wrong with it, really. Otherwise, Coulson wouldn't have managed to humiliate Loki with a Phase 2 weapon.
This is the funniest thing you've said in weeks.


If they wanted to show that Phase 2 was bad, one way they could do it is to have the weapons actually be ineffective, to show that all this secrecy and betrayal isn't necessary. Instead, it produces useful results, showing that Phase 2 was actually valuable and something worth arguing about rather than a betrayal of American ideals. It's like, if you want to show that something is bad, one of the best ways to do it is to combine raising moral arguments with showing material ineffectiveness. Otherwise you have something that is ambiguous.

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Stofsk wrote:
But the biggest sign is probably Loki calling Black Widow a quim. I didn't actually know the meaning of this slang before Bakustra mentioned it above and I googled it. Yeah, that's pretty much the biggest 'subtle' clue about the character.
He's sure misogynistic. I don't think I buy the assumption that every character presented as misogynist is also being presented as gay. Whedon's been bringing in misogynist characters since Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and a lot of them aren't gay.

I'm pretty sure "misogynist" is Whedon-code for "this character is an irredeemable asshole." Not so much "and this character is gay but we're not actually going to say it explicitly."


It's the misogyny combined with an explicitly phallic glowstick that the movie points out is phallic, the targeting of men and men only, the scene where he brags about his conquest of Hawkeye to Black Widow, the sexualization of his mind-control in its description by its victims... we don't even have to look at his gestures or choice of words, which are enough to make many other characters campy and thus flaming to people in the know. This is something that is far, far more obvious that Scar or Jafar, who were deliberately created as flamboyant, queeny characters. Like I said, about the only thing they could do to make it more blatant would be to have him flirt with Iron Man or Captain America, but that's out of character with his imperious, rapine sexuality/personality.

Sarevok wrote:
A cigar is not just a cigar in Bakustras world. He probably does not smoke because the idea repulses him...


Ahahaha. I don't smoke because my body is a temple, laters~

CaptainChewbacca wrote:
It emerged from the fevered mind of someone trying to see something that's not there. Nobody working on the script ever looked up and said 'Hey, how about we make his staff phallic and turn all the mind control into a rape metaphor?!'

Sometimes a scepter is just a scepter.

When Bruce Banner grabbed the scepter in the lab, was he getting a metaphorical erection? Or was he about to metaphorically rape people?

Grow up. This is like that homoerotic deconstructionist nonsense from X-Men 2. 'Ooh.. ice-man blew on a coke bottle for wolverine to cool it off, oral sex!' :roll:

Loki isn't gay, he's euro.


And when there are jokes that require that you identify the glowstick as a penis substitute, then what is it? Is it still only a scepter? Because at that point you're literally working against authorial intent and delving into the realms of personal interpretation, which destroys the grounds you are criticizing me on.

Also, X-Men 2 and 3 are pretty blatant in their gay subtext, and Bryan Singer has said that he made it that way because he identifies heavily with the X-Men as being symbolic of the gay rights movement. I'm not sure how you can look at a scene where somebody says "Have you tried not being X...?" and think it's entirely superficial without a massive dose of ignorance.

Ryan Thunder wrote:
Wait, wait, you people are actually taking him seriously? Fuck that noise, I've got way better things to do with my time than listen to Freud here try to convince me that this is a horrible movie about fascism and teh gheys.

"Loki is a gay rapist", indeed. He's a creepy megalomaniac. If you read any more into it than that, you are the problem.


There is a distinction between message and quality in literature. A movie can have a good message and be bad, or have a terrible message and be good. Ghostbusters has one of the most dangerous messages put on film- "trust in naked, unrestrained capitalism". But it's also one of the best movies of the 1980s. Avengers is a decent beat-em-up flick with some disturbing subtext and arguably negative messages.

A Whole Bunch of People wrote:
YOU CAN'T SAY THIS MOVIE WAS FASCIST!! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!

/
Image

The movie simply expects us to accept unquestioningly that SHIELD monitors every camera on the entire planet. The movie sets up a moral conflict with Phase 2, and then resolves it by showing off how cool these (Nazi-derived) weapons are and then dropping it altogether. The movie shows us that the reason police should listen to Captain America is because he's hella tough and badass. The movie tells us that a governmental superteam with no accountability is an inherently positive thing. And this is democratic?

Broomstick wrote:
Fuck, I wish I could be as cool and capable as Coulson. Check out A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer. That's not a “nerd boy”. Or if it is, it's one that's actually done more than sit on his ass and play video games all day. He's every bit as much as Badass Normal as Black Widow or Hawkeye and if he wasn't a government agent he could be a super-hero, or a demi-super-hero, in his own right.


Please don't use tropery, thanks.

Anyways, within this movie, he's a stand-in for nerds as a whole. He geeks out over Captain America and has all his trading cards. He's competent around other superheroes. He gets a few badass minutes and then dies in a lengthy death scene. He's built on the nerd fantasy of being able to interact well with heroic fictional characters. All of this adds up to "nerd stand-in", which makes everything about him hilarious in retrospect.

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Uh, yeah. You know, for decades it was only nerds who bought comic books so yeah, the comic book companies rely on “exploiting” the only people who buy their products. That actually is how capitalism works you know – a company supplies stuff to the people who want it. I realize this might be offensive to some types of communists but you're talking about a movie that comes out of a capitalistic system and is, itself, capitalist in that a significant motivation in making it was to make shit-tons of money for all involved. Which, by the way, it did.


I am legitimately delighted that Whedon was willing to admit the truth about the relationship comic-book companies have to their audience. As a communist in real life, I find it marvelous that some people are willing to admit the hard truths about capitalism rather than rely on fuzzy lies about "customer relations".

----

Look, one of the ways that media code characters as gay men is to have them be slightly effeminate (what people are referring to as "eurotrash", but it's not really a significant identifier for Loki), and to have them be contemptuous of women and preferring the company of men. If I said that a physically fit, short-haired woman who treats male characters with contempt and always hangs around other women was coded for lesbianism, would people really insist that they would have to see her scissoring (or maybe just making out with) another lady for them to accept it? This is without the phallic symbolism associated with Loki's superpowers, too. I guess the sapphic equivalent would be yonic symbolism- lots of lip and oval imagery, maybe a tongue-like brainwashing device...



Invited by the new age, the elegant Sailor Neptune!


I mean, how often am I to enter a game of riddles with the author, where they challenge me with some strange and confusing and distracting device, and I'm supposed to unravel it and go "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" and take great personal satisfaction and pride in our mutual cleverness?

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 12:21pm
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So did anyone else get a big fuckin Executor vibe from the control center?

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 12:40pm
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Spoonist wrote:
So did anyone else get a big fuckin Executor vibe from the control center?
Er, the one on the helicarrier? Kind of, yes. I think that's just how cinema likes a ship's command bridge to work. Lots of consoles with guys doing ill-defined computer stuff in the background, but you can't put them in a place where they'll obscure the heroic characters' scenes, so you stick them in recessed pits below the floor level of the bridge to provide unobscured lines of sight.



Ford Prefect wrote:
Sarevok wrote:
Ryan is absolutely correct. Not everything in a comic book movie has deep subtext and meaning. it's a movie where the incredible hulk and norse god thor team up to beat up space aliens. This is not a work of Tolkien or even original Star Wars where the creators put a great deal of thought in every minor detail.
So what you're saying is that all this gay rape subtext just emerged from the work by ... coincidence?
I'd say the gay rape subtext emerged from the work by processes that exist only in Bakustra's brain, and have nothing to do with coincidence or author's intent. They tell us at least as much about Bakustra than they do about the movie.

CaptainChewbacca wrote:
When Bruce Banner grabbed the scepter in the lab, was he getting a metaphorical erection? Or was he about to metaphorically rape people?
Oooh, better yet! What does it mean when the Hulk grabs Loki by the ankle, bashes him against the floor, Loki apparently staggers off without his weapon, which the old man recently under Loki's brainwashing then tells Black Widow can be used to shut down the portal. So she goes, picks it up, and gets ready to do that, but then has to hold off for a while so Iron Man can redirect the terrible destructive missile (which was launched as an act of aggression to destroy the whole city and the protagonists) against Loki's allies. But then she does it early and closes the portal because Captain America tells her to, but then Iron Man narrowly makes it out anyway?

Now that's a nice intricate one. Let's see the sophomore Freudian interpretation of that! Will the word "orgy" be involved? How many times?

This is better than a Rorschach test. Granted, the Rorschach test doesn't necessarily work, but at least the results are funnier to watch.

Ford Prefect wrote:
Speaking up about an uncomfortable portrayal of a minority does not make Bakustra the bad guy here.
He's not the bad guy, he's the silly guy. Being all post-post-post-post-ironic and hypercritical and being able to read sinister oppressive evil subtexts into anything and everything is what he does. This time just happens to be more obvious and self-parodic than most.

I don't have to think he's a bad person to think taking him seriously is a waste of time.

Broomstick wrote:
Loki says “quim” because there's no way in hell they were going to get “cunt” by the censors. I'm sure a lot of people had no idea that “quim” was even a word, but a lot of others knew damn well it was a stand in for “cunt”. Let me clue you in my friend, using the word “cunt” does not make a person gay. I honestly don't know where you get that idea. Being contemptuous of women does not make a man gay. LOTS of heterosexual men are sexist bastards with no inhibitions on using the word “cunt” when speaking to a woman. In fact, when a man calls a woman a cunt I'm far more likely to think it's an insult from a heterosexual man than a homosexual one.
We have people on this very site who call anything and everything they want "cunts." I might not be aware, but so far as I know, the ones I can think of aren't gay.



Stofsk wrote:
Author's intent does not enter into the picture here. Literary criticism does not take it into account, because what a writer consciously or unconsciously intends is practically unknowable unless said author literally stated his intentions in some kind of interview or preface or whatever.

This is not to say that you can't look at subtext or what-not as being deliberately placed. Everything that get's written or filmed was put there deliberately; but everything also has multiple meanings, and sometimes those meanings can be unintentional.

Quote:
It does not make any kind of sense for Loki to have been any way intended as a gay-rapist allegory and I sincerely doubt almost anyone could come to that conclusion, except for apparently Bakustra here, who's concluded that if a character has an evil phallic device and acts like a misogynist, he must be some sort of statement about gays being evil.
It's one interpretation, yes. Not the only one.
If I had to make a list of sensible, coherent interpretations of the movie, the amateur-Freudian symbolic argument for Loki being a gay rapist would be pretty damn low on the list.

Literary criticism that isn't bound by any internal logic of the story and its overt themes may be able to produce any criticism you like. That's not a good sign. It reminds me of Orwell's comments on political and artistic language; the argument goes like this:

Quote:
Meaningless words. In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning. Words like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural, vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly even expected to do so by the reader.

When one critic writes, "The outstanding feature of Mr. X's work is its living quality," while another writes, "The immediately striking thing about Mr. X's work is its peculiar deadness," the reader accepts this as a simple difference of opinion. If words like black and white were involved, instead of the jargon words dead and living, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way.

Many political words are similarly abused. The word fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable." The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotism, realistic, justice, have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of régime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.

Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Pétain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary bourgeois, equality
Now, Orwell was speaking partly in terms of his own socialist dissent from the Communists of the era, who were willing to align themselves with Moscow to the point of prostituting themselves. But I think there's something still there: that part of the price of lit-crit divorcing itself from the author's intent is that it allows itself to become meaningless.

If I can say, by clever argument, that a man is colored red and blue at the same time, it's a problem with the way I go about making arguments, not a fact about the man that other people should be obliged to accept. If I can say, by equally clever argument, that a character is at once a gay rapist (because he mind controls people by tapping them in the chest with a spear) and a heterosexual misogynist (because of, say, the way the same character and Sif interact in another movie)... well gee. Does that mean we should accept both those things as "true" for a meaningful value of "true?" Or does it mean that if you're clever enough and have two or three hours of screen time to work with, you can argue anything, even "red is blue" or "night is day?"

Incidentally, I like Orwell, he was one of the most sensible political thinkers of the 20th century- not afraid to criticize, but not so in love with criticism that it blinded him to the fundamental realities of the world he lived in.



Bakustra wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
EDIT: Also, within the movie's framework, Phase 2 is A-OK. There's nothing wrong with it, really. Otherwise, Coulson wouldn't have managed to humiliate Loki with a Phase 2 weapon.
This is the funniest thing you've said in weeks.


If they wanted to show that Phase 2 was bad, one way they could do it is to have the weapons actually be ineffective, to show that all this secrecy and betrayal isn't necessary. Instead, it produces useful results, showing that Phase 2 was actually valuable and something worth arguing about rather than a betrayal of American ideals. It's like, if you want to show that something is bad, one of the best ways to do it is to combine raising moral arguments with showing material ineffectiveness. Otherwise you have something that is ambiguous.
So for you, "nuke the monster" in a monster movie is an ambiguous thing unless the monster is proven to be nuke-proof? And "just shoot the guy we don't like" in a nonviolent caper flick* is an ambiguous thing unless the bad guy turns out to be bullet-proof? These things aren't really bad ideas just because they might, in some sense... sort of work?

This is an example of why you're not to be taken seriously: you're actually trying to tell us that you think that the main reason for a violent option to be morally unwise is because it doesn't work. As opposed to, say, being something that would probably work but would put too much power in the wrong hands. Or something that would work but would lead to disastrous escalation. Or something that would work but would cause enormous collateral damage.

No, no no. Clearly a violent option is only bad if it fails utterly, preferably with a "wah-wah-waaah" sound.

And then you have the sheer brass balls to denounce the movie as fascist. Because "fascist," as Orwell said, really means "something not desirable which puts me in fear of being beaten up for my lunch money," and has little connection to the origins of historical fascism.

It's hilarious.

*I.e. the ones where violence is relatively unimportant and the villain is defeated through the cunning and resourcefulness of a group of hypercompetent thieves. Ocean's Eleven is a good example.

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 05:40pm
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So did anyone else get a big fuckin Executor vibe from the control center?


I did laugh very hard at the guy playing Asteroids on his monitor.



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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 07:01pm
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He was actually playing Galaga. And yes, it was fucking hilarious. Especially when he went back to it when Stark left.

One thing I noticed about the helicarrier that I found interesting is that it seemed to have the "glowing engine cluster" thing going on normally reserved for space ships.

Or maybe they just put on THAT many jet turbines.



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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 07:12pm
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EDIT: Also, within the movie's framework, Phase 2 is A-OK. There's nothing wrong with it, really. Otherwise, Coulson wouldn't have managed to humiliate Loki with a Phase 2 weapon.
This is the funniest thing you've said in weeks.

If they wanted to show that Phase 2 was bad, one way they could do it is to have the weapons actually be ineffective, to show that all this secrecy and betrayal isn't necessary. Instead, it produces useful results, showing that Phase 2 was actually valuable and something worth arguing about rather than a betrayal of American ideals. It's like, if you want to show that something is bad, one of the best ways to do it is to combine raising moral arguments with showing material ineffectiveness. Otherwise you have something that is ambiguous.

But Phase 2 was ineffective - Coulson didn't kill Loki despite the weapon hurting/humiliating him, and Loki then killed Coulson immediately after. Maybe he should have fired a second time I guess instead of gloating.

I don't think this counterpoint hurts your main point about how the film has this fascistic subtext to it. In fact, given that The Ultimates seems a clear influence on the film (hell they outright cast Sam Jackson as Nick Fury for fuck's sake, Hawkeye and BW are SHIELD agents and they even have the absurd accuracy Hawkeye has as a 'superpower' in the comics), I think exploring the Avengers-as-superpowered-thugs-which-backfires-horribly is a potentially extremely interesting possibility for the sequel. While I didn't like Ultimates 2 all that much, it ended with the realisation that the Avengers could not and would not be tools for the US government to maintain its hegemonic hyperpower dominance over the rest of the world. Avengers seems to suggest that SHIELD is run more by a cabal of international interests too, and I hope that the various characters more or less wake up to that. (IIRC there was definitely distrust of SHIELD on the part of most of the characters, Stark and Cap in particular, but at the same time you have Black Widow and Hawkeye, who aren't independent at all and are outright SHIELD agents)

I think I will have to watch this film again. :)



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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 08:34pm
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Black Widow and Hawkeye are the most dispensable members of the team- if the next Avengers movie decides to drop them (not necessarily kill them off, could just be the Big Four saying "screw you guys, we'll save the world without you"), that works.

My feeling is that Fury is actually trying to create something which is... put this way. He is de facto responsible for the security of Earth from exotic threats. He has to carry out his responsibility somehow. How can he do that? He can arm himself and his men with superweapons, and this is no doubt an appealing idea. He trusts himself not to become a tyrant, after all. And doing that would mean fewer of his men predictably die trying to handle supervillainous threats (which SHIELD is often a first responder to).

But on the other hand, he must be aware of how much SHIELD depends on its (shadowy?) backers. And events of the movie make it painfully obvious that Fury can't keep isolated SHIELD elements from doing things he'd never agree to, like nuking New York. The only way he had any buy-in on that decision was because he personally walked out onto the carrier deck and shot down a nuclear-armed fighter with a bazooka, for God's sake. If he can't keep his own ship from being used as a nuclear launch platform against New York, he doesn't really have as much control of SHIELD as he'd need to stop it being used for tyranny (a la Hydra).

So if Fury doesn't want tyranny, he has to create a third party solution: something that can do what needs doing, but which is... if not accountable to the general public, at least accountable to someone other than The Shadowy Clique. Accountable to their own consciences, if they have consciences. They'd better have consciences.

I think I see the argument there.

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 09:48pm
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I don't think that there's anything wrong with a queer analysis of The Avengers, but I think there is something disingenuous and kind of doofy is slanting a queer analysis of the film to make it seem reactionary just to rise up nerds' hackles. For example, saying that Loki is the only gay-coded character in the film doesn't really hold up. The Hulk has a condition where if he gets too emotional he loses control, his clothes fall off, and he turns into a total bear. And the only time this condition turns villainous is when there's a combination of a reactionary establishment preparing to quarantine if he's afflicted and trying to repress and control his sexuality, and there's a young, beautiful, deceptive woman - an agent of the establishment - cooing softly and insincerely to him to not give in to his deviant urges. The end of the movie is him grabbing Tony Stark tight, holding him close, then once he's saved him, finishing off by getting in a phallic sports car with him and the two of them driving off into the sunset.

Coulson has a fixation on Captain America and the other superheroes that goes to the point of walking in on Tony Stark and his girlfriend in their home to break them up so that he can have Stark's attention and time to himself, and, in another moment the movie itself identifies as gay, watched Cap while he slept and coltishly fawned over him. Hawkeye's ultimate revenge for Loki raping him is to get his even more phallic weapon pointed at Loki, and then, when Loki has the shaft gripped tight in his hand, the tip explodes all over his pretty face.

So yeah, if we want to talk about subtext, don't limit it to 'the avengers loves mussolini and hates the gays'. I can appreciate trolling with litcrit, but is it really worth any of our time?

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 10:00pm
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Well, when you do it NUA, it is worth it. :D



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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 10:04pm
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Re: Amoeba:

OK, see, you're being coherent, which I respect. Although I still think this methodology is inherently flawed, because if you can make everyone look gay with a queer-studies critical perspective, you haven't really accomplished anything.

The only way you come away from a critical method with anything useful is if you can use the same method to identify a character who is very not gay-coded. If the method says something about everything, that's less useful than if the method says something insightful some times and says nothing about other times.

But then, maybe you can do that. From your approach to this movie via a queer-studies perspective, are there characters in the movie who just... don't show up on the gaydar, so to speak? And is that okay?

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 10:17pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
Re: Amoeba:

OK, see, you're being coherent, which I respect. Although I still think this methodology is inherently flawed, because if you can make everyone look gay with a queer-studies critical perspective, you haven't really accomplished anything.

The only way you come away from a critical method with anything useful is if you can use the same method to identify a character who is very not gay-coded. If the method says something about everything, that's less useful than if the method says something insightful some times and says nothing about other times.

But then, maybe you can do that. From your approach to this movie via a queer-studies perspective, are there characters in the movie who just... don't show up on the gaydar, so to speak? And is that okay?

Well, I haven't figured out how to make Cap or Fury gay (yet), but I think I can argue that Thor is black, so there's that.

The thing about literary criticism is that it really is more about argumentation than about the text itself most of the time, but to be frank that's true of most all SDN debates. Personally I'm not hugely fond of Queer/Feminist/Post-Colonial criticism because so often they feel so much more like semiotic tetris than real analysis uncovering symbols and themes that aren't apparent from a majority view or a superficial reading, but they are fun and do have a use in perceiving stuff in films from a different lens than you might be familiar with.

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 10:30pm
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Nieztchean Uber-Amoeba wrote:
Well, I haven't figured out how to make Cap or Fury gay (yet), but I think I can argue that Thor is black, so there's that.

The thing about literary criticism is that it really is more about argumentation than about the text itself most of the time, but to be frank that's true of most all SDN debates. Personally I'm not hugely fond of Queer/Feminist/Post-Colonial criticism because so often they feel so much more like semiotic tetris than real analysis uncovering symbols and themes that aren't apparent from a majority view or a superficial reading, but they are fun and do have a use in perceiving stuff in films from a different lens than you might be familiar with.

Well I don't know about gay but he definitely has a small dick, after all he needs a fucking helicarrier to compensate, which he had all these other gay characters riding around on.



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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 10:39pm
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Nieztchean Uber-Amoeba wrote:
I don't think that there's anything wrong with a queer analysis of The Avengers, but I think there is something disingenuous and kind of doofy is slanting a queer analysis of the film to make it seem reactionary just to rise up nerds' hackles. For example, saying that Loki is the only gay-coded character in the film doesn't really hold up. The Hulk has a condition where if he gets too emotional he loses control, his clothes fall off, and he turns into a total bear. And the only time this condition turns villainous is when there's a combination of a reactionary establishment preparing to quarantine if he's afflicted and trying to repress and control his sexuality, and there's a young, beautiful, deceptive woman - an agent of the establishment - cooing softly and insincerely to him to not give in to his deviant urges. The end of the movie is him grabbing Tony Stark tight, holding him close, then once he's saved him, finishing off by getting in a phallic sports car with him and the two of them driving off into the sunset.

Coulson has a fixation on Captain America and the other superheroes that goes to the point of walking in on Tony Stark and his girlfriend in their home to break them up so that he can have Stark's attention and time to himself, and, in another moment the movie itself identifies as gay, watched Cap while he slept and coltishly fawned over him. Hawkeye's ultimate revenge for Loki raping him is to get his even more phallic weapon pointed at Loki, and then, when Loki has the shaft gripped tight in his hand, the tip explodes all over his pretty face.

So yeah, if we want to talk about subtext, don't limit it to 'the avengers loves mussolini and hates the gays'. I can appreciate trolling with litcrit, but is it really worth any of our time?


See now, I wasn't thinking about the arrow or the Hulk, which is a good point- we do have homoerotic subtext all over the place, although I still think that Loki is more explicitly gay-coded than Banner or Hawkeye (though Hawkeye getting his revenge on Loki with a pearl necklace/facial is interesting in itself- is it a calculated role-reversal of Loki's domineering, or is it an attempt to demean Loki by making him bottom? Are the two meaningfully distinguishable?). I viewed Coulson as more fanboy-obsessive, since he immediately attempts to downplay any homoeroticism, but he could go either way, especially with the whole "barging in on Tony Stark's date" thing.

So I feel actually a bit better about this, since it's good to know that there's plenty of implicit neutral homoeroticism to balance out the more explicit negative homoerotic coding.

Stofsk wrote:
But Phase 2 was ineffective - Coulson didn't kill Loki despite the weapon hurting/humiliating him, and Loki then killed Coulson immediately after. Maybe he should have fired a second time I guess instead of gloating.

I don't think this counterpoint hurts your main point about how the film has this fascistic subtext to it. In fact, given that The Ultimates seems a clear influence on the film (hell they outright cast Sam Jackson as Nick Fury for fuck's sake, Hawkeye and BW are SHIELD agents and they even have the absurd accuracy Hawkeye has as a 'superpower' in the comics), I think exploring the Avengers-as-superpowered-thugs-which-backfires-horribly is a potentially extremely interesting possibility for the sequel. While I didn't like Ultimates 2 all that much, it ended with the realisation that the Avengers could not and would not be tools for the US government to maintain its hegemonic hyperpower dominance over the rest of the world. Avengers seems to suggest that SHIELD is run more by a cabal of international interests too, and I hope that the various characters more or less wake up to that. (IIRC there was definitely distrust of SHIELD on the part of most of the characters, Stark and Cap in particular, but at the same time you have Black Widow and Hawkeye, who aren't independent at all and are outright SHIELD agents)

I think I will have to watch this film again. :)


Good point.

I think that there's definite hints toward this storyline but they became overwhelmed. I hope that using Thanos in Av2 means that they have more time to work with this storyline. After all, we have the implicit commentary on the superhero in Avengers, so hopefully this will continue for Avengers 2. Hell, they could make Cap 2 be the basic Captain America story; Cap becomes disillusioned with America, undergoes trials and tribulations, and has his faith be restored, and use it to build up for Avengers 2. Iron Man 3 will probably be about the final shattering of Tony Stark's worldview via the Mandarin, but that can also tie into Avengers 2 by having his rings be more alien technology. If they do do a Thor 2 or Hulk 2/3, they should also follow the basic pattern of tying together the elements without needing you to watch all the movies to make sense of things.

Coulson also either isn't dead or will be used as the basis for Vision or Ultron, since his actor is still signed on for Iron Man 3. I like the latter two notions much more than the first, of course.

Simon_Jester wrote:
Oooh, better yet! What does it mean when the Hulk grabs Loki by the ankle, bashes him against the floor, Loki apparently staggers off without his weapon, which the old man recently under Loki's brainwashing then tells Black Widow can be used to shut down the portal. So she goes, picks it up, and gets ready to do that, but then has to hold off for a while so Iron Man can redirect the terrible destructive missile (which was launched as an act of aggression to destroy the whole city and the protagonists) against Loki's allies. But then she does it early and closes the portal because Captain America tells her to, but then Iron Man narrowly makes it out anyway?

Now that's a nice intricate one. Let's see the sophomore Freudian interpretation of that! Will the word "orgy" be involved? How many times?

This is better than a Rorschach test. Granted, the Rorschach test doesn't necessarily work, but at least the results are funnier to watch.


You're cool and calm about this; you are the better man. Not me though, I'm DUMB AND SO GODDAMN CRAZY!!

Anyways, what happens is that the Hulk and Black Widow proceed to emasculate Loki. Hulk does so by disarming him (symbolically unmanning him) and crushing his delusions of superiority. Black Widow then proceeds to emasculate him further by taking his manhood and using it against him- managing to succeed at the role of femme fatale even though he thinks himself immune to her abilities in that department. The rest of it doesn't have anything to do with Loki, so the penile nature of the scepter is unimportant, apart from them leaving a thread open by having the Hulk revive Stark with his voice rather than Thor with his lightning. I guess the budding Banner/Stark relationship was more important than a minor bit of foreshadowing being used, and I can't fault that overmuch. After all, makes it even better when they ride off into the sunset together.



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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 10:47pm
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See? He dropped the Freudian stuff just as it was getting good...

Nieztchean Uber-Amoeba wrote:
Well, I haven't figured out how to make Cap or Fury gay (yet), but I think I can argue that Thor is black, so there's that.

The thing about literary criticism is that it really is more about argumentation than about the text itself most of the time, but to be frank that's true of most all SDN debates. Personally I'm not hugely fond of Queer/Feminist/Post-Colonial criticism because so often they feel so much more like semiotic tetris than real analysis uncovering symbols and themes that aren't apparent from a majority view or a superficial reading, but they are fun and do have a use in perceiving stuff in films from a different lens than you might be familiar with.
Personally, I'm not hugely fond of SDN debates being more about argumentation than the stuff that's being argued about, either. I get into a lot of them, but that's usually because I like the stuff being argued about. At least, that's how I feel these days.

I dunno. Lit-crit seems to me to be just the apotheosis of that kind of thing. It's like someone took Plato's cartoon parody of the Sophists, something so nakedly and transparently meant to show why being like that is bad,* and decided to consciously take it for a role model. So they aspire to make large things appear small, and small things appear large, and truth appear false and false appear true and so on. And to pretend to be wise, by mastering these rhetorical tricks that make it difficult to argue with them.

And I don't see the point to kind of thing. The more someone does it, the less I believe that it's worth bothering to talk to them. You know what I mean?

Anyway, yeah it can be okay as long as it doesn't just become a tool for showing off how clever you are. I get that, and it's nice when something genuinely interesting and worthwhile comes out of that. Like, I think there's a lot to be said for taking "classic" works of literature and looking at them from a feminist perspective, because that's one area where about half the human story just doesn't get told adequately in the literature. And at the same time, clueful authors from that era sometimes addressed women's situation in more subtle ways that someone really well-read might pick over in interesting ways that I could not do. I respect that.

I just don't have a lot of respect for analysis for analysis's sake, or analysis for the sake of appearing clever. Which is why I think a queer studies analysis of Avengers is maybe a dead end, although I could be wrong about that. It's really... to me at least, it's not a sexualized movie, I don't think that's really a major thing. Which is in some ways just as well- because for example it meant they could present Black Widow as something a little more than eye candy for the predominantly male audience, which Iron Man 2 didn't do so well.
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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 10:52pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
I'd say the gay rape subtext emerged from the work by processes that exist only in Bakustra's brain, and have nothing to do with coincidence or author's intent. They tell us at least as much about Bakustra than they do about the movie.

...

Literary criticism that isn't bound by any internal logic of the story and its overt themes may be able to produce any criticism you like.


Indeed, there's relevant literary criticism, and there's pointless criticism of trying to fit a round peg into a square hole :lol:

Moreover, a much stronger case can be made that Loki was meant to be a representation of the dangers of dictatorial rule. One of Loki's defining scenes is when he forces a crowd of Germans to kneel before him, saying that they were better off being ruled than having the freedom to think for themselves. Cue an old German guy standing up to him to say "There are always men like you".

I also like Erik Kain pointing out that Loki gets called out several times for having no conviction (by Phil), and that this is an indication that all of Loki's actions are guided y his own raging insecurities. Because he's such a troubled and insecure individual, he needs to feed his ego that he's actually better than everyone else and that he is indeed truly a God. Which is actually what a lot of dictators are like - screwed up ragingly insecure people who end up killing a lot of people.

Which is why it's such fun to see the Hulk turn him into a ragdoll and top it off with the words "Puny God". I'd like to think that actually knocked some sense back into him given how his reaction at the end of the movie; and how he was much more of a tragic villain in Thor.

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 Post subject: Re: Avengers (Spoilers) PostPosted: 2012-05-13 11:01pm
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Bakustra wrote:
Please don't use tropery, thanks.

If "tropery" is a concise way to say what I want to say I'll use it.

Quote:
Anyways, within this movie, he's a stand-in for nerds as a whole. He geeks out over Captain America and has all his trading cards. He's competent around other superheroes. He gets a few badass minutes and then dies in a lengthy death scene. He's built on the nerd fantasy of being able to interact well with heroic fictional characters. All of this adds up to "nerd stand-in", which makes everything about him hilarious in retrospect.

But is he gay? You haven't answered that all important question!

Quote:
As a communist in real life...

As it happens, I am a capitalist in real life. I don't get your dislike of money and/or profit. Money is power in this world. I like to be powerful. If I can not have a great deal of money power then I want to use my power as efficiently and effectively as possible.

In this world, a movie like The Avengers will not be made without a huge input of money, and those putting in the money expect some return. You seem to view that as an evil thing. I view it as a way to get something done.

Money is a tool. What makes it good or evil is what is done with it.

Quote:
Look, one of the ways that media code characters as gay men is to have them be slightly effeminate (what people are referring to as "eurotrash", but it's not really a significant identifier for Loki), and to have them be contemptuous of women and preferring the company of men.

You make it sound like there's this secret cabal of "media coders" in a back room somewhere cackling and adding their "code" to all forms of entertainment and media.

The thing is, there are plenty of heterosexual men who are contemptuous of women and, outside of intercourse, prefer the company of other men. You seem to be conflating those two traits with being gay, which is... both disturbing and sad. (The effeminate thing is a different matter than what I'm discussing at the moment). I'm not even sure why you think that, as I associate "contemptuous of women" and "prefers the company of men" with heterosexual assholes. In my experience it's more that homosexual men ignore the existence of women more than anything else (with the usual caveat there are exceptions to these "rules")

The only trait that would say "gay" to me about Loki is this alleged "effeminate" quality - except I didn't see it. Or maybe my gaydar is defective, as I mentioned once before. What, exactly, is "effeminate" about this portrayal of Loki? The horns? Uh, right, usually a male trait, right? Let's see, he's wearing trousers... nothing feminine there. The coat/cloak thing? Meh, longcoat/trenchcoat variant. He's a liar and a deceiver? If that's considered a "feminine trait" it says something unflattering about the person doing the considering. The long hair? Eh, maybe that would qualify.

Seriously WHAT is "effeminate" about Loki who, as you point out, struts around most of the movie with an extremely phallic object? Cause I don't see it and don't get it.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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