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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
). 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.