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Truth, Justice and a Cold Beer

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 5:42 PM




Did you know there are a lot of idiots out there? It’s true. One current grouping of idiots are those reacting to the recent Superman casting. Now I don’t think it’s necessarily comic book fans, per se, that are doing this, but it’s the general grouping of people out there that whine and complain just as they always do because if the internet has proven anything, it’s a great place to whine and complain. Hence this blog entry.


 

Ahem...


 

Anyways, the complaint now, just it is with every fanboy/pop culture related thing in movies, is the casting of a British actor to portray Superman. Why? Well that’s because Superman is iconcially American.


 

Here’s the thing. Superman is iconcially American. The fictional character that’s everywhere. That character. The one people pretend to be all over the world whether they’re American or not. They aren’t making Superman into a Brit, they’re having a Brit, actor Henry Cavill, to portray him. Are you too stupid to separate a real person from a fictional character? The only time that's acceptable is when you see Mel Gibson get all Mel-Gibsony in a movie and realize that he's probably not acting.


 

Here’s the part that chaps my ass: anyone who says that doesn’t know a damn thing about Superman. My knowledge of comic books isn’t vast, but even I know that Joe Shuster was Canadian and both Jerry Siegel and Shuster were Jewish. Not the anglo-saxton type that Superman might indicate they should be.


 

On top of that: what is Superman about? It’s about acceptance of those that are different, notably his origin story and entire concept that he is an immigrant trying to fit in with an outside culture (Siegel’s parents were Lithuanian Jewish immigrant) and the coming and understanding of all people and accepting them for who they are. It was a reactionary, if not symbolically autobiographical, to Siegel and Shuster’s own lives, the time they created Superman (a time of warfare and the Great Depression) and how Jews were treated and the overall concept of racism to begin with. Yes, Superman is not “American” because he’s technically not even human. He’s Kryptonian, and I doubt they had maps of Earth and Jor-El sat there and said “Hmmmm...let’s just send him to Kansas.”


 

Superman is everything at all the time. He is a Messiah figure after all and I doubt even the character is going to sit there and say “Are you American? Sorry, can’t help.”


 

Also, the phrase “Truth, justice and the American Way” was a phrase coined for the Superman cartoon in the early 40s during a time when American propaganda was at a peak. Siegel and Shuster only, ONLY, used “Truth and justice.” Five seconds on the internet came up with that. He was always meant for everyone, so stop your complaining and be happy that we might actually get a good Superman film for once.


 

Lord, it’s Christian Bale as Batman all over again. Did the Brits complain when Robert Downey Jr. portrayed their icon, Sherlock Holmes? Give me a beer, please...


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