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Culture/Reviews > Movies
Movie reviews from Proletarian Internationalist Notes—news, reviews and analysis from a global perspective
The only way for Amerika to go is down: “Batman v Superman” and the real monsters unleashed by Amerikans’ struggles against elites
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”
Dir. Zack Snyder
Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and Amy Adams
Warner Bros. Pictures
PG-13, 151 minutes, 2016
In the 1950s short film “The Red Balloon,” a harassed character representing the French middle class ascends into the sky because of a lot of gas enclosed in colorful rubber. Earlier, a mysteriously energetic and autonomous bubble of seeming hot air, clingy-but-independent, draped in red and dressed in latex, accompanies em around the city before taking a hit and shriveling into a wrinkled deflated form. The single bright-red emblem attracts curiosity and then persecution, the meanness of a mob in awe of the elusive aerial wonder but not understanding or disciplined enough to preserve it from their own desire to conquer it mentally and physically. An amalgamation of many lofty objects and multiple hues is needed to overcome this bad situation that seems to be beyond anyone’s or any group’s power to influence though there still appears to be need for some ideal pluralism and a notion of individual salvation. From a distance, the bunch of balloons at the end, initially suggestive of a rainbow, actually seems to be mostly red, white, and blue—the colors of both the French and Amerikan national flags—with a green tinge. Midway through the film, the red balloon, held by the boy more expensively dressed than eir scruffy slingshot-wielding pursuers, meets a blue balloon held by a lone girl on the street in a white dress.
Six decades later, there is “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” with the same basic petty-bourgeois story about individuals who transcend class and are the only way for progress to happen in spite of serious imperfection, their deliverance as individuals or groups of individuals being the deliverance of the nation, and vice versa. “Batman v Superman” also has much of the same Christian imagery. A young Bruce Wayne seems to miraculously rise out of a pit, for example. This reviewer first saw “Red Balloon” in an indie theater that had other typical petty-bourgeois offerings. I think it was presented as a children’s film though I watched a Godard film in the same cinema. The non-dialogue film seemed edgy in the mid-1980s and appeared to be saying something complex about the Soviet Union in that context, but watching “Batman v Superman” was like watching the same anti-working class sh*t decades later, just much longer and with more special effects—and with capes to infantilize petty-bourgeois adults or viewers instead of balloons and child actors. The only qualification would involve the meaning of “working class.” With hindsight and more data and understanding of colonialism, it is easier to doubt the proletarian or revolutionary status of the French working-class children (actually representing adults) portrayed in “Red Balloon” in 1956 who could have ended up participating in the movements of the next decade. The failures and limitations of these movements are of concern to, or a factor in, much post-Maoism and post-Marxism without giving rise to a Maoism recognizing the full extent of bourgeoisification of whole imperialist nations. The Paris rebellion of 1968 ended with a renewal of “democracy” and is the best the imperialist country petty-bourgeoisie came up with after 1945, but it is even clearer today than in the 1980s that there is no revolutionary class in the First World generally.
Some in the audience were crying when this reviewer saw “Batman v Superman,” either because the movie was that good artistically, or because of the ending or memories of Amerikan comics over the decades. Imagine the feelings of people, oppressed and non-oppressed, who have seen Superman for six decades. This f*cking Amerikan a*swipe—a fixture of propaganda seemingly as eternal as Superman is immortal—is still alive and kicking in 2016, only people can’t use the film as toilet paper the way they could with the comic strip. The movie is no doubt great in some sense and seems destined for financial record-setting anyway even if it doesn’t break even. Politically, the movie is being released at a time when there is much discussion of “fascism” and “anti-establishment revolt” particularly in the united $tates, and elites conducting operations to preserve supposed old ways of doing things or jockey for preferred outcomes. The movie seems both pessimistic and hopeful. The world depicted or suggested is one of increasingly complex danger and of confusion with heroes doing things many don’t understand or which are misrepresented after the hero leaves the scene. It’s not just that vigilantism may make things worse and looks vengeful and lawless (Batman appears to mete out physical punishment emself, which ey ends up abandoning in a moment of frustration), but also that differences in viewpoint related to where people stand on the same side in a struggle give rise to violent conflict. People still need heroes (appreciative non-whites still need saving by white and other Amerikan heroes) though most have become disillusioned with them, take them for granted, or no longer find them as remarkable. There is a blatant reference to U.$. drones and involvement in the Middle East and Africa, but most events take place and most of the people shown are in the united $tates. A large amount of Kryptonite, which can weaken Superman, is found in an exotic location with other non-whites. The Indian Ocean seems to be a source of kryptonite like it is a source of uranium in reality. A junior U.$. senator’s attempt to take on the Superman results in disaster. The senator is against certain “state-level” actions undertaken independently or without clear government authorization. Destruction seems to follow Superman, who appears to others as responsible for various reasons. Pointing to Superman’s eliteness, Senator Finch suggests Superman has been “governing” without “consent.” Somehow various undisguised capitalists don’t merit this accusation (would Superman’s actions be more tolerable if everyone knew the name ey uses while wearing glasses?), but according to Finch the act of governing doesn’t have to involve holding office or a formal position, or spending taxpayer money.
It is said of Superman something to the effect that, since ey can destroy the planet, if there is a 1% chance of em going bad or making a mistake ey must be stopped regardless of current innocence and performance. On a more covert basis, if there is at least a 1% chance ey is already an enemy, ey must be taken out because the stakes are that high, even if there is injustice to Superman as an individual. It happens the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) has said something similar about the possibility of disaster with capitalism and nuclear weapons.(1) There may be a 99% chance of the species’ surviving by the end of every year, but for eight years, the probability of survival could be 92%; for twenty years, 82%; for fifty, only 61%. Since the bourgeoisie is prone to using nuclear weapons to benefit a subset of exploiters or nations, that is a good reason for anyone to work to overthrow imperialism and capitalism. The problem is there needs to be a revolutionary vehicle (and a correct theory, strategies, and ideology), or sufficient structure, or development, and motivation for individuals who are oppressors socially speaking to actually do something to assist the oppressed’s struggle against imperialism. There is generally no revolutionary class in the First World. Even lumpen and internally oppressed non-white nation classes in the First World are generally bourgeoisified to a great extent though some of the contradictions involving these have more progressive results than the contradictions between what Marxists call the “labor aristocracy,” and capitalists in imperialist countries.
In the united $tates, conservatism and liberalism take turns and alternate in discrediting the other. Within conservatism and within liberalism, there are different shades and brands. Another possibility is fascism, but actually liberalism, most so-called socialism, neo-conservatism, paleo-conservatism and libertarian conservatism (though to a lesser extent than liberalism actually though its theories are also false) all objectively seek to preserve capitalism, target a minority of capitalists, want to retain a huge repressive apparatus, seek to use the power of finance capital, and seek war or end up building for war to preserve the riches of the population. There is a descent toward fascism with no way up. Some of the supposed obstacles to fascism actually build for it by flattering and pandering to highly privileged imperialist country workers or the middle class in economic and cultural matters, and contribute to reactionary responses to crisis by misrepresenting the basis of imperialist country privilege.
One of the themes of “Batman v Superman” is democracy. Democracy is supposedly especially found in “the American Way,” but the movie raises there is something undemocratic about Superman. Superman and Batman both seem to rule at varying scales as powerful elites behaving undemocratically with no accountability. They do what they think is right and necessary in eir own eyes, but their gallant efforts are costly and misunderstood or only partially perceived. In addition to their own direct, but limited, observations of each other’s actions, the media contributes to a perception of the superheroes as reckless, corrupt, sadistic or even sinister in intention. Despite Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White disapproving of Clark Kent’s proposed anti-Batman media campaign (Amerika’s conscience died with two Kennedys and Martin Luther King, ey says suggesting Amerikans don’t handle or respond to exposés in a positive way), this is the basis of the provocation getting them to fight each other. They are predisposed to attack each other before Lex Luthor’s final provocation. Perhaps as a reflection of something they sense about themselves, both suspect the other of a kind of corruption. Vigilante or unformalized/non-institutionally-sanctioned action against the powerful (or merely criminal) can itself lead to corruption. At one point, Superman descends from the sky to speak in front of the u$ Congress as Congressional critics wish. Congress’ leverage seems to be mostly moral or based in public perception of Superman, but the point is the people over whom Superman has power may need to have some say in what ey does. Amerikan viewers are likely to regard a grilling by Congress as adequate for democracy or a step toward it instead of realizing what Amerikans want is usually different from what the world wants.
People can see the similarities to Obama drones raining destruction from the sky down on the oppressed. Proletarian children rightly crush Superman figures with their feet. The toys and images are symbols of Amerika, and “Batman v Superman” does nothing to disturb this perception. Superman is treated as an Amerikan soldier as pointed out in the movie, maybe too fast to handle but still worth trying to influence and counting as one of Amerika’s own. (In the previous movie, Clark Kent allies with the U.$. military to save the world from a space alien from eir home planet and gets eir “Superman” name.) Batman seems almost provincial in comparison, but Batman/Bruce Wayne always had more of a class-specific image, maybe with international economic interests making somebody like em more useful in a struggle against fascism, or nuclear weapons, than a patriotic u$ worker susceptible to the influence of one fascist leader or another.
If there is a walking time bomb without a readout, it is the united $tates itself, the only country to have killed anybody in war by detonating a nuclear weapon in the real world. The question arises what can somebody in the united $tates do about this without a proletariat? The proletariat is outside the united $tates. For many, that actually makes it tempting to do things through a democratic process in the united $tates because of a false idea about what people have to work with, but for others it seems there is a need to do things outside such a process.
It is important to understand undemocratic action properly and realistically. Hundreds of millions of people do things every day without waiting for a vote and, in places with privacy, without being observed necessarily. The idea that all action or inaction is political points to the political responsibility of non-state actors and an ethical conundrum confronting—and actually exculpating—powerful elites no matter how potentially destructive or evil, but not all private or lifestyle acts are political or political to the extent some claim while rejecting difficult collective struggle. Democracy is more relevant where there are decisions necessarily affecting the knowledge, power or destiny of others, and issues of people taking action when there are (still) differences in knowledge, position, or power. In terms of a physical confrontation or offensive intelligence struggle against imperialism or the emergence of fascism, the vast majority of Amerikans can do nothing that would clearly give the oppressed or anti-fascism a tactical advantage. So, in the absence of war in the Amerikan homeland or a seemingly effective large movement there is a tendency to fantasize about struggles of elites and spies. After looking at eir bat suit before leaving it for a party, Bruce Wayne emself acts as a James Bond or Jason Bourne type spy in this movie. There are some useful elite struggles in reality, but the most effective form of struggle (elite or non-elite) could be both clandestine and legal in the First World because of the oppressed’s disadvantages and advantages with respect to repression, the surrounding population, public opinion, existing differences between exploiters, and the oppressed masses outside the First World who are already struggling in their own ways.
Acting politically without regard for popularity is another aspect of undemocratic action. It is inevitable in imperialist countries full of exploiters. Even opposing fascism isn’t necessarily popular as those comparing imperialist country presidential candidates to Adolf Hitler before 1931 suggest while encouraging resistance that may be legal but is actually itself undemocratic in some sense. Regardless, a typical response of Amerikans when facing an alleged fascist or undemocratic threat is to desire even more undemocratic action toward other exploiters. Contrary to notions that nonreligious educated urban people are less authoritarian, many educated atheist Democrats are impatient with the “stupid,” ignorant or scientifically illiterate and think the so-smart educated or scientists should be the only ones ruling, with a few less-educated people as tokens or spokespeople, so change can come and come more quickly. A difference in knowledge that is a justification of elitism, which many Democrats and Republicans pretend to oppose, is felt to be a justification of undemocratic action in pursuit of more undemocratic power. Rhetoric about democracy, equality and unity is cynically viewed as useful for maneuvering for one’s preferred dictatorship. That is part of the “hypocrisy” people need to be aware of thinking about Amerikan liberals’ role in fascism and its development, not the pornographic secrets of Democrats’ and Republicans’ sex lives which just lead to legitimizing adultery or abandoning a religious image to eliminate the perception of hypocrisy internationally. In imperialist countries without a proletariat, such desires for power—though sometimes disguised as socialism—lead to fascism when imperialism hasn’t been overthrown and there is still an enormously powerful dictatorship of the bourgeoisie often valuing education and science over religion and the tendencies of the less-educated or poor. It is at this moment more tolerable in the united $tates to be suspicious of “nationalism,” because presidential candidate Donald Trump embraces the term to distinguish emself from other candidates. “Nationalism” seems unrefined, even uneducated despite much intellectual justification of Amerikan nationalism. (The innovation of Hillary Clinton is strong patriotism, and intellectual justifications of u.$. domestic and foreign policy of the type that riles up educated Amerikan parasites with authoritarian tendencies for aggressive action, combined with liberal and lifestyle positions and politically correct rhetoric and “tone,” while critiquing outspoken nationalism. Brazen nationalism sometimes interferes with diplomatic efforts, costly international intervention, the assimilation of migrants, and the international trade that is a source of unequal exchange profit for u$ workers. Supporting patriotism and opposing some nationalism or nationalist rhetoric is compatible with assimilating and deporting migrants and bombing Muslims supposedly in the interests of workers and females globally.) If brawny physically supreme Superman is a symbol of Amerikan nationalism, computer-using Batman is the brainy one skeptical of it but propelling the country closer to fascism because of eir own actions. Fascism itself appeals to suspicions about corrupt or potentially corrupt elites or alleged elites, and to desires for rebellion against these by thwarting an existing democratic process.
In religious ideology, gods/kings and angels are the individuals who answer to nobody, or are disobedient, and can act powerfully and capriciously. There are a number of lines in “Batman v Superman” dealing with the nature of deity and whether the superheroes are like gods. One could say the movie is a critique of polytheism, but since no alternative to superheroes is presented that could be a stretch. There is a remark about Superman not answering to God, but that could be taken as meaning monotheism is false. A non-sentient substance from the ocean poses a threat, but to one superhero only. Even if Amerika as a whole is an idol represented by Superman with kryptonite representing forces of nature or social forces, other potential idols remain such as the u.$. petty-bourgeoisie and the Amerikan individual. Maybe people like Lois Lane (Amy Adams) understood in proper perspective are an alternative to superheroes, one contemplates. In this movie, ey seems to serve primarily as a distracting love interest useful for provocations as well as being a perennial potential threat to Superman’s anonymity. Lois Lane emself says that for Superman to keep saving em may be too costly. Eir life, their relationship, may not be worth it. Defending the Amerikan Way is more important though, if it doesn’t include democracy the way once thought, there is less to preserve in the first place. Ey does assist in battle (not just sucking Superman’s face in the middle of combat to make em feel better), but as far this reviewer remembers it is fortuitous action movie stuff. Eir work with the Daily Planet and handling of a piece of evidence helps with a struggle against Lex Luthor, one imperialist involved with military operations. Without giving away too much here, the ending of the movie suggests even more militarism on the horizon so it unclear what the point is in translating this movie into political and social commentary. The united $tates still has a huge military budget. Taking down a few imperialists may make the u.$. military less corrupt or Western presence in oppressed countries not as lawless, but it could also make imperialist military machinery more efficient or able to be controlled by the extremely reactionary u$ so-called working class.
Lex Luthor calls Superman “the Almighty.” What sounds like a discussion of theodicy—can the all-powerful be good?—may actually be a comment about elites with different amounts of power. To Lois earlier, Superman emself admits failing to take action ey could have taken because ey “wasn’t looking” and didn’t see the threat. It’s not just about a failure to use eir X-ray vision in that moment; ey could have anticipated an attack with the route ey chose to take but was politically and then mentally preoccupied with issues of perception. The most powerful goody-goody elite in terms of individual capability is imperfect, or will be perceived as bad (even if they focus on getting better press and a more favorable image), so maybe to Lex Luthor there is no point in even trying. Lex appears to welcome nihilist destruction of the whole world instead of realizing that the actions of people like King Obama, Pope Francis, Muqtada al-Sadr, capitalist-scientist Elon Mask, and His Highness Kanye West, and people who are not known at all who have much knowledge of some kind and little immediate influence, represent classes or class pressures in conflict.
In terms of anyone who could represent somebody from outside the united $tates, ancient foreign people appear in “Batman v Superman” in the form of Amazonian princess Wonder Woman, played by Gucci model Gal Gadot. It’s unlikely most Western viewers will think of Libya, which had “the Amazonian Guard” before Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama decided to make rape allegations and kill people in that country. A more likely association is with forces allied with the united $tates or especially susceptible to its influence. Much appreciation of Gadot’s character in the movie seems to be because of pseudo-feminism as has been the case with the character historically. Gadot reportedly served as a trainer in an imperialist country army. On the plus side, the appearance of a non-white female in battle without any romantic context serves as a useful contrast to Lois Lane. Bruce Wayne does express that, if it weren’t for Bruce’s experience with female enemies (something about “babes in the wood”), ey might go easy on Diana Prince/Wonder Woman because ey is a beautiful female, and Bruce communicates with Diana over the Internet. There is a sexual connotation also because Bruce sends em photos and videos of Diana emself. The inclusion of the character in this Hollywood movie serves an obvious pornographic function (perhaps unavoidably in a genre that has been dominated by males in film), but Wonder Woman’s own sexuality, in terms of having an object of desire for sexual pleasure, is unclear or nonexistent. This is consistent with earlier portrayals in which Wonder Woman is sexualized or attractive but not in a relationship with anyone. Maybe eir looks give Diana Prince an advantage in some contexts, but as Wonder Woman ey is so powerful ey doesn’t need them. In today’s Western culture where sex is combined with many things including politics, Wonder Woman is somewhat out of place and may cause some to think. The idea of a celibate or lesbian heroine saving the world seems so ’70s in current Wilhelm Reich-influenced Western culture constructing heterosexuality on the basis of sexual pleasure, a culture in which females can have—and need—both career and sexual pleasure with males. They need professional and political careers, and they need the D. Most First World females don’t need First World males for anything really but have, in a sense, entered the world of males to attract and sleep with them anyway for various reasons. They prop up patriarchy globally because they benefit from it socially. Unfortunately, even notions of asexuality can be useful to imperialism or patriarchy, because with asexuality any sex that might happen without attraction or desire ends up being for something other than the enjoyment of all those involved. Celibate or lesbian females are useful to imperialist militaries and intelligence agencies in contexts of interaction with males, particularly attractive ones. Or a Western female who doesn’t want or need to have children could see Wonder Woman on the screen and consider the benefits of being asexual or non-heterosexual, but have sex with males anyway, just with a stronger, more conscious idea about it being fine or advantageous to have sex for purposes besides reproduction and pleasure.
Wonder Woman is one who previously chose not to intervene with eir “metahuman” abilities and so has avoided Batman and Superman’s public relations difficulties but apparently at the cost of not taking useful big actions many times in the short term. In the comic books, Wonder Woman’s history includes fighting Nazis. In “Batman v Superman,” Diana Prince re-emerges as the Amazonian superheroine to deal with a destructive creature on Amerikan soil. It seems in this movie ey has been adopted by Amerika similar to Superman. Apparently, it is fine with Wonder Woman and Superman for the united $tates to demolish cities in the Third World. Where was Wonder Woman when the united $tates was destroying hospitals? Where have you been, Batman asks. While I was underground opposing the local bourgeois mafia with my geeky gadgets and demonstrating the limitations of that struggle and how it legitimizes FBI surveillance and repression overall, you could have been disarming jets and international assassins.
At one point, Superman says that anyone who is in “this world” long enough will go bad. The context is mafia-style extortion forcing em to engage with Batman. What Superman says is almost a scientific statement about people, that it’s not about individual psychology, holy versus demonic spirituality, or free will, that since they can be blackmailed etc. one should not rely too much on any individual or maybe individuals aren’t enough and can contribute to problems. Not everyone can be bribed with money, but threats to a loved one may be motivation enough to cooperate. For Superman, at least in the moment, there seems to be no way out of this stinking carcass of a world where even someone as powerful and virtuous as Superman can be brought down and compelled to do evil. Or maybe neutralizing Batman isn’t evil if Superman was going to do it anyway (just not at Lex Luthor’s bidding), but at least appearing evil seems unavoidable. To an extent, Superman is right, because sometimes the proletariat as a class has to do things that appear evil—maybe even to proletarian scientists—because of observers’ lack of information. It becomes necessary to discern long-term patterns of evil ideas and actions in addition to not relying on Western media. Superman’s Earth mother tells em that ey doesn’t owe the world sh*t—probably good advice for most Amerikan megalomaniacs with some power and destructive inclinations—but also that if ey is going to do the righteous superman thing, don’t be half-assed about it. After studying, learning from the masses and others, doing what one can to influence the exploiter public and inform and rely on the masses (the actual masses, almost entirely in the Third World) without potentially spying on and disrupting other nations’ movements, there will come a time when anti-imperialists and anti-militarists must proceed regardless of what anyone thinks or how ey see things.
In egalitarian ideals of citizenship, there aren’t super-citizens able to exercise great physical or legal power independently. There aren’t romantic interests or beautiful spies dramatically interfering in a country’s affairs. Other agencies and actors are supposed to limit the impact of sexual blackmail and bribery, for example, in between elections. Individuals with colossal capabilities—financial, social—must be overthrown or restrained as with a state representing a citizenry educated and knowledgeable about issues and political affairs. In contrast with what egalitarians envision, a DC Comics universe pantheon of many different godlike beings, elected officials, powerful capitalists or scientists, and girlfriends with a powerful claim to heroes’ attention and priorities, seems to represent the world as it actually is. Characteristics of the powerful or elite are fictitiously imagined to be innate or biological in origin rather than socially determined, but “Batman v Superman” and some other superhero movies reflect Amerikans’ awareness of, and fascination and discomfort with, elites. Viewers will recognize actors from other interesting movies, but the performance by Lex Luthor actor Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) evokes u.$. billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whom many view as too powerful though many more are in awe. The rise of the “accidental billionaire” is now a part of movie mythology. Other capitalists and the petty-bourgeoisie view entrenched political forces and multinational corporations as threats, but in the current economic and state environment the result of pursuing egalitarianism, or political equality among Amerikan capitalists, is easily fascist. The point here is not to defend inequality, but to highlight that many proposed paths leading away from fascism actually lead to it, including public uses of Facebook—or private, secret deals—to support one’s favorite fascist candidate. In a convoluted fictitious way, “Batman v Superman” seems to recognize the problem in the present political context with which it coincides, but it offers little except yet another dose of action movie fantasy. It is an artistically and allegorically puffy movie with no real conclusion (which may appear in the sequel, but it seems unlikely), recalling a bloated object that ascends to great heights and is carried away by the wind so that one can’t see its ugly demise, deflated and cracked. Batman and Superman narrowly avoid a lethal outcome by chance—Batman is reminded of the traumatic childhood origin of eir own propensity to corruption—but that isn’t the end of the story.
Another interpretation involves an autonomous powerful u.$. military or intelligence agency coming into existence because of a perceived threat such as terrorism and then needing to be checked. A scene toward toward the beginning of the movie is reminiscent of heroes running toward the dust clouds in Manhattan on 9/11. No doubt a 90% and even a 1% reduction in the Pentagon budget or the NSA budget would help the oppressed if other repression budgets don’t increase, but notions of rogue agencies can distract from the system and social forces giving rise to expanded repression or surveillance in the first place, and Amerikans are more likely to look to other elites to control and domesticate powerful institutions than make the effort needed take a chunk out of their budgets. Some elites in the united $tates do understand the financial structural issues involved with potential rogue actors and would rather the money be spent on saving cute endangered wildlife or something like that, but ideas about expanding the power of the top persyn in the executive branch, every time a liberal is in office or approaching election, to deal with issues can be overwhelming. With the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s private email server, the reaction of many Democrats has been to perceive political corruption or an anti-Clinton conspiracy and want to overthrow career FBI agents and replace them with people conspiring with Clinton. Rules exist to be broken or circumvented to support one’s favorite murderous, warmongering, Islam-bashing, migrant-deporting would-be dictator and former State Department thuggery director.
Supervillain Lex Luthor mentions the bittersweetness of having knowledge without power. Ey loses eir train of thought, but it’s an interesting remark. The proletariat as a class has knowledge as much as it is spread unevenly, but it is not in power. And of course many individual communists have knowledge and don’t have power, which may seem tragic but there just needs to be strategic and tactical adjustment to one’s conditions without wavering politically. Latching oneself onto Bernie Sanders, an imperialist country class, the CIA/MI6, or an imperialist military, is unnecessary and wrong. Many of those without power, but with some knowledge, end up supporting fascism disguised as socialism, and many of those with neither knowledge nor power of course end up following a reactionary leader, who may have power but little true knowledge. Those with both knowledge and power are in a position to help the oppressed in certain areas, but they are more likely to be consciously counterrevolutionary or wicked people who do great evil despite knowing it’s wrong.
Lastly but not unimportantly, many will still perceive English-Irish-Scottish Henry Cavill’s Superman as some kind of “Latino” or “ethnic” because of eir looks including hair dyed black. “World’s sexiest man” Cavill as Superman rescues a girl in Ciudad Juárez in front of adult onlookers and appears to blend with the grateful community in physical appearance. This reviewer hasn’t read other reviews of “Batman v Superman” yet so there is some guessing here. To anyone who views that positively, I would suggest that the interests of the oppressed as a whole are more important than career advancement or building some brown people up pornographically. Superman and eir real-world referents are no doubt able to swoop down and save some people in Latin America and occupied Mexico in tight spots and have some rapport through psywar or racial identification with brown soldiers and agents, but the oppressed and their allies should continue to say, “U.$. out!” Only in bought-off delusional minds does U.$. military or intelligence involvement in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, or Africa, have anything to do with Chican@ or Aztlán liberation except to discredit the internal semi-colony struggles in the united $nakes. When U.$. missiles and bombs are involved, oppressed countries have a right to eliminate invaders and occupiers for any reason regardless of skin or hair color, period. As an African anti-Amerikan militant in “Batman v Superman” says after discovering apparent CIA abuse of journalistic cover, ignorance isn’t innocence, but now you know.
Maybe it is a good thing all of the stars are white (except Perry White actor Laurence Fishburne). If they weren’t, there would just be coconuts, oreos, bananas, or radishes. “Batman v Superman” is racist for portraying Third World people as threats to white females or just victims themselves in need of saving by globetrotting Westerners, but since most of the combat is between whites the movie is less racist than it could have been. ◊
• A review of “Dark Knight” (2008). https://web.archive.org/web/20090105195021/http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/movies/long/darkknight2008.html
• “Liberal myopia: life on the escalator going down,” 2008 August. https://web.archive.org/web/20081201153219/http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/movies/long/escalatordown081608.html
1. “What is militarism?” http://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/faq/milit.html