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  1. #166
    Hi-Fi Fight Club Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Oh, DC became terrified of angering people a long time ago, and Superman's been as apolitical as possible ever since.

    Which is a shame, because if they had the stones to take a risk, Superman could benefit greatly. Social activism is baked into his DNA and without it he's often been rather bland. Yes, Clark having an opinion would piss off people.....but who cares? If they're so thin-skinned they can't handle a fictional character having a different political stance, screw 'em. Not like sales are setting the charts on fire anyway. And a successful, politically written Superman could draw new readers in to replace those who leave.

    Now, I think the character should avoid any direct commentary on actual people or events. I don't think we should hear what Superman thinks of donald trump or the shooting in Vegas or the Paris accords.

    And if Superman is going to delve into a political issue, I want to see all sides of the argument given their moment. I don't need Superman telling me that "guns are bad and should be regulated heavily!!" or that "Our nation was built on guns and the 2nd Amendment needs to be protected!!" but I'd love to see Clark Kent investigate the issue and interview people from all sides of the debate, with each opinion given a chance to make its point. Clark himself can have his own opinion on the matter, but I want to see a topic explored from every angle, not just one.

    The "racism/free speech" issue of Peter David's Supergirl run from the 90's remains my golden example of how to tackle real world issues in comics.

    And I think it should be Clark Kent who deals with political issues moreso than Superman. Clark can get away with things and have opinions Superman can't, and it'd give the Clark role a purpose in the narrative (which he's been missing for ages).
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    This would be my concern as well. Even if I happened to agree with the writer, I dont think this is the forum for preaching at an audience.

    Which is why I think it should be mandated that if you're going to tackle a political issue, you present all sides' arguments. I think there are two benefits to this. First it decreases the amount of preaching; even if Clark openly states that he agrees with one side over another, the other side/s get their say too. And secondly, I think forcing a writer to explore both sides will reduce the amount of superfluous, cheap political stories told. If you've gotta dig into all sides of an issue fairly, you're only going to do it if you really believe in the story you're telling. You're not going to get to write a story just because you saw a news report and you're angry and venting your frustration and opinion through the character.


    Yeah, involving Superman in a political issue is dicey. I think Superman would involve himself in matters where there's a clear-cut "right" side. He'll pull a corrupt politician out of his office, a wife beater out of his apartment, or a racist, violent cop off the street. Because we're all agreed that corruption, domestic violence, and hate crimes are wrong. But he's going to stay quiet about immigration, abortion, or healthcare. Topics like that don't have clear-cut lines of "wrong" and "right" and I think Superman would avoid those issues simply because he knows how influential he is.

    Clark Kent however, can tackle immigration and healthcare and get away with it.
    Presenting different perspectives and viewpoints is fine. Presenting all viewpoints as equally constructive is not. It shouldn't end up amounting to, "different people believe different things". Something still needs to be said.

    Take the bathroom bill debacle. One side comes from a place of transphobia, the other doesn't. There isn't an exploration to be had as to whether the proponents of such bills have a point or anything valuable to add to public discourse. Understanding and exploring where they come from is one thing, legitimizing their hateful and/or ignorant rhetoric is another.

    On the other hand, something like sex work can be approached with more nuance, with no easy answer. Adekis mentioned Lisa Lasalle in another thread, and it made me think how different perspectives on sex work can be explored by Superverse characters. Say, Lisa comes from liberal feminist viewpoint and believes sex work should be made legal, that while acknowledging the problems present in her profession she believes she should be able to do whatever she wants with her body and that legalization is the best outcome for people like her, and that her rights should not be restricted. Then, you can have Natasha Irons come from a more radical position, disagreeing with legalizing sex work because she believes it's inherently sexist and reinforces patriarchy by turning women into commodities to be purchased, and brings up the racial aspect of it. While from Lana's perspective, she believes people should be able to do whatever they want with their own bodies, but is unsure whether legalization is the right move as studies have shown that legalization leads to an increase in human trafficking. So while she agrees Lisa in theory, she doesn't in practice.

    Those are viewpoints that are worth exploring and delving into, as they aren't coming from a place of hatred and bigotry, and aren't blatantly counter-productive.

    Going to back to marriage equality to also use it as an example. The viewpoint that it shouldn't be a thing because homosexuality is wrong and sinful or that it will destroy society isn't one that should be treated seriously or examined with the same amount of respect. While a discussion between a proponent of marriage equality and someone that opposes it on the grounds that they are against marriage as an institution would be worth having. Whatever side the comic ends up favoring.

    Like, there is a difference between Cornell West and Van Jones discussing Obama, and Rush Limbaugh and Van Jones having the same discussion.

    Do you by any chance watch the show 'Black-ish'? That show is known to explore different or at least give credence to different viewpoints on a subject, but at the same time there are viewpoints that are dismissed as ignorant, because there's nothing of value there, and it ends up taking a clear stance.

    Stories need to be told with nuance, but that isn't as simple as showing all sides. It also needs to be understood that when people say they want to see all sides, they are mainly referring to the liberal and conservative positions, when there are actually a lot more perspectives out there, so some are going to be excluded regardless.

    I mostly agree with Superman not shown dealing actual specific events like the Las Vegas shooting. I do think though that DC has complicated things by introducing real word politicians to the DCU.
    Last edited by Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever; 10-12-2017 at 05:41 PM.
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  2. #167
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever View Post
    Presenting different perspectives and viewpoints is fine. Presenting all viewpoints as equally constructive is not. It shouldn't end up amounting to, "different people believe different things". Something still needs to be said.

    I mostly agree with Superman not shown dealing actual specific events like the Las Vegas shooting. I do think though that DC has complicated things by introducing real word politicians to the DCU.
    It's not about saying "all opinions are equal" so much as its just about presenting the arguments all sides provide and doing your due diligence and research. If one side of an issue has a weak-ass argument.....well, that's not Clark's fault.
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  3. #168
    Hi-Fi Fight Club Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    It's not about saying "all opinions are equal" so much as its just about presenting the arguments all sides provide and doing your due diligence and research. If one side of an issue has a weak-ass argument.....well, that's not Clark's fault.
    That's fine, provided it's shown why it's a weak argument.

    Presenting viewpoints should also mean looking at them with a critical eye.

    Like, if someone tells Superman the moon landing was faked, he could explain why it actually isn't fake, and then adds that he's been to the moon so he knows for certain that it wasn't faked.
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  4. #169
    Incredible Member Agniwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever View Post
    That's fine, provided it's shown why it's a weak argument.

    Presenting viewpoints should also mean looking at them with a critical eye.

    Like, if someone tells Superman the moon landing was faked, he could explain why it actually isn't fake, and then adds that he's been to the moon so he knows for certain that it wasn't faked.
    the moon landig is true cause he lands there quite often

  5. #170
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever View Post
    That's fine, provided it's shown why it's a weak argument.

    Presenting viewpoints should also mean looking at them with a critical eye.

    Like, if someone tells Superman the moon landing was faked, he could explain why it actually isn't fake, and then adds that he's been to the moon so he knows for certain that it wasn't faked.
    If its a weak argument, the argument itself will be all the proof needed.

    For example, if you were to tackle racism, you could have your nazi reference the statistic that there's more black persons in jail than any other race as part of why they feel the way they do. You then have your non-racist viewpoint bring up the social reasons why that statistic is true, and show that the racist is twisting the raw data into something its not.

    And just like that you've disproved the racist by using their own argument against them. You dont need to preach to your audience or give them selective pieces of information that only support one viewpoint, you just need to give them the facts and let them come to their own conclusions.

    Another factor to consider is the potential impact such an approach will have on those who're on the "wrong" side. If all your story does is say "racism is bad because it is!" that's not going to change the mind of a young reader growing up in the deep South where racism is still common. But if you throw the same arguments for racism that kid has heard all his life back at him, and then show why they don't actually hold water.....that kid might start to re-consider his opinion. Actually, this is exactly what happened back in the 70's or so, when Superman took on the KKK and recruitment dropped.
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  6. #171
    Hi-Fi Fight Club Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    For example, if you were to tackle racism, you could have your nazi reference the statistic that there's more black persons in jail than any other race as part of why they feel the way they do. You then have your non-racist viewpoint bring up the social reasons why that statistic is true, and show that the racist is twisting the raw data into something its not.

    And just like that you've disproved the racist by using their own argument against them. You dont need to preach to your audience or give them selective pieces of information that only support one viewpoint, you just need to give them the facts and let them come to their own conclusions.

    Another factor to consider is the potential impact such an approach will have on those who're on the "wrong" side. If all your story does is say "racism is bad because it is!" that's not going to change the mind of a young reader growing up in the deep South where racism is still common. But if you throw the same arguments for racism that kid has heard all his life back at him, and then show why they don't actually hold water.....that kid might start to re-consider his opinion. Actually, this is exactly what happened back in the 70's or so, when Superman took on the KKK and recruitment dropped.
    Yep, bring up the argument and show why it doesn't hold up.

    That's what I mean by looking at things with a critical eye. The same goes for the solutions that will be presented.
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  7. #172
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    So we're in absolute agreement but have still managed to take over the last page or so of the thread.

    lol words are fun.
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  8. #173
    Hi-Fi Fight Club Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    So we're in absolute agreement but have still managed to take over the last page or so of the thread.

    lol words are fun.
    I think we still slightly disagree in some places, but overall we appear to be on the same page.
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  9. #174
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever View Post
    I think we still slightly disagree in some places, but overall we appear to be on the same page.
    Well I disagree about us disagreeing.

    Seriously though, we do seem to be pretty much on the same page. I dont think I have any real, honest disagreements with what you're saying, just a slightly different way I might approach it.
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  10. #175
    Astonishing Member Bogotazo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever View Post
    Presenting different perspectives and viewpoints is fine. Presenting all viewpoints as equally constructive is not. It shouldn't end up amounting to, "different people believe different things". Something still needs to be said.

    Take the bathroom bill debacle. One side comes from a place of transphobia, the other doesn't. There isn't an exploration to be had as to whether the proponents of such bills have a point or anything valuable to add to public discourse. Understanding and exploring where they come from is one thing, legitimizing their hateful and/or ignorant rhetoric is another.

    On the other hand, something like sex work can be approached with more nuance, with no easy answer. Adekis mentioned Lisa Lasalle in another thread, and it made me think how different perspectives on sex work can be explored by Superverse characters. Say, Lisa comes from liberal feminist viewpoint and believes sex work should be made legal, that while acknowledging the problems present in her profession she believes she should be able to do whatever she wants with her body and that legalization is the best outcome for people like her, and that her rights should not be restricted. Then, you can have Natasha Irons come from a more radical position, disagreeing with legalizing sex work because she believes it's inherently sexist and reinforces patriarchy by turning women into commodities to be purchased, and brings up the racial aspect of it. While from Lana's perspective, she believes people should be able to do whatever they want with their own bodies, but is unsure whether legalization is the right move as studies have shown that legalization leads to an increase in human trafficking. So while she agrees Lisa in theory, she doesn't in practice.

    Those are viewpoints that are worth exploring and delving into, as they aren't coming from a place of hatred and bigotry, and aren't blatantly counter-productive.

    Going to back to marriage equality to also use it as an example. The viewpoint that it shouldn't be a thing because homosexuality is wrong and sinful or that it will destroy society isn't one that should be treated seriously or examined with the same amount of respect. While a discussion between a proponent of marriage equality and someone that opposes it on the grounds that they are against marriage as an institution would be worth having. Whatever side the comic ends up favoring.

    Like, there is a difference between Cornell West and Van Jones discussing Obama, and Rush Limbaugh and Van Jones having the same discussion.

    Do you by any chance watch the show 'Black-ish'? That show is known to explore different or at least give credence to different viewpoints on a subject, but at the same time there are viewpoints that are dismissed as ignorant, because there's nothing of value there, and it ends up taking a clear stance.

    Stories need to be told with nuance, but that isn't as simple as showing all sides. It also needs to be understood that when people say they want to see all sides, they are mainly referring to the liberal and conservative positions, when there are actually a lot more perspectives out there, so some are going to be excluded regardless.

    I mostly agree with Superman not shown dealing actual specific events like the Las Vegas shooting. I do think though that DC has complicated things by introducing real word politicians to the DCU.
    Very well said. Great post and solid use of examples where nuance and the equation of opposing viewpoints don't correlate.

  11. #176
    Astonishing Member Bogotazo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    Characters having political values certainly only helps make them more three dimensional. The only problem is 99% of the industry is incredibly liberal, so in the end the only thing that would be accomplished is that every superhero would far-left, which rather defeats the purpose of the depth as the depth is lost when everyone is the same. Slippery slope.
    There are different flavors though.

    Ollie is essentially a Marxist who has no qualms about disrupting the social order. Wonder Woman could either be super diplomatic or flippant about social norms. Bruce would be naturally skeptical of a centralized revolutionary movement.

    Superman might be a social democrat who is uneasy about abortion and ambivalent about the gun control debate.

    I could see Ray Palmer listening to Sam Harris and being a bit blinded by his fervent secularism that it creates a mild prejudice against religious cultures.

    Hawkman may lean left on policy issues (can't exactly see him saying fuck the poor and undocumented) but exercise his heroism in a violent way and believe in being "tough on crime".

  12. #177
    Hi-Fi Fight Club Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Well I disagree about us disagreeing.

    Seriously though, we do seem to be pretty much on the same page. I dont think I have any real, honest disagreements with what you're saying, just a slightly different way I might approach it.
    Just a few things like, going back to presenting all sides of an issue. When we think "all side" we're usually talking about just the liberal and conservative perspective.

    It isn't really possible, I don't think, for superhero comics to show all sides of an issues in a way that encompasses all the political viewpoints out there per story. A lot of ideologies are not going to make the cut, which is understandable.

    Things like writing in a way that readers make up their own minds don't really mean much to me, because people are going to make up their own minds regardless of what's in the comic. That isn't to dismiss what's in the comic, but I don't think author intent is the be all and end all of how readers will process the comic.

    It comes down to the whole "the writer shouldn't tell us what to think", which most often I see as the writer telling us what they think, which I'm fine with in theory. I draw a distinction between attempting to change attitudes, vs attempts of telling people what they must think. Informing, as opposed to shaming or misleading.

    Take the Superman Road Trip arc for example. I ranted about how much I hated that story, but I didn't read it as Tomasi & Gleason telling me what to think and what to believe, but sharing their thoughts, albeit in a very non-specific way where it was like they weren't really saying anything at all.

    And sadly, I don't think that a weak argument is going to fail just because it's weak. History has shown otherwise.

    Stuff like that.
    Last edited by Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever; 10-12-2017 at 10:18 PM.
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  13. #178
    Hi-Fi Fight Club Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogotazo View Post
    Very well said. Great post and solid use of examples where nuance and the equation of opposing viewpoints don't correlate.
    Thanks.

    I was worried it got kinda rambly.
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  14. #179
    Incredible Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolores - The Worst Poster Ever View Post
    That's fine, provided it's shown why it's a weak argument.

    Presenting viewpoints should also mean looking at them with a critical eye.
    It also needs to be done without intentionally sabotaging one side of the discussion. It's dishonest to claim you're showing both sides when you intentionally skew one side's presentation to make them look bad.

  15. #180
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Actually, this is exactly what happened back in the 70's or so, when Superman took on the KKK and recruitment dropped.
    This possibly happened in the '40s. The book on it is one I hope to read.

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