Thursday, February 22, 2018

Black Panther: Cultural Marxist Soul Food

Class clashes in Black Panther:

tribal rituals trump reason

You wake up in the morning, turn on your computer after fixing a coffee, and read the world and national news from a variety of blog sites, some of them your regulars (Sultan Knish, Pam Geller, Robert Spencer, Diana West, Gatestone, etc.). You’re overwhelmed by a waterfall of information. You’re inundated by the volume of things you’d like to compose a column about. But it’s hard to chose, because not a thing you read doesn’t flash its importance like a neon sign.  They’re all important, just more ticks in the advance of cultural Marxism in the government, in society, and just in general. 

You read the MSM sites to absorb the latest victory lap about the transgendering of society, or how Muslim “immigrants” were sentenced in Britain for repeated rapes of white British girls and children, but were given light or no sentences. But you do not believe what they have to say or report. You keep getting special invitations to subscribe to the New York Times and the Washington Post , via links from other blog sites with full transcriptions of significant articles of those articles, but you refuse to pay a dime to get regular news from the Gray Lady with a Walker, and its disinformation clone, Jeff Bezos’s new toy, the Washington Post, not after all the lies and evasions both newspapers have promoted and circulated, going as far back as Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer Prize award-winning articles on the Soviet Union that denied mass starvation and government murders in Stalin’s “paradise”.

Speaking of a Stalinesqe paradise, we visit again Black Panther, the latest victory lap of Cultural Marxism, courtesy of Hollywood. This is the fictional African country, Wakanda, that the MSM has touted as a glorious booster of black pride and a new direction of super-hero films. Black Panther is "soul food."Wakanda is a hidden country whose Ayn Rand-borrowed device hides the country from prying eyes, has eschewd all contact with the world beyond its closed borders, and owes its existence to a vibranium meteor that fell into the regions ages ago, giving the tribe that found it magical powers. Wakanda is a kind of Shakespearean monarchy of elites whose throne is up for grabs, but with far less literacy or literary value.

Why is a hereditary monarchy an expression of Cultural Marxism? You’re supposed to suspend belief in this action comic book movie for the sake of honoring “black pride,” just as we were supposed to suspend belief, when it was propagated by Walter Duranty, that Soviet Russia was a socialist utopia of plentitude and contentment.

With no historical indication of how Wakanda actually came to be, we are supposed to just prima facie, with no further investigation, questioning, or wonder, believe that Wakanda is superior in all respects to the West.
A Black Lives Matter symbol:
Coincidence or happenstance?

But “black pride” is an identity vehicle. It is a product of Marxism.

Marxism forecasts the overthrow of the capitalist system and establishing the equalization of everyone so that no one group rules over another – the rich over the poor, socialist factories over Mom and Pop shops, one ethnic group over another, and so on. America has never had a “socialist” mentality (except among the intellectuals of the Left and mainstream media pundits of the Left), and Marxism has never been bought by most Americans as a viable or even as a desirable social system. Americans would rather forge their own lives and futures, and not the government or some coterie of the “elite.”

Marxism has failed miserably anywhere it has tried. Marxism has impoverished or murdered the very “class” of people it purports to help (lately in Venezuela). It was advocated to fight the rich and the corrupt and tyrants, but all it has ever done is oppress the downtrodden and brutally squelch any resistance to the rule of the socialist elite.  

Post-modernist Marxists have given up on convincing most people that they are a downtrodden “class” or that they are oppressed proletarians, and substituted a bewildering variety of post-modern “identities”: women, transsexuals, blacks, whites, Hispanics, the obese, children, and so on, all being bequeathed by ideology the “right” of expression and “self-determination.”  Except  perhaps “whites.” In the Marxists’ hidden lexicon are the terms communism and socialism
The Cultural Marxist character of Black Panther is that it creates a mythology for blacks to “believe in” or “relate” to. The rivals for the Wakandan throne, T'Challa (the “moderate” nice guy) and “Erik” Killmonger (the power-luster) engage in a physical battle to see who is “superior,” watched over by a bald, all-female bodyguard, the Dora Milaje. The Dora Milaje could easily evolve into something akin to Hitler’s Schutzstaffel (the Protection Squadron), to enforce the king’s will on all Wakandans, except  that it’s armed with spears.

Wakanda can’t be a democracy as we know it, nor a republic. There is no inkling of what kind of government it has other than the hereditary monarchy that apparently has real and not just symbolic power, as many European monarchies have.
There are so many characters in the Marvel film and in the comic book series that it’s hard to keep track of them. One character, Zuni, who is the religious and “spiritual” advisor to the other main characters and the keeper of the sacred vibranium herb, appears and has a subsidiary role in the film. Wikipedia wrote of him:

RyanCoogler, the film’s director, said that Zuni is the Black Panther's version of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The film borrows and filches so many gimmicks and features from its cinematic predecessors that one could make a career identifying them.  Black Panther has been ginned up as a “black moment” to celebrate “blackness” but certainly not “diversity.” Louis  Farrakhan would  agree. It’s all about blackness, so you white people, stay out of the room. Which prompts another question:  would Wakanda treat neighboring South Africa as a “good neighbor”? How would it view S.A.’s racist, anti-white government? Adopt a “different folks, different strokes” policy?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wakanda: The Eye of a Newt

I began my last column, “Wakanda: ‘The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of,’”  with ‘The title is from the last line of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. It’s an appropriate quotation for wishful thinking.  In keeping with the denouement of "The Maltese Falcon," Black Panther is a lump of political lead painted black.’

Black Panther was produced and released as a "black" event, not as "entertainment" or as chiefly cinematic "art." The driving force behind it was politics, and "Identity" politics, at that. I saw that from the beginning and the SJWs ate it up. The film falls into the genre of super-hero fare, just as Shaft and Cotton Comes to Harlem as black films were.  (I remember having smidgens of reservations when I was much younger about the "Superman" I saw on TV; “Look! Up in the sky! It's a Bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!”), but I never developed a liking for Spiderman or any of the other Marvel-like comics or their heroes.

This is not to rule out all comic super-heroes, even when they appear in comic books. Some of them have a value as an introduction to heroic values. I read the Classic Comics of literature when I was younger, and also some newspaper comic panels. The latter did not usually feature heroes able to fly or perform reality-defying feats in pursuit of justice.

But a maturing person should leave these things behind to discover the  great literature that is their source, not ceasing to value their juvenile offspring, but answering the needs of a growing mind. Or they should at least eschew these fictional  “self-esteem” booster shots tp the psyche, such as Black Panther. Or they should discover “fresh” new movies, such as Agora, and the circumstances behind the fall of ancient Alexandria, Egypt, or learn the classical myths of gods and goddesses – Zeus, Athena, Mercury, etc. – the “super beings” who often affect mortals’  actions, and often their interventions are inseparable from men’s actions and thinking;  and from the stories of Odysseus, and Clytemnestra and Theseus, and other non-temporal or semi-godlike actors. The ancient playwrights were far more attuned to their works than most modern playwrights are. The ancient playwrights, and Shakespeare, Rostand, and Victor Hugo, were not copycats. 

Clytemnestra, John Collier, 1882

The thing that held me back in respect  to contemporary comic book mythologies  was epistemology; heroic actions had to be credible, believable, and within the realm of rationality and real human action. This is why all my novels are "real worldly," including the Sparrowhawk series. That Black Panther was billed as the "tribal adventures" of a black super-hero, turned me off immediately, because I knew it was a post-BLM venture and black power statement to capture black “identity”; as I ask in my column, why not a movie about a Hispanic "super-hero," or a Muslim "super-hero" (though Marvel is producing comics of just the latter)?  Don't leave out a single ethnic identity, Hollywood! Don't forget the Sioux , the Buddhists, the Navajos, and the Alaskan natives! They are all deserving of their own cinematic mythology and fictional countries! Why should blacks and Black Panther have a corner on the ethnic identity market?

One of the best discussions of Black Panther is by Sargon at this video link. He takes it apart root, twig, and branch. He says that one Time Magazine reviewer wrote that the film is about “the revolutionary power of Black Panther.“ Another Time reviewer, Stephanie Zacharek, wrote that Wakanda is “what America looks like when it’s allowed to be its truest, freest self. ” Which is not the most ideal projection or wishful dream of what America could be. Wakanda, after all, is a hereditary, tribal monarchy whose default siblings engage in mortal combat for the right to sit on the Wakandan throne. Shakespeare did it better in England and Denmark.

What about Wakanda’s shimmering skyline of towers? What economy supports them? Who works in them? Executives? Secretaries? Economic planners? Budget balancers? Power Point compilers? Boards of directors? Not a hint is given.  One sees a group of bazaars covered with corrugated sheet metal. Hardly the basis of a sound Wakandan dollar. The towers are just there as irrefutable proof that Wakanda is on a par with Lower Manhattan.

What technology keeps it all running?

Vibranium, the magic metal that fell from the sky. Does Wakanda even have a periodic table? Or is it just plain magic and Herculean urgings that bestow its inexplicable power that makes things go, aside from one or two of the rival kings consuming a vibranium-mutated herb and being bestowed with super powers? It vibrated?

The technological power of

 Vibranium in Black Panther
 Let’s just settle for the Three Witches in Macbeth. Is it the “Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog, adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, lizard's leg and owlet's wing”? It’s as good as three vibrating gay molecules.  This, Sargon says, is not “technology.”  It’s pure hocus-pocus.  Vibranium is Star Trek’s dilithium crystal for Wakanda. Aside from many other aspects of Black Panther, I suspect that, aside from story lines copied liberally or partly from Harry Potter and  Lord of the Rings and other well-known titles, the notion of dilithium must have been copped from Star Trek and redubbed. In the long run, we got Harry battling Lord Voldemort,  while heir presumptive of Wakanda T'Challa battles Killmonger.

But, to add it all up, Sam Spade in the Maltese Falcon summed Black Panther best: It’s just a lump of black painted lead.