August 02, 2016

Red Krypton; the Arkansas of the Universe


Timothy Birdnow

Last night the THIS TV network ran a pair of old Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns. Now, I can't imagine who could pass up a chance to see A Fist Full of Dollars or The Good the Bad and the Ugly, especially on a Monday night when nothing of any interest is on the rest of the illusion machine, so I flipped it on, planted my keister firmly in my chair, and enjoyed the show.

But THIS has an annoying number of commercials, and when a break comes you have a sizable chunk of time wasted on things you simply cannot live without; Flex Seal rubber coating, ambulance chasing attorneys, dish soap, and everyone's favorite - acne cream. Now, I enjoy tales about acne as much as the next man, but eventually one tires of the sight of pimply pusses. I had my fill so flipped to the WB network, which is one click down the dial (and the sister station to THIS).

Well, the WB is a station for kids, and it did not disappoint as it had that bratty Supergirl playing. Supergirl wasn't so super; she got booted from CBS, likely due to poor ratings and stupid plot lines. But I watched a little of the Girl of Steel (or is it Steal as she's trying to steal the Big Dog's thunder? She was definitely stealing time from the viewers) between the killings of Italians pretending to be Mexicans.

Now, I've never been a big Superman fan because he's a dope. With his godlike powers he should have no trouble whatsoever, but he's always in peril because, well, he's an incompetent. A boob. A man so stupid he wears his underwear on the outside of his pants and thinks a pair of glasses is a good disguise. Granted, I wouldn't tell him that; he might blow me down with that horrible halitosis breath of his, but were a mere human to copy his approach he would be put in the State School for the Mentally Handicapped. It's only Superman's enormous power that prevents his attending special ed classes.

I think the Kryptonians must have interbred terribly to produce a guy like Kal El. I fear Krypton was the equivalent of Arkansas, and was probably led by the equivalent of the Clintons.

And Supergirl is the bratty late-teen early twentysomething cousin of the Man of Steel. It's bad enough we have an omnipotent not so bright adult, but a kid without the benefit of being raised as an American is intolerable.

And make no mistake; she isn't an American. Unlike her cuz, Supergirl was raised - at least in her early years - on Krytpon. Now, Krypton has a red sun, which apparently mirrored it's political and social views. We learn this when SG tries to comfort the hip, tall, dazzling urbanite who they used to replace the pasty white nerd Jimmy Olson.

Here was the money quote from the show last night:

Olson: I was famous not for anything I did but for who I knew. I wanted to do something on my own.

Superchick: On Krypton we believe that it is noble to ask others for help. We have a saying "together we're stronger."

End

So Krypton is a socialist society where "you didn't build that!" but rather you ask for help from others at all times. Someone really should tell Kal El; he has always been leading by example, trying to get people to act for good individually. But did you get the last? Yes, Superchick actually used the Hillary Clinton slogan "together we're stronger".

I'm telling you, Krypton was Arkansas writ large.

And I burned with the desire to make the obvious rejoinder:

Tim: "and yet, despite being stronger together, Krypton was destroyed and the Kryptonian People became extinct, or nearly enough."

Yes, that is the lesson that should be learned here. Kryptonian philosophy was a trap. Clearly a trap. They should never have become extinct from one planetary event, but they did. Why? Because they were weak and decadent - the product of over-reliance on society and social constructs. Their People had lost the spark, the drive, the genius that comes from individual initiative and independent thought. Theirs was the society that our liberal friends demand for us; carefully planned, collectivist, regulated, ordered and structured. With Kryptonian technology they should have spread out, colonized a large swath of the Galaxy. They had interstellar capabilities, after all, but did not use them. Heck, they didn't even colonize their own solar system. As a result, when their planet blew up the only survivors were the El cousins and General Zahn's criminal exiles. That is what overspecialization gets you. And that is what "together we're stronger" led to on Krypton.

Their society was decadent because, like the old Soviet Union, everyone looked to the rest to accomplish anything. Jar-El was the only Kryptonian who still had the spirit of old. And Supergirl is preaching this failed philosophy to Earth.

Needless to say I turned back to my spaghetti western. Clint Eastwood and the men of the Old West may have been brutal and life may have been hard, but they lived life on their own terms. The Western is a genre that celebrates individuality, faith, moral character, and grit. Too bad Krypton didn't see A Fist Full of Dollars.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 06:50 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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