Cultural Vandals

I first heard that phrase in connection with the controversy over whether or not the first Moon landing actually happened back in 1969*. It was used in a rather interesting BBC documentary- it might actually have been the History Channel, come to think of it- by supporters of the Apollo 11 landings to describe those who disagree with the mainstream view.

The term "vandal" originates from the East Germanic tribes that sacked Rome in 455 A.D.- just 4 years after Flavius Aetius, one of the Last of the Romans and one of the greatest generals in history, successfully defended the Empire's collapsing Eastern flank against the incursions of one Attila the Hun. For over 1,500 years, "Vandal" was an epithet used to describe those who plunder and destroy great works of art, and great civilisations, indiscriminately seeking to annihilate all that is good and beautiful.

We now know slightly better about the Vandals. When it comes to modern progressives and their desire to destroy everything that is good, and decent, and normal, about our world, the original meaning of the term still applies:
Last week was a trifecta for Cultural Marxism in the comic-book world. Archie Andrews was shot to death trying to protect a gay senator, Captain America became black, and the Mighty Thor had a sex change
Archie Andrews, the freckle-faced, milkshake-drinking ginger who has epitomized American wholesomeness since 1941, was murdered last Wednesday in Life With Archie #36. His friend Kevin Keller, an openly gay white senator with a black husband, was campaigning for gun control and was being threatened by some stereotypically rendered right-wing gun nut. [Didact: The editorial staff apparently didn't know how to market the anti-gun message in a subtle and tasteful fashion.] But Archie stepped in and “heroically” ate a bullet for him. 
“Archie is not a superhero like all the rest of the comic book characters,” explained Jon Goldwater, co-CEO of Archie Comics. “He’s human. He’s a person. When you wound him, he bleeds. He knows that. If anything, I think his death is more impactful because of that.” [Didact: English FAIL] (The company’s other co-CEO is Nancy Silberkleit, who has been sued for sexual harassment by reportedly referring to all male employees as “Penis” rather than their names. She denied such harassment was even possible since males are not a “protected class.” At press time, I could not verify whether she also uses tremendously annoying words such as “impactful.”
I’ll bet you didn’t know that before he gave his life to save a gay senator, Archie also spawned an interracial baby with a black woman
Marvel Comics announced last week that the role of Captain America—who, like Archie, has existed as a Caucasian since 1941—will be assumed by a black man from Harlem who until now has played a sidekick known as “The Falcon.” The original Captain America—the white one—is giving his role over to The Falcon because he is now 90 years old and too feeble to be a superhero anymore. All-New Captain America is slated to launch in October. 
“In 2014, this should be a thing that we shrug off,” says Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort about the new black Captain America. “It shouldn’t be seen as revolutionary, but it still feels exciting.”

So if it’s no big thing, why did you do it in the first place, and why does it feel “exciting” to you?
Jim Goad's article goes on at considerable length to point out just how badly the progressive Left has poisoned the fun, escapist world of comics and graphic novels:
  • Thor, Norse god of thunder and war, protector of Mankind, and defender of Asgaard, is now a woman
  • Peter Parker has been killed off (again) and was replaced by a half-Puerto Rican, half-black character named Miles Morales- and Marvel's editorial staff wonders why no one takes Spiderman seriously...
  • Superman renounced his American citizenship
  • Batwoman, (re-)introduced in the "52" crossover event after the finale of the "Infinite Crisis" arc, is now a lipstick lesbian who, when she's not busy looking ridiculous, makes out with the new Question, Renee Montoya
  • Nick Fury's "Ultimate" version is a one-eyed black badass modelled specifically to look like Samuel L. Jackson- which in my opinion is the only change in this list that actually makes the slightest bit of sense
  • Alan Scott- the original Green Lantern, from DC's Golden Age- is now gay and married to another man
Looking at this list, one is compelled to ask: is nothing sacred anymore?

Are we to simply sit by and watch as beloved, iconic heroes that we looked up to and admired as children are twisted and warped beyond all recognition?

Must we just stand back and accept the fact that our cultural touchstones should be desecrated in this fashion?

Should we, indeed, wither away in brightest day, in blackest night, and let those who worship evil's might, abuse the power of Green Lantern's light?

The thing that amazes me the most about these people is not their sheer chutzpah in rewriting beloved childhood characters and destroying whatever civility remained in the culture wars. That is to be expected- they're leftists, they have no concept of what it takes to build civilisation, since they have no capacity for understanding true beauty.

No, what amazes me is their complete lack of historical understanding, and therefore their inability to understand that by reinventing characters like this in order to show how multicultural and correct they are in their thinking, they unwittingly insult and abuse the cultures that originated these characters in the first place.

Consider: Thor, son of Odin, guardian of Asgaard, mighty defender of Mankind, and future slayer of the Midgaard Serpent, is a pagan icon. Given the very clearly anti-Christian and anti-establishment views of the editors at Marvel and DC, you would think that they would be happy to keep Thor the way he was in Norse legends, right?

Instead, they turned him into the exact opposite of what Thor is, and in so doing, have managed to insult the culture that worshiped him. A culture that, lest we forget, was subjugated to the yoke of Christianity by fire and sword, and that has never forgiven the Christian invaders of Scandinavia for those trespasses.

They just so happened to insult a culture that believed in killing the thralls of great warriors en masse when said warriors died, so that they might accompany him to the afterlife. They drank mead from the skulls of slain enemies- there is a reason, after all, why mead is considered to be a "heady drink". And they inflicted quite horrendous punishments on anyone who they really didn't like.

Marvel, indeed, at Marvel's tin ear when it comes to the God of Thunder. If Marvel's editors really want to find out what the Vikings were like when they got really hacked off about something, well, they chose a rather good way to get said Vikings to start hacking stuff...

Vox Day and John C. Wright have pointed out many times before that this is how the Pinkshirts like to go about things. Instead of telling a great story- like comic books used to do- they now are used to ram home Big and Important Messages about Tolerance and Diversity and Multiculturalism and Human Sexuality.

This rot is as insidious as it is disgusting, and those of us who still have some moral sense left to understand the rottenness rightly recoil from it with horror at seeing what our childhood heroes and teenage icons have become.

What, then, are we to do about this blight?

Simple: we starve it.

If you're as fed up of this preachy garbage as I am, do the one thing that the Pinkshirts absolutely cannot fight against. Don't buy their work.

It has been months, if not years, since I last bought a graphic novel that wasn't related to the Dark Horse Conan series- because even now, the Conan series still provides the sense of dark escapism and fantastical wonder that Robert E. Howard's original writing did so many decades ago.

I don't think I've ever bought a comic book that wasn't HALO-related- because even despite the equalitarian nonsense that pervades the HALOverse, the HALO novels and comics still tell great stories and still present an unambiguous battle between good and evil, between right and wrong.

I have chosen to deny DC Comics and Marvel Comics my money for almost anything that isn't related to Batman, simply because I am so tired and fed up of being preached to instead of being told great stories about the battles between good and evil that define our world. Batman is still the ultimate example of the Dark Knight, the man who walks the fine line between salvation and damnation, the man who fights evil with nothing more than his wits, body and will, and whose iron resolve in the face of unspeakable horror is still a moral example to the rest of us even in these morally unhinged times.

Don't spend cash on Pinkshirt trash. It isn't worth your hard-earned money. Spend it instead on great works by great writers, like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and, of course, the inestimably talented John C. Wright. Starve them of your money, and you will ensure their downfall faster than any amount of legislation, hyperbole, or invective.

And to those who despair of winning the culture wars when even seemingly sacred domains like children's comics and young adult graphic novels are under assault like this- take heart, and do not fear. We will win this war, simply because the writers on our side are better at telling great stories.

Great stories endure through time- witness the endless appeal of the titanic battles between good and evil in the Bible, or the Mahabharat and Ramayana, or Tolkien's legendarium, or Lewis's work.

More than anything else, we will win this war because we have wit and wisdom on our side- and as C.S. Lewis showed in The Screwtape Letters, if there is one thing our enemy cannot abide, it is to be laughed at, to be mocked. So mock them, indeed, for their folly is great and their absurdity is vast.


For the record: I think it did happen, but I'm willing to listen to any reasonable and well-supported argument that says otherwise.

Comments

  1. One quibble: "pulchritudinous" means "excessively beautiful, comely, lovely." I think putrid may be a better fit?

    Otherwise, excellent piece. I read Wright's Awake In The Night Land for the third time not long ago. It was my first introduction to his work. I'm now working on his Golden Age trilogy. Finally, sci-fi, and just plain old literature, I can enjoy.

    You can never go wrong with the classics. And not just the European or Eurocentric ones. The ancient and pre-colonial periods of literature of India, China, and Japan spawned some lovely works of poetry and philosophy that are oft ignored in classrooms and conversation. I can't bother talking with many people these days, about much; not because I don't want you (usually I'm amenable to conversation) but because no one knows anything about anything. Horrible.

    The Left is all breadth, no depth. They only care about the message. This has been bothering me about all popular entertainment for a long time. I'm almost ready to kill my television. Mr. C. enjoys football and hunting shows so we keep it around for that. Otherwise, it's poison. Yesterday we took the kids to the mountains for a day of hiking and throwing rocks in the river - they're all under 6 yo, what else would a kid do? They swam in the river in the sunshine and fresh air and it was a day like no other. Antidote for cultural poison.

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    Replies
    1. One quibble: "pulchritudinous" means "excessively beautiful, comely, lovely." I think putrid may be a better fit?

      Yes. I realised when I woke up this morning that I was trying to be too clever by half with my language and edited this a little.

      The ancient and pre-colonial periods of literature of India, China, and Japan spawned some lovely works of poetry and philosophy that are oft ignored in classrooms and conversation

      Indeed. The Records of the Three Kingdoms, and their fictionalised counterparts, the Romance, as well as The Tale of Genji come to mind here.

      The Left is all breadth, no depth. They only care about the message. This has been bothering me about all popular entertainment for a long time. I'm almost ready to kill my television.

      I agree. I actually did this a couple of years ago and cut off my cable subscription because I was just sick and tired of the trash that was being marketed on TV as "edgy" and "critically acclaimed". These days about the only TV shows I watch are "Top Gear" and "Last Man Standing"- the last remaining bastions of blokey silliness and old-fashioned values.

      They swam in the river in the sunshine and fresh air and it was a day like no other. Antidote for cultural poison.

      Spending time in the outdoors of God's country does indeed have that effect.

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