Thursday, May 19, 2016

Spinning Doctor Strange

Once again, they have changed the narrative about Doctor Strange and what they did to the ancient one.

First, it was obviously a transgender pandering moment.

Then, nope. They claimed that "fans want womyn, so we're going to give you womyn!"

Then they said that it was really about not offending China by having a Tibetan bad ass. That didn't even told up to the scrutiny of professional homosexual George Takai, who bitched about the whitewashing of the Ancient One.

And now, NOW, Disney insists that they changed the Ancient one because because you're a racist.

Yup. Really.

As Kevin Feige, master of the MCU just said
“We make all of our decisions on all of our films, and certainly on Doctor Strange, for creative reasons and not political reasons.  That’s just always been the case."
Always been the case? Really Kevin? Really? You just said a few weeks ago that it was about MOAR WOMYN.

And then it came out that it was about not offending China.

Who do you think you're fooling? You've changed positions on this four times in a month. That's more often than a skin walker shape shifts.
"I’ve always believed that it is the films themselves that will cross all borders and really get people to identify with these heroes, and that always comes down to creative and not political reasons." 
"All borders" meaning "China has a billion people and we really want their money."
"The casting of The Ancient One was a major topic of conversation in the development and the creative process of the story."
I'm certain that there were no other factors -- at all -- in this decision.
“We didn’t want to play into any of the stereotypes found in the comic books, some of which go back as far as 50 years or more. We felt the idea of gender swapping the role of The Ancient One was exciting. It opened up possibilities, it was a fresh way into this old and very typical storyline."
Um, dude, if you honestly wanted to do that, you'd cut out the origin story entirely. Why? Because the origin story of Doctor Strange is "An ego-maniacal genius at the top of his field finds himself humbled in an incident that requires him to find redemption in being a superhero."  You know, exactly like Tony Stark. If you really wanted to ditch the "old and very typical storyline," maybe you shouldn't be repeating the exactly same motif from film one.

Also, you've had a string of comic books for 50 years. Did you think that anyone who's been reading those comics might actually give a crap about having it look like what they were reading?

What about the young Asian kid who saw the Ancient One and thought "Yeah, I'd want to be a badass when I'm that old"? Nah. He doesn't matter, does he?
“Why not make the wisest bestower of knowledge in the universe to our heroes in the particular film a woman instead of a man?
Because you didn't make him a woman, you made him look more like a space alien.

Kill it with fire!
“We made changes to some of the other key characters in the comic for similar reasons. Specifically, casting Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo….
Why? Because you didn't want any more Russians to be the bad guys?

Oh, wait, you're not even going to have Mordo as the bad guy in this one, you've got him as the side kick.
“The truth is, the conversation that’s taking place around this is super-important."
Super important? Not super-duper important? How about super-super-duper important?

Does he even hear how stupid he sounds?
"It’s something we are incredibly mindful of. We cast Tilda out of a desire to subvert stereotypes, not feed into them."
Did you ever think that the archetype of the wise old man was a thing because there was something special about wise old men? Or do you not put that much thought into it? Is Jung just too advanced for you?
"I don’t know if you saw [Doctor Strange director] Scott Derrickson’s tweet the other day. He said we’re listening and we’re learning, every day. That really is true. As long as we’re starting on this topic, it means so much to us that people know that. We also know that people expect actions and not words in a Q&A, and I’m hopeful that some of our upcoming announcements are going to show that we’ve been listening.”
They're listening, but they are not going to change jack. Because you're a racist. I mean, obviously, if you actually want the wise old Asian character you may have cared about from the comic to, I don't know, look like a wise old Asian man, well, you want a stereotype, and stereotypes must be subverted. So if you want that evil stereotype, you must be subverted, so you are the problem. You are the racist.

Yes, I'm sure they're listening to you. You're just not saying anything that they want to hear.

As John C. Wright put it.
A young man learns from an old man because generally old men know more about what a young man wants to know than a younger woman. And Tibetans know more about Tibetan mysticism than Scottish Calvinists. Just saying.

I am wondering what exciting possibilities are opened up by having the Ancient One be a Scottish woman. If the only difference between men and women is plumbing, then the only way for having a woman play a man’s role and play it in a mannish fashion to be new and exciting is to have the story line be about plumbing, not about personality.

And now that the decision is done, filming is done, and it is too late to change anything, now you are listening and learning, is that the plan? Now, when it is too late to change your mind, it is super-important for us to have a conversation?

You would have been better off claiming that the Red Chinese bribed you.

Then, at least, the fans would have known you had some principles, that you were willing to whore for money. The capitalist side of my soul would have disapproved, but understood.
I'm with him.

Not to mention that they took out a large chunk from the comic book. The "stereotype" they jettisoned was important no only because of the comic, but because of the character. Think about it for a moment. In J. Michael Straczynski's The Oath, he highlighted that Doctor Strange, surgeon, not only had to stop being an egomaniac, he would also have to kowtow in a strange, alien land, and force his scientific, American Mind to learn the ways of Oriental mysticism. Guess what? We don't have that anymore. Poof. Why? Because the Scottish Calvinist figured it out, obviously our boy Strange will as well. That's one of the reasons I figure it's a darn good reason to either A) jettison the origin story or B) keep her role very, very limited.

A show of hands, please: at the end of the day, how many people would have cared if they had stuck to one story? Or just admitted they were going for deliberate gender bending? Or as JCW put it, just being bribed by the fact of the PRC? Maybe then, they could have had something resembling the courage of their convictions. Stupid convictions, but sticking to your guns has got to be better than sniveling around like a worm, hoping not to be stepped on by the fans.

This has been going on for a month. The trailer dropped on April 14, and this latest spin came out on May 10th. And they've gone through four reasons on this topic. Does anyone want to make a guess on when they're going to settle on one story and stick with it? 


  1. "The truth is, the conversation that’s taking place around this is super-important."

    Am I the only one tired of hearing this exact non-response?

    A) It's not a conversation. It's literally one group of people who want to stick to the original, and a second group who wants to change things to reflect their shallow worldview.

    B) It's not super-important. Why do progressives keep using the term "super-important"? It's always this exact term. Either way, it's not important. The western world devolving into a bunch of babies who need their safe spaces is a more important issue. Skyrocketing suicide rates is important. Or, how about that Christian genocide?

    C) None of this matters in the grand scheme of things. Steve Ditko wrote a character and world to be a certain way. They are deliberately changing it to enforce a different worldview than what the creator intended. They are essentially saying they know better than the creator of the character.

    But, hey, they took a role away from an asian actor and gave it to a white one. I thought Ghost in the Shell told us this was a bad thing? Oh well, no one ever said progressivism was supposed to make sense.

  2. In SJW parlance, "conversation" means "shut up while I lecture you until you surrender".

    Thanks, I'll pass. There's plenty of other outlets for my entertainment dollar.

  3. "Did you ever think that the archetype of the wise old man was a thing because there was something special about wise old men?"


    There's this popular misconception that a stereotype is inherently immoral, as if it's synonymous with "prejudice' or "slur".

    Yet everyone's experience shows that many stereotypes are not only benign, but indispensable for daily life.

    When you hear a siren behind you and see a black and white car with flashing lights on top and a uniformed dude with a badge at the wheel, you immediately understand the correct response.

    You don't need to know the driver's character or even his identity to know that you should pull over.

    Similarly, in the visual language of film, it takes far less exposition to establish an elderly Asian as a Tibetan mystic.


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