Why Do Some Leftists Love Fictional Villain Monarchs?

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Sweetleaf
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08 Apr 2024, 2:00 am

DW_a_mom wrote:
Fantasy Fiction is a very romanticized version of Monarchy, where the primary characters are part of the elite and have power, or are abused the elite and able to take power over them, pretty much never part of the "normal" folks. Who doesn't want to have power and status? To dream you can "win" the "game" of the struggle for power? But fantasying about it doesn't mean you'd be willing to saddle the world with the real life costs that such a system tends to create.

Once you learn anything about history, you know that none of it was ever like the fantasy, it was never very kind or just, nor was it ever safe for the elites at the top, and its nice to know we don't live like that anymore.

Evolving is a good thing.

But humans will always have a type of nostalgia for the way things never were.



Also ... I do not like being called Leftist, but I will own "bleeding heart." I believe in Democracy, restrained capitalism, accepting people as they are, and that most people are good ... just that the ones who aren't manage to have outsized impacts.


If you had posted this on reddit I would have given it an upvote...but wrongplanet does not have upvotes. Thatsaid you believe in democracy and restrained capitalism so you may be more left wing than you realize, cause that is what a lot of us believe in like rein in the capitalism and make sure people have true freedom... and stop allowing people with a lot of money to get away with countless crimes us regular people would be put away for.


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08 Apr 2024, 2:44 am

roronoa79 wrote:
I feel compelled to get this out of the way: You've found people who like King Magnifico? Where? Do such people exist? There are people who liked Wish?? I would have rolled my eyes at everything about that trainwreck when I was 9. I suppose theoretically there must be at least one person out there who considers themself a leftist yet is somehow dense or deluded or....something...to like King Magnifico.


Yes, I've seen tons of comments on various platforms claiming Magnifico is the hero and Asha is the villain. I think "Wish" is possibly the worst canonical Disney Animated Classic. But I don't believe that particular criticism is true. It's mostly based on the idea that Asha wants to grant all the wishes -- something she never says or does in the movie. What she says is that the wishes should be returned to people so they can try to make come true themselves.

I may be wrong about Magnifico defenders being Leftist. (Or whatever term they wish to be called now.) There were a few comments that gave me that impression, like one claiming that Magnifico "ended homelessness" and villainous Asha somehow messed that up by giving people back their wishes.

I guess what bugs me is that the wishes are basically people's special interests, and you have a group of audience members (who may be anywhere on the political spectrum) going "Gee, I wish we had an a benevolent dictator like that who could rip people's special interests away from them, because they're inherently dangerous and ruin society."

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It's sort of a matter of separating one's real world politics from the in-world politics. You don't even have to be a leftist. Leftists, liberals, conservatives, centrists--none of them monarchists, yet almost all of them were glad to see Aragorn in Lord of the Rings crowned king for example. If you were in the theater, and someone reacted to that scene with "But monarchy is undemocratic!", then everyone else in the audience would start laughing.


Totally agree. "Lion King" is one of my favorite movies. It doesn't mean I'm a monarchist. It's more of a coming of age story, with becoming king representing adulthood.

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To go over the other examples:
Daenerys Targaryen (I am *not* going to talk about the nonsense of seasons 5-8) was popular with...almost everyone regardless of their opinion of monarchy. She stylized herself as The Breaker of Chains, trying to use her political power to end the slave trade on the continent of Essos. She genuinely cares about the everyday citizens she rules (even if she has no intention of giving them representation or suffrage). She is generally sympathetic given her horrible upbringing, her family being murdered, her being trapped as a glorified sex slave to Khal Drogo, etc. She is idealistic, but she has the power (ie: dragons) to back it up. She fulfills a kind of power fantasy of being able to call out society's rulers and them having to listen (or your dragons will roast them). Criticizing Danny for not being more democratic is kind of silly, because she does not have much in-world reason to believe in democracy. It would like being mad that no one in The Lord of the Rings is a feminist when feminism doesn't really exist (and there's like 2 women in the whole cast lol). Democracy is almost non-existent in the World of Ice and Fire. The Iron Island nobles elect their king at a kingsmoot, but everywhere else in Westeros is ruled by hereditary rulers. Essos is slightly more democratic, with many cities being ruled by princes or lords elected by wealthy and powerful citizens, but this still is a far cry from modern democracy, and Danny's experiences in those cities (except maybe Braavos) have not endeared her to their system of government. Danny would rather be an enlightened despot, but given how things are going in Meereen in the books, it is likely Danny will start down a dark path where she is more willing to use violence and less willing to compromise... Danny went down that dark path on the show in season 8 (I'm gonna nuke this helpless city with my dragons!)--something which cost her almost all of her fans overnight.


I hope I didn't give the impression that I dislike all these characters. I really liked Daenerys when I watched "Game of Thrones." I, too, got a kick out of her taking some of those awful people down a notch via dragonfire. However, I think the idea that she could take a dark turn was built up from the start. How it wound up happening was just very rushed, like everything in the last season. I think a lot of this universe was made to subvert traditional fantasy tropes. No clear cut good guys and bad guys, knights aren't always honorable, pretty much everyone's plans go horribly awry at some point, etc. And it seems these people are fine with that, until we get to Chosen One Daenerys turning bad. Then they're like, "No, no! That's not how it goes! She was supposed to conquer the world and break the wheel and build a Utopia!" I didn't think it was ever leading to that.

One example I'm thinking of was the YouTube video essayist Lindsay Ellis, whom I was a fan of, whenever she *didn't* talk about politics. [SPOILERS FOR "GAME OF THRONES"] She claimed that Daenerys couldn't turn bad because "Power doesn't corrupt. Power reveals." But she was upset that Tyrion's dark turn was left out of the show. She called the assassination of Daenerys violence against women, but complained that Cersei's death wasn't gruesome enough. She accused the writers of making Bran king instead of Daenerys because he "has no politics." (Meaning Dany "has politics.") And she complained that the Lords of Westeros electing a king was Oligarchy, not Democracy, but was fine with Daenerys having absolute power.

BTW, I agree that we should not expect Daenerys to have Democratic ideals based on the world she lives in. I just think it's ironic when this person whose claim to power is based on heredity, who gives herself a royal title a mile long and runs a cult of personality around herself is being held up as a progressive political symbol.

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Killmonger is a little more straightforward. Killmonger is himself an anti-racist radical who is willing to use violence and work outside respectable channels to fight injustice. He wants to rule Wakanda as part of his plan to liberate the world's oppressed peoples with Wakanda's technological superiority--not so much because he likes the idea of being a dictator iirc (it's been a while since I've seen the film). Killmonger is one of those characters that is willing to say truth about the world that the protagonists do not want to hear.
This popularity can seem illogical given Killmonger's less savory behavior (eg: killing his girlfriend when she was being held hostage), but people chalk this up to poor writing more than anything else. Killmonger is one of many characters who fall into a very annoying villainous trope for me and a lot of other people: the villain who makes lots of good points but then does evil things for no apparent reason to try to make him unsympathetic. It's kind of like Ultron. He makes some good points, but the writers aren't prepared to address those points, so he starts using indiscriminate violence and the Avengers have to put him down. Good thing we don't have to worry about those uncomfortable points he was making, huh? That might cause us to write stories with messages that the US military wouldn't like.


Again, I liked Killmonger as a relatively more complex, sympathetic MCU villain. The idea that the hero, T'Challa, had something to learn from Killmonger was somewhat refreshing at the time, and gave him the arc people always claim they want for protaganists. Both characters are absolute monarchs who never consider democracy, who both think Wakanda should end its isolation by the end, and the sci-fi resources of Wakanda are an imaginary solution to global problems either way. I don't see how it's surprising that the less violent of the two is the hero in this mainstream superhero movie. Especially since I think both this and "Game of Thrones" could be interpreted as anti-Iraq War commentary, i.e. "liberating" other countries through force is bad. That used to be the big, divisive Left vs. Right issue in the U.S. So it's ironic to me that Killmonger, like Daenerys, is held up by some as a progressive symbol and they lament that he wasn't the absolute hero.

And...his name is Killmonger. I don't see how it's considered out of character for him to be excessively violent :D.

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Another example would be the manga Fullmetal Alchemist. Leftists *adore* this manga (like most people), but basically all of the cast is fine with being part of or being ruled by a military dictatorship. One of the most loved characters, Roy Mustang, has the goal of improving the country by becoming führer (yes that is what that position is actually called in all translations I know of).

It's about admiring a character's ideals more than how that character thinks is the best political way to further those ideals. It's not realistic to expect a character in a fictional, undemocratic world to share political beliefs with me. If I hated every character who supported monarchy, then I wouldn't be able to enjoy very much fantasy or sci-fi, would I?


Again, I agree with this sentiment. It's the people I'm talking about who drag real-world politics into it.

I appreciate your detailed and well-thought-out comment :). I want to respond to some of the other comments too, but I don't have time right now.



Last edited by vividgroovy on 08 Apr 2024, 3:04 am, edited 7 times in total.

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08 Apr 2024, 2:48 am

cyberdad wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Using the term "leftist" pretty much saps any actual standing one might have. There is no such thing as leftism and as such no leftists.

As far as the topic goes, the key word here is "fictional." There's all sorts of fictional things that people like that they wouldn't care for in real life.


Leftist has become a slur, especially on right wing media outlets


Ironically I've also heard Leftist used as a slur by socialists.


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08 Apr 2024, 3:29 am

RetroGamer87 wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Using the term "leftist" pretty much saps any actual standing one might have. There is no such thing as leftism and as such no leftists.

As far as the topic goes, the key word here is "fictional." There's all sorts of fictional things that people like that they wouldn't care for in real life.


Leftist has become a slur, especially on right wing media outlets


Ironically I've also heard Leftist used as a slur by socialists.


The current social media zeitgeist, being left isn't cool anymore. In some ways its like taking the high road, you know you won't be popular with everyone and you need to make self-sacrifices if you believe what you want others to follow. I can't follow everything I know is responsible actions, it takes a lot of effort.



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08 Apr 2024, 7:08 am

roronoa79 wrote:
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Unfortunately Lord Vetinari doesn't exist.

Sadly, I have not read any Pratchett. There's so much it's hard to know where to start :(

Wyrd Sisters or Going Postal. The former is funnier, but the latter has chapters.



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09 Apr 2024, 12:21 am

cyberdad wrote:
RetroGamer87 wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Using the term "leftist" pretty much saps any actual standing one might have. There is no such thing as leftism and as such no leftists.

As far as the topic goes, the key word here is "fictional." There's all sorts of fictional things that people like that they wouldn't care for in real life.


Leftist has become a slur, especially on right wing media outlets


Ironically I've also heard Leftist used as a slur by socialists.


The current social media zeitgeist, being left isn't cool anymore. In some ways its like taking the high road, you know you won't be popular with everyone and you need to make self-sacrifices if you believe what you want others to follow. I can't follow everything I know is responsible actions, it takes a lot of effort.


Makes sense but I just can't keep up with their lingo. They use liberal, leftist and reactionary as words to insult each other for not being pure enough. I wonder which word they'll use next.


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18 Apr 2024, 1:41 am

I've often sympathized with the villains and anti-heroes in stories. Especially the more sympathetic ones like Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett for example.

Maybe I'm a leftist after all? :chin:

That said I never understood the Daenerys fanboys who were so angry and shocked about what she did in the end of Game of Thrones when she massacered everybody in King's Landing.

The hints about what kind of monster she really was deep down was always there for the audience to see. The only reason people thought she was a good heroine was because she freed the oppressed slaves of Essos. But she BRUTALLY tortured and slaughtered many of the former slave masters, some were even children (so much for her policy of sparing the children :roll: ). Plus her whole family was created out of centuries of inbreeding.

I think so many of her fans wanted desperately to see something in her character that was never intended to be...


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19 Apr 2024, 3:32 am

RedDeathFlower13 wrote:
I've often sympathized with the villains and anti-heroes in stories. Especially the more sympathetic ones like Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett for example.


Funny you mention "Sweeney Todd," because Sondheim musicals are one of my special interests :).

Sweeney Todd is intentionally made sympathetic by the writers, but he is a tragically flawed character. I'd say that also goes for characters like Daenerys, Killmonger and Magnifico. But unlike those three, I've never seen anyone shocked and angry that the writers didn't portray Sweeney as a role model whose actions lead to a happy ending and a Utopian society. This could just be because "Sweeney Todd" comes up less often, but I think fans of the show/film know to expect a tragic ending for this character.

Actually, since Sweeney is the protaganist, it's possible the people in question would shift their sympathies towards the antagonist, Judge Turpin. Based on how they responded to Magnifico, I can just see them saying that Turpin turned out to be right about sending Benjamin Barker to prison, since he became the murderous Sweeney in the end, and that Turpin's obsession with Lucy Barker was just something the writers added in to vilify him because they couldn't handle how right and good and moral he was :lol: :lol: :lol: .

Quote:
Maybe I'm a leftist after all? :chin:


I don't think having sympathy for these characters automatically makes you Leftist. I do sometimes and I'm politically unaffiliated. However, when people say that the villain of every story is automatically the hero because they "change the Status Quo," even if the villain wants world conquest or something, I associate that with the Left. That's the irony I'm talking about.

Quote:
That said I never understood the Daenerys fanboys who were so angry and shocked about what she did in the end of Game of Thrones when she massacered everybody in King's Landing.

The hints about what kind of monster she really was deep down was always there for the audience to see. The only reason people thought she was a good heroine was because she freed the oppressed slaves of Essos. But she BRUTALLY tortured and slaughtered many of the former slave masters, some were even children (so much for her policy of sparing the children :roll: ). Plus her whole family was created out of centuries of inbreeding.

I think so many of her fans wanted desperately to see something in her character that was never intended to be...


Thank you. This is how I see it, too.



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19 Apr 2024, 5:54 am

roronoa79 wrote:

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Using the term "leftist" pretty much saps any actual standing one might have. There is no such thing as leftism and as such no leftists.

Not sure what you mean by this. "Leftists" just describes anyone who ascribes to left-wing politics. "Leftism" is a vague term that refers to left wing politics as a whole based on shared beliefs between left-wing ideologies.

It's vague because it's not a thing. The proper terms are things like socialist, progressive, liberal and possibly other things like communist. The term leftist is used pretty much just by folks looking to create a straw man. Rightist would have somewhat more validity, but then again, the point isn't to be right-wing, there's some sort of actual agenda.



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19 Apr 2024, 5:57 am

cyberdad wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Using the term "leftist" pretty much saps any actual standing one might have. There is no such thing as leftism and as such no leftists.

As far as the topic goes, the key word here is "fictional." There's all sorts of fictional things that people like that they wouldn't care for in real life.


Leftist has become a slur, especially on right wing media outlets

Yep, I don't know that I've ever seen it used any other way and if I have it's been an outlier by somebody that doesn't know how to use it. It's sort of like how do of social darwinism isn't what s lot of people think it is.



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19 Apr 2024, 12:50 pm

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Using the term "leftist" pretty much saps any actual standing one might have. There is no such thing as leftism and as such no leftists.

As far as the topic goes, the key word here is "fictional." There's all sorts of fictional things that people like that they wouldn't care for in real life.


Leftist has become a slur, especially on right wing media outlets

Yep, I don't know that I've ever seen it used any other way and if I have it's been an outlier by somebody that doesn't know how to use it. It's sort of like how do of social darwinism isn't what s lot of people think it is.



May I ask that one of you create a seperate topic for what political terms you are and aren't allowed to use?



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19 Apr 2024, 10:16 pm

RetroGamer87 wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Using the term "leftist" pretty much saps any actual standing one might have. There is no such thing as leftism and as such no leftists.

As far as the topic goes, the key word here is "fictional." There's all sorts of fictional things that people like that they wouldn't care for in real life.


Leftist has become a slur, especially on right wing media outlets


Ironically I've also heard Leftist used as a slur by socialists.

"Hey, I'm not a leftist! I'm a socialist!"
"Hey! I don't want you calling yourself a socialist! I'm a socialist, and you're a syndicalist!"
"I'm not a syndicalist! And I don't think you're socialist, I think YOU'RE the leftist!"
"Well, yeah, I am a leftist--a socialist is a kind of leftist."
"Nuh uh!"
"Yeah huh!"
"NUH UH!"
"YEAH HUH!"
Mom yelling from the other room "You kids better be in anti-capitalist solidarity up there or so help me I'll make you rewatch that doc on the Spanish Civil War!"
"Yes, mom..."
I had to take the chance to poke fun at ourselves. Us leftists (or whatever) are experts at splitting hairs and bickering over semantics lol. One man's self-congratulatory moniker is another man's scathing insult.


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19 Apr 2024, 10:41 pm

roronoa79 wrote:
RetroGamer87 wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Using the term "leftist" pretty much saps any actual standing one might have. There is no such thing as leftism and as such no leftists.

As far as the topic goes, the key word here is "fictional." There's all sorts of fictional things that people like that they wouldn't care for in real life.


Leftist has become a slur, especially on right wing media outlets


Ironically I've also heard Leftist used as a slur by socialists.

"Hey, I'm not a leftist! I'm a socialist!"
"Hey! I don't want you calling yourself a socialist! I'm a socialist, and you're a syndicalist!"
"I'm not a syndicalist! And I don't think you're socialist, I think YOU'RE the leftist!"
"Well, yeah, I am a leftist--a socialist is a kind of leftist."
"Nuh uh!"
"Yeah huh!"
"NUH UH!"
"YEAH HUH!"
Mom yelling from the other room "You kids better be in anti-capitalist solidarity up there or so help me I'll make you rewatch that doc on the Spanish Civil War!"
"Yes, mom..."
I had to take the chance to poke fun at ourselves. Us leftists (or whatever) are experts at splitting hairs and bickering over semantics lol. One man's self-congratulatory moniker is another man's scathing insult.



LOL! :lol:

This sums up how political arguments sound to me.

"Syndicatist" is a new term for me. Are those people who sympathize with villains on syndicated TV shows? ;) :lol:



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19 Apr 2024, 11:13 pm

Oop, didnt mean to get the wrong impression that you hated these characters lol. I wasnt too sure what you thought. Especially because everyone loves Danny, some people love Killmonger, and almost no one loves Magnifico lol.

vividgroovy wrote:
Yes, I've seen tons of comments on various platforms claiming Magnifico is the hero and Asha is the villain. I think "Wish" is possibly the worst canonical Disney Animated Classic. But I don't believe that particular criticism is true. It's mostly based on the idea that Asha wants to grant all the wishes -- something she never says or does in the movie. What she says is that the wishes should be returned to people so they can try to make come true themselves.

I may be wrong about Magnifico defenders being Leftist. (Or whatever term they wish to be called now.) There were a few comments that gave me that impression, like one claiming that Magnifico "ended homelessness" and villainous Asha somehow messed that up by giving people back their wishes.

Ah I see. I....guess that sort of makes sense? You don't have to be a leftist to want to end homelessness I suppose. Even a lot of capitalists would (I imagine) be okay with a fantasy scenario where you can magically end homelessness. Except for the real hardcore an-caps who think the looming threat of homelessness is an actively good thing.

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I hope I didn't give the impression that I dislike all these characters. I really liked Daenerys when I watched "Game of Thrones." I, too, got a kick out of her taking some of those awful people down a notch via dragonfire. However, I think the idea that she could take a dark turn was built up from the start. How it wound up happening was just very rushed, like everything in the last season. I think a lot of this universe was made to subvert traditional fantasy tropes. No clear cut good guys and bad guys, knights aren't always honorable, pretty much everyone's plans go horribly awry at some point, etc. And it seems these people are fine with that, until we get to Chosen One Daenerys turning bad. Then they're like, "No, no! That's not how it goes! She was supposed to conquer the world and break the wheel and build a Utopia!" I didn't think it was ever leading to that.

Yeah, I think it was clear to most viewers that Danny's story was not going to be a simple "good guys win" story where she triumphs and begins her benevolent reign before the credits roll. Danny has always displayed a capacity for ruthlessness (she kind of has to given her surroundings and circumstances).
Idk if you've read the books, but the show writers left out a MAJOR character who is going to be crucial in the future of Danny's character in the books. (Spoilers for the books):
While Tyrion is fleeing Westeros after he kills Tywin, he ends up sharing a ship with a group of travellers. Among these travellers are a man who calls himself Old Griff (real name Jon Connington) and Young Griff, his teenage supposed son. As we learn, Young Griff is not his son--but (allegedly) Aegon VI Targaryen, the son of Prince Rhaegar who was thought to have been murdered as an infant by the Mountain under the orders of Tywin Lannister. Varys (who is also in on this plot), after fatally wounding Kevan Lannister, states that at the last moment, Aegon was swapped with a commoner infant and smuggled to safety when King's Landing fell to the rebels. Varys says the child has been raised to be a king: well-educated, well-travelled, wise, and taught compassion for the commoners. This story, if true, would make Aegon VI Danny's nephew, and he would have the stronger claim as a Targaryen to the Iron Throne, because Westerosi inheritance law strongly favors men over women heirs. This would be a major obstacle for Danny. What's more, it is hinted at that Aegon is not truly a Targaryen, but a Blackfyre: a branch of the Targaryen dynasty born from a legitimized Targaryen bastard. This would make him not just a challenger to Danny, but an impostor. In the Houses of the Undying in Qarth, among her visions of the future, Danny sees a "mummer's dragon" dancing on poles in front of a cheering crowd. Fans theorize that this mummer's dragon (is: a false dragon) is the impostor Aegon VI. Fans guess he will take King's Landing, get rid of the hated Lannister regime, and become incredibly popular with the people. In the books, he has already landed in Westeros with his army and they have taken several castles in the Stormlands. He is courting support from Dorne and elsewhere. This means that when Danny finally gets to Westeros, there will be a false Targaryen king on the throne. A liar, on her throne. Would the Queen of Dragon, Slayer of Lies, tolerate such a thing? People guess she will kill him or try to expose him, which will result in the common people turning on Danny as a murderer. That means Danny would be on the Iron Throne in King's Landing surrounded by citizens who despise her no matter what she does. What if a vengeful mob killed one of her friends? Or one of her dragons? Would Danny be patient and forgiving? Or would she burn it all down to secure her rule? If you ask me, that will be the kind of thing that will finally push Danny over the edge.

Quote:
One example I'm thinking of was the YouTube video essayist Lindsay Ellis, whom I was a fan of, whenever she *didn't* talk about politics. [SPOILERS FOR "GAME OF THRONES"] She claimed that Daenerys couldn't turn bad because "Power doesn't corrupt. Power reveals." But she was upset that Tyrion's dark turn was left out of the show. She called the assassination of Daenerys violence against women, but complained that Cersei's death wasn't gruesome enough. She accused the writers of making Bran king instead of Daenerys because he "has no politics." (Meaning Dany "has politics.") And she complained that the Lords of Westeros electing a king was Oligarchy, not Democracy, but was fine with Daenerys having absolute power.

This sounds like a YT essayist I wouldn't take too seriously lol. Go to InDeepGeek for some quality ASoIaF content.
I'm reasonably sure they made Bran king because Martin told them that was what ultimately happens, but the writers had no way how to take Bran's character in that direction in a way that felt natural. So it just comes out of nowhere.

Quote:
Again, I liked Killmonger as a relatively more complex, sympathetic MCU villain. The idea that the hero, T'Challa, had something to learn from Killmonger was somewhat refreshing at the time, and gave him the arc people always claim they want for protaganists. Both characters are absolute monarchs who never consider democracy, who both think Wakanda should end its isolation by the end, and the sci-fi resources of Wakanda are an imaginary solution to global problems either way. I don't see how it's surprising that the less violent of the two is the hero in this mainstream superhero movie. Especially since I think both this and "Game of Thrones" could be interpreted as anti-Iraq War commentary, i.e. "liberating" other countries through force is bad. That used to be the big, divisive Left vs. Right issue in the U.S. So it's ironic to me that Killmonger, like Daenerys, is held up by some as a progressive symbol and they lament that he wasn't the absolute hero.

I'm not sure I would consider either to be explicitly anti-Iraq War per se. Game of Thrones started being written before the Iraq War and the anti-war elements were drawn more from Martin's experience growing up during the Cold War and 'Nam.
Killmonger was sort of trying to do regime change by sending futuristic weapons to various rebel groups, but this is more a bottom-up strategy of regime change, rather than top-down regime change like we tried in Iraq. But yeah, Black Panther does have that recurring obnoxious MCU moral lesson: "Injustice is bad but don't be violent about it because violence is bad and because the US government says so".


_________________
Diagnoses: AS, Depression, General & Social Anxiety
I guess I just wasn't made for these times.
- Brian Wilson

Δυνατὰ δὲ οἱ προύχοντες πράσσουσι καὶ οἱ ἀσθενεῖς ξυγχωροῦσιν.
Those with power do what their power permits, and the weak can only acquiesce.

- Thucydides


roronoa79
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19 Apr 2024, 11:27 pm

vividgroovy wrote:
roronoa79 wrote:
"Hey, I'm not a leftist! I'm a socialist!"
"Hey! I don't want you calling yourself a socialist! I'm a socialist, and you're a syndicalist!"
"I'm not a syndicalist! And I don't think you're socialist, I think YOU'RE the leftist!"
"Well, yeah, I am a leftist--a socialist is a kind of leftist."
"Nuh uh!"
"Yeah huh!"
"NUH UH!"
"YEAH HUH!"
Mom yelling from the other room "You kids better be in anti-capitalist solidarity up there or so help me I'll make you rewatch that doc on the Spanish Civil War!"
"Yes, mom..."
I had to take the chance to poke fun at ourselves. Us leftists (or whatever) are experts at splitting hairs and bickering over semantics lol. One man's self-congratulatory moniker is another man's scathing insult.



LOL! :lol:

This sums up how political arguments sound to me.

"Syndicatist" is a new term for me. Are those people who sympathize with villains on syndicated TV shows? ;) :lol:

Lol syndicalism refers to a strategy in worker organization where labor unions are used as the primary means of furthering revolutionary goals. It's not mutually-exclusive with socialism or communism, so it makes for a comedic example here. Anarcho-syndicalism refers to anarchism which suggests replacing the government with voluntary association and democratic worker's councils. Again, anarcho-syndicalism is not mutually exclusive with anarcho-socialism or anarcho-communism (who also have huge amounts of overlap). "Syndicalism" can refer to either of those things, which adds to confusion and the comedic potential for misunderstandings lol
Don't you love semi-arbitrary self-labels that mean wildly different things to some people and which sound like academic gobbledygook to other people?


_________________
Diagnoses: AS, Depression, General & Social Anxiety
I guess I just wasn't made for these times.
- Brian Wilson

Δυνατὰ δὲ οἱ προύχοντες πράσσουσι καὶ οἱ ἀσθενεῖς ξυγχωροῦσιν.
Those with power do what their power permits, and the weak can only acquiesce.

- Thucydides


vividgroovy
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21 Apr 2024, 1:47 am

roronoa79 wrote:
vividgroovy wrote:
Yes, I've seen tons of comments on various platforms claiming Magnifico is the hero and Asha is the villain. I think "Wish" is possibly the worst canonical Disney Animated Classic. But I don't believe that particular criticism is true. It's mostly based on the idea that Asha wants to grant all the wishes -- something she never says or does in the movie. What she says is that the wishes should be returned to people so they can try to make come true themselves.

I may be wrong about Magnifico defenders being Leftist. (Or whatever term they wish to be called now.) There were a few comments that gave me that impression, like one claiming that Magnifico "ended homelessness" and villainous Asha somehow messed that up by giving people back their wishes.

Ah I see. I....guess that sort of makes sense? You don't have to be a leftist to want to end homelessness I suppose. Even a lot of capitalists would (I imagine) be okay with a fantasy scenario where you can magically end homelessness. Except for the real hardcore an-caps who think the looming threat of homelessness is an actively good thing.


I'm probably just on social media too much. For years, I've seen a constant stream of near-identical comments that combine Left-leaning partisan buzz-phrases and outrage that sympathetic villains weren't written as the hero because they “want to change the Status Quo.” Especially when it comes to MCU films. (I'm on zero political discussion groups besides this one. This is all just on entertainment and fiction groups/comments sections.) The reaction to Magnifico was my tipping point to make this post, since it seemed like that was happening all over again. However, since then, I've seen posts defending Magnifico that are politically neutral or even seem Right-leaning. For example, one comment said that Asha “overthrew the government*” because Magnifico “wouldn't give people more free stuff than he already did.” Again, this is all based on the false idea that Asha plans to grant all the wishes.

(*Note that the queen takes over at the end, meaning Asha didn't even topple the monarchy.)


I guess the one thing that people on social media can agree on across partisan divides is a lie about a bad animated movie.

I just watched another negative review of “Wish” on YouTube that was very reasonable and didn't repeat the “Magnifico was the good guy” argument...but someone else wrote it in the comments section. It's inevitable. It's everywhere.


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I hope I didn't give the impression that I dislike all these characters. I really liked Daenerys when I watched "Game of Thrones." I, too, got a kick out of her taking some of those awful people down a notch via dragonfire. However, I think the idea that she could take a dark turn was built up from the start. How it wound up happening was just very rushed, like everything in the last season. I think a lot of this universe was made to subvert traditional fantasy tropes. No clear cut good guys and bad guys, knights aren't always honorable, pretty much everyone's plans go horribly awry at some point, etc. And it seems these people are fine with that, until we get to Chosen One Daenerys turning bad. Then they're like, "No, no! That's not how it goes! She was supposed to conquer the world and break the wheel and build a Utopia!" I didn't think it was ever leading to that.

Yeah, I think it was clear to most viewers that Danny's story was not going to be a simple "good guys win" story where she triumphs and begins her benevolent reign before the credits roll. Danny has always displayed a capacity for ruthlessness (she kind of has to given her surroundings and circumstances).
Idk if you've read the books, but the show writers left out a MAJOR character who is going to be crucial in the future of Danny's character in the books. (Spoilers for the books):
While Tyrion is fleeing Westeros after he kills Tywin, he ends up sharing a ship with a group of travellers. Among these travellers are a man who calls himself Old Griff (real name Jon Connington) and Young Griff, his teenage supposed son. As we learn, Young Griff is not his son--but (allegedly) Aegon VI Targaryen, the son of Prince Rhaegar who was thought to have been murdered as an infant by the Mountain under the orders of Tywin Lannister. Varys (who is also in on this plot), after fatally wounding Kevan Lannister, states that at the last moment, Aegon was swapped with a commoner infant and smuggled to safety when King's Landing fell to the rebels. Varys says the child has been raised to be a king: well-educated, well-travelled, wise, and taught compassion for the commoners. This story, if true, would make Aegon VI Danny's nephew, and he would have the stronger claim as a Targaryen to the Iron Throne, because Westerosi inheritance law strongly favors men over women heirs. This would be a major obstacle for Danny. What's more, it is hinted at that Aegon is not truly a Targaryen, but a Blackfyre: a branch of the Targaryen dynasty born from a legitimized Targaryen bastard. This would make him not just a challenger to Danny, but an impostor. In the Houses of the Undying in Qarth, among her visions of the future, Danny sees a "mummer's dragon" dancing on poles in front of a cheering crowd. Fans theorize that this mummer's dragon (is: a false dragon) is the impostor Aegon VI. Fans guess he will take King's Landing, get rid of the hated Lannister regime, and become incredibly popular with the people. In the books, he has already landed in Westeros with his army and they have taken several castles in the Stormlands. He is courting support from Dorne and elsewhere. This means that when Danny finally gets to Westeros, there will be a false Targaryen king on the throne. A liar, on her throne. Would the Queen of Dragon, Slayer of Lies, tolerate such a thing? People guess she will kill him or try to expose him, which will result in the common people turning on Danny as a murderer. That means Danny would be on the Iron Throne in King's Landing surrounded by citizens who despise her no matter what she does. What if a vengeful mob killed one of her friends? Or one of her dragons? Would Danny be patient and forgiving? Or would she burn it all down to secure her rule? If you ask me, that will be the kind of thing that will finally push Danny over the edge.


I read the first book and enjoyed it, then I got into the show. I later picked up “A Feast For Crows” (a.k.a. “Have You Seen a Girl of Four and Ten?: The Novel.”) and that one didn't work for me. I've heard about “fAegon” and it sounds like the story in the show sorely missed his presence.

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One example I'm thinking of was the YouTube video essayist Lindsay Ellis, whom I was a fan of, whenever she *didn't* talk about politics. [SPOILERS FOR "GAME OF THRONES"] She claimed that Daenerys couldn't turn bad because "Power doesn't corrupt. Power reveals." But she was upset that Tyrion's dark turn was left out of the show. She called the assassination of Daenerys violence against women, but complained that Cersei's death wasn't gruesome enough. She accused the writers of making Bran king instead of Daenerys because he "has no politics." (Meaning Dany "has politics.") And she complained that the Lords of Westeros electing a king was Oligarchy, not Democracy, but was fine with Daenerys having absolute power.

This sounds like a YT essayist I wouldn't take too seriously lol. Go to InDeepGeek for some quality ASoIaF content.
I'm reasonably sure they made Bran king because Martin told them that was what ultimately happens, but the writers had no way how to take Bran's character in that direction in a way that felt natural. So it just comes out of nowhere.


She's very insightful about entertainment, except when she talks about politics :D. I remember way back when she was known as The Nostalgia Chick, she did a video about the “My Little Pony” G1 cartoon that tried to make a Feminist point about girls cartoons lacking conflict and only being about “tea parties” and such. The only thing is, that particular cartoon had conflict. It had villains and even cliffhanger multi-part episodes! :D

Yes, I've seen some of his videos about "Game of Thrones." They were very detailed and interesting.

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Again, I liked Killmonger as a relatively more complex, sympathetic MCU villain. The idea that the hero, T'Challa, had something to learn from Killmonger was somewhat refreshing at the time, and gave him the arc people always claim they want for protaganists. Both characters are absolute monarchs who never consider democracy, who both think Wakanda should end its isolation by the end, and the sci-fi resources of Wakanda are an imaginary solution to global problems either way. I don't see how it's surprising that the less violent of the two is the hero in this mainstream superhero movie. Especially since I think both this and "Game of Thrones" could be interpreted as anti-Iraq War commentary, i.e. "liberating" other countries through force is bad. That used to be the big, divisive Left vs. Right issue in the U.S. So it's ironic to me that Killmonger, like Daenerys, is held up by some as a progressive symbol and they lament that he wasn't the absolute hero.

I'm not sure I would consider either to be explicitly anti-Iraq War per se. Game of Thrones started being written before the Iraq War and the anti-war elements were drawn more from Martin's experience growing up during the Cold War and 'Nam.
Killmonger was sort of trying to do regime change by sending futuristic weapons to various rebel groups, but this is more a bottom-up strategy of regime change, rather than top-down regime change like we tried in Iraq. But yeah, Black Panther does have that recurring obnoxious MCU moral lesson: "Injustice is bad but don't be violent about it because violence is bad and because the US government says so".



That's fair. I only saw “Black Panther” once in the theater, so I forgot some of the details of Killmonger's plan. I mostly remember the ominous airship heading out of Wakanda to make war on the world and Black Panther needing to stop Killmonger before that happened.

But I do still see both stories being generally anti-war, which is something I usually associate with the Left here in the U.S.

With the MCU, I feel like they kind of want to have their cake and eat it too when it comes to violence. Mainstream superhero movies and especially the MCU are pretty much about selling violence to audiences in the most family-friendly way possible. Like, the hero's plan is usually the least violent option, or if it isn't when they start out, then their arc is about learning to be less violent, or that revenge is bad, or something in that vein. So whether or not the U.S. Government has any influence over these movies, I really can't see an MCU entry that ends with “violent uprisings are good” any more than I can see “Game of Thrones” ending with Dany creating Utopia.

The MCU films are incredibly corporate, profit-driven mainstream Summer blockbusters. (I'm a Disney fan, so I have no problem with people enjoying mainstream entertainment.) What baffles me is that some people claim to see them as part of a radical Anti-Capitalist revolution and they're frustrated that they just don't go far enough. I wonder whether they actually believe this or not.