Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

The Thor Message Board >> View Post
Post By
The Silver Surfer

Member Since: Fri Jul 17, 2020
Posts: 129
In Reply To
Late Great Donald Blake

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,865
Subj: Re: I have follow up questions, because I think you're repeating the claim a lot with out what grounds it.
Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 at 06:38:06 am EDT (Viewed 152 times)
Reply Subj: I have follow up questions, because I think you're repeating the claim a lot with out what grounds it.
Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 at 01:58:24 am EDT (Viewed 162 times)

Previous Post

LGDB: I think broadly speaking the throughline that runs through your post is that the standards of beauty, masculinity, and femininity are objective. You state this over and over, but do you have an argument for this? You keep stating it over and over again, but I can't tell what else you're appealing to. It just seem like the ground floor of your position here is that beauty standards are static, definite, and just happen to be synonymous with the ones you agree with. That just seems to me to be an uncompelling account of things. You've been clear on you claim, I just don't understand what's supposed to warrant it. How can you establish that standards of beauty (or similar concepts like masculinity, etc.) or at least major aspects of what constitute them are (1) naturally emerging as opposed to be culturally created or individually subjective (2)fixed such that they don't change over time, and (3) should be normative if their origins are naturally emerging. Just a few words on each one before fielding your particular comments.

(1) I think the burden of proof would be on you here, because in terms of notions of beauty they're clearly a lot of variance between culture different cultures and variance infra-culturally, i.e. differences between taste of individuals. I think you're sort of loosely appealing to the fact that there exist a dominant tradition within the culture of certain standards of beauty. But this I think doesn't warrant your claim because there are plenty of explanations for the perseverance for these dominant culture standards. It could just as easily be political or religious enforcement that's constraining those standards, or mere inertia, as easily as is nature or some cosmic Platonic sort of beauty standard. I I don't think the latter is absurd or even necessarily far fetched, but I don't think you can in good faith take it for granted since that's ostensibly what we're arguing here. It's clearly the case that there are cultural traditions that are enforced via power and exist in many cases for thousands of years. So merely the fact that these beauty standards can't be proved to be a product of nature just because they're particularly long standing. (let's just stick to that for now because I think concepts of masculinity, femininity, and so on are going to be synonymous in terms of the structure of the argument.)

(2) Even if these standards of beauty did emerge naturally, and aren't determined by culture of political power (and I think there may be a partial truth to that), and aren't to be dismissed as individual taste, how can we say that they've always been this way and will always be that way? This is a basic question, but one I think incumbent on you to answer. Species change, civilizations have changed, so what can't beauty change. In other if the physical realities change, biology itself evolves, the basic mode of life for humans changes (hunter-gatherer -> agrarian -> feudal-> industrial - post-industrial, etc.), then what's to say more rarefied conceptual things like subjective attraction, aesthetics and other things clearly mediated through culture aren't equally subject to evolution.

(3) Implicit to your point of view seems to be not just recognizes these standards as definite and natural, but also that it's a problem, some kind of trespass, "it's unnatural" to disagree with them. But I don't think it follows that because something is natural it's automatically good and not to be resisted or objected to. So for instance, there are plenty of impulses like selfishness, wanton cruelty, unaccountable violence, sociopathy, any number of traits and activities that have a precursor in the natural world, but we would say that a sense of morality puts a burden on us to resist them. So even if the standards of beauty you're pointing to were naturally emerging and fixed enough to appeal to as an "objective" standard, what reason would we have not to rebel against them? I mean even if you think you're in connection with some natural beauty ratio, if enough people are in agreement that they don't like those standards, they're prefer others, why shouldn't they pursue that? I mean how compelling are these objective standards you're touting if such a substantive part of the population would deny them?

Now to field your question, if there's something novel I'll address it, but as I say, you sort of repeat your claim--i.e. that these standards are objective and that they match your opinions and taste--without an argument. So in many cases I'm just going to write ***repeated claim*** That's not meant to be dismissive. It just means that there' repetition and I think I've covered it above, or I've already asked you for a follow up for that claim in the questions above.

Classical beauty is objective. That's why for 50+ years of Marvel continuity both male and female heroes were generally drawn conforming to idealised and aspirational body types.

LGDB: I think that this is basically a tautology. "Classical beauty if objective" At least it's a tautology if your proof of its objectivity been that it's traditional. In other words we both agree that those standards of beuaty have been around for 50 years, (which by the way in historical terms is barely a blip). What we don't agree is that what's constrained the conformity to those norms. In other words it could very well be, and I'd say most likely is in large part, that those idealised and aspirational body types you're referring to are standards people were inculcated with as they developed within the culture (i.e. they received these standards which were normalized for them) and they went on to reinforce them for a number of cultural, personal, and political purposes.

There is nothing covert about it. Marvel only employs those with Progressive politics who vocally virtue signal at every opportunity on social media.

LGDB: I mean covert in that this is not what Marvel claims to be doing, and I agree it's not what they're doing. But they do have differing political values to you and so when they express those values those stand out to you and look like an attack or an invasion into a space you own. But yes, Marvel writers like most artists in the industry are liberal and they're expressing their liberalism. They see their liberal values as just human values or ethical norms and so those are going to find their way into stories, especially since super hero stories are so often moralistic to begin with.

For that matter, if you wrote comics, I think your political values would find their way into the writing and for liberal writers it would appear to be a "covert political agenda." Basically people like you and liberals like Jason Aaron have mutually exclusive ideas about what's politically "normal" or appropriate. Neither of you could hold true to your own political beliefs without offended the other persons political values. Often times we believe things to be normal or obvious or basic or traditional or just plain decent, and to people on the other side of the political aisle we're being "political" as if we have a choice.

The truth is I disagree with a host of Jason's Aaron's style of identity politics, but the difference is that I don't think he's doing something wrong by expressing his political beliefs in the comics that he was hired to write. I think you or I would be doing the exact same thing in his position.

Exactly, they are injecting their Marxist ideology into the comics.

LGDB: I think you have a pretty stark confusion about the various groups and ideologies that constitute the left. First you should know is that Aaron's not a Marxist. He's a liberal and a progressive. I know because I'M a Marxist. And it's a misconception to think that liberals are Marxists and Marxists are liberals. And of course there's a lot of cross over. But the reasons this is important is how various ideologies conceptualize identity politics. I think Jason Aaron has a pretty basic, superficial form of liberal identity politics because he's NOT a Marxist. I'm sure you don't like Marxism, my point isn't to defend him or it to you. I'm just saying if he was a Marxist, he'd probably be less likely to emphasize his pandery kind of identitarianism. I want to be clear here, that there are plenty of Marxist that happen to have a similar view of identity politics as liberals like Aaron. But I follow this stuff pertty attentively, and I've never seen him say anything or write anything that would reflect a Marxist perspective.

Name one conservative writer or artist working at Marvel or DC or Image? There are none - they have all been hounded out. In modern mainstream comics diversity of thought is no longer allowed.

LGDB: Yeah I don't disagree with this. I wasn't saying that liberals aren't trying to defeat you in the culture war. They absolutely are. What I'm saying, that they didn't BECOME liberals just to spite you. Most of them absolutely believe the world is the way they understand it to be. But I very much agree that conservatives ( the way you would define it) have been mostly shut out of not just the comic industry, but the larger entertainment world generally. Essentially the liberal won the culture war. Before that the conservatives had a foot hold and people were "canceled" for being too liberal. These things oscillate over the decades. But yes I agree that liberals have more or less shut out a lot of political decent. Liberal culture is at a fundamental level hegemonic, which is to say it wants to dominate, marginalize, and subjugate the social milieu it inhabits. It sees diversity of thought as a threat to its integrity. Which by the way is fair in a sense because liberalism I think is generally incoherent with all kinds of contradictions so it usually isn't particularly good at absorbing critical scrutiny. The thing is I think conservatives more or less have the same kind of political ethos, not as self contradictory, but every bit as hegemonic; they just happen to have lost the culture war... at least for the time being.

The progressive left wants you to make you believe beauty is ugliness (and vice versa) and that heroes are villains (and vice versa).

LGDB: I very much disagree with this. They're just a difference in what the left considers beautiful or what it allows to be considered beautiful I should say, and it might have a different set of idea about what makes a heroes and what makes a villain. But I think this part is beyond dispute, those things have certain been changing slowly since the 40's. That's not a recent development. Comics in the 40s had a different hero model than the 60 and was different yet again by the 80, the 90's this decade, and so on.

Certainly to Aaron injecting his political agenda into the comics even if it means complete 180 degree personality shifts was more important than 50+ years of continuity.

LGDB: Well he's write his political beliefs into the comics. Where I most disagree with your analysis is that you seem to believe some comics are apolitical while other have a political agenda. And I think that's just a matter of chauvinism. All works of literature have a set of political norms, values, and beliefs that constitute them. We only readily notice something as "being political" when it diverts, opposes or calls into question our own political beliefs. All the Thor comics of the last 50 years or so, are in their own way political. You just happens to agree with their politics. It's normalized for you.

I do think you're correct about their being big character changes under Aaron though, and I think it makes sense to disagree with those particular character changes on any number of grounds. I just don't think it's in and of itself nefarious for Aaron to do try and change the character. He's allowed to do that, and in some cases encouraged to try that, and we're entitled to hate it and criticize it if we think it's poorly conceived or poorly executed. But I don't think it articulate a kind of illicit agenda.

Classical standards of beauty haven't changed. But certainly feminists want them to change so they can cast off any responsibility for their own appearance.

LGDB: ***repeated claim*** and all we would need here are a bunch of attractive feminists to vitiate this claim. I would consult instagram lol

At the 1:30 mark the commentator says "...to the left the primary purpose of art, literature and music is to shock."

LGDB: This is what happens when you get your information about what people on the left believe from their enemies. I can tell you from personal experience I'm far to the left (by your standards) and I'm an artist and my primary purpose isn't to shock. I'm not interested in that whatsoever, and I don't think that's the driving force between the production or enjoyment of art on the left. I think the logical failure here (if there is one) is that just because people like something that shocks you, doesn't meant they like it BECAUSE YOU find it shocking.

Aaron is a self-professed Atheist and Feminist...its clear his agenda is in complete opposition to everything Thor classically stood for.

LGDB: I don't think this is true. Aaron by his own admission is a kind of misotheist, mean he doesn't just not believe in a god or gods, but that he hates them, or things the concept of gods are maleficent, baleful, deleterious (and other fun words for dangerous or negative.) I'm an atheist but I love mythology and religion, and I respect generally people religious belief. I do think it's worth questioning whether Aaron's own resentment for the god concept made him a bad writer for the Thor title. I mean I don't think Aaron actually hates Thor, and think despite your won reservations, Thor is generally portrayed heroically and nobly under Aaron, despite the conflict and failure.

As far as what Thor stands for, I don't think he stands for theism. I think he stands for heroism, and I'm sure you and I disagree about what feminism is but I think Thor has a long history of respecting women as equals and fellow warriors.

Yes it does. ;\-\)

LGDB: tell it to the incel community

I remember years ago (around 2006 ish) chatting to a gay guy on one of the comic forums when Superman Returns came out and he said that when they make the superheroes less masculine its both less attractive and less appealing to him as a gay guy.

Yet that is exactly what modern comics are doing to both male and female characters - making them less attractive and less appealing.

LGDB: ***repeated claim*** this is your opinion, but it's not backed up by any objective measure.

Ignoring classical beauty is just self-deception.

LGDB: ***repeated claim***

I think I have read virtually every issue of Thor, lets say 95+% at any rate.

With the exception of Thor battling communists in one of the first issues (at the height of the cold war just to note) only recently has there been ANY sort of political messaging injected into the comic.

I don't care that Aaron has differing politics to me, what I don't want is to have his politics rammed down my throat in my entertainment.

Hopefully Cates keeps his own politics out of the book.

LGDB: ***repeated claim*** all literature is political

If you don't care when Thor is portrayed badly then you are not a fan of the character.

LGDB: I just don't care when YOU feel he is portrayed badly, I care when I feel he is portrayed badly. And I feel like I'm in a better position to decide that FOR ME than you or anyone else is.

Yes she's muscular in a way no woman could ever NATURALLY be without massive amounts of steroids and growth hormones.

LGDB: Like I said, she was gamma irradiated. There's nothing natural about it. Also it's fiction. Also people are attracted to "unnatural things" all the time.

Luckily for the progressive left they are doing away with women having feminine attitudes at all.

LGDB: Your narrow definition of feminine maybe lol

Only 4% of women will date a shorter man (and that is from a Progressive source) because they are seen as less masculine.

LGDB: Yeah I'm going to need to see the source on that. Also, what's your point? Even if something is in the majority doesn't make the minority. Even if the vast majority of guys didn't like muscular chicks that wouldn't mean it's wrong or even less masculine to like a girl with big muscles. It would just make it less popular.

If a man is dating a woman who looks more masculine than him, its emasculating.

LGDB: You're projecting. If he doesn't feel emasculated then where does the emasculation part come from? That sounds like you're saying "he should feel emasculated." But that would require some kind of argument sense it's an ethical or moral claim. You and I have a difference of an opinion about it. Why is your notion of what defines masculinity a better one? Again, I don't really think this is particularly important to masculinity. Anymore than having a big truck vs a small car has anything to do with masculinity.

He has done everything in his power to emasculate Thor except make him gay.

LGDB: See as a gay men I don't find being gay particularly emasculating. I was an infantryman and paratrooper in the Army and I served in Iraq. I'll take the Pepsi challenge with most straight guys masculinity any day of the week lol Seriously thought I know a lot of straight guys that are less masculine acting than a bunch of masculine acting gay guys I know. I'm wondering how much of your ideas here are based more on stereotypes of what gay and straight people are like, rather than a crystal clear concept of masculinity and femininity.

Fragile masculinity is what I would attribute to someone with male model good looks who dates a classically unattractive woman obviously beneath him on the 'looks ladder'.

LGDB: What I meant by fragile is that apparently the smallest change or superficial difference breaks the thing.

1. He's disfigured...so therefore less of a masculine ideal.

So you think amputees in war are now feminine.

2. He's turned into a morose, crybaby self-pitying simp...even less attractive.

You think people suffer from PTSD, depression, or are grieving are emasculated?

3. He's made unworthy and thus disgraced and 'impotent'...something Aaron also accuses Odin of (of course Odin's position is also NATURALLY taken over by a woman under Aaron).

I think here that this is the case. That it's part of the story structure, a hero failing or being laid low or being "impotent" as you put it is a pretty common plot and it doesn't mean the writer hates the character. It describes the Thor motion picture pretty well actually.

4. Not only that he buys into Aaron's nonsensical (Marxist Atheistical) BS that gods can't good (despite Thor saving the world dozens of times)...so he's also an idiot.

No one in this situation is a Marxist! lol But yeah, I think this was one of the more unjustifiable aspects of Aaron's run. I don't buy that Thor would loose faith in godhood itself. Especially not under the circumstances. Interestingly I think it's possible to write a story where something happens that Thor might become himself a misotheist. But I don't think Aaron wrote that story. Nor does the really fully explain why Thor no longer feels that way. I think it was clear that the reasoning was ad hoc. Aaron wants to write a Jane-Thor story and an Unworthy Thor story, and he comes up with the Gor was right as a kind of justification, but I don't think it was every really fully justifying.

5. He has his name, title and property stolen...added to which both his name and hammer are feminized in the process.

I think saying that because Jane had his "title" (not my idea Aaron's) and his hammer it means they became feminized. But I agree that stripping Thor of his legacy and giving it to someone else does erupt out of Aaron's kind of problematic, superficial identity politics. One of the worst things that they could have done was try to make these legacies a zero sum game, where EITHER the traditional character gets to continue as a hero OR the new minority character gets to be a hero. I think the good thing about this is that approach was also a cheap attempt and it's proven to have basically failed. Doesn't mean they won't try it again, but I think the writers and editers are way more wary about just replacing traditional heroes now.

So if Aaron's Thor went on a dating app he would write: Homeless, impotent amputee who likes to cry a lot. Hardly a case of who guys want to be and who women want to be with...is it?

LGDB: I guess if he was a self pitying whiner lol

The positive message of super-hero comics has generally been that heroism is helping those less fortunate than yourself. The super-powers are incidental.

If you tell girls that they can ride off with Prince Charming regardless of body type then you are just deceiving them.

LGDB: I agree with your point about heroism, but I think you've got to get over this fatalistic idea that people who aren't classically or typically attractive can't find love or fulfilment. Also, how many times in movies does some ugly, nobody guy with a "good personality" end up with some gorgeous model/actress? I mean okay, it's unrealistic, I'm just saying this happens all the time in the other direction.

According to the Thor-hating Jason Aaron, yes.

According to common sense and continuity, no.

LGDB: Yeah, but now it's been confirmed by other writers, and the editors and a bunch of fans just accept in to be the case. perception makes it reality in this case.

Women fighters don't and can't have a lot of muscle unless they have been on steroids.

LGDB: Yeah and Jennifer was basically on gamma irradiated steroids'.

Unless these girls look like Gina Carano its unlikely their husbands look like Henry Cavill or Chris Hemsworth.

LGDB: Yes, it's unlikely. It's a fantasy. It's no less realistic than other comic book based fantasy's though in my estimation.

---the late great Donald Blake

Well... Thor is connected to ancient Scandanavia.

According to experts, women actually looked far more masculine then,  This is determined by the study of skull shape.  They had more pronounced brows and jawlines than their male counterparts.

Thor and She-Hulk in her current form might just be him missing the old days.

Still, I have not read this comic.  Is he dating Jennifer Walters too?  I assume not, because if she is Jen when dating, but She-Hulk on teh battlefield, it is a moot point.

Also, maybe Thor is just down for anything,  He is an immortal with access to realms full of crazy sentient being  Do you really think he never had the urge to make time with a troll chick?

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