Brevoort Marvel
Marvel Comics is paralyzed by political correctness. One needs to look no further than Tom Brevoort’s response to an inquiry about Frank Miller taking a crack at Captain America.

Read Mr. Brevoort’s words — “I don’t think, for example, we’d have gone with Holy Terror as a Captain America story” — and then go to any reputable news source and examine the stories coming out of Iraq and Syria right now. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is doing everything within its power to bring about an Islamic caliphate in the heart of the Middle East, Iraq is imploding, Syria is a terrorist breeding ground and the president of the United States is so desperate for help that he needs Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to help stem the violence.

A relevant publisher would see such glaring national security threats and say: “This is a subject matter that a Captain America comic book must address.” Sadly, that is not the case at Marvel Comics. The character who punched out Hitler won’t take on radical Islamic extremists because that might offend somebody.

 

Militants from the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. (Associated Press)
Militants from the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. (Associated Press)

 

Let us turn to one of last week’s most interesting national security headlines. The Daily Beast reported June 14:

When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi walked away from a U.S. detention camp in 2009, the future leader of ISIS issued some chilling final words to reservists from Long Island. The Islamist extremist some are now calling the most dangerous man in the world [said]: “I’ll see you guys in New York,” recalls Army Col. Kenneth King, then the commanding officer of Camp Bucca.

Hmmm. This seems like a pretty bad dude. He’s got a huge bank account, an army of men willing to die for him, and his organization has left a trail of dead bodies all across the Middle East. Oh, and he just-so-happens to hate America — but somehow Marvel doesn’t want ask the kind of tough questions “Holy Terror” addressed — in a Captain America comic no less? Pathetic.

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi

When one reads excerpt’s from Frank Miller’s “This Old Cloth,” Mr. Brevoort’s answer becomes even more spineless:

Then came that sunny September morning when airplanes crashed into towers a very few miles from my home and thousands of my neighbors were ruthlessly incinerated — reduced to ash. Now, I draw and write comic books. One thing my job involves is making up bad guys. Imagining human villainy in all its forms. Now the real thing had shown up. The real thing murdered my neighbors. In my city. In my country. Breathing in that awful, chalky crap that filled up the lungs of every New Yorker, then coughing it right out, not knowing what I was coughing up.

For the first time in my life, I know how it feels to face an existential menace. They want us to die. All of a sudden I realize what my parents were talking about all those years.

Patriotism, I now believe, isn’t some sentimental, old conceit. It’s self-preservation. I believe patriotism is central to a nation’s survival. Ben Franklin said it: If we don’t all hang together, we all hang separately. Just like you have to fight to protect your friends and family, and you count on them to watch your own back.

So you’ve got to do what you can to help your country survive. That’s if you think your country is worth a damn. Warts and all.

No black ops for Cap in Syria. No black ops for Cap in Iraq. No black ops for Cap in Afghanistan. No black ops for Cap in Pakistan. But Marvel is all about Captain America taking on the tea party.

These days, Marvel doesn’t push the envelope at all. It puts out a press release every time it does something easy (e.g., the company creates a superhero that allows guys like Mr. Brevoort to chortle on about diversity, as if readers haven’t been bashed over the head with how awesomely-awesome diversity is since they could barely walk). Unfortunately, Marvel has not explored what it means when the desire for diversity allows the world to turn a blind eye to the most illiberal individuals and organizations on the planet.

Here is what I wrote about Holy Terror upon its release:

Holy Terror is at times raw, confusing, and poignant. Sometimes it angers (do you think that might be intentional?). It also makes anyone who reads it wonder why it had to be written in the first place. Fans of Holy Terror know why, and some of us aren’t afraid to talk about it. Critics of the book liken any frank (no pun intended) discussion of Islamic terrorism to an attempt to make it synonymous with Islam as a whole. Again, whose fault is that? Perhaps we should ask Theo Van Gogh, the Dutch film director to whom Frank Miller dedicates the book. Or not…because he’s dead, slain by Islamic radicals.

Tom Brevoort likes the idea of having Frank Miller write Captain America tales — provided he turns in politically correct milquetoast pap. While the world focuses on very real, very evil bad guys, Marvel gives the green light to “Cap vs. Tea Party.” Readers got a heaping helping of weird Bush administration allegories with “Civil War,” but suddenly the burning desire to keep readers politically abreast of real-world headlines cooled just around 2008… How convenient.

If you want a thought-provoking read, tell Marvel to reach out to Frank Miller about writing Captain America. If you like self-congratulatory fare masquerading as ground-breaking diversity, then do nothing; Marvel has mastered that act.

An ISIS terrorist executes an innocent man in Iraq. Meanwhile, over in America, Marvel editors wonder if it's appropriate to do another story where Captain America takes on the tea party. Sad.
An ISIS terrorist executes an innocent man in Iraq. Meanwhile, over in America, Marvel editors get nostalgic for the time they courageously had Captain America take on … the tea party.

Hat tips: Reader TruthWillWin1 and Hube over at Colossus of Rhodey.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

99 comments

  1. I think there’s a few concerns Marvel has. For one thing, I think they want to be careful about diminishing a very serious subject that’s affecting a lot of people by having a superhero go in punching people. In particular, Marvel’s always taken a “world outside your window” approach – that’s why AIDS hasn’t been cured and civilians aren’t driving flying cars. They can’t have Captain America go into Iraq and defeat ISIS, because ISIS hasn’t been defeated in the real world.

    Another problem is that, by most accounts, Holy Terror was just a shit book. That it was a poorly-written mess of a story. If Miller wanted to do something similar to that with Captain America, there’s no real reason to think it would be much better. He’d have to put a whole lot of detail into his pitch before Marvel would approve it. They would want to make damned sure that he’s not going to make it an offensive, anti-Muslim tract that depicts Islam as an inherently evil religion. They’d want some balance in there, and they’re unsure whether Miller could bring that balance.

    On top of that, Miller’s just gotten a bad reputation in general over the past few years. It’s generally felt that his writing just isn’t anywhere near the quality of his classic work.

    I disagree with it being Political Correctness, a term I outright reject as something that actually exists. Rather, I think it’s more about sensitivity and caution. Being owned by Disney certainly isn’t going to make them more prone to taking risks, either. Though Iron Man has touched on some of that stuff from time to time, especially with his new origin being tied to the Afghanistan war.

    At the end of the day, I think if a writer pitches Marvel a story about Islamic fundamentalism, and the pitch makes it clear that the fundamentalists are a relatively small number and that most Muslims oppose violence, then Marvel would consider it. And even if they end up rejecting it, they’d give the writer an explanation of why they’re rejecting it.

    And if the pitch involves Captain America killing terrorists, then it’s absolutely going to be rejected, simply because Marvel prefers not to have Captain America killing anyone. And I’m not sure Miller would be able to write that story without having Cap shooting people and taking their heads off with his shield and all that stuff.

    1. They can’t have Captain America go into Iraq and defeat ISIS, because ISIS hasn’t been defeated in the real world.

      You’re making an argument that doesn’t exist. Nice red herring. Captain America doesn’t have to “defeat” ISIS or Islamic radicals — I said that it’s an issue that should be “addressed” in a Marvel story.

      Another problem is that, by most accounts, Holy Terror was just a shit book.

      When did the litmus test for being a good book become “Does xmenxpert like it?”? Maybe you can change your name to ‘FrankMillerxpert’ or ‘comicbookxpert.’

      Unlike you, I think I’m capable of giving the book a fair shake: ‘Fank Miller’s Holy Terror: If You Hate It, Blame The Terrorists’

      If Miller wanted to do something similar to that with Captain America, there’s no real reason to think it would be much better.

      Sort of like you said that comic fans wouldn’t buy a book that was inspired by anything Ayn Rand ever said, even though a character like Tony Stark just begs for such a tale. Here’s an idea for you, Marvel: ‘A World Without Tony Stark.’

      I disagree with it being Political Correctness, a term I outright reject as something that actually exists.

      Xmenxpert summed up: “Global Warming exists — I swear! — and we have to use the “stick” on corporations to save us from a really warm or cold or wet or dry death, but political correctness doesn’t exist at all. I ‘outright reject’ the idea! One day people just started using this term that means absolutely nothing and they won’t stop. It’s so weird.”

      Classic.

      At the end of the day, I think if a writer pitches Marvel a story about Islamic fundamentalism, and the pitch makes it clear that the fundamentalists are a relatively small number and that most Muslims oppose violence, then Marvel would consider it. And even if they end up rejecting it, they’d give the writer an explanation of why they’re rejecting it.

      Translation: “I know Cap has done zero black ops on an issue — Islamic radical terrorism — that has been in the world’s spotlight for over a decade now, but if a writer delicately plans every step of a story that involves the issue, and they’re really, really, really sensitive about hurting Muslims’ feelings, maybe Marvel would consider it. And if they don’t, it means nothing. And Political Correctness doesn’t exist. These are not the droids you’re looking for. No. Really. It doesn’t exist.”

      And if the pitch involves Captain America killing terrorists, then it’s absolutely going to be rejected, simply because Marvel prefers not to have Captain America killing anyone.

      Captain America fought the Nazis, but he’s the first soldier who never has to kill anyone — ever. Nope. Even though countless U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan, Iraq and places all over the world that Americans will never hear about because it’s classified, Captain America can’t address the issue. Because he might have to kill someone. Pathetic. Sad. Like I said: Political Correctness. Marvel comics are irrelevant. Tell them to make another superhero for the sake of diversity and then put out a press release about how great it is as an organization.

    2. I haven’t read Holy Terror, aside from a couple pages. But pretty much everything I’ve seen about it says that it’s badly written, over-the-top in terms of its violence, and kinda racist (or religionist, or whichever term you prefer) in its depiction of Muslims.

      Political Correctness was simply saying people should try not to use offensive terms. These days, nine times out of ten, when someone is talking about “Political Correctness,” it’s to excuse being offensive and reject the consequences of it. “A radio host lost his job for making a racist joke? Political Correctness gone wild!”

      Why don’t you go on Formspring and simply ask Brevoort why there hasn’t been a Captain America story dealing with Islamic terrorism? Ask in a way that’s non-accusatory.

      You can blame Mark Gruenwald for the idea that Cap managed to fight the entirety of World War 2 without intentionally killing anyone. While Marvel’s pulled back on that, and I’m pretty sure it has been acknowledged that, yes, he did kill some people in WW2, he’s still a character who doesn’t kill. He’s not Wolverine, willing to do whatever it takes to put someone down. He considers all life to be sacred, and refuses to take a life. So if Frank Miller wanted to do Holy Terror, with Captain America killing terrorists, there’s no way it would be approved.

    3. I haven’t read Holy Terror, aside from a couple pages. But pretty much everything I’ve seen about it says that it’s badly written, over-the-top in terms of its violence, and kinda racist (or religionist, or whichever term you prefer) in its depiction of Muslims.

      The book has Muslim bad guys. As I said in the review, people like you turn a group of Muslim bad guys into “Frank Miller must be saying all Muslims are terrorists.” Adam Carolla recently had an amazing podcast where he talks about the liberal inclination to do this thing that’s the equivalent of a dentist saying, “You have two cavities,” and the liberal defensively goes on a weird rant about how not all of his teeth have cavities. It’s like, “Umm, okay. I didn’t say that. Can we focus on the cavities, please?”

      Political Correctness was simply saying people should try not to use offensive terms. These days, nine times out of ten, when someone is talking about “Political Correctness,” it’s to excuse being offensive and reject the consequences of it.

      So in one thread you’re all about having accuracy when it comes to numbers, and then in this one you’re able to just pull random statistics out of your butt like “nine time out of ten, whenever someone is talking about political correctness it’s to excuse being offensive.” Even if you were right, that still leaves 10 percent of the time where someone is legitimately being silenced for using language that offends another guy’s sensitivities. I thought political correctness doesn’t exist?

      Why don’t you go on Formspring and simply ask Brevoort why there hasn’t been a Captain America story dealing with Islamic terrorism? Ask in a way that’s non-accusatory.

      Years ago he had a blog over at Marvel or some corner on the website where he could randomly post (I’m going off memory, so forgive me). He was anther one of those guys who would delete tactful pushback on his editorial decisions. Not trolling — legitimate feedback. No thanks. I’m not wasting my time.

      So if Frank Miller wanted to do Holy Terror, with Captain America killing terrorists, there’s no way it would be approved.

      Why are you obsessed with the killing thing? Maybe Frank Miller would do a story where Cap needs to get a guy back alive to get intelligence out of him. Dead terrorists don’t talk. Sometimes you need a guy to talk. Regardless, it’s still lame to arbitrarily make a rule that a character “never kills.” His preference should be to avoid killing if at all possible, but he should be occasionally placed in situations where he has no choice but to kill or be killed. That is what real soldiers and cops and first responders have to deal with. I see no reason why Captain America should be exempt from the realities of war.

    4. I keep bringing up killing because Holy Terror was all about Not-Batman straight-up murdering terrorists. If Miller wanted to do something similar with Captain America, then no, he would not be approved.

      As an aside, Captain America does occasionally kill, but it’s rare, and it’s always treated as something out of the ordinary for him. He’s technically a soldier, but he holds himself as something of a symbol, and so he holds himself to a much higher standard. Also, he was really only a soldier in WW2. Since then, he’s been pretty much just a private citizen. He’s sometimes connected to the government, but he always makes it clear that he doesn’t work for the government. So he doesn’t believe he really has the right to kill.

    5. Also, he was really only a soldier in WW2. Since then, he’s been pretty much just a private citizen.

      This is a comment that only someone who has not served would make. Try and call a Marine an “ex-Marine” and see what happens. Ever hear the saying, “Once a soldier, always a soldier”?

      And yes, a man has a right to protect his right to life if another man is trying to take that right from him. If Captain America killed in self defense, there shouldn’t be any issue with it, from Marvel editors or readers. Perhaps Marvel could just put a “trigger warning” on that issue for it’s more sensitive readers. ** rolls eyes **

    6. He’s no longer deployed in the US Armed Forces. That was my point. It’s true that he does still (usually) call himself a soldier, but he’s also acutely aware that he’s no longer actively serving in the military. He is, essentially, a private citizen.

      And yes, when there’s absolutely no other option, Captain America is willing to kill. But to him, it’s an absolute last resort, and even then, he’ll still probably keep looking for alternatives.

    7. And if the pitch involves Captain America killing terrorists, then it’s absolutely going to be rejected, simply because Marvel prefers not to have Captain America killing anyone. And I’m not sure Miller would be able to write that story without having Cap shooting people and taking their heads off with his shield and all that stuff.

      Oh really? Tell that to Mark Millar with regards to The Ultimates.

      and the pitch makes it clear that the fundamentalists are a relatively small number and that most Muslims oppose violence, then Marvel would consider it.

      How “relatively?” Have you actually seen various polls which demonstrate the percentage of Muslim populations that have a staggeringly high regard for violence when it comes to things like insulting Mohammed, for example? Or Israel? Here’s but one example, from but one Google search permutation: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/opinion-polls.htm

      I disagree with it being Political Correctness, a term I outright reject as something that actually exists. Rather, I think it’s more about sensitivity and caution.

      LMAO. I’m sure ISIS would be very concerned about your “sensitivity” and “caution.” Right up until they cut your head off.

      I’m done with this conversation. That is, until I decide to come back. 😉

    8. Thanks for bringing this up, Hube.

      I wrote about a very interesting Egyptian poll not too long ago that had the Washington Post very confused.

      According to Pew’s data, 78 percent of Afghan Muslims say they support laws condemning to death anyone who gives up Islam. In both Egypt and Pakistan, 64 percent report holding this view. This is also the majority view among Muslims in Malaysia, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

      Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

    9. “Oh really? Tell that to Mark Millar with regards to The Ultimates.”

      The Ultimates was a different universe. One that was meant to be more “realistic,” which basically meant to was ultra-dark, grim’n’gritty, heroes-almost-as-bad-as-the-villains stuff. Millar chose to make all the characters into jerks. It can’t really be used as an example of how the main Captain America would behave.

      As an aside, though, Ultimates 2 did open with Captain America dropping into Iraq to beat up some rebels who had taken some aid workers hostage.

  2. I have not read Holy Terror so I cannot comment on that. With that said in the past Captain America has taken on enemies that we were currently fighting in the past and the books were considered motivation. I agree with Douglas that Marvel is too busy trying to be progressive and that takes away some of the honesty of Marvel. Interestingly you could see much of our pop culture and history in comics, I wonder what these books will tell readers 20 years from now?
    Captain America has been silent on this war yet he had a story where he was sent after a group that believes in supporting our constitution, what has happened to Marvel. I guess this is what we get when a group of die hard liberals take over a direction of a company, it becomes a propaganda piece for liberal views and an outlet of hatred for others that oppose them.
    I am sorry but if people do not see the pc movement that means they are either in a vacuum or they are a part of it.

    1. Interestingly you could see much of our pop culture and history in comics, I wonder what these books will tell readers 20 years from now?

      I think most fair-minded people will cringe. You can’t have a character named ‘Captain America’ and then not have him address some of the defining moments in U.S. history that pertain to its national security. The fact that Marvel has sat silent on this issue for so long is an embarrassing stain on the history of the comic book industry. But hey, xmenxpert would just tell you that there hasn’t been a good pitch on the subject in over. a decade. I say again: In over a decade. How unfortunate. It has nothing to do with political correctness. Heh.

  3. “These are not the droids you’re looking for.” You made me laugh out loud! Funny!

    Xmenxpert is a trip, no? He seems so intelligent and reasonable and then is just blurts out something like “political correctness doesn’t exist.” But Islamaphobia does right Xpert? But racism and homophobia exist right?

    And if we try to get him to think too hard about what he is saying he’ll just say something like, “This isn’t fun anymore. I’m lazy and don’t want to think hard.”

    These are not the droids you are looking for…move along.

    1. That’s the thing: You and I would say, “Yeah, sure, there are people with irrational fears of Islam … but Islamic radical terrorism is a real thing. Political correctness exists, but we shouldn’t use inflammatory words just for the sake of using them, and we shouldn’t try and hurt people with words just for the sake of being mean.”

      To xmenxpert, it’s just “political correctness doesn’t exist.” Ummm, okay. It would make sense to discuss the definition and take issue with that, but to say it “doesn’t exist” is just weird.

    2. I said above that, 9 times out of 10, it seems like people talk about “Political Correctness” to excuse being offensive and not having to deal with any consequences from it. I see this a lot, to be blunt, from conservatives, where a conservative will say something offensive, and then rant about “free speech” when they lose their job over their comment. When the term was brought up in the ’90s, it basically said, “Don’t be a jerk.” Don’t use offensive language. At this point, though, the term has been completely co-opted by people who want to be jerks and use offensive language.

      So I reject the idea of Political Correctness that most of the people who complain about it have. I think, instead, that it’s been replaced by the new Golden Rule: Don’t be a douche. That’s the standard today. It’s not Political Correctness, it’s saying that we should try to have some degree of sensitivity and decency so that we don’t offend people without a good reason (satire is a good reason, when done well; done poorly, it’s just being a jerk and an idiot), and that we accept the consequences of our speech.

  4. Right. There are irrational fears of Islam and rational fears of Islam…or at least, rational fears of certain Islamic ideologies. Political Correctness seems to me to be an irrational fear of saying something that is frowned upon by a certain group of individuals. That is a first attempt at a definition.

    1. I’m not sure if you’ve seen this thing where college campuses are obsessed with “trigger words,” but it’s the next evolution of Political Correctness. The left is obsessed with censoring individuals because someone, somewhere might be uncomfortable talking about an issue. Remember when college campuses were a place where you were supposed to have your worldview challenged? Sad.

    2. I think trigger word warnings are simply, once again, about being sensitive. It’s not saying “don’t talk about this issue.” It’s saying, “Be aware that people around you may have had their lives affected by the subject you’re talking about, so don’t make stupid cheap jokes about it.”

      And, see, this is why I reject the idea of Political Correctness. To most people, Political Correctness is about shutting down speech, preventing certain things from ever being said or discussed. But no one is really trying to do it. It’s about context. If I tell a dead baby joke simply because I think offensive humour is automatically funny, I’m a jerk. If I tell a dead baby joke as a form of catharsis for a painful issue, then that’s different. Some people are still going to be offended, and that’s to be expected, and I wouldn’t say those people are wrong, because different people have different thresholds.

    3. I think trigger word warnings are simply, once again, about being sensitive. It’s not saying “don’t talk about this issue.” It’s saying, “Be aware that people around you may have had their lives affected by the subject you’re talking about, so don’t make stupid cheap jokes about it.”

      This is happening on college campuses — those same liberal bastions that now create “free speech zones.” I’m not talking about comedy clubs.

      I hate to inform you, but even the New York Times (no friend to conservatives) is putting out pieces that highlight how ridiculous “trigger warnings” are. We’re a nation of babies. It’s pathetic.

      Should students about to read “The Great Gatsby” be forewarned about “a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive and misogynistic violence,” as one Rutgers student proposed? Would any book that addresses racism — like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” or “Things Fall Apart” — have to be preceded by a note of caution? Do sexual images from Greek mythology need to come with a viewer-beware label? …

      The warnings, which have their ideological roots in feminist thought, have gained the most traction at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where the student government formally called for them. But there have been similar requests from students at Oberlin College, Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, George Washington University and other schools.

      The debate has left many academics fuming, saying that professors should be trusted to use common sense and that being provocative is part of their mandate. Trigger warnings, they say, suggest a certain fragility of mind that higher learning is meant to challenge, not embrace. The warnings have been widely debated in intellectual circles and largely criticized in opinion magazines, newspaper editorials and academic email lists.

      What you’re saying used to be called “common sense,” xmenxpert. But these days even liberal professors can’t be trusted by other liberals to use common sense, so “trigger warning” notices must be given at the start of class.

    4. I disagree with the US being “a nation of babies.” Trigger words are a real thing, so issuing warnings about them is fair. It gives people a chance to prepare.

    5. I disagree with the US being “a nation of babies.” Trigger words are a real thing, so issuing warnings about them is fair. It gives people a chance to prepare.

      ‘Nuff said.

      I’m done with this discussion. Until I decide to come back to it. 😉

    6. Yep, my position is stated so clearly, and is so reasonable, that nothing more really needs to be said about it. I dare say it’s a nearly perfect statement, but only because I’m much too humble to admit its complete perfection. I’m glad we agree.

    7. Trigger words are real, but PC isn’t … but it is — it’s just the definition changed from the 90s. Got it.

      It’s a good thing we’ll never be classmates because the moment you raise your hand and ask if “The Great Gatsby” has any “trigger warnings” you need to know about would be the moment I burst out laughing.

      Since this started out as a conversation about Captain America I’ll keep it pseudo-relevant and say that you probably wouldn’t last very long in Patton’s Army… If you asked him to about trigger warnings I’m pretty sure he would have slapped you.

    8. I’m not concerned about trigger words for myself. But I’m not going to pass judgment on people who are concerned about them. If someone who’s unfamiliar with The Great Gatsby wants to make sure nothing in it is going to bring back horrible memories of a traumatic experience they’ve gone through, that seems like an entirely legitimate concern to have, and a fair question to ask. It’s not like a trigger warning even takes long: “A quick warning: This book does deal, at times, with the subject of rape. I’ll let you know when we get to those parts, so you can prepare yourself.” That’s really all it takes.

      Also, I wouldn’t have lasted long in any Army, because I’m a coward and a wussy.

    9. Yes, a woman who was raped or a soldier who watched his battle buddy get blown to pieces might want to stop into the office and talk to their professors at the start of the semester. For the vast majority of people, “trigger warning” is a euphemism for “I reserve the right not to be uncomfortable in your class.”

    10. Except I’m doubtful that it’s more than a handful of people using them that way. I would guess that most people who talk about trigger warnings actually have a reason for it.

    11. When NYT articles start showing up with professors griping, you know that it’s gotten out of hand.

      The debate has left many academics fuming, saying that professors should be trusted to use common sense and that being provocative is part of their mandate. Trigger warnings, they say, suggest a certain fragility of mind that higher learning is meant to challenge, not embrace. The warnings have been widely debated in intellectual circles and largely criticized in opinion magazines, newspaper editorials and academic email lists.

    12. You really have NO idea what political correctness means. Same with trigger warnings, etc.

      You consistently use examples of what you believe people use PC as an excuse for — completely tasteless jokes — but no one here is even coming close to excusing that nonsense. We’re talking about legitimate discussions. Doug keeps trying to make that clear to you, but you refuse to listen. You have absolutely NO idea what occurs on college campuses these days. For example, a debate about affirmative action is entirely legitimate by most reasonable folks’ standards; however, a few black students may experience said “trigger warnings” and hence shut down the discussion. And/or those against A.A. may be accused of racial insensitivity at the least, outright racism at the worst.

      That is the political correctness we are talking about. Not making dead baby jokes or some other such nonsense.

    13. “You consistently use examples of what you believe people use PC as an excuse for — completely tasteless jokes — but no one here is even coming close to excusing that nonsense,” (emphasis added).

      Bingo.

      A reader emailed me this about xmenxpert’s comments, which follow a similar pattern:

      Weird proclamations: 1. PC doesn’t exist. 2. Frank Miller wrote a s*** story.

      Twisting the position: 1. PC doesn’t exist how I see it … and it’s different from 90s meaning. 2. Actually, I never read Frank Miller’s story, but I read the reviews and it’s basically a s*** story.

    14. If the people debating Affirmative Action are doing so in an intelligent and respectful manner, then sure, allow it. And I suspect few black people would object, though if it’s a bunch of white people talking about it, some black people might be annoyed. Trigger words are generally for traumatic experiences. Things like rape, assault, war – things that people do develop PTSD for.

    15. If the people debating Affirmative Action are doing so in an intelligent and respectful manner, then sure, allow it.

      Gosh, thanks!

      And I suspect few black people would object, though if it’s a bunch of white people talking about it, some black people might be annoyed.

      Why? How would they know? Would they rightly be upset because no one asked their opinion? Even though they weren’t around? Or enrolled in the course?

      Ye gad …

      Trigger words are generally for traumatic experiences. Things like rape, assault, war – things that people do develop PTSD for.

      For the umpteenth time, this IS NOT what Doug and I are talking about!

    16. For the umpteenth time, this IS NOT what Doug and I are talking about!

      Heh. Yes, it does get difficult to have a conversation when you say ‘x’ and the other party keeps talking about ‘z’. I keep going because I know that people who don’t have a dog in the fight will read the exchange and know exactly who was staying on point and who was bouncing around like a super ball in a space ship.

    17. And I’m saying that, the vast majority of the time, that’s what trigger words and warnings are for.

      As for why black people would be annoyed about a bunch of white people debating Affirmative Action, it comes down to the old bit about majority rule being three wolves and a sheep debating what to have for supper.

    18. A writer at the New York Times disagrees with me. Some professors disagree with me. I still fail to see why a short warning is such a horrible, unacceptable thing. It takes 15 seconds. 30 at the most.

    19. A writer at the New York Times disagrees with me. Some professors disagree with me. I still fail to see why a short warning is such a horrible, unacceptable thing. It takes 15 seconds. 30 at the most.

      The point, which you know — even if you want to pretend that you don’t — is that when the (liberal) New York Times and (liberal) college professors are saying political correctness has gone too far, then something is wrong. It also destroys the xmenxpert narrative that political correctness “doesn’t exist.”

      If you were a college professor, it would be rather annoying if you assigned a very specific book, but because some kid had a rather silly “trigger warning” you had to come up with a whole new assignment just for him/her. (e.g, I don’t want to read books by Mark Twain because he uses the word ‘nigger’ and as a black person that is upsetting to me; I’m a woman and I can’t read ‘Jane Eyre’ because of the way Mr. Rochester treats women, etc.)

      Again — I’m not talking about rape victims or soldiers with PTSD.

    20. But does that actually happen? Has anyone asked to be excused from reading Mark Twain because of the N-word? The article doesn’t say. It says professors are worried about it happening, not that it actually ever has happened. I’m not really convinced it’s a problem when an article saying it’s a problem doesn’t actually give examples of it happening.

      I’m also inclined to be sceptical of anecdotal evidence, so for it to be really considered a real problem, there’d need to be some studies to get hard numbers.

    21. I’m also inclined to be sceptical of anecdotal evidence, so for it to be really considered a real problem, there’d need to be some studies to get hard numbers.

      Kind of like your “hard numbers” that 9 out of 10 people who talk about political correctness are really just jerks?

      This is a relatively new thing among the perpetual victim crowd. Just give it a bit. The point, which has been demonstrated, is that political correctness is very real — so much so that the Times and liberal academics are bemoaning the very PC culture they helped create.

    22. And when there are actual examples of students asking to be exempted from studying certain books based on the subject matter, then re-evaluate my position at that time. But right now, it’s people complaining about a hypothetical, and objecting to something that doesn’t actually seem to be happening.

    23. But right now, it’s people complaining about a hypothetical, and objecting to something that doesn’t actually seem to be happening.

      Actually, it is happening. It’s not hypothetical. I’m glad to know that “triggers” include “colonialism,” “needles,” “body shaming,” “snakes,” “small holes,” and a whole host of other random things. I like that the Olson Twins movie “It Takes Two” also makes the list…

      Speaking of things that don’t actually seem to be happening, I’ll reevaluate my stance on doomsday global warming when New York City is underwater in 2016 like Al Gore predicted.

    24. That video provides a whopping one example of someone using a trigger to try to grab a sign they felt was offensive. One example. And it wasn’t even related to a book or a class or anything. (I’m hesitant to pass judgment on the woman without more information, though the fact that she tossed out the word “terrorist” makes me inclined to think she’s probably an idiot.)

      So, I still see no reason to believe that students trying to get exempted from reading certain materials in class is something that’s happening.

      As for global warming, I would at least recommend that you give less of a damn about what non-scientist Al Gore says than what actual scientists and scientific organizations say. I’m not getting back into the debate on global warming. All I’m saying is that what Al Gore says about it doesn’t particularly matter.

    25. It’s funny you should say that. I noticed that you didn’t comment on the geoscientists who disagree with you. Strange.

      I’m sorry if it bothers you that I “give a damn” what politicians with their hands on the levers of power have to say about global warming. I’m sorry if I “give a damn” about a guy who was the Vice President of the United States and almost the President of the United States. Silly me.

      Intelligent people know that there is a nexus between scientists, lobbyists and politicians. When you pretend as if scientists exist in a vacuum, fair-minded people just scratch their head and say, “Does this xmenxepert guy think I’m an idiot? Yeesh.”

    26. I was just saying that when considering the science, you should be looking at what scientists say, not what non-scientists (or even scientists in unrelated fields of study) say. Going after Al Gore on policy issues is obviously completely fair, but going after him for what the IPCC says is silly.

      Again, not getting back into the debate, simply clarifying my previous comment.

    27. I was just saying that when considering the science, you should be looking at what scientists say, not what non-scientists (or even scientists in unrelated fields of study) say.

      Again, your statement implies that I’m an idiot. Yes, of course I understand that point. It goes without saying. I shouldn’t have to qualify that after every time I mention Al Gore’s name, just as I shouldn’t have to quality that most Muslims are decent people when I talk about Islamic radicals.

    28. And when there are actual examples of students asking to be exempted from studying certain books based on the subject matter, then re-evaluate my position at that time. But right now, it’s people complaining about a hypothetical, and objecting to something that doesn’t actually seem to be happening.

      You mean like actual examples of pro-violence attitudes of that “small minority” of Muslims noted previously which completely tore asunder your point? It’s no wonder you completely ignored that.

      As for Twain, Huck Finn has been revised from its original. Gee, why’s that?

    29. So, I still see no reason to believe that students trying to get exempted from reading certain materials in class is something that’s happening.

      Then take it from me — a teacher for almost a quarter century. I see it happen every year. And this isn’t higher ed where the grievance industry has yet inculcated them.

    30. I guess xmenxpert wasn’t around for the conversation where I said I was a full-time substitute for two years and got chewed out by a liberal teacher because I allowed her students to say the word ‘nigger’ out loud while reading Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” She didn’t take it very well when she found out I laughed at the notion that “only racist people say the word ‘nigger'” — even though the kids were reading a book about a fictional character. That was in 2004.

      In this lady’s mind, the word should never be uttered. Ever. In any context.

      When we give words more power than they deserve… Sigh.

    31. Then take it from me — a teacher for almost a quarter century. I see it happen every year. And this isn’t higher ed where the grievance industry has yet inculcated them.

      You don’t count, Hube. Sorry. The xmenxpert requires 50 full years of teaching experience before your experience can be taken seriously. 😉

  5. To me, the whole PC movement is becoming rather sinister. It seems like an attempt to suppress truth through intimidation. And the suppressors of truth cloak themselves in a mantle of kindness and benevolence. As Chesterson said:

    “The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.”

    1. Thanks for the share, Turthwillwin1.

      You might like this exchange I had with someone on Twitter regarding Dan Slott’s online behavior.

      I love this one by Valerie:

      “So again, tell me what’s so alienating about Dan’s remarks.”

      Classic.

    2. Either she really is clueless or she is playing the ignorant game so that she does not cross anyone in the business (it seems that may be a goal for her). I can understand how she might want to not admit anything that could hurt her goals as a comic writer. Funny how she went right to the twist and misdirect method to try to make you look bad. A simple answer to her: google search Dan Slott, or ask why does Dan feel he has to remove posts to cover his tracks?

      The blind often follow the blind.

  6. I just want you guys to know that “trigger” is my trigger word. The term “trigger word” is very offensive to me. Move along now…no such thing as political correctness.

    1. As you point out Edward, the list can be never ending. Since the left loves to divide people along race, class and gender lines, think of all the different “legitimate” triggers that could exit. Think of all the books a professor could assign and have at least a quarter of his class reject due to their “triggers.” Students, not the teacher, could essentially dictate what is taught if they wanted.

    2. Or, you know, it could be that nothing along those lines ever even comes close to happening. Which is what I’m personally betting on. Any changes to common reading assignments are more likely to be based on the view that some standard books aren’t really relevant to contemporary issues, and should be replaced by newer and more relevant books, probably from more diverse backgrounds.

    3. Or, you know, it could be that nothing along those lines ever even comes close to happening.

      Actually, it does. The authors of Common Core are the kind of politically correct whackadoos who believe “Olson Twin” trigger warnings are a good idea. How much do you want to bet that Mr. “White Privilege” is a trigger warning advocate?

  7. Personally I’m not a fan of politics in comics. Just like I don’t want to see Captain America punching Hitler (LOL) I also don’t want to see Captain America going after a tea party allegory.

    Personally I think the classier way to cover politics in comics is to leave everything out in the open and let the reader make up their own minds (be it left or right etc.). You can totally have stories involving Captain America in Iraq, it’s just that the correct way to do it would be to not have the story involve Cap punching the leader of ISIS in the face (LOL) or have Cap protest the US government involvement in Iraq (also lol).

    I think comics in general should also reflect the current times. With characters like Captain America that explore themes like patriotism and nationalism, writers should use modern examples in order to make it more relatable to the reader. The fact that 616 Captain America is still fighting Nazis and Hydra is kind of lame I think.

    Lastly the type of story I’d like to see involving Cap in Iraq would be something like Cap going against Shield orders to rescue a civilian scientist/worker held hostage. Cap would have to escort the civilian to a safety zone whilst avoiding terrorist ambushes at the same time. That type of story is not necessarily political as recuing civilians in need is what Cap is all about (freedom and all that garbage).

    1. Thanks for the comment, Riablo. As you astutely point out, it’s quite possible for a writer to strike a proper balance that would get guys like me to shut up (and possibly buy the comment), while also not bothering guys like xmenxpert.

      The fact that 616 Captain America is still fighting Nazis and Hydra is kind of lame I think.

      Another fine point. Who is more frozen in time: Captain America or the writers and editors at Marvel?

    2. I actually disagree, somewhat, with leaving politics out of comics. I think there’s room even in superhero comics for exploring political issues. The thing is that doing it requires being willing to have stories with very little in the way of actual superheroics, and that’s something few writers or readers are willing to do. I’m one of those people, though, who generally finds the characters a lot more interesting than the action. I’ve talked in the past about how I would buy an entire series about superheroes doing mundane things – buying groceries, having coffee, or whatever. You give me a series written by Kelly Sue DeConnick that’s all about what superheroes do in their downtime, and I will love it. So I get that I’m a little out of the ordinary as far as what entertains me.

      But I’ve also talked in the past about how my dream comic would be set in a neighbourhood populated primarily by mutants (mostly with non-combat mutations, like different skin colours, extra eyes, extra skin, and other mutations that are more original than my examples that have all shown up in X-Men comics), and dealing with real-world issues of discrimination. Show mutants having unemployment rates at twice the national average. Show mutants getting disproportionate sentencing in criminal cases, or losing custody of their children in a divorce. Show a mutant being pulled over by the police simply for looking weird. Show some of the mundane discrimination that people in the real world actually go through every day, rather than just the fantastic stuff that we always see. And then also show the sort of work that goes into a real-world civil rights movement – speeches, rallies, news interviews, all that stuff. That’s my dream comic. Little superheroics, lots of political stuff.

      I do agree, however, that Captain America going into a country to rescue a hostage has made for good stories in the past, so there’s no reason to believe it couldn’t make for a good story again.

      As far as Cap fighting Nazis goes: Well, seeing Nazis get punched is just always fun. There’s also the fact that writers grew up loving certain stories and characters, so they want to use those stories and characters themselves. That’s why the Red Skull will never stay dead, why Arnim Zola pops up regularly, and why he Cap keeps punching Nazis in the face. It can be a problem, sometimes, the unwillingness to truly run against what Stan Lee and Jack Kirby established. One of my all-time favourite comic books runs is Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, because he was so willing to go against tradition. He made mutants into a real minority with their own culture, bringing them out of the shadows. He made Xavier take the school public, and the X-Men themselves stopped bothering to hide their identities. It was a pretty amazing shift in the status quo. But very few writers are really willing to go that far.

    3. Thanks for your reply xmenxpert. I can see where you are coming from and you raise some really good points but I feel differently.

      The main problem with politics in comics is that if you only cover one side of the political fence, you always end up alienating a significant percentage of the reading demographic that disagree with that view. The best way around it is to either cover both sides of the political fence in a classy way (i.e. be politically neutral) or avoid politics all together (my personal preference). In think it boils down to do it right or don’t do it at all.

      In my politically neutral Captain America example, a left leaning reader might draw on the plight of aid workers working in war torn countries (i.e. the scientist/aid worker Cap is recuing) whereas a right leaning reader might draw on Cap recuing a man behind enemy lines in a relatable, modern war torn situation (and all that freedom stuff).

      At the end of the day, comics are for everyone I think. It’s probably the most accessible form of reading and light hearted entertainment. I’ve never been a fan of storylines that divide people, make them angry or are purposely controversial for the sake of being controversial. I think marvel has some real editorial issues at the moment based on storylines like Civil War and Superior Spiderman. Hopefully Marvel can turn things around in the next few years but I wouldn’t hold my breath,

    4. The question is whether Marvel should be worried about alienating people. I think if a writer has an idea for a compelling story, and there’s reason to believe the story will sell reasonably well, then the story deserves a chance to be told. Astonishing X-Men showed a same-sex marriage, which would presumably alienate the “traditional marriage” crowd, but they still went through with it, and hyped it up a lot.

      While I’m all for the existence of comics for everyone, I also think there needs to be comics that maybe aren’t for everyone. I dislike Rick Remender’s style, but I do think there’s definitely a place for him at Marvel. I think there should be mainstream superhero comics that tackle complex issues, including political issues.

      I also don’t think any given story has to be balanced. If a writer wants to do a story that has a very clear pro-gun-control message, fine. If another writer wants to do a story that has an anti-gun-control message, then that’s fine, too, and it’d be interesting to see which sold better. I don’t have a problem with either story being told, as long as they’re well-written and respectful to the subject matter, and I generally prefer stories avoid demonizing the other side. A pro-gun-control story shouldn’t treat opponents as idiotic rednecks looking for an excuse to shoot them some blacks, and an anti-gun-control story shouldn’t treat opponents as freedom-hating tyrants wanting to take everyone’s guns as the first step to an Orwellian nightmare world. Treat people on the other side of the debate as normal people who have reasons for their opinions. Nuance, rather than balance.

      Of course, I generally feel the same way about political discussions in general. The constant demonization is why I got fed up with political discussions in general, so now, even when a civil debate’s going on, I can’t help but think of the frustrating nonsense I used to see so much of, and I just don’t want to do it.

      Regardless. Grant Morrison wasn’t worried about angering people when he turned Magneto into a crazy, drug-addicted old terrorist bastard who marched humans into ovens, and that was an amazing story. Offending people for no reason is childish and stupid. Offending people to tell a great story exploring an interesting idea is art. And I do firmly believe that comic books – even supehero comics – are totally legitimate art.

    5. The main problem with politics in comics is that if you only cover one side of the political fence, you always end up alienating a significant percentage of the reading demographic that disagree with that view. The best way around it is to either cover both sides of the political fence in a classy way (i.e. be politically neutral) or avoid politics all together (my personal preference). In think it boils down to do it right or don’t do it at all.

      Boom. Right on point again, Riablo. Notice how xmexpert has said in this thread an others that “there needs to be comics that maybe aren’t for everyone,” (i.e., comics with messages he likes), but also that Marvel shouldn’t publish stories that editors think will be tough to move off shelves (i.e., comics with political messages he doesn’t like).

      On one hand his “dream” comic would include “mundane discrimination that people in the real world actually go through every day,” but when I say that there should be an Iron Man story titled “A World Without Tony Stark” that is inspired by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, well … that would never sell. Marvel shouldn’t do that because no one would buy it. Interesting.

  8. As an aside, while Captain America may not have gone into Afghanistan or Iraq, there have been a couple characters who have, even if only in short stories in anthology comics. Gauntlet, from Avengers: The Initiative, had a short story where he returned to serve in Afghanistan, and Demolition Man, an old ally of Captain America, enlisted and served in Afghanistan. I think a couple other comics have also had some overseas stuff. I think there’s been occasional issues in fictional Middle Eastern countries. (Actually, related to my comments above about comics previously addressing politics: Steve Englehart’s run on Fantastic Four, back in the late ’80s, had an arc with the fictional country of Aqiria, a clear Saudi Arabia stand-in, which touched a bit on some issues that are still going on, relating to the US supporting problematic regimes in order to get access to oil.)

    1. Party time: Marvel readers like me can go through the back-issue bin and find a dusty issue with Gauntlett where he enlisted, and some 80s comics that cover the old “the U.S. supports evil regimes because the world runs on oil” line (never mind the fact that we have all the natural resources we need right here in the U.S. and off its coasts. Environmentalists and their allies in Congress have done everything within their power to prevent us from accessing them).

      American environmentalist don’t want us to buy Canadian oil or build the Keystone Pipeline due to environmental reasons, so Canada sells its oil to China. That oil must then be shipped overseas, which causes a bigger carbon footprint than the one that would exist if it just sold the oil to the U.S. in the first place. D’oh!

    2. Jeez, you just can’t turn it off, can you? Everything has to be an excuse for some big political debate, doesn’t it? I wasn’t even trying to make a point with the two stories I mentioned from a couple years ago, I was just mentioning that they exist. And I mentioned the Fantastic Four story in relation to a point I was making about comics previously being willing to deal with political subjects. In neither case was I actually making any sort of political point of my own, I was simply mentioning Things That Exist. I don’t see why every Thing That Exists has to turn into a fight.

    3. Jeez, you just can’t turn it off, can you? Everything has to be an excuse for some big political debate, doesn’t it?

      I’m not sure if you missed it, but you’re commenting on a blog that regularly covers the intersection between politics and popular culture.

      Regardless, I’m not “fighting.” In fact, I’m rather calm. Have a screamed at you? Have I resorted to expletives? No. If you don’t like my comment, then you don’t need to respond. But as you’ve already stated: you like to have the last word.

      You mentioned “things that exist” after a slew comments (in this thread and others) asserting that political correctness doesn’t exist, that there isn’t a liberal bias amongst editors in the industry, etc. Your comment was made within the context of a thread dedicated to the question: “Why the heck has a character like Captain America not addressed radical Islamic extremism?”

      Your comment (not as innocuous as you would have others believe) further highlighted what me, Carl, Hube, Andrew, Edward, Patrick, Riablo and others have observed, which is that there is such a bias. If you don’t like getting pushback on your worldview, that’s not my problem.

      As an aside, while Captain America may not have gone into Afghanistan or Iraq, there have been a couple characters who have, even if only in short stories in anthology comics. Gauntlet, from Avengers: The Initiative, had a short story where he returned to serve in Afghanistan, and Demolition Man, an old ally of Captain America, enlisted and served in Afghanistan. I think a couple other comics have also had some overseas stuff. I think there’s been occasional issues in fictional Middle Eastern countries. (Actually, related to my comments above about comics previously addressing politics*: Steve Englehart’s run on Fantastic Four, back in the late ’80s, had an arc with the fictional country of Aqiria, a clear Saudi Arabia stand-in, which touched a bit on some issues that are still going on, relating to the US supporting problematic regimes in order to get access to oil.)

      Translation: You guys complaining about not having characters address issues in the Middle East are exaggerating. Your problem is that you a.) haven’t had a conservative writer pitch a good story (e.g., the U.S. supporting tyrannical regimes in the Middle East for oil), or b.) you have writers like Frank Miller stepping up to the plate who will make Cap kill Muslims. Yadda Yadda Yadda. Political Correctness doesn’t exist.

      *Emphasis added to demonstrate that xmenxpert can reference his own comments about politics, but when someone responds politically it’s defined as “fighting.”

    4. Your translation is wrong. I really was simply mentioning a couple instances I knew of where characters went to Afghanistan. It was meant as an “interesting to know.” And I was referencing my view that superhero comics can and have dealt with politics.

    5. And I was referencing my view that superhero comics can and have dealt with politics.

      And my response, which was that the “politics” of comics exists within a very narrow spectrum deemed worthy by liberal editors, was totally appropriate given the nature of the blog post. Again, you have the power to simply not respond to comments you either a.) don’t like, or b.) feel are geared towards leading you into a conversation you’re not comfortable having.

      Whining that a guy who has a blog dedicated to the intersection of politics and popular culture is too political is just strange.

  9. Political correctness is real, and the term actually began on The Left. It was originally used in communist countries to mean supporting the official government policies.

    By the late 20th century, it was adopted by liberals in western democracies as a sort of synonym for “socially acceptable” or “not offensive.” Conversely, “politically incorrect” meant something that was offensive because of racist or sexist connotations: the racial stereotypes in “Amos and Andy,” or jokes about how many “Polacks” (blacks, gays, whoever you are prejudiced against) it took to change a light bulb.

    Then, by the 1990’s, conservatives co-opted the term, to mean censorship, or the Orwellian thought police suppressing any dissent or free exchange of opinions. It was later taken up by almost anyone, on the right or left, who considered himself an iconoclast (Bill Maher’s talk show was entitled “Politically Incorrect” even when he was following the PC party line and admiring Emperor Obama’s new clothes).

    PC has probably always existed, one way or another, on both the right and left. (In America in the 1950’s, for example, it would have been politically correct to be against communism.) Liberals adopted the phrase, but now that it has become an epithet, they deny that the concept exists.

    The analogy of the liberal patient being told that he has two cavities and then angrily insisting that not all of his teeth have cavities is apt. In the liberal view, there are no distinctions. You criticize Obama, the liberal thinks you are criticizing all black people. You criticize Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi, and it is an insult to all women. If the US retaliates against Al Qaeda for a terrorist attack, we are persecuting all Muslims. In liberal PC, there is no such thing as “that individual.”

    If I may be permitted to get back on the original topic…in 1941, the cover of Captain America Comics #1 depicted Cap punching Hitler. During WWII, a lot of action heroes in comics, movies, radio, and pulp magazines routinely fought Nazis. Today, though, it would be unthinkable for Captain America or Iron Man to fight Muslim terrorists. Instead we get Cap opposing right-wing American extremists, and movies like Iron Man 3, Non-Stop, and Flight Plan. All of those with the same message: there is no such thing as Muslim extremism or terrorism. All Muslims, without one exception, are peaceable. 9-11, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Pan Am bombing, the Achille Lauro hijacking, and the TWA hijacking were all inside jobs by the CIA, the military-industrial complex, the Tea Party, Fox News, and/or whacked-out Gulf War veterans. Blame America first.

    If this kind of political correctness had been in effect in 1942, we would all be speaking German or Japanese by now.

  10. So humans causing climate change , a scientific theory that hasn’t been proven, exists but political correctness, something which the human race is solely responsible for, doesn’t?

    Political correctness has resulted in people getting jobs to meet a “quota” of minority groups. In fact, UK government offices guarantee an interview for some groups even if they aren’t qualified.

    1. Political correctness has resulted in people getting jobs to meet a “quota” of minority groups. In fact, UK government offices guarantee an interview for some groups even if they aren’t qualified.

      We’ve got the same thing here. If a minority group makes up “x” percent of the population, then there are people who seem to believe they should be “x” percentage of every single job. Does that even make any sense? They see any sort of disparity as proof that some sort of invisible discrimination is at work. “Hey, what’s going on?! Minority group ‘x’ makes up 20 percent of the population, but they’re only 12 percent of IT specialists. We need to fix that!” Why?

      Who freakin’ cares. Maybe minority group x makes up 35 percent of the electrical engineers. No one cares except racial bean counters. Unfortunately, these people also get to make laws.

    2. People are not ingredients in a recipe. There is probably not an organized conspiracy to keep political conservatives out of journalism, social work, or the entertainment industry. But the kind of person who wants to be an actor, rock singer, journalist, or social worker tends to be liberal. And there is no conspiracy to keep liberals out of law enforcement, the military, engineering, or blue collar trades. But most people in those jobs seem to be conservative, because those jobs just don’t appeal to liberals.

      And a disproportionate share of inmates in prison are men, and a disproportionate percentage of students who receive disciplinary action (detention, suspension) are boys. That is not because of sexist discrimination against males; it’s simply that more men than women commit serious crimes, and more boys than girls misbehave in schools.

  11. “People are not ingredients in a recipe. There is probably not an organized conspiracy to keep political conservatives out of journalism, social work, or the entertainment industry. But the kind of person who wants to be an actor, rock singer, journalist, or social worker tends to be liberal. And there is no conspiracy to keep liberals out of law enforcement, the military, engineering, or blue collar trades. But most people in those jobs seem to be conservative, because those jobs just don’t appeal to liberals.”

    This is an interesting theory and makes a lot of sense. Here is another theory. The type of people that tend to rise to the top of any organization or business tend to be more variable with regard to their convictions. In other words, a teacher in a high school may have certain notions of right and wrong and may be fairly fixed in those notions. These “fixed” individuals are not as likely to become a school principal since they are not as willing to comprimise their convictions. Those that are willing to compromise are more likely to rise to principal. Of the principals, the ones that are most willing to compromise are the most likely to rise to superintendent, and so on.

    Since those at the top are more wishy washy on average than their subordinates with regard to their convictions, they tend to have the stomach for political correctness. By that I mean, truth for many of them is simply an illusion. “Perception is Truth” as I heard one of my employers say. This is very clearly evident in our politicians…in my opinion. “Truth? What is truth?” PP

    1. Agree. Politicians are elected by popular vote, so projecting the right image is important. “I can’t vote for this bill because my opponent will use it to make me look soft on crime.”

      And I think most people who have worked in a bureaucracy (military, civil service, large corporations) could tell horror stories about some boss who rose to the top, not because of job performance or leadership, but because he learned how to play the game, which meant compromising principles.

    2. So why do you think liberals are attracted to careers like journalism and acting and conservatives to the military and engineering? Does it have something to do with truth? I’m a math teacher. I love the lack of interpretation in math. “The answer is 4. No debate. We all must consent.”

    3. And I think most people who have worked in a bureaucracy (military, civil service, large corporations) could tell horror stories about some boss who rose to the top, not because of job performance or leadership, but because he learned how to play the game, which meant compromising principles.

      Most people confuse principles and preferences. You can compromise on preferences all day and you’ll be okay, but once you start compromising on principles you’re going down a dangerous path. I was in a situation once where a boss told me “one of the first things” I had to do for my new job was compromise my principles and I immediately wanted to quit. I worked for the guy for about six months and found a way out from under his thumb (I tried to quit and was given a better job in a new department instead, which was an interesting experience) — and I somehow managed to not compromise my principles along the way. It was a miserable time… I’ve told others there is no amount of money anyone could ever pay to make me take a job with him again.

  12. I think a lot of liberals see themselves as crusaders for social justice, so they naturally gravitate toward jobs like social work, because they want to help poor people, or to journalism, because they want to expose political corruption. Conservatives tend to see themselves as pragmatic and practical, and they are attracted to exact sciences. As you say, 2+2=4, no debate. They tend to be uninterested in writing poetry, or in wearing costumes and portraying fictional characters, so the arts have sort of been ceded to liberals by default.

    Obviously, there are plenty of exceptions to both rules.

  13. “I think a lot of liberals see themselves as crusaders for social justice, so they naturally gravitate toward jobs like social work, because they want to help poor people, or to journalism, because they want to expose political corruption. Conservatives tend to see themselves as pragmatic and practical, and they are attracted to exact sciences.”

    So perhaps it is due to emphasis on different virtues. Liberals tend to want to defend Fairness, Compassion, and Mercy while conservatives tend to want to defend Justice, Truth, Honor and Duty. Perhaps it comes back to what GKC said about the virtues being isolated from each other. Truth without Compassion and Mercy is a terrible thing. Taken to it’s extreme it leads to things like human experimentation. Mercy and Compassion divorced from Truth is madness. Taken to its extreme it leads to making excuses for people who do terrible things. Allowing mass murders to go unpunished and the like.

    As a teacher I see this happening in schools already. Certain students are diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD). They apparently are “unable”, or have great difficulty doing as they are told by someone that is an authority figure. They dislike following rules. So some of these students get a “one on one” paid for by the government. This person (the one on one) is paid to follow them around during the school day to make sure they are not doing something that they shouldn’t be doing. If they get into an altercation with a staff member due to something they refuse to do, such as taking off their hat in the building when a staff member asks them to, they do not get the usual punishment since they are under some sort of behavior contract. They are shown much more leniency than a student that is not diagnosed with ODD.

    I know this is going off topic now but I looked up ODD on wikipedia and this. This to me is an example of compassion divorced from Duty, Justice and plain common sense.

    Previously, DSM-IV-TR (that is now replaced by DSM-5) stated that the child must exhibit four out of the eight signs and symptoms listed below in order to meet the diagnostic threshold for oppositional defiant disorder.[3] Furthermore, they must be perpetuated for longer than six months and must be considered beyond normal child behavior to fit the diagnosis.[4][5]
    • Actively refuses to comply with majority’s requests or consensus-supported rules.[6]
    • Performs actions deliberately to annoy others.[6]
    • Angry and resentful of others.[5]
    • Argues often.[5]
    • Blames others for his or her own mistakes.[7]
    • Frequently loses temper.[7]
    • Spiteful or seeks revenge.[7]
    • Touchy or easily annoyed.[7]
    These patterns of behavior result in impairment at school and/or other social venues.

  14. Yeah, I’m just gonna toss out the fact that Frank Miller admitted that Holy Terror was essentially propaganda and would offend many people. And I can’t say I’m for an anti-Muslim terrorist story. Not because I’m pro terrorism (God forbid), but because having the villains in a story be exclusively from one race/creed/ethnicity is often walking on thin ice, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t count on Miller to approach that sort of story with tact and subtlety.

    1. but because having the villains in a story be exclusively from one race/creed/ethnicity is often walking on thin ice

      Yeah, from now on we should all be more sensitive to Aryans when depicting Nazis as villains. Good point. 😛

    2. That’s odd, because didn’t Marvel portray a group of Christian terrorists for ‘X-Men: Messiah Complex’? I also believe that took place after 9/11. So Marvel isn’t cool with a terrorist organization that is composed of Muslims in a post-9/11 world, but “The Purifiers” are perfectly okay.

      Very interesting.

    3. Thanks for sharing, Emmanuel. I would have been rather annoyed if I picked up that issue… It’s yet another example of Marvel’s double standards when it comes to who must be treated with “sensitivity” and who deserves no mercy. Marvel can beat up on Christian readers all day. Muslims? We have to play Patty Cake with them. They’re not even courageous enough to look at the Middle East, where mutants would be imprisoned and stoned to death.

      Marvel’s editors are pathetic.

  15. “Adam Carolla recently had an amazing podcast where he talks about the liberal inclination to do this thing that’s the equivalent of a dentist saying, “You have two cavities,” and the liberal defensively goes on a weird rant about how not all of his teeth have cavities. It’s like, “Umm, okay. I didn’t say that. Can we focus on the cavities, please?”

    Sounds like an interesting podcast. Do you have a link to it? I tried searching for it but couldn’t find anything. And I agree with what he’s saying, too. At no point did Frank Miller say that all Muslims were terrorists, but every time a movie or a comic or whatever features terrorism, liberals flip out and accuse the creators of being “racistIslamophobicbigoted” (one word). But of course, liberals have no problem with Captain America vs. the Tea Party, or the X-Men storylines that featured Christians as villains or DC’s Occupy comic “The Movement.” The double standards are appalling.

    And I know I’m late to this part of the conversation, but xmenxpert’s contention that Marvel shouldn’t feature Cap taking on ISIS because they haven’t been defeated in real life doesn’t hold water with me. Cap went after the Nazis during WWII. Plenty of superheroes fought communist supervillians during the Cold War. And as far as I know, no one complained about it “trivializing” WWII or the Cold War.

    1. Thanks.

      And this is just my opinion, but I think X-Men xpert’s ideal comic book sounds absolutely boring as can be. That’s not the type of comic that has appeal to a general audience and I imagine it would be cancelled quite quickly, relegated to the chum bucket of bad comics like that includes Gail Simone’s “The Movement.”

  16. Feminist “trigger warnings” (which is just a bunch of attention-seeking whining over things that are not worth getting worked up over) are an insult to to people who actually DO suffer from anxiety issues. Like yours truly. This past Sunday, I had a pretty severe anxiety attack and the paramedics had to come over and calm me down. I’ve experienced anxiety before, but never like that. I think it was triggered by a combination of having a little too much caffeine (although I’ve actually cut back on this) and because I had just taken a hot shower. It was pretty scary, and I thought I was having a heart attack at first.

    1. Thanks. Most of the time I’m under control and usually when I do experience anxiety (usually when I’m in public places), I calm down pretty quickly. Like right now, I feel fine. What happened on Sunday is pretty out of the ordinary for me.

  17. I go in for a physical on Monday; had another one Friday after four uneventful days. This one wasn’t as bad, but it still was scary.

    I’m also going to be starting a new blog soon. I’ve discovered that I miss blogging.

    1. I’m not glad that you had another panic attack, but I am glad that you’ll be going in for a physical.

      With that said, I am glad that you’ll be blogging again! Very cool. I can’t wait to check it out, man.

      It’s also interesting that you commented on a Tom Brevoort post of mine since I’ll be writing on him soon… The inspiration for the blog post can be found here.

    2. I read an excellent analogy on the Crawlspace from RDMaQ about Brevroot being a bit of a disorderly drunken uncle…saying a lot of contradictory pish-posh that never falls in line with what Marvel do, usually on the same week

    3. Well, it wasn’t a physical per se, but more of a doctor’s appointment. I’m going to be taking some medication once a day, and there’s also one I take in case of an emergency. I have another appointment in a month. Hopefully everything will go well.

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