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May 09, 2006

Comments

Queer Conservative

That's Russell? Jeezus...

Zack in ATX

I've been a fan of Ben Foster's for quite some time. I was always secretly hoping he would make it big. It looks like this addition to his resume just might be that push. I always loved his eyes and face, but the body just seals the deal for me. Can't wait for X3 to come out!

Another Gaymer

Yep, as Warren Worthington III, blue blood, blue eyed "playboy," code name: Angel. 'Scuse me while I clean up some drool.

The Onion dissed Grammer for some reason, but he seems a natural to me in the role of Hank McCoy. At least, he'll certainly have down that hyper-intellectual side. As for the feral, violent side, I seem to recall that Grammer can, y'know, actually act, even if he's created his own niche out of Fraser and Sideshow Bob roles. So I don't get it.

Also to watch out for in the eye candy department -- aside, of course, from Huge, er, Hugh -- is the guy who played Colossus in the last movie, Daniel Cudmore. He's, um . . . well, just see for yourself.

Jamie

Yeah, I think Grammer will be the perfect Beast. The blue makeup and fur will be something to see. But the Beast is pretty acrobatic, too. I wonder how they'll pull that off.

EssEm

May I ruin the sex-and-love fest to say that the whole premise of the X-Men is pretty revolting. Here we have a growing mutant race of humanoids with an expanding variety of superpowers... and the regular humans aren't supposed to be alarmed or unwelcoming because that would be, like, well, bigoted. Anyone ever hear of Darwin?
The sermonizing is hamfisted and the concept is ludicrous. Hugh Jackman is the only diverting moment.

North Dallas Thirty

Actually, Ess, I would suggest you delve a bit more into the actual story of the X-Men (as in the comics, not the movies, which I consider only a tiny bit better than dreck in comparison).

When one compares Professor Xavier and Magneto, you see it from a different perspective. Professor X's goal is peaceful coexistence between mutants and normal humans; he teaches mutants to control their powers and use them only when necessary. Magneto believes that mutants are genetically superior and thus deserve to rule humanity by using their powers to impose their will on others.

What both sides find out is that, despite their powers, there are a lot more of humans than there are of them, and that they are basically at the mercy of humanity. Indeed, in one X-Men storyline, humans do manage to round up, imprison, nullify, and kill virtually all superhuman beings on the planet as retaliation for a mutant assassinating a popular US Presidential candidate.

I don't believe that the message is that to be alarmed or unwelcoming towards someone who is different than you are is wrong; what I DO believe the message is, though, is that perpetuating that belief based on what, rather than who, a person is is wrong.

el polacko

holy angel crap !! when did russell get pretty ?!

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

NDT, did you just manage to subtly spin X-Men into your own personal thing about gays and Christians? Or have I just been hanging around here long enough to read subtext into everything? If it was intentional, well played. Artfully done. (No, I don't want to discuss THAT.)

I'm certainly not disagreeing with your explanation--I was an X-Men fan myself. I don't find anything about the X-Men conceptually revolting. True to character, though, I would side with Magneto.

And I'll say that while the first film was disappointing elementary school fare, the second was enjoyable, and I have high hopes for the third. I practically creamed my pants the first time I saw the preview for III.

I still always think of Storm as having that great white mohawk, and Hallie Berry never really cut it for me. Angela Basset would have been better in my mind, but she's too old for the part.

As for this Angel...well, I hope that's a bad picture. As Mal noted, he looks hella gay. I always thought of him as more of a frattish type.

I hate Hugh Jackman in everything else, but Wolverine is really the reason I like the movies. He's one of the best hypermasculine archetypes in popular culture.

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

The sermonizing is ham-fisted, though, EssEm, I'll give you that.

And like I said, I'd side with Magneto.

Might is Right!

North Dallas Thirty

NDT, did you just manage to subtly spin X-Men into your own personal thing about gays and Christians? Or have I just been hanging around here long enough to read subtext into everything? If it was intentional, well played. Artfully done.

I think it's the latter, rather than the former, although I would certainly credit Professor Xavier for contributing to the development of my philosophy concerning our "mutantkind".


And like I said, I'd side with Magneto.

Might is Right!

LOL.....just remember, Jack.....Rachel Summers's world came about as a reaction to Magneto's success in applying that theory.

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

Ah...but it's a comic book. They can't let the bad guys win. I mean, It would have been a little weird if the mutants had ended up enslaving or exterminating the human race. For the kids reading, I mean...

Jamie

Ham-fisted sermonizing for today, perhaps, but set in the time the stories were written, pre-Stonewall, they were a fair attempt at getting young people to accept the concept of different types of people being "ok." "Mutant" was about as close to "gay" as one could put in print.

Plus, what teenage or pre-teen homo didn't love the oversized muscles, bulges, and costumes!?!

MT

I think there are a lot of parallels between X Men and gay people. They are a minority, but not in the traditional sense, that is discriminated against and even feared. The whole idea of society trying to find "a cure" really hit home with me. With the whole debate of nature vs. nurture and the emerging idea of ex-gays, the idea of society trying to eradicate what it doesn't understand is especially resonant.

Aatom

shut UP!! i cannot believe that stud is fucking Russell from 6 ft under! he was such a snivelly little shit on that show, and I have been drooling over his 30 ft tall profile on billboards all over midtown. that just blows my mind.

as far as the concept of the series, I've pondered that as well, and don't think it's as neat and tidy as some might want it to be. the relative power differential that exists between the mutants and humans would be a complex issue, especially with a rogue set of them bent on dominating the planet. you could easily draw a parallel between the bad mutants and a small group of terrorists with nukes. how do you deal with a threat like that?

I can also see the gay theme, or more accurately a kind of politically correct tolerance message for anyone thought of as some sort of freakish minority. And it's certainly somewhat satisfying that the freaks are so much cooler and more powerful than the 'normal' humans. after all, when you get right down to it gay people really are vastly superior to the rest of the rabble. we dress better, survive better, hone our unique talents better, and are certainly more sophisticated when it comes to drinking and nightlife. But imagine if gay people suddenly discovered more potent talents that distinguished us from the rest of the world, like being able to shoot fire from our hands or use the weather to destroy things. all of the humiliations, frustrations and persecution that leads so many young gays to kill themselves would be channelled in much more disturbing ways, wouldn't it?

in the end, the comic book was much better than the movies. but i do want to see Russell and Frasier get all mutant.

Tommy

Uh . . . you mean I don't have those super powers?

MT

We do have special powers: fashion comes from our fingers. The world would be wearing potato sacks without us.

Aatom

actually, fashion flying from my fingers is not my particular power, but i love the image.

i'd probably be a pen is mightier than the sword mutant. although having words fly from your fingers doesn't really sound all that exciting, does it. i would need a really hot costume. do any of you have fashion-flinging fingers?

EssEm

Wow. A series of thought-out, non-vitriolic responses. Nice work, guys. As you know, this kind of thing is rare in the blogosphere, so do take a bow. (I'm serious, not being catty).

Sometimes, NDT, the internal splits in a potentially-threatening group, while real, are not significant. (Eg, Iranian mullahs vs Iranian "moderates"). There might be benevolently-intentioned and dominantly-intentioned mutants, but I don't think that makes a difference. In the end, a genetically superior humanoid species would eventually have to dominate the current lot, ie, us. I don't know of any historical exception. And someday there'd arise, no doubt, Mutant Liberal Guilt to regret it! :-)

I see the gay-mutant thingy, kinda, but do not find it a compelling analogy. Are we really that special? Superpowers? Fabulous we may be, but I think that's a stretch, regardless of time period involved.

I maintain the point about ham-fisted sermonizing.

To use a historical example --not an analogy-- take the appearance of Europeans in North America. Should the Indians have felt bad for not being more welcoming? Rather the opposite, I should think! And although the record of White behavior was mixed and hence confusing (this is about who, NDT), the result (which is about what) was clear. We invaded, we conquered, we replaced.
In some situations, what a person is is more important than who.

My deep irritation with this movie series --always palliated by Jackman; I'm a superficial homo, after all, not a superpowered mutant!-- is its overriding message that any and all forms of difference must be accepted and welcomed, even if these differences are in fact a threat, and that to refuse to do so is morally repugnant.

Don't get me started on Islam, for instance. Why any gay man who's half-awake is NOT "Islamophobic" is beyond me.

Well, thanks for the gentlemanly back-and-forth. Off to work.


Aatom

I don't think it's necessary to be "Islamaphobic" to reject the ideas and practices of Islam that are unacceptable in the modern world.

Unlike mutants, Muslims are not genetically predisposed to violence or capable of any more destructive power than any other group of humans. Islam is a religious philosophy. A deeply misguided in some respects, to be sure, but Christianity certainly has its share of archaic principles and ideas as well. The rise of humanist liberalism in the West helped reform some of the more flagrant medievel excesses of that religion, and the same is possible, and arguably absolutely necessary, for Islam.

Ironically, given the example above, we are in the historically unique position where the underdog "natives" have the power (in the form of potentially devastating technology) to threaten the dominant power.

Queer Conservative

May I ruin the sex-and-love fest to say that the whole premise of the X-Men is pretty revolting. Here we have a growing mutant race of humanoids with an expanding variety of superpowers... and the regular humans aren't supposed to be alarmed or unwelcoming because that would be, like, well, bigoted. Anyone ever hear of Darwin?

Adapt or die, right?

Queer Conservative

The rise of humanist liberalism in the West helped reform some of the more flagrant medievel excesses of that religion, and the same is possible, and arguably absolutely necessary, for Islam.

I'm so not convinced of that...

Aatom

But QC, who would have ever thought that the Christianity of the Inquisition era could become an integrated part of a liberal democracy?

I didn't say it would be easy. Just that it's pretty much unavoidable. History has a stubborn way of refusing to move backwards, which seems to be the only real political goal of Islamism - turning the clock back to the 15th Century. 'Adapt or die' certainly suits this cultural standoff, and while unspeakable horrors may have to occur before all is said and done, Islam will have no choice but to eventually evolve into something that can coexist with the rest of the planet.

owlish

The rise of humanist liberalism in the West helped reform some of the more flagrant medievel excesses of that religion, and the same is possible, and arguably absolutely necessary, for Islam.

Anything is possible, and I hope it happens, but I think this is less likely every day. Once Islamic terrorists get an atom bomb, from North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, wherever, this chance is gone.

Unlike mutants, Muslims are not genetically predisposed to violence or capable of any more destructive power than any other group of humans.

Huh? I think one of the main themes of the movies and the books is that mutants are as human as everyone else. There is no predisposition to violence, just sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Professor X doesn't like what he has to do, but things will be worse if he doesn't.

Wolverine and Sabretooth being the exceptions, of course.

And by the way, the link to Daniel Cudmore is pretty durn hot.

Malcontent

Rachel Summers's world came about as a reaction to Magneto's success in applying that theory.

Wow, did someone just crank up the nerdostat in here?

Aatom

You're right, owlish, that was very porrly phrased on my part. The point I was trying to make is that there isn't a drastic genetic imbalance that gives one side an unfair advantage between us as there is between humans and mutants in the comic.

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