Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

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Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:09 pm

.

Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld:
Only one of these exists


"Their leaders have been assassinated. Communities are flooded with drugs and weapons. They are overly policed and incarcerated. All over the planet our people suffer because they don’t have the tools to fight back."


Now here's a link to one of many articles currently making the exact same and fully valid point about the Black Panther excitement that has gripped much of the intelligentsia, black and beyond:

We’ve been duped. Black Panther is anti-revolution

To be fair, the thesis of the headline, that Black Panther is not revolutionary, was evident already in the film's pre-release hype. What politics should one expect from a Marvel Universe movie about an invisible African analogue of Asgard? (Fanpeoples, the more you think about the shared formula underlying Marvel's T'Challa and Thor franchises, the more obvious it becomes.)

The film offers an almost all-black and all-beautiful cast in a 300-million dollar project, which is unprecedented and accounts for most of the excitement. (The cast exception: a "good" CIA agent, improbably played by the same sympatico English dweeby guy you may already know as Dr. Watson, or Arthur Dent, or Bilbo Baggins.)

Wakanda is a myth of an African kingdom that might have been, if there had been no slave trade and no imperialism -- of course that would also mean no CIA. Enhanced by undiscoverable physics, this no-place (the meaning of "utopia") is brought to as much life as CGI allows through beautiful music, design, and real humans dancing and stage-fighting. It is defended by an army of relentlessly competent and dedicated amazons who are invincible, merciful, and sensibly dressed. And by the inventions of everyone's favorite character, the hero's playful, Da Vinci-level sister.

But a revolutionary movie? Such a thing would not be about the comic-book Black Panther, obviously. However, the film villain Killmonger (ahem, that name!), played by the gorgeous Michael B. Jordan, presents a compelling, revolutionary, and simple-to-repeat social analysis -- notwithstanding the series of atrocities he commits, many gratuitous and cruel.

The vision is put most crisply by Killmonger's late father in a 1992 flashback. A Wakandan dispatched to California as a spy, the father begs his king to stop hiding their Afrofuturist science-fiction land behind its magic shield, and to use their Year 3000 technology to fight for Africans in the rest of the world.

As an audience full of people in their teens and twenties watches, he speaks of conditions in Oakland, the birthplace of the actual Black Panther movement of the 1960s and 1970s:

"Their leaders have been assassinated. Communities are flooded with drugs and weapons. They are overly policed and incarcerated. All over the planet our people suffer because they don’t have the tools to fight back."

The speech of an antagonist it may be, but the movie frames it as a true description of reality. Giving sympathy to the expressions of Killmonger and his father is about as revolutionary as a 2018 Hollywood PG-13 blockbuster can get. Which is not very, of course.

At the end the titular hero has (shocker!) defeated and killed his enemy, and restored himself to the throne as the super-powered, hereditary, absolute monarch of his otherwise egalitarian and highly educated country. But Killmonger's ideas have left their mark, and T'Challa decides to break with centuries of precedent and tradition. Wakanda shall reveal itself to the world!

In my opinion the most reactionary aspect of the film is not in the plot, but in the way the plot exposes the media industry that produced it.

The happy-hopeful ending delivers two big lies. The first is predictable and, in context, of little consequence. It is practically compelled by economic and structural forces (see my book on The Political Economy of Marvel and Society, coming soon from Neverland Publishers).

The implied plan, first, is for the Wakandans to show off their awesome tech, powered by the unobtainable space metal, and thus blow all the minds of the white people who think of them generally as peasants and shepherds mired in poverty. (This is an often funny movie, by the way, with fine timing and performances, even if it suffers from Hollywood's general post-Star Wars syndrome, which is that you always know what will happen at least five minutes in advance.)

Also, Wakanda decides to work with the famously humanitarian-liberal non-imperialist United States, represented by that CIA guy, to make things better and better for, uh, everyone.

That much is odious, sure, but so far this is the stuff of almost every Hollywood movie, and every night on U.S. television, and every episode of the American corporate news media. A familiar propaganda wallpaper, the same pattern layered on top of yesterday's. And for the creators to reject it, were they so inclined, would mean someone else would have made the 300-million dollar movie.

It is the second lie I find far more odious, because it so completely inverts (and thus reveals) the reality of the film as a product of Marvel Studios, which is to say, the Disney corporation. It is a lie about the movie itself, and comes in the final scene before the credits:

To begin making up for its past isolationism from the world and indifference to the fates of Africans and African-Americans alike, the New Wakanda sponsors humane community development in Oakland, with a corresponding transfer of some of its magic tech.*

Now, remember the real world? (That was a thing, before smartphones. You live in it.) I shall pose the real-world harvest of the fictional New Wakandan Internationalism as a question:

What share of the coming operating profits from this movie, which will total a billion dollars and more -- and more! -- will the real-existing Magic Kingdom give to Oakland, or for scholarships, or for anything other than budgets for sequels, profit shares, and shareholder dividends? Zero? I expect. One percent? Do I hear two? Doubt it. Prove me wrong.

One clue may be that for all of the film's Oakland boosting,** you don't actually see that city because no scenes were shot there. Georgia is famously cheaper, thanks to generous taxpayer subsidies for the film industry. What would Malcolm X be saying about that?




===

* Fanpeoples' addendum: In the final post-credit spoiler, the all-purpose wonder-mineral Vibranium appears to spiritually heal the MCU's emo bad-boy mass killer, Bucky himself.

** - Also, Pusan boosting. Which I don't get. What's up with that? Is there a deeper meaning?

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Last edited by JackRiddler on Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby brainpanhandler » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:11 pm

Apparently there is a petition.

https://www.change.org/p/the-walt-disne ... ommunities

Like you I don't hold out much hope of even 1% of profits being invested in the African American community, let alone the 25% asked for in the petition.

JackRiddler » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:09 pm wrote:.The happy-hopeful ending delivers two big lies. The first is predictable and, in context, of little consequence. It is practically compelled by economic and structural forces (see my book on The Political Economy of Marvel and Society, coming soon from Neverland Publishers).


I guess I didn't see that coming, but it sounds intriguing.
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Re: Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby JackRiddler » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:32 pm

brainpanhandler » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:11 am wrote:Apparently there is a petition.

https://www.change.org/p/the-walt-disne ... ommunities

Like you I don't hold out much hope of even 1% of profits being invested in the African American community, let alone the 25% asked for in the petition.

JackRiddler » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:09 pm wrote:.The happy-hopeful ending delivers two big lies. The first is predictable and, in context, of little consequence. It is practically compelled by economic and structural forces (see my book on The Political Economy of Marvel and Society, coming soon from Neverland Publishers).


I guess I didn't see that coming, but it sounds intriguing.


Sorry, you can only buy the book using CosmiCoin, the new Cosmic Cube-based cryptocurrency. We are negotiating to add the Tesseract Coin, due for ICO next year.

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Re: Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby yathrib » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:31 am

I enjoyed the film, but rather than Afrofuturism it should be called Afroneoreaction. Moldbug with a healthy tan.
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Re: Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby JackRiddler » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:50 pm

That is pretty funny.
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Re: Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby minime » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:03 pm

JackRiddler » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:32 pm wrote:Sorry, you can only buy the book using CosmiCoin, the new Cosmic Cube-based cryptocurrency. We are negotiating to add the Tesseract Coin, due for ICO next year.


Jack!!!

Repost from the other day: This is tied for the stupidest shit in the history of stupid shit.
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Re: Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby Sounder » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 am

minime, you may need a medical checkup for that humor deficiency.
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Re: Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby minime » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:26 am

Sounder » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:56 am wrote:minime, you may need a medical checkup for that humor deficiency.


Is there such a thing?

Apologies to Jack.
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Re: Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:22 pm

.

Wakanda or Asgard?

1. There is a hidden, powerful, magic kingdom, a land of super-beings.

2. The earthlings have lived alongside it for thousands of years, but have never discovered that it exists.

3. After many years of wise rule, the old king departs from the realm of the living, leaving behind a dreadful secret yet to be discovered.

4. His son is the legitimate successor, but he must prove himself before he can rise to the throne.

5. The prince has a funny, charming sibling who is mischievous and unpredictable but will help him.

6. He has the love of his subjects, the people, who will fight for their king, but who are clannish and can be led astray.

6. The old secret is revealed: A very powerful close relative returns from exile, seeking revenge.

7. The antagonist deposes the prince, seizes power in the kingdom, and puts it to evil ends, intending to conquer the world-universe.

8. The prince is forced into a journey of self-discovery and actualization.

9. He passes through a state of semi-death and communicates with the father in a vision. He confronts the father for having kept the secret.

10. He acquires new powers and enlists new allies who will aid his return.

11. The prince returns to the kingdom and defeats the usurper, with help from the allies old and new, regaining the throne.

12. But nothing can remain the same. The kingdom can hide no longer.

13. The prince leads an opening of the kingdom to the earthlings, with benefits and challenges for all involved.

Disney!

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Re: Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby American Dream » Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:42 pm

Black Atlantis

Asad Haider March 5, 2018

A civil war between Black families was unfolding over aiding other Black people, and… the CIA’s shooting down of vessels carrying technology into the fight against an anti-black world order was hailed as a heroic moment… I kept wondering how I’d come to dance on the table for the CIA? The ones that helped destroy the dream of African liberation, that had a hand in the assassination of Lumumba, staged a coup against Nkrumah, tipped off the arrest that imprisoned Mandela, installed the vicious, nation-destroying Mobutu? Why not throw in the FBI and COINTELPRO as kindly white characters? Was this meant to be ironic? What meaning do we assign the fact that the possibility of a real life Wakanda in the resource-rich Congo and Ghana, and the promise of a Pan African quest for collective self-determination were precisely the threats that the CIA worked to suppress?


Image


More: https://www.viewpointmag.com/2018/03/05/black-atlantis/
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Re: Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:01 am

Image

Ben Norton wrote:
I have been thinking about this for a while and I know there has been a lot of debate, but I just saw Black Panther again and this is my two cents: there is no question in my mind that Killmonger is the real hero and that T'Challa is the villain — and that the CIA was clearly involved in producing this movie.

SPOILER ALERT

T'Challa is a reactionary monarch who is only in power because he was born as a member of the ruling class. In fact, he is a rather incompetent and unprepared leader. Politically, he expressly opposes supporting national liberation movements throughout the world and solely believes in running his nation as an isolated autarky.

Killmonger is a revolutionary who grew up in poverty in Oakland and wants to use Wakanda's enormous wealth to support national liberation movements and arm the oppressed in their struggles against their colonialist, white supremacist, and capitalist oppressors.

Killmonger takes power legitimately and rightfully, by defeating T'Challa in a completely fair ritual battle that the latter consented to, and then immediately begins waging a revolution. Killmonger moves toward abolishing reactionary feudalism in Wakanda (he burns the heart-shaped herbs) and creates a kind of Comintern that will support liberation movements worldwide.

In response, the "hero" T'Challa literally teams up with a white CIA agent (YES, A WHITE CIA AGENT) to launch a military coup against the revolutionary Black nationalist who legitimately and rightfully took power from him.

The white CIA agent proceeds to shoot down all of the planes that were shipping advanced weapons to oppressed peoples across the globe. And T'Challa then murders the Black revolutionary leader who believes in supporting global anti-imperialist struggles.

And the moral and political takeway is that T'Challa has learned his lesson, and will become a respected and responsible international leader — by incorporating Wakanda into the international capitalist-imperialist system.

Instead of helping to fight imperialism, white supremacy, and capitalism, T'Challa pledges at the United Nations (an imperialist institution with its origins in the explicitly colonial and white supremacist League of Nations) that he will use these global imperialist institutions and the capitalist market to help other colonized nations "develop," doubtless on neoliberal models.

The revolutionary Killmonger pledged solidarity and a new system in which the oppressed become the rulers; the reactionary monarch T'Challa pledges charity and reform.

In the final scene, when T'Challa reveals his grand plans to create a community center in Oakland, I almost thought it was satire for a moment. This is what the movie would have us believe is the preferable alternative to armed resistance.

In fact, Killmonger quite obviously seems to be based on Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton (it is noteworthy that, in the comics, Killmonger is supposed to be from Harlem, whereas the movie version makes him from Oakland). The film even clearly models the Wakandan throne after the wicker chair Newton famously posed in with a spear (and a gun).

This is not to endorse everything Killmonger did. He is clearly very brutal and quite authoritarian. But many revolutionaries throughout history have been equally ruthless — including historical revolutionary figures who have today even been accepted into the mainstream. Haitian revolutionary leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines, to name just one example, oversaw some pretty grotesque actions that I would certainly not defend, but also indisputably helped emancipate millions of people from slavery and colonialism. The Allied Powers likewise committed some absolutely heinous war crimes in World War II, but they crushed genocidal fascist regimes.

It is grotesque and mind-blowingly racist that Marvel and Hollywood spent months selling this movie as pro-Black, when in reality it portrayed Black liberation as evil and villainous.

It is revolting and vomit-inducing that movie studios and the "entertainment industry" are exploiting popular culture to such a degree to depict a pro-imperialist film as the peak of social progress. But at the end of the day Hollywood is only interested in representation, not liberation.

Unfortunately none of this is surprising, considering Hollywood is and has always been a fundamentally capitalist and racist institution.

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Re: Wakanda, Asgard, Disneyworld

Postby brekin » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:56 pm

Probably most over-hyped movie in some time, which is saying a lot with the recent second comings of Star Wars, Aliens, Blade Runner, etc.
Basically the "Lion King meets Iron Man" and on par with most other single hero Marvel movies, but as a cultural phenomenon? Good lord, its seen/sold/imagined somehow as I guess outlining what the Obama presidencies supposed third? fourth? X? term road mapped but somehow couldn't deliver.
Less Asgard and more the New Jack Vrill: The Coming Race, is scarily just another racialist utopia based on eugenics, isolationism, secret technology, caste systems and the segregation (elimination) of those who destroy the purity of such a place. That such a crude lost super race trope can gain traction currently shows how primitive things are getting/remain. I get black youth need a hero in-these-troubled-times, but so did german youth post WWI:

The narrator soon discovers that the Vril-ya are descendants of an antediluvian civilization called the Ana, who live in networks of subterranean caverns linked by tunnels. Originally surface dwellers, they had fled underground thousands of years ago to escape a massive flood and gained greater power by facing and dominating the harsh conditions of the Earth. The place where the narrator descended housed 12,000 families, one of the largest groups. Their society was a technologically supported Utopia, chief among their tools being an "all-permeating fluid" called "Vril", a latent source of energy that the spiritually elevated hosts are able to master through training of their will, to a degree that depended on their hereditary constitution. This mastery gave them access to an extraordinary force that could be controlled at will. It is this fluid that the Vril-ya employed to communicate with the narrator. The powers of the Vril included the ability to heal, change, and destroy beings and things; the destructive powers in particular were powerful, allowing a few young Vril-ya children to destroy entire cities if necessary.
Men (called An, pronounced "Arn") and women (called Gy, pronounced "Gee") have equal rights. The women are stronger and larger than the men.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vril

I mean what could go wrong selling such an idea? One of the key messages of the film is that present day society, especially the supposed oppressed and marginalized, cannot be redeemed except through the emergence of those existing in the black version of Avatar who will save them. Basically, they are going to be re-colonized, but by the right type of masters. Color blind casting on actual white supremacy folk myths is now supposed progress? I don't buy it. Today there are no shortage of black heroes, African Americans are actually over represented in entertainment, sports, music, etc. and there are many notable, real black super men and women who are popular scientists, writers, politicians, etc. And with the internet one can tap all of them now which make a black superman who is going to bring all the marginalized (and their allies of course) back to black krypton~dolemite superfluous. For pete sakes Denzel Washington just did possibly the acme performance of his stellar career in Roman J. Israel, Esq. that deals adroitly with present and past issues of social activism, racial disparities, the justice system, representation, personal responsibility, etc. but they aren't taking bus loads of kids to see that. Instead, Triumph of the Will with Hamilton casting is the salve for the Post Obama Neo Orange Man Republic?
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I hang onto my prejudices, they are the testicles of my mind. Eric Hoffer
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