There is an article at Watching America from the Pakistani press The Nation entitled “America Uses Superman to Promote its Fascist Agenda”. While there are some things in this article I agree with, I do believe the writer is overreacting a bit at the nature of this particular superhero, and forgets, or is ignorant of, the heroic ideal that crosses time and continents.
It may be news to foreign policy Pundits in
This is so, as Superman alters the nature of reality and creates a reality of his own, which defies human understanding and logic. He also violates every rule of physics and all scientific principles known to humanity. The notion of Superman is based on the idea of a battle between "good vs. evil," from an exclusively American perspective, where the battle always demonstrates an external threat to American society and its people.
Well, yea. Superman was created as an “American” hero, therefore, he protects American interests, from an American perspective. Why shouldn’t he? If anyone else, in any other country in the world, created a comic superhero, I bet they would protect that country, not
In the end, obviously, "good" prevails and
Well, not exactly. Superman isn’t even human, remember? And
No wonder then that at the height of Bush's neo-con-manufactured war on the so-called terrorism of Islamic militants, Superman is back with a "bang" in American movie theaters. "Superman Returns," which opens in the
How else would
Whoa there doggie. You are completely underestimating (overestimating?) the American movie going public. I can guarantee you that more than likely, 99.9% of the movie going public will not give one thought to President Bush while watching Superman Returns. They aren’t being fooled – the story behind Superman is much older than Bush, it is the heroic tradition, again – but in the case of the new movie, you are dealing with a hero who has perhaps lost his way, no longer needed, and a villain with a personal vendetta against him. Could be an allegory for the current Bush administration and their war on terror? Could it be an allegory of American anti-Islam tendencies? Perhaps. But it could also be an allegory of a thousand stories already told.
Now, the article, which is quite interesting, goes on to talk about Bush’s fascism, religious extremism, and various other issues with the Bush administration. Honestly, I don’t altogether disagree with some of it. This view of Bush from a Pakistani perspective is quite fascinating. But obviously, I take offense at the misuse of Superman, a fictional character who can be different things to different people, a character that continues a long legacy of heroic ideals, a character that is altogether American, but whose roots run as far back as the sands of time, blending with the heroes of the ancient west, and indeed the world over.