Western comics have an intimate relationship with the democracies in which they originated. It would be interesting to better understand how the two interact: that is, how the underlying ideas of democracy have influenced superhero stories, and in turn, how superheroes affected our ideas of democracy. For instance, Captain America was created during WWII as a champion against fascism, but the way he has been envisioned and even the person filling the role has changed over time, perhaps reflecting society’s changes.
More recently the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been tremendously successful, and several of its movies seem to approach interesting issues. A core question Civil War asks is how much power a democratic government should have to control the ethical decision making of individual participants (and upholders) of that democracy? The movie appeared (May 2016) at a time when it seems Western democracies were going into crisis. With themes about rebellion from overly controlling governments, did it influence people’s thoughts going into Brexit (June 2016) or the Trump election (Nov 2016). Another instance is the ongoing theme in many comics of the deep resilience of participatory forms of government, which we see again in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s End Game. Might that have similar influences?
The very mode of production of comics as descendants of pulp is democratic in terms of its mass production, popular culture, affordability. Moreover, its origins as art/literature written for children in essence made a niche for itself by creating its own adult market out of those children who then grew up and still wanted more. That reflects the mythological tie between liberal democracy and free market capitalism in that the demand of the consumers dictates the production of a supply though in fact the products breed further desire for consumption that merely appear as a self-generating demand. In a similar fashion, the rejection of the military in characters of the MCU like Stark and Rogers only appears to represent a democratic appeal to the common people but a closer examination reveals that the MCU ends up remaining a propaganda machine for the anti-democratic status quo when it vilifies such agendas as environmentalism (Thanos) or minority reparations or equality (Killmonger) at a time when climate destruction is demanding from our collective hand more extreme measures and Black Lives Matter struggles to have its voice heard. – williamnolen115 months ago
The past two years completely changed the way society speaks about politics. It seems everyone was speaking about anything that came out of the previous campaign. The country was divided and conversations of all human rights were lit on fire.
The way the media was involved was unlike any political campaign. Local news stations and early morning shows recapped the day before like they always do. However, late night hosts took on a new role. While maintaining their comedy, the usual carefree atmosphere was unavoidably influenced by the stressful political world. Some late night hosts took advantage of it, others did not. Do you believe it is there responsibility to speak on the changing politics?
Certainly a timely topic. A lot has already been written about this; some articles that the prospective author might be interested in looking over include: http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/20/opinions/trump-thanksgiving-late-night-comedy-obeidallah-opinion/index.html ; https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/05/how-late-night-comedy-alienated-conservatives-made-liberals-smug-and-fueled-the-rise-of-trump/521472/ ; https://www.vox.com/2017/4/3/15163170/strikethrough-comedians-satire-trump-misinformation ; https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/how-trumps-win-is-changing-stand-up-comedy-w455263 ; https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/23/how-jokes-won-the-election ; https://www.gq.com/story/stand-up-comedy-in-donald-trumps-america ; https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/nov/08/donald-trump-comedians-parody-satire ; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/07/13/is-trump-good-for-comedy-comedians-respond/?utm_term=.04a692c12aee ; http://thefederalist.com/2016/11/11/how-jon-stewart-and-the-daily-show-elected-donald-trump/ . This is just a small sample of what's out there (and there're quite a few other good ones that I remember reading but was unable to find now), trying to cover a variety of the differing perspectives on this subject. Hope it helps. – ProtoCanon2 years ago
What are the most relevant examples of free speech that has been expressed through creative mediums. Have they perfectly expressed their point or even crossed the line?
Could you be more specific in what you mean by relevant examples? Relevant to what? – LaRose4 years ago
This sounds like it would be a timely topic. I would be interested in pursuing it especially with a view to looking at how comedians have brought about social change and have used political satire to respond to various views expressed by presidential candidates. Donald Trump has certainly challenged and some would say crossed the line in some of his comments. Is this what you had in mind?Also news reporting has become very politically correct in Canada. I regularly watch CNN and am impressed with the well-researched questions asked by various hosts. I have heard Alex Wagner a few time as well as others. In Canada we don't have anyone asking the touch questions and as a result the information conveyed is done in a very shallow and superficial way. At least in America, the topics relating race form a national dialogue.If you could clarify what take you wanted on this topic such as sticking with politics, comedy shows or news reporting, I would be interested in nabbing this topics.Thanks! – Munjeera4 years ago
I think this is an interesting topic, but definitely needs to be narrowed to a more specific instance, as above, otherwise, it could just descend into soapboxing about when free speech is justified. So, this could focus on free speech in comedy (e.g. Louis C.K's Saturday Night Live appearance). I think whoever writes this up needs to qualify what is meant by creative mediums, especially when discussing something like politics, something which is usually confined to the news side of media. – Matthew Sims4 years ago
Very interesting, you could add YouTube for this as well, since it is a creative medium to an extent and you get videos of just about anything. As long as it doesn't violate copyright, it stays up. – SpectreWriter4 years ago
Netflix’s Stranger Things, although set in the 1980’s, seems to reflect the current state of life in America. How does the notion of the "Upside Down" speak to life today? The Oxford Dictionary word of the year in 2016 was ‘post-truth’ which states that objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion or personal belief. How does the notion of the Upside Down reflect the current post-truth era that we live in?
Should it be ok to let adults who are running our country behave like this? Spending more time trying to slander and demonize the other, rather than talking about the important issues facing our country, and by extension our planet. Debates are supposed to be where we get to see what the candidates stand for and how they plan to improve our situation. Instead we watched a season of the Real World ‘DC’. People seem to be voting for their choice, not because they are the most qualified, but because the other is just far worse. ‘The lesser of two evils’ is a phrase that has worked its way into our political discourse, and the American populace is suffering because off it. How did we get here? How did we let evil be a part of the conversation in the first place?
A way to fix the bias present in this topic might be to look at the debates from this election in comparison to debates from past elections. How does debates beind turned into a joke reflect on the political system or government as a whole? – MichelleAjodah3 years ago
Critique the Presidential Debates like an episode of House of Cards. Additional areas to explore: plot, writing, review of characters, suggested improvements to next seasons…
This is almost too close to home! I've heard that in fiction, only trouble is interesting, so if you approach the election like it's a TV show, won't that make you root for disaster? (And is one of the main candidates already the star of a TV show...?) I think you could make the case that "winning" the TV show of the election by being the most entertaining is essentially the opposite strategy for winning the actual election. – tmatteson3 years ago
This is a wonderful suggestion! I have little to add beside that it could be worthwhile to critique the 'cinematographic' aspects of the show. How has it been staged? How have camera angles been used to emphasise certain aspects of the show? How have ads been parallels of tv show trailers? I really like this. – IsidoreIsou3 years ago
This sounds like it could be incredibly entertaining. I'd love to see plot suggestions. Writer could also mention the candidates' followers as opposing sides of fandom. There are a ton of ways they could take this and I love it. – Emily Schiemann3 years ago
Having done some 250-300 appearances as a political analyst on local TV stations (but addressing primarily Presidential and Congressional elections), I have come to approach the issue of TV media coverage as, perhaps, much like old computers where there was no hard drive (Tandy TRS-80), so programs had to be reloaded every time the computer was turned back on. It is not really possible to build upon foundation information and then develop more complicated ways of looking at political or public policy issues. To talk about a significant Supreme Court case (McCulloch v Maryland from 1819) and explain the importance of one word (expressly) that existed in the Articles of Confederation but was left out of the US Constitution and how the Opinion written by then Chief Justice John Marshall matters to Constitutional interpretation in the present, cannot be easily addressed on TV news. As a result, simplicity dominates where it is believed by, perhaps, too many viewers that there is some truth to the notion that Conservatives are strictly adhering to the Constitution, while Liberals are broadly interpreting it. In real terms, both sides are practicing Constitutional interpretation and there are some ways to understanding a conservative approach (or approaches) to Constitutional interpretation versus more liberal ones. TV news by not bringing this complexity to the small screen fosters, unfortunately, a reality TV show approach to liberal versus conservative, which ends up not helping a broad based public understand complex policy issues. Shows like PBS's Frontline or listening to a lengthy dialogue on CSPAN, can show a contrast with the more popular cable TV news shows, but TV news shows need to generate a profit so hope for improvement (enlightenment?) is debatable. – Joseph Cernik2 years ago
The quest for the Iron Throne is what has brought Westeros into its current mess. What needs to be done in order to bring unity back into Westeros, politically? What about the current governmental structure isn’t working? Does there need to be a shift in how Westeros is governed? How did it all work before? Based on how the TV show is going, what type of government is needed and what kind of leader? And who best fits that mold? I always thought it might be better if Westeros was divided and governed by their respective divisions. Ex: The North would be a sovereign nation and governed by the head house of the North, and so on. But would this sort of system work? Could it work, and how so?
Wow! This is a really interesting topic and you discuss such intriguing topics pertaining to politics and social mores. Yet, how does one expect Westeros to become a politically viable governmental structure when you have mad tyrants trying to capture the throne? Also, look at the "time" in which this series takes place. Though we do not have an actual timeline, as this is a fantastical book/show series, we can infer that this time period was not one where democracy or the acts of politically correct modes of government would be of utmost importance. The only true hope of having a possible fair ruler was Ned Stark...and I think we all know how that turned out. This is an interesting question because as the series continues, and everyone is battling and killing for the throne, one must wonder, what will happen once the throne is actually one? Will peace be restored and all seven kingdoms abide by the "rightful ruler?" – danielle5774 years ago
This is a really interesting topic, especially with Dany actually moving into Westeros now. I think this would definitely be interesting if you discuss the theocracy, and the growing power of the Sept (what's going to be done about that?). Especially, with the idea of the people gaining their power, and how in essence, a very small group of people rule over a very large group of people (who have been war torn and are probably fed up). I think the question comes down to: how would the divisions interact? How would they deal with say, the displacement of people in Riverrun? What about people who don't have such large natural resources (The North/The Ironborn). – ninamicanovic4 years ago
I think there needs to be a definite distinction made between the show and the book here, since the two have diverged significantly. There is an entire history of government in Westeros (and some in Essos), but a lot of what is book canon isn't show canon, so anyone who wants to write this would likely have to just focus on the show or the books I think – Darcy Griffin4 years ago