MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
Over the weekend, I watched James Gunn’s brilliant take on The Suicide Squad. When it was over, I looked at Liam and said that I thought it was a comic book masterpiece. He asked me what I would rate it and I said a “10.” He looked at me and thought it over and said he agreed, but the 10 he gave was only because of James Gunn.
Not only was he fellow TROMA alum. but he seemed to have put his cast through a number of hard and rigorous tasks and in the process, it was funny, campy, and gory — much to the surprise of some the critics, the film can be somewhat liberating.
I won’t give away any spoilers — I just have a lot to say about what I am seeing is the direction of science fiction and in some detail the direction of the superhero genre.
The themes that I have been seeing lately is that superhero sci-fi movies no longer delineate the good guy from the bad guy. The overall pattern is that the underdog good bad or indifferent needs to do something to save the earth from tyranny that even in the end the so-called bad guy can wind up being the good guy and that sometime good guys aren’t exactly perfect.
It means that what is being fought against has to be an agreed upon enemy and that one person’s terrorist is another person’s fighter for freedom.
These archetypes exist mostly during a civil war. There are no good guys or bad guys — albeit that the bad guy for the moment is the one that is against you.
I come from the view that superheroes are inspirational, something to aspire to. They are supposed to represent self-control, confidence and human potential.
Now superheroes and villains are blurred. not that it is not entertaining, but we are now seeing a darker edge to every superhero from The MCU to DC and recently with the cult hit “The Boys.”
For those who are unfamiliar with “The Boys” it is brutally honest about what Superheroes and what they do when you are not looking. It also demonstrates what can happen if superheroes are exploited politically.
The Boys actually throws the entire superhero aesthetic or theme into reverse dark superhero satire. It walks on well-trod ground by depicting the heroes we know in spandex as all-too-human sociopaths which reminds me of many political leaders of today and the savior complex they either inherit or believe they really have.
The thematic reversal is this: The Boys isn’t built on a hypothetical about what real people would be like if they became superheroes; instead, it demands we admit that superheroes have altered the way we look at real people.
The world is going from shades of gray to darkness on several levels and so we now see that science fiction is adapting to those dark cynical attitudes that we have adopted in our daily lives.
This of course is evident in Suicide Squad.
Having the underdogs and arch criminals being the heroes as we now embrace psychopaths and narcissists as our heroes because we are under the assumption that these evil and corrupt saviors can metaphorically deal with real-world evil.
This is how we vote in the real world; this is how we treat each other –and so now science fiction is no longer fore-structuring a view of hope but a view of a present day where asses need to be kicked and skulls need to be crushed.
It is this idea that everyone thinks they know the difference between right and wrong, and that they’ve done more of the former than the latter. Everyone thinks they’re free of bigotry, or at least that what others identify as bigotry is merely a rational response to real threats. Everyone thinks that they could make the world better if they only had the strength to do so.
But the hard thing is actually getting up the courage to do something and while many of us are not bold enough to stand up to the soft evil that permeates our existence they sit back and hashtag that someone needs to do something.
The only ones’ capable are the ones that we have termed the underdog — or those that have lost everything –even hope and then, they have nothing left to lose.
These are the people the narrative expects us to hate, censor and cancel. The woke has no room for real heroes, because many of them have warts and other skeletons in their closets that are somehow worthy of ridicule.
So now we are to consider that those you hate, the people who are ruining your country and world, the people who hold real power and cause real misery need to be taught a lesson — I hear it all the time on my show -where people call in who say all they need is an excuse to go postal, or we are waiting for the moment where we should strike, fight back or start a revolution.
It may happen eventually, but now it is just empty platitudes to sound tough or become a darker version of a virtue signaler.
What is most disconcerting is that people don’t use the strength of their numbers to force an end to the oppressive, homicidal status quo, because they aren’t interested in doing so. Many have not felt enough pain to do something about it.
But our darker heroes in the comics and on the screen are doing something about it and we couldn’t be more supportive of their acts of defiance. It is safe to do so in a theater and in your own home watching it on a streaming service.
But put that in the real world and you are cheering on what the media calls insurrectionists and domestic terrorists.
While there are many people who always tell me that they are waiting for that moment where they will fight against what is happening – I can also see that as with any other takeover of a rogue ideology people would resort to self-preservation rather than rolling up their sleeves and rising up against it.
It is obvious that this is the case as many people would rather observe nationalist groups fight in the streets against Antifa than get into the fight themselves.
Many people feel powerless to fight against the system and chances are if we do become a country taken over by a State Socialist World Government – no one will rise up against it.
They see suffering as an inevitability, or they see it as the new normal.
The America we loved is lost, perhaps forever. There are no good guys or bad guys — because those who are running the whole show are the ones that are setting up the defense and offense.
There are countless examples of past and present monstrous regimes in the real world. And they all raise the question of why people didn’t just rise up against their rulers. Some of us are quick to judge those who conform to such regimes as evil psychopaths or at least morally inferior to ourselves.
But what are the chances that you would be a heroic rebel in such a scenario, refusing to be complicit in maintaining or even enforcing the system?
Let me just say history dictates the answer is very low.
American organizational theorist James March and Norwegian political scientist Johan Olsen argued back in 2004 that human behavior is governed by two complementary, and very different, “logics”. According to the logic of consequence, we choose our actions like a good economist: weighing up the costs and benefits of the alternative options in the light of our personal objectives. This is basically how we get what we want.
But there is also a second logic, the logic of appropriateness. According to this, outcomes, good or bad, are often of secondary importance – we often choose what to do by asking “What is a person like me supposed to do in a situation like this”?
The idea is backed up by psychological research. Human social interactions depend on our tendency to conform to unwritten rules of appropriate behavior. Most of us are truthful, polite, don’t cheat when playing board games and follow etiquette. We are happy to let judges or football referees enforce rules. A recent study showed we even conform to arbitrary norms.
The logic of appropriateness is self-enforcing – we disapprove of, ostracize or report people who lie or cheat. Research has shown that even in anonymous, experimental “games”, people will pay a monetary cost to punish other people for being uncooperative.
We also have learned through the example of the Milgram Experiment how people are okay with torturing someone if they are told to do so by someone who appears to be an authority.
Stanley Milgram, whose papers are held in Manuscripts and Archives, conducted the Obedience to Authority experiments while he was an assistant professor at Yale University from 1961 to 1963.
Milgram found that most ordinary people obeyed instructions to give what they believed to be potentially fatal shocks to innocent victims when told to do so by an authority figure.
His 1963 article on the initial findings and a subsequent book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View and film, Obedience catapulted Milgram to celebrity status and made his findings and the experiments themselves the focus of intense ethical debates.
The debate continues over whether or not people would rebel against authority now and again, the overall opinion is no.
Both logics are required to create and maintain an authoritarian regime. To ensure that we make the “right” personal choices, an oppressive state’s main tools are carrots and sticks – rewarding conformity and punishing even a hint of rebellion.
But personal gain (or survival) alone provides a fragile foundation for an oppressive state. It is easy to see how the logic of appropriateness fits in here, turning from being a force for cooperation to a mechanism for enforcing an oppressive status quo. This logic asks that we follow the “rules” and make sure others do too – often without needing to ask why the rules are the way they are.
Regimes, therefore, supplement rewards and punishments with self-policed norms, rules, and conventions.
Are you following orders or ordering followers? That is the question and now there are plenty of people out there that are ordering followers to do all sorts of crazy things that challenge what can be called appropriateness.
Are you part of the party, comrade? Are you part of the cult? Always remember a good cult member or party member follows orders no matter how crazy they sound.
A good member of the cause obeys orders, roots out opposition and does not question authority – and enforces these norms on their fellow party or religious members.
The authoritarian state is therefore concerned above all with preserving ideology – defining the “right” way to think and behave – so that we can unquestioningly conform to it.
Even in the Suicide Squad film there came a time where a small group of people rebelled and took the side of the underdogs because they realized that what the squad was fighting against was something bigger than them — something that would threaten their lives.
People are always lamenting that no one fights for them — that someday there is going to be someone who rises up against the crime, the violence, the government corruption.
Some are still hanging on to people like Barack Obama or even Donald Trump — as superheroes.
The Suicide Squad indicates just who the real super heroes will be and that is the so called misfits that have been pushed into being heroes– they really don’t see themselves and anything but criminals and losers — and yet they shine and get the job done for all of those who sit behind their computers posting idle revolutionary propaganda for click bait.
If you want to know why people do not rise uo against evil all you need to have is history as your guide.
The atrocities of the Holocaust were made possible by normal people, manipulated into conforming to a horribly abnormal set of behavioral norms.
People conformed – some felt discomfort about it and others were easily manipulated into seeing Jews as less than human and that they needed to be eliminated because they were taking up too many recourses.
Just think of the fervor with which people can enforce standards of dress, prohibitions on profane language or dietary norms – Think of how we still adapt to how Facebook censors’ free speech and yet we conform.
If we really wanted to we could put them out of business… but it is their rules and their terms of service—you don’t have to obey – but you do. You don’t question it.
I hear people say all the time that their jobs mandate the vaccine and that they have no choice but to do so because they lose their jobs.
Well either your choice is to find work elsewhere or create a walk out where there is a compromise and not conditions that are not choices.
This can be done — but of course this is how tyranny operates, through gaslighting emotional black mail and threats.
How can evil be embraced by the mass majority without a fight? It is simple people do not want to lose their homes, their property or their lives.
I know this is all simple but in the bigger picture people feel “morally bound” to protect the party, nation or religion, they even defend unseen or anonymous organizations like QAnon or Black Lives Matter even though they do not know who or what is behind it.
To say it is unhealthy is anathema.
Of course, there are a few that rebel but only a few and even when they do they have to somehow become experts in asymmetrical warfare both physically and philosophically.
Rebels, too, need to harness the logic of appropriateness – they need to find different norms and ideals, shared with fellow members of the resistance, or inspired by history or literature. Breaking out of one set of norms requires that we have an available alternative.
If the proposal of a Globalist imperial power is complex and indeterminate to some degree, so is the internal political, economic, administrative and military structure of the authoritarian state.
We have to now admit to ourselves that we have already fallen for the globalist political apparatus as it has become more heavily weighted on the side of militarized security institutions, big pharma, high tech silicon valley and rich corporatists than diplomatic and representative bodies.
Now the question can be asked is it too late to shut it all down and would we back those who are the ones who step up and fight?
Or do we conform?
The powerful have moved the goal posts too many times to keep their powerful positions and we watch and cry out for justice and the only simple solution is to have someone in a political party they support do the job.
We are learning that they don’t –and when push comes to shove they immediately turn on the people that voted for them.
So what are we to do when we vote in the worst or the best of two evils? We find out how we can get some bad guys to be good guys in beating them at their own game.
If you want a revolution you got to know what the revolution is going to change and how it is going to end –what will be the reward for rebellion?
I like to think that I have learned to take on a non-conformist attitude. However, I have my limits and my unwritten rules of what should be appropriate when it comes to rebellion. I have chosen to inform – and to weigh in on what will and won’t work but I am not at all above adapting to something in order to preserve what I have worked for. Moreover, if adapting would give me cause for shame, or step in my dignity or put my family in danger – that is where I would leave the appropriateness to my better judgment and even then I am not too sure if even a code of appropriateness would keep me from rebelling.
It depends on how convincingly I can justify to myself, that I should act – I guess it boils down to how much pain one can tolerate mentally and physically.
The only way i know how to be a hero is to somehow find the right words to encourage meaningful action.
How we react to unfairness affects our propensity to rebel. One study found that people who are risk-averse and easily trust others are less likely to react strongly to unfairness. While not proven in the study, it may make such individuals more likely to conform.
Another factor is social circumstances. The upper and middle classes in Germany during the 1920s-1940s were almost twice as likely to join the Nazi party than those with lower social status. So it may be that those who have the most to lose and/or are keen to climb the social ladder are particularly likely to conform. And, of course, if other members of your social circle are conforming, you may think it’s the “appropriate” thing to do.
You ask yourself how are so many people believe in radical ideas—and this is how it starts – this is how it has always been.
We live in times where we have to ask if nationalism and patriotism are interchangeable.
In 1945, George Orwell said Nationalism should not be confused with patriotism and yet today we are seeing this challenged in many ways. It is almost as if we have blurred them together in order to divide the Capitalists from the Socialists but as much as the left hates to hear it – they are populists that border on nationalists with the same zeal as those who have been recruited into a cult.
With the breaking of the patriotic will of the people, there can be an excuse that the rebellion is against nationalism by using another form of nationalism to destroy it.
Its devotion is not for sovereignty or independence – it is for the conjoining of a once free Republic with the chains and shackles of the globalist plantation.
The rise of “neo-imperial” governing institutions such as the United Nations, The World Economic Forum and the International Criminal Court threatens to usurp Americans’ right to self-determination.
Conflict and repression predate the emergence of the modern nation-state.
Nationalism goes wrong when it is tainted with maligning influences and so does socialism.
What I am telling you is something that you need to talk about with your children –something that you should discuss with your families as the country is about to go through a lot of changes.
Nobody has taught you in school that throughout your entire life that behind the scenes an organized plutocracy will be working to control the thoughts in your head using a highly sophisticated arsenal of psychological operations funneled into your mind via their near-total control of the media. Nobody warned you as a kid that if you ever really want to grow up, you’ll first have to extricate the vast network of lies which have been deliberately sewn into your consciousness since birth.
This is why Americans do not value their freedoms enough to fight for them. The majority of the up and coming leaders and heroes in the country have been taught to hate it — that it needs to be retooled and the result is fascism, it is easier to adopt because they see what might does –and the end justifies the means.
Being Woke is cynical and psychopathic… it is dangerous and self-defeating.
Being woke is the exact opposite of being gifted with the power of discernment. it is just another tool to create a massive Kool-aid drinking cult.
Younger generations have now been manipulated on a mass scale by the same people who have been granted immense power and wealth by the existence of that status quo.
However, the responsibility of the older generations has not been greater.
It is our responsibility to share the information which counters the disinformation, doing our best to throw sand in the gears of the propaganda machine and show people the little gaps in the code of the matrix in the hope that some light sleeper might spot it and begin waking up from the dream.
The new technocratic state that is being implemented as we speak has tightened economic and political control over the critical mass and has mastered the ability to program the people to enable and endure the military and economic consequences of establishing the world wide oligarchy.
It has disrupted everyday life, security and the economy and the people have not done anything to effectively curtail the globalist power grab.
We should see the rich globalists as the enemy, but in the allegory of the clash of superheroes and super villain – the blame goes to the old values and morals and surprisingly some of the underdogs and super-villains also believe in them and are willing to fight as well.
The rejections of the old values are a byproduct of a series of traumatic events in both our reality and in the reality of the both stories plots. They are simply reactions to the fallout from previous super-battles, especially the mass civilian casualties involved.
The politicians that are now speaking to us are doing so in a way that is misleading and hollow to a certain degree.
No longer is there a need for humility, regard for social and cultural differences, or even tolerance because who ever we choose as our superhero will give us the delusion that they have the monopoly on what is truth, justice, and the American way.
Politics are now the breeding ground for a new form of sectarianism where people are finding themselves bashing one group in order to advance another.
Militant partisanship for a political party, religion, or special interest group is now an accepted form of bigotry in this country. We are now judging people on not only their race, but their religious beliefs and their political views.
In both the DC and Marvel comics world, the propaganda for the ideological battles of the main heroes includes they question, “Whose side are you on?” This once again breeds the idea that you either choose to be controlled or to be free.
It also breeds the idea that this ideological battle is no longer a matter of differences of opinion, it is a matter of violently silencing either side. When the rubble clears and the dust settles there will always be that controlling force that will mop up the blood and pave the new order over the bodies that fought to the death in order to save the old order.
We see such bloodshed and suffering in abundance today in the Middle East, South Asia, and parts of Africa. The West has mostly extracted itself from that type of agony—by contributing to it in an offensive stance.
We used to feel good when we won a war, now we don’t feel good unless we instigate one.
We used to feel good watching Superman save a bus full of school children from plummeting off a cliff, or Batman beating down the Joker.
Now we are watching them fight against each other, a metaphor for the division, bigotry, discrimination, and hatred arising from attaching labels of inferiority and superiority to political and religious groups.
In the Marvel and DC films, the government responds to the turmoil by grasping for greater power. Our superheroes are told that they can no longer be trusted with the freedom to decide how to use their special abilities. Security demands that super-heroics be overseen, even commandeered by the government.
This is how the division begins—shall we answer to a higher government power and submit or stick by our guns and defend freedom?
As Captain America said in “Age of Ultron” “Every time someone tries to win a war before it starts, innocent people die. Every time.”
He is right – because he is old school – now we have the new policy of murder them before they murder us.
Governments love that way they can feed on and exploit public trauma. They love to court chaos and then blame it on the people claiming that the majority demands some action even if it includes killing hundreds of thousands in the process over an indefinite amount of time.
It maintains a healthy statist mentality because of what we the people become.
We the people are now we the traumatized willing to throw ourselves into the arms of our protectors, rather than taking the responsibility of protecting ourselves.
We are then willing to hand over our individual freedoms, our money, our property not realizing that all of it is being given to the very villains that have been tormenting us.
If you take a look at social models and history, you can always see that extreme nationalism and Socialism is always used as a tool to motivate people in times of economic crisis, and the greater the hardships on a people the more we see nationalist, socialist and state socialist movements become violent and cancerous.
Leaders in history have used Hegelian methods to ensure that the people move themselves into accepting philosophies and Ideas that they first thought were deplorable. That is why in the crisis of the September 11th, attacks we accepted any idea or scheme the government presented. It was all for the safety of the new agenda. Not for the safety of the people. It was problem, reaction, solution and we accepted the solution without questioning motive.
Now, in the 21st century, Hegelian-Marxist thinking affects our entire social and political structure. The crisis anxiety has hijacked our dreams. The nightmares now replace the light of hope.
We demand the nightmares to stop through whatever means necessary.
The Hegelian dialectic is the framework for guiding our thoughts and actions into conflicts that lead us to a predetermined solution.
If we do not understand how the Hegelian dialectic shapes our perceptions of the world, then we do not know how we are helping to implement the vision. When we remain locked into dialectical thinking, we cannot see out of the box.
Even our childhood icons and heroes are considering giving up their sovereignty and perhaps soon it will permeate and influence others. It will be continually pumped into the social consciousness through this simple and effective propaganda.
No matter what the issue, the stealth dialectic aims to control both the conflict and the resolution of differences and leads everyone involved into a new cycle of conflicts. The solutions to these problems don’t come from any politician. They come from those who can’t step out of the dialectic.
They come from many years of programming and button pushing. The republic becomes the puppet, and the puppeteers can make anyone dance if they play the right tune.
This is the case with the Suicide Squad but in the end the controllers learn a valuable lesson and we see who the real villains are.