I knew some dudes like this. They’re like young versions of the racist old man Bill Burr described in his standup – scared, lonely and disconnected.
How do guys get this way?
For the guys I’ve known: Poor social skills, not much playground time as a kid, likely bullied, likely distant from parents, unsuccessful with women, spends all time reading comics and playing video games, only friends are similar geek types, angry/resentful at lack of success despite self-perceived intelligence, develops “others are screwing me over” mentality
“I would probably argue that letting them have the little things might be the better course of action to take in the long run.”
Hmm… I can’t agree with this. The happy places aren’t self-contained, they’re more like quasi-terror-cells. They incubate folks like Elliott Rodgers. Despite their performed hyper-rational nonsense, a big part of what brings them together is a sense of having an in-group, of having an audience other disgruntled incels/MGTOWs who have their back, who would cheer them on as they do whatever heinous acts they end up dong.
Of course, you don’t want to directly attack them either – that gives them fuel to regroup and an enemy to strike against. (This seems to be a recurring tragedy of justified-but-misplaced retribution – it makes sense for you to be angry and lash out against X, but it’s the lashing out that gives X its purpose and power)
They should be quietly, gently starved out, I think. They should be steered and diverted softly. They should actually be treated with some modicum of kindness and sympathy, but of course that’s a very difficult case to make to anybody who’s suffered because of their actions/behavior
“The race/gender swapping thing happening in comics now is a really weird thing to me.”
One thing I can’t appreciate is how so many people think that a reinterpretation of X is a diminishing or devaluing of X. It’s strange to me. I once got into a really long argument with some white kid on Tumblr telling me that I should be angry about images of Ganesha being misappropriated in weed culture. I personally actually thought the images we were talking about were quite cool, and I didn’t see how it necessarily diminished the value of some symbol for me.
But I suppose when people are scared, don’t know how to make meaning, etc etc, the ‘desecration’ of a symbol is somehow deeply personal and offensive rather than cute, quaint, interesting or silly/distasteful at worst
” But it is an admission that your story isn’t compelling enough to stand on its own, therefore you don’t deserve your own character.”
I see where you’re coming from, but this isn’t super straightforward. Sometimes a great character that CAN stand on its own will be completely ignored, just like good music, good art, good everything – because the audience isn’t receptive, the tastemakers aren’t receptive, and nobody’s paying attention. And then people have to discover it much later on, if we’re lucky. If the maker is lucky, this happens in his or her lifetime.
Hypothesis: Statistically, there MUST be great minority characters and stories who stand on their own, but we’re just not paying attention to them.
My interpretation is – all the remixes of popular culture (seeing Batman as black, for instance) are merely meant to shake people up, change their ideas about what is possible. It’s like doing a bossa nova cover of a pop song to get people interested in the idea of bossa nova – it can be an interesting pursuit in itself, and it’ll lead some % of pop fans to bossa nova – folks who would never have gotten through otherwise.
Incidentally, there IS an asian superman, lol
but TLDR – I agree with you, just that I think the present state of affairs is a sort of messy, necessary transitional stage of sorts. (I’m sure if we dig far back enough, we’ll find that the things we take to be canonical – I’m thinking religion now – were remixes, too. Jesus wasn’t white… etc)