I recently spied an online article about how geek culture is saving the world. I thought I saw it here on MoviePilot, but today I cannot find any such thing. A 'Net search reveals a whole site about this lofty theme, and it's titled Geek Therapy. Nice idea. Still can't find the original article I chanced upon a few days ago, though. And why, you may ask, have I been looking for it, lo, these many nights?
Because I want to lead my response to this with "Really? You really want to go with this theme?" Unfortunately I've already written a paragraph plus half-a-sentence before I wrote that erstwhile lead-in, so I'll just have to go with what I've got.
And what I've got is a healthy dose of cynicism. Oh, it's personally gratifying to know that my life-long fixation on Green Arrow and Superman and the family Skywalker and Dr. Who and Sisco&Kirk&Picard is finally paying off - and paying Hollywood - but I don't see it as anything more than geek culture is entertaining the world.
I give you that comics were the first, as far as I know, to really incorporate cultural and sexual diversity. This is laudable. But I can't believe Obama or Bush or Clinton or ever Dick Cheney got around to their beliefs about equality because of the multi-hued graphic novels cluttering up their bookshelves. Doubt what I say? Then take a look at the MCU and DC movies and tell me about all the non-White lead actors and LBGT relationships on display.
And do you really want to say you take the lead in an industry that hasn't the slightest idea of how a woman looks.... or how her breasts react in a physical universe..... or how large a healthy stomach can look... or what the result of exercise will do to those breasts... or even how to draw one heroine's face different from another? And the men! Can we talk about the men? Who in all the world has a gross triangular muscle structure? When do all these hero dudes get to work out, anyway? The kind of musculature they have strongly hints at gym workouts, not day-to-day outdoor stuff. The only guys who have the chance to do that are millionaire playboys, and although they are disproportionate in the comic book world, they are in the end a small and finite number.
And seriously, just consider the Flash. A guy who runs that fast wouldn't have all those muscles, and a guy with all those muscles couldn't run that fast.
Then there's the violence. The violence is through the roof insane. Do geeks want to be "saving the world" with that aesthetic? The TV show Gotham is so over-the-top in that respect - in prime time, no less - I have lost my appetite for it. Not that I don't realize it's a violent world. But it happens every week on the show, and you can just feel the writers trying to top the previous week's escapades. It's not good storytelling. What it is, is de-sensitization for the viewer and nothing else.
Seriously, our heroes face ever-rising tides of violence, violence that cries out to be stopped by any means possible, because so many good people are being maimed and disfigured and raped and terrorized and murdered, all in the end for the hero to say "Well, at least I'm not as bad as THAT guy" and not only do they let the vile psychopathic murderer live, they return him to a prison system they know won't hold the psychopath. And if the good guy is actually a good woman who captures the psychopath for the umpteenth time, she is sure to do so while looking impossibly sexy, contorting her body in all sorts of unhealthy ways, while said psychopath murders everyone else around.
My young son and I just watched Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, an animated movie that featured a race of creatures meant to be sub-human and therefore justifiably worthy of sub-humane actions. Several times they were cut in half, with blood spurting. In fact, blood was a key feature in every character's narrative arc (You know the one: bam! pow! zap!) In an animated superhero movie.
Call me crazy, but I don't see this as a positive influence on the world. Hell, the heroes don't even stay dead. Sure, all the brutally murdered innocents do; victims of the psychopaths whom the heroes won't kill and the prisons won't hold, but not the heroes.
Listen fellow geeks: let's be content with entertaining the masses and enjoy this, our long day in the sun. Apply your Klingon makeup and meet me at the next Comic Con. The shawarma's on me.