October 12th, 2005


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08:54 pm - on comedic self-deprecation and the warrior jews....

(51 comments | Leave a comment)

 
on comedic self-deprecation and the warrior jews.... - graffiti.maverick

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Comments:


From: ludimagist Date: October 13th, 2005 - 01:11 am (Link)
Moses in The Ten Commandments is the only real big one that gets played over and over that I can think of. There was a pretty badass Jewish kid from Brooklyn in the platoon in Saving Private Ryan as well, and there is plenty of theory that Superman is a cultural manifestation of the Jew in America.

But...

You are right. Off the top of my head I cannot think of a major Jewish hero who is readily identified as Jewish. This could be an assimilation thing. But then, Einstein once said something along the lines of "If my theory of relativity is proven correct, the French will say that I am a citizen of the world and the Germans will say I am a German. If it is not, the French will say that I am a German and the Germans will say that I am a Jew." Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song" spells out a whole lot of Jewish stars, some of whom played some badass characters, though they aren't popularly thought of as Jewish.

It's really popular since the Cold War for Hollywood heroes to be fighting terrorists. No one has ever tried to explain away Arnold's or Van Damme's accents by declaring them Israeli commandos though. There have been some pretty badass Israeli film heros, but that's really not PC to show these days.

A lot of anti-semitism is rooted in fear. I don't know how much a Jewish hero would play into those fears. At the same time, the Jewish stereotype in America is not very action heroish. We had films like School Ties and whatnot, but those are extremes moreso than the norm.

On the comedy front I think you're right. Good comedy is good comedy. On the hero side... there are problems.

Would you be ok with it if I link to this post on weirdjews?

Oh, and thanks for making me the poster boy for this one ;)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 13th, 2005 - 05:23 am (Link)
Please, by all means pimp me out... I'd love to see some alternate takes from people I don't know here. Besides, aren't you the one who is always saying that I should be paid for this sort of thing? Maybe someone over there will want to donate to the cause.
From: ludimagist Date: October 13th, 2005 - 05:47 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 13th, 2005 - 05:49 am (Link)
thanx, muchly...
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 13th, 2005 - 07:25 am (Link)
Re: Superman

I don't know that I believe that Siegel and Shuster had anything that deep in mind when they created Superman, but they were both first generation sons of jewish immigrants, so one can't deny that there was probably some natural cultural influence there, as writers are always wont to have.

Interestingly, the current Superman series, "Smallville" has several stories dealing with the religious overtones of the Superman mythos.
From: ludimagist Date: October 13th, 2005 - 07:31 am (Link)
It's sad to say that I have never seen Smallville. I hear good things, but I just never got around to it. Jewish religious overtones?

The theory as I heard it was that Superman is the son of a destryed homeland and scattered people who comes to a country where he is never going to be able to fully assimilate and yet adopts it as his own and protects it with his vastly superior abilities and is never fully appreciated.

This is the critics talking, not the writers. Though I read somewhere that this was a response to the Nazi concept of the superman (which they got from Neitzche).
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 13th, 2005 - 07:58 am (Link)
not so much Jewish, but not specifically not either. Mostly it deals with Clark/Kal-El's destiny to be a hero/savior. There's a large mystical element added to the show. His coming was fortold in the prophecies to some group of Native American Indians, so they kind of worship him. There's also these weird stones with heiroglyphics carved in them that they found in Egypt or somewhere that have something to do with the fortelling of the coming of Kal-El and the destruction of Krypton and such.

Also, there's the obvious superman is a powerful being that fell out of the heavens, raised to be all that is good and humane and has miraculous powers and become the mesiah aspect that most religions have in some respect or another. Plus, if memory serves, he was basically crucified in the very first episode.

Interesting take. Again, I don't know that I buy the war and Nazi's as a direct impetus for the Superman character. Action Comics #1 (the "first" appearance of Superman) was published in 1938, but they supposedly first created the character for short stories and comic strips back in 1933. Obviously these dates are coincident with the earlier stages of the holocaust, but to the best of my knowledge (and I could have missed it) neither Siegel nor Shuster ever claimed any direct influence from the War or their religion on the creation of Superman. Any they were both rather outspoken individuals. They did eventually send the character of superman off to war to fight the nazis however. And I think its highly unlikely that Shuster and Siegel were unaware of the political climate even back in 1933, so I'm sure there was some influence. I just don't think it was that direct. Siegel is on record saying the biggest influences on the character were Tarzan, Popeye, Doc Savage, Jon Carter or Mars and a contemporary novel called Gladiator.

But critics will be what they will be. I wish I knew where the article that Max, my mom and I were reading about The Great Gatsby being a novel about passing (a negro living among the white folk as a white man).
From: ludimagist Date: October 13th, 2005 - 11:34 am (Link)
I wish I knew where the article that Max, my mom and I were reading about The Great Gatsby being a novel about passing (a negro living among the white folk as a white man).

This touches on that:

Gatsby's Pristine Dream: The Diminishment of the Self-Made Man in the Tribal Twenties

Jeffrey Louis Decker

NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, Vol. 28, No. 1. (Autumn, 1994), pp. 52-71.

Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0029-5132%28199423%2928%3A1%3C52%3AGPDTDO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-S

It was the first thing to come up when I put Gatsby, Passing, and Negro into a JStor search.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 13th, 2005 - 01:53 pm (Link)
apparently I am not allowed to access jstor.org. Is it a subscription thing? Or maybe I need to be at your university?
From: ludimagist Date: October 13th, 2005 - 02:50 pm (Link)
You need to be logged in to a library that has a subscription (which is manageable for you I think), or just search for the citation on it's own.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 13th, 2005 - 06:27 pm (Link)
that explains it... actually, I'm pretty much never in libraries... oh to be a grad student... oh the adventures I would have...
 

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