November 11: nothing is harmless

In recent months I have been boring people with my latest lament about the American cinema. What does it tell us, I ask, that half the mainstream American films that seem to come out these days are superhero films? What does it reflect about the modern American psyche? Does it say something to us about the over-weight, disempowered American populatiion that they need to see their escape in the form of the impossibly megacharged superhero and superheroine? It’s just escapism, they tell me. But when the escape mechaism is on the other side of the universe from the consumer, when the gap between the man and his fantasy is light years, there is a problem. The escape vehicle needs to be within shouting distance. The culture needs to rub close to the man. When you see Mr Universe or Mr Tornado or Ms Whirlpool or whatever they are called avoiding death from one thousand bullets and ten thousand assailants, anyone but a dim kid surely just turns off. Is it American society that creates the fictions it deserves or does the culture rub off on American society? It works both ways. Society feeds off its entertainment and entertainment feeds off society.
Enter Trump. The monster they have created. The superhero of their own construction. They ended up believing their own nonsense.
Whatever we might think, culture, entertainment is never mindless. It springs from needs and requiremnets in society, and it creates its own people, its own protagonists. Nothing is harmless.

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