Since its release last year, DC’s “Justice League” has been heavily maligned, with some critics going so far as to call it the worst superhero movie ever made. This show is meant to dispel that ridiculous claim. Joining Danny for this episode is Coyle Neal of the City of Man Podcast. Coyle suggested the show and Danny took him up on it, watching it twice in two days. Much to his surprise, Danny thought the movie was not only “not bad,” it was actually “quite good.” Why does this tale of Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, and a resurrected-Superman not connect with critics and audiences as much as Marvel’s Avengers-based universe? Certainly the residual hatred of Batman Vs. Superman had something to do with this consensus, but Danny has a different thesis: “Everyone loves Marvel and everyone hates DC right now.The outsized adulation for Infinity War is even more galling when paired against the snarky dismissal of Justice League. My theory is that people love what Marvel is doing because it is perfectly in sync with our current liberal democratic ideological state. Marvel is, in Gramsci’s (or is it Althusser's? Sorry it's been a while) terms, an ideological state apparatus, reflecting and perpetuating our shared values of equal rights for individuals and drone strikes for American military hegemony. DC, on the other hand is offering a decidedly pre-modern, even religious ideology. This is what the critics really hate about it.”
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In 1988 John Carpenter, auteur of genre classics like Halloween, The Fog, Escape from New York, The Thing, and Big Trouble in Little China, wrote and directed a powerhouse cult classic movie called They Live. Starring professional wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, the film crossed the sci-fi, horror, action, and lowbrow comedy genres while making a potent political statement about Ronald Reagan’s America and capitalism in the late Twentieth Century. The film follows an unemployed construction worker who discovers sunglasses that reveal the subliminal messages in our advertising and the alien invaders who are manipulating mankind’s fate. Now, thirty years after its release, what does the film have to say about our world?
Zizek on Ideology and They Live - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVwKjGbz60k
William Cavanaugh on Religious Violence - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS2VVLpDyWE
William Cavanaugh on Consumerism - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh22rJpL7zM&t
Special thanks to the band They Live Exclamation Point: Find them and their stuff at the following links:
Live show link: