A Fucking Liberal Is the Villain of Avengers: Infinity War

Comments

2
Charles is right, having Thanos mandate that everyone ride bikes, eat vegetarian and recycle more would have definitely made him seem less liberal.
3
HAHAHA. Oh Charles.

Nice try.
4
Wow.. even for Charles this is rambling and barely coherent.

time to lay of the booze buddy!
5
CM--I enjoyed your commentary. This line is especially nice and agreeable to me: "By emphasizing humans, and not a historically determined economic system, liberals made a trap for themselves and fell right into it." Look, however, at the curve of human population--as an economist--and offer us something . . . else. Capitalism vs. Industry, what say you? http://pages.vassar.edu/realarchaeology/…
6
I don't think it's the economic system. The fact that humans have been exterminating species, particularly megafauna (critters too big to hide and too slow to dodge a spear), for the past couple of million years, is making the pop-science rounds at the moment.
7
I believe this movie is based on the Marvel mini series Infinity Gauntlet.
In the comics, Thanos wanted to kill half of all life in the universe to impress a woman, Mistress Death.
I've heard that multiple characters were left out of this movie adaptation, including the Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock.

The comic miniseries was 6 issues long and had multiple crossovers with other comic titles.
That seems like a little too much story for one movie.
8
Zdanovite (noun)
A follower of a particular critical school in which it is deemed that any cultural or artistic artifact can be analyzed correctly only by evaluating its political expressions and implications.

Quaternary Extinction Event (noun)
An extinction event that began in Africa before anatomically modern Homo Sapiens migrated out of their home continent, and in Eurasia and Austrasia more recently, starting at least 120 thousand years ago (much later (40k-10k years ago) in North America and remote Pacific islands.

Capitalism (noun)
A theory of political economy describing large-scale social relations in the past 300 years that emerged largely as a response to the 16th to 18th century philosophy of mercantilism (the theory of political economy dominating the previous 300 years (15th to 18th century) prior to which large-scale social relations were described by Feudalism.
10
@7: Not just to impress Mistress Death. The "imbalance" Thanos referred to in the graphic novels was that there were more living sentient beings alive in the universe at that point than had ever died from the beginning of time and Death was being cheated of her "fair share."
11
Exactly my issue with the movie — granted the immense power of the six most magical sparkles, he chooses the most punitive solution, rather than granting more resources, reconfiguring consumption patterns, or simply miniaturizing everyone.
12
Thanos.... what a dick.
13
Did the first Kingsman movie rate this kind of in-depth analysis? What CM is describing here was pretty much Valentine's villainous plot - to cut back on overpopulation by inducing murderous rage so that the rabble would essentially off themselves.
14
eliminate 50 percent of all major animal life forms in the universe. His reason? Overpopulation. There are too many large-sized animals, and not enough resources,
yes i realize this is all just (sci)fiction but i must blather that "animal life forms" are also fundamental "resources", for some creatures, if not just fungus. so it's a self contradiction to eliminate resources to regain resources. (plus the infinity stones are just a rip-off of Tolkien's silmarils (which were themselves rip-offs of Icelandic sagas ...))
15
When Mudede starts this post by intentionally mischaracterizing the tone of Wright's review to make his own point, I don't know how I'm supposed to take seriously anything else he has to say about it.
16
#15
How exactly did Charles mischaracterize the tone of Wright's review?
He compliments his work by saying it was "admirably done", he links to the review, and he quotes the review.
That's it.

Look, we all know you hate Charles and his work.
You're like his own personal troll.
Why do you feel the need to post about how terrible a writer you think he is on every single article he writes?
Wouldn't it be easier for you to just not read his articles?

Seriously, what is your real problem with Charles?
If this had anything to do with his writing or his politics I'm sure you would have quit reading along time ago.
Your posts on other threads usually seem thoughtful, but the posts you make on Charles' articles are just plain mean.
If you feel like you have to constantly troll him then I guess that's your business, but I am a little curious as to what the real reason is.
17
But imagine if Thanos simply said to the large-living things of the universe: You must change your ways. Stop eating meat, stop burning the fossils of ancient life; start recycling everything, start using public transportation. This wouldn't be an irrational demand or as dramatic as killing trillions upon trillions; it's not asking a species to change but asking it to change its behavior.

I can imagine Thanos asking that. I can also imagine it not working.

18
Thanos represents the Fear of the “Elites” that they won’t get to consume 90% of the resources with only 0.1% of the population.

It’s a false dichotomy.

Personally I’ve cut my carbon impact to 1/20th of what it was, and I actually save and invest even more in green energy programs, because it’s more efficient.

Thanos is the fear. The loss of control.
19
@16: It's true, I am very critical of Mudede. I will be critical of any contributor here on Slog when I think they are intentionally distorting the truth for their own ends. I make no apology for that. I was even more critical of Ansel Herz, during the short time he was with the Stranger, because he was so shameless about it (and the comments section regularly savaged him as a result).

I give Mudede praise when he writes something worthwhile. However, that's pretty rare, in my opinion. Look through my comment history if you like, you'll find me praising him... a few weeks ago? A month ago? (I know the current system for a profile's comment history makes that a chore, so I don't blame you if you choose to decline.) I generally skip his posts because of his proclivity toward name-dropping and navel-gazing - sometimes even before he's finished the title. Since those feel like the majority of his posts, I usually roll my eyes and scroll right past them. Feel free to check Mudede's post history too, you'll find I'm not commenting in "every single article he writes." Far from it.

But if you want a reason, here's one: Mudede is often so concerned to present his Marxist credentials, or get credit for his personal political, economic, and philosophical library, that his writing suffers for it. He loops and lurches his way to a point that would have been better served without appealing to authority with names and titles and dates, but because he seems to feel naked without his bona fides, we are forced to trek through the weeds with him. It's the argument equivalent of a Family Circus cartoon.

That brings us to this particular post. In order to illuminate us all about the Malthusian nature of Thanos's motivations, Mudede wrote:

[Wright] describes it as "a lurching, ungainly colossus of a blockbuster, with far too many characters and storylines stretching across a series of planets that resemble 1970s prog-rock album covers."


Mudede chose to ignore the rest of the paragraph:

The thing is, though, while you’re watching it? None of these elements feel like debits. Sometimes, excess hits the spot.


Was it the point of his post? No, that was not his "thing" here. As you said, he also links to the review and calls it "admirable." (That choice of adjective sounds vaguely condescending and back-handed in this context, but I'm sure that's just me.) But why quote it at all, if the only passage used implies the opposite tone of the actual review? Does it really matter for his larger point? As Mudede says, no. Does it really matter in any important way? Fuck no. But when I made the comment, I wasn't expecting someone to demand I explain nearly ten years' worth of my post history, as it applies to a single Stranger contributor, to sate their curiosity. Hopefully this is enough. Ironically, explaining my criticism for Mudede has made this post into likely the cruelest thing I've written toward him. But as a black, Marxist immigrant, I trust that Mudede has endured far worse than some random asshole (me) being "mean" by criticizing his work anonymously on the internet.

For what minuscule amount it matters, I stand by my point.
20
Ugh. That block quote formatting. if anyone knows how to remove those two extra line breaks, please let me know and I'll write it down somewhere for future reference.
21
China.

Largest polluter in the world, largest population, communist.

How does that square with capitalism being the problem?

The reality is that overpopulation is a big part of the problem. The other part is technological, and requires a transition away from fossil fuel technologies.

Marxism has no real solution to our environmental crisis. China and the Soviet Union had the worst environmental records in the world.

That isn’t to say that government regulation, carbon taxes, cap and trade, etc aren’t part of the solution. However, those don’t involve abolishing capitalism...
22
Seriously, am I back in college? Because I haven't heard anything this dumb since I was at college parties listening to pretentious half-stoned college sophomores ramble on about their newly-found "brilliant insights."
23
TL;DR
24
Blah, blah, blah, I spent $50.00 on yet another CGI superhero franchise movie with yet another rehash “destroyer-of-all-things” plot, blah blah, blah and another $50.00 on concessions snacks and we need fewer people on earth, blah, blah capitalisn is the root of all evil blah, blah, blah, thank you for participating in our capitalistic society but spending part of your life in our movie theatre that you’ll never get back, blah, blah, please make sure your devices are off during the showing of this over-priced-quick-buck-generating-mind-numbing flick that your money would have been better spent on a good book and a bag of groceries blah, blah, blah...
25
@19

Thank you for the response. I wasn't expecting one actually, I didn't really think you'd come back to check the thread.
Honestly, I thought you two might know each other. I was thinking maybe you guys were neighbors, and Charles has an unruly dog.

I do agree, Charles has the tendency to ramble and he seems to feel the need to show everyone that he went to college, if you know what I mean.

I will say that even when I disagree with Charles, I do enjoy reading his opinions.
There seems to be a poetic or lyrical quality to his writing, even when he's trolling.
There really isn't anybody quite like Charles here in Detroit, so his work seems quite novel to me.

Thank you again for the response.
I must admit, I really was hoping for an anecdote about Charles' Bichon frize pooping on your lawn though.
I have this persistent fantasy that Seattle is a small town and you all know each other.
26
Interesting piece! The problem of inequality, though, stretches much further back than the capitalism of Marx, Malthus, and even Smith. It's everywhere in the ancient world with no hint of modern economic systems. I agree it's a human problem, though, and as Brett Weinstein says, it's time to rewrite our software such that the most destructive forms of human survival don't destroy us and everything else valuable. I personally think open, creative, liberal thinking is needed along with structural, diligent, conservative thinking as well for us to pull it all off.....
27
@25: Well, if I can't justify my criticisms, then I really would be a troll. There are enough of them on Slog as it is.

Yes, he does definitely have a very identifiable style, and poetic or lyrical would be a good description for it. There are times when the topic is improved by that style. I am not fortunate enough to have the income to afford owning a home yet, much less one with a yard, but I did laugh at the idea that I rage on the comments section of his employer's website because I am feuding with him as a neighbor.

I attended a screening of the movie today, and I enjoyed it immensely. Mudede is accurate in describing Thanos's motivations. After having read the piece, I couldn't help but analyze it while watching, and to me, those motivations felt very odd. It's explained well enough in the film, but I couldn't help feeling like his original motivations from the comics would have been better, given the future plans for the Marvel movies. I won't get into them though, for spoiler reasons.
29
"But imagine if Thanos simply said to the large-living things of the universe: You must change your ways. Stop eating meat, stop burning the fossils of ancient life; start recycling everything, start using public transportation."

Then Thanos would transform from a movie villain to a real life villain: your typical urbanist killjoy.

People are going to live different lives in this world. Not all of them are going to be urban.

If people like Mudede are going to persist in haranguing everyone else to live like him, then I suppose I can harangue people about having fewer children. With 1 billion people in this world instead of 8, most of our environmental concerns would disappear overnight. We could all drive muscle cars with intact forests soaking up our CO2 emissions.

The principal way in which the US contributes to the overpopulation problem is through immigration. Absent immigration, our population would be slowly receding like Japan's.

The era of large-scale immigration in our world must come to an end. Communications and transportation are too fast to keep the practice sustainable. People born in overpopulated countries should continue building up in those countries until policymakers are forced to deal with a problem that they cannot export.

Only then will we see a leveling off, then a slow fall toward a more healthy population level. Depleted fish stocks could recover. Clearcut forests could regrow. Endangered land animals could find refuge.

And then maybe people like Mudede would stop lecturing the rest of us about living in an 800 sq ft cell in the middle of a claustrophobic city.
30
I thought Charles was secretly hoping this movie would lead to riots in the streets?
31
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