I like comic books.
I do not actually read very many of them. That requires an investment of time, money and energy that I quiet frankly do not wish to expend.
But I like the idea of them. Serialized stories are awesome. The medium has traditionally been friendlier to science fiction and fantasy than the printed word, which gets all hoity-toity because of prudes like Grampy Lusipurr who think that if a work is not 600 years old and written by a British guy, it is useless.
I do not get, however, “comic culture,” depsite its obvious overlap with the Circles of Nerdworld in which I move, such as video games, blogging, and black metal (yes, I said black metal).
Comics fanboys define the term. I am sure my readers know by now that fanaticism is something we game reviewers like to throw around callously, like when people attempt to say that Final Fantasy XIV is worthwhile. Yes, they are fanboys (I assume that no girls play FFXIV, because women generally have better taste). But comics fanboys make even the most devoted Square-Enix fellator seem sober and sane. Should one dare criticize anything about a comic, such as how Peter Parker is a whiny, emo douche, they come unglued and shake their meaty, sweaty fists in impotent rage.
So, I like comic books, but my interaction with them is largely in the form of movies based on comic books. I am told by my virgin friends that actually read comic books that I am missing out on not reading the originals, but whatever. They are missing out by not having sex.
However, my other nerdy interests also include critical social theory. For those of my readers smart enough to not be sociology, philosophy or law students, the term “critical social theory” is a meaningless English phrase that refers to something only eggheads care about, which is unfortuante.
“Critical social theory” interacts lots of geek culture because, like any identifiable group, geeks, nerds, dorks, dweebs, motorheads, sportos, jocks, sluts, and other righteous dudes have a microculture that can be critiqued and described according to social theory.
In this regard, I find geeks interesting because they dovetail so nicely with other groups I study, such as political microcosms (microcosmii?). I took particular interest in this discussion regarding the casting of a black Englishmen as Heimdall in the new Thor movie. In predictable fashion, the antisocial unwashed nerd masses got all offended that anyone would dare ever insinuate that the Sacred Art Form had some thorny racial issues within it, because like all reactionaries, fanboys tend to default toward conservative/libertarian mindsets.
The article is not particularly well-written from a social theoretical standpoint. I presume the author went for more humor, and I support this, because the CCC is a racist dickbag group that is upset that the KKK got to the three-consonant name first.
The argument goes something like this: these dudes (yes, they are all dudes) have a serious white-man boner for white-man things from Europe (White-man Land) and like to pretend that NO ONE lived in what is now the USA before a bunch of pasty-pale fucking crackers came across the Atlantic Ocean (the White Man’s Ocean) on their white-man ships and founded Christian white-man colonies to bring the gospel of White Jesus (not to be confused with the more soft-hearted and somewhat liberal Jewish Jesus of Nazareth). So they get upset when traditional White Person Things like Norse mythology include things like black-skinned Heimdalls.
Let us recap: (1) Heimdall is a mythological figure from Norse mythology, and so would probably* have been depicted as white by the people that actually believed Heimdall existed as a real being; (2) the man cast as Heimdall is English and black, which is about as non-traditional for depictions of Heimdall as you can get; (3) the “Norse mythology” of the Thor comics paints the Aesir and Vanir not as divine beings but extraterrestrial beings and yadda yadda yadda everyone has stopped paying attention.
* Note: the Vikings were a far-ranging people and often invaded foreign countries. They would bring back slaves as the spoils of war, and these often included non-white peoples. These peoples were not forbidden from taking part in Viking society or religious rituals, so there is no reason to assume a Viking would have thought a depiction of a black Heimdall to be heretical.
Personally, I do not care that Idris Elba is black. Nor do I care that Heimdall is depicted as black, and I am a man who takes his Germanic heathenry very seriously. Really, this is an attepmt by a bunch of whiny conservative losers (the CCC, who are whiny conservatives) to bring attention to themselves by being whiny dicks about meaningless stuff.
I do not know anything about the Thor movie; it could be absolutely terrible for all I know. But I will be going to see it, because in doing so, I will be doing my part to thumb my nose at conservative assholes like the CCC. So I hope you are reading this, white power wannabes. You and your “volkisch” Asatruar and other racist dickbags can fuck right off, because my heritage will not be made subservient to your rightist agenda. Yes, the liberals and socialists and commies are out there trying to make your culture obsolete, and I am just happy to do my part. With my good buddy Heimdall, long may his black ass guard the gates of the Allfather from trash such as yourselves.