Demas's forum posts

#1 Posted by Demas (209 posts) - - Show Bio
@kadeem said:
" You were originally trying to set up a that i claimed that "citizenship = agency" as a straw man.  "
Nope.  I said that "citizenship = agency" is the only downside presented IN STORY.  You claiming denouncement prevents that because that's the ONLY way that denouncement preempts the government from claiming Superman is their agent in your flawed logic.  You said it right there up in the quote.

@kadeem said:
"While Superman is percieved as being an US citizen serving US interest, the US government can misrepresent Superman's actions as reflecting their authority and misrepresent Supes as their national weapon as a sort of means to assert more influence and power internationally. [that is, agency, look up the word]  ...  
I said that the government could use the perception that he is a US agent in ways that Kal-El's moral sense wouldn't approve of.  By denouncing his citizenship he was effectively fighting against the possibility of any misinterpretation of him or his actions leading to any unjust consequences."

You are, ridiculously, trying to link citizenship with agency and saying that by denouncing citizenship, Superman can immunize himself from claims of agency- whether by the government or construers.  This is absurd.
#2 Posted by Demas (209 posts) - - Show Bio
1. There's a difference between intelligence and gimmicks / jobbing.  Superman II was gimmicks- Fortress tricks unavailable to Zod and his companions.  Your "arrogance" argument is essentially jobbing.  The highest military personnel with superior numbers and equal powers losing to an untrained individual.  That isn't flattering to either character.  Now even if Superman does win via intelligence, which I won't deny IS a skill Superman possesses in the comics, it is not one of his iconic abilities.  Against Zod, certainly he gets to use his iconic abilities but they are diluted since Zod and company have them too.

2. This is a false dilemma.   Your strengths can be accentuated while your weaknesses exploited in order to create a threat.  Just because the opposition doesn't mirror your every ability it doesn't mean the opposition will be "effortlessly" beaten.  To echo our past discussion, "Didn't you read the issue where..."  A story like, "What's so funny about Truth, Justice, and The American Way?" shows disparate abilities but a characterizing challenge nonetheless.  It's widely held to be one of the best Superman stories ever and there Superman IS the strongest, fastest, best person there ever was... not to mention All Star, which you hold in high regard.
#3 Posted by Demas (209 posts) - - Show Bio
@kadeem said:

" @Demas: You are setting up yet another straw man.  I never said said that "citizenship = agency", that's just a straw man you set up in place of what I said.  I didn't need to go into further detail about what you said because all you put forth was a straw man fallacy.  When you introduce a logical statement into the conversation I will be more than happy to discuss your statements in much more depth. "

Oh look, another dodge of the substantive discussion to talk about the semantics of "straw men."  You said:

@kadeem said:

" While Superman is percieved as being an US citizen serving US interest, the US government can misrepresent Superman's actions as reflecting their authority and misrepresent Supes as their national weapon as a sort of means to assert more influence and power internationally. [that is, agency, look up the word]  ...  

I said that the government could use the perception that he is a US agent in ways that Kal-El's moral sense wouldn't approve of.  By denouncing his citizenship he was effectively fighting against the possibility of any misinterpretation of him or his actions leading to any unjust consequences.

 . "

I said you said:

@Demas said:
"that is EXACTLY the threat you posited, only that the GOVERNMENT would present such argument to ears ready to hear it. "
Exposed.  But keep up the smokescreen since your root argument is absurd.

Denouncing your citizenship doesn't make you any more able to counter people linking you to agency than simply speaking out does, and you've completely failed to show a difference except to say that denouncement does it and speaking doesn't.  Which is absurd.
#4 Posted by Demas (209 posts) - - Show Bio

 @kadeem  said:  

"The reason I called you earlier comment a straw man is because instead of is because much like you are doing right now you are not engaging what I actually said.  If you want to disagree with someone that is perfectly fine, but if you are going to participate in a conversation in which you want to argue why your particular view is the correct one, you need to address what opposing views actually say.  If you just make up a false characterization of an opposing view that is easier to argue against, rather than engaging what the actual content of the opposing view is, you aren't actually participating in the conversation, despite the volume or size of your statements. "

And yet you're just blowing smoke.  Your entire protest is that you didn't say "citizenship = agency", except that is EXACTLY the threat you posited, only that the GOVERNMENT would present such argument to ears ready to hear it.  I showed how that's absurd.  Even better, you prove you're just blowing smoke by ignoring the substantive discussion about denouncement and moving on to semantic nitpicking about what is or isn't a strawman.  Interesting how you didn't touch on how renouncing citizenship does absolutely nothing to prevent the government / construers from STILL claiming Superman is an agent (eg: "secret Muslim") and better or more than SPEAKING does, particularly when you want to pretend deflection is my issue.
#5 Posted by Demas (209 posts) - - Show Bio
@kadeem said:
" By denouncing his citizenship he was effectively fighting against the possibility of any misinterpretation of him or his actions leading to any unjust consequences.  I do agree that it would be beneficial in the storyline for Superman to more vocally advocate an ethic that is more global in character, but perhaps they are saving that for future storylines.. "
This is another weak argument.

Since the issue is perception, what does it matter what Superman legally does when his actions still put him on U.S. soil?  Let's say he denounces.  Then what's to prevent them from STILL saying he's they're agent, STILL being perceived as one, and STILL being construed as such... "secret Muslim" anyone?  How EXACTLY is denouncing any MORE effective than simply SPEAKING?  As for the straw man, uh, that was IN THE STORY.  THAT was what Superman was written as afraid of... not that he WAS a pawn of the government but that he was SEEN as a pawn and rather than SPEAKING to fight / prevent the perception (assuming he cares about perception to begin with) he makes a legal move that will do NOTHING to affect that perception amongst those who perceive him that way to begin with.  The fact that you call it a straw man convinces me that people applauding the storyline didn't actually read it carefully for the reasons and execution and are just looking at the result.
#6 Edited by Demas (209 posts) - - Show Bio

1. Why are people limiting attacks to Gotham?  Doesn't exposing Wayne Enterprises as the financial pillar of Batman's war mean that all WE offices and subsidiaries are potential targets?  Why would you strike at the Batman in his hometown now that you know you can attack him anywhere WE- a multinational corporation- has personnel?  You can argue that people in Gotham aren't risk adverse- a disturbing argument that essentially says they're asking to be victimized- but what about all the employees that work at WE outside of Gotham?

2. People mentioning Stark aren't up on their Iron Man.  In one of his more recent encounters with Ezekiel Stane, several of his international headquarters were blown up by Stane with high potential casualties.  It's only common sense to strike at the purse strings of your enemy when they're known.

3. The "employees are even MORE secure NOW" argument is befuddling.  If transparency is security then why doesn't Batman just completely unmask or reveal the locations of the Bat Caves?  The arguments being used to claim exposure protects the employees should extend to Wayne's identity and the Bat Caves if taken to their logical conclusion.

#7 Posted by Demas (209 posts) - - Show Bio
@kadeem said:
" @Demas: There is a difference between perception and reality, this is very true.  The issue here is how using and manipulating peoples perceptions can have very real consequences.  While Superman is percieved as being an US citizen serving US interest, the US government can misrepresent Superman's actions as reflecting their authority and misrepresent Supes as their national weapon as a sort of means to assert more influence and power internationally.  By explicitly declaring himself a lone agent acting as a citizen of the world, Superman successfully neutralized the possibility of such actions. "
This is weak reasoning because: 1) The government hasn't done that; and 2) If they did, transparency would defeat it... Superman merely has to SPEAK.  You list the sole requirement yourself "declare himself a lone agent"... guess what, you can do that WITHOUT renouncing your citizenship.  What exactly did renouncing accomplish that declarations would not?  Are the people in Tehran any safer?  Is Superman any less grounded to the continental US?

The story had only ONE high point, the flower passing, and guess what, THAT HAPPENED WHILE SUPERMAN WAS A CITIZEN!  Did the flower passer think Superman was there as an agent of American aggression?  Of course not.  The people on the ground can segregate Superman's actions from state action so why does Superman think so lowly of people that they wouldn't be able to tell?  Or that HE wouldn't be able to tell them?  So the American citizenship didn't affect his ability to intervene in Tehran ONE IOTA!  What, if anything, has been improved through renunciation?  Is he any more free to invade foreign sovereign soil?  Is Tehran any safer?  The ONLY thing that has changed is a convenient legal status, it's not like Superman has renounced America geographically or culturally, he's not moving out or speaking in a faux British accent.

The ONLY reason IN THE STORY (as opposed to invented by people applauding the RESULT) that Superman gives is the subsequent flak.  He doesn't say that American citizenship is a bad thing.  He doesn't say that America is bad.  He doesn't say he wants to be a more global hero or that citizenship prevents him from intervening (it certainly didn't stop him from spurring the flower exchange).  So if that's the only downside presented- mere perception- why not fix that by SPEAKING as opposed to the ridiculous hypocrisy of renouncing a legal status while enjoying the practical benefits and appearance of citizenship (again, living in the country, using its language and cultural norms, being part of the JLA, etc).  If Superman simply SPOKE then he could do all the same actions, avoid all the flak, and keep his citizenship.

So if the sole problem is perception, should Superman be behaving on the basis of perception alone?  OF COURSE NOT!  Lex Luthor PERCEIVES him has a barrier to human progress.  It is conceivable that a person gives up trying to achieve because the alien Superman exists and is prominent.  Does that mean Superman should hang up the cape just because someone MIGHT think Superman sets an unachievable standard?  Of course not.  By the same token it's ridiculous to preemptively revoke your citizenship because the government MIGHT try to claim you as an agent or that a hostile force MIGHT perceive you as an agent (all the while Superman is supposed to stand mute and not defend the accusations?).

The applauders, in general, are espousing a bunch of views which aren't actually expressed by the story and- even if they were- would be fairly insulting if you take them to their logical conclusion which is that no American citizen- or citizen at all- can act and be held as objective and independent of their nationality... which is patently absurd.  OF COURSE people of ANY nation can have disparate, dissenting, and independent thoughts and actions.  The close minded people who think otherwise AREN'T the people you should be catering to.  Moreover you retain freedom of speech to SAY what your positions are lest there be any confusion!

What is gained by LOSING citizenship?  American citizenship is almost entirely a bundle of benefits (with few to no obligations).  If you want to be multicultural, more global, etc. why not GAIN citizenship?  Why not actively attempt to adopt MORE nations showing respect for their legal processes and domains?  You can have dual or multiple citizenship.  How is being from nowhere more global than being from everywhere?

At the end of the day, neither the story nor the applauders have thought this out, it's merely a result that they're pleased with so they're glossing over the gaps in the logic of the story and the motivations of the character.  Here are 5 ways to get this result with a superior story:

  1. Have Superman renounce his citizenship THEN go to Tehran.  By having all his grand actions occur UNDER citizenship it COMPLETELY UNDERMINES the point of renouncing citizenship.  It shows Superman can do whatever he wants no matter what his citizenship status and the only consequence is wrongful perception which he COULD correct, but in the original stupid story he sees as so overwhelming that he needs to give up and into the misperception that citizen = agent.
  2. Have Superman actively seek ADDITIONAL citizenship.  Rather than a NEGATION of American, why not AFFIRM globalism by embracing MORE countries.  Since American citizenship is mostly a benefits package, renouncing it accomplishes nothing but slighting America for the benefit of idiots who think citizen MUST equal agency and no amount of speaking to the contrary will change their mind.
  3. Have Superman FIGHT the misperception.  He doesn't like how the media are portraying him or how his actions are construed?  GET ON A MIC and SAY what you THINK.  That would give us a story where Superman espouses the POSITIVE virtues of global citizenship, unity, human rights, etc.  With a wrong assumption in the air, have Superman shown as smart enough to perceive it, and diligent enough to FIGHT it, dismantling the absurdity of the citizen = agent myth.
  4. Have Superman ACT relevantly rather than naval gaze about perception.  You want a global Superman?  Just have a story where Superman intervenes into diverse nations and cultures, speaking through his actions, the wrongful interpretation of said actions be damned.  Why is Superman absorbed with the WRONG interpretation of his actions when they have no basis in fact, are easily shut down by speaking, and didn't stop him from acting in the first place?  Given that it's ACTION #900, why not simply have Superman ACT?  The story undermines its own premise that Superman can't act given that he did (see 1).
  5. Have Clark or Lois lay the groundwork.  This story is stupid because it revolves around a spontaneous incident which has NOTHING to do with citizenship.  The point is entirely muddled.  Is it about intervention or is it about citizenship, because the two aren't logically connected in the story.  DECIDE what you want the story to be about and then do it RIGHT / legally.  If it is about intervention, the tell a story of how Clark and/or Lois exhausted every legitimate avenue FIRST - which enables Superman to act globally OR is forced to intervene outside legitimate avenues.  If it is about citizenship, then have Lois and/or Clark actually EXPLORE that... see what the obligations, benefits, perceptions, opinions, and realities of all of that is and follow that to its logical conclusion.  If you want a story about BOTH then you need a situation where citizenship ACTUALLY LIMITS Superman's actions, the Tehran incident didn't stop Superman from acting AT ALL!
#8 Posted by Demas (209 posts) - - Show Bio
@Luzhell said:
" When a individual of God-like powers is linked to an specific ideology and political agenda, is the sign for radicalism and abuse of power. Doctor Manhattan accepted it because he no longer cared about human events, but Superman still feels connected to humanity, not to an specific country, but the species as a whole, so he rejects to be a tool of the government to become symbol of true humanity. That's why I applaud Goyer, taking an idea than only someone like Alan Moore is capable of tackling to it's full consequences. "
What disturbs me is that you don't distinguish between ACTUALLY being a tool for the government and simply being PERCEIVED as a tool from the government.  You conveniently use the word "linked" irrespective of WHO is doing the linking, whether the link is FACTUAL, and whether or not Superman actually agrees with the link.  Such thinking is specious.

Comic books are linked to immaturity.
Videogames are linked to school shootings.
Religious belief is linked to school shootings.
Superman's citizenship is linked to aggressive American state action.

I mean, really!?  The links here are NOT factual, NOT casual, NOT agreed to by the participants, and NOT even universally held.  If Superman shows up in London, the British aren't going to start air raid sirens for fear of American aggression or invasion.  If Superman does the same thing in Pyongyang uninvited, unannounced, and without explanation, it WILL be seen as American aggression NO MATTER WHETHER OR NOT Superman is legally, technically, an American citizen because he's STILL giving press conferences with an American English accent, still operating in Metropolis, still pals with Jimmy, and still a JLA founder.  So if the WRONG belief is held only by the WRONG people, why is it Superman's job to facially change only for them?

Comic books are linked to immaturity.  Let's say only Teachers say this.  Everyone else has a healthy understanding of the interaction between entertainment media and individual maturity.

So is the correct action in the face of what ONLY the Teachers are saying to declare, "Okay, I'm tired of Teachers construing my comic reading as a sign of immaturity so I'm going to stop reading comic books publicly... but I'm still going to read them in private."?  Isn't that absurd?  That's exactly what Superman is doing.  He's NOT ACTUALLY a tool of the government and no one except a select few think so, WRONGLY, so for THEIR sake he's going to renounce a legal technicality, but in FACT he's still going to hang out a whole lot in America, still bear that accent, still propagate compatible ideals, etc.

It's completely ridiculous and FAR from "tackling it's full consequences".
#9 Posted by Demas (209 posts) - - Show Bio
@Trodorne said:

" WHY he is doing this is to be evident to other countries that he is focused on making the world a better place and not by force."

Are you kidding?  How does the most powerful being on the planet parking himself uninvited into an sovereign nation's soil silently without explanation NOT a show of force?  I suppose North Korea lining missiles up at the border is evidence of peace or that China's naval exercises just outside of Taiwan's waters are benevolent?  The way to make things EVIDENT is to SPEAK.  Just open your gob and SAY your intentions.  Descending upon nations against their will and unexplained is foolish, period.  Superman says this himself.  No amount of technical posturing in front of the UN is going to make such actions less inflammatory or subject to being misconstrued.  Moreover, Superman is STILL going to operate in Metropolis, STILL walking in the nation that blew up his kin, and STILL a Justice League of America member, so how does giving in to a wrongful perception he sparked going to improve any of that?

@Trodorne said:

"he did not try to preach to anyone cause that would not get things done. he did not exert force against anyone who would try to harm him in any way. he is presenting the ideology of bringing about change from Gandhi (god rest his soul). "

 You really ARE kidding if you think silence is the solution and then cite Gandhi as an example!  Are you crazy?  Gandhi was one of the most outspoken and prolific preachers of his era!  He did everything possible to make his MESSAGE heard.  By contrast Superman is being bloodly mute and hijacking the relevant issue.  Instead of talking about government oppression, people are talking about his citizenship status.  Instead of being liberated to act, he's providing a tool of condemnation against America (so long as his concern is perception and not fact), where folks say, "See, even Superman's ditching!" without any more sophisticated analysis because Superman has chosen to be mute, unclear, and ambiguous.  If you want to be heard and understood you HAVE TO SPEAK.

@Trodorne said:
" WHAT he did accomplish at the end of that story was an example of a protestor giving a flower to the trooper in a sign of peace and he accepted.

Again, that's a ridiculous analysis.  By not speaking, not being clear, and by showing up uninvited, Superman could have and did escalate the danger of the situation.  9/10ths of the people who showed up weren't brave enough- didn't have the conviction- to do it until he arrived... and even then not all of them understood why he was there even protesting him.  Had that broken out into a riot it would have been disastrous, nevermind the international implications.  That level of risk and potential catastrophe is NOT worth a single passed flower.  By contrast, using his WORDS could have accomplished far more WITHOUT the same level of risk.  If Superman plainly stated his intentions and origins, there would be no political incident (still international, but only by virtue of Superman being from America), there would be no confused protesters, and his protection would be clearly stated and enforced.  Whatever risks remained would not be any better in the situation where you show up uninvited and mute.

@Trodorne said:
" IF you or I went to the united nations saying yeah this guy is evil. 1. that country would either ban you or arrest you soon as you tried to enter their country. 2. Everyone would look down on you to say "who the hell do you think you are for declaring who is evil "
1. So what?  Convictions have consequences.  Are you saying that Superman should never preach and just show up unannounced and without explanation every time because THAT will prevent international incidents and banning?  Ridiculous.  In context, Superman was effectively ALREADY banned from going to Tehran.  And renouncing his citizenship isn't going to suddenly make the government invite him into their sovereign airspace / soil to protest said government.  That's why renouncing is stupid because it has NO EFFECT on the actual issue.  So you've confused the issue.  It has nothing to do with being banned / invited or arrest consequences.  The story itself SAYS the issue is perception.  So if that is the sole issue, then you or I absolutely could go there and declare our actions to be independent.  Why can't Superman?

2. You're kidding right?  Who better to have a global perspective than an alien?  Who better to speak about ideals than one who routinely represents them?  The point is that Superman HAS a platform, he HAS a podium, he HAS a spotlight to speak from... if you or I can't it's because we don't.  The comparison in inapplicable.  Superman absolutely CAN speak out against such things and HAVE weight.  All that said, if it WERE you or I, which exactly would seem to be more effective: using vast information technologies to spread a relevant message... or trying to invade Iranian airspace so you can join a protest... only to say nothing, do nothing, and unnecessarily confuse both the government and the protesters as to your intentions?

@Trodorne said:
" A man like Superman with his vast power can not just simply become independent and just start declaring people to be good."

If not Superman, then who?  You have it entirely backwards.  His vast influence is WHY he can act independently AND be taken at his word.
#10 Posted by Demas (209 posts) - - Show Bio
@Trodorne said:
" @Demas said:
" @Trodorne said:

unfortunately he can't seem to make progress at being on his own cause the shadow of his adopted parents looms over everything he does.

That's ridiculous.  By that logic NO citizen of ANY nation can do ANYTHING without being seen as an agent for the agenda of their nation.  That's patently absurd.

The way to disassociate yourself from your nation's agenda- if any- is simple.  SPEAK.  Just SAY you are operating independently.  And if you aren't taken at your word for that what relevance does changing your legal status have on those who won't accept your word?  They'll just see it as a deceptive gesture while you still act with your nation's agenda.
 If he is choosing to be independent than why should it matter. he feels he should drop citizenship. so why not let him go? "
See, this is proof of the short-sighted result-orientated execution I was talking about.  "It doesn't matter HOW Superman goes independent so long as he's independent."

If you actually read my post, no where do I state that Superman MUST maintain his citizenship or that renouncing is inherently a bad thing.  The issue is HOW and WHY Superman is doing it.  The WHY I have discussed enough.  It's stupid.  He's renouncing on the basis of PERCEPTION not TRUTH and he's going it because he quits- he's tired- and he's given up trying to correct the perception (although in this particular story he doesn't even TRY, by remaining mute).  The HOW is equally stupid because it changes ONLY a legal status.  Superman isn't suspending his American walk, he isn't leaving Metropolis, and he isn't adopting a more global stance... he isn't doing ANYTHING AFFIRMATIVE... he's not going to the UN to speak out against oppressive regimes or freedom of assembly or press... he's going to act in negation, to say he's NOT something as a mere legal technically.  That's crap writing to be applauded only if you enjoy the shallow- but ultimately meaningless- result.