Magneto the 'ecoterrorist'?

The NRO hacks review X-Men III with predictably hilarious results! I guess I shouldn't expect better from these guys, but some of this review is just really

"As in the first two films, much of the movie is concerned with not just the fight for mutant rights, but the fight over just how to attain those rights. In the movie’s universe, mutants are the all-purpose minority interest group. The X-Men are the patient, generally peaceable crowd that wants to work from within the system and live pleasantly and equally alongside their human counterparts. Professor X runs a boarding school that offers courses on superpower ethics, while Beast heads up the government’s department of Mutant Affairs. Their idea is to lobby for their interests; think of it as the mutant K-Street project."

Mutant rights is like the K Street Project? Uh,...no. The lobbying for mutant rights is directly analgous to, oh, I don't know, the ACLU maybe? Whereas the 'K Street project' was the brainchild of GOP reptile extraordinare Tom Delay, and revolves around replacing the nominally bi-partisan lobbyists of Washington with Republican friendlies, ensuring a smooth relationship between donations, graft, etc. between the corrupt Delay congress and the corporate lobby groups. How that project dovetails with 'mutant rights' is beyond me, but its clear the attempt is to project the meme that the K-Street project is 'just the lobbying of congress'. No corruption here. Move along. But wait, this fever dream of a movie review gets even better;

"Magneto and his crew of tattooed, leather-clad nasties, though, are the mutant equivalent of ecoterrorists. They want to take human society by force and subjugate it to their whims. Where the Spider-Man movies were all about the superhero as individual, the X-Men films are all about superheroes as a group. But Ratner’s film can never bring itself to say anything more complicated than evil mutants are bad news. The film sets up a potentially interesting clash between activism and militancy, but fumbles when it comes to resolution."

In Peter Suderman's world, when an aggrieved minority seeks to subjugate humanity to it's whims, the first example he thinks of is 'ecoterrorists'. Get it? Magneto = tree huggers. The mind reels.

Here's a counter-reading for Mr. Suderman. The evil mutants under Magneto's influence want to subjugate humanity. Why?

Revenge for past wrongs and their own future security, coupled with a sense of superiority at being 'different' from everyone else. They are culture warriors who find themselves surrounded by a hostile, corrupt and violent culture, and are forced to interact with mediocre humanity and its barely restrained intolerance towards their superiority. Magneto's claim that the mutants are 'homo superior' and thus the natural inheritors of humanities leadership is nothing less than a restatement of Platonic political ideology. Those fit to rule, should (and how do you argue with Magneto that he isn't fit to rule?). Xavier's group wants to help educate humanity about the humanity of mutants. Mangeto's group wants to take control of humanity and force it to accept them - or else. Xavier's group is (as mentioned) clearly analgous to the ACLU.

Magneto's group however, aren't they clearly less like 'ecoterrorists' and a lot more like the neo/theo-cons of NRO?

1 comment:

Pantokraterix said...

Magneto is who he is and acts as he does because he lived through a period where his people were rounded up and killed for being who they were: he doesn't believe in the benevolence of humanity. Xavier hopes to teach mankind to trust mutants, that we're all one big sunshiny family, and helping out, taking the punches, and turning the other cheek will make things okay. I mean, check out his position in his last scene in the movie! Magneto knows better. That's why he's the awesomest villain ever!