If you’ve got a pulse, an internet connection, and even a passing interest in comics or comic derived entertainment then doubtless you’re at least aware of the online discussions about the upcoming Marvel/Netflix Series Iron Fist. If not the issue in a nutshell is that Marvel kept Danny Rand white. This has caused much gnashing of wails online, and predictably the cries of “racissss” have volleyed forth from the lofty moral heights of SJtopia. The usual suspects think that not changing Danny Rand into a paraplegic, transgender Asian with a learning disability is proof of the racism inherent in the system. Or something.
The most representative of these “discussions”, though by no means the only one (all of which read like they were copied from the same hymnal) is a literary bowel evacuation that was flushed into the internet by the always dependable (for a given value of dependable) Rob Bricken of IO9.com.
In a tediously predictable, stupefyingly irrational, and hilariously pretentious bit of masturbatory virtue signalling titled It Actually Really, Really Sucks That TV’s Iron Fist Is White, good old Doughboy Rob manages to invoke every half-assed theory, idiotic argument, irrelevant interjection, misleading metaphor, and sophistic stratagem he ever deep throated whole and unchallenged directly into what passes for his mind and regurgitate them undigested and only partially masticated onto the web.
Now before you start thinking this article is written about, or to, Wideload Bricken please allow me to clarify. Rotund Rob is, in and off himself, just another cold sore on the diseased, scabrous clitoris that is the SJW online intifada. He is but a single ripe pimple upon the asshole of the internet, nothing more, nothing less. But as a two glasses full kind of kool-aid drinker his articles usually serve as a perfect example off what the borg collective is feeling pissy about at any particular point in time. As such, I felt it might serve as a good example of the sheer stun-gun absurdity that passes for thought among the morally evolved.
Following the pattern established by the International Lord of Hate and Master of the Fisk the original shall be in italics, my responses will be in bold.
Last week, white actor Finn Jones (best known as Loras Tyrell on Game of Thrones) was cast as Danny Rand, the white comic book character who becomes Marvel’s martial arts superhero Iron Fist. In terms of bringing the original character to life on screen, it was an accurate choice. But for many it was an upsetting choice, and guess what? They have every right to feel that way.
Those people who know why they are upset, and angry, and disappointed need no justification for the way they feel, especially from me. But I have seen far too many people call Marvel’s Iron Fist casting decision a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” situation, where they’re weighing both sides as if they were equally valid.
As always with communications from the pajandrum of the ethical elite it must begin with permission for the collective to have feelings. This is vitally important as emotional autonomy is one of the first sacrifices a seeker must make in order to begin the long trek towards full social justice WARRIAH! This ensures that the collective and its thralls know that it is ok, in this instance, to have and express emotions. It also not so subtly communicates precisely which feelings they should be having in order to ensure the gestalt id that is the crybully collective remains undisturbed. This passage, or one which covers the exact same points, will be found at the beginning of any SJW communications to the collective. This is known in some circles as priming.
They aren’t. Yes, it’s true that the comics character Iron Fist is white, and thus it is indeed technically accurate for a white guy to play the role on TV. But technical accuracy does not equate “the right thing,” for lack of a better term. Because as with so many superheroes, there is nothing about the character of Iron Fist that requires him to be played by a white person. Nothing. It is fundamental to no aspect of his personality, his origin, his powers.
Once the collective has been primed, it is then the responsibility of the designated thought leader to implant the currently acceptable and desirable emotional responses and rationalizations within the mind of the collective. As we can see here Tugboat Bricken has done a wonderful job of both communicating the approved emotional response and the first level of rationalization for said response in a admirably efficient way. Also note that the none of the approved rationalizations need make any sense, or even have any bearing on the subject at hand in order to be used.
For example if there is nothing about the character of iron Fist that requires him to be white, then surely there is also nothing about iron fist that requires him to be Asian, Black, Green, or even Human either. In fact, if we were to take Remoulade Rob’s reductive logic seriously, unless a character was specifically created in order to highlight, discuss, or otherwise draw attention to a certain race, ethnicity, class etc; no character has any fundamental reason to be anything at all, and all such markers might as well be drawn randomly from a hat. The collorary conclusion, that if there is no reason to make a character x, there is also no reason not to make a character x, and that the entire line of thought is both logically and morally irrelevant never seems to occur to these towering intellects. It is also interesting to note, that the inherent assumption underlying this line of “reasoning” is of course that the only time a characters race, sex, or other may be fundamental is when said characteristics are being used in order to relay a message to the reader about those who share said characteristics. In other words every character must be a “lesson”.
But what truly got me chuckling, and made this article such a perfect example to fisk, is that while in general this line of thought is irrelevant and best and actively manipulative at worst, in the specific example he mentioned it is exactly the opposite. In point of fact, being white (or at least non-asian) is in fact central to the core of the character Iron Fist, his story, his themes, and his origin!
In fact, Iron Fist is unique among Marvel’s other superheroes that have made the leap to live-action in that making him, say, an Asian-American would have unequivocally improved him. Why? Because Iron Fist never should have been white in the first place.
And here, despite the fact that anyone with any passing knowledge of Iron Fist knows that being white is in fact central to why he is who he is, Buffet Bricken doubles down. He then attempts to lay the groundwork for rationalizing the part of Iron Fists origin and fundamental character that are wholly dependend on him being white (or again, at the very least non-asian) as racist. And why is this fundamental aspect of iron Fist’s character, an aspect that Four Chins Bricken said just two paragraphs ago didn’t even exist, so horrible? What makes it so evil, so vile that it must be scrubbed from the face of the green and warming earth?
Ever since his comics debut in 1974, Danny Rand has been a rich white kid who happens across the mystical city of K’un L’un, gets taught martial arts, and of course turns out to be better at them than any of the natives. His preternatural talent allows him to defeat the dragon Shou-Lun, which gives him the mystic power of the Iron Fist—at which point Danny immediately leaves to be a superhero in America, because why would he stick around in K’un L’un?
His character was, and is, an appropriation of Asian culture —no different from American Ninja, Shogun, The Karate Kid, The Last Samurai, and all the other movies/comics/stories where a white guy discovers a foreign culture, learns its ways, and becomes better at it than the people born into it. It is both crappy and a cliché, and one that still gets used too often.
The Horror. Hes a white kid who went overseas, found something of value, mastered it despite it not being in his very blood (on account of him being the wrong race and not having the knowledge hardwired in like all them funny foreigners), and took the lessons learned back home to try and improve the world he came from. In other words, its the story of Marco Polo(or any college grad who visited Europe after graduation and came back a socialist) . The key offense though, the one that seems to really get Refried Rob’s knicker in a twist, is that the damned white kid got better at their ways than they did.
Now lets “unpack” that a bit as the SJW’s like to say. Unless you believe that each ethnicity, race, (whatever you want to call it) is genetically predisposed to be better at things that were invented by their ancestors than people from other parts of the world the sentiment doesn’t make any sense. In other words, unless you believe that the race that invented a thing will always be the best at it, which is itself racist, the critique is rendered meaningless. By the logic Ol Beer Battered Bricken uses Japan could not have become the industrial powerhouse it did by mimicking the strategies of the west because they would have been racially unsuited to learn them, or at the very least forever consigned to second class status due solely to their race. Likewise Chuck Norris could never have become the World Karate Champion due to the insurmountable handicap imparted by his pallid complexion. Since I’m reasonably sure the 80’s were not a figment of my imagination I have to conclude that this line of “reasoning” is also bullshit. But will the fact that both of his arguments thus far are inane, illogical, reductive, dehumanizing, hateful, and banna-pants crazy keep Rotisserie Rob from pontificating on his moral superiority? Lets see shall we?
This obviously wasn’t considered a problem in the ‘70s, but it sure as hell is a problem now. And it would have been easily rectified by casting an Asian-American (or even an Asian non-American) in the role of Danny Rand. How perfect would it be if Danny Rand was looking to reclaim his Asian heritage, instead of taking it from others? Besides being more culturally sensitive, it’s narratively much more powerful if the character Danny Rand has an authentic bond with the setting of his origin story, as opposed to merely co-opting it. So not only would a non-white Iron Fist have increased diversity and fixed an problem inherent in the character, but this change could have arguably made Iron Fist a better character.
Nope. It sure didn’t.
Now to be clear the tale of an Asian-american kid who goes overseas to reconnect with his parent culture isn’t a bad one. Hell ive seen or read that story several times and enjoyed it. But, and this is the key here, its not the story of Iron Fist. Danny Rand’s story, from the beginning has been about a western child orphaned in a foreign land, who managed to make a place for himself in a culture that was not his own, and to bring back the best parts of said culture to improve his own. It is also a beautifully symmetrical idea as upon returning “home” to New York Danny is as much an outsider as he was in K’un L’un as a child, and thus able to view his own home through the eyes of a foreigner. This double outsider effect, well known to anyone who has lived in a foreign culture for any period of time is a wonderful literary device as it allows a skillful writer to point out idiosyncrasies in the readers home culture that they might never have considered.
In fact this idea, this story arch, is one of the most basic and fundamental stories in western culture because the idea behind it has underpinned western culture since at least the enlightenment. One of the core ideals that underpins western thought is that it is the content of an idea rather than its origin which is important. Or as someone I saw online once put it “I’m a man of the west, cultural appropriation IS my culture” Hell the idea of the lone man scouring the world for knowledge unknown to his fellows and bringing said knowledge home is literally older than writing! And yet, to the outrage addicted, intersectionally indoctrinated, reason allergic Rib Roast Rob, this most basic of tales is in fact, racist. The mind, she doth boggle that Rob can perambulate whilst masticating flavored butadiene-based synthetic rubber!
But Hark! Miracles can indeed come to pass, for I agree wholeheartedly with the following statement
So let’s not pretend that Marvel faced with an impossible dilemma here. Marvel wasn’t “damned if they did, damned if they didn’t.”
On this and perhaps this alone I concur with our zaftig thought leader. There was no dilemma, because there is no there here. There is no compelling reason to change the character, and in fact very compelling reasons why the character should not and perhaps even could not be changed. Other than those who believe that “diversity”, (of a certain proscribed and limited type) “racism” (which always seems to be the exact opposite of judging people’s capabilities based on their race) and “-phobia” are holy words which can be used to exorcise any questions based in reason or logic, there was no one who would damn Marvel.
The company had the chance to increase the diversity of its live-action universe and its multitude of media projects, and to rectify a problematic character created to co-opt another culture.
Now I could spend 10,000 words here railing against the ludicrousness that is the concept of “cultural appropriation” but honestly others have done it before, done it better than I could, and with more flair. If you don’t understand why the entire concept of cultural appropriation is horse shit spend a bit of time on google. Or just think about it.
Why? Besides racists, there’s only one group of people who had an emotional stake in keeping Danny Rand a white guy, and that’s the small group of die-hard Iron Fist fans for whom changing anything would be a betrayal of the highest order.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a spittle flecked SJW screed unless it straight out says that anyone who disagrees with the collective is of course a Racist. Despite the fact that an Asian wouldn’t work thematically for the character, despite the fact that being a foreigner in two cultures is at the core of the character, the only people who could possibly object to Dear Thought Leader Buffet Bricken the all consuming’s POV are racists, and die hard fan-boys (but he really is repeating himself isn’t he?)
Diversity isn’t a quota, or it shouldn’t be. It’s 2016. Diversity should be thegoal. It something to companies like Marvel to constantly consider and to strive for, and for us fans to ask for.
No Rack of Lamb Robby, the goal should be telling engaging, entertaining stories that people are willing to pay for. Not Diversity. Not spreading the Gestalt Id’s approved sermon of the week. Not even Social Justice. The Goal of a story should be to tell a good fucking story.
With Iron Fist, Marvel had an opportunity—a golden opportunity—not only to increase the diversity that it claims is so important, but to update a character who was created in a less sensitive time to one who makes sense in the 21st century, too.
A “golden” opportunity Robby the Rarebit? Really? Cause both Gold and Asians are yellow? You’re seriously going there?
So don’t feel bad for Marvel and its “impossible choice.” There was very clearly a right choice here, and Marvel didn’t make it. Be upset. Let them know. And don’t let them forget it.
I don’t ol buddy ol pal. But I do feel bad for you. I can’t imagine what its like to live in a head that twisted. And thankfully the internet is forever, so well never forget just how messed up you’re “thinking” really is.
Now those of you who have read this far have probably realized that I have been rather restrained in my criticism of Buttery Rob Bricken, you might even have noticed that while I used his article as as an example, I wasn’t really addressing Robby himself. There’s a reason for that. While a measured, mocking, and logical response is absolutely correct for this kind of idea or article, there is only one rational response to the people who hold and spread such intellectual swill.
Fuck You Bricken.
I don’t mean that as hyperbole, or even as an insult. It is IMHO the only rational, logical response to a tirade this inane, this overloaded with projected self loathing, and this ludicrous.
Fuck you Bricken.
And I don’t just meant this is the proper response to Rob himself. As I said hes no more than a symptom of a disease. No, I mean this is the only sensible response to the whole intellectual edifice that underpins his moronic SJW theology.
Once again the proper response is “Fuck you Bricken”
And if you think that is too specific remember, Rob Bricken is not an actual person, he is a type. I’m sure he once was a person with distinct hopes, dreams, and fears. But in giving up his emotional autonomy, his intellectual capability, and his faculties of reason to the SJW hivemind he has been reduced to nothing more than an empty, slovenly, heavily overweight suit through which the crybully collective can spread its holy dogma. Hes like an MMO player who has decided he will only play as an NPC and limits his actions to what NPC’s are capable of. He has literally dehumanized himself in order to become one of the many.
So “Fuck you Bricken” applies to metaphorical Bricken’s as much as it does to the former individual whom that appellation once denoted.
And the best part is, it is always apropos!
An SJW tells you you should feel guilty for being a member of the first and only ethnic/cultural group that ever made a conscious, directed, and successful effort as a people to outlaw slavery within the lands they held?
“Fuck you Bricken”
Some mouth breathing mongoloid tries to convince you that a society that has spent more than two centuries trying to live up to the ideal that all men are created equal is somehow not only inherently racist but the source of all evil?
“Fuck you Bricken”
Some wet-brain SJW diva with blue hair, an extra 600 lbs and more chins than K’un L’un tells you its cultural appropriation for you to like a nice curry?
“Fuck you Bricken”
Their ideas deserve to be ridiculed, their theories deserve to be debunked, their beliefs deserve to be mocked. But as for the collective itself, all they deserve is a nice tall glass of “Fuck you Bricken”.
Won’t you share this article so everyone who’s thirsty can have a drink?