Poll: Which team are you on?
X-Men - 'Let's work with the people who hate and torment us!'
Brotherhood - 'Let's show those bastards who the world belongs to now!'
Morlocks - 'Fuck this noise, I'm keeping my head down until this all blows over...'
None - 'I don't need a team, I go it alone.'
X-Men who? Brotherhood what? You damn kids and your comic books...
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X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants?
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14-04-2016, 12:44 AM
X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants?
So if you were put into a situation where you were attacked for something fundamental to your being that you had no part in deciding, and you had the genuine power to do something about it, how many of us would actually take the so called 'high-road'? How many of us, give real powers and hated for it, would actually go Professor X instead of Magneto? And what does that, and the appeal of the question itself, say about us?









For those of us unable to watch YouTube, here is a transcript of the episode I wrote. You're welcome.



So, as a kid, I was bullied. Most severely in grade-school, but still plenty in high-school; just not as physically because I turned into one of the tallest kids in my class. I didn't react to it too well, to the point of even occasionally becoming a genuine scumbag myself in projection; something I regret to this very day. To say I'm not over it would be an understatement. I don't think there is an aspect of my existence or psychology that isn't colored in some way by a lingering desire to somehow get back, not only at all those who were cruel to me, but at the whole overriding social system that allowed it to happen in the first place. Which I acknowledge is both sad and the worst possible way to deal with something like this, but whatever. Basically, planet Earth, you'd better hope I don't run out of bad movies to take this all out on.

The insidious thing about bullying is most of the time it is inexplicable. You don't know why it is happening to you, or at least what the logic chain is behind the supposed why. Certain whys can be easily guessed at. Why pick on members of ethnic or racial minorities? Well, racism, duh. Why are gay kids, or kids thought to be gay, picked on? Well, lingering arcane superstition about homosexual being 'evil' or 'sinful'. But what about everyone else? What about weirdos, freaks, and dweebs? What about geeks? What about nerds? What about, well, me? Straighter than Brad Majors, whiter than Billy Quizboy's business partner; what had my crime been against the standing social order been?

The standard response of course is, 'because you were different'. Now, is it just me, or did that strike anyone else as a particularly stupid sentiment? Everyone is different! Hell, I could personally attest that my bullies came in all shapes, sizes, and colors; it was a veritable rainbow coalition of torment. So I never really bought the 'because you were different' thing, and it's been my experience that very few in similar situations did either. It's also been my experience that while we never get an answer, a lot of us know what we want the answer to be; that we were hated because we were just different, but somehow superior. I've come to theorize that this notion that social ostracism is actually the result of normal people's fear of some intangible supremacy of the misfit who's not really different but better, is a reactive fantasy that exists somewhere on some level in the psyche of every nerd, geek, or whoever suffered for just being.

For some it's the not so secret driving force of their entire world view, for others it's a fleeting subconscious comfort that they don't even recognize. You can see ample evidence of this mindset informing much of the popular culture, particularly in the realms of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything else aimed at well, you know. Think about the hero's of The Incredibles. Force into the shadows of normal society not for being bad, but of being too good at stuff. Dash said it better than I can.

Dash - "Our powers made us special."
Invisible Girl - "Everybody's special Dash."
Dash - "Which is another way of saying no one is..."

It's actually a micro-variation on objectivism come to think of it. Perhaps the best modern archetype of this is Harry Potter. Teased, neglected, outright abused by his supposedly normal family of ordinary people, only to learn that he's not merely different from others, he's better! A born prodigy at wielding god-like supernatural powers. Welcome to every nerd's ultimate fantasy.

[Image: princess-leia-bikini.jpg]

Okay, second ultimate fantasy.

[Image: Cameron-the-sarah-connor-chronicles-638216_503_472.jpg]

Okay, third. Look, it's up there, okay? Big Grin


It's not just that people don't understand you, it's that they're intimidated by you; and your bullies aren't just wrong, you could make them pay for it. And then of course, there's the X-Men. A school for gifted youngsters, 'gifted' in this case meaning natural born super heroes, literally referred to by science as homo superior, who've been driven out of the normal world because people fear their extraordinary powers and abilities. Immature? A reactionary empowerment fantasy we should really just get over by now? Well, maybe. After all the oppression of nerds by normals thing kind of ends once you're out of the cesspit of high-school and into the adult world, right? Or does it?

Think about the way the popular culture even today demonizes different people of extraordinary ability, particularly extraordinary intellect or outside the mainstream artistic vision? Think of all the mad scientists, disturbed artists, or psychotic intellectuals. Think of how stupidity, simplicity, and anti-intellectualism are lionized. Think of how Bill Gates was seen as a super villain for making billions in technology, while say Michael Jordan was seen as an American hero for making billions by... bouncing a ball...

In fiction, highly educated so called elitist, turn out to be Hannibal Lecter. In real life meanwhile, cannibal serial killers tend to have a vastly less refined background. Now obviously there is some hyperbole in this. In reality nerd aren't like mutants and we don't live in the world of the X-Men. But ask yourself, but it were, and you did, and you were a mutant? Be honest, whose team would you really end up on? The 'lets be nice and work with the people who hated and tormented us' team? Or the 'let's show those bastards who the world belongs to now' team?

I know where I'd be. Just sayin'...

[Image: 4140610-magneto-x-men.jpg]

I'm Bob, and that's the Big Picture.



Also, we all know muffs would be team Magneto, so he's not allowed to vote. Tongue

[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
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14-04-2016, 05:35 AM
RE: X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants?
I prefer to go it alone for two reasons, I don't always work well with others and not very many people share my moral compass.

Side note: The reason bullies are so successful is because non-bullies are not willing to return horrible behavior for horrible behavior offered.
In fact they rely on this 100%.

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14-04-2016, 09:19 AM
RE: X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants?
X-men = Martin Luther King Jr
Brotherhood = Malcolm X

They both hope for the same resolve. Just different means.

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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14-04-2016, 11:06 AM
RE: X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants?
I am coming at this with a bit more than just Bob's diatribe (interesting as it was) but in the world of the X-men Magneto was not only right his way was the one that worked and Charles and the X-men's coddling of Humanity that despised them caused the genocide at the island of Genosha the home of millions of mutants secured by Magneto holding the world ransom.

Going Charles' route leads to the mutant registration act and sentinels. In the end even Charles greatest protege ends up on the other side.

[Image: xmen12f-2-web.jpg]
[Image: xmen12f-3-web.jpg]

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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14-04-2016, 11:34 AM
RE: X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants?
If I remember right (I'm not a regular reader of the X-men) Charles went a little coo-coo for coco puffs around the time after The Scarlet witch said "No more mutants."

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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14-04-2016, 11:34 AM
RE: X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants?
Knowing myself. I'd end up on which ever team got to me first. It's all about what narrative I would be presented with first.
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14-04-2016, 12:13 PM
RE: X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants?
Magneto seems to think, or at least uses it as a point to try to sway minds, that evolution has some sort of purpose or direction of order that makes the mutations something of a superior greater class.

I don't buy that pseudo-scientific reasoning in effort to find a meaning. So no dice brotherhood. There is no superior race of humans or mutants, it's all just changes.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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14-04-2016, 12:26 PM
RE: X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants?
(14-04-2016 12:13 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Magneto seems to think, or at least uses it as a point to try to sway minds, that evolution has some sort of purpose or direction of order that makes the mutations something of a superior greater class.

I don't buy that pseudo-scientific reasoning in effort to find a meaning. So no dice brotherhood. There is no superior race of humans or mutants, it's all just changes.


Yeah, godbots try that special snowflake crap... I don't buy it with them eithet. Magneto does have a god complex so it follows he spews dogma of some sort. Just another control mechanism. Bah!

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14-04-2016, 12:34 PM
RE: X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants?

Very interesting take on the argument.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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14-04-2016, 12:40 PM
RE: X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants?
I would likely go the route of the brotherhood, not out of a need to follow the ideology of being a superior being, but out of the the simple fact that those often denied power will, when presented with it, loose control or become that which they fought against.

Revolutions often, but not always, lead to worse regimes than the one they overthrew. Robespierre's reign of terror being a poignant example of it.

Backed into a corner, even the most timid of people can and will lash out.

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
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