Saturday, October 18, 2014

Entertainment Can be Educational By Mel

Read Between the Lines
Truth is in Science-Fiction

I am a geek at heart because I express my exciting thoughts after watching Star Wars because there is so much political undertone that the average person would not be able to see.  It is more than just a fictional story, more than a light saber duel but more so about democracy over dictatorship.  Some people would view Star Wars, X-Men, Superman, Captain America, etc. as mindless entertainment whereas their stories can be used as educational tools for the masses.  Young people and adults identify with cultural and political issues for example Marvel’s Civil War series which was the introduction of a Superhuman Registration Act in the United States.  Although the series can be read as allegorical commentary in the wake of 9/11 and the Patriot Act, Mark Millar has noted, "The political metaphor is only for those that are politically aware. Kids are going to read it and just see a big superhero fight."  Mark Miller also stated, that the event as "a story where a guy wrapped in the American flag is in chains as the people swap freedom for security."  Star Wars as well has drawn similarities from authoritarianism, the fall of the democratic Republic and the formation of the evil Empire.  Marvel created Captain America, an American solider injected with a super serum, a clear representation of American values who oppose the Red Skull who represented the Nazi regime.

The X-Men who were created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby was based on the Civil Rights Movement.  There were ideological differences between non-violence equality for all and segregationists.  Leaders on both sides led their people.  For example, Charles Xavier for years was an advocate of peaceful relations between man and mutant (people born with powers) and believes in diversity (for example Storm is African American, Wolverine is Canadian, Jubilee is Chinese.  Charles Xavier is a high level telepath who has the ability to control, and influence the way people think.  Very similar to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who helped found the SCLC and believes that all men were created equal. Dr. King also believed that people should be judge by their character.  He was a very charismatic leader who influence the masses with nonviolent techniques.  On the opposite spectrum Magneto (Founder of Brotherhood of Mutants) believes that Mutants are superior over humans and also believes that mutants represent the next step in human evolution.  He represented segregation.  Magneto’s gift was the ability to control and generate magnetic fields which influence tons of people to his cause.  This character was parallel to Malcolm X (member of the Nation of Islam) who advocated the separation of black and white Americans, believed in segregation however his view changed later on after he embraced Sunni Islam and he disavowed racism.  Malcolm X believed in a more militia approach.  We can learn valuable lessons through Science-fiction by using the mass media as an educational tool.  That would be an Xtra-ordinary idea!

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