SEMI-REGULAR MUSINGS FROM THE SEMI-REGULAR MIND OF WRITER J.M. DeMATTEIS
Never read the comic, but wow, this looks amazing!--David
Make an evening out of it: Read the comic and then see the movie! : )
That was easy!
Stories like this, bring up important issues.Supes was created by two Jewish kids who, likely without thinking incorporated parts of Jewish thought into their creation. Moses was not among them, I am sick of people saying that inaccuracy.But it goes beyond just two Jewish kids from Cleveland. Something that apparently makes no sense. I often hear how their are no Jews in the Midwest (which makes some folks I know, and part of myself, a bit of a mystery). There is a guy on the internet that frequently said he represents the New York Jewish experience... of course given NYC's habit of stealing culture from other places, that itself is a question mark.Any, way, they incorporated far more of a uniquely 20th century American nature into him. This is probably why the character became so universal in his iconography, at least in America, if not the world.There are certainly places who do not jibe with Supes message. But this refugee-from-the-stars, raised with good Midwestern values, who fights for truth justice and the American Way (which for the sake of the global community we'll say is a stand in for social progression and propagating democracy), still resonates in the hearts and minds of the people in those regimes... right?Well, that is the oddity. Superman, despite what Alan Moore said, does not mix at all with the Nazi ideology. The citizenry is somewhat complicated. It is hard to gauge how many people were believers in that horse shit, because of the reaction at the time. The old joke, Hitler was the only person ever elected that no one voted for.However, Nazi Germany in full swing only lasted for a short period of time (if course it shoved enough evil and misery for several centuries into that time span. It was not the default culture of Germany.Of course, Antisemitism never went away, nor did homophobia, and Neo-Nazis are on the rise, but that is getting off the topic.The Soviet Union conversely existed for 70s years. That was the way of life. An oppressive regime is what life was expected to be, and cheered on by many people.It was so common place, their current leader was a member of the secret police that they feared. Many people want to go back to those days. People born in the 70s and 80s in Russia have a love for the west, but those afterwards are not so fond. They are promised a return to that glory occasionally. That is certainly not the only regime that oppressed. When Kim Jung Il died people he brutalized openly sobbed.China's ascendancy has given its people a reason to just except its practices.Yes there is something to be said about psychological conditioning and the like.With stories like this, if we look at the bigger picture of the real world, and view SUpes as a representative of the best of our world, one question comes up. A question that looks deep into America's she and pride, perhaps splitting it open.Superman may be for all people is he really of them all?And I say that as a Freedom loving American who thinks the whole of the world should be lucky enoiugh iun free democracies.Jack
Great thoughts, Jack, and great questions. The movie tries to tackle some of them, but Superman is such a fascinating figure that we could ponder these things pretty much forever.Re: Jews and the midwest. My wife grew up in the midwest—both her folks are from Chicago—so I'm well-versed in midwestern Jewishness. Definitely a different style and tone from New York, but the same essential soul.
If I were to go to New York and say something about someone I know with a Jewish name, the person I talk to would probably respond differently depending on if I said I was from The Midwest, Michigan, or Detroit. All three are accurate, but illicit different responses.My guess is that it would probably be the same with your wife if she said Midwest, Illinois, or Chicago.My guess is that your wife is more likely to say Chicago than the other two, like I am Detroit.The real problem is that the Midwest, does not exist. It is a combination of two regions, the Great Planes and the Great Lakes.The Great Lakes, where your wife and I are from are sort of a middle area between the industrial east and the Great Plains.Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and to a lesser extent Indiana, are set up the same with varied details in the back stories.They have a large metropolitan area, that brought in a lot of immigrants, as well as Black (and to a lesser extent white) migrants from the south.As such they tend to have areas with well developed areas, and then more rural areas with smaller populations. However, those larger populations... somewhat... inform the others.It is also why all six states have wildly swinging political views depending on the area.The Great Plains conversely developed in a much more insular way. I am not trying to paint that as bad, but it does mean that even the most populace areas tend to be on the homogeneous side, and away from the world.It isn't that one is bad, it is that they are very different in many ways. There ARE far fewer Jews in... say Topeka . Not none, but fewer.With the larger cities being mostly in the Great Lakes are, people from the more diverse areas say the city they are from. As such, people associate the whole region one way... that is far less accurate.If it makes you feel ant better, here in Detroit, members of the Jewish community volunteer every year on Christmas Day. Here is proof...https://www.secondwavemedia.com/metromode/features/mitzvah-day-121119.aspxFamous Jews from Detroit alone include Gilda Radner, Selma Blair, the Purple Gang, and this guy Jeff I know.The oldest synagogue in Detroit was built in 1850. And before the 70s, when the congratulation moved to the burbs, it was huge... and gorgeous. Still is actually. It just does not have a Jewish congregation.Here is some music from a young lady from Detroit. Okay... one of the northern suburbs...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBKuT1gUUCMIt really would be an interesting thing for someone to explore in a documentary or book. However, aside from the issues I already mentioned, you hit the nail on the head. There are differences for sure, bit the similarities are not so pronounced that their would be some culture shock. Like say, Southern Jews may.It is different enough to be interesting. DO some research, and write a comic on the subject.Personally, I think many of the differences (at least post war) was Great Lakes regions continued to have a certain pride and conviction to Working Class elements, were as New York area folk seem to have that on a more person to person.If your wife ever talks about the differences, and you feel comfortable sharing, I would be very interested in hearing them. Or if you just wanted to elaborate on your findings.Now apologize for New York City stealing punk from Detroit.Jack. P.S. Jim Starlin was on CNN last week. That was weird.
Starlin was on CNN? Is that online somewhere? I'd love to see it!My wife actually spent her first ten/twelve years in Wisconsin, where, at the time, Jews were scarce. She saw quite a bit of antisemitism. The Chicago area was very different, since there was a healthy Jewish population.
That is unfortunate. Wisconsin's biggest city is Milwaukee, and while there are some Jews there (Mrs. Garrett from Facts of Life was born there for instance) it is far lesser than the big three Great Lakes city's.Few things kill prejudice like knowing the group.Of course time quite possibly could have changed that. It was decades ago.I am glad things were better when she moved to Chicago. The only question is, was her Rabbi Moon Knight's father?Does she put full pickles on (kosher) hotdogs? Because despite having a brother that lives there and a sister in law from CHi-town, I still don;t get why.Cubs, White Sox, Or doesn't care?Sam Raimi is also Jewish and from Detroit.Also form the Midwest, Eddie Jacobson, the traveling salesman from Missoura responsible for Israel.As for the Starlin clip... not anymore. I did a search last week afterwards, you know, to watch it again...and it was on the fox News site. There is still a write up, but no video.Like everywhere else on the internet, I would not recommend looking at the comments section. They are just lovely.I will assume that your lack of punk related apology is because you are too ashamed. Or now coordinating your own Mitzvah Day.Jack
She doesn't eat hot dogs (I haven't had one in many years), so I couldn't answer that one. In New York, growing up, it was mustard (which I never liked) and sauerkraut (which I did). And she has less interest in sports than I do!Did a search for Starlin and the clip doesn't seem to be out there.
Great analysis, Jack. Especially the question, "Superman may be for all people but is he really of them all?" Reminds me of Jor-El's line from SUPERMAN: "You may look like one of them, but you are not one of them." That, of course, is the great paradox at Superman's core (one of them, anyway): he both is and isn't 'one of us.' His outlook is alien, yet in many ways it's also the culmination of human history, philosophy and religion. (I mean in terms of his empathy, compassion and humility.)So in many ways, he's more us than...us? --David
"...more us than...us?" Well said, David!
Everyone likes sauerkraut Dematteis. Except for the people who don't, and those people and I have a parting of the ways on the subject.Since you didn't answer, I am going to assume that Moon Knight's father WAS her rabbi.Not eating hot dogs is fine. Putting a pickle quarter on is not. It is like communism. Just because you have the right doesn't mean it IS right.Look, I love a good pickle too. Garlic, bread and butter (even if I still don't know why they are called that), great stuff. Come on people.If you do ever have a hot dog again, try to get a Michigan one. We have the strictest laws in the country about what goes into them and how they are made. IN case you are wondering, a a Detroit hotdog, or Coney, has chili sauce, mustard, and onions. I sometimes wonder if it is a dare for heartburn.In Chicago, in the 20s I believe, there was street violence and murders between Polish and Swedish immigrants over the meat pacing bushiness.Speaking of the Windy City, Doesn't like the Cubs? That is blashem... yeah I don't either.My mother's mother and father's father were from teh Chicago area and were both ride or die Cubs fans. SO is my father.My interest extended about as far as wanting my grandfather to see the Cubs wn the World Series before he died.While I am no fan of watching sports (or eating broccoli, I don't think the two are related). However, being so close to it, it is a unique and interesting American subculture, even among other sports fandoms.However, here is something related to what I DO have an interest in...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntzMjAr43LUspeaking of Star Trek, here is something you almost certainly have seen before, but is a good reminder of how kind people in distress can be if they chose. Something we all may need THIS Christmas season.https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/02/27/spock_teen_outcast_1-1-_custom-401c0a3c8634e1d05e8039dbfd7703fc551b20c1-s800-c85.jpgJack
Wow. That Nimoy thing was very moving. I wonder if he actually wrote that or simply approved something the magazine wrote in his name...? In either case, those words are just as powerful today as they were then.I'm not a sports guy, either. But I do love my broccoli!
According to the NPR article I got the iarge from, he wrote it himself.https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/02/27/389589676/leonard-nimoys-advice-to-a-biracial-girl-in-1968I am not a particularly outwardly emotional gut, but I teared up the first time I read it. As I said it is a good reminder about the power and importance of compassion.Or, as Spock would say it is... fascinating.And you had the perfect song to listen to while reading it... albeit with a drastically different tone. And about the wrong characterJack
Thanks so much for sharing that. And speaking of STAR TREK...https://www.bleedingcool.com/2019/12/20/j-m-dematteis-returns-star-trek-mirror-universe-khan-idw-march-2020-solicitations/
For the song or the magazine clip. r my hatred pf broccoli?Anyway, a J.M. Dematteis penned Mirror Mirror Khan Singh. Should I assume he is a spiritual leader with Hindu/Buddhist/vaguely Judeao-Christian philosophies, who talks about the importance of love?Or is he now a Latino played by an Indian actor now?Looks neat, I might pick it up, with money.Jack
It was established that Khan is a Sikh, so I do emphasize that in the story. And, yeah, casting was strange back in those days. Montalban was fantastic as Khan, but he really should have been played by an Indian actor. Even stranger when they cast Comberbatch as Khan for the "modern" Trek movies.
Oh, wow, that's intriguing. Khan is such a great character and a mirror universe take opens all kinds of possibilities. "Space Seed" implies that Kirk giving Khan his own unoccupied world to channel all his creative energy into--a new frontier, so to speak--is the perfect solution, and WOK never really answers the question of whether Khan is just inherently violent or if Kirk's instincts would have been right if the planet hadn't turned uninhabitable. TWOK is a better story for its ambiguity on that point, but I'm certainly fascinated to see which tendencies of Khan's make it to the other side of the mirror, and which qualities are more variable based on changing circumstances!Also, I wasn't aware you'd written anything TREK related before?--David
When I first started at Marvel, I wrote the final issue of their TREK comic.Hope you enjoy the Khan story. It was a dream-come-true.
I think there's pretty much zero chance I won't love this comic.--David