Radix Journal

Radix Journal

A radical journal

Tag: Pop Culture

Subverting Thor

How can you pervert a perversion?  The Marvel version of Thor has about as much to with Germanic heathenry as the screeching crone Madonna has to do with the Theotokos.  The entire history of the character is an insult to the old European belief system, and was intended as such.  But the recent controversy over Marvel’s “Thor” being transformed into a woman shows that even bastardized Western symbols have to be subverted, as modern culture is unable to create something original and admirable. 

How can you pervert a perversion?  The Marvel version of Thor has about as much to with Germanic heathenry as the screeching crone Madonna has to do with the TheotokosThe entire history of the character is an insult to the old European belief system, and was intended as such.  But the recent controversy over Marvel’s “Thor” being transformed into a woman shows that even bastardized Western symbols have to be subverted, as modern culture is unable to create something original and admirable.

The Thor of the comics was not simply the God of Thunder put into a fictional universe so he can fight Galactus or Absorbing Man.  Thor has a dual identity within the Marvel mythos as he is sometimes Dr. Donald Blake, a physical weakling.  Odin forced Thor into this identity in order to teach him a lesson about humility and become “worthy” of wielding Mjolnir.

The latest Marvel movies, which inform how most people think of the character today, dismissed the dual identity premise.  Even when he is not wielding Mjolnir and stripped of his divine power, the movie character is still a highly effective warrior capable of, in Agent Coulson’s phrase, “making some of the most highly trained professionals in the world look like a bunch of minimum wage mall cops.”

At the same time, they have kept the larger idea of breaking the proud Thor and turning him into a soldier for egalitarianism (and mysterious multinational government agencies).  Thor’s highbrow speech and noble lineage is a punch line, and Thor only becomes “worthy” when he tells Loki to stop being like Hitler and sacrifices himself to make the world safe for Natalie Portman.

But while the movie Thor is perverted, he’s still a dull reflection of the actual Thor, a greater Western archetype of strength.  More importantly, the character always thinks of himself as Thor, even when he’s lost his supernatural powers.  The subversion is one of ideology, not identity – Thor’s strength and character is “broken,” rebuilt, and then used to save democratic man (or woman, in Portman’s case).  It’s simply the cinematic version of Seal Team Six going through hell so their daughters can be like Miley Cyrus.

In contrast, the comic book divorces Thor’s essential characteristics from the character itself.  Stan Lee pictured Thor in his true form as “looking like Vikings of old, with the flowing beards, horned helmets, and battle clubs.”  But Thor’s consciousness is somewhat divided.  While “Blake” is always “Thor,” his status as one of the Aesir is something conditional, rather than something that he just is.  Thus, as recent apologists for Thor’s sex change argue, Thor in the comics is not always a mighty Norse god–sometimes he’s just a man—or even a frog.  Like the word Christ, Thor is apparently less a name than a title.

Thus, Marvel can say, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”  But it’s not really.  It’s just transferring the personification of power into a more politically correct vehicle.  In the Marvel Universe, Thor isn’t really the hero or even really Thor – Mjolnir and the power it contains is.  After all, the weapon is inscribed, “Whomsoever wields this hammer, if he [or she apparently] be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”

Within Marvel’s announcement there is a representation of the “Unworthy Thor” stripped of power, who looks like some kind of archaeo-futurist barbarian borne of the collective unconscious of the New Right.  Maybe he just got tired of fighting to make the world safe for Tumblr.

As with all actions of this type, there is a financial motivation.  Marvel says it will “speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for super hero comic books in America: women and girls.”  But as Time magazine points out, even young boys don’t buy much in the way of comic books these days, let alone girls.  While there might be a slight uptick in female readers, a “gimmick” like a sex or race change  gets the niche market of comic book fans–mostly “middle-aged men”–to make sure they pick up the latest issue.

The female Thor accordingly corresponds to the cover girl aesthetics of “strong” female characters—who don’t exactly resemble female powerlifters and couldn’t put up 225 on a squat rack, let alone duel a frost giant.  Fictional portrayals of “strong” women like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Lara Croft are mostly designed to appeal to men by combining cover girl aesthetics with masculine actions.  This of course is prompting criticism that we must have feminine superheroes who defeat enemies through “feminine” abilities.  (Like what?  Posting selfies featuring handwritten slogans about tolerance?)

But there is also an ideological motivation.  Comic book heroes–especially those “born in Lower East Side at some point between 1938-1944”–have often reflected the a dual fantasy of subversion and assimilation, with Superman as the obvious example.  He is alien–yet he is also the ultimate representation of the American nation.  Yet as America herself has become passé and unacceptably tied to a European past, superheroes have had to renounce ties to the historic nation and even to their own racial identity in order to remain “heroes.”   

To facilitate this, we get the racial transformation of various characters, such as Nick Fury morphing from a World War II soldier (albeit one who led a “racially integrated elite unit”) into Samuel L. Jackson in both print and film.  Similarly, comic books today are less telling stories than about beating the correct political ideology into a dumbed down audience.  Therefore, Archie will soon die taking a bullet fir
ed by a fanatical gun rights supporter at his gay friend, who is “married” to a black man.  Soviet propaganda looks like a model of subtlety in contrast.

What never seems to catch on is the actual creation of heroes that don’t owe something either to a past White identity or Western archetype.  Those that are created come off like unintentional comedy, like “Black Panther”–and he’s probably the best of the lot.  He hails from the “technologically advanced” nation of Wakanda, menaced by the evil quasi-Afrikaner nation of Azania and its evil champions (like “Voortrekker.”)  The defining characteristics of affirmative action heroes–indeed their only characteristics–are that they are black, have a vagina, or practice one of the sexual fetishes that our society has deemed worthy of celebration.

Therefore, we are constantly hectored that existing heroes of comics and the screen must be made black–we need a black Batman or a black James Bond.  By doing this, we will somehow convince minorities of various sorts that they too can be universally appealing heroes.

After all, Black Panther represents… being black.

And, Wonder Woman represents… being a woman.

So to get around this, we’ll transform characters with greater appeal.  Archie was supposed to be about wholesome Americana… so we’ll make it about homosexuality and gun control.

Captain America represents patriotism… so we’ll make him black.

Batman represents justice… so the good Republicans at the Wall Street Journal tell us we “need” to make him black soon too.

It is a cultural form of the cargo cult role playing which has led to such historic spectacles like Faustin I of Haiti aping Napoleon by putting a cardboard crown on his head, or America collectively pretending that Maya Angelou’s sub-literate nursery rhyme at a Presidential Inaugural was really a poem.

But Thor is a special case.  The deity Thor is perhaps is most important personage of the indigenous European religious tradition, and certainly the most popular god among ordinary people of the pre-Christian age.  Rather than identifying Odin as the symbolic champion of the old ways, John Lindow in Norse Mythology notes that medieval Scandinavian sources portray “the conversion as a struggle between Thor and Christ.”  During the period of uneasy coexistence between Christians and pagans, believers in the Old Gods would wear Thor’s hammer pendants around their necks–a practice continued by heathens today (and, for that matter, some metal fans).

Therefore, Thor is culturally specific in a way that Superman or Batman isn’t.  Putting him in a comic book is bad enough, as the character is based on a deity that was once the dominant figure for Germanic civilization and who understood and pictured their gods in highly specific ways.  One imagines that the adventures of “Moses” calling on God to drown a mugger in Greenwich Village or “Muhammad” using a friendly jinn to trick Dr. Octopus might be seen as distasteful (although hilarious).

But even if the point to “lighten up” is graciously conceded, Stan Lee pictured Thor along the lines of the romanticized image we have of Vikings of the late heathen period. He wrote him as part of that.  He therefore fits in a certain context that represents a group of people that once existed.  The comic book hero’s adventures and changes have to be limited by what makes sense with the character.  The usual objection that “anything is possible” because fictional heroes are in a world of magic misses the point–the character is based in a specific cultural context and is indeed defined by it.

Moreover, even in fictional universes, magic and supernatural occurrences have rules and context.  A Song Of Ice and Fire has magic, but Ned Stark’s severed head can’t simply start flying around in the middle of the story any more than the wildlings can breach the Wall with an Abrams tank.  Even within the Marvel universe, Thor can’t be a woman and remain Thor just as Cat-Woman can’t be a man and remain Cat-Woman.

Thor’s sex change is political and is defined by its creators as such.  The reason is that to have a white (indeed Nordic) male character associated with the Germanic past and traditional masculine virtues is simply impermissible.  Even in the most bastardized, degraded, perverted form, the existence of a white male Thor in pop culture is an insult to everything our culture is telling young boys to be.  The Marvel Thor has to be a woman – and it has to be a different race next.

Political correctness can only achieve popular appeal through subverting symbols that already appeal to mass constituencies because any new symbols will appeal pathetic by comparison.  And certainly European cultural symbols, even in their most debauched form, are superior to affirmative action culture.  Most Americans, especially children, instinctively sense this.  After all, “social justice man” is hardly something to appeal to the imagination of a typical seven year old.

To be fair, shapeshifting and even gender bending is nothing new even within the lore of European religion.  Loki is, after all, the mother of Sleipnir, having transformed into a female horse as part of a ruse against a giant.  However, while the shapeshifting, androgynous Loki helps various gods (including Thor) on several adventures, he is also the father of monstrous beings who will ultimately unleash chaos and the destruction of the gods.  In this we see the understanding that perversity and chaos, even if used for temporary advantage, further a process of degeneration and final destruction.  Loki is a deeply perverted character, although not an entirely “evil” one in the Christian sense.

Interestingly, there is a story in the lore where Thor must pretend to be a woman–the Þrymskviða.  Assisted by Loki, Thor must disguise himself as Freyja and attend “her” wedding in order to reclaim his stolen hammer.  The giants recognize something is amiss (like when the “bride” eats an entire ox) but Loki comes up with one hilarious excuse after another.  One can imagine our ancestors roaring around a fire hearing this light-hearted tale.

Of course, the reason Þrymskviða is funny is because European religion and Germanic Christianity had a sense of social norms and hierarchy as serving a necessary function.  Bending gender roles on occasion could be used for humorous effect or perhaps in extraordinary occasions (like the “shield-maidens” of legend).  However, it would be absurd to take “pride” in the idea that you are subverting a norm and deriving worth from it–the louder someone boasts of their pride, often the less they have to be proud of.

But America can’t admit that.  “We are all created equal” after all.  So even gods, symbols of gods, and even the fictional heroes of less degenerate times need to be twisted in order to make people feel better about themselves.  In the end, the value of such symbols are frittered away and become objects of indifference or even scorn–arguably, what is happening to American patriotism and identity today.

What Marvel is doing to Thor is part of this.  We should be glad because even though young boys swinging a plastic Mjölnir is better than nothing, such actions ultimately postpone the inevitable.  European cultural symbols, practices, and even gods need to become the source of a vital living Tradition, not objects of exploitation used to propel the elaborate practical joke we call American culture.

Besides, Thor is a red bearded war god, not a socialist teddy bear.  The existence of Marvel’s she-Thor may make it a bit easier for Europeans to start looking into the distinctions and rediscover the living well of Tradition media companies have been leeching from for years.

Yes, it’s an insult.  But we should laugh at how utterly pathetic it is that people feel compelled to act this way in order to feel moral.

And we should remember the end of the Þrymskviða.  Thor gets his hammer back and deals with the situation as the God of Thunder usually does–by using it to slaughter all of his enemies.

There can be these games for a while, and comics’ new world begins, where nonwhites are paid for existing, and transqueers don’t pay for their sins. But as surely as Water will wet us, the sons of Europe will learn–and The Gods of the Copybook Headings, or the Gods of the North will return.

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The Evil of the Telescreen

The telescreen can never be turned off; only turned down. 

The telescreen can never be turned off; only turned down.

Fate found me in a government building sans a book or a cellphone.  A television blared from the center of the room, commanding all attention.  For the first time in many years, I watched regular television programs, marooned in a state waiting room, surrounded by strangers.

Like many others, I have a television that is only used for DVD’s or the inevitable Netflix account, giving me a certain amount of freedom as to what I want to see.  As I get most entertainment and news from the Internet, I never quite realized how bad the “normal” and “apolitical culture” has become.

The first show was an episode of “House” in which the eponymous doctor attempts to help a marriage counselor with a mysterious illness.  The male counselor is suffering from low testosterone among other problems, and House puts him on a dose of the male hormone while they attempt to figure out the source of his illness.

Initially, the testosterone makes the patient feel better, act more decisively, and feel more sexually attracted to his wife.  However, he starts making decisions without her and demanding his wife respect him as the “Man of the House” (the title of the episode).  The wife is shocked by this behavior, wondering where her compliant, submissive husband went.  Watching a video of one of her husband’s earlier business seminars, she is disgusted by the way her husband used to preach a creed of take no prisoners capitalism.  “I never would have gone out” with a man like that, she sniffs.  In the end, the patient is saved – but before he is discharged, he asks for the testosterone to be lowered.  He admits it makes him feel better – but making his wife happy is more important.

The next show was NCIS, starring heroic law enforcement officers working for the Department of the Navy.  Two of the male protagonists in this episode were married to the same woman, and the plot now centers on her third husband.  There is a terrorism plot against the Joint Chiefs of Staff who are all going to a football game (insert your joke here.)  When the plot is predictably foiled, the dying terrorist tells the law enforcement agents, “You don’t even know what you’re defending.”  It is revealed that the terrorist–an employee of the Homeland Security Department–was sponsored by someone in the military industrial complex, presumably to prevent defense cuts. Thus, as always, the real terrorists are those who promote fear of “the other.”

There is a Narrative.  It is never fully defined but we all know what it is.  Heterosexual white males are holding everybody down.  Racist forces are numerous, powerful, violent, and everywhere.  Hate crimes are rampant, homosexuals are brutally oppressed, and every wife in the country puts on make up in the morning to hide the black eye she got from her husband.

The defining characteristic of the Age of Obama is not anything the President did or any historical event overseas.  It is that Obama seemed to open a door to the anticulture of the egalitarian Left to fully take over the mass media.  It seems genuinely incredible that there was a time when parents used to protest things like sexual content or obscenity on television.  More than that, it is only in the recent past there has been a shift were the “default” culture is socially egalitarian, explicitly anti-Christian, and explicitly anti-white.  It is not media bias that is the program – it is the moral vision presented by sitcoms, talk shows, and the daytime pap consumed by your average White Americans.

This propaganda is all the more insidious because it is diffuse.  Despite the extreme concentration of the American mass media, most Americans cannot recognize propaganda as propaganda unless it specifically comes from the government.  More than that, unless it comes with militaristic trappings and the aesthetics of fascism, most Americans will not see social conditioning as sinister or even intentional.  It will be simply be interpreted as freedom in action.  Unlike in They Live, there isn’t just one television signal we can blow up to reveal the horrible truth.

A sign of successful propaganda is that the intended target can’t remember where he heard it, but he swears it is true.   This is easy to accomplish when degeneracy serves as a kind of background noise for the entire society.  Millions of half-formed impressions, snippets of conversation, and barely remembered storylines will far outweigh any coherent argument or even cogent slogan in defense of positive values.  The prevalence and uniformity of the media is such that for a huge segment of the population, “creating awareness” and “education” are nothing but a tremendous waste of time.

But there is a bright side.  It also means that “Come the Revolution” (as the Left used to say), most people will believe whatever they are told to believe.  It means that even when public opinion is nominally against the Dissident Right, a vast swath is simply unthinking allegiance to whatever they vaguely remember from Oprah that morning.  And it means that culture is a creation, not a source, of power.  It means that victory is not impossible.

This is nothing but a silver lining for the dispossessed Dissident Right and the European peoples they fight for.  But just try to watch some TV for fifteen minutes – and after that, I’ll take any glimmer of hope I can get.

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Uncanny X-Men

Much has been written about how the superheroes of American comic books were developed largely by Jewish creators, and that within the symbolism of the comic book world, the popular superheroes were designed, often consciously, to represent Jews. According to this understanding, it has also been frequently pointed out that the “secret identities” of these superheroes are symbolic of the *crypsis* Jews have often felt necessary in a milieu of potentially hostile Gentiles. 

Occasionally, it has also been mentioned that the intrinsic moral code that motivates these superheroes to use their powers for good has its root in the notion of Jews being essentially benefactors of society or “a light onto nations.” Less has been written about the implication of their “super-powers,” that is, special gifts that the heroes possess and which are absent in the wider world they are charged to protect. 

And the super villains also have super-powers. . . 

Much has been written about how the superheroes of American comic books were developed largely by Jewish creators, and that within the symbolism of the comic book world, the popular superheroes were designed, often consciously, to represent Jews. According to this understanding, it has also been frequently pointed out that the “secret identities” of these superheroes are symbolic of the crypsis Jews have often felt necessary in a milieu of potentially hostile Gentiles.

Occasionally, it has also been mentioned that the intrinsic moral code that motivates these superheroes to use their powers for good has its root in the notion of Jews being essentially benefactors of society or “a light onto nations.“ Less has been written about the implication of their ”super-powers,” that is, special gifts that the heroes possess and which are absent in the wider world they are charged to protect.

And the super villains also have super-powers…

As the years have worn on, however, Jewish creators of these comic books have been more revealing about the Jewishness of their characters (and even its implications), much as Jews in wider society have felt less of a need to conceal their identity.

Clark wasn't really from Kansas.

Clark wasn’t really from Kansas.

In at least one important and salient case, a superhero is depicted openly as a Jew and with his fantastic powers deriving from—or at least being enhanced by— his experiences as a Jew, specifically, the suffering of the Holocaust. This character is “Magneto” of the X-Men series. Interestingly, this superhero is, for the most part, perceived a villain, albeit a very complex one.

Indeed, watching the rivalry between Magneto (Max “Magnus” Eisenhardt) and “Professor X” (Charles Francis Xavier), particularly in the films, one is briefly tempted to view the X-Men series as a somewhat politically incorrect addition to the comic-book canon. The films, being products of their time, are pro- multicultural and pro-feminist—featuring Mutant superheroes of both genders and all races exercising roughly commensurate super-powers and working to safeguard a liberal, multicultural world. But at first blush, they do not seem obsequiously philo-Semitic. The Jewish Magneto has been twisted and made hateful and vindictive by his experience in the Holocaust, and, to a degree, the audience is invited to sympathize with his plight. Nevertheless, Magneto is a terrifying entity: he not only sees human as his persecutors but as his inferiors, an outmoded species that deserves to be subjugated and displaced (maybe even eliminated) by the highly evolved Mutants. The WASPy Professor X, on the other hand, is depicted as the moral center of the X-Men universe.

Hence, if we take Magneto as the representative of Judaism in the series, are the X-Men pro-multicultural, yet anti-Semitic? (Or at least are they “anti-Semitic” according to the hyper-sensitive contemporary usage of that term, in the way that, for example, the ADL sometimes fears that the Democratic Party is becoming “anti-Semitic” when it makes vaguely critical statements about Israeli?) Does the X-Men series represent a break from the metaphor of Jews as benevolent superheroes—indeed, a break in popular culture from the depiction of openly Jewish characters as anything but benefic? Do the virtuous X-Men, opposing Magneto, represent the “talented tenth” of a multicultural society, instead of crypto-Jews? Are the X-Men “progressives” who will, with their greater intelligence and wisdom, lead the rest of humanity in an evolution to a multicultural Utopia, where everyone will be a uniquely talented “Mutant” regardless of race and creed?1

This seems to be at least the exoteric meaning of the Mutants’ multiculturalism. Though upon closer examination, there are more nuances at work here. To understand this, a good starting point would be to ask just who is Professor X, the leader of the Mutant coalition that seeks to avert Magneto’s plans for human subjugation? In the films, whether played by Patrick Stewart in his older incarnation or by James McAvoy as a younger man (both employing British accents), ethnically, he is apparently Anglo-Saxon. But this by itself is hardly definitive, as frequently characters who are not necessarily Anglo-Saxon are Anglicized in order to broaden their commercial appeal.

Indeed, Stan Lee, who developed the character, is understood to have taken Yul Brynner, an actor of Gypsy ancestry, as the inspiration for Professor’s X physical appearance in the comic book (though in fairer youth, Professor X is blue eyed and blonde as one can see in an accompanying illustration). To be sure, it is much more useful to look at the comics developed by Stan Lee, which form the basis for the popular film series. Here, one gets the strong sense that Professor X—whose very moniker suggests crypsis—is likely also Jewish.

The Origin of Professor X

The first clue comes in the form of Xavier’s biological father. In the original comics created by Stan Lee, we come to understand he is the son of a Nuclear Scientist residing in New York City, who had worked on the Manhattan project. The development of the atomic bomb was led and dominated by Jewish scientists, and in the popular consciousness, it is understood to be a largely Jewish achievement, summoning to mind names like J. Robert Oppenheimer and Albert Einstein (whose real contribution was lobbying for the funding of the project). This impression is especially strong in the minds of American Jews, who might take pride in the Manhattan project as an example of Jewish scientists outwitting the German establishment, which unwisely excluded Jews and thereby failed to develop the weapon of global hegemony.

Another salient clue to the possible ethnicity of Xavier comes with the introduction of his stepbrother, Cain Marko. Cain is certainly an unusual name for Stan Lee to have selected for this character. It is, of course, biblical in origin. And unlike common Torah names like Isaac or Rebecca, Cain carries with it ominous, pejorative connotations. Hence, we can very reasonably assume it was meaningful to Lee. And as in Cain and Abel, a rivalry springs up between Cain and the young Xavier that becomes abusive.

“Cain” and Xavier

In Medieval Europe, the story of Cain and Abel was popular and, like the story of Jacob and Esau, was seen as describing the conflict between two archetypal characters—one Jewish, the other Gentile. At this time, however, it was the cursed Cain who was associated with the Wandering Jew, forced to drift for all of eternity for the transgression of killing his brother. Yet this meaning, like so much else in the Bible, derives from a process of cultural appropriation, whereby the original symbology is altered as it passes from one culture to another, from Semites to Europeans. In this case, the symbols have, in fact, been inverted so as to take on the opposite of the original meaning.2 It is likely that Cain was originally understood to be representative of the Gentile, whereas Abel, the innocent and wrongly slain Jew. In the story, Cain is not a nomad (or, at least, he does not start out that way until he is cursed); rather, he is a landed farmer. Abel, on the other hand, is the nomadic herdsman, the archetypal profession of the Jewish patriarchs and most ancient Jews. All interpretations of the story of Cain and Abel, whether Jewish or Christian, concur, however, that the one named Cain is the evil “Other” (possibly even the son of the Devil).

It seems possible, if not likely, that Stan Lee is making a distinction between Jew and Gentile with the introduction of this biblically named character, who is not related to Xavier by blood. It is also interesting to note that a great source of the conflict between the two comes from Xavier’s ability to read Cain’s mind, leading to Cain’s anger and resentment of Xavier. Whether deliberate or not, Xavier’s “mind reading” ability seems like a comic-book metaphor for Freudian Psychoanalysis. It’s worth noting that psychoanalysis was developed by a Jew (who was, by the way, highly conflicted about his own Jewishness), and for a century it has been enveloped in a certain urban Jewish culture. Moreover, Cain resentment towards Xavier seems metaphorical of that of patient towards his analyst, who, in effect, knows him better than he knows himself.

Interestingly, Cain eventually becomes the arch-villain “Juggernaut,” via the possession of an ancient Demon named Cyttorak, who, being one of eight such beings seeking to reclaim the world, could be understood as a god of the polytheistic pantheon. Hence, Cain the Gentile reverts to his evil Pagan roots. It is important to note here as well that Juggernaut is a superhero nearly opposite to Xavier, relying solely on brawn, not brains.

It is possible, however, that Xavier’s early conflict with Cain may never have been written. Indeed, Stan Lee had originally planned for Magneto and Xavier to be actual brothers related by blood, which would have unequivocally indicated them both as Jews, hence eliminating the mystery surrounding Professor X’s ethnicity. Though had he done this, he would have lost the opportunity to depict what very likely appears to be a parabolic conflict between Jew and Gentile, where Jewish brains (Xavier) triumphs over Gentile brawn (Juggernaut).

Xavier’s inaugural encounter with an evil Mutant, The Shadow King, whom he encounters in Cairo, is also of interest. The Shadow King, who here takes the corporal form of Amahl Farouk, an Egyptian crime lord, is understood as an entity of pure psychic force that “feeds on the hatred of humanity,” a force which possesses others and commands them to do his evil bidding. According to the backstory, he was born from the first human nightmare and exists as the explanation of all great human evildoing in all times and places. As a concept, he harkens back to Amalek, regarded in Rabbinical tradition as an enemy that reoccurs through all times, taking different corporeal forms: the Armenians, the German National Socialists, and the Palestinians have each been referred to by Rabbis as “Amalekites.” (For what its worth, The Shadow King’s Egyptian form, Amahl Farouk, harken back, phonetically and orthographically, to Amalek.)

The evil Amahl Farouk inspires yokels to oppose gay marriage.

The evil Amahl Farouk inspires yokels to oppose gay marriage.

Perhaps more important, however, is that the Shadow King is Egyptian and is encountered in Egypt. As the Bible relates, next to Cain and his descendants, the Egyptians were one of the great early archenemies of the Jews. But is this merely coincidence? Supportive of the relevancy of this detail is what Professor Xavier does after he defeats the Shadow King; like the Jews of the Bible, who escaped the God-smote Egyptians during their famous Exodus, Xavier travels to Israel.

In Israel, Xavier works at a psychiatric hospital where he treats the mentally ill, including the Jewish woman Gabrielle Haller, who has become catatonic because of her experiences during the Holocaust. Xavier cannot help but fall in love with her and eventually impregnates her, before leaving her in Israel on good terms. Their confused child becomes the arch-villain Legion, whom is known for his multiple personalities. Perhaps the schism between his mother and Xavier created these internal schisms within Legion, and they are not just personal but political.

In Israel, Xavier also meets and befriends the Holocaust Survivor Max “Magnus” Eisenhardt, who will later become Magneto. He and Magnus have long debates on the challenges that humans face with the ascendancy of Mutants. Magnus’s view of humanity is decidedly darker than that of Xavier’s, and he is insistent that humans will seek to oppress or eliminate this new minority, as they have done to others in the past. Xavier is more optimistic and believes coexistence is possible. Nevertheless, despite their seemingly opposed worldviews, the two become fast friends, and Xavier discovers in Magnus “a fascinating kindred spirit.” In fact, Stan Lee himself never viewed Magneto a villain, as he related in an interview.

I did not think of Magneto as a bad guy. He just wanted to strike back at the people who were so bigoted and racist… . [H]e was trying to defend the mutants, and because society was not treating them fairly, he was going to teach society a lesson. He was a danger of course … but I never thought of him as a villain.

Bigoted and racist?

The Great Schism

In the end, Professor X and Magneto’s views develop thusly: Magneto believes that Mutants or “Homo Superior” should be protected by any means and, intriguingly, should have a Homeland. The slaughter or enslavement of humans he sees as a completely reasonable means to achieve these goals. Professor X agrees that Mutants represent a higher stage of evolution—or, more precisely, a new people that must be identified and cultivated, hence the founding of Professor X’s “Gifted School of Youngsters.” He also concurs that humans are prone to destroy that which they fear and don’t understand. However, he ultimately hopes that Mutants can live in peace with human kind. In a scene from 2011’s X-Men: First Class, Xavier and Magnus concisely sum up their positions:

Xavier: We have it in us to be the better men.

Magnus: We already are.

Xavier and Magnus take separate paths.

Xavier and Magnus take separate paths.

For obvious reasons, Magneto has often been compared to Malcolm X, while Professor X to Martin Luther King Jr. (their respective monikers not withstanding). Indeed, MLK and Malcolm X were two figures that were doubtlessly on Stan Lee’s mind when he invented these characters in 1963. Though the radical Zionist Meir Kahane is also considered, likely more accurately, as inspiration for Magneto. Professor X, on the other hand, can perhaps be best likened to the Diasporic Jew, deeply interested in the safety and prosperity of his people but convinced this can be best achieved through peaceful coexistence, maybe even integration, with Gentiles.

Contrasting the two super-powers of Magneto and Professor X is also instructive. Magneto is a “materialist”: his attacks come in the form of matter (specifically, metal), which he marshals against his foes; his powers are thus almost necessarily violent. Professor X relies on reading minds and, frequently, mind-control (a most peaceful solution to any conflict if ever there was one). One is tempted to see in this the contrast between the Israeli Jew, armed with the gun, the missile, and the tank, versus the liberal, American Jew, armed with media, film, TV—and comic books!—who is able to neutralize potentially hostile adversaries through “mind control.”

Ultimately, the difference between these kindred spirits—whatever their disagreements and however they might tussle—might merely be one of strategy and not end goals; their relationship vis-à-vis humanity might be compared to that of Good Cop/Bad Cap or Diplomacy versus War.

One faction of the Mutants is openly hostile and dangerous to humans and, presumably always will be; the other faction acts as guardians of humans—and also of the Mutants (half of whom, again, are adversarial to humans). One wonders if Professor X is intended as a hero and model for humans and some “Mutants,” whereas the edgier and cooler Magneto is designed as a hero and model for other “Mutants.” (Humans are not allowed a hero of their own in the X-Men universe.)

Cynically, given the reluctant and often cozy nature of the pair’s rivalry, one might even view Professor X as “controlled opposition.” Maybe Magneto and Professor X, a latter day Moses Hess and Karl Marx, decided long ago that as Lenin put it: “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” Invariably, Professor X was destined to seems like the “good guy” (after all, he’s controlling your mind!). He is thus a master a thousand times more effective than the one who endeavors to rule openly with steel.

We might have been friends!

We might have been friends!

Super Christians

What to make of the “X” in Professor X and X-Men? While ostensibly drawn from Xavier’s surname, given the context, its symbolism seems to stretch much further. “X” is certainly suggestive of rootlessness and non-identity; Malcolm X took the moniker as a symbol of his erased heritage, which was, ironically, the basis for his racial nationalism. When used by a person of presumed Jewish identity, “X” has an even deeper connotation of lost identity.

Certainly, an “X” in lieu of a last name has often been used by illiterates when signing documents. But for early Jewish immigrants arriving in America via Ellis Island, who were either illiterate or unfamiliar with the Latin alphabet, signing a document with an “X” could be seen as tantamount to disavowing ones Jewish religion. It is frequently reported that these immigrants, particularly those from Eastern Europe, associated the “X” with the image of the Christian Cross. Wikipedia describes:

The word “Christ” and its compounds, including “Christmas”, have been abbreviated in English for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern “Xmas” was commonly used. “Christ” was often written as “Xρ” or “Xt”; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ (Ch) and ρ (R) used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for “Christ”), and are still widely seen in many Eastern Orthodox icons depicting Jesus Christ.

Hence, among these immigrant Jews, there arose the practice of signing documents with “Os” (the slur “kike,” likely derived from the Hebrew word kikel, is thought to have its origin in this practice). Is it too much to see significance in the “O” in Magnet-O?

The “X” taken as an allusion to Christ (whether this was Stan Lee’s intention or not) is quite suitable for Professor X, who with his purported desire to save both “Mutant” and human is by far the more Christian of the two. Like Christ (perhaps the ultimate Crypto-Jew), Professor X is a Jewish character with a Jewish enemy, developed by a Jewish scribe for the moral instruction and guidance of a non-Jewish world. To wit: “Love thy enemy.”

And if the X does have this additional significance, does this also mean we should interpret X-Men as “Christ-men” or “Christians” in the manner we read X-mas as Christmas? Who knows? But perhaps it’s not a bad rumor to spread, whether it was an intended allusion or not. Doubtlessly the idea of the “Christ-men” versus the vindictive and antagonistic Jewish Magneto would, at the very least, cause fuss and moral angst among that particularly effeminate breed known as “fan boys.” Stan Lee himself could quash it … but then one could reasonably contend that the nomenclature arose unconsciously from a Jungian impulse … or better that Stan Lee was being evasive in the manner he appears to have been with Professor X’s apparent ethnic identity.

Professor X’s status as an invalid further establishes him as a Christ figure. Indeed, the villainous Alien that crippled him in the original comic book series was named, quite unsubtly, Lucifer. But his status as a disabled hero has a Jungian dimension as well. Christ is the wounded god, transfixed to the cross; Professor X is, likewise, transfixed to his wheelchair. The figure of the Fisher King, a being synonymous with Christ and appearing in Arthurian Grail Legends, is likewise lame and without the use of his legs. Interestingly, in the film X-Men: First Class, Profess X is injured by a human: when Moira Mactaggert fires a bullet at Magneto, he deflects it, unintentionally wounding his friend in the spine. The guilt is for Professor X’s metaphorical crucifixion is thus transferred, at least in part, away from super beings (Alien or otherwise) and onto humans.

Had Stan Lee been an open Joseph Campbell acolyte, à la George Lucas, we’d perhaps be inclined to suspect details like this were deliberate. Though maybe this is naïve … for as Stan Lee succinctly points out in an interview:

I have never been a Joseph Campbell follower. There are so many people who write so learnedly and at such great length about things that to me seem so obvious.

And the Midrash, too, offers insights for storytellers.

Return of the Gods

Whatever differences might exist between Professor X and Magneto, they are both in tiresome accordance with the zeitgeist: openly multiculturalist and therefore unavoidably hostile to the existence of European-derived peoples. Additionally, merely the idea of “Mutants”(often depicted in this series as misshapen, freakish beasts) as “Homo Superior” is distasteful and feels inherently degenerate. Even Nietzsche, who waxed about a “Superman”—and who, perhaps, inspired comic books as we know them with this term—made explicit his aversion to the idea that man should seek to become another species. A better version of the species? Certainly.

All this said, one is inclined to take solace in the fact that superheroes, who seem to grow more popular in film everyday, are inherently problematic for a monotheistic (in our case, Judeo-Christian) culture. After all, the superheroes that receive our reverence, “offerings,” and “tithing” at local movie theaters—which are no less than modern day temples—are tawdry bowdlerizations of the gods and heroes we’ve always worshiped. (Marvel’s bland “Thor” is the most explicit example of this, but he’s certainly not exceptional.)

Indeed, one is even, quite gradually, witnessing an Anglicizing of comic book characters in the works of Christopher Nolan and Zach Snyder. It’s an appropriation that reminds us of the Cain and Abel myth mention above, when the meaning of a myth is turned on its head. The common practice in comic books of “retcon,” retroactive continuity, that is, the alteration of previously established facts in the continuity of a fictional work, may even eventually explicitly Gentilize a character like Professor X (though, to be sure, this would mean destroying an interesting and illuminating backstory). Lord of The Rings, Braveheart, Gladiator, 300 and even the often lurid Game of Thrones offer glimmers as well of the gods seeking to return. Even Hellboy, with its charismatic “villains” such as the Elfin Tuatha De Danann, indicates the call of the gods, albeit through a hostile priest serving as medium. Dare I say that Harry Potter is a sign?

Perhaps one day, in a not-too-distant future, these modern-day temples will finally fill with the real gods in their true and noble form and offer services worth attending. What is lacking now is the bards of the scale of Wagner and Shakespeare to sing of them. And they are coming, getting better, getting wiser. One should remember, and take courage in the fact, that artists like Nolan and Snyder have to contend with very strong social taboos; but with bold and careful decisions, they have succeeded in creating popular art with radical-traditional characteristics. Perhaps social restraints are necessary for the creation of great art? Pressure, after all, makes diamonds. And there is potentially—not to sound vulgar—a lot of money to be had in restoring this particular priesthood. Hence, one should be keen to assist such artists who seem promising.

Could mass-media become community-forming, as opposed to community-destroying? Could what was formerly known as “Comic Con” become a Pagan festival on the scale of Bayreuth—an event attended not only by geeky “Cosplayers” but intelligent, cultured men and woman of all walks of like, who seek to honor the gods, the bards, and high art? Am I getting carried away?


  1. The original and early X-Men were exclusively White Caucasians. Nevertheless, one is inclined to wonder if, in becoming increasingly multiracial, the X-Men (and superheroes in general) can still represent Jews. To wit, whereas once it was conceivable for the adopted Clark Kent to have been a Jew “passing” as a Gentile, with African-American or Asian-American characters, this is now much more difficult … unless the metaphor becomes more abstracted similar to Steven Spielberg’s “robots” in A.I..

    With the X-Men, if one assumes, likely incorrectly, that there is still a concerted effort to maintain them as metaphors for Jews, it could be tenuously argued that maybe a certain amount of racial admixture is being acknowledged and condoned as will invariably occur amid host populations, provided the most gifted are drawn into the gene pool selectively as are recruited by Professor X into his “Gifted School of Youngsters,” and in the token proportions that are suggested by the largely Caucasian X-Men. The problem is that as comic books and the films derived from them become increasingly popular, they will invariably become less Jewish as both the audience they pander to and their creators become more diverse. This is especially true as their original creators die off and have less direct control over the brand. It’s a form of the same syncretism that also Germanized Christianity. In most cases this means more multicultural (i.e. the enlightened and gifted multiracial “talented tenth” mentioned in the article). The esoteric elements of this art will also likewise suffer as they are less comprehended, revised and/or take on less or more generalized meanings as occurred with Christianity.

  2. The story of Cain and Able is very likely itself an appropriation of the Egyptian Myth of Set and Osiris. And again the appropriation inverts the meaning of the original myth, making what was once the hero of the story, the antagonist and vice- versa. Osiris, like Cain, is associated with agriculture and is a rising and dying vegetation god like Jesus Christ. He is slain by Set who, like Abel, is associated with animals and was a god of foreigners. Interestingly, the name Set appears to be continued in the Jewish revision of the tale in the form of “Seth,” who is the surviving brother of Abel and who populates the earth alongside the presumably non-Jewish tribe of Cain before the flood extinguishes the latter. Notably, while Set is antagonistic in the Egyptian Myth, he is made “good” in the form of Seth in the Jewish revision. In Genesis 4:25, there is a “folk etymology” for Seth’s name, which derives from the Hebrew word for “plant” as in “plant a seed.” Hence, there seems perhaps a later effort, whether conscious or unconscious, to disassociate the name from the idea of a wanderer or foreigner, to say nothing of an antagonistic Egyptian god.
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The Other Eurovision Story

But inspiring might not be quite the word to use for the song “My Slowianie”(English translation: We Slavs). It’s a Polish rap song with all of the potential meaning that conjures up.

While this year’s Eurovision gave rise to the new face of European Decline, Conchita Wurst, the story of Poland’s entry that might be just as interesting—and far more inspiring.

But inspiring might not be quite the word to use for the song “My Slowianie” (English translation: We Slavs). It’s a Polish rap song with all of the potential meaning that conjures up. The song itself is an ode to the beauty and rapacity of Slavic women and the English version bears the title “Slavic Girls.”

The music video is quite the piece of media. It begins with the producer of the song, Donatan, awaking with four Polish girls dressed in urban garb in a traditional, rural house. They are then taken in by two elderly farmers who then get an unexplained and unnamed Polish farm goddess (not literally, she looks like one though) to dress them in a traditional Slavic outfits, them to churn butter, and adopt a typical rural lifestyle.

Ok, there’s also an incredible amount of cleavage in the video and at one point the female butter churners gobble down a thick, white substance. It could be called soft-core porn if it wasn’t so over-the-top and hilariously goofy.

There’s also the singer of the song, with the stage name of Cleo, who portrays herself as a feisty Slavic female with a blackish singing voice and dance moves you rarely see dressed in a Eastern Europe folk costume.

Which is what comes to the intriguing part of the song: is this the Kali-Yuga appropriating traditional European culture or traditional European culture appropriating the Kali-Yuga?

This is a (slightly) serious question. Sure, the song can be seen just as pure entertainment and a sign that Poland has a remarkable sense of humor for what chooses to represent itself.

But the fact that the creator of the song (the rap producer Donaten) is an advocate of pan-Slavism and has expressed interest in paganism gives this composition more weight than just a boob fest wrapped in Polka gear.

While it would be preferable if the artist did not resort to Negro cultural forms to express European identity, it still does not overcome the fact that this song makes traditional white femininity cool and sexy. Yes, the butter churning is cheesy and there might just be a little too much tit action for good taste, but those don’t hold back the overall gist of the work.

Even Cleo’s aggressive, black inspired dancing and singing does not offend and rather makes whiteness edgy and unapologetic. White identity is too often construed as the definition of uncool and unhip. Here the hot, Slavic girls turn that notion on its head and express their own sense of cultural identity in a context that made them the fan favorites during this year’s Eurovision.

We have to start expressing White identity in a fashion that is cool and appealing to a broad spectrum of people. I’m not saying that “My Slowianie” should be the example for future projects, but it does point towards a future where it may be possible.

And here’s the music video in all of its busty, butter churning, Polka-infused madness:

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Un-Happy

Culture is said to be a reflection of contemporary social moods – but if that is true, then we must be living in extraordinarily happy times based on our popular music.

Culture is said to be a reflection of contemporary social moods – but if that is true, then we must be living in extraordinarily happy times based on our popular music.

While I’m predisposed to agree with the assertion that culture does reflect societal tensions, the music of our time does not even come close to that goal. The likely culprit of that is a top-down, commercialization of music that largely determines what new music an individual would come in contact with while out in public or listening to the radio.

For young people who are the primary consumers of pop music, the times aren’t so rosy and there’s serious long-term issues that lie ahead for this beleaguered generation. As if in reaction to this development, the music that is now pumped out on the radio is syrupy, saccharine and happy to the point of obnoxiousness.

And the number one offender of this trend is Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy.” With an incredibly creative title, the song resembles a children’s nursery rhyme with a torturously, repetitive chorus and lyrics that have all the depth of a kiddy pool. Mr. Pharrell has managed to transform the spirit of “emotional pornography” into audio form, complete with a negro musical sheen.

Take a look at the lyrics and marvel at the drivel that is spewed forth by our craftsmen of culture:

[Verse 1:]
It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

[Chorus:]
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

[Verse 2:]
Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold it back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Here’s why

[Chorus]

Hey, come on

[Bridge:]
(happy)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said

[Chorus 2x]

Hey, come on

(happy)
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level’s too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)

[Chorus 2x]

Come on

It’s quite obvious that this song, which was originally made for the children’s film “Despicable Me 2,” has taken on a life of its own and is reflecting much of the feeling that pop music is now trying to convey.

It’s an elixir for the woes that face Millennials face today. Feeling frightened that you can’t a decent job? Clap your hands and be happy instead! Girlfriend left you to hop aboard the cock carousel? Clap your hands and be happy instead! Feeling like you should blow your brains out because you have no purpose in life? Clap your hands and be happy instead!

At least the music video accurately depicts the real people of America with average, fat schlubs dancing in the street to the song to let you know it’s ok to be a hapless loser in life’s game.

In real life, the tell-tale signs of mass unhappiness are on display. Depression, drug abuse, and suicide rates are all rising and the infamous Misery Index is not looking good at the moment.

This song, along with the growing proliferation of “emotional porn,” misdirects people’s frustrations with their lives and society to gooey, feel-good messages. Don’t worry about problems, just watch this video or read this blurb about happiness and magically become satisfied with life. It’s the soft power of totalitarian humanism that mandates cheery thoughts — even though the world around you is going to hell.

Unhappiness with the world is the root cause of revolution, which is why we have garbage like “Happy” blaring at us like the minutes of hate from Orwell’s 1984. But in my opinion, these opiates won’t last long and eventually enough whites will wake up to try to change the world.

Then we can truly be happy.

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