The Intersection That Cannot Be Ignored

“I just want apolitical entertainment!” some say. “The creator’s politics don’t matter!”

Except they do. Not to your enjoyment of said art–plenty of stuff is good and can be enjoyed even if you personally disagree with the artist’s politics or personal life.

That said, the creator’s politics and overall worldview will by necessity influence their art. This goes for the people at the top as well as at the bottom. All fiction is message fiction. The questions are: what’s the message and how is it being delivered?

In order to get an idea of this before spending money and time on a book or movie or whatever, you can look at the people behind it.

Commenter Hardwicke Benthow recently left an excellent comment on this post explaining this concept and why it matters. It’s such a good comment, I’m reproducing it in whole here:

When it comes to the MCU in particular, the politics behind the scenes are a long and interesting story.

Marvel Studios was once owned by the Marvel corporation, whose CEO was Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter. When Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk (both released in 2008) were made, Marvel (including its movie division) was an independent company run by Perlmutter.

Now, Perlmutter was not a flawless Marvel CEO. He was hard to work with, was a notorious skinflint who cared about money above all else, assumed that movies led by female and non-white superheroes would inherently financially underperform, etc. But while he had his issues, he may have served to check and balance a separate (and far worse, in my opinion) set of issues that his once-underling Kevin Feige seems to have.

Isaac Perlmutter

As Marvel CEO, Perlmutter cared about money above all else. And I’m sure that he was smart enough to know that heavy-handed social justice programming doesn’t help sell tickets or toys. One person who worked under Perlmutter stated, “Ike Perlmutter neither discriminates nor cares about diversity, he just cares about what he thinks will make money.” Furthermore, Perlmutter was (and still is) right-wing in his politics. So much so that he’s currently an adviser to President Trump, and has been spotted at both the White House and Mar-a-Lago. He is even one of President Trump’s biggest donors, which Armie Hammer publicly “cancelled” him for on Twitter last year.

Unfortunately, Perlmutter fell for the smooth-talking Bob Iger, who convinced him to sell Marvel to Disney (a deal that went through in 2009).

While Kevin Feige was (and still is) the creative powerhouse of the studio, Perlmutter and his Marvel office in New York held the power of the purse, and Feige had to run all decisions through him. This continued even well into the Disney era of Marvel Studios, as Disney initially left the Marvel command structure untouched (presumably seeing how successful Marvel Studios already was and figuring “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”)

So keep in mind that Perlmutter, who is right-wing in his politics and wouldn’t dream of unnecessarily risking financial loss, was essentially the head honcho on every MCU movie until and including Captain America: Civil War. Feige had to clear everything through him. When you consider this, it’s no wonder that every MCU movie released from 2008-2015 avoided going full-blown “woke”.

But during the production of Captain America: Civil War (2015), Feige and Perlmutter had a serious falling out over creative differences resulting from Perlmutter’s concerns over the movie’s budget. This battle left Feige so frustrated that he threatened to quit, so Disney integrated Marvel Studios directly into the Disney command structure, thus cutting off all influence from Perlmutter’s New York office and effectively ousting Perlmutter from his leadership position at Marvel Studios. Feige now answers directly to Disney’s Alan Horn. Although shorn of all creative control over the movies, Perlmutter still had a nominal position at the Marvel corporation until 2020, when he was completely fired (less than a year after Armie Hammer outed him as a Tump donor; coincidence?).

If you look at the chronology of the MCU movies and look for social justice messaging or pandering present or not present in each movie, it becomes instantly obvious that it was not long after Perlmutter’s 2015 departure that the plague began to grow within the MCU. Although they are often greenlit and announced far in advance, a typical Marvel movie goes into actual pre-production about two years before premiering on theater screens. That means that movies starting pre-production around 2015 and premiering around 2017 would be the first ones to be created from beginning to end with no significant influence from Perlmutter.

And right on schedule, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok (both released in 2017) had an amount of “wokeness” that was unprecedented for the MCU at the time. This was especially the case with Ragnarok, which is subtextually about the necessity of destroying Western civilization. Its director, Taika Waititi, has been shockingly candid about his extreme disrespect for source material, fans, and Western civilization. I’ve documented the extreme wokeness of the movie and its director in these two comments at John C. Wright’s blog:

http://www.scifiwright.com/2020/03/retrocausality-at-marvel-comics/#comment-4853439265

http://www.scifiwright.com/2020/03/retrocausality-at-marvel-comics/#comment-4857485069

Then in 2019, Marvel released Captain Marvel, a blatant third-wave feminist propaganda movie that, for extra woke points, also ruined the Skrulls by portraying them as innocent refugees oppressed by the colonialist Kree and separated from their families.

Both Kevin Feige and Bob Iger have let slip that Perlmutter’s 2015 ousting was at least partially because of his opposition to what they viewed as “diversity” (keep in mind that among leftists like Feige and Iger, that word doesn’t hold it’s true meaning).

In his memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime, Iger wrote that he, Alan Horn, and Kevin Feige felt that the predominance of white male characters in the MCU was problematic and came up with plans to change it, and that Ike Perlmutter and the “New York team” (those working under Perlmutter in Perlmutter’s New York Marvel office) were against these plans.

Kevin Feige

Furthermore, Iger states that he called Perlmutter to demand that he greenlight Black Panther and Captain Marvel against his will. This incident would have been about a year or two before Perlmutter was eventually removed from his Marvel Studios position by Iger, and a couple of years before either Black Panther or Captain Marvel went into actual pre-production (the greenlighting phase comes quite earlier than pre-production–years earlier in some cases).

Iger also mentions being extremely impressed with Ta-Nehisi Coates in general and his run on Black Panther in particular. Coates is a far-left political activist and his Black Panther run (not to mention everything else that he’s written) heavily reflects that.

When asked in an interview if Perlmutter’s 2015 ousting was due to his lack of support for diversity, Kevin Feige replied “That’s part of it.”

Despite Perlmutter’s imperfections, I think that Feige was at his best when he was reined in by him. Now that Feige is free of Perlmutter’s control, he can run things the way that he wants to. And that includes not only promoting wokeness in the movies, but also encouraging his actors to be Twitter SJWs.

Chris Evans (who was shy and rarely talked about politics when first cast as Captain America, but has become a rabid SJW on Twitter more recently) said the following:

“Marvel has never said anything. On the contrary — when I bump into Kevin Feige the first thing out of his mouth is ‘Man, I love what you’re doing [on Twitter].’”

And Feige said this about Evans’ Twitter activism:

“I don’t see it as trash-talking. I see it as very astute, very honorable, very noble, very Cap-like. Commentary and questioning. I’ve said to him, ‘You’re merging! You and the character are merging!’”

Think about that. This is the boss of a major movie studio encouraging one of the actors working for him to be a Twitter SJW, and filling his head with nonsense about this being the same as becoming like Captain America. That’s unprofessional at best.

It’s a shame that Chris Evans couldn’t learn some lessons from the version of Captain America that he played, rather than from Kevin Feige. The movie version of Captain America is a small-government, anti-globalist, Christian patriot.

In Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), the Red Skull shouts “I have seen the future, Captain. There are no flags!”, to which Cap replies “Not my future!”

In The Avengers (2012), Cap gets ready to pursue Thor and Loki, when Black Widow warns him not to go after them, saying, “These guys come from legend. They’re basically gods.” He replies by saying “There’s only one God, Ma’am. And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Nick Fury reveals that S.H.I.E.L.D. (essentially a fictionalized FBI or CIA) is creating a new surveillance/weapons program called Project Insight that uses artificial intelligence to predict which people will become terrorist threats and automatically kill them with giant drones before they act. Cap disagrees with the decision to create this program, believing that this is a vast overreach of power and could be abused. Cap is proven right when it turns out that S.H.I.E.L.D. is infested by HYDRA agents who plan on using Project Insight to kill everyone who the AI system predicts would stand in the way of their new world order (a phrase actually used by a HYDRA member in the movie).

In Captain America: Civil War, Cap disagrees with the Avengers’ decision to sign the Sokovia Accords, an agreement that would force the Avengers to only go on missions that are approved by the World Security Council (essentially a fictionalized United Nations), as he believes that the Avengers need to be capable of acting independently of foreign authorities.

Interestingly, all of those movies except the last were made fully during Ike Perlmutter’s reign, and the last was made during its last days. None of the post-Perlmutter Marvel movies had featured scenes or themes like those that I just mentioned.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you cannot avoid this stuff. The answer, however, isn’t to strive for some mythical apolitical purity, but to have your art teach true, beautiful, and good messages. After all, if you’re on this side of the divide, that’s our bread and butter. Notice how even the best art made by left-wingers seems to embody traditional right-wing principles of heroism, honor, duty, sacrifice, and objective good versus objective evil (see, e.g., Star Wars, Harry Potter, as well as the best of the MCU, as Hardwicke pointed out above).

You know, all the stuff they mock, belittle, and work to undermine in the real world.


Positive values abound in my fiction. Check it out for yourself!

46 comments

  1. So Mr. Perlmutter is the one we have to thank for such good movies. I’m pleased to know that.

    Personally, and I could be wrong, I believe Evans knows Feige is in error when he conflates him and his present Twitter behavior with Cap. However, given where he works, what can be do about it? Evans had aspirations to become a director, something that is extremely difficult to accomplish outside Hollywood. If he wants a shot at continuing in the industry, shouting on Twitter is a (relatively) small price to pay to keep his present, precarious position. Thus far his antics have been confined to that platform, correct? If so, then he knows where his bread is buttered, and he knows what he can and can’t get away with.

    In an interview following filming of “The Avengers,” Evans said he wished he *could* be like Cap, adding, “He’s good for the sake of good.” I think Evans knows a lot more than we give him credit for, but he’s stuck in a tricky situation. I may be wrong, but for now I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Caroline

      I always assumed Cris Evan was a down earth person. So his rabid social justice struck me as throwing a pinch of incense because he’s terrified. It’s sad

      Alexander

      Yeah we as in both content creators and dialed in readers/participants need to disabuse regulal people about apolitical/ no messaging in art.
      As you cogently remarked the true,good and beautiful ARE messages and ones people respond enthusiastically to.

      Further, content creators’ main responsibility is to entertain their audience and offer them an escape no matter how brief. And of course to be paid. And then put out the next work.

      xavier

      Liked by 2 people

  2. First time I heard of Purlmutter was in an article in Variety or some such portraying him as a Scrooge-like boss. Given what I know now of the media, I suspect this was a hit piece for internal political reasons.

    Hadn’t considered the relationship between Purlmutter’s departure and Disney turning up the woke/SJW/comedy cringe. I recently learned the latter falls under the concept of “bathos,” and there’s far less of it in the early Marvel films.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Bathos” is a great word, and very appropriate.

      Perlmutter may have been Scrooge-like and only concerned with what made money, but it worked because good art stuffed with good messages makes tons of profit. This is a lesson Feige does not understand.

      Alas, “get woke, go broke” is a fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely, it does matter! It really is an “intersection that cannot be ignored.”

    I read a lot of Dean Koontz but I just could not abide Stephen King and I could never really put my finger on the nature of the problem. It took a decade or so (and twitter) for me to really get a feel for these men’s politics and how it influences their writing. They both write a type of horror and suspense, but Koontz always manages to make good triumph over evil or at least leave you with some sense that values matter, that the Light is more powerful than the dark. And King is a just a flaming lefty whose stories are often chaotic and unresolved, if not outright dominated by the triumph of evil over good. King is a good storyteller, but it full of chaos and rage and evil, and it all has nowhere to go, no hope of redemption or resolution.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Always been a fan of Koontz for the reasons you describe. He depicts Evil, capital ‘E’, very well. But he also depicts Good and is never nihilistic.

      I call him a Stealth Consrvative, because he’s never really hidden his “Libertarian” leanings. I think he labels them that to sneak them under the radar. He’s really much more traditionally conservative, especially in some of his later stuff.

      My two favorite Koontz books are “Life Expectency” and “The Good Guy”. His Jane Hawk series, very recently was pretty good too, and he let his mask slip quite a bit in that series. It also had an ending which was awesome. I feel like the female protagonist was done deliberately to sneak it past SJWs, so he could ram an anti-authoritaian, good-old-fashioned American values story through.

      He’s big enough to do whatever he wants though.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I’m very intrigued by all this Koontz love because, unlike Stephen King, I don’t seem to hear lots of people bandying his name about. Until now! I guess I just wasn’t asking the right questions.

        I suppose when you‘re as big as Koontz you are both afraid to alienate too many of your fans, yet unafraid enough that you can express your own viewpoint.

        Someone on here or elsewhere directed me to a really good interview with Koontz, about a freaky experience he had (a phone call from his dead mother, I think) that reinforced his faith.

        Like

    • I’ve never read Koontz, but good points about King. He has a weird morality that often refuses to call good good and evil evil. His understanding of Christianity and Christians is also weird and heretical.

      Also: he cannot stick the ending to save his lives.

      Koontz sounds like a non-nihilistic version of King. He also doesn’t sound like he ENJOYS wallowing in the worst of humanity the way King does.

      What’s a good Dean Koontz book to start with?

      Liked by 2 people

      • His Odd Thomas series would probably be the best place to start. Though if you can’t pick that up right away, The Good Guy is probably your best bet, in concert with Ashley Bell or Relentless (both of which have writers as the MC, coincidentally 😉).

        Liked by 2 people

      • For Koontz, both ‘The Good Guy’ and ‘Life Expectancy’ are standalone and my favorites. I “read” ‘Life Expectancy” on an audiobook, being on a long road trip. My buddies and I ended up driving around much, much longer than necessary because we didn’t want the story to end. Possibly one of the best narrations I’ve eve heard.

        Odd Thomas is pretty good too. Like The Sixth Sense but better. With Elvis.

        Jane Hawk was good. I hate saying this but its very relevant, especially the way things have gone the past few years.

        Midnight, one of his older books, was my Koontz gateway. I read it when I was about 14 years old and its quite possibly a good explanation for what is wrong with me! It combines elements of Invasion of the Body Snatchers with the Mad Scientist trope.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. —My problem with Koontz is that reading a little bit goes a long way; too much of the same feel in his books, but that was years ago, I stopped reading him after a certain point. There’s still some of his books I recommend though.

    —Politics and twitter aside, I think King is more talented and more willing to do different things with his writing; any nihilism is perhaps part and parcel of the horror genre he read and belonged to; a certain hopelessness and terror, though again, there are plenty of his books where the good guys win, evil is thwarted and a moral sense within his writing; I think so anyway.

    —Koontz seems like a nice guy; somewhere out there is a documentary on him where he discusses his abusive father-or-stepfather and notes his obsessive compulsive disorder. But he comes across as a very balanced decent guy.

    —Same with King, I think twitter and perhaps this whole dang corrupt age maybe has pushed him into kookiness, like with taking glee at that train wreck a while ago and some Republicans being injured or killed. I take it back, taking glee or satisfaction at that is evil. But prior tot hat he came across as a humble guy who loves writing and from what I’ve read, eschews fame and just likes belonging and living in his Maine community. And he’s a heck of a writer.

    —Despite certain elements I liked Thor: Ragnarok though I think the joke at the end after the final destruction of Asgard was wrong. And Valkyrie is a boring character. And the interviews with the director paint another disappointing picture; he comes across as a jerk.

    —I’m done with the Marvel movies anyway, enjoying the moments I like and discarding the rest, or the propaganda or whatnot as my input of films and tv has dwindled down to nearly zilch with that being the ultimate goal, no more media whatsoever aside from books or from the indy world; not there yet though.

    cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anonymous

      I’ve never read Kootz but I don’t King’s horror books. He tries to claim himself as Lovecraft’s successor but fails.

      Yeah his nihilism explains a lot of it but also the cocaine binge he had. He candidly stares he doesn’t remember a decade of his life. I’m glad he’s overcome it;however I surmise that kind of binge damaged him and it shows in his horror books. Rather than be grateful for the triumph he comes across as soured.
      The later horror novels reflect it.
      xavier

      Liked by 1 person

      • Koontz fully embraced his Catholicism after 9/11. At that point he was big enough to put it more blatantly in his books. One of the reasons certain people hated The Taking so much is because he combined alien invasion with Christianity, and the implications irritated them. Then there’s Odd Thomas, his biggest series, which was full of that sort of thing.

        I’ve enjoyed some of what I’ve read of King, but he cannot write good protagonists at all. There’s a reason his most famous ones are a boy and Clint Eastwood. Also, most spins on his work is better than his own. Nightblood is way better than Salem’s Lot, and Summer of Night is way better than IT, for instance. His lack of understanding good beyond his basic boomer mindset is a main reason why I can’t get into him.

        Good idea man, but his execution leaves a lot to be desired.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting about Koontz. 9/11 affected so many people in so many different ways.

        You’re on to something with King’s protagonists. So many are just unlikeable. Have you ever read the Tommyknockers? Or Duma Key? Blech.

        Like

      • King also takes TONS of gratuitous and completely unnecessary cheap shots at, let’s say, 50 percent of his potential audience. One may attempt to chalk them up to being the CHARACTER speaking, but his characters that you’re supposed to like all strangely seem to have politics just like Kong’s!

        Like

    • I have to disagree regarding King.

      I’ve only been able to finish a few Stephen King novels, though I’ve attempted many, many more. In the end, I wished I had put the books I finished down like the others. His protagonists, in the novels I’ve managed to finish, always seem to be some variety on “Basically decent humanist who loathes Christians”, often leaving the hero morally adrift, but good only because he needs someone likable amongst the nihilism.

      And beyond that, morality and nihilism aside, the man can’t seem to end a novel reliably. King could improve his stories dramatically if he came up with an ending first and wrote toward that. “It”s ending is infamous for its depravity and nonsensicalness. “The Stand” was literally a ham-handed Deus Ex Machina.

      I will give him credit for two things: Concept/Premise and Output. His novels always start interesting. And he can crank out words on the page like nobody’s business. But they’re ultimately hollow words and I’m generally sorry I ever picked the book up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! It’s “decent person who hates Christians” or “former Christian who is so much more moral than all those hypocritical Christians” or some variation thereof. Which is fine but I personally find it tiresome.

        See, I liked the ending of The Stand. That’s one of the few where I think he got the morality right.

        Concept/premise and output are his biggest strengths and he deserves to be commended. My think with Stephen King is that when he’s good, he’s REALLY good. When he’s not, it’s a chore to read.

        Like

  5. Xavier

    —You could probably get it at the library but King writes about his nearly fatal accident when a drunk ran him over towards the end ON WRITING. You may find it interesting. I think at a certain point in the book he covers his wife and family’s intervention to get him off alcohol and drugs.

    —At a certain point King’s books began to disappoint, too bloated, uninteresting plots etc. I’ve got some from the past decade on my big stack of books to get to in the future to see if I like some of his latter work. As for his most recent ones, just not much interest at the moment.

    JD

    —Interesting, I didn’t know Koontz was a catholic, the only book I recall of his involving something close to maybe a Christian or at least a more obvious Good and Evil battle was towards the end of HIDEAWAY. I mostly liked the book. That was waaaay before the World Trade Center attack. Certainly his books overall had a very positive feeling, his villains while interesting (to a point) were also pitiful personalities.

    —My biggest gripe with him was the books became formulaic for me; not as much as the two Dan Brown books I read, I was shocked when I saw how similar they were, Koontz was never like that but one could suss out where certain events would happen in his books and the villians were usually psychopaths; it all left a feeling of sameness that so permeated my impression of him I’ve not really gone back. And he’s written a lot, I don’t think I even read a third of what he’s published.

    —Difference in taste, for me, King has written a lot of memorable characters both good and bad and while sometimes his plots were unique it was usually the execution that kept me involved. I far prefer It to Summer of NIght, and Carrion Comfort was all right but I don’t think it needed to be that long. I have mixed feelings on Simmons though I am excited to read Hyperion.

    —Never heard of Nightblood and I enjoy good vampire novels, especially ones where they’re evil and not a figure of romance. A quick peek showed a NIghtblood as a conclusion to a trilogy is that what you’re talking about?

    —Interesting take on King, refreshing from the more popular criticisms os his work. I think when the man was on his works are some of the best in horrori/dark fantasy.

    cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sure did! Loved it.

      There are very few of his books I don’t care for. I wasn’t a fan of some of the later Odd Thomas books. I also wasn’t a fan of his Frankenstein series, though I did enjoy the first book.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fractal Rabbit said:

    ““Basically decent humanist who loathes Christians”, often leaving the hero morally adrift, but good only because he needs someone likable amongst the nihilism.”

    —-I disagree but barely; I can see why you think that. I think like a lot of horror fiction, his work completely skirts around Christianity though he has gone down the cliche terrible, hypocritical priest/preacher route. I’ve found a lot of his characters likeable and interesting.

    Fractal Rabbit also said:

    “the man can’t seem to end a novel reliably.”

    —-This seems to be a nearly universal criticism of his writing, I was surprised when I first came across it since I like a lot of his endings. SPOILERS FOR THE STAND, the bit with the giant hand of God is pretty anticlimatic I agree though I think the real climax was Glen laughing at Flagg from the jail cell, seeing him reduced from this terrible and frightening villain to someone to be held in contempt. I think that was the real final battle between the forces of Good and Flagg, and the Hand of God was an anticlimatic follow up.

    Finally Fractal Rabbit said: “and I’m generally sorry I ever picked the book up.”

    —-I respect that and while his work, well…works for me, it’s interesting to read others’s takes.

    cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anonymous,

      I remember rather clearly about his accident the day after it happened when I heard it on the news and read it in the paper. I remember he was very near death and attributes his recovery to basically a miracle but never openly says that.

      I’m glad he’s off the booze and coke but I’m still convinced it’s permanently altered him. He’s even said so in other interview. My big gripe is that old pub editors have been too terrified of tearing apart bloated, meandering works by authours who’ve hit they the big time. King is one of those that’ve benefited by a no nonsense editor forcing King to cut down the fat. I’m sure his novels would’ve been much more enjoyable to read.

      xavier

      Liked by 2 people

      • Interesting fact: The first book King wrote after his accident, Dreamcatcher (one of his better ones—but a horrible movie) he drafted longhand.

        His accident also spurred him to finish the Dark Tower…which may have been better had it remained unfinished at book 4.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Alex said:”What’s a good Dean Koontz book to start with?”

    —-I’d say Watchers. Though I recall liking Hideaway as well. I also liked Whispers and the Bad Place but I’d go with Watchers.

    —Back to Marvel movies, I’m glad I’m off that train, 20+ movies while sometimes becoming formulaic and a bit too jokey, as if afraid to be too sincere at times, is a pretty impressive long form story made up of individual parts you can enjoy on their own. Unlike CGI sharks flying through the air, the f/x look pretty good and for the first time were able to bring the comic panels energy to the screen. Captain Marvel was a bad film though and if it’s a harbinger of what’s to come from them then it’s doubly good to be quit of those films.

    JD

    —-Nice website/blog! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on there, pretty interesting.

    cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous said:

      “—Back to Marvel movies, I’m glad I’m off that train, 20+ movies while sometimes becoming formulaic and a bit too jokey, as if afraid to be too sincere at times, is a pretty impressive long form story made up of individual parts you can enjoy on their own. Unlike CGI sharks flying through the air, the f/x look pretty good and for the first time were able to bring the comic panels energy to the screen. Captain Marvel was a bad film though and if it’s a harbinger of what’s to come from them then it’s doubly good to be quit of those films.”

      All I know is, by the time Avengers: Infinity War came out, I was in the midst of deep Superhero fatigue. And I had generally enjoyed most of the MCU movies, especially the Captain America movies and the first Guardians of the Galaxy. I felt Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 were letdowns, but still didn’t regret watching them. A lot of that fatigue may be diminishing returns from the initially intoxicating interwoven-ness of the universe: all the easter eggs, the end and post credit scenes needed to get the Big Picture, the seeing films of minor characters who you never really cared about. It goes from a thrilling game to a chore.

      If you had a time machine, and went back to 1984 and told the 9 year old Fractal Rabbit, “Hey kid! Someday, you are going get some of the best superhero movies ever! They will have decent scripts and big budgets with giant production values. And here’s the most AMAZING thing: You will actually get tired of watching them and keeping up with them all!”

      Well, I would have called you a liar. But in the late spring of 2019, I found myself dreading to go and see Avengers: End Game, and did so only to finish it all out. I never saw Captain Marvel, mostly because of the fatigue. At that point, I was only vaguely aware of the ‘Fandom Menace’ and definitely wasn’t a member yet and really hadn’t caught a whiff of the backlash against it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. fractal sayeth: “If you had a time machine, and went back to 1984 and told the 9 year old Fractal Rabbit, “Hey kid! Someday, you are going get some of the best superhero movies ever! They will have decent scripts and big budgets with giant production values. And here’s the most AMAZING thing: You will actually get tired of watching them and keeping up with them all!””

    —Ha ha! I get it. I’ve been tired of pop culture for some time, the Marvel movies an exception to that. A combination of hearing of the rumored evil abuse done by some in Hollywood and the actual content, too many reboots and sequels. I was jazzed for both Infinity War and Endgame; in my opinion they brought the whole thing to an epic close.

    —SPOILERS FOR WATCHERS: It’s just a very fun novel despite the sadness the characters emerge from, I remember feeling joy as the main female character (don’t recall her name) slowly grew more independent from (I think) her domineering Mother. And of course, Einstein, just a very lovable character. I even felt badly for the Outsider by the end.

    —I think the last Koontz book I read was the Face bought in an airport bookstore for the flight, mainly because I figured Koontz would be a somewhat sure thing and because of that cover. SPOILERS FOR THE FACE. I think I was disappointed when the villain turned out to be another psychopath or serial killer, I think. Anyway, I think it was an all right read for the time but didn’t stick with me. Maybe I’ll give it a quick skim through and see what I make of it this time around.

    cheers

    Liked by 2 people

  9. See, I always knew that the Marvel movies would succumb to the woke mob. However, I am very impressed that it took this long to get there. Even with Captain Marvel, they still are pretty good. There really isn’t much to be annoyed at. For Catholic horror book recommendations, try Tim Powers. Powers and Koontz went to college together and are both practicing Catholics. Powers is like a Catholic Neil Gaiman with more imagination. I can’t stand King. I could not get through The Stand and I only read the first several Dark Tower books. His short stories weren’t bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim Powers—I have never heard of him, so thanks!

      Marvel movies are interesting because when when there so-so, they still seem to be pretty good. I suppose we won’t know if terminal rot has really set in until the next slate is released.

      Like

  10. There was something that happened to the Marvel movies that I couldn’t quite put my finger on though assumed it was the SJW/identity politics themes.

    First Ironman was my favourite of the bunch and I’d go to the cinema to see them all, then it became a case of ‘do I really want to’, then I stopped going to watch on TV, even then I wasn’t always bothered (Captain Marvel).

    Endgame was always the point of closure for me for these movies. I’m interested to see how they perform over the next decade!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Endgame will likely be seen as the high water mark. I would be shocked if lightning could be caught in the bottle again for the second phase of Marvel movies as it was for the first. My gut tells me they’ll spend too much time trying to imitate the first phase with subpar stars and writers and directors, while also spending too much time on cramming SJW stuff in whenever they can.

      But I could be wrong.

      Like

  11. Aaron wrote: “For Catholic horror book recommendations, try Tim Powers. Powers and Koontz went to college together and are both practicing Catholics. Powers is like a Catholic Neil Gaiman with more imagination. ”

    —Interesting. I’ve read Last Call and Drawing of the Dark; the Anubis Gates is on my stack of books to get to.

    cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Alex nailed it: “…My think with Stephen King is that when he’s good, he’s REALLY good. When he’s not, it’s a chore to read….”

    —-I agree.

    Xavier said: ” King is one of those that’ve benefited by a no nonsense editor forcing King to cut down the fat. I’m sure his novels would’ve been much more enjoyable to read.”

    —Definitely though I do love some of his epics. He co-wrote it with Peter Straub and while it goes to some dark places is a pretty good fantasy novel. Very dark though.

    And Alex is back with “Interesting fact: The first book King wrote after his accident, Dreamcatcher (one of his better ones—but a horrible movie)…”

    —Yes, horrible movie aside from the visualization of that guy’s mind with all the bookcases, files and ramps, that was neat! And it was well cast. As for the book, I didn’t like it, I could’ve actually handled the whole thing focusing on the guys’s friendship, that was the best part of the book before anything terrible happened.

    cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Talisman and Black House were great! I have some issues with The Talisman’s villain, but on the whole, those were excellent books.

      I agree with you on the visualizations in the Dreamcatcher movie. Also, the scene where the alien monster is chasing whichever character that was through his mind was genuinely freaky. I just found the rest of the movie WAY too goofy.

      Like

  13. I think you might enjoy Tim Powers, Alex, he’s one I never hear much about; for myself, I liked Last Call, Drawing of the Dark not really though there were some good parts.

    Alex said: “Endgame will likely be seen as the high water mark. I would be shocked if lightning could be caught in the bottle again for the second phase of Marvel movies as it was for the first….”

    —I think so too. It’s possible they could somehow pull something huge off like that again, but it would have to be of excellent quality to equal let alone surpass Endgame as an end point. And even then it would still be the 2nd time, building up some big threat and so on.

    cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to hear. I’ve added Powers to my growing “authors to check out” list.

      And maybe Disney/Marvel can pull some magic out of their hat yet again. We’ll see. The whole MCU seems like a trick you can only pull once though.

      Like

  14. Alex said: “The Talisman and Black House were great! I have some issues with The Talisman’s villain, but on the whole, those were excellent books.”

    —-I haven’t read Black House, I’m a little leery of returning to the character especially after so much time has passed and especially how much I love the Talisman.

    —-If you remember, what issue did you have with the villain? MINOR SPOILERS FOR THE TALISMAN: Or was it his second-in-command the psychopath posing as a preacher type?

    cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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