How the Republicans Have Become the Political Equivalent of Batman’s Villains

“This has never been about who the nominee is,” Paul Ryan said yesterday, explaining why his party will fight any Supreme Court justice nomination made by Barack Obama in 2016, and why they are specifically going to fight the nomination of Merrick Garland.

This, from a party ostensibly dedicated to the Constitution. This response to the President’s nomination has proved something: the Republicans have lost all sense of identity, becoming the contemporary political equivalent to the villains that Batman fights daily in the fictional Gotham City.

whatever-happened
From Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader by Neil Gaiman and and Andy Kubert.

How so? In Batman media – whether comic books, films, or television – there is a running theme that the Batman’s “rogues gallery” is defined only by being the yin to Batman’s yang.

Their ideals, their missions, their goals and visions are all ethereal, shifting, defined not by what they are but by what Batman is not: Continue reading “How the Republicans Have Become the Political Equivalent of Batman’s Villains”

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Why House of Cards is Dumb

Yes, everyone loves House of Cards, and everyone is excited about Season 3 impending breaking of the internet on February 27th.  And yes, it’s because it’s very entertaining. But let’s talk about why it’s kind of dumb.

I’m not going to comment on whether or not it’s a realistic show, because I have honestly no idea. It seems pretty unrealistic, but, hey, maybe it’s all super realistic and most politicians do commit an average of one murder per political campaign. And the other thing I’m not going to focus on, but which does bother me, is the way Zoe Barnes’s character and her peers are little more than caricatures built out of buzzwords and blog posts about the sociology of “millennials.”  But hey, maybe that’s also more realistic than I realize.

Look at this hip office full of millenials!
Look at this hip office full of millenials!

My concern is not with the content, but with the storytelling.

House of Cards is the kind of story that, the moment it has finished, “you want to watch it again.”  Why?  Because, once it’s over, with all the twists ironed out and the motivations explained, you want to see it again because, this time, you will really know what’s going on.

But all that really means is that it is dishonest storytelling. Continue reading “Why House of Cards is Dumb”