“Avengers: Infinity War” is the culmination of years of Marvel Cinematic Universe films, a massive crossover of various sub-franchises of comic book properties that we’ve seen grow and develop.
As such, when I took the flick in some days ago, I did feel an emotional gut-punch when [MCU CHARACTER/S NAME REDACTED] was brutally murdered. I also laughed at the superhero vs. superhero banter, contemplated the musings of Thanos, the comparatively rational omnicidal villain of the piece, and tapped my toes to The Spinners’ “Rubberband Man”. In short, I found the big-budget action flick somewhat moving.
So imagine my joy when Canadian freelance snake John Semley has decided to inject politics into his review of the film, and insist in more than so many words that if the Hollywood blockbuster made me feel something, that’s down to emotional manipulation. “These fallen heroes are not worth your tears,” he sniffs.
Semley’s rant is of a piece with the kind of snobbish gaslighting that the Canadian left applies to Trump and Ford. It seems that unlike their American cousins, who can at least be trusted to grapple with the ideas presented by their opponents, they simply dismiss the whole thing as a carnival sideshow. It’s not REAL, maaaaan, they sneer. It’s all about the MONEY.
How odd that left wingers who consider themselves the arbiters of culture are stuck for a creative response whenever the American entertainment industry leans right and scores a big win. You saw this from Tabatha Southey when Roseanne was enjoying her revival a few months ago. You hear it from defenders of the CBC, prizing “quality entertainment” over vulgar things like “ratings”. And you can hear echoes in the same non-arguments made by detractors of Jordan B. Peterson (which Semley also is). “He’s so boring and conventional!” “His voice sounds like Kermit the Frog’s!” “He’s not as smart as everyone says he is!”
There are arguments to be made against the dominance of the box office by the MCU, against Jordan Peterson, and against lowbrow entertainment saturating the market. But Semley and his fellow travellers aren’t interested in making them. Instead you get what is, once again, petulant insistence that we Canadians are just too smart to be hoodwinked by the cartoon President and his enablers in the corporate media.
Well, let me quote the Mad Titan, if I may: “Dread it….run from it….destiny still arrives.”
Do I really have to make this analogy that explicit? Fine, I’ll make it. Doug Ford is Thanos, OK? “Folks, I’ve crisscrossed the galaxy looking for the Infinity Stones. The gloves are off when it comes to Kathleen Wynne, which is kind of tough because I need the Infinity Gauntlet on my hand at all times to actually use the Stones. How am I supposed to use a knife and fork properly while wearing this thing? Anyway, wiping out half the galaxy is what we call finding efficiencies, just like we did on Toronto City Council, where, not so coincidentally we did want to eliminate half the actual councillors.” And so forth.
Seriously, if Doug Ford wins this election, it will be a cataclysmic event for Canada’s Mightiest Liberals. The time for one-liners and hatching cunning plans to outwit the villain will come to an abrupt end, and the left will be forced to conclude, despite themselves, that yes, it can happen here in Canada.
Much like the decimated good guys at the end of the film that irked Semley so (sorry, spoilers?) the inevitable conclusion will be that they lost because they just didn’t want it as badly. They just couldn’t compete with Americanized mass appeal, be it cultural or political. They will be shown up to be the pretenders.
And unlike Infinity War, where death can be undone (sorry again, but come on- read the comic books already!) there’ll be no going back. Everyone from Andrew Scheer to Brian Pallister to Jason Kenney will be doing bad Donald Trump line-readings as they try to project a populist message. Oh Lord, the humanity!
Photo Credit: Marvel.com