Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Aquaman: Trailer #1

Well, I am disappointed.
I've been thinking about this trailer since it was debuted this weekend at the San Diego Comic-Con panel and I want to say, there is just no way around it: it has far more in common with Wonder Woman than it does with Man Of Steel and that's a pity. So, what does it do and how does it do it?
His father was a lighthouse keeper and his mother was a queen. Here we have a role reversal for gender in that it was the mother (Nicole Kidman) who ruled and his father who was a keeper of light (which is traditionally associated with women as being more spiritual and thus, full of light to show men the way to God). Now, good reader, I know your objection: what about King Arthur: Legend of  the Sword? Isn't it because Arthur was born to the queen that he's "the born king," and that signals the "new Feminism" you talked about so enthusiastically in your post? Doesn't Aquaman's trident equal the sword Excalibur?
You, reader, are quite intelligent,....
So, what about the similarities between Excalibur and the Trident? Well, we have seen Excalibur and the King Arthur legend in a great number of films as of late: King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword, Transformers: The Last Knight, The Dark Tower (his guns were made from Excalibur) and even Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk (the engines on the airplanes were called Merlin engines). What about tridents? There was the trident which Finnick O'dair had in Mockingjay Part 2, the last Pirates Of the Caribbean was in search of Poseidon's Trident, in Baywatch, Dwayne Johnson's character was in a sand sculpture holding a trident, of course the trident made its appearance in Justice League, and then there was the Esther Williams duplicate (Scarlett Johansson) who did the aquatic films and she held a trident in the Coen Brothers Hail, Caesar!. So? Excalibur and the Trident are both phallic symbols, that is, they symbolize a man's right to rule because of his power, so he has power because he is powerful. For example, in the decidedly pro-capitalist Thor: Ragnarok, Thor's hammer is a phallic symbol (he has it because he has the power to wield it, which in turn gives him more power) but what happens to it? Hela (Cate Blanchett, the goddess of Death and the definite socialist figure in the film) crushes Thor's symbol of power and his real power, and that exchange which takes place in that scene of the film summarizes perfectly what the Left has been attempting to do throughout the entire world for the last decade, at least. Undermine patriarchal and capitalist rule. In the Aquaman trailer, we see Arthur Curry having a trident thrown in his face and he has to stop it before it stabs him in the face; why? Has stated above, a trident, like a sword, is going to be a phallus symbol of masculinity (in Hail, Caesar! the Coen Brothers did a fabulous job of demonstrating how women are trying to take the "trident" of power for themselves in the Esther Williams character, and what it's costing women). The trident is going straight towards his face; why? The face is the seat of our identity, more than anything else, the face is the means by which we are identified and others identify us as who we are (and this is individual, because only you have your face, but the "identity politics" of the Left want to take individuals and "group" them by skin color or sexual identification so they are no longer human individuals but a mass with no individual identity). So, when we see the trident (phallic symbol) going towards Arthur's face, it's a statement that masculinity (the trident phallic) threatens his identity (his face) and he doesn't want to be associated with masculinity, which is why in the next frame or so, we see him smashing a sword in half: that sword is a phallic symbol like Excalibur, and Arthur Curry smashing it is basically a castration of other men of their masculinity, and this is what he's going to do to his brother, King Orm (which is like "worm"). We saw this in Wonder Woman and the god-killer sword: Wonder Woman was killing men with it to usher in a "feminist, socialist future," which is exactly what the Left wants. Further, because this is an underwater kingdom, water is typically associated with women, i.e., matriarchy because water is just a big body, in opposition to land which has definite features (desert, meadows, mountains, etc.). 
There are going to be a number of parallels to King Arthur with Aquaman: "Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa, Aquaman) learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and to be a hero to the world." Sounds like King Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) doesn't it? King Orm (Patrick Wilson) is the full-blood ruler to the throne, the son of the king and the queen, whereas Aquaman is only the son of the queen, so, in essence, the roles of King Arthur and Arthur Curry have been reversed: Arthur Curry is more of the Vortigern figure who shared a mother with Uther (Eric Bana) but was the legitimate king of Camelot, King Orm is the legitimate king of the,... water, and Arthur Curry is the outsider trying to take power.
Why?
This is King Orm (Patrick Wilson) and he is white. Just like the white bullies we see when Arthur is little, there are big white bullies when he grows up (and we also see this with the kids being bullied in the very pro-socialist IT). Now, like Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, there is a war being threatened between two different worlds (the magical and non-magical world, and the water world and the surface world). Now, you probably caught the obvious reference to Black Panther when King Orm announces that his brother has arrived to challenge his right to the throne (we saw this with T'Challa [Chadwick Boseman] and Eric Killmonger [Michael B Jordan] and then we also see Arthur challenging Vortigern for the throne in their last epic fight in King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword) the difference between these two films is that the challenge has been flipped: both films posit that the current ruler is legitimate (T'Challa and King Orm) but whereas the audience didn't want to see Erik Killmonger beat T'Challa, the film is going to put the emotional tension with Arthur Curry challenging and defeating his brother (of course, in King Arthur, Vortigern murdered his brother and tried to steal the sword, so we are emotionally identifying with Arthur as the outsider trying to regain the throne). So, Aquaman is appropriating a highly masculine and ritualistic battle--the physical fight between two men for the right to rule--and giving it to the "feminine" and socialist Left, suggesting that the Left can be as masculine as the Conservatives and capitalists without spreading "toxic" masculinity. 
King Orm is white,... really white, and as such, he also belongs to the world under the sea, so King Orm is the status quo; Arthur Curry is half Polynesian (Momoa is half-native Hawaiian) so that's enough to qualify him for the horrible identity-politics of the Left to make him eligible to challenge the white, heterosexual male dominance of power (according to how the Left sees reality). So, just as Hillary deserved to become president simply because she's a woman--according to the Left's logic--Arthur Curry deserves to become king simply by virtue of the fact that he's an outsider: "You think you're unworthy to lead because you're of two different worlds," (that is, the liberals and minorities), "but that is exactly why you are worthy." Identity politics: anyone who is not middle-class and white is worthy to rule.
Now, this is where it gets interesting,...
Isn't it cool that Arthur Curry can talk to fish? Well, actually, no. Those fish are his "subjects," his "followers," because he rules over them. In reality, we don't talk to fish,. we don't talk to animals, we talk to other humans (yes, I know, you say things to your cat or dog, but apart from a wagging of the tail or looking intently at whatever good thing you are eating and their gestures indicating that they want what you have, isn't "talking" because they can't share with you what they think, what they feel; they can communicate what they want or need, but they can't tell you what they believe, hope or dream about for themselves because they are animals; we talk to other people to discover these things about them, and to reveal these things about ourselves to an audience who can reciprocate, appreciate and understand what it is we are saying).  Arthur Curry talks to fish the same way Hillary Clinton talks to her supporters: they are dumb animals. The Left genuinely believes that you and I are nothing but animals and we are not the children of God, we have no soul, no dignity and no individuality; so seeing Arthur Curry talking to the fish puts us, the audience, on the level of those fish, just as in the Harry Potter universe, Christians are muggles. It's the job of every story to embellish their own set of values and demonize the sins of the position they wish to counter with their own moral; every film, story, play or other work of art does this to some degree or other, and Aquaman and Harry Potter do this by glamorizing their world so you will want to be a part of it (every narrative does this). No one wants to be left out and ostracized, but would you rather be left our or be a fish?
One last little, but important detail. Typically, when there is a hero, it's important that the hero demonstrates humility and doesn't want the power or the rule which is being offered to him as a result of his labors; this is standard, we expect humility from heroes, so when Arthur Curry says he's back home because he had no choice, this is usually understood as "answering the call" to do something great," and this is a typical part of what is known as the "hero's journey." HOWEVER, I fear, deeply, that this standard device of humility is actually covering something far more sinister in this film (again, I hope I am wrong about the movie, but this is what it's looking like to me) namely, that when Arthur Curry says, "I have no choice," he actually means he has no free will because free will doesn't exist, he has to do what he has to do because there is nothing else for him to do because he's just an animal, like the fish he's talking to. This is detrimental because free will is essential to individuality and exactly why socialists try to undermine it every chance they get. 
Donald Trump.
Arthur Curry says, "Trust me, I am no king,... I'm no leader." Neither was Trump. Arthur Curry is an outsider, and so was Trump, never having had a political office in his life, being instead in the business world, not the political world. Arthur Curry says, "I came here because I had no choice. I came to save my home and the people I love." Well, well, well,... isn't that EXACTLY what Donald Trump did? He loves America and he ran for president to save his home and the people he loves. OH, but he's saving the people we HATE!!! The Left screams with their horrible shrieks! But it's okay for this same platform to be applied to a minority, but not for a white, heterosexual male (remember, it wouldn't be as bad if Trump were gay). And of course, the minority retorts, "Trump is so dumb!" But what does Mera tell Arthur Curry? "You do your best thinking when you're not thinking at all." So, again, it's okay for Arthur Curry to be devoid of leadership skills and thinking, to want to save his home and his people, but not okay for Trump. Now, this is a couple of minutes of a two-hour-long film, and I could be wrong, and I hope that I amthere is nothing I want to admit more than that I am wrong about what we are seeing in this trailer. I really like director James Wan but this is a big-budget Warner Brothers production, and they desperately need a success in the DC Universe, so, realistically, there is a lot that is probably beyond his control in this film, however, this trailer lays the foundation for a film that is supporting socialism and working against the establishment.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner