Monday, March 18, 2013

Here we go again, lol

Oden with his ravens Hugin and Munin
I know some subjects/discussions push my buttons and I should just sit down and shut up. You can see that happening, right? *cough*

I take a class in diversity this semester, and it has been pretty good. Today, though, we blundered into a subject that would be better left alone: why is Heimdal the only black character in the movie Thor. 

Here's the deal: Thor isn't a superhero. He's a part of the Scandinavian pantheon of Gods. I'm sorry guys, but Stan Lee did not make him up. He took a part of someone else's religion and formed it into something he thought was "cool" and Marvel could make money of.

I enjoy the Avenger movies and the Thor movie, but turning someone's God into a superhero is still blasphemy.

I realize most Americans won't understand this point of view, but it is exactly the same thing as if someone turned Jesus into a cartoon superhero. Claiming he should be black is the same thing as claiming Jesus should be an Eskimo. Nothing wrong with Eskimos, it's just the people furthest away from the Middle East I can think of, and the least likely to have been in the area around Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.

The smart thing to do would be to sit still and keep my mouth shut. I didn't. I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was along the lines of "Thor shouldn't be a superhero in the first place, and it's weird enough that Heimdal is black in the movie. We're talking about Scandinavia where there certainly weren't many black people a thousand years ago - there are barely any there now."

Teacher said something like, "See, you think that because the movie doesn't conform with your point of view."

Really? My point of view when we're talking about history and a religion written down over 1,200 years ago? My point of view? She could just as well have flipped a switch in my head. "No. Thor is a part of the Scandinavian pantheon of Gods, and it has nothing to do with point of view."

It's not okay to make fun of another religion, even if it's small or foreign.

As the discussion proceeded, I thought, "This is as stupid as if someone made a movie about the Hindu Gods and demanded there'd be a percentage of white people playing them to be fair, or made a movie about African Gods and claimed at least half should be white."

Captain America, Batman, Green Lantern, Iron Man, Superman, whoever-man are all made up as superheroes and they can be green, blue, or purple for all I care. Thor is different; he's stolen from another culture, and a part of my cultural heritage.

It all ended with me exclaiming, "No, you just think it's okay because we're not talking about an American religion. We don't turn Jesus into a cartoon character now, do we?"

From now on, we're explicitly forbidden to discuss religion in this class. 

2 comments:

  1. That is the most appalling thing. I remember being in a grad class on Feminist Literary Theory wherein one of my classmates continually started comments with "as a vaginized male"... eventually someone called him out on that one and he claimed that because he was a "bottom" it was the same as having a vagina and therefore he had the right to speak as a "woman or a vaginized male" and that they were one and the same.

    And of course we were all expected to nod our heads and agree.

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  2. A vaginized male? That's a new one. Being a "bottom" doesn't make you a woman, dude. *rolls eyes*

    Sitting still and being quiet is so hard.

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