“sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”
The big controversy this week among those who don’t feel like dealing with the actual problems we have, is the upcoming T.V.show adaptation of the comic book Iron Fist. In the comic book, a white kid is out in the wilderness with his dad, his dad gets attacked by wolves and inhabitants of a mystical city save the boy and take him in as one of their own. the boy learns their ways and becomes a great warrior then goes back into the world and fights crime.
Apparently white people can’t do anything anymore, including learn the ways of a non white culture without it being an issue for someone.
The problem is one of two things , depending on who you ask. Problem one- The role should go to an Asian , because they assume Kun Lun ( the mystical city) in inhabited by Asians. I’m not the biggest fan of this book, never was. I read it occasionally, it was fine, but whatever, not my cup of tea. I never really considered what race the people who lived there were. They all had masks on, and the city was from another dimension so…they wouldn’t be Asian as we know it anyways. They were whatever race existed in that dimension.
The other problem is the notion that this is a “white savior” and it is racist because a white person comes to the “Asian” city and becomes the great champion of that city. That’s racist? Let’s flip the whole thing then…let’s not only make Iron Fist Asian, let’s make the city of Kun Lun inhabited by white people and having a “white” culture. Let’s do that, here we go- the story is now this- An Asian kid is plucked from the wilderness and saved by white people, the white people teach him their ways and culture and only after he learns the ways and culture of white people does he become a great warrior and goes back into the world to do good, in honor of the great white culture he learned from…….Is that better? hmmm? Would you like that better?
It is just a stinkin comic book. Why does every damn project have to get input from every Tom dick and Harry who think they are fighting on the beachhead of race relations and cultural unity?
And I don’t see the problem anyway…Iron Fist learns the ways of a completely different culture and becomes a better man for it. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM??? Too white for you? because the person in the story is white? If that’s the problem, take solace in the notion that the white guy learns how to not be white…and in case you know nothing about the character other than he’s white…his best friend is LUKE CAGE ( a black guy ) and his love interest was a black woman. SO.. He abides by the teachings of an “Asian” culture , is in a mixed race relationship and is best friends and often business partnered up with a prominent black super hero. WHAT MORE HAS TO HAPPEN FOR YOU TO REALIZE THERE IS A VERY UPLIFTING MESSAGE HERE AS IT IS?!!!
WHAT??!! In trying to ensure the show is not “white washed” you’d actually be washing away a very positive message.
At some point your perception boils down more to the way you choose to see things than the way things are. If you want to live in a world where everything sucks and everyone’s an a-hole, you can take the life of Fredrick Douglas and say he was just being used by white men to sell newspapers. Eventually your opinion says more about you than what you have an opinion on. There is a fantastic message and role model here if you want to see it. He is respectful, he works hard, he stands up for others, he clearly does not judge people by their skin color, he sees the good in other cultures and learns from them…you can put a check mark for guy this on any cause on any list …he doesn’t use guns…uhmm… hell, I think Kun lun was a socialist community, and school and health care was free if you want to dig that far. I mean…what more are we supposed to ask for?! WHAT?!!!
Furthermore, if Iron fist is Asian…what’s learned that isn’t learned the way it was originally written?! I thinks it’s actually worse. An Asian kid goes to an Asian land and learns a similar culture to his own heritage? That’s boring. That’s be like me ending up in a mystical land that parallels Sicily…who’d care? and more importantly who’d be entertained by that? That is the job of a t.v. show…to ENTERTAIN. We have a zillion options if we want to watch something about race relations or cultural differences and learn about them. A …ZILLION..we turn on shows and movies about comic book characters because we want to see fist fights, people smashing stuff, and wild characters doing things that defy the laws of physics. And that’s ALL we want when we turn these things on.
Are people under the impression that someone if going to fall from a wormhole in time from 1965 and this will be the first thing they see/learn from/and conduct their life by? Those of us living in 2016 have already been deluged with the wisdom of race not mattering on a daily basis, whether we needed to be fine tuned on it or not. There isn’t a person who’s known me for more than a day that would ever think I give a rats ass what someones skin color is…I just want to watch Iron Fist beat up bad guys. and that’s pretty much all anyone who’s going to watch this show wants to see. Not every stinking show should be going over itself with a fine toothed comb about what kind of message it is delivering. It is simply not necessary and it is out of scale.
And for the record whitie doesn’t become the “Asians” city’s “greatest warrior” he becomes ONE in a long line of men and women who rose to the role of “Iron Fist”. And he gains the “Iron Fist” power by luck as much as anything because he happens to grab a dragon in a way that blocks off the dragons power. (… you have to defeat a dragon with your bare hands to get this”Iron Fist” power…that’s right, he fights a dragon..it is a COMIC BOOK, you really think it’s worth the time to dissect the undercurrent of an absurd story like this?! If you can fight a dragon…do you need some wacky extra power? not really ) So it ain’t even him being the best,, or even the best of his generation, it was a fortunate turn of events. Although he did work hard and diligently to learn the ways of Kun Lun (again a positive message better off left alone).
I’m sorry if the people who got this job feel like they were meant for more important things, perhaps those things are still on the horizon, but right now you’re just making a t.v. show about a comic book. Accept that task and do your best to make it entertaining. Please? Can you please just do that, and have some fun doing it? So the rest of us can have fun watching? Do that, have some fun doing and work your way up to projects that are meant to be more meaningful.
Look at the positive message in the original material and focus on that if you really need a cause. Or just accept that idea that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”. He’s white, because he’s white, no more thought needs to be given to the matter.
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