I love the fact that some American Patriots (including Richard Baehr of The American Thinker (June 28), The Drudge Report (June 30) and the usual gang of brilliant minds at Free Republic (thread started on June 30)) are upset that, in the words of Perry White, illegal alien Superman does not fight for ""truth, justice and the American way" in Superman Returns (Bryan Singer, 2006) but "truth, justice and all that stuff."
(With regard to the motto, or so I hear from Tatiana Siegel of The Hollywood Reporter (June 30) amongst other sources. I haven't seen the film and won't, unless I break my nearly nine year old pledge to not watch live action films based on superhero comics that was prompted by Spawn (Mark A.Z. Dippé, 1997).)
First of all, as Erik Lundegaard of MSNBC writes in today's New York Times, and in contrast to what's been written by Siegel (not Jerry), "the American way" part is a product of the 1950s and the Cold War.
More important, however, is that Superman is still, by his own admission, fighting for "truth and justice." Do these critics suggest that "the American way" is separate from that? If so, how far do they want to take this? Would they want Superman to be on the side of the anti-terrorist forces in countries like Iraq?
It would be nice if these critics put forward some definition of "the American way," but since they haven't I have to wonder if they want the phrase included because they see it as negating the "truth and justice" part as least so much as to not prevent Team Bush from doing really cool things like occupying Iraq.
Maybe what really bothers them is that Superman might, in a non-Bizarro World where everything else is the same except Superman and maybe some other members of the DC Universe exist, stand up to the Bush Administration and its fight against this non-logical battle on "the terrorists." And then victory might not be certain. I do not know how much Krypton the U.S. has and if they don't have any, there could be a real problem. Now can you see how it feels?