Friday, June 30, 2006

Truth, Justice and The Radical Right's Way

Going in to see "Superman Returns", I knew that a few wackos were up in arms over a modification of Superman's traditional slogan of "Truth, Justice and The American Way".

In the movie, acerbic Daily Planet editor Perry White mutters, "Truth, justice and all that stuff".

Now let me provide a little vocabulary lesson for some people.


  1. The part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning.
  2. The circumstances in which an event occurs; a setting

The point of the scene in question is that White is less concerned about the importance of Superman's return or for what he stands. He only wants to sell newspapers. "All that other stuff" is merely a means to an end for a machiavellian White.

Later, Jimmy, Lois and Perry are peering at a blurry photograph and question if it's a "bird, a plane...oh hi Cark!" as Clark Kent walks in. It's apparent from these types of quips that the screenwriters want to both honor and deconstruct the Superman mythos. As with the "truth, justice and the American way" having people wildly exclaim about the identity of some flying object on a piece of paper would seem a bit dated. We do not live in the era when these catch phrases were as ingrained in the conscious. Despite the wishes of some, we do not live in the 50's.

Finally, it is also evident that the screenwriters did make a conscious decision to exclude the words "the American way". They of course understand that the words may have a very different meaning in the rest of the world. I'm sure the studio executives understand that the rest of the world means box office. The majority of a movie's take these days occurs overseas. So would it be wrong to alter the script in order to sell more tickets in other countries? If you believe in free markets, the answer would be a resounding no. If you pretend to believe in businesses making sound economic choices unless they diverge from your agenda then apparenty the answer is a loud YES. It always strikes me as funny how supposed "free marketers" are suddenly very critical of corporate decisions when they find them distasteful.

In conclusion, to those of you who want to make a mountain out of a script change, I have two words.

Grow up.

1 comment:

Blackjackk said...

No shit. Fine you idiots - boycott the movie over a word change. Kind of sounds like the insertion of "under God" into the Pledge of Allegience during a different time in our country. Now when people look to remove it, the far right claims that anyone trying to do so is godless and un-American. Some tactics never change.