The Big Picture: Magneto Was Right

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MovieBob:
Magneto Was Right

This week, Bob looks at what it's like to be "different."

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An interesting look into our escapist reactions to bullying. I think really, perhaps unintentionally, you've hit on the very heart of bullying, when you get right down to it:

Bullying is the act of forcing someone else to engage you in a domain in which you know you have the advantage, for the purposes of demonstrating your superiority and exerting control. This is often (but not always) fueled by frustration with an area of a person's life in which they feel inferior, or that control is being exerted over them. (NOTE: This is not intended to excuse bullying in any way)

The most overt and easy type of bullying is, of course, physical. Bigger kid picks on smaller kid. Why? Because bigger kid is better at... being bigger. So, big kid can force little kid to eat bugs and dirt, or take his lunch money. It is hard to counteract this type of bullying because:

1) It's easy to do. Just be bigger and/or stronger.
2) It requires little effort. There are plenty of readily-available targets to choose from.
3) It is hard for the target to escape.

(The only ways to address it are by avoidance, which is difficult in settings like school, or by meeting with like force. And, of course, the reason you were chosen as a target is because that is unlikely to go well for you.)

But there are other types of bullying, and all work the same way. You pick something you are good at doing. You pair yourself up with someone who is not good at it. You show them who's boss, forcing them to admit (by word or deed) your superiority.

Where the geek/nerd crowd meets with frustration is that it is far more difficult to force someone to engage you on an intellectual battlefield if they don't want to. Physically, you can block someone from leaving a room... but intellectually? It's just not as concrete. This promotes the feeling of powerlessness in the Geeks--they are forced to face their own inferiority in the physical domain, but are not given equal opportunity to demonstrate their superiority in the intellectual domain.

So instead, we concoct fantastical means by which our own advantages become translated into our "enemy's" domain. My brains become a proportionate amount of brawn, allowing me to "beat you at your own game," since I don't have the opportunity to beat you at mine. Of course, we also keep our brains, and we don't give our enemy the same fantastical exchange... which is why heroes are usually smart and strong, while villains are just one or the other.

A lot of the superhero mythos revolves around the struggle between Will and Force--or intellectual strength and physical strength. Pretty interesting stuff.

Cracked took an interesting approach to the villainy of humans through the first X-Men movie, the article itself is more aimed specifically at movie villains hence why it ignores the comics & animated features, but anyway;

The "villain": Headed by Senator Robert Kelly in the first X-Men movie, the Mutant Registration Side are the speciecist.. spesist... racist ... the jerks who demand a legislative bill forcing every super-powered individual in the country to register with the government. Just like the Jews in Nazi Germany!

Hold on a minute there:The Nazi analogy would probably work a lot better if real-life Jews could shoot boiling acid out of their assholes or level entire cities by blinking, which our Jewish friends assure us only Mossad agents can do. The X-Men mutants on the other hand actually can conjure up hurricanes, stop time, and completely alter a person's mind until he really believes that Flavor Flav is a reasonable and intelligent media personality. It seems perfectly understandable that some folks might want to keep tabs on such individuals. If they require licenses for concealed handguns, they should probably keep some of these guys on file too.

Then there's the argument that mutants are in control of their powers, hence why the registration in unnecessary. And what happens when they can't? As a human in the X-Men movies you constantly have to be on the lookout not only for the evil mutants who want to kill you, but also for the supposed "good guys" who are often in the process of accidentally killing you. In X-Men, Cyclops loses his protective goggles in a crowded train station and just starts straight fire-blasting with his Murder Vision uncontrollably, unable to handle his powers or discern between bad guys and random kids who happen to be in the same building. And he's the good guy! In X2, every human on the planet almost had their brains melted simultaneously by a mutant.

Obviously there is a thin line between cautious concern and downright mutant-prejudice but cut the civilians of the X-Men universe some slack. They live in constant fear, not knowing if the guy they just cut off on the freeway can explode their dick with his mind.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_18417_the-lighter-side-dark-side-5-villains-who-were-good.html

I don't think it has anything to do with being different. Bullies pick on nerds because we're an easy target.

Redem:
Heh...kinda feel two somewhat opposite stand

"Nerd tend to have a persecution complex were they seem themselves as superior and in a way its rubish fantasy"(something I agree) and "Anti-intellectualism is the cause of this and really its the persecution of nerd and intellectual that is the root of all evil" which I think is just kinda repeating the cycle.

"The you're different" usually suppose to be interpreted as essentially some base instinct behavior, basicly something that don't need a logical eason to be

I was thinking this too while watching the video.

I hate to admit it, but I think Bob's got a really good point here... I wouldn't mind spreading the anguish...

there shuold be a 3rd side: one that is tolerant to the inferior humans, until they show intolerance, and then you kill them! BUT onley the intolerant ones!

on the other hand, if Magneto gives me that cool helmet (god i love that thing! don't realy know why) I'll be on whatever side he wants me to be...

You make a very good point Bob. Really enjoying this show.

And Magneto. Because most humans in the X-Men universe seems to be dickheads.

Well Bob, then we are at odds. I'd be on the "good" side (good in quotations because I don't view Magneto's cause as inherently evil), since I feel their is an inherent beauty in the human condition that should be preserved and grown.

I'd just be in the "leave me alone" team, probably. Trying to hide among the normal humans (if I could blend in), using my powers for selfish, but insignificant things, and just try to live.

I'm pretty sure I know why I was bullied. I was always alone, not interested in social activities, and thus didn't have any supportive group around me. Also my social skills sucked, and I was told later that people thought I was mean, which I never tried to be. I was just honest with people, and couldn't ever remember their names or faces (humans kinda look the same to me) or really understand the social things.
And once you got the reputation that you were mean and looked down on people, they would just interpret anything as me being mean.

Some bullies were, not afraid of my intellect, but feeling inferior, but that was just a part of their motivation, and not all did it because of that.

I'm pretty sure one who made my life hell had a crush on me.

Tarkand:
There's another reason why Magneto is right anyway... technically, 'Homo Superior' isn't some kind of mutation (i.e. despite being called Mutant)... it's evolution.

Meaning that in the Marvel Universe (barring that whole House of M debacle), in a couple hundred years - the 'mutants' will be the majority.

Yes, evolution works very differently in Marvel universe than it does in ours. Has it ever been explained how it works, exactly? From what I've read, it seems there must be some intelligence guiding it (which realistically there is, it being a comic book), and I think there are god-like entities in that world?

Isn't the mutant-gene (or whatever makes you a "mutant") something that spontaniously happens in the offspring? And that even if everyone who is a mutant or carries the gene would be killed (or wouldn't breed), there would still be more mutants?

The biology of this confuses me.

BTW, as far as mutants go, you are a mutant, I am a mutant. Everyone has mutations in their genome. Most mutations don't do much, of course.

I won't hide behind this one. I'm with Magneto. Everytime. I remember watching the X-Men when I was young and wonder why Xavier and his team worked so hard to defend the very people who have cast them out of society. Magneto had it right, they don't deserve sympathy, compassion, they deserve what's coming to them.

But in the wider philosophical questions that come out of it are whether, if you or someone else is superior (physically, mentally, or both) than the average human should you use that power to for yourself, and rule over the rest, or should you use it to help the greater good? More importantly, should you do the latter even if you've been treated like shit by the rest of the world? The thing is you might end up turning into the very thing you despise.

I know what the right thing is, but honestly, there would be hell to pay if I were a mutant :P.

Magneto's team... because I've got issues that go way back. But I'd probably jump sides every so often when my mood changes or they retcon my storyline.

MovieBob:
Magneto Was Right

This week, Bob looks at what it's like to be "different."

Watch Video

Could'nt agree with you more Bob.

If people are legitimately better than others (either through achievement, intellect or physical ability) they SHOULD be higher up in society than those who are not.

Especially if they were treated badly in the past because of it.

Team Magneto... all the way.

I so <3 Bob

maninahat:
Meh, I take Bob's angle to be just another self-empowerment fantasy. The idea that bullies are somehow intimidated by a nerds "superior" intellect or alternate vision is nonsense. They wouldn't pick on a nerd, no matter how geeky he/she was, if they happened to be six foot six and on the basket ball team.

Nerds are targeted because they are often physically weak, and that is it. A bully relies on their superior physicality to intimidate and exersize control over those who can't defend themselves. It is unfortunate, but it is primitive drive that has stayed with us from the days were we swung around in trees.

The reason why there are lots of weak nerds is probably because the physical weakness encourages the guys/girls to endeavour in other areas that do not require a physical expertise. You do not need to be a muscleman to gain an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Star Trek saga.

Accurate and true.

Bullies are looking for the basic thing that may people strive for....POWER. They just want to have the power over someone else. Most often they use that power to hurt, torment, control someone else. It is often derived from a lack of control in there own lives (but not always).

I love people who say that Magneto was right.

Magneto was a terrorist who in every continuity of he X-Men save for the recent cartoons (even in the old ones he killed, it was just off-screen) is a mass murderer on the genocidal level. To say you agree with Magneto is literally like saying you agree with minority group terrorists, because that's what he is. That's what the writers intend for you to see him as, a Well-Intentioned Extremist who has taken his own dogma so thoroughly to heart that he believes he is entirely justified in killing normal people and imposing his worldvew on everyone.

And they wonder why nerds are elitist. I choose Professor Xavier everytime.

It also provides an interesting question to ask: What happens when you were bullied not because you were different or weird, but because your only difference was being intelligent? Being aware of your intelligence, being eager to learn more, being provably, testably, observably smarter than the majority of the people you were at school with. I was bullied before I became a socially inept loser fascinated in geek culture, and the only reason, that I was even told on occasion between beatings, was because I was smart.

That seems to me to paint my bullies into an unsympathetic and yet weirdly flattering light. It took me a while to realise it, and they probably still wouldn't understand even if I told them today to their faces, but they were bullying me because I was better than them, or at least they perceived me to be, and they couldn't handle the fact that I was smarter.

In the end, humans mght like to think that we can accept what's outside our norms (which are individual to each person) but in the end we want everyone to be like us because it's less scary, and the reverse of this is that we want to be like everyone else. My upbringing was composed mainly of liberal, well educated, intelligent, middle class hard workers, and my parents had friends who were black, lesbian, Jewish and extraordinarily right wing, all in different familes. I have no problem with race or sexuality because it's how I was brought up, but I do have a problem with ignorance, and especially willful ignorance, because it is outside the social norms of how I was raised.

maninahat:
Meh, I take the angle to be just a self-empowerment fantasy. The idea that bullies are somehow jealous or intimidated by a nerds "superior" intellect or alternate vision is nonsense. They wouldn't pick on a nerd, no matter how geeky he/she was, if they happened to be six foot six and on the basket ball team.

Nerds are targeted because they are often physically weak, and that is it. A bully relies on their superior physicality to intimidate and exersize control over those who can't defend themselves. It is unfortunate, but it is primitive drive that has stayed with us from the days were we swung around in trees.

The reason why there are lots of weak nerds is probably because the physical weakness encourages the guys/girls to endeavour in other areas that do not require a physical expertise. You do not need to be a muscleman to gain an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Star Trek saga.

Very true, but "because you're different" isn't the only reason bullying occurs. "Because you're smart" is also a primary target for ridicule. Which... let's face it, is bat shit retarded. But, in that case anyway, the name calling derived from superiority is pretty much existent. Kids pick on those they are jealous of, which is odd. I suppose the smarter people generally care less for exercise as well.

We also have to take this into consideration: antisocialness. While not a word, it does describe most intelligent people. I was constantly bullied until about high school, but then I began understanding people better. I became considerably better at rebuttal and insults in general. After that, name calling appeared as, and essentially was, just a joke. A conversation meant to make people laugh. If you could take part in it, there was no need to take it with a grain of salt. It seems the kids that don't understand this become extremely offended simply because they don't know the other person is kidding, or they don't have the people skills to make the other person look like an idiot in return.

There are somethings I disagree with you on, and some that I do agree with you on... in this case, if I had mutant powers, I would be fallowing the baddass in the Helmet and cape also.

As someone who was mercilessly tormented in grade school for being "different" (in my case, I was a math genius), I know I would definitely be on Team Magneto. I still to this day wish I could punch the leader of that goon squad square in the dick.

It's amazing how events in your childhood and early teen years can shape your entire personality as an adult. I'd be a completely different person if I hadn't experienced that non-sense. I may even be a stronger person because of it.

If mutants were real, I'd be on whatever side had the more attractive females... So yeah, probably Magneto's.

That aside, I think Bob is overlooking a huge point; "nerds" tend to be very quiet in most social atmospheres. This makes them easy to pick on without much fear of repercussion. I think it really has very little to do with how intelligent they are, what hobbies they have, etc and everything to do with how they carry themselves and their confidence level.

Fuck Teams, i'd be on my own. I'd live my life like anyone else but if some asshole'd cross me he'd learn his lesson the hard way. Think of the Punisher or The Man with no name + X-Men'ish super powers.

I believe the parents and psychologists started it: 'They bully you because you're better then them'. And now it's just accepted as a fact. But true enough, it often is the case.

I think that if I had some sort of super power like telekinesis, energy beams, or super strength I wouldn't feel the need to strike back against those who messed with me since I would feel secure that I could more than easily defend myself if it were to happen. That does not mean I would never use my powers to mess with someone, I'm only human, but I can't see my self looking for vengeance or intentionally harming someone.

Granted, I was bullied a little bit in school, but for the most part it was fairly minor. The only time it was bad was in 6th grade, but my school did a surprisingly good job of stepping in and putting an end to it. That shows that all of the schools that claim that its hard to stop bullying are full of crap. All that happened was a housemaster call the guys into his office, told them that he knew what was going on and that it was not okay, and that if they did it again they would get in trouble; and that was the end of it. Sure they would still try to insult me from time to time, but it was minor and innocuous, and even that only lasted the rest of the year.

Of course I would join the bad guys if the leader was sir Ian Mc>bloody<Kellen.

Join the dark side, we have Gandalf.

My first instinct would be not to choose a side, but at some point that's usually not an option anymore.

I suppose it'd ultimately come down to the nature of my power (i.e. what sort of action they lend themselves to), my upbringing and the amount of crap I had to take from regular humans.

MichaelMaverick:
I'm seriously considering that I'll stop watching this piss. I've disagreed with Bob on numerous occasions before, but The Big Picture is like a newly-grown tumor on his brain. I can understand the bitterness and overall disinclination from society, but the sheer egotism in this episode was unparalleled to anything I've ever seen in regards to nerd culture.

Bob, you and I and most other people weren't bullied in school because we're different/special/"superior" - it's often part of the reason, but what makes others bully you is the social factor. It's also the reason for why they CAN bully you in the first place - you're not a part of any real social circle, or the one or two friends you do have are shite. And hand in hand together with that goes the fact that you're psychologically weak. You may lull yourself with the comforting thought of your superior intellect if you want to, Bob, but answer me this: does he who is really so goddamn smart allow himself to be continually bullied? Of course not! Again, it's comforting to think that the world is divided into the big bad jocks and the oppressed but good nerds, but back then at least it was the other way around - you were the idiot, and they were smart. Smart and consciously evil to some extent. They started bullying you because they identified the psychological weakness and thus an opportunity for entertainment, and kept going at it because they knew you wouldn't fight back.
I'd be willing to bet my life that this is how it was with at least 95% of us.

AND WE ALL FUCKING DESERVED IT.

dude what is wrong with???

I liked the video. I still say I'd be "X-Men", despite any ridicule.

However, I found the tidbit about people bullying homosexuals to be a bit off...

As someone who is part of their high school's GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance), and has many gay friends, hanging out with them regularly, I can tell you that the reason they are made fun of by idiots is because they are viewed as wussies or disgusting. Wussies because of the obvious indications of gay men being feminine, or because the act of how they have sex is seen as odd or amusing, in a grotesque way (like that kid who eats his boogers). The honestly think people who still bully gay people for religious reasons are much older and are from a different time and generation.

I dunno... which side has more attractive female mutants?

Kidding, that would only partly weigh my decision. I think, to be perfectly honest, it would be a tough decision for me to make. On the one hand, I'd like to be optimistic and think that, by doing good deeds as a mutant I would show the non-mutants who chastised and despised me would see that I'm not something to be hated, but to be accepted.

On the other hand, the pessimist in me sees that they'll never understand, they'll never change, and I might as well have some fun while I can.

You know, Magneto was never in the wrong. He's justified in his cause. I don't think I'd go the whole genetic domination route alongside him, but I wouldn't stick with the X-Men either.

I'd probably fit into the category of about every introduction to the characters, where I'd be a neutral force occasionally helping and occasionally getting snip-its of revenge until one of them tries to assimilate me.

Because, hey, everyone needs to belong somewhere. I just don't think I'd feel strongly enough about the causes to seek them out myself.

Easily Magneto...as long as he chose somewhere more stable than Asteroid M to set up shop...

I don't usually ever comment on anything and watch silently from the sidelines but I had to say something. I agree fully with this.

When I was growing up I was relentlessly picked on and not for a usual normal reason. For being bigger than most kids and quiet most of the time, it made the bullies of the school want to pick fights with me. Why? I guess it's that mentality when your in prison to knock out the biggest guy there so no one screws with you.

I'd totally be with Magneto.

I'd be on the "Get tha fuck outa my way or I will go all mutant on your ass" team. Basically just live my life as it is, and kick some ass if anyone won't let me.

thebighead01:

MichaelMaverick:
I'm seriously considering that I'll stop watching this piss. I've disagreed with Bob on numerous occasions before, but The Big Picture is like a newly-grown tumor on his brain. I can understand the bitterness and overall disinclination from society, but the sheer egotism in this episode was unparalleled to anything I've ever seen in regards to nerd culture.

Bob, you and I and most other people weren't bullied in school because we're different/special/"superior" - it's often part of the reason, but what makes others bully you is the social factor. It's also the reason for why they CAN bully you in the first place - you're not a part of any real social circle, or the one or two friends you do have are shite. And hand in hand together with that goes the fact that you're psychologically weak. You may lull yourself with the comforting thought of your superior intellect if you want to, Bob, but answer me this: does he who is really so goddamn smart allow himself to be continually bullied? Of course not! Again, it's comforting to think that the world is divided into the big bad jocks and the oppressed but good nerds, but back then at least it was the other way around - you were the idiot, and they were smart. Smart and consciously evil to some extent. They started bullying you because they identified the psychological weakness and thus an opportunity for entertainment, and kept going at it because they knew you wouldn't fight back.
I'd be willing to bet my life that this is how it was with at least 95% of us.

AND WE ALL FUCKING DESERVED IT.

dude what is wrong with???

...I actually kind of agree with him.

But, who says that they simply weren't using a sort of predatory reasoning? Many of us were the more meager, they are insecure, so they put us down, etc.

I got to agree with you Bob from a logic point of view. Experience has taught me that point of view is wrong. There will always be someone that will be attacking you for what/who you are. The internet says it best with "Haters gonna hate". So you have to go with life the way you live ends up with making you happy. People are going to attack you for that no matter what. I try to be a gentleman and it has lead to many kicks in the balls for opening a door for women. Quite literally here. I've tried not being one with it leading to equal amounts of bruised sexual organs. After the pain goes down it is better for it to be for who you are then who you aren't. The lesson many bullies teach.

On the point of people saying geeks are targeted because they are weak isn't always true. I've been big in all dimensions since I was about 10. Picking on someone because they are physically weak isn't always true. Teaming up on one person mob style with a whole grade make it possible for the picking on to still happen.

To be honest, i'd be on the "rob the federal reserves and then fuck off to South America" team.

I believe it's a ramdom act.
Bullies like to show off.
Bullies like to beat stuff and people up.
Bullies want attention from other people.
Bullies choose the physical way to draw attention.
Bullies will pick the easier target to make fun.

It think trying to understand what's going on into the bully's head is a better approach than trying to understand what did the victims have done to deserve it.
The answer would be: nothing, they did nothing wrong.
Making fun of someone fat, gay, skinny, black, braces, glasses... it's just the easiest way to do it.

Bullies make fun of people using their most distinct differences.
And than the "normal" people will find that funny.
Because the Bully successfully got the reaction he was looking for, he will repeat the experience.
Over and over and over, until the joke is not funny anymore.
And sometimes it take a awful lot of time for a joke to wear off.

And then the bullied ones try to fit in to make it stop, but it often just make things worse.
As sad it is to say it, once you have been selected as a victim, there's not much you can do.
The wrong thing to do, I believe, would be to blame yourself and re-evaluate yourself as a human being, because you didn't do anything wrong.

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