Friday, January 18, 2013

The flawed apologetics of Aquaman

I read this

It's about the defence of the superhero Aquaman by comic writers who were always up against the fact that his power was "that he talks to fish", which is a cool power by the way. Now they would get into a "is too" "is not" childish quarrel with those who thought Aquaman was a joke much like the situation many get into with atheists and others who find the Jesus Story not epic enough.  The writer goes on to explain that to merely get into a defence of Aquaman (or Jesus) by merely reacting to the "is not" response is a ridiculous form of prosletising. Chris Sims says the following

 It makes. No. Sense. And believe me, I have spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. It's the weirdest kind of proselytizing, where there are a bunch of characters -- including the hilariously hipstery reprsentation of The Internet in #1 -- straw-manning around the story contradicting everything that's actually happening, so that the petulant "NO IT'S NOT!" mentioned above is now accompanied by an equally grating "AND YOU'RE STUPID!" And keep in mind, these are themes being directed exclusively at people who are already reading a comic with Aquaman in it. Those aren't the folks you need to convince, and the people who hold Aquaman sucks because he talks to fish, lol, as an unshakeable conviction aren't going to read the comic anyway. Just write him as a character and it'll all work itself out. 

I find this very interesting. Ideas about how Christian's respond to certain criticisms begin to appear in my mind. There is a mirror being reflected back at christian culture from comic culture. I am a true believer in both and Sims' cry of "It makes. No. Sense." has often been my experience on sundays and in other church situations. Sims goes on to say that..

The big recurring mistake through the modern incarnations, I think, is that they try way too hard to pretend that Aquaman isn't inherently silly, and end up trying to stress that rather than crafting adventures and personalities. And he is inherently silly. He's a crime-fighting merman. That might not be quite as dumb as a plutocrat who makes his butler sew up highly inaccurate costumes with a big picture of a bat on the chest so that he can go get into anonymous karate fights, but it's up there. The trick isn't to talk about how serious these things are and draw attention to them, but just to accept them as part of the world these characters live in.  

There is a silliness in the Jesus story. He's the Son of God who came and died like a criminal and came back to life and is not physically on earth anymore. There is a need to justify the "epic story" which hampers the actual telling of the story. Focus on the character of Jesus. Why? Because he is "Way Cool!" And the narrative in the scriptures is an epic story. All that ends up is a hater response with their "Is not!" and whatever else they respond with is fighting on their ground and not simply communicating just how awesome God is.