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Author Topic: the boy scout myth  (Read 10755 times)
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TELLE
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 05:01:13 AM »

      some notes:

    • I never was a scout, but I did read, re-read, and obsess over a book called "From Tenderfoot to Eagle Scout" during my early 1980s "survivalist" phase, anticipating nuclear winter, post-The Day After tv movie --the Scouts' focus on preparedness and wilderness survival are its chief virtues, alongside its more generic dedication to community service, etc
    • the Boy Scouts have often been termed a paramilitary organization, easily positioned and co-opted (they're just kids, after all) by right-wing forces, especially during the 50s, when anti-communism, Cold-War-paronia, and anti-comic book bonfires were the norm
    • further to that, Hitler infamously banned the Boy Scouts in Germany, but kept the organization: with a simple name change, the German Boy Scouts organization became the Hitler Youth
    • this is not to say that Superman because associated with the BSA or ridiculed as a Boy Scout, is necessarily subject to the same criticisms, but I find it interesting to think about the connections between the American incarnation of Baden-Powell's scouting dream and the idea of the Superman
    • I think the post-Miller idea of Superman as a boy scout, which had currency in the fan press before Dark Knight, is something that gained momentum through the 70s and 80s, as fans became more obsessed with the more violent, adult-oriented aspects of the comics fantasy world, post-Underground, post-ground-level, post-Conan, post-Wolverine
    • in some respects, the Christopher Reeve movie may be the largest culprit in the boy scout myth, with his truth justice, and the American way orientation, there is even a 2005 interview with Margot Kidder that refers to Reeve: “In real life he was a boy scout and had a good streak,” Kidder says. “[Reeve] could make that switch between Clark and Superman so well, though I thought Clark could have been cooler and sexier."
    • in many ways, the Weisinger-era Superman took on many aspects of the Shazam!/Captain Marvel character, referred to by his enemies as "The Big Red Cheese".  Capt. Marvel aka Billy Batson was the original Boy Scout superheroBoy Scout among superheroes, being a boy possessed of superpowers.  Later Superman incarnations like Superboy and Supergirl played variations on the earnest young costumed do-gooder that the Marvel Family pioneered ... it's a small step from Big Red Cheese to Big Blue Boy Scout
    • maybe one of the earliest criticisms of Superman, the Harvey Kurtzman/Wally Wood Mad-Magazine parody Superduperman, which painted Superman as equal parts creep and All-American boy scout, without actually dropping the "Boy Scout" insult bomb, is the first instance of the move against our hero?

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    Uncle Mxy
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    « Reply #9 on: October 11, 2011, 04:26:44 PM »

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    carmine
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    « Reply #10 on: October 12, 2011, 12:36:18 AM »

    ya suck on that, Tree
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    India Ink
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    « Reply #11 on: October 12, 2011, 01:52:25 AM »

    A reef knot always comes in handy.
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    « Reply #12 on: October 16, 2011, 02:06:11 PM »

    One of my favorite tv shows is/was King of the Hill so I guess I have no problem with characters being "boring" or a "boyscout" if it works.

    I have a problem with "boring characterization" though but that seems like 90s superman/clark to me (a yuppie!!??? who doesn't do coke...boring)

    They should make Superman more of a boy scout...being square is the new cool
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    superboy
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    « Reply #13 on: October 16, 2011, 07:31:21 PM »

    Superman being the boy scout is what distinguishes him from batman. He is polite, he goes by the rules and fights for truth and justice. Without that you're left with no one.
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    carmine
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    « Reply #14 on: October 31, 2011, 12:01:54 AM »

    It does make the character a lot less distinct if you get rid of his "boy scout" image
    (how can it be boring when most other heroes AREN'T like that??)

    at least clark should be boring
    and remember bob newhart was pretty boring and he's a great stand up comic
    Hank Hill is really boring and King of the Hill was a great cartoon
    boring can be interesting.
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    Gernot
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    « Reply #15 on: October 31, 2011, 04:57:06 AM »

    Heh.  That reminds me of the episode where the wives were discussing the men in terms of sexiness.  Hank broke up a party held by a friend of Bobby's who had VERY permissive parents (to be polite), and all of the women raised their evaluations of Hank CONSIDERABLY while watching him take care of the teen-agers.
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