Investigation: Brainiac-Luthor Crisis

Brainiac-Luthor crisis

This is a disclaimer on Justice League Unlimited that is not claiming to report real facts or charges of terrorism. It is an investigation on the Brainiac-Luthor crisis. The events of the Justice League Unlimited are of great importance for the super powered development that forms the perception of our current entertainment climate. It is meant for our own reflection on the priorities of the US government and of its attempts.

The Brainiac-Luthor crisis was the determinant event in the Justice League Unlimited. It involved a pivotal moment, during which the members of the Justice League Unlimited were digitalized by Brainiac, and their information was downloaded. It was particularly important for the traumatic experience of the Brainiac mothership, a giant monster. I surmise that at the time, people in America were traumatized by the presence of this monster in a cartoon, in a realistic sense, I was.

The show revealed that Brainiac-Luthor had downloaded the information of the Dark Heart, an alien nano-tech species, in order to become God. Their purpose as Brainiac-Luthor was to digitalize the universe: this presents the danger of the Internet in the digital age, as the Internet poses the temptation to omniscience.

The prospects of a digital world is one that represents the hallmarks of an advanced society, a danger that causes great anxiety in the American people.

In Divided We Fall, Batman reveals that “the real purpose of the Cadmus Project was to give you superpowers.” This raises the claim that America—Lex Luthor—might be experimenting on aliens to develop super-powers for Americans. This is the problem of false identity, of making people believe that they are Superman in order to develop super-powers instead of having them develop super-powers as Superman.

The Ultimen were a team of super-powered clones developed by The Cadmus Project. Longshadow, their leader, actually believed that he was Superman’s clone.

This is the claim that, the State is actually killing the American people, a terrorist state. This raises the question that the US State may be developing super powers for American people, a claim that it is engaging in a war for developing super powers in Americans to engage in war with other nations. This is a claim that is based on the Cadmus Project. The show shows that this is merely conjecture with no real-world facts and evidence. It does make important claims that attempt to reveal a global national strategy centering around developing superheroes.

The pivotal moment is Brainiac altering Lex Luthor’s cells to grant him super powers. The Cadmus Project’s purpose is to grant Lex Luthor super powers. Brainiac actually cures Lex Luthor’s cancer. The Cadmus Project develops to combat the Justice League Unlimited banding together. They are perceived as over-powered.

Amanda Waller heads The Cadmus Project directing the Ultimen, the super-powered clones. This raises the question of cloning. Cloning is used around the global national strategy of developing superheroes to fight war with other nations. In this case, the other nations would refer to The Justice League Unlimited and the threat to the US government. In the “Ultimen” episode, at the beginning, the Justice League Unlimited are seen battling volcanic figures invasions from the Earth’s volcanic tectonic plates. It is not clear whether the threat is global but the Ultimen intervene and deal with the threat. This reveals the suggestion that the Ultimen are better equipped than the Justice League Unlimited to take on threats of a global nature and other nations. This is seen in the Ultimen’s popularity upon ending the threat. 

The Brainiac-Luthor crisis is a crisis of super power development and may have contributed to the general perception that everyone is a superhero, due to the popularity of the show, a symptom of mental illness.

The central claim is that the US government may be using television and media to educate Americans as super powered superheroes to serve the country’s war effort with nations. During the Brainiac-Luthor crisis, The Cadmus Project actually develops counters to the Justice League Unlimited and methods to propaganda the masses with the belief that the government is taking care of their needs, while at the same time, developing technology that is dubious in reality, such as Lex Luthor’s fusion device. This is in fact, part of the propaganda that the government is developing the country with advanced technology while providing experiments.

This claim is not supported by real-world facts, though the US military remains the most well equipped army in the world and the possession of drones portends the prospect of a war that involves machines against humans, and even enhanced American soldiers against other armies.

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Investigation: Brainiac-Luthor crisis

Brainiac-Luthor crisis

The Brainiac-Luthor crisis was the determinant event in the Justice League Unlimited. It involved a pivotal moment during which the members of the Justice League Unlimited were digitalized by Brainiac and their information was downloaded. It was particularly important for the traumatic experience of the Brainiac mothership a giant monster. I surmise that at the time, people in America were traumatized by the presence of this monster in a cartoon, in a realistic sense. I was.

The show revealed that Brainiac-Luthor had downloaded the information of the Dark Heart, an alien nano-tech species, in order to become God. Their purpose as Brainiac-Luthor was to digitalize the universe: this presents the danger of the Internet in the digital age, as the Internet poses the temptation to omniscience.

The prospects of a digital world is one that represents the hallmarks of an advanced society, a danger that causes great anxiety in the American people.

In ‘Divided We Fall’, Batman reveals that “the real purpose of the Cadmus Project was to give you superpowers”. This raises the claim that America – Lex Luthor – might be experimenting on aliens to develop super-powers for Americans. This is the problem of false identity, of making people believe that they are Superman in order to develop super-powers instead of having them develop super-powers as Superman. This is the claim that, the State is actually a killing the American people, a terrorist state.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

DC Extended Universe
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Henry Cavill as Superman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

“Next time they shine your light in the sky, don’t go to it. The Bat is dead. Bury it. Consider this mercy.”

– Superman, “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”

Prometheus brought the beginnings of culture to mankind by stealing fire from the gods, particularly from Zeus, and granting it to humans. This a truth of common Greek mythology passed down the generations through the ages, and which has served the function of explaining the origins of humanity and the process of its evolution on the Earth. Myth, serves that part, which Lex Luthor summates in the well known dictum: “knowledge is power”, in this instance, technology, skill, or art, are the source of power and ability. This power, is reflected in the ascension of the human species since prehistoric times; with fire, the human being evolves in his diet and his nutrition, expands his habitat, develops new economic habits and social roles, and grows in his communion with nature and in his society with the other. Slowly, he attains to true humanity, if not, personality.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice moves like an adapted comic book superhero drama, deftly bringing together different comic book storylines, drawing inspirations from The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman. It reads in part as a political piece in its statement on the avowed and cavalier interventionism of the United States, symbolized in the rogue actions of America in the face of terrorism and the apparently irresponsible attitude of Superman himself who rescues Lois Lane from certain death at the cost of his reputation and in disregard for the lives affected. This forms the premise of the story, a narrative that examines the perception of the Superman by the humans through the vengeful eyes of Bruce Wayne, who from the events of Man of Steel vows to exact retribution and deal with the threat, political, human, and cataclysmic that the Man of Steel poses as a result of the invasion of the Earth by the more advanced Kryptonian aliens; indeed, the Dark Knight is forced to watch the destruction of his Wayne Tower in Metropolis with the associated weight of deaths and human suffering. Eminently, the movie is psychological and dramatic, as it progresses through dramatic events that pace preponderantly the life of disturbed Bruce Wayne from the beginning scene of his parents’ funeral, to their prior death, to the action scene in Metropolis which leaves a decided Batman committed on the path to vengeance.

From their inception, Batman and Superman have figured as opposite, but perhaps, complementary sides of the same coin; their origin relates the operation of contradictory forces at work and present within humanity: transcendence found in the desire for otherworldliness and the surpassing of the capacities of the human nature is found in the tale of the Superman, who in reality is a child of the stars, an alien come to announce new times of civilization for humanity, in which man attains to veritable godhood as he overcomes the limitations of physics and fulfills the demands of morality in a heroism that is a never-ending quest for justice, that desire for the ultimate conquest of good and of compassion; opposite, is the immanence of the Batman, in a darkness that is worn even on his spandex costume, which elicits fear in the hearts of the cowardly lot, an urban legend that thrives on the shadows to exact the justice of a vigilante whose existence is the fruit of human evolution, of a progress that is transhuman and which delineates the path for humanity through the mastery of the weapons of fear and strict discipline for the human heart. One, is a hero, burdened with the weight of the world, the influence of public perception, and the care for his beloved, the other is a vigilante, a hero tortured by his tragic past, a trauma that has set him from an early age on a crusade to right society’s wrongs on his own resources, at the cost of his own sanity, of his social relations, and of his true heritage.

It is a mise en scene in fact, driven by paranoia, a motivating factor in the conflict that animates the central characters: Batman believes Superman to be a threat to human existence, Superman sees Batman as a vigilante with no respect for the law nor heroism. Both are tragic figures, destinies guided by their tragic pasts, united in a common maternal name, yet, who fail to conciliate their common objectives, particularly due to the over-arching masterful stroke of Lex Luthor, who manigances their confrontation and seems to enlighten their philosophical differences: Superman seeks acceptance in a world in which he is inherently an alien, and Batman seeks a validation of his traumatic experiences in the quest for domination. Both protagonists are staged through a juxtaposition of their lives and of their conflictual struggles, and when they are in confrontation as superheroes for the first time, it is conflict and antipathy that are elicited.

“And now you will fly to him, and you will battle him to the death. Black and blue. Fight night. The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world: God versus man; day versus night; Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!” — Lex Luthor

Zack Snyder does not spend much screen time articulating their philosophical psychology, limiting their dialogue to terse interesting lines which highlight their inherent antagonism of one another. In reality, the film operates in a sense a parallelism between characters that are a yin and a yang, night and day, darkness and light, evil and good and who seem to complement each other’s innate dynamism, questioning in the end their heroism. Indeed, who in the confrontation is the true hero of the narrative? The paranoid Bat driven to frenzied madness by his belief in an existential threat, or the omnipotent God who is not willing to rise above his revulsion for the Gotham hero in order to save his very mother? The question to be asked is whether good and evil are necessary to each other’s life, that is, whether their interaction contributes to their common enlightenment, for in this movie, the lines of heroism are blurred by the prospect of death and the intoxication of mental paranoia. If Lex Luthor is the villain of the story, he is in reality merely its sage, its Prometheus, who brings enlightenment to the yin and the yang through the excitation of their respective fires, delineating that in the end it is Batman who is the villain in need of Redemption.

Luthor poses pertinent philosophical questions on the permanence of Evil in the world: he reduces the conundrum to an affair of an inadequacy between Divine Goodness and Divine Omnipotence, showing that the enduring Evil prevents from the absolute existence of either attribute in God. In reality, his challenge to Superman leads him to doubt his own goodness, revealing the frailty of his humanity and his moral code, which remains constantly renewed in his love for Lois Lane and in his attachment for his mother, who stands as his moral compass. Does Good have a limit, and is Evil the limit of Good itself? Or perhaps, is life inherently tragic and is there no power that can liberate man from suffering and the eventuality of death?

Batman v. Superman reveals that conflict in life is oblivious to fairness and that often the wrong side can bring about a victory despite having paranoid reasons and a faulty if not fractured, vision of reality. Tragedy and conflict, are then, up to chance and randomness, or perhaps to freedom, destiny and of the inherent interplay of the forces that are the basis for human personality? The answer remains a mystery, and is revealed in the fact that at the moment when life seems at its darkest hour, the unexpected, the wondrous of a miracle and of a divine intervention can grant it new fervor, as Wonder Woman makes her impressive appearance in costume to save Batman from the monstrous Doomsday. Doomsday serves to fulfill the spectacular, in a world demanding more blockbuster entertainment in its motion pictures, his display of power provokes a wanton destruction that fulfills the need of fantasy, a certain cathartic release from the dramatic tension that has paced the movie till the apparition of the Kryptonian deformity. Here, political intrigue and psychological demonism enters the realm of the comic book superhero with its tour de force, its manifestations of metahuman powers, abilities beyond mortal ken, in a battle of gods and monsters that instills fears even in the hearts of the bravest, such as the Dark Knight.

The central protagonist, Superman encounters in Wonder Woman a powerful ally, an equal of sorts that arouses his admiration and fills him with renewed fire. Here, the rhythm of the musical score takes on the urgency of a cool, and jerky song of a raspy and sorcerous nature, the fruit of the genius of Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL. In the predicament of Lois Lane, comes the realization that conflict armed with power must inevitably face destiny, or perhaps, a resolution of tension. Superman in the contemplation of Doomsday’s savagery senses his true place, as a Savior who loves a world that in the end does not accept nor understand him, safe in the arms of his confidante with whom he shares his life, “you are my world”, he tells Lois.

Tragedy and conflict, then, are eminently a matter of altruism, of a realization that the fire of conflict is resolved in a Passion, the performance of sacrifice that liberates destiny in freedom and love, and grants the power to transform the human soul, convert the human heart, and enable to see a vision of life in a new way. Voire, tragedy and conflict find their resolution in the conquest of the narrative that is life itself in the use of weakness and epic grandeur that is the act of selflessness. Superman succeeds in dealing with the lethal threat by overcoming his exposure to Kryptonite and using the lance as a weapon to stop Doomsday permanently. Comic book drama is a reproduction of the mythology of yesteryear, founded on a science-fictional universe transposed with the narrative dynamics and the values of the post-modern atmosphere, granted a new medium in their representation via the art of the cinema. The filmmakers pursue the Christ metaphor to its determined conclusion, for Superman’s sacrifice despite its lack of narrative construction with the DC Extended Universe resumes the imagery established in Man of Steel, that of a giant amidst the world, a Protector against the wishes of humanity and despite its suspicions, who makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to ensure its future. The characters are certainly affected by such an action, and the film ends with the assurance that the story is to continue, moving forward the tale of an alien from another world who overcame the drama of life with a message of hope: that belief in the ultimate protection of life is the strength that resolves all conflict.

 

Nudity can be morally defensible

Art

In 1997, Girls Gone Wild erupted on the scene of American culture, at a time when there was as of yet no Internet pornography, but rather, all of the adult material was available on the DVD format. It featured young college girls, often drunk, on Spring Break vacations engaging in public nudity or private sex acts.

The phenomenon spoke to the American conscience and raised the question of public nudity and of America’s own Puritanical past: Is it ever morally acceptable for nudity to be showcased to a general audience? My argument to this question is yes.

College students tend to have more liberal attitudes to sex and see Spring Break as an opportunity to engage in revelry and sexual exploration. A study by Prevention Science interviewed 1,540 U.S college undergraduates and found that 32 percent of the students reported having sex over Spring Break, and more than half of them engaged in risky sex.

There continues to be the general perception that public nudity as displayed in Girls Gone Wild videos is morally unacceptable. As a Catholic, I subscribe to this position and I argue for a more moral vision that respects the human body and sees for the need to protect it from voyeurism and unwanted sexual attention, which contribute to the impulses of rape culture.

Yet, it is not good to suppress our affection for our bodies and as college students we ought to affirm the place for nudity. A healthy conception of the human person recognizes the value of proper erotic desire and of the need to appeal to our sensual sensibilities.

We ought to encourage a more aesthetic view of the human body that sees its beauty as a model of perfection. Nudity is defensible for artistic purposes since it contributes to what makes us human. Bodies are naturally pleasing to the eye, and a vision that disregards this artistic dimension closes the human person on the contemplation of immortality.

Greek sculptures and Renaissance paintings are regarded as the epitomes of the aesthetic eye. They remind us of the greatness of the human body that ought to be venerated. In this way, the place of sensuality is recognized and the human person is allowed to experience eroticism.

In art classes at various colleges in America, models either male or female are often allowed to pose in the nude for the purpose of teaching, sketching, and artistic mastery.

Nudity is also defensible for scientific purposes. During the time of the Renaissance, the science of anatomy actually developed out of a desire to master naturalism in artwork, from the curiosity of leading artists and inventors as Leonardo Da Vinci and Antonio Pollaiuolo.

In the anatomy classroom, nursing and medical students regularly engage in the dissection of a human corpse seeing that there is value in its nudity for scientific knowledge. In doctor visits, patients can be invited to display themselves nude in order to diagnose an illness or injury.

These are examples that show that nudity in public can be morally acceptable. A controversial case is that of breastfeeding in public. But the same line of reasoning applies as in the cases of science and medicine. Breastfeeding in public responds to an immediate health and a medical need, for that reason, it is valid.

There persists the problem of the potential exposure to children and adolescents to public or paternal nudity. This is a morally questionable practice which definitely raises the important fact that children ought to be educated with a healthy view of the human body, without at the same time, exposing them to sights that they cannot yet comprehend fully.

Our attitudes towards nudity in public have changed over the decades. In 1994, Pope John Paul II unveiled The Last Judgement, Michelangelo’s 16th century fresco showing an Apollo-like Christ judging nude bodies destined to Heaven or Hell; the work had so angered contemporaries that the Council of Trent ordered that parts showing nudity be covered.

Though even religious bodies have changed their attitude to the human body, a residuum of animosity remains. There needs to be a healthier acceptance of the human body that divests it of all its limited immoral considerations.

College students during Spring Break should take the opportunity to engage in artistic activity that actually praises the human body; whether this includes visiting museums showing contemporary works of art respectful of nudity or watching documentaries that educate on the human body or even, engaging in art classes at the local art community center.

As a final note, it is certain that public nudity is certain to arouse sexual desire and question for many, the morality of pornography in our college culture. Girls Gone Wild betrays the fundamental fact that sensuality and eroticism are necessary to a healthy human being though not to the explicit extent that pornography displays in contemporary culture.

The Three Days of Darkness

DC Comics
Apokolips, DC Comics

At the end of All Star Superman, Lex Luthor contacts the solar computer Solaris in order to turn the sun red and depower Superman. Superman manages to defeat Solaris with a protective suit and defeats the solar-powered Lex Luthor before flying into space in order to restore the sun, promising to return to marry Lois Lane.

The sun plays an important part in Superman’s life, since it is the source of his power. The true purpose of religious symbology, however, is to prepare the world for the arrival of Darkseid. There is in religious prophecy, the prophecy of The Three Days of Darkness which speaks of a period of three days of darkness during which darkness covers the Earth and blots our the light of the sun.

The master plan of Evil is a Three Days of darkness that turns the sun dark and blots out its light in order to turn man into machine and serve a dark God of Evil: Darkseid.

The means to operate such an effect is to cover the Earth in darkness through a worldwide legalization of marijuana. Only by the acceptation that the world is not real as experienced through the visions brought about by substance abuse can humans come to doubt whether the darkness they experience is real or an illusion.

Darkseid, in concrete terms can be conceived as Earth’s political system or perhaps as technological power. Only by allying political power to technology can humanity achieve the effect of turning the sun dark and thus, spreading the Anti-Life Equation to the cosmos. The center of such a temptation is a false spirituality that centers on creating a virtual reality that tempts the human mind into believing the falsehood that the universe experienced in the spiritual experience of drug use is not real.

Only by a re-discovery of nature is it possible to escape Darkseid’s master plan of totalitarian power where Entropy destroys Freedom in the power of the Omega.

Belief that the world is going to end is the prime power of catastrophe for it justifies utilitarianism and a mechanical conception of the universe that divests it of all considerations of beauty.

It can thus be stated, that, Darkseid is a system of totalitarian power that seeks to erase freedom by turning the universe into a virtual reality. Final Crisis convinces us that in the end, Superman defeats Darkseid after he has metamorphed into a computer of abstract Evil by singing to the dark God of Evil, the tune of the multiverse, a truth in which Darkseid does not believe.

Final Crisis