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In which Hank rebuts John's stance on Batman by observing that Batman is not a fantasy of individuals, but a personification of anger and frustration at injustice AND our collective ability to act to make the world better.

And then he proposes his own reason for being frustrated with Batman...because if he (and every other title-card, mass-culture hero) is supposed to personify and thus represent all of us...why do they always represent the same groups over and over and over again?

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Good morning John, and thanks for making our most disliked Vlogbrothers video ever! Apparently, all you have to do is insult a fictional vigilante. To be fair, though, to everyone in the comments, you pretty much got Batman entirely wrong.   Bruce Wayne does contribute to the infrastructure of that fictional, blighted city as much as he can, given its deep rooted culture of corruption that makes it so that there is literally no one else in the city who can help. Except for old guy sidekicks number one and number two and that woman who isn't Katie Holmes and Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg.   Of course I know that your video on Tuesday wasn't really about Batman. It was just using Batman as a tool to say something: that individual people cannot have, and do not have, and should not have the power to change everything on their own, and when they try to do it, it always turns out bad.   So, maybe it's odd that we spend so much time celebrating that idea in our media. But, I don't actually think it's odd; I think it's complicated.    Batman's values and actions are a reflection of our own values and actions, or our desires to act, to make the world better... in the ways that we want it to be better.   Of course, then wrapped up in an entertaining package with great plot and epic explosions and stuff.   We all do know that there is evil in the world, so Gotham's underbelly simplifies and represents that for us. Gotham's criminals aren't a product of disenfranchisement and undervaluation by culture. "Some people", as Alfred tells Master Wayne, "just want to watch the world burn."   So, Batman is a reflection of our anger and our ambition and our frustration that our powerlessness to fix the things that we see is wrong with the world. I think this is fine. Gotham's evil incarnate is a simplification of the problems that we face, and Batman is a simplification of us, of all of us, who do the good that makes the world work.   So then, in some peculiar way, we are all bat-people: not the heroes Earth needs, but the heroes Earth just happened to get.   We build roads and teach children and clean sewers and invent new kinds of light bulbs and care for each other and better ourselves. It's a simple vigilantism: the vigilantism of everyday kindness and hard work.    Of course, Batman is a more complex simplification than, say, Superman, who is so simple that he's really not even relatable. We see ourselves in the cracks in his façade, in his anger and frustration and sadness, because we have all those things, too.   And for this reflection to work, to sell the most movie tickets -we're talking about the movies here, not the comics- Batman has to be as broadly representative as possible, so his values are just kind of an average amalgam of the values of our culture. And his major characteristics of being hot and buff and rich and white and male are either things that we see as unquestionably advantageous in things that we ourselves would like to be, or, as like, the default state, which is I think where we start running into trouble.    My biggest problem with Batman, and to be fair, all of the mass-cultural movie things that we spend billions of dollars creating and marketing, is that in an attempt to represent most broadly, they continue to under-represent the same groups over and over and over and over again! In attempting to reflect our culture and its weird emphasis on maleness and whiteness as the default, they don't just submit to that culture, they help reinforce it, they help create it, somehow leaving the majority of people under-represented in a simplification that had representation as its initial goal, which is pretty messed up.    So yeah, it's complicated. All simplicity is a lie!   And we could do a better job. And in comics, they do a better job. Because the comics don't cost 500 million dollars to make and thus can take some risks, which is why that's where all the interesting stuff happens.    John, I'll see you on Tuesday.   It's October 10th, which means that it's time to start thinking about the Project for Awesome, people. We're working on some very cool perks. One of the things is a compilation album of nerdfighter music; anything inspired by anything to do with nerdfighteria. If you wold like to contribute to that compilation album, there is some information in the description. What's happening over on Games with Hank?   UH-OH I'M SORRY DOLPHIN MOM! That is a jellyfish! Ohh, woahh, look at me goo! Everyone's a winner... until their legs break in half. No... NoOO- AAA-HAAAAAA!   Yeah, it-- it's fun. You should come visit.