My previous post was about Rose, in this one I want to talk a little more about Lex Luthor, the good.
I don’t know if this is boring anybody, (judging from how many likes I got on the last post, II have reason to hope not,) but I love digging deep into this material. Lex loses his last friend in the beginning of the movie. his whole League is gone. It looks as though he doesn’t stand a chance against the syndicate Instead of giving up, he goes for outside help. to a planet where he knows he’ll be suspected by everyone because of his “evil twin.” That takes guts. Lex puts up with a lot of suspicion and keeps his cool.(Not that he does it all perfectly. He does violate their privacy and do some edgy things to get their attention. but I suppose he feels he has no choice and I still think he’s pretty cool on the whole.)
Even more remarkably, once back home, Lex tells Superman to let him take on Ultraman. “If it’s going to mean anything after you leave, it has to be me.” Which is true. There’s no quick fix for the problem, and people need to know they can trust the guardians of their world, not just philanthropic aliens. Lex does take him on, and tells him “When you do wrong there are more and more of us who aren’t afraid to set it right.”
I hope that is true. For as Superman tells the president, when the president is telling them not to keep fighting the syndicate; “We have a saying on my earth. ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.'” (Quoting Edmund Burke by the way.) Like I quoted in my previous post “The wicked flee when no one pursues.” Really, If good people were always doing good, evil men would never get away with anything, would hardly dare try.
I remember what the wrong mother in Madeline L’Engle’s A Swiftly Tilting Planet tells little Madog (only in Madoc’s vision,) “It is an evil world, little Madog.” And Madog is the one who will bring WWIII, in the story. Ultraman wants to be the government. He says the bomb will leave them with only one choice “Bow down to us, or die.” Why is it that evil men always seem to believe the world is cruel and evil as well? Jesus called the Pharisees blind. God said of Israel when they were wicked that they had eyes that never saw, ears that never hear, and hearts that do not understand. When someone is corrupt, it corrupts even their perception of other people. We all tend to diagnose the problems we see in ourselves. Which can be funny when it is only with our health and no one takes it seriously. It’s not so funny when someone has come to power and in their mind it does not matter how evil they are, for everyone else is just as bad. I’ll get in to more of that later. For not I want to address the question of why they view the world as evil. All of it is not is it?
My epiphany of yesterday was that good is not the absence of evil.
Think about it. Good is not the absence of evil. Well, health is not merely the absence of disease is it? Food is not the absence of hunger. Actually in L’Engle’s philosophy, emptiness itself is an evil, there must be a filling of goodness.
Intelligence is not the absence of stupid thoughts, but the production of smart ones. Hello, everyone has thoughts, the difference between smart people and stupid people is how useful their thoughts are. (I say this because I’m sick of stupid being portrayed as someone who just doesn’t ever think, not about anything. They focus their thinking on pointless stuff. That is not the same.)
You may wonder what my point is. It is simply that Good Men are good because they do good, not because they do not do evil. I would not call the president in the movie I’m talking about a good man, for he does nothing. I would call Luthor good, even though he makes mistakes, because he is trying to do something, and he has the guts to try.
Maybe a scene from the movie would best make this point. The League is speaking with the President for the first time, and Lex has just defeated Ultraman, much to the delight of several of the citizens of the city. The President chews them out for doing this. He then tells them that they work hard to “maintain a delicate balance with the Syndicate. It’s the only way the American people can live in relative safety.”
Well Luthor tells him “That’s a load of crap.” And it is. Though I might go even farther and call it delusional and misleading the people. Compromise is not an option with villains who will not be satisfied with anything but it all. As Luthor knows, Owlman has invented a bomb (they call it the Q.E.D.) that is capable of blowing up an entire planet. (I might point out that they can’t use it, they live on the moon, without the earth the moon would be pretty useless to them. But I guess aliens don’t feel bound to one planet, at any rate the good guys believe they’ll use it. Which is really all they need isn’t it?)
I think the real change in this movie is that the Justice League’s arrival wakes people up to how desperate things are, and gives them hope that things can still be reversed. There’s no corny speech about how if the people will do their job the League can do theirs. that’s not necessary. Lex Luthor is determined to see The Syndicate go down, whether the President or the people help him or not. And the League backs him up. As does Rose.
So, to sum it up, acting upon our conviction is the only way to preserve what we believe in and stand for. I can’t wait to get further into this, but at over 1,ooo words I’d better end this part. Until next time–Natasha.