William Bradley’s ‘The Dawn of ‘Just Me’: Zack Snyder’s Neoliberal Superheroes’, just published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, contains a telling paragraph, the first part of which exactly sums up someone I personally know. I suppose it’s true of Zack Snyder, the person and the director, as well. Seems bang on:
‘In the end, I don’t know that Zack Snyder’s Superman films demonstrate a coherent philosophy. They seem to be the reflections of a guy who read a lot of superhero comic books as a child, made his action figures fight each other, saw a lot of special effects-driven blockbusters, read some Ayn Rand, got stoned, listened to some Rush, and then, as an adult, was loaned copies of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and The Dark Knight Returns and came to believe that the entertainment of his childhood could be made acceptable for an adult audience if it was just made a little bloodier.’
—William Bradley, The Los Angeles Review of Books
This paragraph also captures an aspect of this kind of persona rather well:
‘Or the scene toward the beginning of Watchmen (2009), during the weekly â€œbeer sessionâ€ shared between Dan and Hollis. Note how Dan announces that he needs to get going, despite the fact that he still has about two-thirds of his beer left. Imagine you had a guest over, and that guest opened a beer while you were talking, and then promptly set the beer down and announced, â€œI must leave now.â€ You would assume that you had said something offensive to prompt such an abrupt exit. That, or your guest is an android who does not yet properly understand human protocol surrounding conversations over drinks.’
Mr. Bradley appears to have met some of the same people I’ve met.