Aug 31, 2023·edited Sep 4, 2023

Phew good read.

I think the Broderick reading of Homelander is good... I haven't read the piece you cite, and I haven't been on the subreddit for The Boys, but part of me thinks it risks a misread if we assume that characters are seen as characters. I get the (uhm) vibe (?) that many people consume media as always-already politics. That is, they assume that some left (though truly just soft lib) group of writers has drawn it out as "1. Homelander is bad 2. Connect to alt right and/or Trump" and so, maybe, the topography of their desire is never about the character as he (or she) is given on the screen, but almost an act of watching and waiting for disaggregated moments that confirm edges of their own ideology. Homophobia, racism, etc. It's almost like they've gone and Sontag'd us before we knew it... In place of a hermeneutics of sigma males in media, they've erected an erotics of sigma males in media.

Expand full comment

Distracted myself and went on long without getting to the point... I think the DeSantis sigma male usage is, in a sense, symptomatic of a trend in right wing media enjoyment. The feature of Batemen worship, or Homelander enjoyment, or fetishizing Thanos, or the whole Joker movie (?) might be examples of people resolving ahead of time to lionize the villains.

"But why?"

"Because the radical left writes these stories anyways."

"I mean... That's hardly true, but it's besides the point. Homelander is explicitly malevolent."

"Just because the left makes my kind of guy look evil doesn't mean I can't appreciate him and his sigma ideology."

"You mean, you appreciate evil?"

"Look what you made me do!"

Expand full comment