here is the link to all the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in chronological order and their "phase development" order as well.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
|We know Thanos receives the Tesseract from Loki--darn him--and there are at least two, possibly three Infinity Stones on earth: the one Dr. Strange holds, Vision's Stone (in his forehead) and possibly a Stone in the mines of Wakanda which came on that meteorite filled with Vibranium (but this is speculation at this point, but that would explain why Wakanda is under attack with New York and London). Now, the Infinity Stones hold power, but why does that make sense (trust me, this is symbolically important to walk through this)? We know each color symbolizes a virtue and vice (the above image isn't a true color representation of the stones, but for example, Strange guards the green stone, which both symbolizes new life and hope, as well as something which has gone rotten, decayed, so while Strange builds himself in the virtue of hope in his new life as a wizard [after the end of his life as a medial doctor] Thanos builds his vice of being rotten and thoroughly despicable; the Tesseract is blue because blue symbolizes both sadness and wisdom, because it is only through our depressing experiences in life that we can gain wisdom, however, instead of gaining wisdom, Thanos holds grudges and chooses to see the worst in people and situations; rather than lead him to contentment with what is beyond his control [which is what wisdom ultimately does] the perverse judgment Thanos denounces upon the universe causes him to act against it so he can make it "fair and balanced" by his own distorted standards; the yellow Infinity Stone giving life to The Vision is a sign of dignity, and The Vision--not being human--has a profound respect for life and people which Thanos obviously doesn't have since he wants to wipe out half of them, again, to achieve "balance" for the half of the universe he does seem to value [those who would be willing to be his slaves]) so the color and vice which each stone symbolize then become embodied in the stone: the heroes are the "living stones" who act out the virtues in every facet of their lives, whereas Thanos has hardened his heart with vice, and has, therefore, became a stone incapable of love (like the Grinch). So, in the trailer, when we see Thanos trying to smash Thor's head, or crush Spider-Man or pommel Captain America, it's a question of whether the power of cultivated vice Thanos has harnessed is greater than the habitual virtue each of our heroes exercise in their self-sacrificial roles as heroes. This is why each and every single sacrifice we make--and no sacrifice is too little or too big--is so important because in the increasingly self-entitled world, when we willingly sacrifice something, we don't balance the bad with the good, we overcome the bad, because it takes far greater will power to sacrifice than to go with the flow, and our own powers are built up so someone else's evil won't overcome us.|
Why is Thanos purple? Purple symbolizes royalty and suffering: because purple was so insanely expensive to produce in ancient times, only the king or appointed members of the royal family could wear purple; as time went on, and depictions of Jesus became popularlized, purple became the color of Lent and the Passion, because our King suffered for our offenses and sins. When a villain, such as The Joker or Thanos wear purple, it's because they want to be royalty, and usually their sufferings have something to do with becoming wicked rather than becoming holy, and they take out their pain on others rather than helping others through their pain. In Black Panther, and even in the trailer above, we see T'Challa wear a long, purple "vest" because he is a good king who is willing to suffer for his people, rather than have his people suffer for him. Thanos, then, looks at himself as being royalty--the right to rule over others--but because we know that being capable of suffering is a virtue, we also know that Thanos will cause others to suffer for him; any sufferings or wrongs which Thanos has experienced in life will also be the "defining characteristic" of his entire being (just as we look at him and notice how purple he is, so his personal character won't be made of up victories and virtues, rather, his defeats, miseries and complaints, like all liberals).
|Pro-capitalist films have done a good job of sizing up the pro-socialists with a few pen strokes: the ones who focused on what others had, instead of what they themselves had, and decided they wanted it for themselves (consider Blofeld in Spectre, or Vortigern in King Arthur Legend Of the Sword). While he will likely be a minor character in Infinity War, we can expect Loki, the god of mischief, to indulge his grudge against his brother Thor (going back to their first film) in Loki's relentless pursuit of revenge for having been graciously adopted by Odin instead of being left for dead.|
|Yes, that is the DeLorean from Back To the Future; why? First, Ready Player One is filled with references to pop culture form the 1980s; second, just as Marty (Michael J Fox) was able to go back to the past and change the future, or go into the future to change the present, so Spielberg wishes to go back to the 1980s and wish away the Reagan, Thatcher and Gorbachev administrations as if they never happened. In other words, once again, we have liberals trying to re-write history so there was never a fall of communism: if we just change the textbooks, we change history, liberals think, and to some degree they are right,.... but I can't count that low to tell you how small of a degree that is. If you think I'm being delusional about how delusional liberals are, just watch this final trailer which has been released, and then you will see how terribly tragic the liberals are.|
So, everyone goes to the oasis in the film to become someone else; why? They aren't happy being themselves. Why? They can't deal with life. Why not? They don't want to. Why not? They prefer to be victims and live in a false utopia rather than take action and make the world a better place. The oasis basically amounts to a drug addiction, because it appears they spend all their time there and don't do anything else, and what they do in the oasis isn't helping anyone, including themselves because IT'S NOT REAL. Again, check out the trailer below to have a disturbing reality check on the total lack of a reality check in this film, which perfectly mirrors the liberal mental disease.
It's important to note that Wade Watts wears glasses in his mundane, day-to-day reality called "reality." Why? Glasses symbolize the ability to see on a deeper level (or they can symbolize that a person misses what is obvious to everyone else, but since this is Spielberg's hero, that's a doubtful interpretation). Wade removes his eyeglasses to put on the virtual reality "glasses," thereby consciously trading his gift for seeing the real in "reality" for the fake in the oasis.
Now, what does Wade Watts (the supposed hero of the film) do when he gets to the oasis? Sadly, no one clued him in that it's totally politically incorrect to be a white male with blue eyes and dig females,... oh, wait,.... Steven Spielberg just undermined all the "talk of diversity" his side of the political spectrum sponsors by having his cartoon-ish leading male (yes, leading male, not leading female or leading transgender or leading pan-sexual, etc.,) be a white, heterosexual male,... with blue eyes. He can choose to be anything he wants, and Wade chooses to be the "very enemy" of the liberal party: a white male, and the "source"--as liberals propaganda keeps trying to convince everyone--of all humanity's and the world's problems. But here's the "deeper" issue: Wade would rather be a cartoon character than his own self. We all have issues, we have all had problems and crises in life, that's why it's called LIFE, but in general, conservatives call it life, learn the lesson, pick themselves up and move on, whereas liberals just sink and cry like babies until someone comes along and picks them up and starts feeding them lies. This is possibly the saddest film any of us will ever watch because it's such a horrific reflection of what is really taking place in what is left of a liberal mind (after all the drug abuse and indoctrination).
|And this is the real kicker: if these sorry and self-deceptive kids aren't drowning in an illusion of grandeur and self-righteousness all ready, the virtual reality glasses they are wearing, were made by the same company they are fighting against! Wow, does this mirror the reality of liberals fighting on social media against the very companies and free market which created their computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and blue-tooth! AND NOW they are glorifying their hallucinations with Spielberg's film and bathing in their trickery as if they are pulling one over on us. The oasis isn't an "oasis," it's a fool's paradise, and the only places in the US that look like the world at the start of the trailer are those places where Democrats have been in power: Detroit, Chicago and now California, which used to have the sixth largest economy in the world,... now it's going to compete for largest debt in the world.|
|Spielberg just doesn't seem capable of not falling into the pit the liberal agenda insists as the cause of all evil in the world: white men. Mark Rylance portrays the genius who invented the oasis. Why not a black woman, Spielberg? This is your political ideology, do you not buy into it? It doesn't seem that he does.|
Obviously, when Wade talks about the oasis, he refers to what America was for most people when they came here: you can make of yourself anything you want to be in the US!!!! And so many people did and have. But this is what liberals and conservatives diverge: conservatives believe that you take your skills, your talents, your gifts, mix them with hard work and a vision for something better (a better nutcracker, a better window washer, a better computer, a better snake candy, etc.) and with the free market, you are rewarded, thereby improving your life and the lives of others. Liberals believe that you change the world by pointing out what you think are everybody's faults and then bullying them with character assassination and terms like "racist!" and "sexist!" until you acquiesce to their demands and that's how they "better" themselves and society,... except they still aren't happy, then they have more demands, because they don't care about any of the things their agendas claim, they care about having "power," and whenever anyone gives into their demands, they feel that rush of power and they don't want to let go of it. This is how "victims" become "bullies."
Anyone who has read this blog at all knows what a huge fan I am of game theory: the examination of rules in games to establish power bases and creativity to interpret rules for the benefit of the underdog, except I'm not using game theory in Ready Player One,... or am I? We all know that liberals have employed the "rules" of political correctness for decades now to limit what everyone can think and say, and unfortunately, those constricting rules have established a substantial power base for their constant abuse of anyone they want. In other words, the "game" in Ready Player One is the liberal political game taking place in their protest marches, decisions in California to give universal income, decisions of presidential candidates and what students are taught in school at all levels (among a myriad of other strongholds liberals have managed to take over). I don't want to have to watch this film--I think I would rather walk through Chernobyl without a radiation suit on--but I have to know how bad the cancer known as liberalism really is. Trust me, this is the beginning of a the liberal start to another civil war, but instead of being just in the US, it's likely to be international.
|To get a better look at these stills, just click on the image and it will enlarge. The name of the gym where Renee has this realization is called SoulCycle (the name on the girl's shirt in the bottom image); this is imperative to understanding what takes place in this scene, so keep it in mind as we progress through this discussion because this is a fabulously done sequence in terms of the symbol investments made. First, we see her on an exercise bike (the soul-cycle), she literally, is spinning her wheels not going in where (true, it's a stationary bike, but it's an important player in this sequence so it transcends the role of a mere exercise bike to become a "soul cycle"); that's when she falls and she hits her head on the bike of the person next to her (someone else's idea, i.e., the idea of society's standards of beauty and femininity), getting her hair caught in the bike ("hair" symbolizes our thoughts, because our thoughts originate in our head, so the hair or anything we wear upon our head manifest the thoughts a character has; the bike spokes are yellow, because that symbolizes dignity, so Renee has the idea that her dignity is dependent upon other people's standards of beauty and what "pretty" is) and, in order to "free herself" Renee has to "let go of some of her hair," (her thoughts she has taken from society about beauty) meaning, she rips that hair out, and hits her head on the stationary bike she was on but not getting anywhere. That bike is a vehicle, and vehicles (planes, trains and automobiles) are the symbols of the Holy Spirit; why? Because we are or are not the vehicles of the Holy Spirit depending upon our life choices and, again, this place is called SoulCycle, so the bicycle she's on is not only a symbol for her soul, but also the cycling of the soul and the cycle she's leaving and the next one she's going into, and the soul is the domain of the Holy Spirit. Then, we see Renee has passed out, she's entered a state of "mini-death," her mind has shut-off and she's passed out. Then she awakens, and her head--the origin of our thoughts--lies on the white towels: white symbolizes faith, purity, innocence, the virtues, so in her mind, she's starting over after this "mini-death" with greater faith in herself as a person and a more innocent understanding of what beauty is and how she embodies (literally) that ideal. Then, in the bottom image, we see her "reflecting," because mirrors symbolize the "reflection" of our soul and what we meditate upon interiorly. The woman standing behind her wears a yellow T-shirt; why? Yellow is the color symbolizing our dignity, so the woman has her own sense of dignity; Renee, on the other hand, wears a pink top and blue pants. Pink is the first stage of love that has yet to fully mature to the point of being willing to shed one's blood for what one loves (the deep love the color red can symbolize), but there is love for herself that has just started (contrast this with the red shirt she wears when she complains about people just looking at pictures of singles on websites and no one looking at the profiles; here, the color red symbolizes her anger over the state of the situation in which she finds herself). So, the pink shirt symbolizes the first stage of love, but her pants are blue: blue symbolizes both depression and wisdom, because it's from our sad experiences that we gain wisdom, so from Renee's anguish about how life is, she gains a new "standing" in life ("standing" and reputation is what the legs symbolize) and she's going to share her wisdom with others. The room in which Renee has this realization is also all white, so here we see her acting in faith of this new-found, proper self-love which God wants us all to have (not necessarily to enter bikini contests or start sleeping around, but so we can be a witness to others about the joy in our heart; as Padre Pio said, sadness separates us from God, so we are to try and be joyful as much as possible).|
|The reason Wakanda is so important is because they mine vibranium, the hardest metal known which was discovered when an asteroid filled with the metal hit Africa. "Vibranium" suggests the word "vibrant," meaning, it's "filled with life" and the things which make life "good" and desirable; given the high-living standard of most Wakandans, this seems totally legit. So, the quest to obtain vibranium isn't so much about obtaining a single metal, rather, the qualities of life which give life quality and hence, vibrancy, a sense of being fully alive and maximizing one's potential. But if getting vibranium, and hence, quality of life, is the pursuit of the film, avoiding slavery is the simultaneous "fleeing" of the film and each character faces the dichotomy within their lives and the film's agenda for them. T'Challa and Nakia not only face this as individuals, but then also as a couple towards the end of the film: how to teach others what vibrancy of life is and then hold onto it, rather than falling for cheap imitations of life. For example, in the end credits scene, when T'Challa and his sister have traveled to Oakland, the kids playing basketball see T'Challa's,.... "spaceship," for lack of a better description, and one of the kids immediately suggests to the others to take it apart and sell it for profit. The little "thief-in-training" doesn't understand what the vibrancy of life is, and unfortunately, the little "thief-in-training" reflects the grown-up professional thieves, known as socialists, who want to steal the vibrancy of life from those who have worked for it and sell it as a dream to those who don't know any better, like those kids playing basketball.|
If I am correct, and the film is definitely pro-capitalist, then why are there so many liberals praising the film? THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF LIBERAL IDEOLOGY ONLY GOES SKIN DEEP, in other words, they don't understand sufficiently what they have been told to support, so seeing a black man who actually goes against everything they have been taught to yell, shout and get angry about, literally goes unnoticed to them because they don't understand what they have been told to protest and vote against. That the film has done so well, and continues to do so well, clearly demonstrates that the majority of people identifying themselves as "liberals, progressives or Democrats" really don't uphold that agenda, not when it's presented to them in a real-world statement regarding villains and heroes (of course you can argue that a Marvel super-hero film isn't a "real-world statement," however, the horrible things Erik says, and those things which motivate him, are clearly coming from the Left, there can be no question about it, and likewise, those sentiments driving and sustaining T'Challa are clearly coming from the Conservative position, so while Marvel might not be a "real-world statement," there are TONS of examples in the film of actions and calls to action by the Left incorporated into the film's primary narrative to at least acknowledge the real-world influences).
|In trailers and clips for the film, we see the man at the top image--wearing the greenish suit and sporting that huge disc in his mouth--and we can't help but wonder, "What's his role in the film?" then, when we see the film, and that he's really only a "silent" member of the King's council, we realize he's more of an elaborate prop character, meant to convey the exotic-ness of the Wakandan culture,... or is he? Through masterful storytelling skills and simple but efficient communication with the audience, we see the man in the greenish suit is a true symbol of Wakanda. We know the mouth symbolizes our appetites, and that huge disc practically prevents the man from eating anything; why? The tradition of Wakanda has been to be silent about their technological advances (another symbolic purpose of the disc in the man's mouth: silence, as in a "gag order," which is only loosened at the end when T'Challa visits Oakland and makes his UN announcement) and this is why Wakandans have that "identification bar code" tattooed on their inner, bottom lip, as an identifier that they are under the gag order not to say anything and they adhere to it. The man also has artificially elongated earlobes; why? They spy on other countries--hearing their secrets--but make the world believe they have no secrets of their own to hear. Technically, ears symbolize our ability to hear the truth, and we can say this carries over to the symbol of the mouth in Black Panther, because if they can't hear the truth, neither can they speak it, and this fine line of truthfulness threads its way through the entire film (don't believe me? Remember, when T'Challa is at the UN in the mid-credits scene, he says, "We all know the truth," but this is the first time in the film the truth has been able to be heard and spoken at the same time, and the journey of the film was T'Challa and Wakanda getting to this point; please remember this, because we will pick this thread back up by the end of this post). But the mouth, as we know, also symbolizes the appetites: just as the man's mouth is artificially elongated by the artificial disc, so Wakandans believe they have artificially righteous appetites by not taking anything from the rest of the world (consuming, taking in, they pretend to be a third world country, but accept no international aid) but they also don't help the world create a genuine appetite for their technology, wisdom and truth the vibranium can teach the world. What about the colors of the man's suit? He does wear a suit, a Western-style suit, not African, and the pants and jacket are a strange blue-green with his shirt being a yellowish-green. That he dresses like men in the US or Europe, means that's the attitude towards those countries Wakanda has taken (not sharing their technology) and this has been the way they have carried on business with the outside world, by NOT doing business with them. The blue-ish hue of the jacket and pants suggests that the Wakandans have seen this as an act of wisdom--they have practiced this silence for centuries--but the green undertones belies that they know there is something rotten about it; the yellow accent of the man's shirt suggests dignity, the Wakandans take great pride in their accomplishment and their "hidden identity" but, again, there is a green undertone to the shirt suggesting they know their dignity is based on something rotten, i.e., a lie.|
Nearly every time we see Nakia in the film, she wears green; why: green symbolizes that there is either hope through new life, or that something has died and turned rotten. The man in the green suit symbolizes the "death and rottenness" of Wakanda which threads its way throughout the story, whereas Nakia--as a young woman of child-bearing age--symbolizes the future of Wakanda which brings life and real hope to the Wakandans and all those Wakanda will help through the advantages they have. Now, if you think this means Wakanda is going to participate in "wealth redistribution," I understand why you think that, but it's incorrect (and the way the Black Panther suit with "energy redistribution" validates what I am going to say, but we will discuss that below): Wakanda is close to a communist society when T'Challa returns home to become king: think of the final fight between Erik and the civil war at the end of the film; Everett has to keep a plane loaded with weapons from "crossing the border" of Wakanda; why? Because communist societies build walls to keep people from escaping the country (think of China, Berlin, Vietnam) whereas the US is going to have to build a wall to keep people from coming into the country. Communist societies don't share anything with the world, they keep everything to themselves, whereas the US is probably the most generous country in the history of humanity because we give aid to everyone all the time, and this includes everything from food to technology to medical supplies to clothing and military aid. So Wakanda is turning away from a kind of communist ideology towards the role of a world-wide superpower, because after Wakanda opens its bank of technological advancements, they are going to be an international leader in the world. That's why it's important Nakia becomes the queen of Wakanda: she will be the symbol of generosity and freedom which was lacking in the old, communist regime of Wakanda.
|Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) of the CIA and Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) are really the only two white people in the film (sure, there's the museum director, Stan Lee's obligatory cameo and some entourage muscle, but for the most part, this is it). The limitations of the white representation helps to draw out the dichotomy of good and evil: Everett is diplomatic and serves the greater cause while Klaue serves only himself. This isn't because they are white: we see the exact same dichotomy between Erik and T'Challa; this is a choice each person makes for themselves regardless of what their skin color is. We know this, but the film makes a dramatic point of telling us, and especially to a pre-dominantly black audience. This is why the image at the top--Klaue's feet handcuffed to the chair--is the most important visual image of the entire film.|
We know that feet symbolize the will, and the color black--the color of Klaue's shoes--symbolize death, and given that Klaue is an obvious villain, it's the bad death, meaning, Klaue's will (his feet) is directed towards being dead to things of the spirit (the virtues) and alive to things of this world (in his case, greed). So, Klaue's feet being chained play off the numerous references to "slavery" throughout the film: Klaue has made himself a slave to his own greed, and that abuse of his free will (choosing to be a slave rather than to be free of worldly things) is a choice confronting us all. But it gets worse. Those chains are meant for hands, so it's not just Klaue's will (his feet) which are enslaved, but also his honor (the symbol of hands), in other words, Klaue has no honor since he has chosen to be a slave. This is radically important, but this is the film's true definition of slavery, and why T'Challa is so disappointed in his father for acting dishonorably towards Erik after Erik's father's death. Any person can be a economic slave, as the slaves exported from Africa were, but still have their free will and honor; any person can pretend to be free, like Erik who chose to become a Navy SEAL and graduate from MIT, but Erik chooses to be enslaved to his will to hate and his insatiable appetite for revenge (more on this below). It's the human condition, the film tells us, to choose between freeing ourselves with our decisions, or enslaving ourselves with our appetites.
Klaue wears a predominantly blue suit; why? Blue symbolizes wisdom and sadness, because wisdom can only be purchased through our struggles in life. Klaue indeed exercises some kind of wisdom in this scene: he is the only foreigner who has made it out of Wakanda, and seen the marvels therein. It's his depression, however, which has led him to the line of business in which he trades (this is, after all, a business suit) and that business is stealing and murdering.
What about Klaue's left arm? The Marvel universe has a thing for left arms: Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier) had a mechanical left arm, and Thanos (who we properly meet in Infinity War) wears the Infinity Gauntlet on his left arm. Why? If you do a simple search on Google of "witchcraft and the left hand path," it will detail for you the history of witchcraft and Satanism using the "left hand path" to identify their "activities." It's not a coincidence that the political Left--liberals, progressives and Democrats--also identify themselves as "the Left," or "Left-wing," or that films in recent years have compared the political Left with witchcraft and Satanism (Warcraft, Godzilla, The Conjuring 2, Independence Day, Sherlock Holmes, Devil's Due, Ghostbusters [the remake], The Mummy, Gods Of Egypt and King Arthur Legend Of the Sword, to name those I can remember off the top of my head) and in Marvel having bad guys indicative of the socialist order having "left arm problems," Marvel has joined this list. So, how does Klaue embody the socialist order? Yes, he appears to be a business man and appears, therefore, to be a capitalist, however, his left arm with its Vibranium "cannon," is unnatural, and that is the signature of socialism: to destroy the natural order and replace it with the artificial (like replacing a natural family of a husband, wife and child, with two husbands and an adopted child, for example). Further, the name "Klaue" is meant to invoke "claw," the animal claw, because Ulysses Klaue has reduced himself to an animal, which is exactly what socialists want to be: animals, with no conscious to shame them, and no free will to burden them (they want shame-free slavery to their appetites). The obvious rebuttal to this observation is: "So, what about T'Challa taking on the traits of the Black Panther? He becomes this animal, does that make him a socialist?" and the answer is no, but we shall discuss this topic below because it requires us to really examine what is going on with the character.
In the middle image, where Klaue speaks to Everett, I put in a red arrow indicating the open wound across his forehead. This is an interesting "compound symbol," because the face, the head, the forehead and the wound all have their own symbolic representations. If we interpret the gashing wound just on its own, it becomes a spiritual wound, a wound which is basically self-inflicted because of the poor decisions Klaue has made throughout his life (and because he dies in the next one or two scenes, we know these are accurate observations because a character never dies unless they are "all ready dead," and that is "dead in the spirit" so they aren't able to live life fully). The scar is on the forehead, so we could interpret that to be Klaue has developed a spiritual wound making it impossible for him to see the consequences of his actions (the forehead represents our ability to "foreshadow," and understand what is going to happen in the future). Then again, we don't have to limit the wound to just the forehead, we can, instead, interpret it as being on his face; since the face is the seat of our identity, we can say that Klaue's "true identity" reveals itself in this scene as being a man who will sell out others for his own sake (Wakanda) and his a bit crazy (the wound on his head, his intellect is damaged). However, we could also say Klaue has "lost face," and that would appropriately refer to Klaue being foolish enough to make a deal to sell Vibranium to the CIA (Klaue mentions this when he and Erik arrive at the plane). Then again, we could simply observe the wound to be on Klaue's head, and since the head is the governing function of the body, we then observe that Klaue has lost control over himself. There is not a single one of these interpretations which are invalid, they each provide their own unique spin on this simple detail of the gash across his forehead, and, we can now use it to compare to Everett. In spite of T'Challa being difficult about wanting to take Klaue back to Wakanda, Everett uses diplomacy, showing Everett isn't just concerned about himself, but understands the needs of others as well; likewise, Everett is able to get more information out of Klaue then Klaue probably realizes he's giving, providing Everett with some power Everett knows how to use to his advantage. Lastly, we come to know more about Everett's character as a result of this scene, because there is more to know. Everett doesn't wear very dramatic clothing because he's not a dramatic character, he wants to fit in rather than draw attention to himself, but he doesn't hesitate to save Nakia from the bullets when Erik starts firing shots in rescuing Klaue.
There is absolutely NOTHING more masculine than a man fighting another man to the death for the right to rule. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Why do we have these scenes? Because of all the "toxic masculinity of white men" which has been circulating the news and especially college campuses, where more and more liberal schools offer indoctrination for helping their white male students overcome the effects of their white male toxic masculinity. Well, Black Panther makes a statement loud and clear: masculinity isn't reserved for white men, all men are masculine, regardless of their skin color, and all men have testosterone, regardless of their skin color; mess with white men, you mess with black men, too. The film makes it clear that a king who can't fight isn't a king, and when M'Baku challenges T'Challa before T'Challa can be crowned, M'Baku has legitimate reasons for challenging T'Challa (there is more on M'Baku below), one of those reasons being that T'Challa couldn't even save his own father, so how can T'Challa protect Wakanda? The issue of a man being able to protect is especially important given the king of Wakanda has an all-female body-guard (more on them below as well). The king must be able to protect in order for other Wakandans to do their job, this is the whole reason for the king also being the Black Panther, so he can protect. Traditionally, this has been men's primary role in relationships: to protect those he loves who cannot protect themselves; however, we have advanced so far, there are many options replacing men, so a man's need to protect isn't felt as desperately as it has been in the past. Black Panther points out, however, that there are growing threats in the world against justice and civilization itself, and men protecting the order of justice and civilization is being threatened with the simultaneous attack on those men who would stand up to protect it.
Now, what's going on in these scenes?
There are two primary symbols which we need to explore: the rocks and the water. Like most symbols, rocks posses both positive and negative attributes: for example, the rocks symbolize the kingship of Wakanda in that the king must be steadfast and his heart solid in his beliefs and understanding of his role as king; on the negative side, if a king permits his heart to become hardened like a rock, he will fail, himself and his country. So, the test of manhood for the throne comes down to the king's heart: does he have a solid heart, or a heart dehumanizing him (again, we also see this in the coronation ceremony when the king is buried and he has a vision, but we will discuss this below). What about the water? The water provides the means by which a man knows what kind of heart he has. Now, we should not, under any circumstances, ignore the Christian symbols: when the reigning king has the power of the Black Panther removed from him, this is clearly an allusion to Jesus Christ suspending His Divine Nature (being God) so He could suffer and die as a mortal does. The water in which the "contestants" for the throne of Wakanda battle invokes the mystery of Baptism, especially when Jesus was Baptized and the Holy Spirit came down upon Him, just as, when T'Challa defeats M'Baku, T'Challa is then crowned king as Jesus was crowned the Son of God. Okay, on a more mundane level, water symbolizes the first of three stages of inner-reflection on the hero's journey to successfully completing whatever his task is. T'Challa has to SEE HIMSELF and what Wakanda really is, and he has to be willing to become one with Wakanda. When Erik throws T'Challa over the side of the waterfall, that symbolizes the second of the three phases, because there is mist/fog symbolizing what is being hidden; sure, T'Challa's fate as he falls over the edge of the water, but also T'Challa's fate in terms of the king he will become and the actions he will take as king; without Erik's challenge to the throne, and T'Challa's "good heart" (as his father points out to T'Challa when T'Challa takes his mystical journey to visit the kings before him) means these moments of reflection (the challenges he has to overcome in the water, then the mist/fog of the waterfall) will form the man T'Challa will become (this is finalized in the third stage of reflection: snow; when his mother, sister and Nakia are taken to T'Challa and he's half buried in the snow, this is the moment of his final reflection and he's born anew; again, more on this below).
|What do masks symbolize? Masks don't necessarily symbolize anything--unless the mask itself is of a symbol--rather, masks reveal the true nature of the person wearing it. In the image at the top, T'Challa wears the mask of the Black Panther; why? He is the Black Panther, in his heart, that is who he is, the ultimate symbol of protection and kingship. In the center image, we see Erik putting on an ancient mask he stole earlier from the museum, just before blowing up the Intelligence Headquarters in South Korea to extract Klaue from Everett's custody. Erik's mask is of an animal or even a demon, take your pick, but that reveals who he is in his inner-most being.This is why, after their respective crownings as kings, T'Challa sees what he sees, and Erik sees what he sees.|
The first time T'Challa is crowned King of Wakanda, he is given the purple, heart-shaped herb to take on the powers of the Black Panther; why? Purple is a color we see used throughout the film, and we will discuss it more below (in the next series of images) but for the moment, purple symbolizes kingship. Why is it in the shape of a heart? Because it's from the heart that courage, wisdom and a desire for justice (not revenge) comes; to drink or eat something means you are taking it in and making it a part of you within your soul (not just your body). After he drinks the liquid to give him the powers, he is covered up from head to toe with red gravel/dirt; why? This is an awesome compound symbol at work. People aren't usually "buried" unless they are dead, so T'Challa, now that he's king, is expected to die; die to what? Himself, so he can be the embodiment of Wakanda and all the virtues of the Black Panther; ironically, dying to himself means he will become T'Challa more than before T'Challa died, because any weakness and sin will be washed away, and only the pure essence of T'Challa's being will remain (imagine that T'Challa's soul is water, and there is oil [sin] in the water; when all the oil is removed, there is only the water, that is, his pure soul). The gravel with which T'Challa, then Erik, is buried re-enforces the idea of the king's heart being a solid rock, and the king being dependable for his people--rather than Erik's heart being hard as rock with desire for revenge. The rocks are red because the king is expected to give his blood for Wakanda, the ultimate act of love, just as the members of the Dora Milaje are. There is just one more facet of the ritual to consider: the praising of ancestors.
Why do the Wakandas keep saying, "Praise the ancestors?" For one, it's a sign of gratitude, and gratitude is something we never see from Erik; two, it's a recognition that someday, they, too, will be ancestors, and they had better do deeds worthy of future generations so they will be praised with other ancestors (so there is a system of "good debt," that is, recognizing that those currently living owe a debt of gratitude to those who came before them, and it is with their gratitude they are to repay the debt). In terms of modern US--because films reflect the social context in which they are created and marketed--it's the conservative Americans who "praise the ancestors," aka, the Founding Fathers, for providing us with the Constitution and the government we have, the same government and Constitution which socialists are desperately trying to overthrow, because socialists don't "praise the ancestors," socialists curse them, as they curse everyone who is not on their side. We see this same "kind" of remembering of those who came before you in The Dark Tower: "Remember the face of your father," is meant to not only invoke the love your father has for you, but all that he did to help you grow up and mature (and for those who grew up without a father, for example, because he didn't meet his responsibility in helping to raise you, it's meant to invoke, remember what it was like to NOT see the face of your father, so don't cut-out on your obligations like he did, because you have experienced what that is like).
So, once "buried," T'Challa enters a spiritual or mystical state in which he sees the past kings and his own father; why? It suggests there is both a continuity with the past--the past isn't just something we can re-write and change to fit our whims--and a breaking with the past that comes with the crowning of the new king. When T'Challa enters this state, he wears a gleaming white tunic; why? We can call that his "wedding garment," because he's being wedded to Wakanda. We know the color white symbolizes the highest virtues: purity, faith, innocence (from rage and other sins) as well as fulfilling your soul's capacity for virtue. T'Challa sees his father, because that is where T'Challa's heart is, filled with an understanding of his responsibility and duty to serve others. On the other hand, when Erik goes through this ritual, he returns back to his Oakland apartment where he grew up and he has an awkward discussion with his dad with whom he doesn't seem to have any kind of bond, and this is important: Erik isn't particularly sad that his father was murdered, and he certainly isn't concerned that his father committed treason against Wakanda, or was aiding dangerous terrorists, or tried to kill an innocent man; socialists are never concerned with details that bring the light of truth onto their self-righteous narratives. Erik used his father's death as a vehicle for his own greedy designs; why? Because those are the type of people attracted to socialism and the retribution they have decided they deserve. So, we have T'Challa with his sense of duty and responsibility and we have Erik with his sense of entitlement and revenge.
These scenes do something else: they validate the existence of the soul. Regardless of what religious system to which one does or does not subscribe, these mystical experiences are meant to illustrate the existence of the soul, to which socialists do not subscribe; why not? Socialism cannot admit the existence of God because the government takes the place of God, and the government may demand individuals do or not do something which would contradict the precepts of various religions, so a socialist government will always ban religion so the government can take that place and issue their own commands. In providing us scenes where we see the soul interacting with other souls (and because these are past kings who greet T'Challa, we know they are the souls of those kings) the film makers boldly state that socialism is inherently contradicting the law of immortality to which all people are subject for eternity.
|The symbolism for purple weaves itself throughout the narrative, from T'Challa's suit when it receives energy to T'Challa's clothes, the purple heart-shaped herb providing the king with the Black Panther strength and the priest who guards over that power. Why? In ancient days, the color purple was excessively expensive to produce, so only a king could afford to wear the color, hence, purple because a sign of royalty; after the spread of Christianity, and Jesus the "Suffering King," the idea of the king being one who would willingly suffer for his people became a popular and understood role of the royal leaders. So, purple symbolizes greatness achieved through suffering. Now, when a character, such as The Joker (Jared Leto) from Suicide Squad wears purple, that's a sign the character wants to be treated like royalty expressly to avoid suffering. Purple, then, becomes a symbol of shallowness and the gaudy, because one lacks wisdom because there is no spiritual development or the desire to mature and grow.|
Now, we can discuss the "purple heart-shaped herb" which gives Black Panther the power, strength and courage to defend Wakanda. Why is in an herb and not some other plant? Herbs serve not only medicinal purposes, but also add a "spice" to whatever it is one is eating; this goes back to vibranium and the idea of "vibrancy" in life, to have a spicy, well-tasting dish one enjoys eating (as their portion in life, not just one time). On the other hand, the medicinal qualities of herbs clearly suggests that partaking of the Black Panther herb will heal the one it enters into, and this includes sin and other impurities of heart. So, what about Erik? Why didn't the herb "heal" Erik when he took it? Free will. There was the opportunity to accept healing, twice for Erik, but both times he rejects it. The first time is after he is given the Black Panther herb during the coronation ritual, and he goes back to see his father; Erik briefly sheds some tears, and tears are important, because--in the English language--the word "tear," for water coming out of one's eyes, also sounds like the word "tear," as in to tear a piece of paper; in the images above this one we are currently discussing, we see Erik wearing the mask of the animal, and it was possibly for Erik, during his coronation, to "tear away" that animal mask and assume the true role of the Black Panther,.... but Erik couldn't become Black Panther because he was all ready that animal-demon we saw earlier in the film. The second time Erik refuses healing is at the end, when T'Challa has defeated him, and T'Challa takes Erik to see the Wakandan sunset; listening to Erik, T'Challa is moved to pity and tells Erik, "Perhaps we can still heal you," and yes, T'Challa does mean "heal" as in fix the bodily damage, as they did earlier with Everett, however, Everett's wounds were far more severe and they were healed without any problems; "Perhaps," rather, refers to healing Erik's heart, and T'Challa sees the good in Erik's heart for that fleeting moment because of the good within T'Challa's own heart. It's a sad truth that, whatever someone sees in someone else, they see because they reflect their own heart and motivations onto that person: Erik sees only bad in people because there is really only sin and anger within his own heart for him to be able to filter and organize his life experiences through. T'Challa sees good in others because of the good within himself. So, when T'Challa suggests healing to Erik, T'Challa means healing Erik's heart of the anger and insatiable hunger for revenge which has driven Erik his whole life. Erik refuses. This is the second time Erik employs his free will to choose to not be healed, which means, that Erik has been a slave to his "sickness" the entire film, just as we saw Klaue chained to his chair in the image towards the top of the post, which is intentional on the film's part: Erik wants to be buried in the ocean instead of living a life of slavery, but that's because Erik doesn't understand freedom, and he doesn't understand freedom because he has never wanted freedom, he chooses to be enslaved to his dark side, and so Erik dies a slave. Tellingly, Erik commits suicide; why? Because Erik has been self-sabotaging himself the entire film: it doesn't matter who was or who was not there for him, because he would have chosen to ignore it and failed to be grateful, choosing instead, to continuously kill himself throughout all the potential moments when he could have experienced conversion and made a real, meaningful change, in his own life and the world. Sadly, this is exactly what we see in the lives of those who choose to join the socialist movement.
So, the reason the purple, heart-shaped herb is "heart-shaped," is because the herb has to have "good material" with which to work: it obviously doesn't work on someone who distorts their free will, like Erik, making him sicker because that's his understanding of what power is, because that's what his heart hungers for; T'Challa, on the other hand, will continue to find strength, wisdom and all other virtues because that is what his heart hungers for so he can do the right thing in the world. Finally, as we have been discussing, the "purple, heart-shaped herb" is purple because of suffering. "It's difficult for a good man, with a good heart, to be king," T'Challa's father tells his son before his son awakens; what is left unsaid, but what the film shows us, is that it's impossible for a bad man, with a bad heart, to be king, because that man is a slave. When a good man, with a good heart, becomes king, he has to continuously undergo suffering--for the betterment of himself and the good of his people--and being only a "man," and nothing more, it becomes difficult to constantly live in a state of suffering.
|Socialists will, of course, look at this first mid-credits scene and say the entire film is pro-socialist because they don't have a vocabulary reflecting reality: T'Challa says "share" not "give," meaning, that Wakanda will retrain possession and ownership of their technology, they aren't going to just give it to anyone who comes up for a hand out. It's also important to note the important details of the end of the film and this mid-credits scene: when T'Challa takes his sister to Oakland, one of the little boys wants to steal parts from T'Challa's "spaceship" to resell for his own profit, whereas T'Challa intends for Wakandan resources to be offered to help those who will help themselves, that is, teach and educate those in disadvantaged areas, don't just give them stuff the way the Left and Democrats do, and there certainly isn't anything about giving these kids weapons, the way Erik would have done. This scene, at the UN, is meant to establish that Wakanda is going to become a leader in the world, rather than, for example, Obama's style of "leading from behind," and not being a "great nation," rather, helping the world by being an impoverished nation of farmers; instead, T'Challa makes the difficult choice to become a target of people like Obama and Hillary because T'Challa wants Wakanda's greatness to be the world's greatness, that everyone will be lifted up and succeed as much as they possibly can, not--as the socialists want--for everyone to be torn down in an effort to make every person as mediocre as possible (please consider the "means to equality" in this newest update to Fahrenheit 451).|
Now, let's consider this in relation to a very specific word used in the film: redistribution. In contemporary vocabulary, when "redistribution" is used, it generally means, take from those who have a lot, and give to those who hate those who have a lot. In Black Panther, we see "redistribution" employed in a different context: energy. The Black Panther suit Shuri designs for her brother "redistributes energy": when T'Challa takes a hit, the suit organizes that energy and then allows him to recycle that energy. This is easily a Christian tenet: when someone curses you, you bless them. T'Challa doesn't fight individuals, The Black Panther fights evil, and when T'Challa is hit, his strength of character and cultivated virtue allows him to destroy the evil trying to overcome him, and this is exactly what each and everyone of us has to do. THIS IS WHY THE BLACK PANTHER SUIT TURNS PURPLE WHEN THERE IS "ENERGY REDISTRIBUTION" TAKING PLACE: THAT ENERGY IS ACTUALLY SUFFERING, BUT BY DYING TO HIMSELF (the suit is black, so that's a symbol of death) THE BLACK PANTHER GAINS GREATER POWER TO DEFEAT EVIL WITHIN HIMSELF AND IN THE WORLD.
We see this in the subtle way debts are paid back in the film. When Everett takes a bullet in his spinal cord for Nakia, T'Challa recognizes he owes Everett a debt for saving his love, so T'Challa gives life back to Everett who saved Nakia's life. Likewise, when M'Baku challenges T'Challa's leadership, T'Challa recognizes that M'Baku is a good leader and his people need him, so instead of killing M'Baku so M'Baku won't pose a threat to T'Challa's throne in the future, T'Challa urges M'Baku to yield so T'Challa can pay back leadership with a leader.
T'Challa is going to help the world by showing how Wakanda became great, so others can become great as well,... there is absolutely NOTHING socialist about that at all.
|Many critics are comparing T'Challa to James Bond, and this casino scene is one of the main reasons. As I mention below, if this were going to be a pro-socialist film, T'Challa's leadership style would be exceedingly different from James Bond and would be more of Obama's style, as in, lack of leadership. Specifically channeling a white male, and Skyfall, which was immensely pro-capitalist, Black Panther doesn't seem to have anything nice to say about liberals or socialism. Further, in channeling Bond so much, the Western world knows James Bond as the defeater of socialism/communism--that has always been Bond's greatest show of strength because that's his greatest enemy--so T'Challa also, then, becomes a defeater of socialism/communism, NOT a proponent of socialism, as some are trying to make people believe, just because T'Challa is black. There's another important clue to the film's "real political identity": "You get to choose what kind of king you will be," Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) tells T'Challa, and that emphasis on T'Challa's "free will" has nothing to do with socialism, or with the liberal movement. There is also constant reference to "Long live the king!" which is not at all what liberals and "progressives" are saying: they want the status quo completely torn down, and power holders--such as kings--dethroned. Unless, of course, they can take that throne for themselves.|
|The costumes in this scene play particularly well to the characters: both characters don layers, with a base layer and then at least a second layer. Erik (left) has a blue shirt, and armor for his second layer, while T'Challa (right) wears a black shirt with a purple shirt on top of that. Erik's blue shirt reveals depression, sadness, melancholy, as the motivating force for what he's doing, which is why he wears the armor: he's been hurt in the past and suspects he's going to get hurt again. T'Challa wears a black shirt--he has died to himself and what he wants--but also wears the purple; why? Purple is the color of suffering, which is why it's also the color of kings: it's believed a king should suffer for his people, rather than the people suffer for their king, which is what T'Challa plans on doing (remember, he didn't want to be king, but his father was murdered). These two men facing off, then, is a result of their life choices and the choices they have to make now in each other's presence.|
On a different note, a scene in the trailers shows T'Challa geared up in the Black Panther suit, and one of the female leaders tells him, "Don't freeze," and T'Challa replies, "I never freeze." This is a rather bizarre exchange, except, we know that Erik comes from the frigid mountain region in the Wakanda area; so, when warned, "Don't freeze," it may actually mean, "Don't become like the people who want this technology to conquer everyone and then lord it over them, and don't use this technology for your personal aggrandizement," and T'Challa, knowing what she's talking about, promises he won't. The problem is, we the audience don't know what she's talking about, so we will have to figure it out, however, I am confident that little exchange has a greater significance than just a nod of nurturing fret as her king prepares to be dropped out into the sky with no parachute.