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Jewish World Review
May 16, 2008
/ 11 Iyar 5768
Superheroes: We Quit!
Theme Park executives and investors are looking toward the untapped Middle Eastern market for the next big amusement park, as they try to overcome the hurdles that make the concept a bit tricky, the AP recently reported in a piece popularly titled "Superheroes fly into Middle East":
"Wonder Woman, King Kong and Shrek are heading for the Persian Gulf as part of the rush to build what could become the world's largest theme park playground. But even as the ink dries on the billion-dollar deals in the United Arab Emirates, movie studios are grappling with ways to make their signature characters and amusement parks fly in the conservative Muslim region. Politically sensitive characters such as Captain America could be left at home."
Indeed, I can already hear Wonder Woman protesting, "I can't work in a hijab!…And what the hell is an abaya?"
Naturally, when the superheroes are first assigned their new mission, there will be some confusion, with the characters assuming they're going to the Persian Gulf to kick some anti-American, jihadist butt. After reminding the studios that their death-proof capabilities stop at suicide bombings, since only some of the X-Men have reassembling abilities, the superheroes will learn from executives that no, they're being sent in to defend the Muslim populations, not take them on.
"Ohhhhhhhhh," Spiderman will finally understand, "You mean these are the folks we're supposed to…protect? Well that sounds a lot easier! Uh…from what, exactly? Global warming?"
And think of Superman's dilemma when those he was sent to protect stage an atrocity and tell him, "The Jews did it!" Will he fly to Israel, as exhorted by Allah's flock, to erase the Zionist enemy from the map once and for all?
If the superheroes do the right thing and refuse, they will be stoned, bombed and accused of being as Jewish as the American military in Iraq and the superheroes will have no choice but to turn against the very people they were sent to protect. Especially when the local populations hear that Superman is from Metropolis and Batman is from Gotham that is, Hymie Towns.
Somehow, "Truth, Justice, and the Arabic Way" sounds a tad oxymoronic.
What will the filthy, un-Islamic canine sleuth Scooby Doo do? And given that King Kong is a giant ape, some customers might object to such a large Jewish presence at the park. For that matter, what is Porky Pig doing in the ad above? Here's a projected picture of Porky after the Looney Tunes Riots:
Consider also the problematic case in which a damsel in distress requires the help of Aquaman, who snatches her from the jaws of death or worse, rape. Only now Aquaman has handled the girl, since saving people requires physical contact, so before he moves to save her, Aquaman has to think carefully: What's worse letting the victim succumb to her untoward fate, or save the victim only to be accused of fornication and thereby doom her to an honor killing? Such will be the wrenching decisions that our superheroes have never had to weigh before. And what to do when they spy a forlorn eight-year-old child bride of a pedophile? Who's the good guy and who is the bad?
If our superheroes make the wrong decisions in such conflicted close calls, they could wind up at the mercy of Sharia law. But Superman won't be able to fly as well with an amputated leg, and Wonder Woman needs both hands to repel bullets with her bracelets.
Most likely this is where our superheroes will draw the line and declare a strike, telling Marvel, Universal and Warner Brothers, "This isn't what we signed up for."
While "investors, studios and park operators are all aiming to cash in on what some observers call the Middle East's decades-long fascination with American culture," only Iran has a realistic sense of how minimal the potential here is:
"The displays of personalities such as Barbie, Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter…are all warning bells to the officials in the cultural arena," according to Iranian Prosecutor General Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi, who said that these imports pose a threat to the 'identity' of the new generation.
Thank G-d someone still has his bearings. Suggested name for such a park: Never Land.
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JWR contributor Julia Gorin is a widely published op-ed writer and comedian who blogs at www.JuliaGorin.com She's the author of the just-published "Clintonisms: The Amusing, Confusing, and Even Suspect Musing, of Billary". Comment by clicking here.
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