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The Mandarin

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,767
In Reply To

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,096
Subj: Re: It is past due time to give Stark a wound that will never stop bleeding
Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 04:11:38 pm EDT (Viewed 183 times)
Reply Subj: Re: It is past due time to give Stark a wound that will never stop bleeding
Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 at 01:12:53 pm EDT (Viewed 228 times)

    Isn't your thing that the Mandarin is basically a giant macho? Torturing people is a sign of weakness.

My view is that he embodies hypermasculine thinking, which, yes, lends itself to cool Klingon stuff like valuing bravery and fair fights. But it also lends itself to a lot of extremely ugly things, like social darwinism, and the desire to utterly dominate another person on every level.

I always go back to his origin when it comes to The Mandarin. The origin in which he inherited a fiefdom full of resources and peasants to whom he owed a responsibility of care. Instead of fulfilling this responsibility of care, he devoured everything to make himself stronger, smarter, a more skilled warrior, and a more devious predator.

There's also his upbringing to remember: his aunt hated him and so ruined him psychologically and financially in the process of making him her super-soldier/monster, so he would have learned early that that's what you do to people.
Indeed, it's not clear exactly how much of the destruction of his fiefdom was his aunt's manipulations and how much was his own doing. Perhaps it started as the former and ended as the latter.

Regardless, once he had violated and eaten that fiefdom into nothingness, he found new resources and enslaved the villages surrounding those resources like Christopher Columbus. So regardless of whether it was mostly his aunt or mostly himself who devoured his fiefdom, he had become a predator by the end.

I also tend to think that his constant conflicts with Stark would gradually make him embody an ever worse version of the hypermasculine. He begins at least sometimes trying to be the most nearly noble version of the hypermasculine: the Klingon type who values strength, bravery, and fair fights. But with every defeat he moves closer to the ugliest version of the hypermasculine: that which desires to beat down, rape, and eat its enemy.

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