Wednesday, May 28, 2008

American Otaku and American Imperialism

I found pretty amazing the juxtaposition between this Wired article on the popularity of otaku culture in the United States and this American Prospect article on the ways in which the new Iron Man movie tiptoes around the comic book's legacy of wrestling with the legacy of Vietnam and the tradition of American imperialism. It raises questions for me about the relation between different popular media, how their fans interpret and respond to them, and their larger political ramifications in the U.S. But above all it makes me wonder to what extent Americans' consumerist culture and subcultures might constitute a critique of imperialism, an extension of it, or a new phase of it.

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