Truth and justice aren’t good enough?

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Warmongers like Debbie Schlussel are annoyed that the new Superman movie refers only to “truth, justice, and all that stuff,” instead of “truth, justice, and the American Way.”

This Washington Post article, remarking on the change, states that “[e]ver since artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel introduced the granddaddy of all comic book icons in 1938, Superman has fought valiantly to preserve ‘truth, justice and the American way.'”

But that’s just not so. If you watch the Fleischer Superman cartoons of the 1940s, they refer only to a neverending battle for “truth and justice.” “The American Way” was a later, Cold War addition to the phrase. So if anything, the new movie just takes Superman back closer to his roots — before he became part of U.S. war propaganda (such as the later cartoons, with titles such as “Japoteurs”).

Of course, if “The American Way” means capitalism, that’s great, I guess. But “justice” implies capitalism anyway, and if Warner Brothers wants to make money from its movie in other countries — and of course they do — who can blame them for omitting this rather obnoxious language?

10:59 pm on July 1, 2006