Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Our favorite heroes - The Objectivism Detective: Steve Ditko's The Question

"The Question is one of the more philosophically complex superheroes. As a tireless opponent of societal corruption, the Question expounded Ditko's belief in Objectivism,-Objectivism holds that there is a mind-independent reality; that individuals are in contact with this reality through sensory perception; that humans gain objective knowledge from perception by measurement, and by forming concepts that correspond to natural categories by measurement omission; that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or "rational self-interest;" that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual human rights, embodied in pure, consensual laissez-faire capitalism; and that the role of art in human life is to transform abstract knowledge, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form - a work of art - that one can apprehend and respond to with the whole of one's consciousness. During his career as a minor Charlton hero (much like Ditko’s earlier creation, Mr. A). In an acclaimed 1987-90 solo series from DC, the character developed a Zen-like philosophy.

The Question of the DC Animated Universe is a completely obsessive, darkly comic loner — skeptical, paranoid, antagonistic and unpredictable, often given to believing in various odd conspiracy theories. He's been shown humming pop songs while breaking into a building, claims the motives and purpose of aglets (the plastic caps at the end of shoelaces) are "sinister", and believes in ominous links between boy bands and global warming, the Girl Scouts and the crop circle phenomenon, and fluoridated toothpaste and spy satellites. He also believes there was a literal 'magic bullet', forged by Illuminati mystics to hide 'the truth'. In recent investigations, he also discovered that Baskin-Robbins in fact has thirty-two flavors of ice cream, and is concealing the thirty-second for dubious reasons. He expressed a belief that these and many other events are tied to a single, vast conspiracy by a hidden cabal dating back to ancient Egypt, which has supposedly ruled the world from the shadows for millennia, aided by the common man's ignorance of it.

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