Not Only Men

The cartoon SAMURAI JACK, for those of you unfortunate enough not to have seen it, is a visually innovative tale, equal parts action, epic, melodrama, and humor of a samurai wielding a magical sword thrown into the far future where Aku, the shapeshifting demon master of darkness, rules a world of humans, mutants, monsters, space aliens, magical creatures, oddities, robots, assassins and sorcerers. A Scotsman complete with bagpipe and kilt and machine-gun pegleg is as likely to appear in the show as midget Chicago gangsters, talking dogs, or a mechanical Minotaur.

After a long hiatus, the show has returned, if anything, more splendid than before, and with some innovative elements: Jack has lost his magical sword and grown a beard. In one recent episode that fanatical kunoichi (she-ninja) born and raised to hunt and kill Jack has instead, after seeing his strength, wisdom, and kindness, realized the truth about her master Aku, and fallen madly in love with Jack, who shyly returned the affection. All is not wine and roses for the starcrossed pair, however, as evil forces seek to separate them…

For apparently there are certain fans who object to the pairing, not merely with umbrage, but with self-righteousness.

Brace yourself. This is not a joke.

If any man jack can find a single thing odd, wrong, or inelegant about adding an element of romance to an adventure story, I suggest he visit his psychiatrist, or his father confessor, or report to the nearest suicide booth to do his part in the Darwinian improvement of the race.

In case the comments are swinging by too quickly, the objection is that the couple is a couple, that is, male and female. Jack is older than the girl, because he had been prevented from aging by time-magic, and this is the excuse of at least one yammerhead to yammer. The comments about pederasty or about the Japanese character (voiced by a Black man) being a het white male are beyond insane.

I am reminded of a passage from a Jack Vance novel. Our hero Reith, much like Samurai Jack, is trapped on a barbarian world of sadistic savagery, and he encounters odd cultists of atypical ferocity, called the Priestesses of the Female Mystery :

Below the platform, in a row of low cages, a dozen naked men stood crouched. These men produced the harsh chant Reith had heard from the hills. When one faltered, jets of flame spurted up from the floor beneath him, and he once more screamed his loudest….

How they hated men! thought Reith. A troupe of entertainers appeared on the stage– tall emaciated clown-men with skins bleached white, eyebrows painted high and black. In horrified fascination Reith watched them cavort and caper and with earnest zest defile themselves, while the priestesses called out in delight.

When the clown-men retired a mime appeared: he wore a wig of long blonde hair, a mask with wide eyes and a smiling red mouth, to simulate a beautiful woman. Reith thought, They hate not only men, but love and youth and beauty!

Until seeing and reading the quotes recited above, I had not known, and would not have believed, that there were votaries of the Female Mystery among us here and now.

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