Sorry, folks, the Apolitical™ brand is just that – a brand.
I get it – you don’t like the politics being forced into your favorite franchises at the expense of story, gameplay, aesthetics, and the general effect of the medium itself.
I get that female Thor is lame and super-buff She-Hulk is an eyesore. I know that it’s not fun to be lectured about global warming in the middle of a space-opera game, or to be forced to play a game as an uggo who’s bent on killing your favorite franchise characters – and will succeed. I know it’s annoying to see your hero get recast as a minority that makes no sense in the story just for headpats.
It’s easy to think the problem is politics intruding upon your entertainment – something that should offer you an escape, not make you feel bad about the world or your life or, even worse, make you feel like you are hated.
Many of them do hate you, but that’s not the point.
The point is, there is no such thing as Apolitical™. The pundits selling you Apolitical™ as an approach to criticism or creation are either liars or delusional.
There is the old maxim “Politics cares about you whether you care about politics or not,” and it is apt.
The thing is, reacting against things like forced diversity or declaring that you want politics-free writing is itself a political statement. You are saying to the self-proclaimed witch-lords that you will NOT accept their politics polluting your good time.
Apolitical™ is merely a branded part of politics. You are now a cultural warrior by taking it up. Put on your cross and get ready for the crusade.
There are deeper truths here, as well.
Nothing is actually Apolitical™. When most people say they want that, what they mean is that they want accepted political positions only – those that fall within the Overton Window, or the accepted range of political discourse.
When Batman catches a criminal, the creators are making a statement about crime, the efficacy of the state to protect the innocent, and even what sort of behavior should be accepted for the greater good. Superheroes are vigilantes, always operating independent of the state and its politics, which makes the tacit argument that such machinations are flawed – otherwise there would be no need for Batman.
The proper response, therefore, is not jus to declare your disapproval of the co-opting of your favorite franchises, but to demand they display the optimate political position. If they refuse, you close your wallet and, if you have the capacity, you create the art you have been deprived of.
Heroism is a political concept. It goes against any concepts of equality, and thus is offensive to some part of the political spectrum. Accept this. Wallow in it. LOVE it.
Make heroes that your enemies hate, because they represent the good which they also hate. Write stories that have your politics as their spiritual world. You don’t have to force it in like the death cultists who have taken over – that’s their tool, not ours. You can simply create what matters to you and the politics will take care of themselves.
Remember that politics is downwind of culture, and you can affect cutlure. You must.
I write books. They are not Apolitical™. Rather, I write about heroes being great, villains being evil, and I aim to entertain at the same time. I also can teach you how to be more productive with your creative output.