South Park Self

a saviour machine

This is a piece of fan-fiction that posits the Avengers taking over the American presidential election, and I love it very, very much. It's acute and funny, but it's also a beautifully-encapsulated demonstration of exactly what fanfic does. Superheroes are already about wish fulfilment, and most importantly about agency - they are a response to the increasing complexity and scale of our lives, in which our own agency is nil in the greater scheme of things. Superheroes are a projection of our desire to make a difference. So this fic externalises that desire and makes it literal by injecting that utopian notion of agency into one of the most obvious and hopeless examples of large-scale dysfunction in our current environment, namely the American political system. Fanfic does for narrative what superheroes do for social evil - it gives us control. It must be a horrible feeling of helplessness, to be American and to feel that there's no way to stop the obvious asinine stupidities of Trump rampaging bullheadedly over the American political landscape. I'd take a Tony Stark puppet government in a heartbeat. Clean energy in three years, socialised medicine in five. Fanfic and superheroes both have power because their ultimate engagement is not with reality, but with utopia.
Have you read Bujold's essays and speeches? What you've written here reminds me of something she wrote:

In fact, if romances are fantasies of love, and mysteries are fantasies of justice, I would now describe most F&SF as fantasies of political agency. All three also may embody themes of personal psychological empowerment, of course, though often very different in the details, as contrasted by the way the heroines “win” in romances, the way detectives “win” in mysteries, and the way, say, young male characters “win” in adventure tales.

Building on that, I've been thinking that contemporary literature works would be fantasies of significance or relevance.
I have not read Bujold's essays. Why have I not read Bujold's essays, it seems like something of an omission! I'll get right onto that. Lovely quote :>.
Unfortunately 'Democracy' isn't that much better over here (UK).

Please, don't let Trump get elected. Surely there are sufficient Republicans with two functioning brain cells to rub together to manage that? Aren't there?

BTW - I still think of Emma Peel and Steed when you mention the Avengers!