I’ve mentioned quite often in posts, and in comments to posts, is that I’m quite bored by superhero movies. Somehow though I’ve never been moved to post about exactly why in detail. A few recent conversations about it made me realize it might make a good Sunday Sermons post.
The thing is that it does go beyond being just bored. There is a cultural aspect to it that’s gotten under my skin more and more. It has to do with the massive violence and destruction inherent in these movies and with a fundamental aspect of these comic book superhero stories.
They center on fighting, and I’ve never been a fan of it.
Way back in 1958, science fiction author and critic Theodore Sturgeon coined the term Sturgeon’s Revelation. Which is that “90% of film, literature, consumer goods, etc. is crap.” This became known as Sturgeon’s Law while Theodore’s actual law (from a 1956 story) — that “nothing is always absolutely so” — is forgotten. (Philosopher Daniel Dennett expanded the Law to say that 90% of everything is crap!)
I’ve always found this applies especially to science fiction TV. And in this Anno Stella Bella era, there is a lot of SF TV, so naturally there is a lot of crap. (Honestly, I don’t even pay attention to the SyFy channel anymore.)
Happily: HBO’s Westworld … not crap! In fact, it’s a gem that offers many facets worthy of (non-spoiler) thought and discussion…
The thing about climbing up sand dunes is that you keep sliding downwards. If you slide downward one step for every step you take upwards, you stay in place and get nowhere. Worse, if you slide two steps down for every step up, you go backwards!
To climb a sand dune successfully, you have to take more steps upwards than you slide downwards. I’ve climbed sand dunes; it’s hard; it takes effort (or a dune buggy).
The thing about social progress is that, without real effort towards moving upwards, society tends to slide backwards. Or just stay in place.
It’s been ages since I posted any Brain Bubbles! That’s not for lack of my brain bubbling so much as various other “real world” (ha!) sharp pin bubble-popping things intruding. I thought it was high time I returned to effervescence!
There are some older bubbles queued up — they’ll surface eventually — but I was recently struck by a couple of brain bubbles recently (to the point of serious bemusement in one case and serious amusement in other).
Not feeling like a long post, so instead you get a pair of tiny bubbles!
I mentioned recently that I intended to write some “For The Record” (FTR) posts setting down — once and for all — my views on certain oft-debated topics. “Once and for all” is misleading, though. My opinions evolve over time, and no controversial topic is ever truly closed. “Here and for now” would be a better phrase.
This one will certainly draw a sand line where some will stand on my side and others — people I like and respect — will stand on the other. I’m not sure I believe there is a right answer here; it really depends on your worldview. If nothing else, this seeks to explain my rationale as well as my opinion.
So, for the record: here we go on guns!
If “we are what we eat,” then what about what we consume with our minds? If the food we eat becomes the substance of our muscles and bones, doesn’t the information we absorb become the substance of our thoughts and emotions? We understand that it’s not healthy to live on junk food alone; do we have a similar sense regarding our mental health?
I think a lot about the media content we absorb so casually day in and day out. In the last three or four decades, we seem to have come to an ugly, unfortunate place for entertainment dining. Our diet now is rich in violence and sexuality, and it’s served in a visceral emotional stew of force and conflict.
I think it’s disturbing, especially considering how few seem disturbed by it!
I’m surprised that, despite writing in a lot of comments about how — and if — the world is changing, I’ve never actually written a post about it. I suppose it’s implicit in some of the things I’ve explored, but I’ve never focused on it directly. That’s odd because it’s a key topic of interest, and I’ve always intended to get into it here.
Maybe I tend to avoid it because, as a misanthropic aging curmudgeon, I basically think the world is going seriously downhill, and that’s not a point of view most people want to hear about. And, to be honest, it can be hard to separate out stuff I don’t like from stuff I think isn’t good. This is, in part, a search for objective criteria (and comment).
Premise: The world has changed, in many ways for the worse.
I thought Zack Snyder blew the doors off Watchmen. The movie does total justice to a classic graphic novel that I would have thought impossible to put on film. It turned out to be a work that doesn’t just honor the source material, it elevates it. I liked his version of 300 okay, and I thought Sucker Punch interesting (although it’s a rather strange movie).
Plus, I have a high regard for Christopher Nolan. I very much enjoyed Memento, Insomnia, The Prestige, Inception and the first two Batman movies (as I’ve written before, I thought much less of the third one).
Snyder at the helm, Nolan as a producer and writer,… I was really looking forward to Man of Steel.