Quote Challenge – Day 3

Once again, my thanks go out to The Ugly Duckling’s Life for including me in the Quote Challenge. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend checking out her blog. It’s an eclectic bit of writing that is well, well worth it. Although she is killing me with the recipes that she sometimes posts…simply killing me.  I’m sad to see this challenge end, it’s been really interesting to think about the quotes and choose which ones to use. I may continue to do an entry once in a while on those topic.

Everyone who has followed my blog for any amount of time knows that I am somewhat taken with Marvel Comics and the Marvel Universe as it plays out on the big screen. So it should come as no surprise that I would attempt to sneak in a quote from one of the characters into this challenge. I could’ve chosen the delightful Deadpool who, goodness knows, has come up with some doozies or the ever sassy Tony Stark who has spouted off some definite noteworthy quotes in his day. But no. For this, I must refer to my favorite, Loki of Asgard.   So for my third quote, I give you:

“I am Loki, of Asgard and I am burdened with glorious purpose.” ~ Loki of Asgard (Avengers)

Now, now, before you roll your eyes at me, yes, I realize that Loki was on a mission of destruction at the time he made this declaration.  However, taking simply the quote and not its intent…or rather Loki’s intent…aren’t we all burdened with glorious purpose?  Or shouldn’t we be?  If this quote were spoken by say, Tony Robbins or Stephen Covey (rest his soul), wouldn’t it be met with an entirely different view? Albeit, neither of those gentlemen was ever attempting to take over the Earth…at least as far I know. But can we ever really know another person?  I digress.

However, my point remains the same. We all have a glorious purpose in life and we should strive to meet it head on…fulfill it, whatever it might be. So long as Earth domination is not key to the plan.

 

And here are the rules for the Quote Challenge:

  1. Post your three favorite quotes, one on each day, for three consecutive days. The quote can be from any book, author, or your own quote.
  2. Tag three other bloggers with each post to challenge them.
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Along with other bloggers I’ve seen though who have done this challenge, I’ve decided to ignore rule #2. No one likes to be ignored at the party (and quite frankly, all of the blogs I follow are amazing, which is why I follow them), so I’m extending an open invitation to this challenge for anyone who reads this and would like to participate.  So – have at it!

No-One Likes a Tease

As an adult I like to think that I’ve gotten a good grasp on handling expectations. I can sleep the night before Christmas just fine. I can await both my birthday and Easter (ahhh the candy!) without getting too out of breath.

But with the advent of all these new avenues in social media and the massive marketing efforts that are constantly trying to trump each other, I’m finding it harder and harder to keep a level head about waiting for the things I want when they’re a certain amount of time away.

Take the upcoming Deadpool movie as a perfect example. I use the word “upcoming” with a grain of salt and that’s exactly the point. I love Deadpool. Plain and simple. He’s a misunderstood anti-hero who’s got a very rich, complex backstory, all things that I love in a character. He’s also super snarky and routinely talks smack to the audience.

The problem is that the movie isn’t coming out until 2016 and there’s already teases being put out there on the interwebs. First there was test footage leaked which whetted all of our appetites. Then Ryan Reynolds, who is playing the titular character, posted a picture of the chair he sits in on set – the word “Deadpool” splashed across the back in flecks of gore (a really cool touch!). Of course the director had to tweet out a picture of a costume test that showed what his armor might look like.  Now there’s the below photo that’s just to die for – showing Deadpool in all his glory posing for the camera in the “official suit.”

If the movie was three months away I’d be fine. Four months even. That’s what I feel is an appropriate amount of time to get people psyched up. But a year? That’s just mean.

And that’s not even the worst of it. A few months ago Zack Snyder, the director of the next Batman v Superman movie, teased a picture of the new Batmobile and Batsuit on his Twitter account. That movie isn’t coming out until May 2016. He’s already showing us things we really want to see – a year and a half before they’re going to release it.

Imagine if you were a kid and in July your parents come into your bedroom with a big box wrapped in glossy paper adorned with Santa’s face and elves with a big green bow on top. They tell you it’s all yours…in December, then put it away. How cruel would that be?

The Ant-Man movie released an “ant-sized” trailer months ago. What exactly does that mean? Exactly what it sounds like. They released a tease of the movie that, when viewed on your computer, was the actual size of an ant so it was impossible to make out any actual details. Again, mean!

How much more ridiculous is this going to get? Hell, we already know the exact day that the Avengers storyline is going to be done. Don’t worry about getting a ticket yet, you’ve got plenty of time. It’s in 2019.

Then you have teasers of teasers. As if the teaser trailer itself wasn’t bad enough, now movie studios are releasing 30 second teasers of the teaser of the trailer of the movie. Just rocking the boat well before the storm is even close to hitting.

Not to get dramatic, but it just rips me apart. There’s something to that old saying “Ignorance is bliss.” I like knowing something I want is coming, but don’t make it torturous by dangling the carrot so early that I’m not even sure I’m going to have good eyesight anymore when it finally does come out.

 

"Eat your heart out Burt Reynolds.   Photo Credit: Deadpool Movie  (click photo to go to link)

“Eat your heart out Burt Reynolds.”
Photo Credit: Deadpool Movie
(click photo to go to link)

 

Heroes for Humanity

I love my superheroes. Batman, Superman, X-Men (past, current, and future classes), Deadpool (okay, well maybe he’s more of an anti-hero), and pretty much the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. I geek out over these characters on a regular basis and take my appreciation of them pretty seriously. Which is why when I stumbled across the article “Superheroes Don’t Exist to Solve Problems, They Exist to Punch Bad Guys” (link here…although I am slightly against sending more internet traffic to this guy’s site), I felt like it was a personal attack on what I look at in my life as positive allegories on ways in which we should all strive to make the world better (did I mention I was a geek?).

The superheroes of popular film have little in common with the heroes of the real world.” This, shockingly enough, is the very first line of the article. Already I get a sense that the author has trouble understanding the definition of fiction as well as entertainment; how both of those mediums can be combined to mirror our reality without being bound by the same rules.

He continues by writing, “The archetypal superhero is a hands-on vigilante clad in form-fitting Lycra. Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, and The Flash all assert their heroism by busting small-time street criminals and delivering violent sermons on the importance of law and order.”

I really am at a loss for where to begin because I am getting a sense that this person doesn’t actually read any comics or even do as little work as to sit through any of the various two-hour movies out there before writing his article.

One viewing of the last Captain America movie The Winter Soldier would dispel his assertion. Yes, Captain America runs around with a shield and has a star on his chest, but his goal is not to put thugs in the hospital. He’s been disillusioned by his own government (one that up until now he has held in high regard) and is seeking a way to ensure that the privacy of the public is protected lest the country slip into a culture of distrust from illegal phone taps and email tampering. Sound familiar at all? On his quest to make sure millions of lives are saved from an international security agency cloaking their ascension to monarchy by weeding out the weaker links, Captain A runs into some resistance and has to take them out. Heaven forbid he has to get into a few fights. It’s more than clear he’s not some brute looking to get his jollies off by punching some noses. If there’s one thing Captain America stands for, it’s the “people” of the world.  He’s out to make a difference and to see that good wins over evil whether evil happens to be a man with a red skull for a face or his own national government.

Then there’s this: “Batman’s stated goal is to rid Gotham City of crime, but he rarely undertakes the actions that can tackle the causes rather than the effects of criminality. Bruce Wayne could use his lofty social standing to lobby for more education funding, tighter gun control, and a social safety net that would prevent young people from resorting to a life of crime. His wealth could be used to support drug clinics and foster prisoner rehabilitation programs to reduce recidivism. Instead, he puts on a black mask and a husky voice and goes to pound hapless street thugs in the night.”

First off, Bruce Wayne does use his lofty social standing to lobby for positive community initiatives (it’s a big thing in the comics actually). Sorry the comics don’t focus solely on that, but we’re looking for flights of fantasy and 22 pages about a new rec center breaking ground isn’t as thrilling as a car chase with The Penguin. It’s not that Bruce Wayne doesn’t do anything for the community; it’s just not the main focus because it’d make for quite a boring comic.

Stark Industries consistently works towards harnessing clean and renewable energy sources among other things. Superman/Clark Kent works at a damn newspaper so the public won’t be left in the dark on what their leaders are doing. Pretty much every superhero out there has a back story that is rich in these types of offerings, whether it’s a protective type of job (such as military), or a teacher helping young people, or a scientist who strives to help mankind or a philanthropist who strives to help everyone.

I could keep railing on and on trying to disprove every point the author made in his poorly researched attempt at trolling the “superhero fad” but this blog would end up being a book with how many examples exist out there.

The point is there’s more to every superhero than their power. It’s their conscience that drives them, not their ability to crush their enemy. In the end they do exactly what we do…they try to make a difference in the world around them using all of the tools at their disposal. Labeling them simply “pugilists” is a vast, vast underestimation. And it certainly does the writers of the stories a grave injustice.

An unexpected role model (Or, Ode to Deadpool)

My daughter loves Deadpool. No, that’s not a Metal band from Scandinavia. He’s a comic book character far, far removed from the popular canon of superhero icons.  I’ve let my nerdy side out on this blog previously with an Ode to Loki.   Well now I feel the need to address the badly maligned character of Deadpool.

deadpool banner

In the world of comics, A-Listers are the ones we all know by heart; your Supermans, Batmans, Spider-Mans, etc. The B-List are those whose names you still recognize but might not know their secret identity’s name or what planet they come from. These are your Green Arrows, Martian Manhunters, Silver Surfers. They get some credit every once in a while, but rarely do you see a kid on Halloween rocking a Dr. Strange costume. Then, below that you have your C-listers. They don’t get a lot of love and only really show up when the comic needs to 1) fill in the background space during a huge war, 2) find a convenient way to move a story along without having to explain too much or 3) have someone die. These are your Firestorms, Quicksilvers, Luke Cages, and Inhumans.

This is sort of where Deadpool hovers; a C-Lister with cult status. Where the cult status comes from is also the reason he’s probably not going to ever crack into the B or A lists. First off, while he’s not a villain he’s far from being a hero. He’s a killer. It’s sort of in the name. If that very short description has you thinking his character is some dark, brooding antihero with an insatiable bloodlust borne from a lifetime of sorrow you’d be wrong. He’s actually quite funny. Comedy is a huge element of his character. Very sarcastic, very dead pan, very witty. He’s a quirky comedian. And while he’s routinely breaking the fourth wall by talking directly to the readers during huge gunfights, he’s also just as critical of the people writing his character. Often times Deadpool will express annoyance at how the writers of his comic have portrayed him in a certain storyline. All with biting humor, that is.

deadpool

He’s perhaps one of the first if not the best meta-character that strays far, far outside the lines of what a typical comic is, all while still retaining the mainstays of a typical comic (guns, explosions, blood, action, tragic backstory continually juiced for carnage fodder, etc.). While I don’t read him all that much, I can understand why my daughter and others like him. He doesn’t hesitate, he doesn’t take anything seriously (even when face to face with almost certain death), he doesn’t always do the right thing, he’s definitely no boy scout, he takes advantage of things and people so they work in his favor, and he pretty much gives a middle finger to anyone who doesn’t agree with him.

In many ways he’s the stereotypical morsel of psychopathic perfection we’ve come to expect in quality comic anti-heroes. However, I argue that in many ways he’s also something to aspire to. Okay, so I’m not recommending we become assassins plying our trade to the highest bidder.  But so many of us take ourselves too seriously because we’re worried how other people will see us. Will I fit in? Will they like me? Will I sound dumb if I say this? We let our fears overwhelm us. Deadpool pushes past his insecurity and while horrible things happen to him, he strives to live life on his own terms.  Despite his emotional scars and fears, he does what he wants and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. I believe that’s worth emulating.  Yes, yes, I realize that he could probably benefit from having just a tiny bit more compassion and empathy, but seriously, after what he’s gone through what can you expect?  Still…everyone should have a little more of his “I’ll do whatever the hell I want and who cares what they think” attitude.

deadpool on game