They don’t get it, but I understand why. Boom. Crash. Bang. Zap. Pow. Cue the cackling villain. Reveal the stalwart hero. Bring a key character back from the dead.
They’re all so, sooooo smart. You’d think they’ve have absorbed some study into Jung. But I digress…
None of it is real, in the literalist, nihilistic philosophical wasteland of the self inflated thespians and wannabe academics. To them superheroes and comic books in general, are still as throw away as when they were first collected together from left over newspaper strips and sold for pennies. From their vantage point of elaborate glass houses high on their self constructed hill, the entertainments of the masses are a low, plebian, at times quaint but mostly bothersome concern, only to be tolerated for the gargantuan sums of money it generates. Never mind that it funds their entire way of life. And never mind a few other things, as well…
Never mind that within the context of these larger than life settings, there are things like deep familial loss (Batman), the monster within (Hulk, Wolverine), obsession and power-mad tyranny (Thanos, Hela, and tons of super villains), psycho-social abberancy (The Joker, and tons of other villains), great crime stories (uh, duh.. Batman times a million), and social commentary (which has unfortunately overplayed itself into vapid social justice posturing, but I digress…) at every turn and angle. Never mind that perhaps the pseudo-intellectual and artistic elites despise the idea that larger than life concepts are real, matter and perhaps might sometimes be incredibly well explored via larger than life settings and characters.
I get it. I do. Superhero movies, and to a lesser degree movies made from comics in general come from a “low” form of art. They’re born of cheap paper, bad ink, stories quickly hashed out at times, at least in the early days, and in those early days, mostly targeting children. They’re born of a disrespected art form that was traditionally an entertainment for, let’s be honest, the poor. Know what else shares those qualities? Shakespearean theater. Sometimes, perhaps, our “betters” would do well to recall their own inglorious roots.
Sometimes there is more heart and soul tucked inside the spectacle of titans than can be found in the introspective scenes of someone crying at their kitchen table because sometimes, in real life, when we’re crying at own kitchen tables over the problems of life, those problems seem titanic. Enormous. Godlike. They’re an awful spectacle and perhaps having a path of escapism into realms of fantasy and larger than life heroics is exactly what people need to let them feel like those things can be overcome. Mythology was always meant to reflect, teach and inspire. These are the mythologies of the modern world, reflecting our problems, needs and even beliefs at times in things far greater than ourselves. For egoist, nihilist, thespian academia, the thought of anything larger than or outside of the self is almost a form of heresy that threatens their favorite idol, themselves, and deadens their ability to wonder and dream and imagine.
If staring down one’s nose at “low art” is part of being in this strange, bleak club of self-inflated elites, then pass me a beer or soda, a bucket of popcorn and crank up that surround so that the explosions, laser swords, giant robots and larger than life heroes can drown out that crap take me away. Let me keep my wonder and awe, thank you kindly. I value that far more than the approval of elitist jerks who are dead inside.