Archive - Aug 2014


August 28th

Sad Superman / Gun Fun In The Sun

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Memo to Warner Brothers and "Burgers and Bullets": YOU ARE DEPRESSINGLY DUMB.

The two spastic topics in today's SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY have a throughline of sadness, it's true, but they're so disparate that any attempt to actually connect them seems really fucking tacky. And while I don't have any pretensions to greatness here, I do try to avoid being really fucking tacky. So let's just get into it.

If you like your Supermen like you like your bored teenage girls on cruises - sulking on a boat - then Warner Brothers has a shit-ton more movies for you. Not only are they cramming as many superheroes into the next used-to-be--a-Superman-movie as they can because you all went to see Avengers and therefore Hollywood knows you want lots of superheroes at the same time, but they're also making sure you don't think they're funny.

Reports this week claim that there is a definite corporate message coming down from up high regarding the DC Cinematic Universe, a message summed up as "no jokes". Now, anyone who saw the Nolan Batman movies, the trailer to Man of Steel, and the photo of Wonder Woman kind of figured that was going to happen anyway. And even if "no jokes" doesn't mean "not a single thing that might be interpreted as a joke", the general idea that people need to take superheroes deadly seriously has pervaded the genre since Bryan Singer's competent-but-largely-joyless X-Men movies.

For some reason, the idea that it'd be fun to have superpowers even if serious shit also comes along with it isn't considered "realistic" by a lot of people in Hollywood, which is odd, because EVERYONE THINKS IT'D BE FUN TO HAVE SUPERPOWERS.

Marvel movies, for the most part, are the self-assured nerd. They've come to terms with what they like, are comfortable in their own shoes, and that's why people don't mind spending time with them. The Nolan/Snyder axis, on the other hand, wants you to be damn sure they're not one of THOSE nerds. That they like superheroes for their sociopolitical commentary, their deep emotional content, and their respectability as a valid historical art form. And New Gods help you if you get cornered by a DC movie at a party.

You know, I'm not a sociopath. I don't lack empathy. But there is definitely a part of me that looks at the fatal shooting at Burgers & Bullets in Arizona and thinks we could use a little more of that kind of freedom.

Burgers and Bullets, of course, is the fully-automatic Chuck-E-Cheese where a 9-year-old girl accidentally killed her shooting instructor with the Uzi everyone thought it would be awesome for her to let rip with.

I have little sympathy for either the employees or patrons of a place called "Burgers and Bullets". That name is super-saturated with worldview. If you're there if your own free will, you agree with what's going on there. And if what's going on there gets you shot and killed, well, you can have freedom, or you can have security, right?

The only problem is, it was a quirk of physics that made this particular incident turn out in a fairly ideal way from a schadenfreude standpoint. As a "family" recreational facility, Burgers and Bullets includes lots of 9-year-olds and other people incapable of risk evaluation and informed consent. So there's no guarantee that the next person to eat a bullet at one of these things is someone who should have known what they were getting into.

So maybe hold off on the Israeli sub-machine guns for kids in the single digits? If that doesn't impinge on your freedoms too much? You can wait a few years before teaching them how you can stop the evil gummint with your Second Amendment remedies, can't you? You can't? Oh, well, carry on, then, by all means.