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What The World Expects

What The World Expects

What do I have to offer the World?

What have I got to say?

Is it important?

Does that matter?

Some days I don’t know the answer to any of those questions and yet, I keep talking. Because isn’t that what I’m supposed to do? Isn’t that what’s expected?

Expectation is a strange and ugly beast. Most of the fights and nearly all of the heartache in this world can be boiled down to unmet expectations.  It’s easy to forget that the world owes us nothing, and if it did, it would never acknowledge the debt.

So many of us have difficulty with the painful lesson that the world does not love us. Neither does it hate us. It simply lacks the capacity to care. We say, The World, or The Universe, in proper noun capitalization, as if either were an entity with a mind and a heart that is conscious of us. It isn’t.

A dithering head at either end with a voracious belly in between

Even society, made up of billions of minds, isn’t a conscious being. It is a hive without a mind. In fact, it’s rather like an amoral version of Dr. Dolittle’s pushmepullyou; a dithering head at either end with a voracious belly in between. Try to ride it and it’s likely to devour you, two tidy bites at a time.

It isn’t surprising that we often expect the World to care for us. All the time we are growing up we are told repeatedly what we “have a right to expect” from the World. Then we get a zapped at some point in our young adulthood with the discovery that the World had no knowledge of these expectations and further, has no plans to meet them. If our expectations or even needs are to be met, we’re probably going to have to do it ourselves.

The disappointment can be crushing.

The only way to avoid that blow is to realize that the World can do nothing for us, and it isn’t going to try. But we can, and should, do what we can for each other.

Our best shot at a good life is to put aside the childish notion that the World is obligated to give to us, and realize the beautiful truth that we are instead, created to give back. Not to the amorphous, anonymous World, but to our neighbor, our friend, the stranger we meet and find we can help.

If enough of us do that, the World will become our friend, even if it doesn’t mean to.


Plot Twists and Protecting the Lore

Did I mention I love Bobble-Heads?

I recently went to see Captain Marvel™ at my local movie theater and was favorably inclined. The acting was good, the action swift and I thought the plot-line held together well while answering a few questions for me. (Most notably, where was Carol Danvers during the whole Thanos debacle in Infinity War?)

Others were not as happy with any of the above.

The objections come in multiple flavors from arguably valid down to outright misogynistic. I’m going to pass on answering the misogyny in this post because others have already taken care of it quite well. But there were a couple of objections in a particular post I read that I’d like to discuss.

One: They replaced an awesome, powerful character with a weak Kree scientist.

I’ll grant you that Captain Mar-Vell was originally envisioned as a nega band wielding male character, and certainly engaged in more physical battles than than the current incarnation. But beyond that there are number of similarities.

Most notably: both the original character and the new movie’s character adopt the persona of a scientist. And neither is weak.

The main complication for both of them is comprised of the realization that the society they serve is unethical. To do the honorable thing, both must turn against a corrupted governmental structure. The original character does so with fists and brawn on behalf of humans, while the new iteration uses science and innovation on behalf of the embattled Skrull.

Both take the incredibly difficult path of fighting against ingrained loyalties against their own interests in order to do what is right. That takes immense strength no matter how you do it, the coolness of nega bands notwithstanding.

Two: The new iteration disrespects the lore.

Plots are twisted all the time, and the movie certainly takes some major departures from the original comic, from the gender of Mar-Vell to the true nature of the combatants in the Kree-Skrull war. The point is, none of this is a new phenomenon.

I also love legos…

Look at Spiderman.

Peter Parker has at least two origin stories, one that includes Mary Jane and another that ropes in Tony Stark. And I have no idea how Into the Spiderverse fits in. (Haven’t seen it yet.)

Now maybe the changes were made a while back or maybe it was done more recently to accommodate additional movie plot twists. I’ll leave that to actual aficionados of the genre to determine.

All I’m saying is, the new Captain Marvel isn’t the first time Marvel themselves have tweaked a storyline to suit later innovations, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last.

And Fan Art

And I don’t mind.

Art, including literature, is a reflection of the society in which it is produced. The original Captain Marvel comics were written and illustrated in the late 1960s, some say as a commentary on the activities of HUAC and Senator McCarthy. At the time, freedom of speech was in jeopardy. Some would say this hasn’t changed. Added to that are the recently revivified issues of feminism and social justice.

The world is undergoing an enormous plot twist. Is it such a surprise to see art undergo a corresponding change?


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