I want to talk …

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I want to talk to you today about forgiveness and reconciliation…
They’re not the same thing.
You can have one without the other, neither, or both.
You’re not right in demanding either or both of anyone.
Demanding can also take the form of pleading, begging or a superficially polite request.
Demanding is when you’re not equipped to accept any version of “no” in response.
Otherwise normal, healthy, well-meaning people can behave horribly when they don’t recognize these truths.
I want our followers become privy to this.
Would you please reblog?
So more people won’t have to learn the hard way?

-Daniel Ballow

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Going through my iPod

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Going through iPod
Mika: WE ARE YOUNG!
Me: Not feeling that triumphant right now.
Pirates of the Caribbean: “The Kraken”
Me: Not feeling that dangerous right now.
Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol: “Kremlin With Anticipation.”
Me: Not feeling very patriotic for mother Russia right now…
3 Doors Down: I took a walk around the world to ease my troubled mind…
Me: Not in the mood for walking or contemplation.
Mario: It seems the more I try to do right the more I lie about being at sessions and leaving at certain times….
Me: What the F**K to YOU have to complain about!? Mr. Rich and successful rap artist has too many girls!? I DUNNO WHATTA DO! F*CK that! I think I”ll delete that song from my iPod. #FirstWorldProblems
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!:
“I have no money in my coffer
No gold or silver do I bring
Nor have I precious jewels to offer
To celebrate the new born king
Yet do not spurn my gift completely
Oh ye three wise men please demur
Behold a plant that smokes more sweetly
Than either Frankincense or Myrrh”
Me: Nope. Made a solemn vow never to touch the stuff until it’s legal. I have no investment in this song. I should just delete.
The Incredible Hulk: “Lonely Man Theme”
Me: Cry me a f**king emo river of green irradiated blood.
The Lord of the Rings: “Requiem For A Dream”
Me: Not feeling very epic right now…
Rihanna: Just Gonna Stand There And Watch Me Burn?
Me: Yes.
Green Lantern First Flight: Main Title
Me: Nah.
Batman: Under The Red Hood: Main Titles
Me: … Maybe…
…ah, who am I kidding.
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies: Main Titles
Me: Not feeling very political.
Lady Gaga: I’m gonna Marry The Night. I won’t give up on my life.
Me: Ehhh… If I was feeling slightly worse, then this MIGHT help, but I don’t feel THAT bad.
Megaman X5: Ending Theme
Me: Not feeling very nostalgic.
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies: Metallo
Me: Not feeling very metal.
Metal Gear Solid: An cuimhin leat an grá
Crá croí an ghrá
Níl anois ach ceol na h-oíche
Táim sioraí i ngrá
Me: Later.
Metal Gear Sold 2: I stare at the starts, and the sky up above, and think, “What am I made of?” Am I full of sorrow? Am I Hurt and Pained? Or am I filled… with Looove?
Me: …
Metal Gear Sold 2: I walk by myself, on the streets below… and ask every child I know. “Do you think tomorrow will bring sun or rain? Which one of these will show?”
Me: 🙂
Metal Gear Sold 2: I can’t say goodbye to yesterday, my friends. I keep holding on, ’till the end. Out of the darkness, there is no other way than the light leading to yesterday.
Me: …. :/ No… No looking back for comfort. I need to move on.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Son. You’ve got a way to fall. They’ll tell you were to go, but they won’t know.
Me: Duh.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Here’s to you Nicola and Bart. Rest forever here in our hearts. The last and final moment is yours. Your agony is your triumph.
Me: 😥
Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops: …
Me: Nope. Skipping.
Inception: Mind Heist.
Me: I feel so violated. OUT!
Mis Teeq: So so so so… Scandalous.
Me: lol
Maroon 5: Oh YEAH! … Oh yeah! So scared of breaking it that you won’t let it bend.
And I’ve wrote two hundred letters I will never send. Sometimes these cuts are so much deeper than they seem. You’d rather cover up. I’d rather let them be. So let me be. and I’ll set you free. I am in MISERY. There ain’t nobody who can comfort me. Why won’t you answer me? Your silence is slowly killing me. Girl you got me bad. Girl you got me bad. I’m gonna get you back. I’m gonna get you back.
Me: It felt good, but I don’t believe in revenge.
Lady Gaga: Don’t call me Gaga. He ate my heart. He a-a-ate my heart.
Me: That’s interesting, tell me more.
Gaga: Look at him. Look at me. That boy is bad and honestly. He’s a wolf in disguise. But I can’t stop staring in those evil eyes.
Me: Sounds like someone’s been put in the One Night Stand Zone, if that’s even a thing.
Juno Reactor: Asato ma sad gamaya
tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
mrtyor mamrtam gamaya
Me: Not feeling very enlightened.
Linkin Park: I remember black skies. the lightning all around me.
Me: I remember playing you on full blast as I was walking to my first class during a thunderstorm. Good times.
Gavin DeGraw: Dreams. That’s were I have to go to see your beautiful face.
Me: Not really. At least there you’re less likely to see contempt…
John Legend: Nutmeg… Sweet, sweet nutmeg. On the 25th. I’m gonna cover you with…
Me: ‘,:o
Megaman X7: Sigma Theme (Our Blood Boils)
Me: Fun Boss Fight.
Capricious Comet: (Engrish)

If you want to find
there is a world behind,
all you have to do
is to know your pride
you say you need to show
your urges to grow, but you’re wrong,
but it stopped for to me that
you really know you’re on your own (on your own)

Pick up the sky but,
I’ll make you eat the scrap,
but I ain’t to sure which of my parts I have for you
If you’re going to deny
truely, truely could you cry (could you cry)
I trust you won’t say no more
be silent til you die.

Pray the wind air grows thin
it’s in your head to live free,
noisy brain, back again
each new day, go like you say

Pray the wind air grows thin
it’s in your head to live free,
noisy brain, back again
each new day, narrowing

Me: Wow. I just googled the lyrics. I never knew. This song is golden. I understand it. I connect. I know what’s bothering me.
But… what do I do now?

Superman – The Movie: The Planet Krypton…

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Privilege

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       “The smallest minority on earth is the individual.” –Ayn Rand

 

In the context of the rest of Ayn Rand’s teachings, this was to run parallel to the idea that the individual should be held in consideration above all else. She was of the idea that institutionalized equality necessarily kept the able in chains, stifling their progress. On the contrary, I believe the strength of the enlightened individual can generate tectonic shifts in the world directly around him, for ill or for good, once he realizes the society is a brick house of individuals. I don’t like Ayn Rand’s teachings; I wouldn’t quote her unless it was extremely important.

 

When division is present, privilege will always be subjective. America may be one of the most prosperous nations, but we’re also one of the least happy, unappreciative, close-minded, and insulated nations. If truth is the greatest virtue, then isn’t the one who possesses it privileged regardless of how long he lives, how he makes ends meet, etc. With an optimist’s eyes, there can be an advantage to just about anything.

Now when I say these things, I do not mean to say oppression is non-existent. It’s a real pervasive force within a society and between individuals. However, oppression can never be eradicated if it goes mis-identified. I am not of the belief that societal division necessarily equates oppression. Real oppression, I believe, is precisely the “exaggerated” model initially presented in “The 5 Faces of Oppression.” That model of the conquered having the others will involuntarily imposed upon it. Such a state, or state of being, is the only truly, absolute non-privilege.

 

I am not in such a state, but I’ve felt marginalized my whole life. I am an alien, somehow, someway, though my parents love me, they are relatively socially retarded. The basic hi, bye, please, thank you, excuse me was all gotten to a T. What else was there? I sometimes joke, I’ve FELT alienated, but Clark Kent actually IS an alien. Imagine how he felt.

 

However, in my later years, understanding the mechanisms behind my lifelong frustrations have left me immune to their assigned power. Free to chose or deny that power at will. One of the few things my mother taught me that I hold close to this day, is that a culture can be wrong. Cultural rules reflect underlying assumptions about the nature of reality. Just as I am under no obligation to obey an unjust, written law, same can be said for unwritten ones.

 

It’s also put me in a very unique position to play with the old tropes in creative and exciting ways.

I have been the subject of racism before in my kindergarten years. Fellow student. I didn’t quake in my boots at the prospect of being put down, nor did I boil over in some Pavlovian response. My child’s mind just dismissed the stupidity of the event. Now that I have historical context in my adulthood, I wouldn’t have had myself react any other way.

 

My general deprivation of companionship had nothing to do with my race, class, gender, religion, age, sexuality, location, level of education, language, or marital status. (One could make the argument that my relationship status was a result of the other things.) I have been put in my position because I’m an individual, and for no other reason. Not as a black man, but as a person.

It’s been a privilege.

Superman: A Requiem of Steel

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Introduction

Superman created the precedent and template for the concept of “superhero” in 1938. Over time, he had developed into an American institution, a symbol, and a myth. To many, he is a kind face printed on children’s tightey-whiteys, a symbol of power, an inspirational, benevolent figure hovering in the skies that we are expected to “look up in the sky” toward.

But he is beyond many people’s reach. He is an untouchable, “unrelatable,” perfect demigod that no compelling story can be told with.

“Batman is way cooler.” I held this opinion for a while. He was the basic, pitiful Freudian childhood trauma that many more people can readily identify with, despite his questionable methods, vengefulness, and aristocracy.

As my reading of the DC Universe increased, however, my understanding of the heroes who stood alongside him did as well. I became “acquainted” with other heroes, and then realized Batman was not the world’s greatest superhero. Superman was.

I did not make this decision out of some elitist entitlement he procured from being the first or “most powerful” (he is not the most powerful by long shot), but because of the human being that is often overlooked in favor of the myth, legend, costume, smile, poses, powers, nationality, extraterritoriality, cape, and symbol. He is a super man. I wanted to make this abundantly clear to the reader.

DISCUSSION

Superman, despite his alien nature, is one of the most normal, emotionally well adjusted, and levelheaded of modern superheroes. His initial creation in 1938 saw him actively dealing with relevant issues of his time, like worker exploitation, domestic abuse, and mob violence (Ayoub, 2010). However, as times and editorial direction changed his battles grew more epic, dangerous, and large scale. His essentially human tale of individual potential, unrequited love, longing for acceptance, and anonymity is often overshadowed in the minds of the general public. (Darowski, 2008)

The Creators

Clark Kent’s love life was very evocative of his creator’s own longings. The Golden Age Clark Kent was depicted as a stuttering, cowardly, and extremely longing in his infatuation with Lois, whereas his behavior as Superman toward the admiring was a few snarls short of being brisk (Darowski). This was without a doubt, a self-indulgent, but very relatable, reversal of the situation. Jerry Siegel Admitted: “I had crushes on several attractive girls who either didn’t know I existed or didn’t care I existed,” he said. “It occurred to me: what if I had something going for me, like jumping over buildings or throwing cars around or something like that?” (Robert, 1996).

The Lois and Clark dynamic as been filtered throughout generations and writers. “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” portrayed two young, sexy, smart people who would melt in each others arms once their defenses fell, and Superman’s modern comic-book canon features a married Lois with full knowledge and access to his secret identity (Darowski).

 

The Death Of Superman

Ironically, Superman’s comic book writing team had to put off Lois and Clark’s wedding for a whole year to coincide with the tv show’s wedding, and the (in)famous “Death of Superman” storyline was to fill that gap (Timm, 2007). “The news that Superman is about to die has provoked anger and surprise, … from people who haven’t read his comic book adventures in decades(New York Times, 1992). Comic shops across the country had lines forming out of the door to buy Superman #75 (Bailey, 2002).

My initial search results almost contained at least one mention of this media sensation. Even completely unrelated news tried to jump on the potential deeper meaning of the event (Frank, 1992). He died defending Metropolis from the rampaging monster known only as Doomsday after a long drawn out fight across the country that ended at Metropolis (Jurgens, 1992). Though the story was emotionally resonant, his actual means of death reflected the increasing demand for dangerous physicality and alien, non-societal threats on the part of Superman (Timm).  The success of the story was also an indicator of how ingrained and valuable the character had become on America’s (and perhaps the world’s) collective consciousness.

Ironically the All-Star Superman was a non-canonical, but critically acclaimed storyline that exaggerated his powers, while killing him the process. The story of Superman’s epic trails his quickly risen to become one the most touching, celebrated Superman stories ever told, despite his newfound invulnerability to kryptonite and being able to lift several quintillion tons (Morrison, 2011). He had reached myth status (Rubin, 2006), and like many myths, would soon be time for him to be raised from the dead (Zinn, 1993).

 

Powers And Abilities

The audience is divided on whether Superman’s powers are inspirational (Kriegel, 2006), or a barrier to compassion on the part of the reader or critic. His powers have proven difficult to elicit a sense of peril from one whose main power is essentially the “lack of danger.” His apparent, Silver Age tendency to “juggle planets” is the most re-occurring criticism. (New York Times)

Keep in mind that Kryptonite of many shapes and colors was available in copious amounts in the Silver Age of comics (Niven, 1971). His powers in the right circumstances may allow Superman to be the ultimate power fantasy on the part of the audience. (Darowski). Grant Morrison suggested that Superman’s powers might serve to simply exaggerate his humanity and trails and triumphs that result from it.

When Superman walks his dog, Krypto, he may do it across the moon, “but he’s still walking the dog.” (2011)

Relevance

The issue of Superman’s relevance comes up from his critics (Frank). His power levels are often cited as a barrier suspense or peril, and his moral uprightness does not allow for as much dilemma as for more morally compromised heroes. Many even assert he does not even risk his life by engaging in super heroics (New York Times).

Superman’s more altruistic motives do not generate as much pity as Batman’s motives (Grossman, 2004). Not only this, but his mythic status and expectations put pressure on his current stories (Jennings, 2009). He is a difficult sell.

Heroic Ideal

As the heroic ideal changes, so does Superman. In his early days, Superman was very belligerent, threatening, and socially active (Ayoub). However, this changed as new writers came on board after the creators left the title (Darowski). Hegel might attribute this to gradual cohesion of different identities (Darkowski). Though he initially had no such problem, writers have taken extra steps to make sure he’s “humanized” especially after the 1980s (New York Times, 1992).

The Movie

Before his death in 1992, the 1978 Superman The Movie directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve became a cherished a collective memory of the Superman myth unfolding that is to this day. In the introduction of Superman: Secret Origin (Johns & Frank, 2010), David S. Goyer admitted he waited several hours when he was 11 to secure tickets to opening night. After the movie, David resolved to one-day make comic book movies.

Goyer grew up to co-write Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. In 2010, Goyer was selected to write the reboot of the Superman film franchise. However, the sequels were less than stellar (Frank).  His likeness has become synonymous with Superman in the minds of many (Kriegel), so much so that artist Gary Frank may oft use his likeness in his artwork (Frank, 2010).

Reeve even played a pivotal role in the series, Smallville up until his death (Kate, 2005).

In 2008, Donner joined forces with his apprentice, the prominent superstar writer, Geoff Johns, on a story arc entitled Last Son. The story served to incorporate several film elements into the modern DC Universe canon, but introduced Superman’s adopted Kryptonian son, aptly named “Christopher Kent.”

Audience

Despite all of this, flaws have been more easily found in praiseworthy figures in recent times, despite their ever-presence (Niebuhr, 1921). In the intro to the Secret Origin (Johns), Goyer said stated, “He’s not someone the reader can readily identify with.” However, the idea of Superman that has taken the most hits, not the character himself (Grossman).

His death put several dents in the notion of the character’s infallibility in our collective consciousness, and even they agreed that he’d be more interesting upon his resurrection (New York Times).

Conclusion

The author of this paper believes Superman to be one of the most human, emotionally well-adjusted superheroes. However, his history belies the critiques, but underscore them with more uncomfortable humanity. The audience’s apparent preference for tragedy and moral degradation of the hero may say something about the reader’s presupposed relationship between himself and a fictional (superhero) character.

This presupposition may yet be satisfied by the Golden Age Superman’s overtly threatening tendencies as well as decreased power levels (his ability to leap tall buildings was the limit to his “flight” powers, initially). Grant Morrison has described the original as an “angry socialist.” But this is not to say the modern Superman lacks the potential for a compelling arc in light of the increased power and level-headedness.

“They were always wrong. Superman‘s greatest vulnerability isn’t from some meteor rock. It is from something far more human…
…his heart.”
–Batman (Loeb, 2005)

Our seemingly collective, American resistance to recognizing shared humanity, especially in its most stellar manifestation, speaks volumes of our readiness to discriminate outsiders.

Kara Zor-El: “You’re their champion. Bigger than life. No wonder the eyeglasses work– nobody would look for you dressed like them!”
Clark Kent: “Kara… There’s no them. It’s just us. (Loeb)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

(1992, October 4). When Superman Gets Boring. New York Times. p. 16. Retrieved from EBSCOhost..

Ayoub, N. C. (2010). Superman’s Staying Power. Chronicle of Higher Education, 56(23), B16. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Darowski, Joseph J. (2008). It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s .. synthesis: superman, clark kent, and hegel’s dialectic. Journal of Comic Art, 10(1), 461-470.

Enger, P. T. (2010). In Pineda R. (Ed.), The mediated hero: Superman in the post 9/11 era. United States — Texas: Communication. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/854508180?accountid=8483

FRANK, R. (1992, November 22). Term Limit for the Man of Steel: Yes, It’s Time for Him to Go. New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved from EBSCOhost..

Frisby, E. (1979). Nietzsche’s influence on the superman in science fiction literature. United States — Florida: The Florida State University. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/302900803?accountid=8483

GAUDIOSI, J. (2010). THE COMIC CONNECTION. Computer Graphics World, 33(10), 22-26. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Grossman, L., Lofaro, L., & Ressner, J. (2004). The Problem with SUPERMAN. Time, 163(20), 70-72. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Jennings, J. S. (2009). Understanding superheroes: Scholarship, superman, and the synthesis of an emerging criticism. United States — Arkansas: University of Arkansas. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304845434?accountid=8483

Jessica, S. (n.d). ‘Science of Superman’ breaks down his strengths. USA Today. Retrieved from EBSCOhost..

Johns, G., Donner, R., & Kubert, A. (2008). Superman: Last son. New York: DC Comics.

Johns, G., Frank, G., Sibal, J., Anderson, B., & Wands, S. (2010). Superman: Secret origin. New York, N.Y: DC Comics.

KATE, A. (2005, February 23). The Past Catches Up With a Future Superman. New York Times. p. 3. Retrieved from EBSCOhost..

Kirk, A. J. (2009). In Gray J. (Ed.), “Sometimes you’ll feel like an outcast”: Using superman to interrogate the closet. United States — Illinois: Speech Communication. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304996382?accountid=8483

Kriegel, L. (2006). Superman’s Shoulders: On the Healing Power of Illusion. In , Southwest Review (pp. 258-267). Southern Methodist University. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Liu, S., Page, B., Timm, B., McDuffie, D., LaPaglia, A., Asner, E., Denton, J., … Warner Bros. Entertainment. (2011). All-star Superman. Burbank, Calif.: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Loeb, J., Turner, M., & Steigerwald, P. (2005). Superman, Batman: Supergirl. New York, NY: DC Comics.

Niebuhr, R. R. (1921). Heroes and Hero Worship. Nation, 112(2903), 293-294. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

ROBERT McG. THOMAS, J. r. (1996, January 31). Jerry Siegel, Superman’s Creator, Dies at 81. New York Times. p. 6. Retrieved from EBSCOhost..

Rubin, L., & Livesay, H. (2006). Look, up in the sky! Using superheroes in play therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy, 15(1), 117-133. doi:10.1037/h0088911

Sternlieb, J. L. (2006). Review of: It’s a Bird… Families, Systems, & Health, 24(3), 353-354. doi:10.1037/1091-7527.24.3.353

Timm, B., Capizzi, D., Montgomery, L., Vietti, B., Baldwin, A., Heche, A., Marsters, J., … Warner Home Video (Firm). (2007). Superman: Doomsday. Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video.

Zinn, L. (1993). IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE — IT’S A RESURRECTION. BusinessWeek, (3314), 40. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Thoughts on Philosophy Club Meeting: “Can Love Lie?”

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Do we love the qualities in spite of the person?
Or love the person in spite of the qualities?
But… Without all the qualities, isn’t “person” just a word?

There is more than what is inherent, referring to what we impose.

Wow, I totally derailed us, didn’t I?

Set of circumstances and shared history are even MORE qualities to fall in love with.

Love, perhaps, intersects with other things, making “another” type of love.
And isn’t necessarily married to monogamy.

People tend to fall in love with revealed characteristics. Like a movie trailer.

“Too unconditional.”

We can’t know what they’ll become if that is included in the thing.

This will bleed into cultural critique: Like a peacock many of us exude this symbolic, Pavlovian, ideal in order to attract. This idea that we’re to impress people. To exploit a very particular group. In theory, this could be the case for anyone. Then reel it in.
With that in mind, yes, love CAN lie, but I choose for it not to.

It’s kinda impossible not to get something from them.

The love of the abyss… because it can actually look back.

When you say you love a thing vs. a person. Define a thing?

Forgiveness Forever

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Friendship, by definition of positive interpersonal connection is more vividly felt in moderation. One would have to be exclusively devoted to the experience of friendship to in order to evenly disperse attention/affection wherever one incidentally interacts with people. One will eventually choose certain people from among them, incidentally prefer certain people, or simply decide on casual quantity over intimate quality. The point is that friendship has many possible ways to manage while still being the same practical concept. Forgiveness on the other hand transcends, relationship type. My dictionary application defines forgiveness as ceasing to feel angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake. Feelings of anger dissipating are a natural occurrence as the insignificance of the action becomes more and more evident.

“Forgiveness” as a natural occurrence is inevitable under circumstances favorable to the “victim.” However, forgiveness as a willing “cancellation of debt,” both monetary and otherwise is NOT as inevitable. It requires a thought and attitude shift in the recipient. These shifts are often resisted because of the high emotional state against the person who deserved it or their “mad at.” I’m under the experiential impression that an over abundance of RAGE distorts decision-making, and even IF what someone is doing or saying is wrong, the response must NOT then be fueled by anger. A shift in attitude must take place if the feelings of anger on an issue are to dissipate.

Although this is to be true across the board, this philosophy is immediately relevant to managing friendships. If Plato’s comment about one should remain friends as long as “the other person doesn’t change” is to be believed (I don’t believe it.), then forgiveness for “being who they are” should be doubly extended. To agree never to it again would be to eliminate a nuance in their personalities. I think friendship should leave room for maturity on the parts of both persons, and static refusal to develop comes across as kind of Randian. (“Randian” is being uses to describe internally inconsistent rigidity.)  Generally speaking friendships are formed in the context of the person’s most redeeming character traits, the negatives may/may not be necessary impurities in whatever good the person is capable of. The capacity to accept that will reduce instances of “throwing the infant out with the dirty bath water.”

Now what of our enemies and people we don’t care about/for? If they don’t deal with us, why should I not provide myself with a healthy, unrelated target for my resentment? If enough people take this approach, then we have cases of mass alienation, mass mutual resentment, self-alienation, or resentment of masses. Many school-based peer mishaps can be attributed to this. Boiling it down, they can be attributed to think this practice is a good idea. See, the only thing I HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION AGAINST EVER FORGIVING: is the continued existence of flawed thinking/ideas. Note: The anger is never directed toward people, but to the ideas. I get major release from beating the tar out of stupid arguments, and making fun of them post-mortem.

To put a condition on the forgiveness of an action not mutually considered a mistake, error, or bad habit, is to threaten your friend with emotional isolation unless your way of thinking/behavior is adopted. (This is not to advocate unconditional alliance with anyone, which would be potentially disastrous.) It is fascistic to make and expect action on that demand SOLEY on the basis of your friendship. Now to order someone to correct something mutually agreed upon to be a mistake, error, bad habit, lapse of judgment is a separate matter.

Anger generally presupposes “I have been wronged.” I’ve learned that most people’s mistakes are not generally made with YOU in mind. The exceptions usually take place when the previous paragraph is in affect, during which the perpetrator usually believes your treatment is entirely appropriate. Most people can find some circumstance where it is appropriate to torture someone in the worst way possible. (Some people’s standards are just “higher” than others…)

When malice is not the issue, the anger is usually misplaced. Other times, the anger is from the friend not constantly being considered. Perceived as a form of neglect, an accusation the accuser is often immediately guilty of. Not being forgiven by a friend is usually painful. This is worse when the accuser knows this to be the case. Intentional hurt for punishment of unintentional hurt. (What a great buddy YOU turned out to be.) I maintain that even IF the person’s feelings are “considered” it’s usually IMPOSSIBLE to know their reaction until they react. Then you’re making a demand that the person intuitively know how you’ll feel before they do anything. This is a feat that takes MANY years of training. It would be unrealistic to assume this to the case. And even WITH the years of training… “Realistic” is by definition, whatever actually happens.

And lastly…what’s with the overexertion of power? Shouldn’t you HELP your friend avoid an action he considers to be heinous? Isn’t that what friends do for each other? …Instead of the angry jumps to untested conclusions?

Character Relationships Ticking

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We all know that romantic love is an emotional reaction. Emotional reactions can be determined by experience, outlook, thought patterns, associations, and aspirations.

Now, how/if romantic relationships work out is a different matter altogether.

Here I’d like each poster to post a character (romantic/really close platonic) relationship and give your take on what they see in each other, how it is/isn’t working out, what attracted them initially, why the attraction faded/persists. etc.

Nice mind exercise for psych, philosophy, sociology, majors and the like.

EXAMPLE:

Lois and Clark- Lois Lane is Superman’s hero. Despite the implication of the otherwise, Lois Lane’s personality seems to come up as a cross between Hal Jordan and the new Batwoman. Her endangerment is usually as a result her risky journalism. Superman has been shown to have regard for the one’s who are more vulnerable than he, yet do the things he does. The persistence of this type of behavior, in light of all the horrible people are ALSO capable of, reinforce his “faith” in humanity.

Lois displays this on a regular basis in her pursuit of the truth, which is another reason she is invaluable to him, to his generally positive outlook on mankind, despite his enhanced vision and hearing of various counter-examples. So her constant need of being “rescued” only perpetuates this. Also, he can work on satellites and moon bases thousands of miles away from home with stripperiffic co-workers and not even THINK of any woman except Lois.  You see, back in Action Comics #1, it wasn’t because Clark was a nerd that she disliked him by the end of the story, it was because “Clark” was a coward. Lois liking Clark is a tad more simple: Her contentions relationship with her dad, as well as his OWN mistrust of suitors has passed onto her, leaving a very cynical outlook on men, resulting in an EXTREMELY high standard. But… Superman is to Lois as Edward Cullen to Bella. The only guy capable of living up. Also, they can’t have babies, so that puts a wrench in the traditional conflict of “giving up may career to care for the kids.” (This has been subjected to potential change in the aftermath of caring for Chris Kent in LAST SON.)

As of “Secret Origin” Sam Lane (Lois’s militaristic father) tried to give her over to Corben, (that I’ll assume had a past of significant delinquency in order to blend with pre-infinite crisis accounts of him being a “petty thief” before his transformation into Metallo) as a way to ensure what he wanted is carried out. Apparently a genuinely nice, reclusive guy like “Clark” is too good to be true. Suspicion and hostility ensues.

“Clark” around his workplace is an act. But Lois could see through it. (In light of “Secret Origin” any post-CRISIS hostility she initially had toward him can now be interpreted as her dislike of being perpetually lied to, that eventually cooled over when they got to know each other better.)

(Most people are unaware of the subconscious mechanisms resulting in attraction.)

Edit: I just thought of something else: Lois and Clark almost HAVE to have pretty stable relationship. It would be over if he ever lost his temper with her.

Yet, she isn’t afraid or intimidated by him in the slightest, and doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind as if she’s talking to any other guy, while she’s certainly not in denial of his abilities.

Maybe THIS is why he chose her over Lana.

Lana’s known about his powers for awhile, and can be described as being in awe of what makes Supe’s feel different, while Lois appeals to what makes him just like the rest of us.

art by Jim Lee
words by Brian Azzarello

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Batman & Robin

I think Batman vicariously lives through his orphaned pupils. If Bruce was able to fight like as they can when he was THEIR age, then his parents wouldn’t be dead. It’s is kinda awkward to imagine children that young protecting their parents from harm, as well as imagining them being so concerned with doing so. It’s a touching statement on how the unconditional parent/child love can go BOTH ways.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,331548,00.html

(Alexis Goggins was a Real Life seven-year-old who took six bullets for her own mother. She also managed to survive.)

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Batman & Catwoman

I’ve GOT IT!

I’ve finally figured out an angle for what makes the Bruce/Selina relationship tick!

I USED to think it was perverse sexual lust. Catwoman outputs the persona of a dominatrix. Batman has been presented as a pretty guilty guy when he believed something was his fault. (For example: His parent’s death, Jason Todd’s death, Harey Dent’s scarification, the Joker’s crap.) He often uses any guilt as fuel to keep going/ push himself further.

I theorized his attraction to Selina was a response to his guilt.

Here’s another angle…

Catwoman was the first similarly-themed woman he met, so their continued, ongoing presence builds a shared history. Her initial elusiveness would no doubt make her the preoccupation of a mind set on solving crimes. She’s not totally evil, and has repeatedly shown Robin Hood esque criminal behavior. (Though she keeps more than enough for herself.) And often stealing from organized criminals.

She’s not a hopeless cause, their relationship can represent the dichotomy between Batman’s efforts to actually change Gotham, or “save” her. He loves the city, but can’t give himself over to it completely lest he cease to be Batman. Maybe his attraction is a sexual manifestation of his deep immersion into Gotham’s criminal element. (He hasn’t developed very strong romantic relationships with OTHER super heroes, for some reason.) Catwoman has changed for the better due to her relationship with Batman, but won’t necessarily stay that way in his absence. (For example, after Wayne’s death, she’s currently allied with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.)

Batman was Selina’s, distant inspiration for her Catwoman career. (Does his initial distance trigger childhood desire to be closer w/ father?) And Bruce is genuinely touched by her desire to get to know him.

In fact, her whole “master thief” shtick: figuring her way into locked, closed, spaces she’s been locked out of.. can be read as a response to that.

While satiating any current need for affection with her many…MANY… cats.

Another angle! Bruce’s mom wore pearls the night she was murdered. Bruce could be recognizing Martha Wayne’s love of jewelry in Selina.

The game changing storyline in their romance is HEART OF HUSH, where he admitted how hard he’s fallen for her. Of course, this took place shortly before his “death.” So we’re left hanging on how this will play out until he makes THE RETURN.

It could be/could’ve been many of these, only a few, one, or the other. I can’t be sure if any new writer to pick up on this relationship will use ANY of these…

This, my friends, is what happens when SO many writers and artists try to fully grasp the dynamics of an on-again/off-again romance over the course of decades… It inevitably becomes TANGLED!

Art by Jim Lee
Words by Jeph Loeb

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Wonder Woman/Steve Trevor

…But a reason I think the Trevor/Diana relationship was also so paramount to the classic Wonder Woman is that it embodied the ideal peace between the two genders and two cultures. “Man’s world and Woman’s world.” The uniting and William Marston’s ideal method of harmonizing these two aspects of humanity. If male/Ares embodied war, then female/Aphrodite embodied love. Trevor’s loving submission to Wonder Woman was like “war surrendering to love,” especially when you consider Steve is a soldier at heart.

BUUUT… Where I check out of this whole philosophy/myth/idealization is where it becomes a GENDER ISSUE. HAHaha!

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Richard “Dick” Grayson (Robin, Nightwing, Batman)/ Koriand’r (Starfire)

From birth, Starfire was taught to trust her emotions first and foremost as an indicator of how to make decisions. Taught to hate enemies thoroughly, and love allies without restraint. As a result, behavior patterns tend to be very feral and instinctual. In a group setting, she naturally gravitated toward Robin as the “dominant male” of the Teen Titans. Despite his initial, standoffish behavior, she persisted in her advances.

Think of this as a gender-reversed “defrosting the ice queen.”

Dick Grayson was trained by Batman to be logical, reasonable, evidential, not impulsive, and deductive.

Bruce generally handled this by redirecting his emotions, but Dick would tend to repress them.

When Robin was with Batman, there was a need to lighten the mood, break the depressing tension and somber spirit about him. (Either Batman had no issue with it due to his experience, or he kept the humor to himself) There was a need for Grayson to wisecrack, make one-liners, and whatnot.

When he was with the Titans, however, then need diminishes when you’re surrounded by the likes of Speedy.

The things he learned from Batman are conducive to his leadership status.

Strategy and whatnot are need when you’re brightly clad AND without powers.

To Robin, Starfire embodies this liberation from repression that he finds very, enticing, but mysterious, and/but perhaps counter-intuitive.

Obviously, after chasing psychos on a nightly basis, and having the friggin’ DARK KNIGHT as a partner, her appearance and power level don’t bother him in the slightest.

His choice between the Barbara and Kory MAY, to him, represent the (un)necessary choice that must be made in the MIND/BODY dichotomy.

(I wonder how well Barbara and Starfire know each other.)
batgirlstarfirea.jpg

More/less to come….