"You’e weak! And I’ve outgrown you."
My brother called me yesterday with a stunning revelation he’d had about this scene: intentional or not, this is a perfect commentary on the superhero genre of today, and about one of its greatest weaknesses.
He’s calling Mr. Incredible weak here because the man refused to do one thing—and that was to kill someone. And because he sees him as being unable to kill, he sees him as weak—and childish. “I’ve outgrown you.” Now he is in the realm of “mature” superheroes, where Superman has to snap a man’s neck and Catwoman has to shoot Bane, where the purity of a woman forged by clay is unrelatable and marriage is nonconducive to an interesting story. His is a world where superheroes die to make villains seem impressive, a world where a dark and gritty realism is more important than a fun and adventurous fantasy.
In the end of this movie, though, the Omnidroid isn’t beaten by Mr. Incredible finding Syndrome and beating an explanation out of him to stop the robot; they solve it through brainwork, audacity, and a fun and creative action sequence. Syndrome dies in the end, yes, but that’s primarily because he keeps trying to push his view, and ends up destroying himself.
But this is Syndrome being Zack Snyder or Frank Miller, and believing that the fun adventures of yesteryear are childish fantasies that need to be left behind: ours is a world where to relate to a superhero, we have to see that superhero be unable to accomplish his task completely, where he has to settle and accept a compromise in order to preserve the greater good. We can’t admire them for being able to do what we cannot—we have to grow up and see that they’re just like us, they’re nothing special. Not really. And that is what true maturity is. A truly mature Avatar would kill the Firelord, a truly mature Superman would have no choice but to fight in the middle of a city, and video games need to be about cover-based shooting and military combat in the real world. With quick-time-events!
And of course, that’s all complete bullcrap, and the sooner that mentality gets sucked into a jet engine, the happier I’ll be.
Yes, YES, absolutely. I love the philosophy behind this movie in celebrating the light, warm, wholesome side of superheroism.
And I love how well Syndrome represents basically ‘toxic nerd culture’. When he can’t see superheroes as people he relates to any more, he regresses and sees them as playthings instead. He acts like these real people are action figures for him to do with as he pleases, as visually demonstrated by the scenes where he holds people in zero-point stasis and moves them about, frozen in stationary action poses.
He refuses to accept any perspective but his own. He talks about the superheroes like they’re comic book characters to him - like when he finds out Mr Incredible and Elastigirl got married, or in the interrogation scenes where he seems to be critiquing the ‘new’ Mr Incredible and berating him for having let him down. He talks about it like it’s a character reboot he doesn’t agree with. Plus his whole mantra of providing (selling) superpowers to everybody, so nobody will be ‘special’ any more, entirely designed to take away the specialness of what he coveted and couldn’t have, just as many guys entrenched in nerd culture refuse to let anyone else share it and act like it’s a secret club only for them.
Syndrome represents arrested fanboy development in which he refused to grow up. He carries this resentment from childhood all because his favourite hero actually had other things to do with his life than to cater to him. Mature people have responsibilities, actual jobs, they age and have families of their own, that’s what mature means and it’s what Mr and Mrs Incredible stand for, and everything that Syndrome echews in favour of being somebody’s ‘arch-nemesis’. He still thinks that maturity is dark, brooding, sexy (I mean the person he picked as the front for his scheme, not him), and about how much collateral damage you can cause. But he’s just a manchild living out a comic book dream, creating his own fictional life story (his robot is designed to be impervious to superpowers and stage a disaster that only he can defuse, thus saving the day - the whole thing is playing pretend and endangering thousands of people’s lives). Kids like to play at being heroes and stopping disasters, but because he refused to grow out of any of this, he acquired the means to do it for real and became a murderer in the process. All because he couldn’t accept that he was, essentially, wrong. By refusing to believe that his childlike hero-worship was over the top, he buckled down into it and continued to play pretend as a child would. Another aspect of maturity is natural change and Syndrome rejects it just as Mr Incredible and all the other supers accepted their reprimand (by having to go undercover and live as normal people) and adapted to it even though they didn’t want to.
My favourite line in the whole film is when Bob threatens him and Syndrome shrugs it off saying, “Nah, that’s a little dark for you,” because he’s all at once criticising Mr Incredible’s ‘character’, evaluating a real person in front of him as though he has him pegged on a morality chart, and you know he could back it up with some creepy nerd facts like “In 1964 you said the same thing to Lord Heatwave and you were totally bluffing”, as though Bob is predictable, unchanging, completely fictional to him, AND he’s being dismissive of Bob’s personal life, he thinks Mr Incredible’s gone soft, weak, become a family man, because he thinks his former hero needs to be cool and gritty and running away from explosions, not an actual person with depth and goals and feelings - which is, of course, why we as an audience like Mr Incredible and his whole family, thereby proving Syndrome and the Dark Gritty Reboot culture wrong simply by having watched and enjoyed the movie they were in.
"Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey” (Matt 21)
'Lamb of God' by Tom Dubois
This is a summary of college only using two pictures; expensive as hell.
That’s my Sociology “book”. In fact what it is is a piece of paper with codes written on it to allow me to access an electronic version of a book. I was told by my professor that I could not buy any other paperback version, or use another code, so I was left with no option other than buying a piece of paper for over $200. Best part about all this is my professor wrote the books; there’s something hilariously sadistic about that. So I pretty much doled out $200 for a current edition of an online textbook that is no different than an older, paperback edition of the same book for $5; yeah, I checked. My mistake for listening to my professor.
This is why we download.
Spreading this shit like nutella because goddamn textbooks are so expensive.
not necessarily art related but as someone who couldn’t afford their textbooks this semester this is a godsend
REBLOGGING because after a little digging, I found my $200 textbook for free in PDF form.
friendly reminder that this exists since I know we’re all going back to college soon
Will reblog every time I see it.
What does kindness get you? This.
It’s TOO GOOD AND MY EYELIDS ARE WATERFALLS
Just drown the plant why don’t you
Such a beautiful hopeful video about life and love!!?
Ok this is going to be a really long answer, and I have no intentions of offending my non-catholic followers as most of them are my favorite followers (no really guys), but I will be completely honest.
I have considered myself a Christian since I could think. My parents are of no particular faith. I guess you could say they are agnostic. As a child I was a creepy little person who had an obsession with the bible, God, and church. I attended anything my parents let me. Everything was always Protestant. I attended the youth groups with friends, different services, read books about Calvinism (hahaha no…really) and spend my nights playing the “flip to random verses in the bible” under my covers. I stared out my bus window and played the “God if your real…”
As I got older, I kept my faith more inwardly like most parts of my teenage self. I continued to read scripture, becoming somewhat horrified by some of the things I read but couldn’t understand. I remember asking various pastors about readings or thoughts I had, and I was dismissed with up lifting words like “you don’t really need to think about those sorts of things, you are saved, that’s all that matters.”
I kept my hunger for spirituality for myself. I lived a very worldly life as a teen and young adult, still starving spiritually, hopping from church to church.
What was I looking for? Better music? Younger parishioners? A great daycare? Pretty soon it wasn’t about being spiritually fed, it was about fitting my life. My faith was my own, I had my own “religion” and that certainly didn’t involve any sort of special denomination, some “man made” building with rules and regulations constricting my free faith. I was my faith, I built it around my values, what I liked from the bible, what was best for me. Me. Me. Me.
And you can bet that the last church I would ever enter was those idol worshiping Catholics! Stale music and incense…no thanks!
Sure, I loved Christ, but He died, He suffered for all of us. He suffered so I could go to heaven. It didn’t matter what I did, how bad or awful or sinful I was, I had a free ticket that said “Saved”. I could never be as good as Christ! He is perfect! So why bother? I did my “best” to be a good person. What ever that meant in between the times I had a real life.
Then I realized I was spiritually dying.
We are born to seek the truth, to seek love. Fish swim, birds fly, we love. I began to understand that the only place I had looked for love and for truth was inside myself. Its all I could see.
I thought, my faith should be simple, like Christ. I don’t even need a church, I don’t need music, I don’t need anything. I have faith. That’s enough, its always been enough.
Then there was just me, just me and God. I looked up at God and I told Him “THIS is how I am going to follow You, THIS is how I am going to worship You, THIS is how I am going to love You.”
Then, I began to search for the Truth. I left myself behind and I said to God, “How I am I going to follow You, how am I going to worship You, how am I going to love You? I am small, and I am weak, and I cannot do it on my own.” I left myself and went searching for my cross, so I could follow Christ.
You see, I had always made Christ what I wanted him to be, now it was time I gave Him all of myself, and let Him do with me what He willed.
And I found that one place. I was tired of what people were telling me about the Catholic faith. I was tired of being told that they were idol and devil worshipers, and I wanted to see for myself…I didn’t want an “opinion” from my pastor, or some random blogger, I wanted cold hard facts. I want to tell you it was information about the reformation, about Martin Luther, and the King with a lust for new wives…I want to tell you it was the Chair of Peter, the reflection of Jewish tradition, the scriptural support, I want to tell you that it was that fact that Catholics were the only Christians for 1500 years, and that they most definitely do not worship saints or Mary because that all played a part in my conversion, but really for me the greatest and most powerful was the Eucharist.
You see as a little girl I read in the bible where Christ held himself up and he said “This is my Body,” and in my heart I knew it was so. In my heart I knew that Christ would not deceive us. When the men heard Christ say this and they were quite disgusted and left, Christ didn’t say “hey guys wait come back, I meant “spiritually”. No, He said “This is my Body, and this is my Blood” and then He carried that cross for each and everyone of us and was nailed to the cross and shed His Precious blood, with each of our names in His most precious heart.
I attended protestant church service after church service and they passed that communion tray around with the little pieces of bread and the plastic cups of grape juice and I thought to myself, “Jesus said this is His body and His blood.”
I didn’t realize that could only be found one place. I didn’t know that the Last Supper, was the First Mass. I had no idea that the one Church I didn’t want to attend was the one and only place that had the one for sure thing about my faith; the Eucharist.
God was made Flesh, and He is and always will be.
I still remember the first Mass I attended. I watched my Catholic friends go up to receive Christ and I sat behind in the pew weeping. Weeping because I could not receive, weeping because I had walked by so many Catholic Churches, never knowing that Christ was present, that He was here waiting for me. Weeping because I went my entire life seeking for something that I didn’t know I went without; life itself.
See, you won’t find day cares in a Catholic Church, because there is no such thing as “adult only worship”, you won’t hear music that suits your taste, you won’t see an empty cross hanging above your head. We don’t need to soften it down, spice it up, add coffee shops or youthful pastors, we have the Body and the Blood. We have a room of quiet people, waiting patiently for the Feasts of all Feasts, the Meal of all Meals.
I know Christ died for our sins, I witness it every day of my life. I don’t want a faith that tells me I can be anything I want and still get a ticket to heaven. You can’t assume that. You can’t abuse Christs mercy as He shed every drop of blood against the thorns in His head, every swing at the scourging of the pillar… from the nails in His hands. He is full of love and mercy, and He did pay the price for us, and trust me, it was far then enough, but that doesn’t mean I don’t even have to make an effort. It doesn’t mean that I can’t try to not sin every day.
Will I fail Christ and fall into temptation? Its (highly) likely, but because of the Body of Christ I have been given the graces to get up again and again, and when I have fallen so many times, that I am covered with dirt and my knees are raw I look up and I still see Christ waiting for me to keep following Him, waiting for me to seek His Love and His Mercy for as long as I live. I found that place that believes you need to take up your cross to follow Christ, I found the place with the “old fashioned music” and the incense, and the photos and statues of my brothers and sisters in Christ who devoted themselves and their entire lives to Gods will, bringing Glory to God alone. I have realized that God will never change, He is and always will be “old fashioned”, its me that needs to “get with the times”, the times in which was, is and always will be; Christ. Christ doesn’t need to change for me, I need to change for Christ.
And trust me, there is always something. There is always something you are not doing that you can do better for Christ. You can smile when you sweep that broom across the floor, you can pray for that person that hates you, you can fill your time with spiritual food instead of TV, and when you have mastered all of these things, there are still more.
To be in union with Christ feels like joy and peace in both suffering and blessings.
wow. such an amazing thing to read. God bless you.
This story sounds so much like my conversion. I read this as I listen to a gorgeous Gregorien chant playlist on youtube
welling up with tears, throat hard, heart touched. :’) Yes, I am so glad, content that God led me to the Catholic Church!!
I thought I’d bring back some of my memes cuz I thought they were hilarious and the interbutts should too
I thought I’d bring back some of my memes cuz I thought they were hilarious and the interbutts should too