More Zen. A la ReZen.
Actually, THIS is my Zen.
— a super cut of every F BOMB from Wolf Of Wall Street
— spectacular 3 pointer by Kevin Durant in the final minute of OKC vs. Grizz 2014 NBA Playoff Game 2
— a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2
As a a recovering fast food connoisseur, I couldn’t help but share this.
If only for the children.
Who are our future.
Our fat, fat future.
THIS is my Zen.
— a link to a Jeff Goldblum remix from Jurassic Park
— because it ALL comes back to Goldblum
— from the “things that look awesome” file, here’s the first trailer from Luc Besson’s new action-thriller, Lucy.
Like most Marvel properties, the world the X-Men inhabit is a world undeniably our own —
It is a world that has been constructed and refined to a state of such clarity and prescience, stories contained therein only become clearer and more prescient with time —
Now I don’t know if this depth was something its creators foresaw when the X-Men first appeared in comics in the 1960s —
And I only wonder that because, sometimes, when I watch Stan Lee talk about comics, he looks like a five year-old kid in a Stan Lee costume talking about comics —
— I admit I don’t have a lot of faith in that guy’s prescience —
Regardless, thanks to current comics iterations and comics-to-film adaptations —
— such as —
— or —
— and —
— the X-Men and their Universe have only gotten continually sharper and sharper in trajectory, as they, not only, run a course parallel to our own universe, but occasionally, where appropriate, cross over into it.
That parallel, obviously, is their fight for solidarity with humankind and its undeniable similarity to our the battles for civil rights equality.
In our world, ethnic minorities fight against an unfair disparity in rights and privilege. In the world of X-Men, mutants are that persecuted minority.
The X-Men themselves, therefore, led by proponent for peace Charles Xavier, are that world’s underground railroad. They’re Schindler’s List. Or the Million Man March…
That’s how big its story gets.
So it has all that big shit going for it, plus mutants, which is awesome —
But, but, but, but, but, but, but…
But let’s get down to nerdom nitty-gritty here and just admit that the real boon for X-Men is, and always will be…
THIS FUCKIN’ GUY —
I know, I know, I know. How pseudo-intellectual. Right?
All I’m saying is, here, to me, this fucking cigar chewing, foul-mouthed, surly Canadian badass is the real engine for the X-Men Universe.
I mean, of course I realize X-Men were playing the comics game long before he came along, but they weren’t really the X-Men until him…
He’s like Michael Jordan on the ‘91 Bulls…
He’s the turf in ‘Surf ‘n Turf’…
He’s the mutant version of Groucho Marx…
EVERYTHING AROUND HIM IS AWESOME AND JUST SET DRESSING AT THE SAME TIME.
So what am I even saying?
YEAH. What are you saying?
Wait. Who are you?
Just another voice in bold type.
Oh. All right… Well, first of all, this is what I’m not saying —
I’m not saying I don’t give a shit about the X-Men. I definitely give a shit about the X-Men. I give a shit about all of the X-Men.
WHAT I’M SAYING IS I think nobody gives a shit about an X-Man.
Nobody gives a shit about an X-Man?
That’s what I said.
Is there such thing as an X-Man?
That is also what I’m saying.
So, say it.
I think X-Men is a flawed comic concept.
But you just spent almost all of this post saying the X-Men are awesome.
OK. Superheroes have superpowers. Right?
And although one could have superpowers and not be a superhero, one could not be a superhero without superpowers. Follow me?
I’m not convinced.
In comic books sometimes, regular dudes get superpowers and become superheroes.
Sure. My point is, one could be a regular dude and then get superpowers and be a superhero… or…
X-Men are mutants. In their world mutants are a thing. One can be a mutant and be a superhero, or one can be a mutant and not be a superhero. Right? It’s like being a regular dude. It doesn’t fucking matter. Right?
But being a MUTANT, or possessing a “mutation,” is a very specific thing. It’s not like being a regular dude.
However, to me, it does suggest to me a totally “worldly” phenomenon. It’s something within the grasp of our logic.
A “mutation” is nothing more than a deviation or advancement in the normal evolution of a particular species.
In a sense, I guess…
But, being a SUPERHERO, or having a “superpower,” is a broader element. It suggests, to me, a phenomenon more fantastic. Something more out of the realm of our comprehension.
A “superpower” is the absolute transcendence of description.
How does your weird comic book logic apply to X-Men?
So we have this Universe — this X-Men Universe — wherein a large number of characters are classifiable as “mutants.” They have “mutations.”
Or, to quote myself, they have the aforementioned “deviation” in “evolution.”
But this exists, ostensibly, in a medium that demands a bit more flare in its concepts then mere “evolutionary deviations” can provide. It needs a bit more indescribability.
Meaning the concept has to find a way for MUTANTS to be SUPERHEROES.
What I’m saying is, as I see it, the flaw in the concept of X-Men is that, as the Universe developed, “mutations” had to be diluted into “superpowers.”
Isn’t a superpower a kind of mutation?
What did I say before?
Yes. No. Maybe. Vice versa? Who knows?
What I do know is that it seems like the writers of X-Men hit a creative bottleneck at some point and they had to find a way to keep creating mutants.
So, as a result, X-Men simply became a Universe like all other comics universes. It became the same old comic book pap: a universe populated by a bunch of characters with superpowers.
And that’s… bad?
It’s just boring.
And entirely less interesting than the potential the initial concept promised.
So all the X-Men are boring?
All of them.
Except for WOLVERINE.
WOLVERINE? What’s the big fucking deal?
He’s the fucking WOLVERINE, dude.
Well there’s Wolverine and then there’s, kind of, Logan. I suppose.
What the fuck is the difference?
Logan is Wolverine. But he also isn’t Wolverine. Logan is Logan.
And although Logan has several alternative origin stories, he most notably was a drifter who also happens to be a mutant. A mutant in an inert state; in a Universe where mutants exist.
He possessed that subtle deviation which, when rippled through his evolution, endowed him with amazing abilities. And these abilities, although amazing, are not so amazing that they might be considered superpowers. They’re not so amazing that they might mettle with the cosmos.
Mettle with the cosmos?
Hey, listen, if one is a barfly and a brawler, heightened senses and the ability to regenerate probably comes in handy.
He’s. Just. Another. Mutant.
Until the X-Factor [pun intended] comes into play.
It’s the key trope of superhero lore.
It’s the radioactive spider. It’s gamma radiation. It’s the Super Soldier Serum.
It’s the Weapon-X Program.
The Weapon-X Program was a military science program that capitalized on Logan’s singular impressive mutation, and used it to graft his skeleton with a mosaic of indestructible adamantium plates, including the retro-fitting of three retractable “claws” hidden behind his hands —
And it was only due this mutation that he was able to survive the procedure.
And so, from the cauldron of tropes, this mutant becomes a superhero.
So, you see, this is what makes Logan a one-two punch for the X-Men —
He’s a proper mutant, which makes him germane to the Universe. But he also undergoes the trials of becoming a superhero, and that makes him — yahtzee! — a superhero.
He was the shot wad.
All other mutants are not created equal.
I don’t know. Some of these other mutants are pretty cool.
Are you kidding me? Look who he’s surrounded by…
Dr. Xavier? Jean Grey?
OK, OK, OK. Of course I’m happy to give Dr. X and Jean Grey credence because telepathy and telekinesis respectively take root in an evocative subconscious of collective intrigue…
I don’t even know what that means.
Every other mutant in that world became just a random invention —
— MUTATION ROULETTE —
It was characteristic of its time and a manipulation of the fine line X-Men drew between mutation and superpower.
One guy controlsmetal. Another guy turns into metal.
This guy does fire. That guy, ice.
Another guy, he shoots lasers out of his eyes. Out of his eyes, goddamnit!
OK. Maybe a little lame.
And, like I said, random bullshit.
Storm conjures weather. Conjures. WEATHER. What? Yup. Weather. Like a fucking wizard.
Beast… well… is a beast. That’s it. A beast. And, asitwere, blue, in recent incarnations.
Mimic can make other mutations his own, which is impressive and should probably make him in charge. But it doesn’t. Weird.
Yeah. He should be in charge.
Longshot is… wait for this… lucky. Wow. That must’ve been a slow day in the writer’s room, huh?
Darwin’s power is apropos of his name, and I quote, “constant reactive evolution.” CONSTANT. REACTIVE. EVOLUTION.
Angel’s got wings. Wings. Right? Like a bird. Sure.
Vulcan survives in space. Awesome. But, Jesus, I hope he’s an astronaut.
Banshee screams. Thunderbird’s “durable.” Psylocke fights using a “telekinetic katana.”
Nightcrawler, or Hans or Klaus or Lans or whatever, that poor fucker, is not only German, also looks like the Duke University mascot.
Are you done?
No I’m not done.
Forge possesses “limited magical abilities,” and Gambit does this whole razzle-dazzle deck-of-cards bit. The two of them should do an act in Atlantic City.
Don’t get me started on Jubilee. She makes fireworks with her hands. And Bishop, he’s, whatever, from the future, or something.
Revanche has “minor empathy,” which I think just makes her a person.
Cannonball’s par for the course, because he also shoots lasers, except it’s out of his, like, everywhere.
And Marrow… Marrow has bones THAT POKE OUT OF HER BODY THAT CAN MAKE WEAPONS OUT OF.
My favorite, maybe, is Maggot. He has “a digestive system that is made up of twin maggot-like creatures, which can be released from his body and act independently, and are capable of eating through most forms of matter.”
Sage? Computer for a brain. White Queen turns to diamonds. Xorn has a star in his fucking head. Husk sheds his skin.
And what about Slipstream? Oh yeah, Slipstream has a magic surfboard.
OK. OK. FINE. I GET IT…
So, Wolverine, huh?
He’s the only character who truly fits the X-Men premise’s bill.
I gotta admit, you’ve got some pretty good points. And you’re also handsome.
No problem. No problem at all.
— poster art for May 16th’s Warner Bros. release of Godzilla
Oh. All right, Spidey.
— a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2