Friday, November 22, 2013

Girl of Steel w/ Magnet

Theirs was barely a love story. And the attraction? Unfair. She was the Girl of Steel, and he was a magnet. She never bent, she never broke, but she couldn't let go of him. They met in the middle of a Chemistry exam: an alloy plus an object possessed of a magnetic field equaled true love. Neither were consulted about the affair they'd never stop having. They were merely equated, as romance tends to work.

It hurt the Girl of Steel's self-esteem. She was used to resisting, to withstanding, and at her favorite times, upholding. But this boy walked by and she instantly zipped to his side, and she never minded it. She minded that she didn't mind. She minded what others would think, too.

The world still needed her to build cars and skyscrapers and specific models of cans. They needed her for frying pans and satellites. There was not a country on the planet that didn't view her as a one-woman industry. Not a country on the planet that wouldn't judge the affair with this boy with his lopsided electrons.

He didn't see her as an industry. The magnet didn’t even see her as industrious; she got no work done around him. They looked into each others' eyes, studying the ripples in electron behavior, and watching countless hours of The Food Network. It was stuff the other major materials made fun of – the stuff she'd made fun of until that fated exam. The stuff she'd thought was cliché without having ever considered how clichés established.

He said that perhaps clichés were an industry. Was not all industry repetition?

That was trite, and she knew it, and she couldn't help liking it anyway. Not giggling, certainly not giggling like he did at her slights and insights. He was so enthusiastic, despite never having been asked to love her, to always be there, to, in his own way, always zip to her side, which, when she paid attention, she realized he did, being less massive than her. Sometimes bites of him chipped off on impact. The Girl of Steel collected those bits of him, and turned them into earrings, since they were clingy. He called her industrious. She called that trite, and she was right, and she didn't care, and that ambivalence bothered her, and she didn't care about that either.

Soon they went on public dates to every Friday exam at the lab, to see what other couples Science would pair up on paper. To see what else would come out the other side of equations. It was difficult to understand, and the magnet never really understood, but it felt nice. That was the Girl of Steel's reasoning, too, not that she ever said it. It was easier watching the inexplicable when the explicable didn't work. Love and the Friday exams were exasperating.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hydra-Electric Plant

It’s a different way to power a frontier city. There’s zero pollution, minimal clean-up, and statistically fewer people die from the hydra-electric plant than from hydroelectric plants. Only one bulky guy every so often, whenever the west head phones us for feed.

It began with a two-headed hydra, the west head of which happily sold out and murdered the east head. It murdered its two children, and their four children, and so forth, until it had thousands of cranial neighbors. While it retained the intellect of a full half a hydra-brain, its cranial neighbors had to split their brain matter, over and over, until they were too dumb to understand why they lived with socks over their heads.

Now the thousands of hydra heads rub against the world’s most frictive carpet, built from the skin of a particularly tough lion, generating more static electricity than a lesser city would be able to deal with. We deal with it just fine, though. All the west head of the hydra asks is to eat a body builder every once in a while. We’re not sure what that’s about.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The 4 Ways Marvel Really Got Thor Wrong

Recently, Marvel Comics released their second movie about Thor. It’s part of their Avengers franchise of movies, which show very little scholarship about mythology. Many of us wonder if Marvel cares about anything more than making lots of money by way of vapid movies that are a lot of fun to watch. In doing so, they've utterly ruined the character forever. This must be remedied. Here are their four greatest transgressions.

Why would they do this to him?

1. Thor Speaks English At All
Some critics have pointed out that, historically, Marvel made Thor speak in a bad impression of Shakespearean English. A Norse god wouldn’t sound like Shakespeare. But this ignores the real contention: a Norse god wouldn’t be speaking English at all. He should be bantering in a dialect of Old Norse that’s unrecognizable even to modern Scandinavians. It would seriously help the authenticity of Marvel films if everything Thor said was utterly incomprehensible to any typical American moviegoer.

They didn't have contact lenses, either.

2. The Race Card
Some people have complained that Heimdall is blackwashed in the Thor movies, played by Idris Elba. Idris Elba is blacker than the average American imagines the average Icelander is. The average American doesn’t know much about how many ethnicities spread across Europe by the 13th century, and the average theologian has barely cracked why gods do anything, much less why they pick a specific skin tone or bone structure. However, Idris Elba has an amazing gravitas that we can all agree every god should have. Because Idris Elba is only one actor, most of the gods in the Thor movies don’t have this gravitas. Marvel screwed this up big time by not cloning Idris Elba.

No one asks if Tom Hiddleston is the right race to play a trickster god.

3. Thor Coexists With The Hulk
Look, it’s not that hard. The pre-Christian Nords didn’t know about radiation. There is nothing in their lore or cycles that references gamma waves or their implausible relationship to human emotion. The Incredible Hulk is simply irreconcilable with any of Thor’s mythology. Any modern science has no place in a shared universe with Thor, even science as miraculously bad as what supports the Hulk’s existence.

Yup. Pride, Instagram and Haar.

4. Thor Wasn’t a Comic Book Character
Our primary sources for the Norse gods are the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda, and the Gesta Danorum. While some of the manuscripts in the Prose Edda were illuminated with beautiful imagery, the stories of Thor were never relayed in screen-printed sequential art. Frankly, everything Jack Kirby ever drew looked entirely inaccurate to visual stylings of the 13th century Scandinavians. Worse: they didn’t have movies. Making the things into movies is fundamentally inaccurate. If Marvel had any cultural sensitivity, they would force audiences at all their premieres to starve around camp fires in the middle of a blizzard and have Stan Lee recount the tales orally. He’d probably do it. He loves cameos.

This is actually 100% historically accurate.
It's my hope that by starting a dialogue about Marvel's failure to accurately capture their source material, that we will bring about change. By forcing blockbuster movies to be entirely accurate to someone else's vision, and by stripping anything that anyone was having fun with, we will create films that no one wants to see. And once no one will go see them, no one will ever complain about them again.

The future is in your hands, True Believers.
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