On Heart

I am a child of movie rentals, cable television, video games, comic books, and I have an internal conflict raging. By the end of this maybe it’ll be over.

There’s a part of me drawn to the darker, grittier side of film, television, and video game entertainment. The bloodlust and nihilism that can only be satiated by shoot-em-ups, zombies, and endless violence bereft of meaning or consequence.

But that’s not who I am, not really. Call of Duty, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead appeal to the baser part of my nature.  But when I come up from the pessimism and the blood and guts, my lizard brain now fed, I regain a sense of what I truly want when intellect and hope seize control. I am a person of optimism, a person who really wants a better, safer world. No poverty, hunger, war, discrimination, just a Gene Roddenberry-esque utopia.

r-GENE-RODDENBERY-large570

Gene was either a giant or the ships were wee tiny. No one can say for sure.

However, entertainment is dominated by the needlessly violent and the ridiculously hypersexual. I was a Call of Duty addict, but I fancied myself a tactician, participating in the online skirmishes like an operative might actually do in real life situations. Set an ambush, lay a trap, use guerrilla tactics. Not run into the middle of firefights and try to kill as many as I could. When I watched The Walking Dead, I thought about what I might do in their shoes, how I could or couldn’t survive in such a world. I didn’t sit in feverish anticipation for the next awesome zombie kill or wait with baited breath to see which underdeveloped, poorly written character would be offed next. When I watched Game of Thrones I kept wanting and hoping for the Starks to reunite, for a good guy, a clear good guy to win something, anything, and decisively at that. I didn’t tune in for the tits and the fighting and sheer horror of betrayals committed in plot twists. It’s just an R-rated soap opera, nothing more.

After witnessing the record ratings and sales of these sorts of offerings this past year and coupled with a few of the more recent blockbuster movie releases I find that I am feeling left behind by modern entertainment. Not entirely, mind you. Just a little bit at a time. There are still games with morals and consequences, for example the Mass Effect Trilogy. There are still shows with warmth and heart, Community and Parks and Recreation come to mind. There are still movies with a message, that leave you fuller at the end like The Beasts of the Southern Wild.

mass effect

Mass Effect

But Game of Thrones offers you no solace. The Walking Dead doesn’t have a soul (or a plot). And Call of Duty does not teach you anything, or force you to think.

The recent movie releases I earlier referred to are Star Trek Into Darkness and Man of Steel. Both had me in high hopes, being a Trekkie and simultaneously a fan of Supes. What I received for my positive outlook was garbage. Pretty garbage, gorgeous garbage even, but garbage all the same. STID was Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan made sexier and gussied up for non-Trekkies and with a couple of “Aren’t I clever?” twists to throw the faithful off the scent. What made WoK so great was that it was a continuation of a great episode from the original series and it explored consequences, ego, and sacrifice. STID tried, but only halfheartedly. Abrams may have loved the original, a claim I find dubious, but he doesn’t get Star Trek. There are no consequences to the story, nothing, you could argue, actually results in the conclusion of the film’s events. In the Star Trek universe there are hard decisions to be made, and sometimes, shit just happens and you as the fan see it unfold, and it has permanence. Aside from the science fiction universe of Star Trek, the reality of difficult choices and what happens thereafter is what makes the source material so compelling. Not Chris Pine’s or Alice Eve’s bodies and a million lens flares.

And then there’s Man of Steel. I for one, actually like director Zack Snyder, but I think his work post-Watchmen has an aura that leads one to believe he’s been drinking too much of his own Kool-Aid. 300 is one of the greatest actioners from the last decade and Watchmen is both the most beautiful and haunting comic book adaptation ever made while also one of the most forgotten and underrated.  Man of Steel on the other hand is pretty, but it ultimately makes no sense. For starters, why was everyone so excited for General Zod again? I think Michael Shannon is the kind of intense actor that makes you wonder if he’s actually insane, but in a good way, like you want. That said, why the hell was everyone clamoring to see what they’d already seen?

Superman_Christopher-Reeve

Still the quintessential Superman.

As for Superman himself, you can update a classic character’s settings, bring them into more modern times, but you can’t change who they essentially are. You don’t fuck with the canon. A for instance, if you will: The BBC’s current iteration of Sherlock Holmes. It’s set in modern London, but Sherlock is still Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the character would work in any version of the classic Conan Doyle stories. He’s still an addict, potentially has Asperger’s, and is an arrogant jerk at times, willing to bend the rules if morally justifiable. Superman is not any of those things. He is, in a way, a Christ figure. He has powers no one else has, and yet he doesn’t abuse them. He only wants to help people and sees himself as their equal and no greater. When faced with an enemy, he doesn’t kill, he proves himself better than both his enemy AND the common man by finding another solution. Why have the monologue from Jor-El wherein he says, “You will give the people an ideal to strive towards” if he’s just going to end up killing, a result in no way superior to what anyone else could offer? It’s the writing equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot, and it also flies in the face of what Superman stands for.

The gritty film reboot worked for Batman, but only because it was sourced from the comic book canon. We can accept him as a darker character, because he’s been that way for a good while, and hey, he’s only human, right? Eh, that’s not good enough for me. If there’s one thing you don’t hear about Superman it’s that.

Entertainment is made to entertain, to escape, you may counter. But why? If all you’re doing with your entertainment choices is escaping then when are you ever challenged? When do you ever think? What does it amount to if the things you choose to consume don’t add to you? Especially if they’re simply a retread of what you already know but with better graphics. They only come, and then go, maybe even taking away a part of you in the process. Your intellect, your warmth, your heart.

love mankind

I mean it.

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70 thoughts on “On Heart

  1. I enjoyed MOS, as I thought it emotionally connected to me (maybe just from a childhood, nostalgic level, but one nonetheless), and I felt that Cavil was a worthy embodiment of Superman both in physicality and presence. However, like you, I was very disappointed with the ending concerning Zod. Not just for what Superman did to him, but because of the strength of the character of Zod. He was born and bred from birth to be Kryton’s military leader and protector commanding loyalty, a trained fighter and tactician with what one would expect – superior intellect and adeptness, but his ending was extremely anti-climatic as if it didn’t take any of these things into account. Superman is the “super man”, in terms of his abilities and character, he’s supposed to the be the best of both worlds Kryptonian and human heritage, but compared to Zod he is still a novice with respect to his abilities, and although I enjoyed much of the movie, the interjected flashbacks, the pace, the emotional feelings the story imparted upon me although there wasn’t much depth to it, the excellent action sequences, ect., the ending to me was unworthy of the world of the Superman fantasy.

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    • The end of the MOS showed us that Superman is not a God. He’s has his own struggles and makes his own mistakes. I saw Supermans as being young and immature. He was still trying to figure out who he was and who he needed to become. Killing Zod wasn’t his first choice, or his finest moment, but he did what he thought he needed to do. Showing that Zod and his army was stronger than Superman made me appreciate the character of Superman even more. He isn’t this unbeatable character that is too good to be true.

      I can’t say that I would give the MOS a five star rating, but I think that it set a great platform for other Superman movies and eventually a Justice League movie.

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  2. Nice post. But I don’t think it’s fair to say Game of Thrones doesn’t have heart. Actually I found it kind of brave that a blockbuster could so often not offer a happy ending, because war and life often doesn’t offer them either that often. For me Superman offered the kind of USA Good Guys ideology that was exactly the kind of escapism that stops people thinking…?

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  3. I found Superman too depressing and conflicted. I get what they were trying to do, and it’s not like they can beat the original films – but Superman is the classic American and hero, and it doesn’t really ring true in the Man of Steel movies. Good post!!

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  4. I too am a child of comic books. Christopher Reeve is my Superman, seeing “Superman: the Movie” when I was in fourth grade. Superman’s problem is that he’s become too super, too powerful, too God like. There’s a reason why Kal-El’s catch phrase, or a least a part of it, is “able to leap tall buildings in a single bound[…].” Ya see, Big Blue wasn’t always a flyer; he was once a leaper. But, as the years rolled by, he became more and more powerful. What do you do to a guy who can do anything? Well, I wanted Supes to rescue a few more cats in the “Man of Steel.” I wanted to see some simple heroics. I grew tired of city destroying brawls. I grew tired of Zod. I’ve grown tired of Luther. So what then? Braniac? Doomsday? Both foes would simply lead to more mega-fights.

    So what’s a Superman to do?

    S. Thomas Summers (Scott)
    Author/Professor of English

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    • You’re right, the way they started off this rebooted Superman leads one to wonder how they can go any further than they already have. They leveled buildings and Supes killed someone, they HAVE to up the ante, but how do you top that, really?

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  5. Very poignant write up. I haven’t seen STID and Man of Steel yet and you are the second person I see who is saying it wasn’t what they were expecting despite all the hype. I grew up on the same things even though I dislike all shoot ’em up games, but comics were an integral part of my childhood. I will try and watch the movies and see for myself…

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  6. I confess, I loved STID, I actually saw it 5 times in theatre. I could offer a thousand different reasons, but in the end, I just liked what I saw. simple. yes. entertainment. yes. Star Trek updated, yes. and that, to me, was the point.

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    • Thanks for stopping by. For what it’s worth, I enjoyed the first of the new Star Treks quite a bit, they just lost me with the newest one.

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  7. Have not seen the new Superman film, but haven’t been hearing great things about it. I rather liked Superman Returns, because for me it held true to what the original films were all about. This one looks darker…and to be honest, I’m tired of all the remakes. There are hundreds of books being written daily. Are we not ready for some new heroes, villains, and stories? Thank you for this insightful post.

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    • Thank you for reading it. Superman Returns is highly underrated, but I understand why it didn’t do so well. It didn’t jive with the new, darker comic book interpretations and for some it was too Donner-esque.

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  8. Persoanlly I thought they did a good job with the twists in STID. The question is where do they go from here?
    I have yet to see MOS so am reserving judgement.
    I think the Batman trilogy did so well because of the actors as well as the writing. Heath Ledger was worthy of every ounce of that oscar and Tom Hardy did an awesome job as Bane. The only let down for me was Anne Hathaway. I felt the Catwoman was a pointless character. I would never describe Anne Hathaway as feline.
    I think growing up, at least as I remember it, every programme had a moral at the end. It was clear good versus evil and good always prevailed. Could it be that in order to attract the attention of the majority of movie goers (The ones with a 5 second attention span) that they are now falling back on visual effects and a few gory deaths and relying on them to save bad writing?

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    • Part of what drives the movie studio’s creative department is parity. They see what sells movies for other studios and they replicate it the best they can. However, it’s easier to see the special effects, the gore and violence when they ape another movie. They don’t see the character development or the subtlety.

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  9. I never understood the concept of Superman. Who does he save and who does he ignore? Does he spend the entire day going around the world saving a person falling from a building, a person from a fire or go to China and save people from the raging river. Is that his purpose in life? Does he stop volcanoes from taking lives or put out fires out of control in California? I like your comparison to Christ. Would he not have the same problem? Does he save every leper, feed all that are hungry or convince everyone to being kind to one another? If both Superman and Christ are so great there should be no hunger, no death by accident and peace should rule. Unfortunately they are not omnipotent and not omnipresent. They have human qualities and have weaknesses. There is a star trek with Piccard who goes against a creature who in a blink of an eye destroyed an enemy by a thought. An entire race of people. A creature who committed genocide of a race of millions in a space of a second. Piccard did not arrest him for he realized he had no power to do so. It was an episode which questioned the ultimate power of life and death.

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    • Thank you for stopping by to read and for invoking Picard. He’s a character that to me, represents the ultimate in the confluence of logic and heart in a protagonist.

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    • Ditto. And hey, gotta give credit to Richard Pryor in the end, he did include in his standup the true story of how he caught fire while freebasing. That took guts.

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  10. This worries me– in regards to Star Trek, and to Superman.

    I trust The Onion as far as its satirical take on Abrams’ TOS offerings. I’ve only seen the first, and while I was moderately okay with it, about the only good thing I can say is that I enjoyed seeing Leonard Nimoy making it his swan song, as he was dissatisfied with the TNG film Generations. I guess I’m more of a Star Wars fan, and I am cringing to think what Abrams will do to the upcoming sequels now that he is confirmed to be the director.

    I’m sure I’ll have mixed feelings about Man of Steel. I became very obsessed with Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II recently, especially as he had a more Monomyth take on it, and the Repowering scene between Reeves’ Kal-El and Brando’s Jor-El is the strongest example of Atonement with the Father I have seen (IMO) to date. I’m also a great fan of Superman Returns for very similar reasons; I thought Singer was very respectful to Donner’s vision (and wisely skipped over Richard Lester’s corny Golden Age of Comics-style quirks). Oh, and Terence Stamp is simply full of win: while his Zod is thickly melodramatic, I don’t think I’m likely to be happy with Michael Shannon’s performance in comparison.

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    • Stamp will always be Zod, no disrespect to Shannon, who is a fantastic actor in his own right. Thanks for reading.

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  11. 1. “…my lizard brain now fed….” Effing hilarious.

    2. As a TOS devotee, I was appalled but also slightly amused to hear that today’s youth find Shatner’s and Nimoy’s world preachy and moralistic. Yeah, don’t want any pesky morals gettin’ in the way of a good explosion on screen, now do we, Mr. Abrams?

    3. Excellent points on Superman, never heard it put so well before. I don’t need to see the new movie to know it sucks like my Hoover. Movies are no longer about story, they are about Ka-CHING! Many actors have complained about this in interviews, about how story and message gets raped halfway through production until all that’s left is a quivering, whimpering pile of predictable dialogue transparently enhanced by amygdala-exploding CGI.

    4. “When do you ever think? What does it amount to if the things you choose to consume don’t add to you? Especially if they’re simply a retread of what you already know….” BING, BING, BING! We have a winner, folks! Yes, the grand majority don’t go to the movies to think, they go to have someone else release their own stress for them carefully without toppling the prejudices that usually produced the selfsame stress in the first place. Focusing on a silver screen hero shooting villains in the ass is more emotionally satisfying than developing one’s inner Superman, kind of like the way Doritos and fake cheese satisfies more expeditiously than cooking up a nice, fat, juicy Porterhouse steak.

    I’m a writer who grew up at the dwindling end of good stories on screens, otherwise known as the 80s and 90s. I gave my television away in 2006 and haven’t been to a film in theaters since. When the Fox network came out, it signaled the beginning of the end of collective cerebral function in my opinion and few shows that my friends have described to me since then have done much to change my mind. The stuff people call comedy these days is so grotesque it leaves almost no wiggle room for tales of actual drama and horror. The sliding scale has more than slid; it’s gone over the deep end.

    You know what I do now? This is hysterical: I check out movies from my library for free and fast forward through all violence and gratuitous CGI, just bushwhacking through the flash and chaff for the actual story. It’s a little like hunting down the chocolate chips in a bad cookie. Many of today’s action films are about six minutes long by my reckoning. That’s okay. It frees me up for procrastinating my own writing by responding to the better WordPress posts.

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    • I will defend the present state of television, but only a little bit. The vast majority is a waste. For as low as their ratings are NBC has two great shows (Parks & Recreation and Community) and Big Bang Theory is a decent diversion while on a plane or something. AMC (Mad Men and Breaking Bad) and FX can do great drama, but the highest rated cable show is The Walking Dead which is garbage. I never intend to have cable again, and rarely go to the theaters myself, so I’m with you on practically all of your points. Thanks for reading.

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      • I was a loyal BBT devotee right up until somewhere around season 4, which seems to be the typical half life of good sitcom writing. Somehow, a show who’s inceptual dialogue was a delightful rundown of the Double Slit Experiment degenerated into low brow gay jokes and sexual innuendo to fill twenty minutes. Where did the science go? Cuoco’s breasts thrust ever forward in inverse proportion to plot depth while the men’s characters shrank to fit predictable stereotypes. Sigh. Isn’t that always the way–given enough time, scripts trickle down from the brain into the pelvic region. And the real death knell sounds for a show when a parade of new characters and cameo performances provides an easy out for lazy writers, which is about as convincing as performing CPR on roadkill. Just another good reason to turn off the computer and go out and play.

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  12. Technology has allowed us to concentrate so much fat, salt, starch, and sugar in our artificial foods that we’re literally addicted to them; we can’t stop shoving Cheetos and Big Macs in our mouths, and we’re all blowing up like balloons and getting diabetes and heart attacks because of it. We’ve created something that hits the centers of our lizard brains so overpoweringly that we can’t resist it. Moreover, when we try to eat actual food, the very stuff we evolved to consume, we can barely taste it anymore because our taste buds have been so burnt out that we need to pretty much drink pancake syrup or eat a salt lick before it even registers.

    These sorts of hyperviolent, hypersexualized movies are exactly the same. Superconcentrated, distilled frankenfood for the mind. And it’s gotten to the point where if there are no closeups of naked chopped up women or men getting their faces blown off with shotguns, we don’t even see or hear it. (Remember when Carol Marcus was actually an interesting character? No one else can.)

    Movies like this are the equivalent of the seventeen-cheese pizza with a pound of salami and a half-dozen sliced doughnuts on top, covered in barbecue sauce and chocolate ice cream. Repulsive, disgusting, and 95% of the American population will go “HYUK HYUK HYUK SOUNDS GOODTA MEE! HUH HUH HUH!” and go grab some and ram it down their gobs while watching garbage like the latest slate of these kinds of movies.

    It will eff up their lives six ways from Sunday, but who cares? We’re all a bunch of addicts whose mental ages were stunted at prepubescence, so we can’t see that far ahead anymore.

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    • The glory of the Information Age is a double-edged sword, to be sure. You’re not wrong. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. I think it is worthwhile to consider the context for the Man of Steel’s Superman’s actions at the end of the film: although he has been super-heroing for some Imelda, this was the first time he was faced with a super-threat (I hesitate to say “super-villain” because Zod isn’t one). Just lie the devastation wrought in his battle with Zod, the killing of Zod has the potential, for this film version of Superman, to have taught him what *not* to do. Snyder and Company eschewed the usual jump to full maturity in experience commonly seen in Superman origin stories (and most blatant in Donner’s Superman). That elder, “perfect” Superman les somewhere in the future for this version. After Zod, he will not kill again, because he knows how far he must be pushed to do so. He will move the battles to remote mountains or the moon, because he has seen what super battles do to cities.

    At least, that is the direction I hope they go. Man of Steel was a good start to a potentially great cinematic exploration of Superman, assuming they do not wallow in the darker shades of the Nolanverse.

    Also — you are spot on about ST:ID. It was less an homage or remake of Space Seed/Wrath of Khan as it was a parody.

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  14. Good post, and it echoes a lot of my own sentiments.

    I haven’t seen STID yet. I enjoyed Man of Steel, but to be honest, I had the feeling as I was leaving the theater that I hadn’t seen Superman in the movie. At least not the Superman that I know and love.

    I wish they hadn’t gone down the route that they did, but I honestly think that the over-the-top violence and that controversial ending in MoS were depicted with due awareness of how ugly they are. Snyder already mentioned in an interview that … ***SPOILERS*** the agony Superman feels over killing Zod will serve as the origin of his “no-killing” oath.

    ***END OF SPOILERS***

    Similarly, the showcase of wide-scale destruction was deliberate (according to scriptwriter David Goyer), and I am of the belief that the purpose of it is to, similarly, put a bad taste of wide-scale destruction in our mouth. It sets the tone perfectly for more optimistic themes in the sequel(s).

    I still don’t like how they ended the movie. But it is what it is. And for what it is, it’s actually a pretty darn good movie.

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    • On a technical level, it’s a marvel. But like you said, it’s not perfect. Thanks for stopping by.

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  15. @They only come, and then go, maybe even taking away a part of you in the process. Your intellect, your warmth, your heart…>>I couldn’t agree more! Which is why I’m not a big boob tube watcher; at all. Long gone are the days when quality really matter with TV shows..& I’m of the belief what we intake(hear, see, eat, drink..) has a definite impact on us. And isn’t time far too precious to waste watching anything that isn’t going to deliver something other than a; distraction? Give me a moral behind the graphics! Or give me something to keep me thinking of long after I’ve finished watching it..Enjoyed your post. 2 thumbs UP

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  16. Great post, chock full of valid points. I’m certainly not a fan of the Michael Bay mentality of movie-making. I really don’t care if an electric can opener can morph into a giant robot. I need to see more than really big mechanical assholes battling each other. I get the whole escapism thing and I realize that’s the point of these popcorn movies. Science fiction and fantasy films at their best are not only a feast for the eyes but for the heart and soul. I certainly don’t want to be beat over the head with a message but a well-crafted film has something to say cleverly weaved into the subtext. Growing up on comic books, I recognized this quality there. Certainly, the original Star Trek series was more than just eye candy. The first two X-Men films left viewers with something to think about in addition to all the action. Go way back to the original series of Planet Of The Apes movies. Five films (of varying quality, granted) that impressed with it’s visuals (for the time) and shocked the audience while tackling issues of class and race relations, religion versus science and the dangers of the atom age. Again, we were entertained while are thoughts were provoked. There was something to discuss after the movie, something other than “Wow, what a great explosion…”

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  17. Good read, thank you. And I sighed with pleasure when I read your comment about Beasts of the Southern Wild – what a beautiful film.

    STID was crap. No other way to say it. It was Fast & Furious with spaceships. I have enjoyed all of the Star Trek incarnations, even while recognizing that they were often poorly written/acted/whatever. They are still fun, and have heart, as you note. I’ve never walked out of a film, but I nearly walked out of STID.

    I’m OK with films being “just entertainment.” Lots of films achieve that while still being great. But movies like STID – they are just loud and violent just for the sake of being loud and violent.

    Man of Steel I’m more conflicted about. I really enjoyed the first half, and I remember thinking “wow.” Good back story, darker without being Christopher Nolan’s Batman, and somehow realistic. But the last half devolved into the usual mega-fights that just become boring.

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    • Mega-fights are intensely boring, you’re right. You can actually start to feel a little sleepy regardless of what’s on the screen if you don’t care enough about the story. Thanks for reading.

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  18. The problem is that the entertainment industry is rife with non-creative people. They’re a bunch of repeating shits who are looking to squeeze a dollar out of a dirty old dime. It’s amazingly disappointing that the film industry will spend millions trying to find a solid vehicle for The Hulk (WHO CARES!?!) yet they won’t take a chance on some clearly original ideas.

    That being said, I really enjoyed the underlying story in Man of Steel. The struggle of the inner character to find himself. But I agree, it could’ve been done without Zod

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    • Movie studios aren’t looking to make a splash, they’re looking to turn a profit. They see what works and follow suit. It’s why we got two Snow White movies at the same time, if they think the other guy is gonna make some money, they want to do it too. Thanks for reading.

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  19. I can relate to your point of view and have considered the same issues. Whereas I can live with JJ’s Star Trek universe despite the elusive element of ‘Roddenbury’ that it needs – I am very much with you on Superman. Not all heroes are dark and gritty – some are beacons of hope and it would have been good to see Snyder and Nolan flex their style a little more in Man of Steel to show that.
    You may be interested in my recent blog on ‘Man of Steel’. Drop by if you have the time!

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  20. If it’s any consolation, Abrams said (I’m paraphrasing) to not go into it from the vantage point of any Star Trek. It’s essentially meant to be nothing more than a visual buffet.

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  21. Greetings from California! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when
    I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not
    even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, very good blog!

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  22. i agree with the idea of art needing to provide something, but for me personally, i have some entertainment that is only for entertainment value and others that is for that substance, that thing that makes me think about life or whatever. i see action films with the idea that it’s not necessarily going to be much more than that and i go in knowing that. there’s a few exceptions of course. i see where you’re going with the Star Trek bit and perhaps that could have been done better but i enjoyed it. i find the entertainment that provides me with something to think about or connect to on a deeper level is something more like an indie film or drama based (i.e. “eternal sunshine of the spotless mind,” or “closer”). anyway – this was very well written! i generally agree that there needs to be more heart in our entertainment – it can’t all be mindless.

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  23. I see where you are coming from with Man of Steel, I wasn’t happy that in the end you had this Christ like figure murdering someone, but I am glad that it hit Supes so hard that he had to break down. I know what you mean as well about entertainment without values or heart, there isnt much out there, but was there ever to begin with?

    On another note loved your article,

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    • Good question. Am I becoming jaded with age? Or has it always been this way? How long before I start complaining about the younger generation having it too easy? Perception is everything I suppose. Thanks for reading.

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  24. I recently had a change of career. I now live more than an hour from work and so, I have a long commute. I have also found that while I consume immense amounts of movie and television programs, I am missing a lot in many of the shows. There are very few gems around that hold your interest in an intellectual way. As such, I turned to audio books. I get to listen to a full hour of audio on my way to work and from work every day and in doing so, I have managed to fill that gap. Yes, it means that I am consuming even more media than before, but I don’t have a lot of opportunity to read books, so this is a suitable alternative. It also makes my drive much more enjoyable. There’s just something so satisfying about the way a book brings much more heart than a movie or television show ever could. Not everything can be explained visually, which is why books can be far superior. They can have much more heart, make you think more and often, be fare more entertaining. Of course, there’s also the fact that a book lasts longer than any show or movie.

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    • A book forces you to visualize the imagine in your head, to use your own brain. Anything on a screen is passive entertainment. You don’t have to do anything so the reward is dulled. Thanks for stopping by.

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  25. Unfortunately as you covered the problem is we have a base nature that will always be there, the hunter gatherer or kill and eat instincts and though our brains evolved into thinking and higher conciousness, there will always be the overriding original code that we cannot breed or think our way out of.

    These movies, games and TV shows are designed to feed both and unfortunately one will always override the other. So when you see something violent it will appeal to the base nature and that will beat the brain down until your morals, senses and brain suppress it for a short while.

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  26. “What does it amount to if the things you choose to consume don’t add to you? Especially if they’re simply a retread of what you already know but with better graphics. They only come, and then go, maybe even taking away a part of you in the process. Your intellect, your warmth, your heart.”

    Very good quoting material:).. I like this question. One of the most thought provoking lines in a while. When one becomes a mindless consumer and forgets, why he acts the way he does, then one of the main aspects of being human, the advantage of a concious mind, is being lost.

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  27. You are right; that is not Superman. The not-killing rule is what separate the heroes from the villians. We live in a world where is easy to take a gun and kill for a cellphone or car; but most of us do not do this. Most of us work hard for what we want. Kill is not an easy thing, and pictures, comic books, tv, put as the solution of all problems. It is a solution; history, politics, have shown us that it is a solution, but one that never carries out a benefit. But if it is so easy, why we shock when we heard about a murder? We don’t say, “Oh, forget about it. It only proves the murder is only human.” You may think I’m being extremist, but even when killing is justified, we always wondered if it could be avoided. Kill always must be a difficult thing to do. I always see my heroes for difficult tasks, because I know, even they are not real, the real people who wrote them, they are wishing, hoping, or maybe doing the right thing.

    One friend (psychologist) told me that when you had a hero, you have something of the hero in you. I’ve been read many post liked this one, of people around the world shocked by the new and modern heroes. Maybe the hero in us is telling us; those are unheroic things.

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