Viewing: Superheroes - View all posts
"What else is the whole life of mortals but a sort of comedy, in which the various actors, disguised by various costumes and masks, walk on and plays each one his part, until the manager waves them off the stage?"
"A mentor is someone who sees something in you that you don't see in yourself...a beacon to guide you on your path. If you're ready, a mentor is someone whose hindsight can become your foresight."
—Dr. Billy Taylor
When I was young and asking the big questions, I learned most of what I still believe about loyalty, bravery and morality from the Silver Age superheroes in my comic book collection.
In later years I would travel internationally, study world religions, read classic works of philosophy and ethics, and even pay attention to my father's many lectures. I went to private school, public school, boarding school and the school of hard knocks. I'm an educated cat.
But to this day, when the world tests my mettle or challenges my sense of right and wrong, it's not Spinoza but my inner Green Lantern who shows up for the fight.
I've always been impressionable in this way.
For example, I'm pretty sure I have a goatee because of the way Spock looked in "Mirror, Mirror." I know I started wearing dashikis in high school because of a picture I saw of Elvin Jones in Downbeat. I sport a beret on stage because Dizzy did.
Today, while watching Highlander for the godzillionth time, I noticed something about Christopher Lambert's home. Like so many characters in films of the 1980s and '90s, The Highlander lived in a loft.
It now occurs to me that my interior design preferences and bone-deep love of warehouse loft spaces and mid-century modern furniture are not based on anywhere I've lived or anything I've seen or studied. They don't reflect some sophisticated notion about the aesthetic requirements of an artist's life. They aren't because I need space to rehearse and create.
Nope. I learned about loft living from the movies. Dig:
William Sanderson in Blade Runner (1982). Jennifer Beals in Flashdance (83). Lambert in Highlander (86). Barbara Hershey in Hannah and Her Sisters (86). Mickey Rourke in 9-1/2 Weeks (86). Tom Hanks in Big (88). Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally (89). Rosanna Arquette in New York Stories (89). Nancy Travis in So I Married An Axe Murderer (93). James Caan in Bottle Rocket (96). Ethan Hawke in Great Expectations (98). Julianne Moore in The Big Lebowski (98). Adam Sandler in Big Daddy (99). Christian Bale in American Psycho (00). Owen Wilson in Zoolander (01). Olivier Martinez in Unfaithful (02).
I want their cribs!
(Sure hope this flugelhorn thing works out.)
"If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: hold on..."
"Your will turns thought into reality.
You must learn to focus your will and
create what you see in your mind.
The limits are only what you can imagine."
"The man who is to be great is the one who can be
the most solitary, the most hidden, the most deviant,
the man beyond good and evil, lord of his virtues,
a man lavishly endowed with will."
The wind and I could come by and carry
you the last part of your journey,
if you become light enough,
by just letting go of a few more things
you are clinging to...that still
believe in gravity.
This week is the 20th anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, which aired on American television from September 1992 to '95.
If you've never seen the series, do yourself a solid and check out an episode or two from Netflix.
For fans, this incarnation of Batman achieved what the movies have not: it strikes the right balance between the fanciful, kid-friendly hero of the silver age comics and the brutal vigilante of Frank Miller's dark world.
For everyone else (even those who may have already reached their superhero saturation limit), the series has other virtues. You'll appreciate the vintage radio drama storytelling style, film noir visuals ("dark deco" art direction by Bruce Timm) and Shirley Walker's excellent orchestral score.
One of those rare moments when pop culture is worth a second look.
"A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses;
it is an idea that possesses the mind."
—Robert Oxton Bolt
"For those who believe, no proof is necessary.
For those who don't believe, no proof is possible."
"The world is divided into two classes:
those who believe the incredible,
and those who do the improbable."
still a one-man bomb disposal unit.