Marvel movies and ethics

Hello and welcome to whoever is reading!

Let’s get one thing out-of-the-way: this is not going to be an analysis of the ethics of the characters in the Marvel universe. That was a disclaimer for whoever came here to read about Hulk’s righteous anger or Hawk Eye’s family duties.

On this day, let us discuss something more interesting about the Marvel movies: Why are we as a culture so obsessed with them?

1. It’s a series: All hail to the Lords of trilogies*/septologies#!

It’s a problem with our species really: to run around seeking permanence when everything is impermanent. We like to follow stories that draws us in for more. And even though, the Marvel universe is nothing like the real world it does address some of the same problems. For example, choosing whether to be selfish or intelligent, how to use the power you have effectively and even though when you disagree, how to work together.

2. The magic of CGI rich cinema: Yay to digitalisation of film!

The cinematography in all Marvel movies is fascinating and it will keep you at the edge of your seat whether or not you watch it in 3D. Which, let’s face it, you probably do! The great advances of technologies aka magic has made watching high budget action films a pure joy for any cinema lover.

3. The stories themselves: They aren’t that bad?! Are they?

There is usually some talk about how the story is slow because they are setting up the next film but that’s why you go to watch a Marvel movie. So that you can remember what happened in a random scene of Thor 2 because it would be relevant in Avengers 4.

But honestly, they are good stories. Stories about good triumphing evil. Of very different individuals setting aside personal issues and coming together to fight what in unquestionably a righteous war.

Oh wait, I haven’t said anything about ethics yet. Yes, that would be because our obsession isn’t ethically questionable – but the way it is being used maybe is.

The ethics of the Marvel movies business are pretty darn dubious.

Putting aside how much money Marvel movies make, they also fail to keep the promises the Marvel universe makes.

Everyone wants to be part of an inside culture, Marvel universe (comic books) provide that inside culture. But Marvel movies have become a mainstream culture.

Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t know the comic books and I absolutely watch all Marvel movies and shows (well, only the Netflix Marvel shows).

The things that really bother me about the Marvel movies with every passing year/movie are:

  • No movie is complete. It is annoying that I cannot watch a movie and be told a good story. JUST TELL ME ONE STORY.
  • The Marvel merchandise is stuffed in my face for months before movie comes out. It would be a pain to be working in the marketing department for these movies. I personally pity them. I’m not even sure if they’re actually proud of marketing the same shit again and again. Though I’m sure the money is great.
  • The race to the theatre: From the day the tickets go on sale, it is a race to when you will be able to watch the movie. Well, I’m all for early reservations. BUT, I like to make a decision 3 days before and not 1 month in advance. I mean it is absolutely ridiculous that you cannot walk into a Marvel movie during the first week of release. YOU CANNOT. (There are no tickets available. I’m not standing at the door and sending people back ;). I do not work in customer service at a movie theatre.)
  • SPOILERS: The trailers are full of spoilers – they literally stuff the trailers with everything except the ending and some trailers actually have scenes from the very end of the movies. LIKE, WTF?! And, it’s not just the trailers – it is also very distressful to enter a social media platform until you have seen the movie.
  • You never come out feeling overjoyed: Somehow, whether is it because of the continuity of the series or because the writers make it objectively dark or that some parts of the movie don’t make sense to you: you do not get closure.

So, my conundrum is that it ethically bothers me to watch this movie but not enough to stop me. I despise their marketing and the shoving of movie trailer down my throat and their complete ignorance of the meaning of ending, but I find myself watching these movies.

That is the most troubling part of this Marvel movie business. I don’t even think about whether I like Thor or not: I go and watch the Thor movie because it is part of this series, there’s a bigger cultural phenomenon around these movies etc.

The way we spend our resources is the way we shape the world around us.

This is a fact. You can apply it to economics, ecology our science – it would still be true.

They take my resources and in return I get dissatisfaction and an almost existential crisis about whether I’m in control of my own decisions.

* Lord of the Rings
Harry Potter

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Laid Off!

Working in the corporate culture has always been somewhat of a mystery to me. How the engines of managerial structure fits together into a whole company? I don’t quite know. How is it that they constantly hire people and still fire people for cutting costs is also a thing I am unable to comprehend?

I got laid off. It is a hard truth. There isn’t anything pleasant about being laid off but I do try to find humor in it sometimes. It is funny how you can work your a** for a company and they would still fire your a** right out.

Often, it happens, that when people deliver you bad news, they call you out of your daily jibber jabber and give you the enormous news that they know would change your life forever and yet they hope it doesn’t. That is in equal measure hypocritical and kind. I cannot decide which one fits the bill better.

Once you know that bad news awaits you, you kind of separate yourself from your self and just wander around. I often find myself ghosting when I get bad news. As if the knowledge has destroyed me so much, that I get clarity. I don’t mean to say that my pain of being fired is anyway as drastic as finding out someone died or that you are terminally ill.

However, when someone tells you that you’re fired – it is a very unpleasant experience (maybe similar to a colonoscopy). They sit you down and say, “I’m very sorry to inform you but you are being let go due to <jibber jabber reasons>”. They would keep a face so placid and so impeccable that only a person administering you with poison would be proud of the calm on this person’s face.

I’m told a few times that it isn’t personal – this has nothing to do with my performance. All I feel like saying is, “F*** Y**, you can’t fire me and say it isn’t PERSONAL. YOU are NOT getting fired. It is PERSONAL to me.” I, however, stay quiet. At this point, I would like to point out that I wasn’t bad at my job – I felt I was good at it. I liked it and I did put in a lot of time over the past few months.

Also, there would be one person from HR who would walk you through your final payments or whatever they would call it. They start talking about it, and you stop them and ask them for a minute. Of course you NEED a minute. You can’t tell someone that you’re dying and in the next moment ask them what casket they want.* It isn’t just harsh, it feels unnecessary.

I feel like being laid off is probably part of the service industry. However, it isn’t just that – it also makes you reflect upon everything you do. You see yourself clearly and you kind of question whether what you’re doing in life is the right thing or not.

I’m questioning that too as I’m hunting for new jobs. I’m asking myself if doing something I’m okay at just so that I could pay my bills is a good idea. Would I always live in this fear of being thrown out of a company now? Will I ever be able to get over this?

* I’m sorry if I compared my losing a job to someone dying or being terminally ill, I am not undervaluing human life in any way. I am not trying to be insensitive.

Ladies, don’t do men!

This is a shout out for all heterosexual women out there:

Don’t do men.

Sleep with men, but don’t do them. If they are your drug, all you would be left with after they leave is a shell of what used to be a human being.

Love them, like them, cherish them, enjoy their company, laugh with them but just don’t do men.

We have seen our girlfriends pine over lost loves and then get over them. We have seen the same happen to us.

We have heard the reminiscences of broken hearts and first loves.

Don’t let men be the drug.

PS- I am less than qualified to give this advice but still, I want to spell it out.

Time spent watching TV shows

Find out the time you have spent watching television shows. And yes, feel bad about it. Hopefully, it will enable you to procrastinate less. Here’s to hoping. Cheers 🙂

HIMYM finale reactions

After watching the HIMYM finale, I had my opinions on how it should have ended. I’m sure everyone had their opinion. A lot of them shared it also. There are some very angry people out there. So, should I summarize what happened? Let’s do it by characters:

Lily: Her story goes with her having 3 kids and being the emotional backbone of the gang. She sheds her tears on all appropriate moment and stands by Marshall in every decision. Till the end, she and Marshall are happily married.

Marshall: After returning from Italy, he takes up a corporate lawyer gig which he hates. He eventually becomes a judge and possibly (not clearly stated) becomes judge supreme as well. 

Barney: His and Robin’s marriage fails or rather to quote him, “they had a very successful marriage for 3 years”. He goes around his life having a string of one night stands, until he gets a girl pregnant. His daughter becomes the love of his life, transforming him into a better man.

Robin: Becomes a highly successful news anchor (the reason why he moved to NY) but this work makes her travel so much that she fails to even be there for the big moments. She regrets not marrying Ted after seeing how happy he is with Tracy (the mother). She has her estrangement period from the gang but they eventually patch up when she finally turns up for Ted’s wedding.

Ted: Marries Tracy after having two kids with her and living with her for years. Six years after her death, he is telling this story to his kids. His faith in love is restored. 

For those who have seen the finale, I’m not giving up the ending on purpose. The thing is, the story is as important as the ending. You don’t undermine the story by changing the ending. The thing is, how it should have been is never really the question is it? This show wasn’t written by any of the viewers and however the story ended, it was a writer’s decision. It will always be the writer’s decision. Even though you are angry with them, you should respect it. This is how they wanted to end it.

For all those people (including myself) who were rooting for Robin and Barney for life, I can really say that maybe the writers didn’t feel that way. The question at the end of the day is, who is writing the story? If it is your story, you can always stop and decide this is where it ends. But it isn’t, and you have continued watching it till the end, why? The simplest answer is that you wanted someone else’s opinion on how it ends. So, have an opinion. Have your alternate endings. But honestly, it was never your decision to make. It isn’t your story, so you cannot decide how it ends. 

Frozen: A story for all

I recently saw Frozen and I regret not seeing it in the theaters but sitting at home cuddled up in a blanket with a bowl of popcorn is not a completely bad way to enjoy a movie on a cold winter night. So, for those who haven’t seen it there might be spoilers here so you might want to cover your eyes. Those who don’t know, this movie is made by the makers of the movie Tangled which is probably the best possible adaptation of Rapunzel. Frozen is loosely adapted by the story, “Snow Queen”. 

Frozen is a Disney movie because:

The songs: In the 102 minute run of the movie, there are about 8 or 9 tracks with music and lyrics. The movie opens with a song and of course there is one in the end credits. Every character in this story has a song of their own. The songs are express all emotions and the characters sing them with a gusto like no other. 

The idea of true love: The film explores the idea of true love from the beginning. It oversimplifies love and the naivety that follows with it. 

The talking non-living: If you have happened to see the trailer, you already know there is a talking snowman. We all know that snowmen don’t talk. It would probably be scary and creepy if they did. But, who doesn’t enjoy a cute talking snowman with a brilliant song to his name? 

Castles, mountains, horses and noblemen: Most Disney movies compose of prince/princesses living in castles and about their lives. This one is no exception.

The unexpected expected villain: The villain is the someone you trust and yet expect to turn out to be a villain just because it is a Disney movie. 

Magic: What is a Disney movie without some magic? 

Now let me get to the more interested bits of the why this is not like all the Disney movies you do see:

Princess not cured by the kiss of true love : In most fairy tales, much like this one, a princess is cured by the kiss of true love. This one explores the varied meaning of true love and our perception of it. 

The not so handsome prince : Even in beauty and the beast, the beast turns into a prince but this movie doesn’t have a prince but the main male lead is a funny,intelligent, resourceful and respectful man who is a humble ice carrier with a sledge. The movie explores how the character of man is not defined by his title but by his actions.

The headstrong and determined princesses: The best part is there isn’t one heroine in this story, there are two. Two princesses trying to find their stand in the world. It is about self exploration and finding a place in the world. It is about the courage and strength one needs to defy societal norms and making your own way. 

The voices, the characters, the story and direction are all very well done, but personally my favourite is the music in the movie. It is apt and quite brilliant. The movie explores the magic that human beings themselves create. It has something for every age group, for every boy and girl, and if you like animated movies, you should definitely watch this. 

Something to think about

Just world hypothesis

Apparently the world does believe in Karma even if you don’t. To simply put, people believe that they deserve what they get. That is exactly how we perceive the world. People at an advantage believe that they deserve to be at an advantage. While they see others in a derogative manner believing they are getting what they deserve.

Is that correct? Is it really a just world? What do you think?

She

Summer bright day and her standing right there

Me walking to a stranger and talking of weather

Holding her veil and sipping coffee in a diner,

Wondering to myself if fate had been kinder

The infectious laughter, teasing, twinkling eyes

Telling me her name, shyly asking for mine

Never before had such thoughts struck my mind

She was the girl I would walk down the aisle.

Holding my hand and squeezing it tight

Leading me out into a brand new light

Jerking awake amidst a moon strike

She, a dream I had dreamt all night.

An untested belief is like a fish out of water. It is not only not serving its purpose but also choking to death.

People don’t like their beliefs questioned because it frightens them. However, if you don’t question it you will never fully understand its power and furthermore, you will never understand your own personal strength and will. The only thing science has ever taught us is that you should question everything and be curious.

Humour

One of the most desirable thing in a person is said to be their sense of humour. I started wondering what humour means to people and why is sense of humour such a desirable trait. So, here is a list of five things I think people really don’t know about humour:

5. Humour is personal: This is means that it is context based or situation based. You often hear things like, you had to be there to get it (understand). It depends on the audience and on the relationship between the audience and the speaker. Also, there are always things like private jokes which help enhance interpersonal relationships.

4. Humour is character relevant: What would suit one person might not suit another. For example, if you make fun of your own culture it is acceptable form of humour but not about someone else’s. Also, some people just know how to tell the same joke better.

3. Humour is not spoiler proof: There is a thing called spoilers when it comes to humour. Jokes are not funny once you have heard them or if you can guess what the punchline will be.

2. Humour is an art: Having a sense of humour is a skill you develop by noticing what people find funny and what they don’t. So, fret not, if you don’t have a sense of humour (in your opinion) you can always develop it. You need to be lighthearted and willing to learn.

And most importantly,

1. Humour (by intention) should be non-offensive: People with good sense of humour are not trying to criticise others when they make fun of them. Humour at the expense of other human beings is a common practice but the intention of the speaker should never be to offend.

I think humour is awesome and people should all learn to be lighthearted and not take jokes personally. On the other hand, people should also not make jokes with an intent to cause hurt. I will leave you with a joke I heard in a vlogbrothers video:

“Why did Barty Crouch Jr quit drinking?”

“It was making him MOODY”

If you don’t get it, then you haven’t read Harry Potter, which in my opinion a mistake you should go and rectify right now.