Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Punisher

In the late 70's following the black and white crash, Marvel Comics started putting out comics aimed at a new kind of reader. The old stuff just wasn't working. See, the old type of comics would have Superman or Spiderman refusing to hit a woman, or not stooping down to the villain's level or just being pretty much honorable to the point of stupidity. And audiences left, in droves.

Then someone there came up with the idea of the Punisher. They gave him the type of beginnings that would either break you or make you a super hero. They killed off his wife, his kids, they made his life a living hell. And this guy did something that few superheros did prior to his debut. He turned around and made his enemies' lives hell. He punished them.

I remember leaving comics sometime before his debut and then coming back to collecting after. I went from Paul Levitz's Legion of Super-Heroes and those g-rated comics to this gritty outlook on life. And I didn't get it.

I didn't get that America was changing. I didn't get that the readership wanted their heroes and by extension themselves to kick butt. It wasn't enough for the skinny kid to get buffed and just scare the guy who kicked sand into his face. The readers wanted revenge!

Where am I going with this history lesson? Well, I'm reading about how America has changed. How America wants to kick butt. People are asking when did this happen? And I guess I'm saying it was the mid-70's.

I'm not very comfortable talking about this subject, cause it raises the hackles on my neck. I like the view from my high horse. I have never never understood the concept of lowering oneself to your enemy's level. I have never understood the ends justifies the means. I have never understood why people are so insistent on not being able to share.

This is the last part I don't get about Americans. Mind you, I am a transported American, by way of the pacific ocean. Americans are overwhelmingly the most generous of any nation I've been to. BUT on an individual basis. Give us a crisis and we'll come out in droves. BandAid - Sure! FarmAid - Sure! 9/11 - Sure!

But welfare? Nah those bastiches are taking money out of my pocket. Gay Marriage? Why, it might make my 3rd marriage... less than sacrosanct. Folks. Look around you. How many tv's do you need? How many computers? For that matter, how many pillows do you need? ESPECIALLY you rich folks.

I don't get it. There is more than enough to go around. Why must we hoard? Why must we see someone getting theirs as... taking away from us? I JUST DON'T GET IT!

I keep thinking back to the movie Wall Street and hearing Gordon Gecko's (it's strange how that name brings immediate visceral feelings) speech about greed and recoiling. But, he appealed to human's base nature and the beast won. And yesterday, the beast won again.

I long for the days when we aimed high towards ideals, and not low towards commonality.

Filed under Facets & Galleries of Art and Reveries & Paranoias.


Post a Comment

<< Home