Saturday, May 12, 2007

Forgiveness

Warning! May contain spoilers, maybe, I dunno really...

On Monday I went to see Spider-Man 3. I was kind of excited about it and I wanted to go and see it as a special occasion (not just in a rush because it came out here before anywhere else in the world), so it was planned that we would go Monday as a way of welcoming in our day off on Tuesday.

Now I tend to go for the same type of Superhero: tortured personality, walking a fine line between the dark side and the right side - Batman, Wolverine, Sandman (as in Neil Gaiman’s creation), just about any superhero that was in the Vertigo imprint of DC way back when, preferably DC superheroes as opposed to Marvel and under no circumstances do I like Superman. No! He is just too squeaky clean.

Now Spider-Man is kind of in the middle, he’s also squeaky clean, but he’s just so sarcastic and an out and out nerd, which makes the whole crawling up walls and swinging about, defeating baddies thing kind of cool. Let’s face it, that’s every nerd’s fantasy totally captured there, isn’t it?

And then Spider-Man 3 promised something more; Peter Parker’s dark side. So why, when Spider-Man / Peter Parker wiped those tears away from his eyes and told the Sandman (not the cool one) that he forgave him, did I feel like choking on my M&M? By Tuesday I was apoplectic with rage. What the hell was the feel good fuzzy factor there? And why when Peter Parker turned bad did he start acting like some white boy pimp? And what was this whole forgiveness thing?

Forgiveness, smorgiveness, why is this word in my face at the moment? And why won’t it go away? So I confronted it. I fought an internal battle better than any Spidey and New Green Goblin (aka oh let’s put in a super cool skater boy) fight and this is what I decided:

  • Forgiveness is a catholic concept even if the Collin’s English Dictionary doesn’t define it as such.
  • Can I forgive that person? Well, the answer is a resounding no, louder than the bell that knocks the badness out of Spidey.
  • Does that leave a ball of dark, evil, cancerous badness inside of me? Ehm, let me think about that. No, not really because I can’t see the point of getting angry any more, my energies are directed elsewhere.

So with that sorted I got on with the rest of the week.

But then this morning a line from Spider-Man came back to me: “First you have to forgive yourself,” Aunt May advised.

Oh!

And if you can face more Spider-Man stories try this one, it’s very interesting!

8 comments:

Sam said...

This is one of the reasons I HAted that book 'Lovely Bones'.
Stupid premise, I thought. I did finish it, but it was one of those books I read without joy.
And another author who I will never read again - Jody Picoult. I cannot forgive her for writing tear-jerking crap.

:-)

Verilion said...

Oh yes, I hated Lovely Bones too and given that we agree on that I will avoid Jody Picoult and her tear jerking crap.

Minx said...

I just find superheroes so formulaic and am also very wary when we get onto film number three. I also like my heroes with a dark edge to them but look at the squawks after Casino Royale. Daniel Craig turns out a new kind of Bond and everyone has the 'well, that's not right' grumps about it.
Agree with your Superman sentiments - just too jolly super to stomach!

Verilion said...

I admit to being one of those grumps over the new Bond; Daniel Craig is eye candy alright, but the film was overlong and just downright boring.
And as for the formula, yeah... but comics are actually depict really interesting social history, you know when did they start? Why did they start? How do they reinforce gender stereotypes? And then you have authors like Alan Moore and imprints like Vertigo totally turning all of that around and dumping it on its head and challenging every conception ever created by the Superhero genre. Am I sounding like a bit of a geek here? I think I'd better stop hadn't I!

Debi said...

Don't stop, V! It's just getting interesting ...

Somewhere (I've a feeling it might be Portsmouth) I have 2 huge boxes of ancient but pristine Marvel comics dating back to the 70s. Probably worth a fortune by now ... If only I knew where they are ...

And I also recently did a post on forgiveness, so lots of resonances there too ...

And having also seen the movie on Monday, I can confirm that 'white boy pimp' is an appropriate description. You should've heard the howls of laughter in the Peckham cinema ...

And why was the ultimate baddie made from ripped up black plastic bags?

These and other questions rise to the surface at points like this - ie when I should be WRITING!

I'm outta here. Now.

jason evans said...

Extreme forgiveness is a slippery concept for me too. I suppose it's more about acceptance and deciding not to let it rule you anymore.

Verilion said...

Hi guys read your comments, running late for a train, but just wanted to say I had read them ( ;

Verilion said...

Ok I didn't miss my train and I'm back to be a geek. Oooh Marvel Debi... not a big fan of Marvel, but seriously, if your comics are well looked after you ARE sitting on a small fortune there.
It was also your post on forgiveness that got me thinking in the first place, but I think that I'm going with Jason there. I've been surrounded by too many malcontents to see what happens to people when they do not accept aspects of their life and they allow that bitterness to rule them. So right from the beginning I think I knew that I didn't want to be that type of person. All the same if someone has been extremely awful 14 Hail Mary's and a Glory Be followed by a shining package of forgiveness allows that person to feel a lot better with little or no reflection. So as sad as it is in the end Aunt May was right in a way although I would go further to say the only person who can forgive you is YOU yourself. Voila!

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