While watching the previews of the new Spiderman movie I wondered how could Spiderman do all that swinging from building to building? I don’t read comics, but is there some kind of theory as to why he can leap from location to location? What propels him? How does he have the strength to survive the G-forces pulling on his arms, or impacting on his legs? What generates his webbing? I know all of this is just for fun, but thinking about how it could ever be real hurts my brain. It’s just so fucking unbelievable that I have to wonder about its psychological allure.
Why are we so entertained by fantastic tales? Aren’t superhero movies just fairytales for adults? And aren’t they getting out of hand? Action movies are moving further and further from reality. Is this good for our brains? There’s a saying by old programmers, “Garbage in, garbage out.” It meant if you input bad data into the computer, the machine will spit out bad data. Couldn’t that also be true for our bio-computers?
Why do we so badly want to believe in magic? From the earliest days as toddlers, we are told fantastic tales. We watch TV that’s full of bullshit concepts. We read comic books and real books based on fantastic concepts. We teach our kids about the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, angels, witches, vampires, gods and God. As children grow their fantasy inputs becomes more sophisticated, switching to Harry Potter, Star Wars and Spiderman. They will tell you its not real, but what do they feel in their heart of hearts?
We let them watch old TV shows like I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched where a crossing of the arms or a twitch of the nose can alter space and time. Does anyone ever wonder what is the science behind the God of Genesis ability to create? Is it a magic staff like Moses, or does he twitch his nose like Samantha? We subtly embed the meme that magic exists, while saying it doesn’t. Is it any wonder that some kids have a frail grasp on reality?
I’ve spent a lifetime reading science fiction, and bought into all kinds of crap that’s not supported by real science, or I did. I’ve now become an atheist to my own religion – science fiction. Once you question one bullshit theory, you question them all.
I know it’s supposed to be in fun, but how many people secretly wish for the fantastic? Deep down, how many people wish their lives were like the movies?
And haven’t action movies gotten a little embarrassing? Aren’t they really power porn? Sex porn is the dream of unlimited sex. Isn’t action movies and superhero movies just a desire to gorge on unlimited power? To be able to kill you enemies with enormous force and ability? Most people would never watch sex porn in public, but why aren’t people embarrassed to watch huge quantities of power porn in large groups? And isn’t it hilarious that both sex porn and power porn are about carrying different kinds of big sticks? Talk about your AK-47 envy. Isn’t this all just power fantasy?
What is the underlying need for binge TV watching? Is it any different from binge video gaming?
Isn’t it all about escaping reality – becoming one with fantasy?
What’s the exposure limit to fantasy before it becomes harmful?
JWH – 5/2/14
2 thoughts on “Are Our Brains Being Fucked Over by Fantastic Tales?”
I dunno, reading Edgar Rice Burroughs or 1930s comic books are just as preposterous…
But yes, I get sort of frustrated with many superhero movies for similar reasons. But, the original Superman movies were so much less serious than the recent ones. Same thing with Batman. If anything, there’s a trend in some of these films to be more “realistic”…