Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Why I'm not rushing to see Batman Vs Superman

Bad reviews? Don't be silly. Many reviewers don't value the things I valueand often value things I don't, so a negative review, even a lot of negative reviews, may be irrelevant. To see Tars Tarkas? To hear Bianca Castafiore sing? Priceless.

So why the disinterest from someone who is fond of superheroes and comics? Here is my insight:

I am not into hierarchy.

I think of hierarchy as being mostly a guy thing, and pitting one superhero against another is certainly an appealing and oft indulged in device in comics. Bracketology is nothing but a drawn out hierarchical methodology. Everything has to "fight" everything else to establish a clear pecking order. But I don't enjoy this constant creation of winners and losers.

It is unappealing to me, even a bit depressing, as I often feel bad for the loser.

As Deborah Tannen notes in You Just Don't Understand, male conversational styles default slightly to autonomy, sensitive to hierarchy. Women default to connection, team. This perhaps helps me understand why I love most of the Avengers films, where the initial challenge is assembling a reluctant team, bound by a mutual threat/need. Not to mention The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, Hoosiers, or The Replacements (you get the drift).

These stories demonstrate the difficulty of compromise, the need to be respectfulindeed, appreciativeof differences, the development of trust. And ultimately the powerful visual of how the team can (and will) succeed in ways that no one individual, however skilled, could ever have managed alone.

While Good Vs Evil is OK, I don't usually enjoy the winners and losers trope, though it's clearly appealing to many. Interestingly, team sports combine the value of team with hierarchy. And when we see a team, perhaps lacking in star power, win against the odds through their ability to work together, I think the delight we feel taps into that value.

There's an African proverb: You can go faster alone. But you go farther together.


Terri Reed said...

This is exactly why I haven't seen the movie only I couldn't put it into words. Thank you for so concisely voicing this perspective. I don't like that Batman and Superman are pitted against one another. I've rooted for both in their respective movies, how could I watch them battle each other?
I always enjoy your posts even if I don't always comment.

Isabel Swift said...

Terri, thank you for your lovely post!

Though, full disclosure, as you will see from my recent post, I did go off and see Captain America: Civil Wars, which some might view as a contradiction in position. It sort of is! But there are extenuating circumstances: I am fond of Captain America, who has been played consistently recently by one actor, so I am more personally invested in him (Vs Batman & Superman, who have switched around more). And I know it will sound stupid, but I hadn't really taken on board what Civil Wars was going to mean.

So just to say that while there were some difficult (and let's face it, fairly pointless) moments of boys bashing other boys (eye roll) there was enough humanity & personal growth (sorry for overused, but apt phrase) to make me glad to have seen it.

There are situations where both sides have differing, but valid views. But as any romance reader feels, the goal should be: How can we make this work? Vs what is often a male perspective of Which one wins?