Spidey

Nerding it up tonight. Taking it easy. Went out last night to celebrate one of my mates, Matt Tilbrook, submitting his Ph.D. during the week, and tomorrow is Tropfest. Matt is a superstar science dude (here he is winning some shit, pg 4). For as long as I have known him — since the start of high school — he has always been a maths and science wiz. His thesis was in material science and the research project involved making ceramic-metal composites, bashing them repeatedly with an $80,000 hammer and then mathematically modeling the crack formation/propagation (sidetrack: Deleuze, LoS, the ‘crack up’!;). “Cyclic Fatigue in Functionally-Graded Interfaces.” It took him about 4 years and is 480 pages. That is hardcore. He published 9 articles during those 4 years and it looks as if he might be heading overseas to take up one of the three postdocs on offer or changing gears and turning to industry for something more exciting. He is going to do whatever he does exceptionally well.

So. Tonight. Spiderman is on the telly. Classic nerd-made-superhero goodness. Just finished watching it. The flick holds a special place for me. I once took an art-house-foreign-film loving girl on a date to the Innaloo megaplex. We saw the first film. It was a moment, I think, for both of us. Later on, we saw the second film. Feelings of nervousness, apprehension, and excitement resurfaced with the sequel. We were, by then, a ‘couple,’ but seeing Spidey 2 felt like we were out on a date again. The first film was our second date. The first date had been to an art exhibition opening. I am a child of the suburbs and I find it hard to tolerate the pretensions perpetually on exhibition from sections of the ‘art’ scene. The rendezvous with Spidey was an opportunity for me to show her a whole different map in the street directory. It was (allegedly) her first time to a non-independent cinema. First time. Crazy! Megaplex and Spiderman. Popcorn and frozen Coke. ‘Here I am.’ There I was. Memories. Now I even go to Tropfest! haha… Move on.

On revisiting Spiderman this evening I got another impression. The Spiderman franchise is well known. Sam Raimi is a fuckin legend. He would have to be to buck the trend of spectacularly shithouse sequels (S = 7.4, while S2 = 7.9). I used it as my main example in the ‘sequels’ paper I wrote in Sweden…

(via rottentomatoes.com)

Anyway, that is besides the point. The tagline for the flick — With great power comes great responsibility — is bloody interesting. Of course the film can be read as an allegorical warning for the US administration… But what about us mundane peeps? The ones with no ‘great’ power? There is much talk of becoming a ‘man’ throughout the flick; what sort of ‘man’ will you become? What if we are all posed as-per-Spidey in a posture between various tensions and forces? An experimentation. Finding a processual balance. Go with the to and fro flow through the rhythms of urbanity, through the too-human rhythms of love and loss, through the rhythms of responsible affirmation or negation. “It’s all I have to give,” he says to Mary-Jane in the end (friendship). Give all you have to give and keep on swinging. Even the final showdown with the Green Goblin is premised as an ethical problem. The ethics of Spiderman. Cool…