Marc Alan Fishman: Everything Is Awesome*
I’m in an odd mood, kiddos. Maybe it’s the polar vortex that’s waging war across our country. Maybe it’s seasonal affective disorder causing a case of the blues. Or perhaps the winds of change are blowing, and the time for revolution is nigh. I’ve simply noticed as of late an upward trend of general unrest. It’s got me equally excited, and potentially depressed. Let’s jump down the rabbit hole, shall we?
My title is in reference to ‘The Lego Movie’, which I caught this past weekend. The flick itself is amazing – funny, smart, creative, and enjoyable for everyone with a soul. One of the underlying themes carried via the brick-on-brick action/adventure is the power and importance of creativity, and originality. That everyone is in fact, an amazing, beautiful, and important creator of the world around them. This spits in the face of the villain, President Business, who wishes only to keep order by any means necessary. In other words: twas a battle between acknowledging our flaws and celebrating in spite of them versus accepting them, and burying them beneath a sheen of mediocrity. Guess who wins?
And it’s that spirit that peaks between the cracks of many foundations we know all too well, within the realities of pop culture we live vicariously through. In the land of Sports Entertainment (that’s Pro Wrasslin’ to you non-smarks), this past Monday begat perhaps the most highly contested episode of Raw produced since the ‘Attitude Era’. Here in my hometown of Chicago, an absolutely molten crowd of fans were so adamant to produce change in the current product of Vince McMahon… they handed out manifestos at the door. For those not in the know, allow me to summarize as quickly as possible: one of the top stars of the roster was so burnt out over the banal scripting and booking of events, he literally walked out of the company, while still under contract. There, in his hometown, with tens of thousands of his fans literally chanting his name for near three hours? CM Punk remained at home, unfazed by what we’ll assume is continued apathy at the status quo.
It’s an interesting proposition to think about. So often, do we nerds of the world, get up in arms over the products we purchase. And when the problems continue to mount? We take to the internet. We light torches. And then we still buy the product. Curious, no? Heck, stalwarts of this very site, Michael Davis and Martha Thomases are practically mob-leaders in their efforts to ensure that the comic book industry be as color and gender-blind as possible. They are of course in the right, but I doubt Martha will stay home from every convention this year on the principle that the conventioneers balance the guest-list. And San Diego will not be San Diego without The Black Panel; which itself celebrates all of pop-culture, but certainly with a bend of hue-specificity.
‘The Lego Movie’ reminded me of my true sense of optimism though. In lieu of rioting wrestling fans, and white-male-only conventions and comic books… I remain steadfast in my obstinate belief that change will come – no riots or internet petitions needed. Suffice to say, I feel that as with many things, that when the older generations move out of seats of power, the younger (and less ignorant and prejudiced) folks will right the ship. I recall in my youth, much of ‘gay culture’ was highly marginalized, depicted only as terrible stereotypes, and was mostly unspoken of in the realms of pop culture. Now? My son will grow up in a world that is magnitudes further along in the notion that yes, all people are created equal.
So, with spring’s bloom still sheathed in layers of ice, I fear there’s more darkness to be had before the dawn. And while I’d opt to go enjoy an issue of G.I. Joe, or the Transformers… I was just informed they are no-longer considered ‘the real thing‘. I guess I should stick to robot phalli, and liar-cats. But I digress. Let’s ride out into the cold folks. Soon, the world will be a brighter and better place. And if it ain’t? Damnit… let’s riot!