For the love of superheroes

2014-06-02 00:00

I THINK there is something wrong with me. I think there is something seriously wrong with me. I am a 27-year-old male who still gets excited about superhero films, which gets me thinking — when will I ever grow up?

This thought takes me back to one of my most vivid childhood memories growing up in Pietermaritzburg. My mother once made roast potatoes, which, putting it mildly, were more carbon than the wholesome vegetable they should have been. When she realised that the potatoes where not fit for human consumption, she placed them in my dog’s food bowl. Blackie (not the most politically correct name) took a gander, a sniff and a little taste of the burnt potatoes and decided she would have none of it.

I guess I was hungry or just wanted some attention, but the child in me kicked in and I started stuffing the charred potatoes into my mouth. Once this caught the attention of my brother and mother, fear set in and I knew a hiding with the wooden spoon was sure to come my way. In a frantic panic, I gathered as many potatoes as my small hands could hold and did what any child would do, I ran. While my family members were in hot pursuit, I could not help but shove more and more potatoes into my mouth, chewing with all my might. The chase took us around the house a number of times, until my mother cornered me, but it was too late. Let’s just say that I wasn’t hungry anymore.

Reverting to my childhood enthusiasm for the latest superhero blockbuster doesn’t do me any favours when it comes to attracting single women. It doesn’t help me nor does it make for interesting conversation when trying to impress a woman. I thought that girls don’t like me because I am not like Bruce Wayne — a billionaire playboy with brooding tendencies — but maybe because I’m just too overwhelmed by superheroes and the popular culture that goes with them. I am so single that I’m actually making negative progress in that aspect of my life. I’m pretty sure that people around me are getting annoyed with all the popular references in my everyday life.

If I would have to describe a Rembrandt painting for instance, I would probably say something like: “The emotional depth of the painting represents a post-modern Magneto helmet meets the driving force behind Anakin Skywalker’s transformation towards the birth of Darth Vader.” At which point, I would start to lose friends fast and the respect — what little I did have — of my family.

It’s not only me, according to Box Office Mojo, in the list of top grossing films (not adjusted for inflation) superhero films come out strong, ridiculously strong, with Marvel’sAvengers coming in at number three with $1,5 billion (R15,7 billion), Iron Man 3 at number six with $1,2 billion and the Dark Knight Rises at number 10 making a serious $1 billion. But that’s not to say that the more money a film makes the better it is.

I get incredibly eager, and have to downplay my excitement when it comes to the comic book films. In saying that, I’m positive by now that my senior work colleague just wishes that this would all be over by now. I keep regaling him with stories about every mutant and his or her respective super-power ability, and in one instance I tried to get him to take a quiz on it. He didn’t. I’m just trying to educate him and the rest of the newsroom, but they had other things to deal with, like serious work and real-life issues. My parents also didn’t want me to educate them and told me I should be concentrating on getting serious about life and my career. To which I responded: “The X-Men are serious”.

Let’s face it, serious issues appear in the newspaper, but let’s make room for the less serious content, like let’s say … um, I don’t know … like superhero films for example.

In my humble opinion I think we need to find a balance in the media as well as in life, taking the serious with the less serious. Here is my advice for those of you who stick with being another cog in the machine, tap into your inner child and eat as many figurative burnt roast potatoes as possible.

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