"'Normal' American men are homophobic, afraid of close friendships with other men. The moment we begin to feel warmly toward another man, the 'homosexual' panic button gets pressed. It makes us nervous to see French or Italian men strolling down the street arm in arm. Must be queer! From a cross-cultural perspective it is we who are odd; close male friendship is the norm in most societies and is usually considered a more important source of intimacy than romantic relationships... We need same-sex friends because there are types of validation and acceptance that we receive only from our gender-mates. There is much about our experience as men that can only be shared with, and understood by, other men. There are stories we can tell only to those who have wrestled in the dark with the same demons and been wounded by the same angels. Only men understand the secret fears that go with the territory of masculinity." - Sam Keen, Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man, 174-75
"I know you're not comfortable hanging out with guys because you don't want people to think you're gay, but really, hanging out with girls all the time is what will make people think that." - Kami Wilson, personal conversation
This partially explains why I consciously chose to bring a guy friend to my work's movie night. The other reasons are that he's been nice to me so I wanted to be nice to him, and I wanted to make sure it didn't end up being misconstrued as a date despite following that formula to the letter besides the gender thing. But whether because of how our culture has evolved in just a few years or increased confidence on my part, I no longer care one iota whether people think I'm gay. As awful as this may be, sometimes I almost wish they did because I feel like they'd pay more attention to me. I decided, in fact, that if anyone that night asked about that guy, I would introduce him as my boyfriend. I knew he would have gotten a kick out of that. Sadly, no one did because they only cared about themselves.
The movie was "Spider-Man: Homecoming". It was only the second Marvel movie I've ever seen, the first being "Thor: Dark World", and I liked it much better. I mean, the other one had Natalie Portman in it, so that was a few hundred points in its favor, but it wasn't nearly as funny or easy to follow. Of course I was still lost on a few things in this one because it's interconnected with all the other ones but after the first ten minutes or so it was self-contained enough. Unfortunately, I can't take movies very seriously anymore since binge-watching CinemaSins, so I often catch myself thinking things like "That's racist." "Roll credits." and "Sixty-six seconds of ------- logos." Since I've already betrayed my ignorance, I feel no further shame in asking, does Spider-Man have super strength in addition to his climbing and web shooting abilities? I ask because I felt like every bone in his body should have been broken a few times over by the end. If he does have super strength, that seems like kind of a cop-out because that's not a spider power. Spiders can, like all bugs, fall or be thrown insane distances without injury, but that's because their small size results in ten times greater air resistance than driving force. So it wouldn't work for Peter, is what I'm saying.
Then yesterday I went on my own initiative to see "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie" because it's in the cheap theater now. I read all the books as a kid and have skimmed through them a bit as an adult encountering them again at work, and they really are more clever and sophisticated than one would expect. Dav Pilkey is a legitimately funny writer who apparently just stoops to lowbrow humor to trick kids into reading. His ploy has worked magnificently. And ironically, because this movie has no sexual content (unless I just didn't notice it because I'm so innocent), it's far more appropriate for children than any other Dreamworks movie I can think of. Seriously, if I had kids I wouldn't let them watch most of that garbage. Also, the theme song is by "Weird Al" Yankovic, my favorite artist of all time, so I think I have to buy the soundtrack just for that. He also did a parody of "Piano Man" about the first Spider-Man movie back in 2002, which I've never seen and don't need to thanks to his plot summary.
I haven't seen "Wonder Woman" either. Shame on me. I just don't watch a lot of movies. In a case of truth being stranger than fiction, her current status as a feminist icon is not an ironic re-contextualization, but faithful to her origins. I don't remember if I read it somewhere or it just seemed like a no-brainer, but I had assumed that the males who created her in 1941 did so as fanservice for male comic book readers. Nope! She was a feminist icon all along! Except that the psychologist who created her had a strange way of expressing it by having her getting constantly tied up (which previously I assumed was part of the aforementioned fanservice). I feel like some psychologists need psychologists. Then in the 1970s she became a "real" feminist as she still remains today. I just learned all of this just now while undergoing the thorough research that is the hallmark of every blog post I write.
This is so obvious I'm sure it's been suggested many times before, but the superhero I really want to see is Captain Canada. A superhero who drives a bulletproof Zamboni, uses a curling broom as a bo staff, and apologizes whenever he hits a villain. I can say these things because I'm practically half-Canadian after breathing their air, drinking their water and watching their broadcasting corporation during my formative years. His arch-nemesis would be Captain Quebec, his jerkface brother who has always grown up in his shadow and takes great pains to demonstrate his independence and differentiate himself. He's petty and callous and amoral and often says bad words in French that the MPAA just lets slide because they're in French. I can say these things because one of my best friends is Quebecois and she finds it funny.
Yes, Marie still exists even though I haven't mentioned her in a while. I should have written about how, a couple months ago, she was rear-ended by an idiot teenager, which totaled her car and exacerbated her scoliosis. She's been in near-constant severe pain since then, facing significant medical expenses and losing money from missed work. And here, despite being petty and callous and amoral in most of my conversations with her, she has shown her true colors. If this had happened to me, I would be consumed with rage 24/7. But she's just shrugged it off and kept chugging like a champ. Wow. So the other night she was tormenting me as I kept making stupid spelling mistakes for some reason. The first two were "mayke" (make) and "messager" (message) and they are not included in the following screenshots because that part of the conversation is classified. But I share these screenshots to teach myself humility.
Mackenzie finally read the last post about her and gave me the only feedback that really matters. Until she mentioned it, I assumed she had opted for a "don't ask, don't tell" and just hoped she wasn't upset. I never know when she's going to be upset.
"Kid", she called me, even though we're basically the same age.
the great Luke Ski - Peter Parker
Because it's catchy.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.