If x-men had arrived in time would Santa Barbara have gone down differently?
Are powerful superheroes the answer to our problems? The popularity of Xmen seem to suggest yes. I am suspect.
I have enjoyed these movies, watching them on the encouragement of a good friend.
Characters are physically beautiful and the fantasy of superpowers always has appeal. Seems like life could be ever more satisfying if we could be "more special."
We think, if I had a power no one else had "then" I would be awesome and forever happy. But would I?
The characters appear rather tortured, finding themselves embroiled in all kinds of conflict.
The other night while watching X-men : The Last Stand it occurred to me
that none of the characters had a "conflict resolution" or "compassion" mutation. No, they just mutated in ways that helped them fight better or more effectively manipulate others through mind control.
Now one mutated towards greater love, happiness or compassion. This work they still had to do on their own.
Ben Franklin sounds sage even in this context. He is thought to have said, "the constitution gives you the right to pursue happiness, but you have to catch it on your own."
Even if these mutations did make folks happy, the mutations we need are not fire shooting hands or the ability to suck the life out of someone with a kiss.
We need a mutation that elevates humanity. How about Mutations that help us find better ways forward? I would much rather my kiss ignite enlightenment than death. Sadly, even in Marvel's fantasy world, you cannot choose your "gift."
Sure some Xmen characters can perform cool tricks like teleporting, but I have found it often takes far more courage to stay in a room than to leave it.
My vote Is for a new movie with only virtue or integrity mutations...
According to Aristotle, that's the only way to human flourishing (eudaimonia) anyway.
(Ellen page's character quips in The Last Stand that Aristotle said ethics only applied to humans. The Professor had no answer, though I have one. Aristotle didn't know about the upcoming comic phenomenon)
Yes power, money, beauty also contribute to flourishing, but without virtue it's a wash. Furthermore, these heroes don't appear happy..(a state which Aristotle distinguishes from flourishing).
Powerful Wolverine, for example, seems so unhappy and thwarted in love. Cyclops is literally destroyed over the loss of his woman, who turns out to be quite a danger to everyone and begs to be killed. Rogue morns her inability to touch others. Storm never seems to smile.
They seem as unhappy as "The Breakfast Club."
Maybe it would be boring to watch two hours of do-gooders resolving conflict peacefully and kissing everyone into alignment. Or we could just skip the movie and do it for real... I doubt that would be boring...
Sarah Federman, PhD
Enjoy these short blogs and videos designed to bring you a little cheer.
My other blog Language of Conflict addresses the importance of word choice and narration in conflict.
Finish and Flourish supports writers struggling to complete projects.