Saturday, May 19, 2012


My husband and I went to see "The Avengers" last night. For anyone who really knows me, this is a big deal; for my husband, it is historic. But who could stay away from a movie that everyone was talking about with kick-ass heroes and bad-ass bad guys? Not me. Well, yeah, usually me. But not this time.

The buildup was intense. Friends had seen it two and three times. Box office was well over a billion dollars. I was expecting big battles, big noises and BIG special effects. I was not disappointed. That’s certainly in there. I wasn’t expecting character development or even a plot, other than good guys vs bad guys and everything goes BOOM! I was wrong. That’s in there, too. If that were all that was in there, it would be a great takeoff of a "Transformer" movie. 

So I sat there in that darkened theater, watching the high action, laughing at the many humorous moments, and I realized I was feeling a curious, altogether out of place feeling for a movie theater. I was feeling PROUD. I don’t remember the last time I went to a movie and felt proud. It started me thinking about how heroes should be more than just the unfortunate schmucks who find themselves thrown into a bad situation and come out fighting; they should be the life-blood of a society, they should be its foundation for morality. The Greeks knew this. The Jews certainly did with their heroes in the Bible. In America, we once knew this. But we had forgotten.  

"The Avengers" is a movie that remembers.

"The Avengers" has real heroes. Damn it! Real heroes like we haven’t seen for decades. And, like the best classical heroes, they are simply the alter-egos of each one of us sitting there in the dark, watching, cheering, knowing--from somewhere deep in our souls--that the struggle, the frailty of personal failings and fatal flaws can be redeemed through a commitment to—dare I say it? Truth.

Real heroes teach us that redemption is not found through the attainment of perfection, but in the struggle for it. Not found in winning, but in the commitment to a truth that makes you fight in the first place.

Society needs real heroes because they show us this path to redemption. They show us that the belief in truth—objective, knowable, universal truth—is worth fighting for, worth dying for. And that what you are willing to die for defines, better than anything else, what you seek to live for. 

"The Avengers" is great because it isn't a movie about battles or super powers or even winning at all costs. It's a movie about the essential truths. It's a movie with real heroes.

And we all need real heroes. Because they show us the hero we can be. 

Now...gotta go. One of my universal truths (shared by my husband) is that the house should be cleaner(er).

There. I'm so proud.
Effing heroic, if you ask me.


  1. Amen sister.

    I don't think the Avengers movie is in theaters yet over here and if it is it'll be dubbed in Italian anyway and Rupert wouldn't understand anything so we'll have to wait for DVD. But, probably because of publicity for the movie coming out here soon, they've been showing Thor on TV...CONSTANTLY. Like very night for a week! A couple of weeks ago it was Iron Man 2 every night.

    Anyway, I watched them dubbed in Italian because Rupert wasn't home and they RUINED the voice of Thor. You know how that actor has a really deep, manly voice? The dubber did not at ALL. It was just a perfectly average fancy Italian voice, and when he yelled, it just did NOT FIT that actor's size and manliness. Drove me nuts. So I switched it back to English (we get the choice! I love it!)

    Sorry for the topic hijack. I love your post. We do need heroes and they're depressingly scarce these days.

    1. I've never seen Thor, nor did I watch The Hulk as a kid. No idea about the story behind Captain America and never heard of whoever Scarlett Johanssson played. But really enjoyed this movie.

      I have seen both Iron Man movies because I love Robert Downey Jr. He's such a smart ass, and that scores huge points in my book.

      Anyway, without seeing the characters before, having the voice not match would have made me laugh hysterically. Then, of course, I would never be able to have Thor sound like anything OTHER than a a fancy Italian guy. The deep voice would just sound like a little kid trying to be all grown up.


  2. I found Thor to be unexpectedly good. Will eventually get around to seeing The Avengers when it comes out on DVD - which means it'll be a while. We tend to get stuff a bit later here in Australia.

  3. Hey, I finally got in to the comments on this post! My computer has frozen on this one 3 times. You do realize where the comedic genius came from right? I love Robert Downey Jr too and Iron Man is by far my favorite for the same reasons as you. I did watch Thor and Capt. America because I knew they were a build up for this, but when I heard who was consulting on the screenplay and that he was directing it, I was floating. Joss Whedon knows/does heroes and humor better than anyone alive right now. If you do not know the series "Firefly", I envy your eventual joy & wonder as you watch for the first time. Now to see if it freezes when I hit publish...

    1. Putting it on my Netflix lineup right NOW!

      I had no idea. I don't watch movies...almost no TV. Just South Park and some cooking shows. But only because there just isn't that much that is worth the time. Mostly I work, read...books or internet...and ride my horse.

      Thanks! I'll check in with you when I get the series on DVD.

    2. Based on your sense of humor, I will do one effed(do your children read your blog?) up thing of your request if you are disappointed. Like go to an OWS rally with a Paul Ryan sweatshirt and a boombox or something. Aww shucks, who am I kidding, I'd do that anyway.

    3. HAHAHA! DO IT! That would be awesome!

      My son is 21 and a huge Ron Paul he reads me off and on. My daughter is 15 and thinks politics are stupid...guys and fashion are her things now. But, believe me, they both know my sense of humor.

      I showed my daughter the video Rachel posted--Future House--and she is STILL watching it and laughing her head off. Just had it on this morning as she was getting ready for school. The new exchange around this house is "honey bunny"..."RETARD!" "For the rest of our awesome lives!!!"

    4. Heh, Tuerqas!

      I just watched the first episode of Firefly, Serenity. It was AWESOME! You are off the hook for the OWS rally. I am smitten! Can't wait to watch the next episode.

      The music that played on the opening and closing of scenes reminded me of South Park, though. LOL!

  4. I have voted for Ron Paul in the past as a Libertarian way back in 1988. I would have voted for him as a Republican, but I could not vote for Romney. Way too vanilla. Write a post on Firefly after you have watched it to let me know. I believe Rachel is a fan as well and you would not believe the number of Firefly references there have been on TV since. "Big Bang Theory" and "Castle" references were my favorites.

    1. Well, given the option this year you HAVE to vote for Romney, since it looks as if he'll be the nominee. I used to vote straight ticket Libertarian, until someone told me that all libertarians do is get Democrats elected. And they were right. And this year failure is not an option.

      I have Firefly in the queue on NetFlix, but I'm struggling with my daughter who has a list of girly flicks in line. How many times can someone watch "27 Dresses" and still have a functioning frontal lobe????

  5. In reverse order: The answer is 72.

    Tie your daughter up or trump up some charges as an excuse to ban her from TV for a week. Once we started, my wife and I watched the whole series in about a 21 hour time period. In the second viewing we took our time over about 3 days.

    I really don't care if voting Libertarian gets Dems elected. (besides, I think that is untrue) If I have a choice between Horrible, Horrible dregs, and responsible I can only choose responsible, even though I know the masses will choose gratification. The fact is if I vote Rep today, I have still voted for horrible and the solid truth that the GOP takes away from it is that centrism (even though the scale of 'central' is well left of center today)is the way to win next time too. Face it, Government grows just as fast when either political party has a supermajority. The most 'successful' administrations have historically been bi-partisan. Today, with both parties bent on their own form of US destruction and being totally unwilling to compromise anymore, we are already screwed because supermajority=always sucks and bi-partisan now=stalemate and nothing gets done.
    Between the two, I would just as soon get it over with and Dems definitely seem to be heading full steam towards the iceberg. Many Reps know the problem, but also know they are lying if they say they can still change course so they just try to slow down a bit. If the US Titanic is gonna hit the damn ice mass no matter what, let's get it over, rescue who we can and start again.

    1. ***I really don't care if voting Libertarian gets Dems elected. (besides, I think that is untrue)***

      Why do you think that is untrue? Since Libertarians NEVER get in effing NEVER...then Libertarians only draw away votes from one candidate...namely the Republican candidate because he is the only one who has a chance at election and he is generally the most conservative. I challenge you to name me a Democrat an honest Libertarian would vote for.

      I was a straight ticket Libertarian until my 40s...then I wised up. Politics, unlike the purity of philosophy, is a war game, and there are winners and losers, and it matters who wins or loses, even if it is only by inches.

      The BIGGEST reason we are in such a pickle and the two parties have been able to play "good cop/bad cop" and essentially do the same thing is because of US. We need to look in the mirror. We CAN make Republicans toe the line, but we HAVE to be diligent and committed. We haven't done that. We've spent decades voting and then going back to work. The politicians have counted on this.

      We need to get Obama out of office. Period. Romney is a half win, but I'll take it because losing is not an option.

  6. As I have said to my High School best friend and Libertarian buddy, I hope you are right. I wish you luck in changing the Republican Party from within, I really do. It is not US that chose Romney to run for President and Paul Ryan not to. It was GOP powers that be(PTB). They don't really think that only a moderate can beat Obama. They don't want a real conservative to run because the bottom line is they would lose power by doing that.

    You probably read this in a Rachel blog, but here is my theory on changing the Rep party: You have acknowledged that the Libertarian Party voters are closer to Reps. What do you think would influence the PTB to put up a more conservative candidate in 2016? Would it be A)electing Minilla Romney in November, or B) seeing a 10% vote for the Libertarian Party and a loss or near loss to Obama?

    I still maintain that a solid minority vote for a conservative (or liberal) independent pushes a party to be more conservative or liberal. It makes the PTB look at what that indy was offering. They need those votes back. Now what does the 'party liner' get? Whatever the PTB damn well gives you! You want to influence the Republican Party in a conservative manner? Vote for someone conservative.

    The Tea Party was the right idea, but they folded back in to the GOP too quickly. They helped force one set of elections, but they are a non-entity again already. Who was a Tea Party candidate for POTUS this year? I would rather be a man of principle and vote conservative than vote for someone we all know is not conservative because he may be better than the alternative. I say and mean he might be better. After 4 or 8 years of Minilla, the crazy swing voters will likely vote the opposite again because the GOP did not do well enough. If Ryan got elected in 12 years without significant change in the meantime, it would be too late.

    1. Tuerqas, I am VERY sympathetic to your position, but, it is a dangerous gamble and one I'm just not willing to take. We must defeat Obama, even if it is with white bread Romney. Then we regroup.

      Political parties do not change direction quickly, they are like ships, but I would say we almost heaved the ship over in a spin at the 2010 mid-terms. The problem is that we need to step up to take responsibility AFTER the elections. Call. Write. Volunteer. Donate money when they do something right. Money talks. We actually think if we elect someone (anyone) to be conservative, that they just will be conservative. HAHAHAHA! It is to laugh. Especially if we don't follow that mid-term with another cycle of conservatives and another and another. Walker's win in Wisconsin was HUGE for just this reason. It sent a thunderous message to cowardly politicians that IF they do what is right, we will support them. Politicians never "do what is right." They do what will get them elected. It is OUR business to make sure "what is right" WILL get them elected. We haven't done that consistently enough in the last 40 years.

      Politics is a game of inches. A little here...a little there. We let the slow process of one election after another lull us into complacency. We didn't care what they were doing for far too long, and now we aren't going to fix this overnight. I don't believe that Romney, by himself, is any answer. I DO believe that Romney, with a Republican Congress AND AN ACTIVE CITIZENRY can be a good start.

      And you are SOOOO right about the "house divided" thing. The best times are when we have a president who doesn't control the Congress. Then we have deadlock and that is a sweet sweet blessing. But, in this case, we need more than deadlock; we need action. That can only happen if we have control. And if we make freaking sure that they all know we are watching. May need to march on the S.O.B.'s. A little Tea Party action or something, just to give them religion.

      And politics is a dirty game. It's not a game of principle. Because the people (us) don't want to live with principles. I'm not talking about you -- or me -- but most people don't want to live with the absolutist demands of principles. What's the saying? "It's easier to die for your principles than it is to live up to them." I think Libertarianism is as unworkable and unwelcome as communism to most people. It's too extreme. People want something warm and fuzzy in the middle. Sucks, but there it is.

      I say that as a die-hard, rabid Ayn Rand fan. I have read everything she's ever written. I ADORE her non-fiction, like "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal", and "Philosophy: Who Needs It?" Brilliant. Just too demanding. People won't ever live that way. They want guarantees, protection, security.

      Freedom, REAL freedom is risky and scary. And puts the burden of one's own actions squarely on one's own shoulders. This, to me, is the very definition of morality. To be responsible for one's own actions. People HATE that. We're crappy protoplasm, if you ask me. But we're all we've got.

  7. A few points:
    1) Parties are indeed like large ships. The iceberg is about 15 years away. I don't beleive the GOP has the time to just change course. They need full stop, engines in reverse and they are discussing a 2 degree turn over 10 years so we can hit that iceberg just right of center.
    2) Walker is not a big conservative. I am not yet sure he is conservative at all. Government continues to grow in Wisconsin(remember I live here). What he did was attack Dem money sources. Don't get me wrong, this was 100% necessary and I am very happy he did it. However, his noble goal of saving as many public sector jobs as he could, still results in us having way too large of a Government. Government has to shrink. That is not happening in WI.
    3)So conservatives know we are watching...The GOP says "So what?" I don't know if there are 5 instances in US history where an incumbent 'in good Party standing' wants to be re-elected, but is ousted as a candidate by another member of his own Party in a primary. The Parties just don't allow that. The answer is ALWAYS "Better a RINO than Dem."
    4) In the past, a mixed Congress & POTUS meant compromise, not deadlock. Right now deadlock is deadly. The Parties are fighting for the wheel of the ship, but neither has plans to radically change course. Now Reps SAY they want to change course, but even the conservative heroes are not willing to set a course that avoids the economic collapse. By his own admission Ryan's plan falls short of saving the US economy. It is step 1 and as much as he thinks the US can handle.
    5) I have to agree with your assessment of Libertarians, humans and real freedom in general. That is why I believe we are doomed to fail under the current regime make-up.

    I am sincere when I wish Reps good luck changing the GOP from within. I just don't think it is going to happen. If it staves off economic armegeddon for an extra 10 years, I will likely be gone. Yea for me.

    1. The reason political parties can't change course suddenly, is that's called a revolution. People get REALLY testy when the rules change suddenly...even in a good way. Because whenever things change, some people stand to gain, and some to lose. So even a bona fide Libertarian couldn't do squat if elected in real change, and he ain't gonna get elected. The most we can hope for is a committed and continual sea change brought about by one election after another where conservatives win...big. I don't even know if that is possible anymore. I honestly believe that too many people in this country don't WANT real limited government. What good is that? Limited government can't deliver the goodies.

      We just might be doomed. But until then, I want to stay in the fight. Voting Libertarian is standing on the sidelines, IMHO.