white guilt [in spandex]

Posted in jalouse, Mr. Men by nerdlette on 15 June 2008

In honor of my friend S, who was called a cracker when she refused to dole out a cigarette to a homeless guy outside the subway, I present a io9’s thesis on a summer of white guilt at the theater.

According to i09, questing, ruggedly individual heroes have given way to the conflicted, repentant figures as the American public struggles to come to terms with the consequences of American foreign policy.

Given that every semi-realistic movie about the Iraq War has flopped (like Valley of Elah or Stop Loss), maybe we can only deal with such a colossal historical mistake through the lens of fantasy. Or maybe this is Hollywood’s way of trying to purge the guilt of global climate change and the global economy’s corrosive effect on vulnerable people around the world.

Has the American psyche just entered a twelve-step program for an Imperial addiction?  The Superpower/Superhero metaphor comes easily enough. We’ve not quite made it to Step 5’s admitting of our wrongs. The actual events of Iraq are still unpalatable. (but Iron Man’s defense contractor/war criminal plotline indicates we are nearing Step 4’s moral inventory).

Robert Downey Jr. epitomizes this archetype for me in his excellent portrial of Iron Man.  The actors name is synonymous with the self-destruction, squandered potential, and pathetic contriteness of an addict. Guilty by association, if you will.

And, veering totally off topic,  Downey Jr. is brutally hot.

The Dude (Jeff Bridges) as an evil mastermind is a little harder to stomach. Even with a shaved head. I just kept having auditory hallucinations that he was tacking “man” onto the end of each sentence.

bald and bloodthirsty

the dude abides

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