Skip to main content

Dead potential, in "Deadpool"




According to the psychiatrist I pay most attention to, James F. Masterson, children who grow up under mothers who require their children to meet their own unmet needs for attention have a very difficult time nurturing what he calls their "real self." What happens is that the mother's strongly averse reaction to the child's first sign of autonomy, which occurs when as an infant s/he first started walking, and which kicks in hard once again at adolescence, scares the child away from full (or even partial) self-realization. In the way of the path ahead to ever becoming his or her real self are fears and pains arising owing to feeling abandoned, which are so paralyzing they're akin to what reliably blocked Truman from just driving across the bridge and leaving Seahaven in The Truman Show. He calls them the Six Horsemen of the Psychic Apocalypse: Depression, Panic, Rage, Guilt, Helplessness, and Emptiness. What happens to such children? They never really grow up, never really individuate. Ryan Reynold's Wade shows signs of being exactly this sort of person. At first, he's the kind of guy who seems mostly motivated to deny parts of himself he is concerned actually best represent him by bullying those in overt possession of these traits—geeky guys who wear their vulnerability on their faces and who rage powerfully at women. So it's not him, it's the guys he bullies. He becomes someone however who actually enters a real relationship with a woman, one with promise. But as soon as he gets past the period of mutual-gaze infatuation and enters that period where his relationship might challenge and mature him, take him adrift from his past life of being just another member of a homosocial gang, a calamity happens (here his developing cancer) which leaves him essentially living with his mother, fretful of women rejecting him (my god! my acne!), wantonly acting out his aggressions, and associating with those without the sophistication to see through him (here the simple-minded proletarian X-Men, Colossus, as well as the petulant sorta one, Negasonic Teenage Warhead). 

This is the first R-rated comic book film, but in truth what's on display in terms of characters relating to one another is mightily regressed from the adult relationship we saw on display between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts in Josh Whedon's the Avengers. It's too bad it's doing such good business, because it puts the pressure on recognizable adult characters in other superhero films (like McAvoy's Charles Xavier) not to make him wiltand not making him wilt, is the other reason why the X-men's mansion is always empty when Deadpool visits it, one he wasn't actually going to admit to (or indeed even allow himself to remain for long cognizant of) when he breached the fourth wall, wink, wink: Storm, Cyclops, Wolverine, as they've been depicted thus far, would have no truck with him. May they never be forced to pretend to be willing partners in his sort of retrograde.   

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Old Youth

You write about how poverty breeds creativity. You think about how scavenging for wild food gives you the perfect opportunity to slow down, to really appreciate your surroundings. You talk about how frugality is more environmentally sustainable. You pontificate on why creating meals from scratch is cheaper, healthier and deeply satisfying. Then you run out of cooking oil.You love fat. As a child you ate margarine by the spoonful. You didn't know any better. Now you've moved on to more delicious pastures. As a cook you can never resist sneaking in that extra bit of butter, that tablespoonful of olive oil, that dab of bacon grease. You believe that cake is a vessel for frosting, that salad dressing should be two parts oil to one part vinegar, and that packaged low-fat foods are a symptom of the decline of Western civilization. Fat makes food taste good.Under the best of circumstances, you have eight or nine varieties of fat on hand. In ascending order of importance: chicken drip…

Superimposing another "fourth-wall" Deadpool

I'd like to superimpose the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool that I'd like to have seen in the movie. In my version, he'd break out of the action at some point to discuss with us the following:
1) He'd point out that all the trouble the movie goes to to ensure that the lead actress is never seen completely naked—no nipples shown—in this R-rated movie was done so that later when we suddenly see enough strippers' completely bared breasts that we feel that someone was making up for lost time, we feel that a special, strenuous effort has been made to keep her from a certain fate—one the R-rating would even seemed to have called for, necessitated, even, to properly feed the audience expecting something extra for the movie being more dependent on their ticket purchases. That is, protecting the lead actress was done to legitimize thinking of those left casually unprotected as different kinds of women—not as worthy, not as human.   


2) When Wade/Deadpool and Vanessa are excha…

Discussion over the fate of Jolenta, at the Gene Wolfe facebook appreciation site

Patrick McEvoy-Halston November 28 at 10:36 AM Why does Severian make almost no effort to develop sustained empathy for Jolenta -- no interest in her roots, what made her who she was -- even as she features so much in the first part of the narrative? Her fate at the end is one sustained gross happenstance after another... Severian has repeated sex with her while she lay half drugged, an act he argues later he imagines she wanted -- even as he admits it could appear to some, bald "rape" -- but which certainly followed his discussion of her as someone whom he could hate so much it invited his desire to destroy her; Severian abandons her to Dr. Talus, who had threatened to kill her if she insisted on clinging to him; Baldanders robs her of her money; she's sucked at by blood bats, and, finally, left at death revealed discombobulated of all beauty... a hunk of junk, like that the Saltus citizens keep heaped away from their village for it ruining their preferred sense of themse…