Thursday, February 16, 2023
HomeTaoismScary Monsters and Loopy, Harmful Worlds

Scary Monsters and Loopy, Harmful Worlds

It has been a trip time for me these days. A part of that has been some whole sloth binge-watching Netflix. Specifically, I have been immersing myself in “Marvel’s Brokers of Defend“. For these of you who do not observe such stuff, “SHIELD” is a gigantic, extremely well-funded, secret police company who’s process is to guard your entire world’s inhabitants from the harmful “tremendous individuals” who maintain popping up within the various “Marvel universe”.

Watching episode 7 of the third season of the collection I heard a little bit speech by Rosalind Value—a US intelligence leader—talking about how scary it’s to dwell in a world with “tremendous individuals”.

This can be a actually attention-grabbing dialog as a result of Rosalind just about embodies the naive concern that folks routinely specific about any variety of points our society has hassle coping with. I say “naive” as a result of she is totally oblivious to the hazard that she represents to the remainder of the world. She means that Daisy (the youthful woman—who has a brilliant energy) can “convey down the airplane” and “kill Rosalind”, with out considering the truth that Rosalind can kill Daisy and convey down the airplane too. In spite of everything, she is a skilled killer who carries a gun. Furthermore, she ignores the truth that she is the top of a secret police company that routinely kicks in individuals’s doorways, drags them out at gun level, places them right into a coma and warehouses them indefinitely, and, has no compunction in any respect about taking pictures individuals who refuse to adjust to their orders. (Heck, that expensive airplane that they’re flying in may shoot rockets and drop bombs, in case you actually need to get into it.)

As if it is not loony sufficient that it seems that one thing like 20% of the world’s Gross Home Product within the Marvel universe appears to be dedicated to funding secret police companies, there’s loads of proof that plain outdated, garden-variety human nastiness continues to be round. The massive enemy of SHIELD is a bunch of neo-NAZIs referred to as “Hydra” (it has the cool slogan “lower off one head and one other will develop to exchange it”), led by some very nasty villains who had been clearly based mostly on people like Josef Mengele. They prefer to soiled their arms in stuff like recruiting and brainwashing super-villains, however the idea works even with out all this “various universe” stuff. It is apparent that there isn’t any sense having to invent a brand new, hypothetical means of being evil when you possibly can draw on the Niagara Falls of horror often called the Holocaust.

For heaven’s sake, the world does not want “tremendous heroes” and “tremendous villains” to be an insanely harmful place, science plus politics is greater than sufficient to provide you with nuclear battle, genocide, local weather change, and so on. Can Marvel comics provide you with a situation as nightmare-inducing as Donald Trump in command of the nuclear soccer? I do not suppose that the writers of this television present actually have thought by how insanely vicious issues like hydrogen bombs and nerve gasoline actually are, or else they’d really feel a little bit sheepish concerning the “devilish gadgets” dreamed up by the fellows at Hydra. A disk that you just throw that may flip you into rock? That is actually nothing in comparison with nerve gas—a single drop of which on the pores and skin is lethal.


The purpose I am making an attempt to work in direction of is that the world is an insanely harmful place. It all the time has been. It has all the time been the case that politics can go dangerous very quick. The Mongols or Vikings or British Empire can present up, and you find yourself lifeless or a slave, and, your whole society being plucked and devoured just like the Christmas turkey. You do not even want outsiders. Some dangerous political occasions can occur and you find yourself with a long-term disaster just like the Wars of the Roses (the real-life inspiration for the Sport of Thrones collection.)

Plucking the Crimson and White Roses within the Outdated Temple Gardens
(1908) by Henry Arthur Payne
Yup, a bunch of toffs decide flowers and hordes of peasants die
Public Area Picture c/o Wiki-Commons

Do I really want to say faith? If you do not know why I might say that, do some studying on the “Thirty Years Battle“. It killed off half the inhabitants of the German nation. It additionally impressed some very attention-grabbing artwork.

The Hanging by Jacques Callot
Extra public area goodness from the Wiki Commons
If you wish to discuss loopy behaviour impressed by concern of “the opposite”, nothing actually compares to terror of heretics by fundamentalists. (One thing to consider in our present political local weather.)


This weblog publish is not meant to an assault on “Brokers of Defend”. I truly actually benefit from the present. However the position that Marvel performs in our society is that it permits individuals to work by the “huge points” that face us as human beings. It’s the equal of the myths and legends that folks used to inform across the fireside when it was too darkish to work. As such, it creates a standard language and extra emotionally impartial means of discussing points which are terribly essential to all of us—but usually so essentially horrible that folks have a tough time speaking about them.

And yeah, the fundamental fragility of life and human society is a kind of issues that folks idiot themselves into ignoring as a result of they discover the thought too scary to ponder. We’re all considerably like Rosalind Value—up to our eyeballs in a vicious, harmful, nasty world but by some means deluded into pondering that not directly it’s secure and steady. It’s a kind of key, essential truths of Daoism that that is only a fantasy. The one factor that’s fixed is change. The Dao is completely detached to the struggling of people, it treats us like “straw canine“.

This is not to say that we have to grow to be detached to struggling, simply that any kindness or compassion that exists comes about as a result of we select to indicate it to others—not as a result of it’s intrinsic to the way in which issues are. It additionally ought to educate us that we have to savour each second (ie: maintain onto the One), as a result of it actually could also be our final likelihood to take action.


Yeah. Extra blue sort. Simply do not forget that “creatives” must eat too. We’re joyful to share with people that may’t afford to toss one thing within the tip jar. However in case you can, take into consideration doing so. If not for this weblog, perhaps another person’s. For those who suppose that you just gained some perception and even knowledge from my phrases, how about tossing me a buck? 


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