Wednesday, September 30, 2009

TVOD: Heroes Redux, or 'Life is killing us'

One thing I've learned over 43 years of chronic pain (and other unpleasantness) is that for most of us, life sucks.

You can drown your sorrows in drugs, sex, religion or television but you can't avoid the fact that you're stuck on a planet that wants nothing more than to kill you. Or that you're living cheek-by-jowl with a whole host of organisms that would suck the marrow from your very bones had they the opportunity. And we are infinitely fortunate compared to the huge swathes of humanity that live in poverty and squalor.

But hey, I'm philosophical about it. One of the ways I take my mind off of it all is immersing myself in pop culture, mythology and other various and sundry forms of enlightened escapism. And I predicted in Our Gods Wear Spandex that as things get more difficult for everyone in the brave new world order that the superhero meme (and its witch/vampire/alien variants) would become increasingly popular. We're all vulnerable now- we're all geeks and wimps in the eyes of the schoolyard bullies of Wall Street and the City of London, as well as all of the other power centers around the world where our destinies are being decided and inflicted upon us.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that in 2009, no one wants to see rich and powerful people with amazing superpowers. They already have the ultimate superpower, ie., money. The producers of Heroes made a terrible mistake in giving the Nathan Petrellis and the Lindermans all of these powers- hell, even having Claire being the sheltered daughter of a gov't spook was too much to bear. No, in 2009 we want to see a UPS delivery guy or a truck stop waitress develop superpowers and blow the brains out of vampiric CEOs and their pet politicians with the power of directed mind-beams. Any aspiring screenwriters reading this, there's your cue.

So as I was saying before, Heroes is awesome again for many reasons, and I hope it stays awesome. We're seeing people with dreary lives being touched by the gods and it's what we need to see right now. We also need to see a lot less characters than those who cluttered the screen in seasons 2 and 3, and we need to see those left struggling and scraping and suffering, just like the rest of us.

Of course, the best things about this season are A., Sylar is stuck in Parkman's head and is a lot more interesting for it (nothing is more boring than omnipotence). And B., Mohinder and his tedious voiceovers are MIA (so far). And then there is Gretchen and Claire's blossoming 'friendship,' but that's for another post. Californication fans, you got my back.

Bonus geek factoid: Kai Winn guest stars in this ep, who some of you uncool people may know better as Nurse Ratched.

More feverish rants on Heroes here, here, here, here and here.


  1. Amen! Interesting to see the tiny little City of London thing peep in. But yea, even and especially Bruce Wayne is over the top.

    The fantasy UPS delivery man - the dude who delivers what you REALLY want/deserve... that's a great premise! ;-)

  2. I'm guessing that Claire and Gretchen are heading for a saphic relationship.
    Nothing like a bit of teenage lesbianism to prop up those ratings.

    I watched the first episode of this season, and was not impressed. I ended up doing my nails halfway through...

    I'm going to be tuning into "Flash Forward". I have high hopes for it. Anyone else watched it? Did you pick up on the comment about Nasa and the Pope?

  3. enlightened escapism is why i want to think i come here every day! Thank you for being you and sharing. If there are aliens then their mission objective would be to "Observe and Report." Job well done. I'm still juss workin on that last part.

  4. Life sucks?? Are you insane? Life can be horrible and brutal, but it's the most beautiful thing in the universe. Life sucks!! Gimme a break.

    If you think Wall Street decides your destiny, you are truly doomed.

  5. Yes, but does it HAVE to be horrible and brutal to be worthwhile,like an ''added value''?
    A lot of people would say yes.I think THEY're insane.Or delusive.

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  7. By the way, i actually didn't guess the nature of Claire and Gretchen's relationship. The makers of the show hinted at it in few interviews i've read. Whether it's true or they were just gathering interest in the new season, i don't know. We'll see.

  8. Chris,
    In one of my stories there's a line that goes 'Hell is painted with bright colours.'
    Like you, I have no answers, but I am leaning towards a theory, one that proposes the god of this world is cruel/callous. This is a prison planet. And the way to salvation is following one's desire and, more importantly, to not enter the light upon death.

    So, like others before, I too must say thank you for having this blog and help me to search for the path of Truth. I have my own escapisms, and the sychromystic blogs are one of them.

  9. Let me just say that awareness is a two edged sword- the more you know the more trouble you see. Like a lot of you my Gnostic streak seems to grow all the time, but it's a new variety unbound to old dogma.

    One thing that does give me hope is this new mythology we are seeing emerge-almost by necessity. Jung and Campbell would be green with envy.

    Thank you to everyone for continuing to support this blog. It's a lot of work but I want to offer a place to take stock of that aspect of our ongoing evolution.

  10. Thanks for all your efforts Christopher! I don't always have the time or energy to stay on top of all the pop culture going's-on but I know that you'll be tidying the whole mess up for me in a well written manner. I appreciate that immensely.

    I came into "Heroes" late but have more or less caught up, and am enjoying the new season so far...The "Redemption" storyline does appear to be taking on some interesting new drives to the story.

    Claire and Gretchen a'la Willow & Tara is most likely going to end up far different than it looks, I think.

    I hope you are well (or as well as one can expect)...take care. You are a Hero in my mind.

  11. Thank you, my brother. I don't feel very heroic lately, but luckily all of this pop culture madness keeps me sane and alive. Which is at it was back in the ancient days, strangely enough.

  12. exactly. this is a belief system like all the rest, but it's one that actually grows out of the day-to-day activities of observation and attention. it organizes what it finds, but only half-teleologically. that way the myths stay open for participation...which i think is what most of us really want out of all this.

    i'm a bartender at a local movie theater/music venue. the other night we had one of those vaguely hipster christian bands...or vaguely christian hipster bands, whatever...and i was reminded of the "Young Life" program because of all the t-shirts that showed up to share in the message. i wish i could take credit for the idea that was then born:

    by the way, Young Life kids are really, really crappy tippers.