John (johnpalmer) wrote,

I was going to return to posting with a bit about this scene and song:

... but instead I felt moved to talk a bit more about my chronic fatigue and how I kind of lost February.

And then I decided, you know, if I'm going to battle despair in public, let's steal a meme from Last Jedi and fight for what we love, rather than against what we hate.

That scene is from Ant Man and the Wasp, a superhero flick from the Marvel Comics Universe. It's a cute song where Scott Lang (canon: the second Ant-Man who actually did get the costume by stealing it from Hank Pym.) is dealing with house arrest (no, not because he has a mystery malady - that would be House M.D. Arrest) trying to get right with the government so he can be part of his daughter's life more regularly - but he's forced to risk it all, to save a life.

But I also found myself fascinated with a relentlessly cheerful song I remember from the 70s. It had to be the 70s, right? The Reagan era DEA surely classified such songs as Schedule I - high potential for abuse, no known profitability medical value for drug companies. One line stuck out for me...

"We had a dream we'd go traveling together,
Spread a little loving, and then moving on..."

What a dream! Go to a place, spread some loving, then find another place, and do it again! Can you imagine a more wonderful dream? I don't mean a better dream *for you*, because dreams are personal (it's very hard to get someone to dream on your behalf, after all!). But for a person who can *have* that dream?

Seriously: can't you picture the world's surliest curmudgeon grudgingly admitting that, okay, for fools that have dreams like *that*, it's a pretty good dream, even if it's totally unrealistic. And that thought would come to them no more than 30 minutes after they harrumphed away the starry eyed idealist's iteration of the dream. Heck - if the curmudgeon's a gift giver, they might even donate some traveling stuff, not to pursue some cockamamie dream, but, you know, ":if you're going to be traveling off on some dumb fantasy, you might as well travel a bit (better/safer/etc.)."

I love how my brain sometimes pulls bits of music out of context to find delight. Today, I can also add the *next* line of the song, and my childhood recollection.

The song continues:
"...Something always happens whenever we're together,
We get a happy feeling when we're singing a song...."

Remember, I was, like, 4, when the Partridge Family came out (the song is the theme to the Partridge Family - and IIRC, the 3rd number 1 hit from a fictional band) but to that child's brain, the two parts to that line were completely independent, and stated
"this is one episode of a TV show, wherein something happened, because we were together" and
"by the way, we get a happy feeling when we sing a song."

Seriously: how many four year olds infer the episodic nature of TV, realizing that *something* must happen to create the episode, and that each episode must show one of those somethings? (I also realized that Snuffleupagus had to be real because *HE MADE DECISIONS*. We'd *see* him decide to wander off before Big Bird's friends came back to see him. A kindergartener was rocking Descartes! ("I think therefore I am" - something/one must be contemplating existence).

("Snuffleupagus?" An elephant/mammoth on the TV show Sesame Street. Initially, he was intended to be Big Bird's imaginary friend. Later, the writers realized that having adults constantly insist to a child that something real and visible didn't exist wasn't exactly *right*, so his existence was revealed. I nevertheless insist they'd already forced the issue by showing independent action and decision making.)

Another beautiful interlude happened when listening to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Talk about out of context - there's one bit about "since I set you free," and damn if it didn't make me cry. See, overblown "I love you, my sex/romance partner, and would do anything for you!" songs are a dime a dozen - cheaper, if you can find the collections of "almost big hits".

Ah, but songs that say "Hey, you, you *aren't* my sexytimes person, but I still care. If you needed me, there's no mountain I wouldn't climb, no valley I wouldn't cross, no river I would not ford, to help..."- well, they can also be a dime a dozen, especially because they don't tend to sell as well, *but* they're far more precious. Sex and romance are fine and wonderful but there's a deeper love that is more fundamental, and far more powerful (and empowering, IMNSHO).

Which brought me to the final bit of modern movie making I wanted to share, since I'm all over love today. I've come to a deeper appreciation of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. They have the troubled family vibe ("You're not friends! All you do is yell at each other!" "That's right, we're family! We leave NO ONE behind! (pause) Except maybe you." Hands up for those who love a family with lots of yelling, but which knows how to close the circle when necessary!)

See, love isn't always as well appreciated or seen as strong, but in the second movie, there's this wonderful turnaround. It's a minor spoiler (not much worse than "oh, the good guys win, and it starts with...") so I'll put it behind a cut tag (I hope).

The setup is simple - Ego (the bad guy) is telling Peter (sorry, I mean "Star Lord") how to use the power that is his birthright. Peter can't figure it out, and Yondu mentions to him "you think I fly that arrow (Yondu's magical, nigh-invincible weapon) with my head, boy?"

That sets it up perfectly well, right? "Don't use your BRAIN, use something else!" Except...

See, just before the turnaround, we get to see the destruction Ego is causing throughout the galaxy, and we get to see each of Peter's team being trapped and sure to die, just as Yondu calls out that he doesn't fly the arrow with his *head*, he flies it with his *heart*! (this last drowned out as the trap closes on him.)

That's enough, right? Peter can just, you know, try to look serious, but not like he's constipated, and fight back.

No, it's not. He thinks back - to his mom, and all of the friends trapped here, remembering that he loves them. And then, with a lovely, powerful theme song that builds at just the right speed(The Chain - but it's best seen in vivo, so to speak) he strikes back.

I'm not sure if this is canon, but I can't fail to notice that he's now going toe to toe with someone who's used this power for literally *millions* of years longer than he... but a man who has no heart.
(Well, technically, he created a body with a four chambered organ that pumps blood. We also know, due to Drax's curiosity, that his body includes a penis. Ego's also the kind of person who says "It broke my heart to put that tumor in (your mother's) head... okay, now, I know that *sounds* bad!")

For bonus points, Peter also mentioned having a general love of people in general, and as he strikes back, they *also* show that he's stopped the destruction Ego was wreaking through the galaxy. You can totally believe he was fighting on their behalf, too.

We value courage - the ability to do what's right, even when you're scared, because you realize there's something bigger than your fear. We don't always value love, which is one of the strongest motivations for courage.

I'm kind of glad that our stories are starting to talk about, and demonstrate, love a bit more. We need more talk about, thinking about, and use, of love. I don't know if anyone said it better than Jimi Hendrix: When the power of love is greater than the love of power, the world will know peace.

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