Farewell Stan Lee, And Thanks

Stan Lee, the co-creator of such fantastic Marvel Comics superheroes as Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, and The Avengers passed away today at age 95.  He was involved with Marvel Comics, originally called Timely Comics, for decades as a writer, editor and publisher.  His comics brought great joy to me in what was otherwise a very tumultuous childhood.  They helped keep me sane by giving me a fantasy world to hide in when the real world became too much to bear.

I’ve collected and loved comic books for most of my 5 decades on Earth, and Stan Lee’s characters and style of writing them is the reason why.  There would be no multi-billion dollar Marvel movies today if not for Stan Lee.  His reinvention of the super hero genre in 1961, with the release of The Fantastic Four, injected a sense of realism into comics by placing the characters in the “real” world and giving them real world problems.  Spider-Man worried about how to pay his rent and how to date girls and be a web-slinging super hero at the same time.  The Fantastic Four fought and bickered with each other just like real families do.  He made his characters relatable to me and millions of other readers across the world.  He made comic books mainstream.  And he made them fun.

I’ve met many comic book creators and writers during the years when I attended comic book conventions on a regular basis but never got to meet Stan.  Even so, he’s been a part of my life for so long, I feel as if I know him, and today I feel that a dear personal friend has died.  Thanks, Stan for bringing so much joy into my life, in many ways you helped save it.   Rest well.  You will be missed.  Excelsior!

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I Knew I’d Hate It, But I Did It Anyway

“Man, I REALLY hated all 6 of those Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films.”  “Christ, all NINE of those Star Wars movies are awful.”  “By Odin’s beard!  I truly hated all 20 of those Marvel  super hero movies I’ve paid to see!”   “I HATE Shakespeare, but I went to see Romeo and Juliet anyway, and I hated it.”  I can not tell you the number of times I’ve heard people make comments like this.  Sometimes, they make them directly to me knowing I get great enjoyment from Shakespeare, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Marvel  movies.   I’m literally stunned by the utter idiocy of such people.  All film is subjective.  People like some types of movies,  and others they don’t like.   If someone doesn’t like, say, Lord of the Rings movies, I get it.  That’s fine.  I do like them, but, for those who don’t, sitting through one of them must be sheer torture.   I’m like that with the opera.  Can’t stand it.   So, I don’t go.   But when I hear things like, “I really hated ALL of those Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.  They ALL sucked, and people who like them are not as film savvy as I am, ” I think, really?  So, you went to see one of these 3 hour long films, hated it; then spent your money FIVE more times on FIVE more movies that you ALREADY knew you’d hate before you saw them, and you expect me, or anyone else, to take anything you say seriously?   If you are a person like this, you are an absolute fucking idiot.   I mean a complete, unadulterated, fucking idiot. I simply am baffled by people like this.  At this point in time there are more movies of EVERY kind being made all across the world–more independent films; more dramas, and more foreign, esoteric, films that make no fucking sense to me but many people do like.   And, in a city like Chicago, where I live, there are numerous theaters showing all of these kinds of movies all the time.  For those not living near such a theater, there are numerous streaming services that show an unlimited variety of EVERY type of movie any time you want to watch one.   So, if you are one of these fucking idiots who continue to repeatedly spend your hard-earned money on movies you know before hand you’ll hate, don’t.  Either see one you think you might like, or send your money to me since you seem to have an unlimited amount of it to waste on things you hate.

BTW, as a final thought on this purely idiotic behavior, if you hate jalapenos on your pizza but constantly order pizza with jalapenos then shout out, “That pizza sucked!  The jalapenos ruined it,” the problem isn’t the pizza–it’s you.  You’re a total, complete, fucking idiot.  You’re not smarter than those who like jalapenos on their pizza, nor are you eloquent in the way you express your dislike of them.  You’re simply a fucking idiot.  So, please, for my sake and the sake of others throughout the universe who are not you, if you know already you don’t like a certain type movie or food, don’t spend your money on it.  Spend it on something you like, or, at least, if you simply MUST spend it on something you already know you don’t like, spend some cash having your jaw wired shut first so I, and others, won’t have to be bothered by your idiotic banter explaining that, once again, you didn’t like the thing you already knew you wouldn’t like.   Idiots.  There are far too many of them in the world.