Cover-Up Life vs. Authentic Life, Via “Iron Man”

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This clip from the end of the 2008 film Iron Man really encapsulates for me the difference between living the “Cover Up” life and the Authentic life.

Tony Stark, a well-known public figure, has just been embroiled in some kerfuffle involving men in robotic suits beating each other up + massive damage everywhere. But a “cover” for him has been provided by essentially the CIA (SHIELD) so he can “get out of it” and nobody will know he was really one of the guys in the suits.

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MKUltra Superstar: The Winter Soldier

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Your work has been a gift to mankind. You shaped the century.
—Alexander Pierce, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

That something called “MKUltra” existed is not under debate.

But let’s face it: the very name has become part of our “tin foil hat” mainstream lexicon, the use of which sets off “red flags” (if you will excuse the possible pun) every time it’s mentioned as a sort of “crazy-person” fallback talking point.

And yet, MKUltra folklore is inextricably wrapped up with one of the most currently popular characters in movies and comic books: The Winter Soldier.

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Heavy Metal’s “Magick Special”

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I don’t think there has been quite enough chaos magick operating in the world over the last few years, and so Grant Morrison has thoughtfully provided a “Mag!c Primer” in the latest issue of Heavy Metal—”The Magick Special.”

In addition to Morrison’s article “Beyond The World And The Fool” you get a gallery of cards based on the 72 demons of the Ars Goetia, an interview with Clive Barker, and a whole bunch of comic book stories. There’s a whopping 14-page preview of issue #286 at the Heavy Metal site, but you can look at some of the art and stuff below:

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Journey Against The Centre For The Earth: Justice League The New Frontier

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Like all things on this hurtling sphere, I emerged from the molten center of creation. But mine has been a unique path. Isolated, I developed attributes beyond those of lesser beings. Then the sphere was struck by a vast celestial stone. Black chunks of death filled the skies and the world became a chaotic world of doom. Soon the sphere began to nurture new kinds of life. And there was one that stood above the rest. Its fragile shell belied its vicious nature. And in what seemed like a heartbeat, these things proliferated in both number and destructive needs. Now they have harnessed the most destructive force. And I, The Centre, have concluded that the sphere must be cleansed of them.
—The Centre, “Justice League: The New Frontier”

For a couple of years, I knew a comic creator named Darwyn Cooke. I worked as an assistant at DC Comics, and my office handled most of his books. I had many discussions on the phone with Cooke. He was a brilliant artist and writer, with an intense love for the icons and heroes of his youth. But one of the recurring themes of our talks was his continuing disillusionment at the comic book (and, by extension, the entertainment) industry—his frustration with the caretakers of his icons and heroes.

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The Wonder Woman Paradox

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There is no art, no poetry, no song, no human expression, in which the female breast is not celebrated and adored.
—Robert Anton Wilson, “The Book Of The Breast”

Wonder Woman is pretty much the most prominent “goddess”-type figure there is in the mythology of contemporary pop-culture, perhaps only second to Princess Leia. Though humans have seemingly “evolved” over the decades and millennia, this primal need throughout the masses for archetypal icons of femaleness remain, whether we want to admit it or not (new archetypes are another matter, and I’ll get to that in a future post).

But Wonder Woman, the subject of an upcoming big-budget motion picture, has had an extremely strange and ideologically-charged past. She is, ultimately, an enigma, a paradox…as contradictory, battled-over, and fluid as the archetype in our current era itself.

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“Thor: Ragnarok” Trailer Analysis: The Agony Of The Last Action Hero

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what thee fuck?

The trailer to Thor: Ragnarok is a throwback to 80s film narratives with the exquisitely muscled Action Movie Hero (Chris Hemsworth, he of the trinity of holy Marvel Chrises) being oppressed and subjugated by the Elitist Jerk (The Grandmaster, played with exceptional foppishness by Jeff Goldblum). It’s Doomsday for the idealized society Asgard and a fall back to a Roman-style society of haughty emperors setting the rabble against each other in gladiatorial arenas for sport.

Certainly, nothing reflecting the current energy in our world today.

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