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I Know Why the Caged Nerd Sings

Illustration for article titled I Know Why the Caged Nerd Sings

The co-creator of Spaced may end up renting Glory instead of going to see Civil War.

Despite his reputation as a poster boy for geeks, [Pegg] told Radio Times magazine:

“Before Star Wars, the films that were box-office hits were The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Bonnie and Clyde and The French Connection – gritty, amoral art movies.

“Then suddenly the onus switched over to spectacle and everything changed … I don’t know if that is a good thing.

“It is a kind of dumbing down, in a way, because it’s taking our focus away from real-world issues. Films used to be about challenging, emotional journeys or moral questions that might make you walk away and re-evaluate how you felt about … whatever.

“Now we’re walking out of the cinema really not thinking about anything, other than the fact that the Hulk just had a fight with a robot.

“Sometimes I feel like I miss grown-up things”

These are some of the better quotes taken with at least one grain of salt in an article published today in The Guardian. I can grok this. I believe that science fiction at its full potential, great science fiction, is a vehicle to examine contemporary crises in a fantastic way. Philip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, Martin Amis, George Orwell, you make a list of legends and you’ll find that the worlds they explore on the page are ones in which the problems of their time have been allowed to continue unhindered into the realm of possibility. If you miss gravitas, you need story that matters more than you need spectacle. There’s no good reason to think you can no longer find that in a superhero movie, but the desire for deeper content is at odds with making it fit family film standards so the franchise can make all that action figure money.

Illustration for article titled I Know Why the Caged Nerd Sings

I got hooked on the X-Men pretty young. Their situation was the total flip of everyone else in the Marvel universe. Spidey and DD have to keep their identities hidden so as not to spoil their secret, real lives. For the X-Men, being yourself is being abnormal, they have to pretend to be something they aren’t to fit in with society. What alienated young nerd doesn’t associate with that? Because Fans are Slans. Yes, there is something deeply aesthetically satisfying about the chevron shaped head of Wolverine. But it was Slan’s influence, the Mutant Registration Act, the fucking flatscans that made me love X-Men. This side of the X-Men that spoke to my feelings did so not because Slan was a book about memorable characters but a book about identity. You can take grand ideas and filter them through any medium, so let’s.

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