Just caught Iron Man 3 a few nights ago and saw some interesting foil work going on between Tony Stark and the Mandarin. I don’t want to spoil too much for anyone who has not yet viewed the movie, but the underlying theme of the movie dwells with the Human+Being hiding behind the mask.
I have often reflected on masks for I have worn many in my Life. It has been a challenge to be an expressive, sensitive man in a culture that boxed men into basically three over-arching categories: The Alpha, The Flame, and The Metro. Add in a dash of the other categories that existed in High School that added an ‘ette’ to differentiate between males and females (i.e. Dude & Dudette, Nerd & Nerdette, etc.) and it is easy to see that people don’t really know who exists behind the mask.
This has always been funny and at times tragic to me because I have never felt like I related to any of the things pop-culture was putting out. I wasn’t Alpha-tastic, Flaming, or Metropolitan and though I had some Nerd-like tendencies that bordered line of Geek, I have been active in various sports and martial arts since I was a teenager. I didn’t grow up in the ghetto or a trailer park but I could relate to the anger I heard expressed in the Hip-Hop and Rock of my developing years.
For me to see Iron Man, the rich, Playboy Tony Stark challenged and feeling anxiety, gave a glimpse into more of what makes a person Human other than the obvious stereotypes:
Men are either funny or angry but never sad or Women are sexy and crafty but not always sexy and intelligent. This was very welcome and unexpected from a Hollywood Blockbuster that will be seen by many. I am pretty sure in a few weeks we will be able to chalk another W for the stereotypical roles in a few weeks. Cough Fast & The Furious Cough Cough…
I have written about comic books in the past and how they are brilliant in speaking to the Inner Child. The evolution of comic book movies, now that they are viewed as economically viable, allows for the story arcs to explore the deeper archetypes that Human Consciousness travels. Which is great because we no longer need to sit through a 2.5 hour Drama to get the meat of humanity. We can now be entertained while looking at underlying themes.
Was it always this way? Perhaps as art has often been a forum for social commentary. I guess this was the first time I really felt like it spoke to me. Could also be reading Life as a Dream as I Live it… The more we change, the World around us changes. I have looked for deeper meaning in music videos so it should come as no surprise to find a deeper meaning in a commercial blockbuster such as Iron Man.
And if you aren’t looking for anything else but to be entertained, it delivers! So… check out this movie!
To see a super-hero look more Human than not brought a sense of realism, reminded me of what makes Life so beautiful; the ability to see and discuss, to share and relate.
And who knows, you might also get the opportunity to accept and embrace some of less glamorous parts of what makes you, you, and take another step along the Journey in Growth and Love.