Secret Pop

Jun 21, 2007

Anticipation in Disguise

I flipped off a poster of Optimus Prime the other day, and Rob wondered why. "Protect." "Destroy." I'm not sure the world is so binary. This comes from the Persians, you know. Ahura Mazda. Angra Mainyu. The Benevolent One. The Malevolent One. What about the other versions of the universe where bad guys and good guys coexist and are neither all good nor all evil. Where bad guys are sometimes good and good guys are sometimes bad, and there isn't one place that everyone of one kind goes. Like the Hindu gods. Or the Scandinavian gods. Or the Greeks and the Romans. The gods are just powerful. And sometimes they are reasonable. And sometimes they are right pricks. And sometimes they are playfully wicked. And sometimes they are deceptive and self-serving and cruel. Just like the rest of us. They just have the ability to appear to us as a bird and impregnate us if they want to.

This is one of the things that has often been unsatisfactory to me about comic book fiction and Star Wars and all of that. And maybe that's why most comic book heroes end up having an issue or two where they go bad. Maybe I'm not the only one who has trouble buying that the good guys are good because they have to be and therefore they can be nothing else. And maybe this is part of the reason I don't know whether I would be an Autobot or a Decepticon.

I haven't really been looking much forward to the new Transformers movie. I don't expect it to be any good, because of Michael Bay. And, also, I was never that much into Transformers, mostly because I was (and am) a girl. And I only really cared about a robot when at least part of it was being captained by a girl or -- even better -- a small child and when the girl or child and the robot all spoke Japanese. And even then, I only liked those shows because I lived in the Philippines, and we only got one English-speaking television station, and I would watch ANY cartoon that came on. Even Wait Till Your Father Gets Home.

So I haven't been counting down the days till transformation. Although, back in April, I was about to have dinner at Magnolia, and I took this picture of a Christo-esque wrap job promoting the Transformers movie on a building on Sunset.



And then, a day or two later, when it was windier than Los Angeles has any right to be, the entire business was in shreds, as documented by Rob's phone.





Special commendation for having a windshield that clean, Rob. My mom would be proud of you.

Anyway, I was in the gymnasium today, and I saw a commercial for the new Transformers movie, and I have to admit, a tiny, bitter, reluctant, unyielding part of me is mortified that I'm about to tell you that the commercial looked cool. But it did. And I am hopeful that it will be fun to look at it when I can hear people talking in the movie, too. Although I'm almost certain that will be the ruination part. Exciting visual effects shouldn't be enough to get people out of their houses. That shit is run of the mill at this point. You can see fabulous CGI in commercials for soft drinks these days. And wanting to recapture a piece of your youth shouldn't be reason enough, either. Because to be perfectly honest, with very few exceptions I prefer the cartoons I loved as cartoons. Even feature-length animated versions of those stories with the exact same character design and voice acting usually disappointed me. Can't we just love what we loved as it was and stop trying to put it on Burger King cups of the future?

That being said, I am about to embark on an attempt to adapt a novel (or two) from my adolescence into screen fodder. I never said I wasn't a hypocrite. I just said I don't like Michael Bay. And I stand by that.

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