It seems every week another Superhero comic book based movie hits the box office, and generally, they are eaten up like cold pizza. Why? Now, it is true, that I don’t elect to see very many of them, but lack of natural light would probably destroy my vision if I did see every such title Hollywood spits out at us. The Green Hornet. The Green Lantern. Thor. Captain America. Now Spiderman 4, The Dark Knight Rises, Superman: Man of Steel. A few years back, Superman Returns. The Incredible Hulk. Catwoman. Elektra. Spiderman 3. The Fantastic Four. The Dark Knight. X-Men. X-Men: the Last Stand. X-Men Origins: Wolverine. X-men First Class. For god’s sake, there must be more original stories out there. Don’t even get me started about those goat-loving Transformers flicks. I do hear whispers of a Ghostbusters 3, which tickles me, as long as they do it right, as I was thinking it may be nice to return to the series myself.
I do believe that superheroes are among us, they just have relatively useless powers. Fat Guy who can smell bacon cooking a mile away. Cleavage girl the ability to distract men, unless they’re gay. Old Woman with the power to take eighteen steps per foot traveled. Smelly Hobo with the gift of clearing the entire back of the bus. Spoiled Child with the capacity to make everyone in a twenty foot radius want to smack them upside their little spoiled head.
More and more, however, people are complaining, saying, “Hollywood has run out of ideas. Everything is a remake these days.” This is clearly an overgeneralization and not the truth. More likely, is that the business of film making has become ever more the business. At the Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado Boulder this April, I was lucky enough to catch a panel called, “There’s no Business like Show Business.” The four gentlemen experts laid out the stark reality of the trade in these times, including the fact that the entertainment business, is sadly just that, another business.
Ron Blake offered this, “Being an artist is the smallest part of the equation, we find it hard to stay motivated.” Stever Sauer professed, “Studio heads can’t go with their guts. . .everything is researched. . .money drives the creative process.” James Tanabe suggested, “An artist who dreams of breaking into show business is like a cow who dreams of breaking into the hamburger business.” Rony Barrak is clearly enthusiastic about making music, but was less articulate with his mouth (at least in English) than I’m sure he is with his instrument.
Nevertheless, there is hope for both the artist and the entertainment lover, frankly I could care less what happens to the record companies, film studios, and television networks (Not you, HBO, hire me!). Doubtless, technology has played a role in the businessmen’s enhanced greed, as profits have been burnt onto pirated DVDs, CDs, and hard drives (Blake). Tanabe pointed out that live entertainment can never be pirated, and shall hold a special place in our thousand-mile-an-hour spinning world.
Luckily, we artists are the “content creators,” and through working together and learning about the business, we can take back the power (Sauer). We are the creative ones, the ones who dig into the dim crevices of our souls and the furthest expanses of our imaginations to wrought and build an experience to share with our fellow Earth-dwellers. Not to teach anything, not to force a specific episode upon them, but to cause people to ask questions, and attempt to see the universe from a new, broader center. And, in my case, make them pee themselves laughing. ¿Pudí divertirte? Espero que te haga pensar al menos.