First, I would like to thank all of my subscribers. Yesterday, everyone who supports this blog helped pay for the vet appointment that gave us hope for saving the Enemy of Sleep in a way that will cause a minimum of distress. Thank you, very much. In specific you paid for the lab work to check her lymph nodes and make sure the cancer had not spread. I am a lot less stressed after this appointment. Thank you.
Now, on to the matter at hand. I was discussing the matter of my second point in my critique of Infinity War, with one of my awesome subscribers both here and on my G+. And I’m going to just say how awesome he is again to make sure to give us a little more spoiler space. And because he’s awesome.
Ok, that would be the point where I said that they tried to make Thanos a sympathetic character or tried to humanize him. Now, I do not know the emotional background of everyone of everyone involved in the discussion. But I do know that of the three of us who were coming down on the “that shit ain’t right, you do not try to make abusers like that sympathetic” have all dealt with some level of abuse in our backgrounds. All three of us are also women.
So that shit where Thanos talks about how he made Gamora the most feared woman in the Galaxy, or deadliest, or whatever, replace “deadliest” with “smart,” “tough,” “capable,” “a survivor.”
Yeah, there’s a special irony in your abuser telling you they made you a survivor.
If you make that word replacement, all that shit Thanos said to Gamora, is shit my Dad has said to me.
Sadly, in the real world being your family’s emotional or physical punching bag doesn’t make you a supercool space assassin. It just makes you a fucking wreck who has to spend waaaayyy too much money on therapy and anti-anxiety meds to function like an adult.
Where a fair amount of other people saw those interactions with Thanos and Gamora and thought, ‘Wow, this just shows he’s off his rocker,” all I could think of was all the times my Dad left me in tears and then told me it was for my own good. And the people who backed him up on that.
“He/She really loves you,” is a common refrain among well-meaning but clueless people who think they’re helping when they tell abuse victims that. “They love you, They just don’t know how to show it.”
Really? And I admit it took me a long damn time to figure this out, but when your interactions with someone you “love” leave said loved one sobbing 7 of 10 times, maybe, just maybe it’s time for some introspection and self-actualization.
A long damn time, and a lot of therapy.
Because when you’re raised that way, you really don’t realize how fucked up it is. All those happy families on TV are fiction. And any family in real life that doesn’t display abusive traits is hiding it. Your parents never let on to anyone just how awful they could really be, so obviously everyone else on the planet is hiding it too.
So, yeah, when they show Thanos crying just before and after he throws Gamora off that cliff, that sent alarm bells ringing through my system like a five alarm fire. And had the MCU writers previously evidenced that level of subtlety in their writing, I might have said they’d written it like that to mimic the experiences of real abuse victims. But given the number of dick jokes in the film, I don’t think that level of subtlety is really their forte.
Don’t get me wrong, I love most of the movies. But subtle they really aren’t.
To those of us who have dealt with that shit with parents or partners, it really just came across as, “See? He has feelings! He cares!”
Combined with the fact that, as another subscriber pointed out over at G+, they never really interrogated or rebutted Thanos’s plan on a logical level, leaving the motivations of our heroes to the emotional argument. And there are logical arguments to be made against his plan to destroy half of everyone. (In the comics he’s doing it because he’s in love with the physical manifestation of Death, and he’s giving all those lives to her as a gift, not to try to ‘fix’ things.)
So, yeah. Basically, Thanos’s scenes with Gamora triggered the shit out of several of us who have dealt with various levels of abuse and providing him the “humanity” of loving Gamora even though he sacrificed her was a bullshit move.
And as always, Your Mileage May Vary. I do not have the final say on interpretations of anything really. But yeah, this is one I’m sticking to.
Also, enough Bruce Banner erectile dysfunction jokes.
And thank you again for helping us save the Enemy of Sleep.
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