It never ceases to amaze me how every time I start with something small and intentionally shallow, I end up contemplating it hours later in a completely different way.
Case in point, yesterday’s post about finding “Aquaman” scrawled across the door frame of a men’s room in New England was intended to be this quick, one shot thing. I’d just post a camera phone picture and hammer out a few dozen words about it, and just like that – Wham! Bam! Thank You, Bob’s Your Uncle…
Err, wait, I think I messed that up.
Anyway, whatever, I’d be right back to putting words together for Secret Project: Other Thing.
Which, by the way, is coming right along, as you can see by the progress meter at the right, thank you for asking.
What happened, though, is that instead of submitting that post and then going on to spend the rest of my evening contemplating the perfect bread/peanut butter brand combinations (What? You can’t just assume Skippy/Wonder is the way to go), half an hour later I found myself musing about Aquaman, the DC Comics superhero, as I was giving The Attitude his nightly bath. And, because I tend to imagination (it’s my blog and I’ll verbify words if I want!) things once my mind starts churning on them, it wasn’t long until I had this concept for an Aquaman story where I figured a way to make him more super hero than super lame-o.
Of course, me being, well, me, I couldn’t help but tweet about it later in evening. You know, because I pretend not to want attention but yet crave it and the approval of strangers like a sad puppy.
— Jason A. Rust (@jasonarust) May 7, 2013
Not long after that, one of my twitter pals (@todayIwatched, who has a blog you should totally check out if you even pretend to like movies) suggested I was swinging at low-hanging fruit because Aquaman was already awesome.
I scoffed, of course. The chuckling scoff of a man who is quite certain of himself and knows things, and, well, these whippersnappers should maybe take some notes or something. I mean, everyone knows Aquaman is like the kid brother superhero that the Justice League has just been letting hang out all these years, right?
Behold, through the magicks of HTML, I give you our discourse:
@todayiwatched My friend, you are clearly not familiar with the Justice League version I grew up with. 🙂
— Jason A. Rust (@jasonarust) May 7, 2013
And then he went an blew my mind, by which I mean he offered a spoonful of puddiny comeuppance:
@jasonarust I’m referring to the orange shirted Superfriends version. His powers work in water because he protects people who LIVE in water
— TodayIWatchedaMovie (@todayiwatched) May 7, 2013
Thus, it struck me. Aquaman isn’t lame. He is awesome. He’s like, King of the Superheroes or something. He’s, I dunno, King Arthur and Superman and Batman and Martha Stewart (What? She’s hardcore. She could make Doomsday cry with nothing but a knitted doily and a perfectly roasted turkey breast) all rolled into one.
That is, if you live within his watery domain.
None of us do, see. Instead, we spend all our time judging him based on our own assumptions, prejudices, and points of view.
And yes, I do realize we’re talking about the fictional King of Atlantis here, the point is still a pretty valid one. People, in general, think that Aquaman is lame. But, really, we’re the ones who are lame, because of the way we think.
That how we judge Aquaman is symptomatic of how we judge others who don’t share a common world with us.
So, maybe, just maybe, we should cut a little slack to the sea dwellers (fish folk? mer-people?). And with them, the tree elves, the mountain dwarves, the cave trolls, the space people, and well, that new neighbor who just moved in from that other side of town, too.
Which is to say, never judge someone until you’ve swum a mile in their flippers.
P.S: If you’re thinking to yourself, “come on, Puddin, you’re seriously trying to go from Aquaman to social prejudice? Dude, it’s a comic book, lighten up. Have a beer and few M&Ms”. I say, nonsense! This is why we have books, movies, comic books, etc. Sure, entertainment is a big part of it, but social commentary has been a subtle – and sometimes not so subtle – part of it since the Greeks started doing tragedies in amphitheaters.