I’m not a salesperson. I’m pretty much the opposite of a salesperson. This can be substantiated by the number of books I’ve given away. People ask me all the time how my book is selling, and all I can say is that I’m buying a bunch of them.
A really great salesman can carry you some place you didn’t even know you wanted to go. It’s sneaky really. Maybe they don’t realize what they’re doing. Maybe they really believe in their product and honestly think you absolutely need it. Maybe it’s more about sharing something valuable than simply selling something, but sometimes I have my doubts.
Sitting in the theatre watching Avengers, I felt like I was being sold something. It wasn’t entertainment, although the movie was entertaining. It wasn’t great writing or incredible effects, although the writing wasn’t bad and the effects were pretty good. It was a worldview. A way of looking at the world that acts like it’s everybody’s friend while undercutting the foundation of truth. In short, it’s a lie.
There was a running joke throughout the Avenger’s movie about Captain America’s prudence concerning foul language. It starts when he reprimands Stark. “Language.” And continues throughout the movie as the other characters rib the clean Captain for his adherence to a G-rated vocabulary. The joke ends when Captain America uses a slur to assault his enemy. It’s as if he’s finally grown up. He’s an adult, using adult language, and now he’s stronger than he was before.
My point here isn’t about the language. It’s about the underlying message being delivered in that entire bit. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it exactly, but something’s amiss in all of that joking and wordplay. Let’s plug something else in for Captain America’s aversion to profanity. What if he refused to shoplift something from a store, and then the entire rest of the movie the others joked about his clean slate until we get to the end where he is in such a bad fix, he steals something, and for that we all have a sense of victory for him, like he just did the right thing.
Isn’t that a little twisted? I think it is, but then I start wondering if I’m doing that thing I do where I exaggerate stuff. Am I making a big deal out of nothing? It doesn’t really feel like nothing. It feels like I’m buying something I didn’t want.
That’s what the media does. It twists truth, shades it gray, puts lots of cheering superheroes around it, and before you know it, you’ve been sold something you never really thought you’d believe.
Now I can see how this whole post could be seen as a little bit of overkill. I mean, big deal. It was just comedic relief. It’s a little thing. But if we never face down the thousands of little things that attack what we believe, then you know what’s going to happen? I’m no expert, but I’d venture to say that if we never deal with the things that seem small, then eventually our lives will start to incorporate those things and edge us away from truths we once firmly believed.
What do you think? Overkill or something to of supreme importance?
Next we’ll take a look at Ultron and the good book– what Avengers taught me about God.