I have watched Spider-Man 3 every week for a month now. I am going to give you the most accurate description I can of where I am in my life right now.
I am sitting in my bedroom with all of the lights off because I don’t want to look at how messy it is. I have worked harder this week non-academically than I think I have ever worked. This past month, I have moved in with two roommates, one fellow cinemanaut and one of my best friends from college. I have begun to escalate in a fairly serious relationship with a one mister Dr. Barrows. My job situation has gone from being a full-time field manager for the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO to losing part of my funding and dangling over the brink of unemployment… to finally slipping into a full-time, insane part-office job fully equipped with team meetings, action plan development and strategies in order to meet mutual goals (?!?) while still part-time doing what I was doing before (which, mind you, was also insane). I quit smoking and drinking in bars as much. I haven’t done my laundry in about a month. I’ve gotten into Breaking Bad and Black Books (apparently Spider-Man 3 makes me only like T.V. featuring alliteration of the letter B). I’ve been sick, which I almost never get. I made a cake out of whiskey and have been cooking more as a whole. I’ve been listening to more psycho and gothabilly and have started writing a monster murder mystery. The other day I bought quail eggs.
I tell all you of this because I don’t live outside of my brain, and I can’t tell you how much of this is affected by Spider-Man 3. Although, I do think that it’s interesting that I will forever view these important changes and developments in my life as fundamentally connected to, and essentially framed by, Spider-Fucking-Man 3. For me, a chemistry teacher who gets cancer and takes to cooking meth will always just be Hal from Malcolm in the Middle puttin’ on his dark suit. My memory will always recall my new boss as J. Jonah Jameson. My love life will always be remembered via omelets.
But anyway. That is how my life has been rolling with Spider-Man 3 in a sort of general sense. That was like a scientist talking about how understanding of quantum mechanics is wibbly-wobbly and spooky. Now, here are some measurements of spinons and parlons, i.e. my hard, physical (oh, yeaaah) data. (Data just got sexy!)
1. I dyed my hair red –
Single White Female levels of dedication.
This is indeed directly connected to the movie. In the scene where there is a big parade for Spider-Man (because of course) and Mary Jane wears a blue cowl neck long sleeve shirt that is 100% the same shirt that I own. And her red hair just looks so pretty on it. Thus, I dyed my hair red. My hair is naturally a dark brown, so really I’m just getting reddish highlights. But still. I am totally Single-White-Female-Style altering my appearance because of this movie.
Me and Mary Jane are gonna get an apartment together and everything!
2. I’ve been saying “REALLY? FUCKING REALLY?!?!?!” when I get angry –
This movie offers a lot of fodder.
I mean, to be fair, it is one of my default expressions of rage, but it is just so appropriate for everything that is Spider-Man 3 that I shout it more when I watch it. And I’ve been finding myself using it more in my everyday life when encountering late buses, spilled coffee, or getting hit by a car.
3. I have grown more cynical of young girls with “dreams” – There is something about Mary Jane Watson being “on Broadway” that I find so utterly hate-able and terrible that when any other young girl starts telling me about her dream, I feel like shouting, “YA KNOW WHAT LIFE IS HARD AND SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO BE JANITORS LADIES SO LET’S NOT GET OUR HOPES UP.” I mentioned this in my first viewing, when the group of young girls got on the bus on my way to work and started talking about being professional dancers. I just really don’t want those girls being self-righteous little brats in the future to their awesome nerdy superhero boyfriends because they’re “sad they never made it,” so I think it might be best to knock them off their pedestal now.
No future, ladies.
4. I’ve been reading Spider-Man comics more, and more Marvel in general – I picked up the “Shed” storyline. It was actually very strange, because I am a fairly regular occurrence at my comic book store, so when I was looking for some good Spidey to read and asking questions, they kept responding with, “Well, you know this, right?” and I would have to say “…noooo…?” Anyway, I read “Shed” and loved it. I won’t spoil it for you (even though I don’t believe in spoiler alerts) but I will say I was surprised by how far they were willing to go. Normally I think of DC as darker and grittier, but I guess I shouldn’t presuppose that just because Batman isn’t as able to come up with witty one-liners as quickly, he is somehow more “intense” by definition. There was some pretty intense fucking shit that went down.
5. I’ve been reconsidering Batman - I’m gonna say something that’s gonna sound profoundly nerdy to non-comic-books, but whatever. The DC universe will always be my home. It’s my neighborhood. Specifically, Gotham City. However, reading my comics about a wealthy, smooth businessman and playboy while watching a working-class every-guy every week kind of makes me think twice about my hero. The ideology behind the bat big-time blames the street rat for society’s ills. Batman is Charles Bronson in Death Wish. And every time I get drunk and watch Death Wish, I end up shouting, “LOOK, T.V. BOX, IT’S NOT JEFF GOLDBLUM’S FAULT THAT HE GREW UP POOR AND KNOWS NO OTHER WAY.”
Batman just doesn’t get my socio-economic conditions, yo.
I’d really like to reiterate; I love the Bat. I’ll always love the Bat. And in pieces like Hush, you see a fully fleshed-out character that’s complex and not necessarily just ramming his “Bad Guys Are Bad, Good Guys Are Good, But Sometimes You Have To Act Bad, But Just Don’t Steal” ideology down your throat. And even when he (fuck, I’m really nerding out here, aren’t I? Whatever, you’ve stopped reading by now) is written in such a way that a conscious attempt is made to embody that ideology (The Dark Knight Returns or really anything by Frank Miller), it is still kind of cool in a gritty way. Miller’s kind of a conservative jerk, but at least he is cohesive, detailed and interesting while he colors iconic figures with his ideology.
However, the framework of Batman leads itself to sort of lazily embody that poor-people-are-the-bad-guys look at the world, like in James Robinson’s Legends of the Dark Knight. And the more I see Spider-Man, even when it is at its MOST LAZY (new hair = inner-demons-style lazy), stress the “You can be a hero even if you can’t pay your rent” ideology… the more I find myself cheering for my struggling photojournalist in red.
Bruce Wayne never even had someone tell him they were out of caviar, let alone have someone fire him.
But guys, don’t worry, I still really love Batman.
6. I have been listening to jazz more than absolutely not at all – So there’s a win. Also, No-Eyeliner-Nancy, they call me.
7. Tom flipped an omelet the other day and said, “Take that, James Franco” – I guess that is just evidence that my experiment is permeating the pop culture jokes in my life with more frequency. But also, more specificity. The jokes aren’t, “Hahaha, you have to watch Spider-Man 3,” but are more, “Please, allow us all to recall this one specific aside in Spider-Man 3, for humor’s sake.”
8. I’m looking forward to The Amazing Spider-Man – This shit looks so good, folks.
Love Denis Leary as Papa Stacy. Love Emma Stone as Gwen. Love, love, love Rhys Ifans as Dr. Connors/Lizard. I almost cried when I saw him get his attention. And I fucking love Andrew Garfield as the webslinger. Reading him talk about growing up with Spidey makes me as excited as I was when I found out Jason Segel would be writing The Muppets. I get the feeling that this is a labor of love for most folks involved. And it probably says something that such a labor of love makes my heart go pitter patter, as opposed to me just saying, “Psssh, when is The Dark Knight Rises hitting theaters?”
That’s all for now. It’s strange how rapidly this happened. I thought I would have to wait a year to see these results. See you next month. And also every fucking week. For a year.