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How 10 Esoteric Secrets Hidden in Joss Whedon’s Best Movie Can Change Your Life

I maintain my position that The Avengers is the best superhero film ever, the standard by which all others shall be judged. Disagree?

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

May 14, 2014 - 5:00 pm
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This week Walter Hudson joined the pop culture debate and expressed his concerns about DC’s attempt to catch up with Marvel on the movie front, concluding in “DC Vs. Marvel: Why This DC Fanboy Believes Marvel Already Won“:

After Man of Steel’s 143 minute run time, I’m left with little idea of who any of these people are or why I should care. The project rarely stops for breath, has scant humor, and takes itself far too seriously. The Nolan narrative style, skipping back and forth through time, works better when utilized by Nolan himself than by the frantic and unfocused Zack Snyder.

If that’s how we’re going to get introduced to all these characters, to Batman and Wonder Woman and Cyborg, than I fear a Justice League adventure will never be as fun as The Avengers. And that’s sad. Because it easily could be. DC has a rich history to draw from with decades of stories to mine and refresh. These characters deserve the same focused, nuanced, yet lighthearted treatment that Marvel Studios has given its mightiest heroes.

Hannah Sternberg also joined the discussion, declaring her allegiances in the pop culture debate to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly as superior franchises to Star Trek and Star Wars in her post “The Bible of Buffy“:

I’m going to bounce this one back to the committee. Dave, Walter, other PJ Lifestyle and Liberty Island writers, — did Joss Whedon change your life, or simply stunt it?

Perhaps this wasn’t the answer that Hannah was anticipating but Whedon’s impact on my life is very different from hers. I never “got into” Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, or Serenity. While recognizing their significance to geek culture and respecting the fact that Whedon operates at a level of sophistication well above most creators in the sci-fi/fantasy world, it was another of the writer-director’s works that resonated with me.

Back in January of 2013 I published “10 Secret Reasons Why The Avengers Is the Best Superhero Film.” In the piece — which I’ve decided to republish today — I argued that the movie’s success came from its ability to reinvent classic mythological themes and archetypes.

What do you think? Is The Avengers as good as I claim it is? Should it stand as a model for those aspiring to make big, bold, profitable, mainstream popular culture infused with good values? Would DC striving for a Justice League film end up just a pale imitation of what Whedon already mastered?

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All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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Archetypes and ancient symbols in mythologoy and literature make an interesting topic. Also, their inclusion in fiction enhances its chances for success -- see Campbell's book, "Hero With a Thousand Faces." Having freed myself from Christian fundamentalism, I am not afraid to explore such topics, and ordered Israel Regardie's book "One Year to Spiritual Enlightenment," based on your essay. I'd like to know more about this topic. I will reread the article more carefully when I have time.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Amazing effort. Thank you for posting (again) such a complex piece.
I would avoid any specific comment, because the specific recipe of each one's "best soup" on the Sacred Way is certainly strictly personal (although it can always be compared and discussed).
I would add only that CERTAINLY G*d is a verb. The Infinite Being.
The Infinite Being Who Is (and is Infinite Love).

And there again there is a way back to discuss the problem of reason.
Because we live in the age of mature nihilism, that utterly denies any POSSIBILITY of a philosophy of Being.

Which is instead possible.
And I stop here before falling into the temptation of a book plug.

15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh by all means, feel free to share any of the ingredients from your spiritual soup and plug your book. And if you think it's one I should take a look at then send me an email DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail Dot Com Thanks!
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, Mr. Swindle, you are a devotee of Mr. Regardie, whose entry in Wikipedia begins:

Israel Regardie ...(November 17, 1907 – March 10, 1985), was an occultist, a writer, and Aleister Crowley's personal secretary and transcriptionist, widely known for his books and commentaries on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Crowley was a Black Magician [aka: 'Magick'], a servant of the Devil. His most famous utterance is: 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law'.

With this article, are you telling us that you are a follower of Mr. Crowley?
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sorry but your comment has several factual inaccuracies about Aleister Crowley in it. First, he was not a black magician. In his book Magick Book Four that I quote from in this article he explains what black magic is and why he opposed it. Second, black magic and magick are not synonymous. Magick is just "the science and art of causing change in accordance of will." Opening a door is a magickal act.

Third, "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law" does not mean "you can do whatever you want." It is not a license for hedonism and Crowley made that very clear. The other statement that goes along with it? "Love is the Law, Love Under Will." The charge "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law" means that one is supposed to determine one's Will and pursue it with all of one's being. Crowley makes clear that this does not mean hurting and murdering other people.

"With this article, are you telling us that you are a follower of Mr. Crowley?"
No. He is one author among dozens and dozens with some ideas that are useful and others that aren't. He's not my idol. I am a follower of the God of Israel, as I thought the last page of the article made clear. http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/05/14/how-10-esoteric-secrets-hidden-in-joss-whedons-best-movie-can-change-your-life/11/
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Crowley was in fact an evil man who did delve in black magick just read about Jack Parson the OTO and Babalon Working, a series of rituals designed to invoke the Thelemic goddess Babalon to Earth. I Knew Israel Regardie, Grady McMurtry & Louis Culling. To quote Regardie Cowley was buggering everyone. Those who become involved in this kind of Magick don't usually come to a good end. Parson blew himself up. If it weren't for myself and my ex-husband Louis Culling would have died completely alone in the Long Beach VA. Grady suffered from neurological problems. Kennedy one of Regardie's student put a bullet in his head.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've read Jack Parsons' writings and the two biographies written about him. I don't think the Babalon Working fits with Crowley's definition of black magick. They were just trying to conceive a child. Black magick is always about trying to hurt or deceive someone else. Do you acknowledge a difference between white magick and black magick? Not all magickal acts are evil or malevolent.

I don't think it's correct or fair to blame Crowley or his ideas for Parson's death or anybody else's.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I knowledge there is a difference in intent but in reality both are dangerous and practitioners open themselves up to the dangerous unseen. (FYI I do know what I am talking about as I deeply involved in the Occult and pretty much knew all the inheritors of the OTO and the Golden Dawn)
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps you'd like to send me an email with more of your thoughts on the subject? DaveSwindlePJM @ gmail dot com. Here's an article from a 2012 in which I define more what it means to be a Tea Party occultist: http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/10/20/23-books-for-counterculture-conservatives-tea-party-occultists-and-capitalist-wizards/ James Wasserman's approach to the OTO and Crowley has been a big influence.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Okay, I gave it a half hour. Pretty darn dumb. And that's from a guy who watched "Frankenstein's Army" earlier this evening.

It's no "Serenity."
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm gonna watch the movie on your recommendation, but your occult stuff just shows you're as goofy as can be.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
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