Spectacle and Simulation

The Moonbat Diaries

A combination photo shows U.S. President Trump  trying twice to let go of a handshake with France's President Macron as Macron holds tight, before a working lunch ahead of a NATO Summit in Brussels

As Evan Puschack (a.k.a. The Nerdwriter) pointed out in his excellent video essay on cinematic violence, one of the most striking characteristics of action sequences in superhero movies is the seeming lack of consequences. The cityscapes in which the action is often situated exist as nothing more than ephemeral simulations, crumbling into rubble over and over again, only to re-emerge, unscathed, for the next sequence (or movie). Reality seems to be suspended, as punches fly and skyscrapers (usually conveniently evacuated) collapse, hordes of aliens are wiped out, and nothing happens. The choreography, for all its flashiness, is ultimately devoid of meaning. These fights seem more like ritualistic displays than battles for survival. Alright, now after I punch you in the chest, you’ll block my kick, and then I’ll tackle you into this building… Each blow is nothing more than an empty signifier, landing without any real impact. Of course…

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