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An Occupy Wall Street Eyed Review of The Avengers Movie and the Future of Movies

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I was a total Marvel comics fan when I was a kid. that meant regular trips to the local corner pharmacy to lay out ten or twelve cents for the latest Hulk, Thor, Spidey, Fantastic Five and The Avengers. 

So I had to go see the movie, THE AVENGERS, in 3D Imax  And it was entertaining. 

But having been through the past year's Occupy Wall Street experience gave me new eyes.

And what those eyes viewed brought me to an epiphany.  Superheroes serve the 1%. They serve the top down powers that are waging a massive war with the 99%-- we on the bottom. 

Now, of course, superheroes are not real. But they provide fantasy material. Seeing the movie reminded me of a conversation I had with a really smart guy-- Ward Wilson-- a few weeks ago. 

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Ward and I became friends about five or six years ago after I attended a talk he gave at a local synagogue. Back then, Ward was just starting to talk about his ideas on how nuclear weapons don't work. They didn't win world war II and they don't act as deterrents to war. I was very impressed. A few years later, so was the Nobel organization in Sweden. They gave him a grant of over $390,000 to pursue his work and get out his message. 

Ward and I had  lunch a few weeks ago and out of the conversation came a realization that Atomic weapons are the ultimate top-down fantasy.  One ultra top, ultra power person can push a button or make an order and start or stop a war. 

I say it's a fantasy because it hasn't happened. No-one has started a war with a nuclear bomb and Ward Wilson is very persuasive in arguing that no war was ever finished with nuclear weapons either. 

That takes me back to the Avengers movie and superheroes They also engage the fantasy that one person, or a small few, can save the world. That can have the same kind of top-down fantasy theme to it. The Avengers movie did. I''ve come to believe that top down thinking is part of the problem that the Occupy Wall Street movement faces. To change the system it is necessary to change the way we think about saving the system and fighting our enemies. How many  scores of millions of kids have grown up having read Marvel and DC comics, about Spiderman, the Avengers, the Hulk, Superman, Green Lantern, the Justice League of America-- where people with super powers save the world? 

This way of thinking takes the responsibility out of the hands of the people, takes the perception of possibility out of the reach of the masses. 

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I'm not saying that the original intention of the stories Stan Lee's Marvel Comics  told was to promote this top down way of thinking. Bravery, audacity, courage, independence-- look at the way the individuals who comprise the Avengers are non-conformists-- are all shown as strengths. 

But today, we need big stories that show how "the people"-- how vast groups of millions rise up to face the challenges to humanity. Occupy and the Arab Spring have shown that this is not fiction. it is reality. 

We need big, epic, blockbuster movies that portray bottom up leaders who, rather than defeating the bad guys by being super-heroes, do it by inspiring the crowd to rise and join together. The plot line could show that a small group, when it joins forces, develops powers that the individuals in it didn't have. The fantasy part could be that at a certain point, millions of people pour out into the streets and when they do the tide turns and rescue of the nation or the planet begins. 

There have been movies like this. In Network, a crazed anchorman gets people out in the streets shouting, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." 

We need more movies like that. We need movies that push the envelope, maybe even portraying people out in the street, resisting police, movies that upset the censors in China and Iran, but that go viral anyway. 

Maybe they won't be done for $200 million by a major studio. Maybe they'll be done by indie producers like the ones who did I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. 

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)

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I have to disagree with you a bit on the analysis ... by Scott Baker on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 9:39:50 AM  If you visit o... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 7:23:43 AM
Rob,There is another subtle message with these fan... by Paul Roden on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 10:59:53 AM
but if this link works, it most definitely shows t... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 11:41:03 AM
Now if the 'meditator' can just hold that peaceful... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 7:33:09 AM
I thought the "bravest" film I've seen recently ..... by Bob Alexander on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 12:13:52 PM
Another one was "Watchmen" which made the explicit... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 12:44:51 PM
Nossir, I don't buy it.One of the best moments in ... by J. Edward Tremlett on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 12:50:53 PM
I learned more from Playboy. signed, Larry Fly... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 7:43:05 AM
If you'd read Watchmen, you might have learned to ... by J. Edward Tremlett on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 7:49:42 AM
J Eddy, we know your furnace is set on 'high'. ... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 9:28:39 AM
This article tries to join two discussions into on... by Joe Giambrone on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 2:54:12 PM
Something smells fishy, here"I actually do fear wh... by J. Edward Tremlett on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 9:36:02 PM by Joe Giambrone on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 10:20:58 PM
Your confusion is understandable, but unwarranted.... by J. Edward Tremlett on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 10:41:10 PM
.... by Joe Giambrone on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 11:17:32 PM
How do you figure that?If Frank Miller doesn't hav... by J. Edward Tremlett on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 12:14:28 AM
You guys better look in your closets. Do you kn... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 7:53:09 AM
We're here!We're in Spandex!Expect us!... by J. Edward Tremlett on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 7:58:30 AM
Seriously, Joe. Did I miss something, here?Does Ba... by J. Edward Tremlett on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 7:52:10 AM the Nazis were growing in strength and aggre... by Gustav Wynn on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 1:02:50 PM