SO! I can’t remember if I told you, readers dear, just what it was that was keeping me away from the blog at the beginning of the month.
It was a presentation I gave on The New Superman: Modern American TV Detectives
And/or an excuse to talk about three of my favorite shows (Psych, The Closer, Dexter).
And/or an excuse to practice giving a presentation to a rather hostile hall of listeners who came expecting (primarily because I falsely advertised it as such) to see video clips of said shows, and instead had to hear an interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes tradition as an extension of Carlyle’s Great Man/Nietzsche’s Übermensch.
Don’t worry, I’m skipping over that part for you guys.
What is still funny to me is that after the talk this woman hobbles up to me (literally. She had a cane.) and says: “I think you spoke about a man named Shawn?”
I say: “Yeah, his name is Shawn Spencer, he’s the main character in Psych.”
She presses her lips together and shakes her head. “You should not call him Superman. I do not like – he has ugly face. He is a monster.”
I just need to pause on that logic. (You can google image Shawn Spencer [or the actor, James Roday, to see him in different roles].) Anyway. The logic: ugliness = monstrosity. I would assume its converse (beauty = valor/heroism) is also true? In any case, the woman didn’t have any problem with the pictures of Dexter I was showing, although he was spattered in blood in all of them. Meh. Not his fault. (For those playing along at home: Dexter is about a serial-killer-blood-spatter-analyst. It’s like he does all the things it seems that goth girl in NCIS would do.) But no, it’s not his fault; that’s his victim’s ugly blood, anyway. But Shawn – Shawn’s ugly. His fault. Monster.
I wish I could go on a rampage about this being a “Russian” phenomenon, about the pictures of Putin with his shirt taken off and my old friend, $500-Scarf, who had a huge crush on him.
But then I think about the cult of personality that surrounds Barack Obama. It’s not really all that Russian, this jump in logic, I don’t think. Pretty people are t3h pretty. And for some reason we click “genetic freak” = “leader!” in our Chomsky-switch-riddled brains.
And with that I’m off to the gym.
6 months ago