July 1st, 2007

The Zombie

Powerless

June 29 -  OK, so the power went out here in Podunk.  Again.  No lightning storms, no heat wave.  Just "on" one minute, and "off" the next.  Needless to say, I did not get the opportunity to post something the other night.  That's just as well, since I didn't really have anything to talk about anyway (not that such a condition has ever stopped me).  Let's just get on to your Pantsless Comic Book Character of The Day - Mystique (movie adaptations)!

The Zombie

Underneath it all... (Pantsless Month concludes)

June 30 -  I've got it.  I know what the "larger theme" for this month has been.  About mid-June, I told you that I felt there was some over-riding, if hidden, "message" imbedded in my blathersome bloggings about pantsless comics characters and the occasional, unfortunate intrusion of seriousness, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.  Today, it hit me.  The greater message of this month has been "vulnerability."  In all of my postings about pantslessness, I never explored the concept of vulnerability.  I mean, why were pants even invented in the first place?  To protect our most vulnerable, and arguably valuable, um...assets.  Isn't it interesting that, in comics, the majority of the most powerful beings are virtually naked.  Think about Superman.  While enpanted, he is still basically in his underwear...something which would make the rest of us non-Kryptonians feel very vulnerable.  Even Superman's classic head-back, eyes-on-the-horizon, fists-on-hips, feet-wide-apart stance would be, for us vulnerables, an open invitation for someone to kick us in the, uh...pants.  I've talked about the ancestry of superhero uniforms before, but not from this angle.  As descendants of Medieval court dress and circus act costume, those flowing capes and skin-tight cat-suits (that even the manliest of supermachomen wear) harken not only to classic examples of showmanship and pageantry, but of daring and confidence as well.  It's funny that we invest so much of ourselves in our clothing.  Especially today, clothing is seen as an extension of who we are...or at least who we would like people to believe we are.  To be pantsless is to be not just physically vulnerable, but socially and emotionally vulnerable as well.  And that's exactly how we enter this world.  The pants, and everything that comes with them, are artificial add-ons.  As we grow, we walk down the street, clothed and confident, operationally oblivious to our incredible vulnerability.   That's why people have those dreams about taking tests or giving speeches in nothing but their underpants (or less).  The subconscious knows that pants are metaphors, as much mentally as they are physically fabricated garb.  This month, then, has weaved back and forth between silliness and seriousness, pantsless comic book characters and matters of life and death, in such a way as to draw our attention to our vulnerability.  While arguing about whether Venom has, needs, or even is pants, we've all really been considering our own ultimate vulnerability.  Cool.  So, what do we do now that we've considered it?  Well, finding a different perspective can help in ways that we might not even realize at the time.  I couldn't say now how we might all be affected by all of this, but I do know two things.  First, there are deeper lessons to be learned in just about everything if you look for them.  Second, I will never look at a pantsless character the same way again!  Here's the last Pantsless Comic Book Character of The Day - Concrete!