Suspension of Disbelief: Comic-Con and Politics

As is customary during our weekly pre-show ritual, my two best friends break my balls mercilessly.

Before each broadcast of UnLearn TV, myself, co-host “Cigars & Scotch” Tony, and our goomba MJ Mandalay sit down over a meal with the intention of setting the tone for what will be discussed on that evening’s show. Invariably we’ll digress from the topics of socio/political importance only to become sidetracked by my love of nerdy entertainment. Indeed, my friends — with a habitual ruthlessness– never fail to point out that despite my self-indulgent attempts at sober realizations about religious hypocrisy, congressional corruption, and legislative collusion, that I am still just a middle aged adolescent who still loves Spiderman, Star Trek, and the Walking Dead. And they are right. I am in fact, a comic geek.

Now before anyone misinterprets this, I must make it clear that I am not complaining. Hardly. This is how my friends and I show affection, by inundating one another with cringe worthy –not to mention– hilarious observations about our individual character flaws (if that’s what this is). I wouldn’t want our friendship to be any different. The truth is, I manage to deliver a few self-esteem damaging blows at their expense myself. Hey, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, then we’re Keith Olberman.

But this week’s Comic-Con in San Diego got me thinking.

Why is it that I love to suspend my disbelief when I venture to be entertained, when in every other aspect of my life I demand apprehensive determinations derived from reason? Why is it, that as much as I try to employ a cerebral approach to my real life perspectives, do I revel in superheroes bashing one another, space battles, and incomprehensive feats accomplished by impossibly extraordinary beings?

And I think I’ve come up with an answer. Somewhere in the recesses of my own faulty synapses I long for the social justice that reality denies me. Idealism being what it is, it is difficult for someone of conscience to reconcile the horrors of the unjust world we live in relation to what we know it could be. We see glimpses of the beauty of science and art, and we behold the majesty of triumph over travail, and yet we live in a world where Glenn Beck and Al Gore are considered by many to be voices of reason, Kim Kardashian is a celebrity, and where people want Rick Santorum to be President.

Frankly, it takes a suspension of disbelief just to wake up in the morning.

But I think that perhaps, the reason I love this nerdy stuff so much is that it helps me cope with the utter absurdity of what’s become of actuality, and it offers an escape from the absence of reason in our socio/political landscape. Seriously, How great would it be if the Hulk smashed Al Sharpton into the pavement, or if Michelle Bachman was torn apart by zombies? How awesome would it be if Debbie Wasserman Shultz was disintegrated by Klingons, or if Rush Limbaugh met a gruesome end from a cybernetic Arnold Schwarzenegger? Hell, I can wait for Luke Skywalker to save the universe, provided the Death Star takes out congress first.

So do I like to suspend my disbelief when I’m being entertained? Sure I do. But if I can’t have Captain America in the real world, then at least I can live in his universe for a couple of hours. And when you consider that Snookie, and Sarah Palin are part of the “real world”… can anyone really blame me for wanting to?



About Rich Woods

Rich Woods is the author of the critically acclaimed books, UnLearn Vanilla Marriage, and Yahweh to Hell. He is also a columnist, sociologist, and satirist who has performed seminars around the country. He's also made several TV and radio appearances. Transitioning from a blue-collar background has given Mr. Woods a unique perspective --and an even more unique elocution--among his peers. Raised Catholic, Mr. Woods is now a very public atheist who champions the separation of church and state. He's an advocate for non-traditional relationships, including --but not limited to-- negotiating non-monogamy, as well as being a vocal opponent of political correctness. Throughout his career, Woods has had colorful metaphors hurled in his direction from both liberals, and conservatives. To be honest, most of the vitriol comes from the Tea Party. However, he considers one of his greatest accomplishments having been called "Harry Reid's Lapdog" , and referred to as being "just like Rush Limbaugh" from two different sources within minutes of one another. Originally from Queens, New York, and presently residing in central New Jersey, Rich Woods is madly, and hopelessly in love with his wife Jane since before they were wed in 2002, and is the proud father of two successful, brilliantly creative, young adult children. Try as he might, he can't juggle.

Posted on July 14, 2012, in Recent Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I think that getting away from reality, if only for a little while, is healthy indeed. Great post as always! 🙂

  2. I can now actually say that I have first-hand experience in several of the bullet points you have blogged about, one, being the pre-show ball breaking that I have witnessed and, two, recalling the converstaions we’ve had regarding your love of all thinkgs geeky.

    Another well written blog my friend,


  3. At least you don’t like cartoons or broadway musicals. Those suck.

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