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What She Needs To Believe

This summer, in a strange “life imitating art” moment, the actors involved in the film version of America’s most celebrated supernatural love-triangle found themselves caught up in a Bizarre Love Triangle of their own.  It’s still a morass of beauty, secrecy, and self-deception.

If I’ve learned anything in my 38 years, it’s that the most powerful lies that we tell are quite often the ones that we believe ourselves.  Consider the lie on display in Kristen Stewart’s recent mea-culpa regarding her relational infidelity;

“…This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him… I’m so sorry.”

You might be wondering two things right now:

Where is the lie in the above statement, and how I know that a person that I’ve never met is lying?

To the first wonderment I’d suggest that the lie probably isn’t where you think it is, and to the second I’d say this, “You don’t have to know someone to recognize a lie; you only need to have been lied to.”

But first, let’s address the truth.

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What This Says About Us

Legendary Pictures

You can learn a lot about an era by examining its heroes.  Americans of a previous age sainted men like Washington and Lincoln for their unassailable virtue.  Historically we’ve preferred our idols to appear unblemished, because this used to be possible.

Embellishing the reputation of a man was easier before information travelled at the speed of electricity.  It took so long for every American to learn about George Washington’s cherry tree confession that attempting to undo that image is something that could only have been accomplished after his death.

And nobody likes anybody who tears somebody apart at their funeral.

By the 1900’s radio and print had made vast amounts of news available to the common man, and protecting a heroic person meant actively suppressing the truth about them.  The problem was that scandal sold newspapers, and by the time the Great Depression arrived, America was forced to accept that the men they idealized were often charming, self-centered, philandering alcoholics.

So we began inventing the heroes we needed.

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The Tip of a Massive Iceberg

If you opened your wallet to watch The Avengers you aren’t alone. As of Tuesday June 19th, The comic book mash-up of Marvel’s most beloved non-X-men Characters has grossed $1,421,027,710. It’s so much money that it’s hard to comprehend.

A BILLION AND A HALF.

Not since 1989, or as I call it “The Summer Of Batman” has a movie been so perfectly targeted at a summer audience. Curiously, The Avengers quickly jumped beyond its target demographic, making it’s way into previous unheard of age brackets.

The Avengers is a SuperHero movie that even grandmothers have gone to see.

Even if it won’t be the best comic book movie to play in theaters this summer, it will be several summers before we stop comparing blockbusters to The Avengers.

Much like many of the other 12 movies that have grossed over a billion dollars, The Avengers is a cultural benchmark that shapes how we think, act, and talk.

And that shouldn’t be surprising, considering who brought the film to life.

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