Jul 18, 2013

The Rites of Mars

I finally watched Ironman last night. It is odd because during my pilgrimage to NYC in 2008, Ironman was all over everything. I just wasn't into some military-industrial complex fantasy back then. Not that I am now, but it's allegory - all gory - anyway. I thought it was cool that Jeff Bridges signed on. Hell, if the Big Lebowski liked it...
Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane:
Stark's business second-in-command. Bridges read the comics as a boy and liked Favreau's modern, realistic approach. He shaved his head and grew a gray beard for the role, which was something he had wanted to do for some time. Bridges googled the Book of Obadiah, and he was surprised to learn retribution is a major theme in that particular book of the Bible, something which Stane represents. ~wikipedia

The "Jericho weapon" is some kind of total ego killing machine, that destroys even the will of the enemy to fight, faced with such overpowering might.

Safely escaping the city, the two returned to Joshua and reported that the "whole land was melting with fear." ~the spies
On the seventh day they were to march around the city seven times and the priests were to blow their ram's horns. And Joshua ordered the people to shout. The walls of the city collapsed, and the Israelites were able to charge straight into the city. The city was completely destroyed, and every man, woman, child and animal in it was killed by Joshua's army as an offering to God. Only Rahab and her family were spared, because she had hidden the two spies sent by Joshua. ~wikipedia
Stark gives a demo of his new weapon in the holy land, and is conducted through an ego-death experience at the hands of terrorists or the 10 Rings. I'm a bit disappointed that they weren't the 7 Rings but whatever, I can't expect Hollywood to be spot on with the symbolism.

Through his ordeal he is helped by Yinsen, who saved his life by creating a magnetic "solar symbol" thing. He is Tony's shamanic guide, or "Jesus" figure. He gives him a new, indestructible heart, but dies at the end of his duty, it was what he wanted, anyway.

Yinsen helps Stark create a new iron skin, or ego. Something not so easily destroyed, because it is powered, at its core, not by ego, but by Id.

This oddly parallels my own ego-death journey, which was initiated by shaman and mushroom eater Jeff Fairhall, who died shortly after my own ego-death.

Tony Stark returns to America (EgoLand) a changed man, and decides that Stark Industries will no longer make weapons, and gets the typical media response.

Well, not exactly. Stark Industries continues to manufacture weapons, but for a different cause. Like Jericho, Stark has been conquered by Id, and now flies a different flag. Much to the chagrin of Moses, er... Obadiah.

I've learned to love Gwyneth Paltrow, she plays "the Grail" so well. As Pepper Potts, she's sexy, smart and moral, and if you want to woo her, you'd better appreciate all her qualities. We note that Tony never appreciates her until after his ego-death experience.

In the end, Tony changes his suit to Mars red, and admits that he IS a super hero, despite his many documented character deficiencies. In other words, his many sins are of no consequence, and he has been born again - saved by the blood of the lamb.


dboy said...

great post Michael. pithy, punchy and referencing the lamb of god. nice trifecta. your phallo deic reconciliation continues apace.

Michael said...

Thanks for the positive comment, dboy. I checked out your blog, cool stuff there.

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