Some readers of this blog will know that I’m something of a Movie buff. In my opinion, movies and television are the most powerful cultural conditioners extant, and until (and if) commercial direct mind communication is put into everyday use, they will remain so.
In 2012 one of a number of “single-camera” movies was produced. Chronicle is, arguably, the illegitimate child of the Blair Witch Program (a movie with similar production values) and a cross between Marvel and DC Comics.
The story is of three teenagers who through a mysterious radiation which is never examined (Kevin Brockmeier taught us we can do this with his wonderful novels), gain various “super powers”. None of these kids are particularly socially conscious, at least at first. Watching them explore their powers, and eventually, let the powers overtake them, is a fascinating look at human nature, neither at its best or worst, but at its realistic “zero beat”. Unexamined, these powers lead to errors of judgement, anger, anguish, destruction and death… and, eventually the possibility of some kind of redemption.
The point is that the reactions to sudden and extreme power, much like sudden and extreme wealth, have an immediate effect upon the psyche of those involved.
Yes, perhaps there are those of us who are above and beyond the baser components of human nature, but unless chance favors the righteous–and it doesn’t seem to–any super-humans that may come along are likely to be self-centered, powerful… perhaps even unstoppable.
I’d say it is very good that we do not have “naturally occurring” superheroes in this world. The luck of the draw can be very ugly, indeed.
So, what’s the point? Why, a character study, of course. Any takers?