By under control they mean, "Make it never happen." The same can be seen in in Frozen. Now there's a lot to be said wrong about the way the parents, and trolls, acted in Frozen.
Trolls: I know, we'll mind wipe her so she'll have no idea why you're afraid you might hurt her and thus keeping your distance and therefor think that she's been completely abandoned by one of the people she loves most.
King: Good idea, and I shall do everything in my power to make sure that both of my daughters grow up emotionally broken.
But the point here is not how well meaning people can completely fuck things up.
The point is that there's this idea "Under Control" means making it so that the thing never happens.
Bottle it up inside, never let it out. Build a dam with no way through, when it starts to over-top because of the ever growing lake behind it, don't open the floodgates --you never installed floodgates-- just make the dam even higher.
All focus is on the damn dam.
Under control means make it never happen.
We see a similar thing in Marvel's the Avengers where Captain America is convinced that Bruce Banner so much as letting off steam will mean the end of the world.
Tony Stark has a different idea, don't let it all build up inside until it finally boils over, let it out in a smaller controlled amount.
But the Avengers never really comments on who was right, which is why there's no need for spoilers for it here.
But the point is, whether you're Bruce, Elsa, or Vanellope under control means repressing. It means suppressing a part of yourself, it means don't do that, full stop.
There's a reason that people have seen a connection to, say, being gay here. "You've got to get these homosexual impulses under control," does means, "Stop fucking having them." Of course being gay is not a superpower (that I know of, please send all contravening evidence to cpw at maine dot rr dot com) and it doesn't put other people at risk of hulk-smash or ice shards of through the heart if you lose control of it.
So under control means make sure it never happens.
But then something happens.
Vanellope finds herself in a situation where she'll die if she doesn't glitch. For Elsa it's this:
[note that I have no sound on this computer, I'm just hoping this works]
Couldn't keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.
Don't let them in, don't let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal don't feel, don't let them know.
Well, now they know!
Let it go, let it go.
Can't hold it back anymore.
Let it go, let it go.
Turn away and slam the door.
I don't care what they're going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.
It's funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can't get to me at all
It's time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
Suddenly "under control" takes on new meaning. Elsa has her power under control when she makes her ice palace, well under control. It's beautiful and sturdy and fracking awesome. If Disney isn't selling miniature versions for outrageous prices then Disney has forgotten how to make money.
Vanellope is able to make her way, unscathed, through an enemy horde, I'd call it an army but they were somewhat worse than that, steals a car, and rescues Ralph, when he's confused how she got to him she simply replies, "Don't worry, I got it under control."
And she does. We never see her accidentally glitch again. Instead she directs it into healthy pursuits, like saving her friend. Under control stopped meaning never doing it and started meaning controlling where, when, and how you do it.
Elsa takes a bit longer to get her powers fully under control. Her emotional story is more difficult, her psyche more broken, but by the end it's clear that it's by using it, by letting it out, that she gains control.
Under control stops meaning, "Make it never happen," and starts meaning, "Make it happen when you want it, how you want it and then it'll stop happening when you don't want it to."
It would be like if someone tried to get their movement under control by remaining perfectly still all the time. It would never work. At some point some part of their body is going to say, "Fuck this," and spasm. But if instead the person tried to control their movement by moving, perhaps one day they could be a dancer or a fighter or any number of other things where being in control of when you move and how you move is important.
Under control stops meaning, "Don't be yourself," and starts meaning, "Be yourself the way you want to be (because if you try to suppress it it might start leaking out in ways you don't like.)"
It stops being, "Never get angry," for the Hulk, and starts being, "Let off steam so that you don't explode when things get too much," of course that assumes Tony was right and the movie doesn't address that.
That's a theme I could do to see more of. Not, "Don't do this thing," but, "Do this thing in a healthy way."
And I could have sworn I had an actual point, but I lost track of it.
I love both these movies, but would NOT have thought about tying them together despite it being beautifully obvious in retrospect. (Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently, Isaac Newton, Cat-Flap. If the compliment is too obscure, I'll copy-pasta in the full quote. ;))ReplyDelete
And also ties in to Elsa + Vanellope's ostracization, though one is self-imposed (sorta. Bad parenting aside.) and one is socially-imposed.
I looked it up.Delete
"It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very significant and revealing fact it is too."
Given that that's more or less how I define genius, thank you very much.
"It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent blindingly obvious." - I was just thinking this about Franklin-Watson-Crick and their model of DNA. (Can you tell I'm studying for a biochemistry quiz?) Although I wasn't thinking it so elegantly as Adams did.ReplyDelete
No matter what your original point was, this one has a perfectly fine point now.
Although I wasn't thinking it so elegantly as Adams did.Delete
The best I ever did was, "Genius: what is obvious only in hindsight."
No matter what your original point was, this one has a perfectly fine point now.
In Hollywoodland, being gay gives you interior decor and fashion sense superpowers...ReplyDelete
(I gather that G.B.F. does a decent job of undermining these tropes. Haven't seen it yet.)
I would argue that Avengers does actually confirm that Tony is right about Bruce. The whole "that's my secret: I'm always angry" pretty strongly implies that Bruce has learned to manage, control, and direct his anger, so he can Hulk out when needed, not accidentally. He even manages to direct the Hulk's rage and strength very deliberately in that final battle-- the Hulk is still all about primal destruction, but he only targets the enemies, except for a deliberate smackdown of Thor (who can take the hit) and also deliberately catches/saves Tony at the end.ReplyDelete
I'd even argue that it's because of Tony that Bruce gains the confidence to pull that control off-- Tony is the only one who is not walking on eggshells around Bruce, and who encourages him to relax a little by joking with him. Tony trusting that Bruce has things under control gives Bruce the confidence that he can be in control. (By contrast, I think Natasha's obvious unease and terror around Bruce only fuels his own panic/lack of control when he starts Hulking out on the Helicarrier.)
Anyway, this is a good post with some really nice parallels. Still need to see Frozen myself, but I love any and all discussion of Wreck-it-Ralph, because I feel like it's an amazing movie that got less credit than it deserves because it happens to be about video games.
Your thoughts on Bruce are ones that I've put a lot of thought into, and come to know firm conclusions on. Thank you for sharing.Delete
This is precisely what I was about to post about The Avengers, but you beat me to it. Thank you!Delete
I feel like there are multiple things going on with why he lost control on the carrier.Delete
The entire confrontation is setting up Fury and Romanoff as The Enemy, in capital letters. Thor, Banner, Stark, and Rodgers may have their differences but they're not going, "Nukes aren't enough, let's make bigger bombs with alien super energy."
Nor have any of them built a death trap with him in mind.
Additionally Romanoff, Fury, and --to a lesser extent-- Rodgers are all dehumanizing Banner. Treating him as a thing. And this is before one of them prepares to shoot him. (Mind is blanking on Romanoff or Fury, but at this stage they are, for all intents and purposes, the same.)
So when he goes after Romanoff (ignoring everyone else until Thor smashes him) I think it's more than her being afraid, I think part of it is that, rationally, she's not on his side and never has been.
She and hers (Fury) have lied to him, manipulated him, been using him to get back what they intend to use as the most terrible weapon ever, prepared to kill him to the point of redesigning the ship with killing him in mind, and, before the attack, were about to draw a loaded weapon on him without provocation. (Stark (not Tony) contrast to time Romanoff did draw on him.)
However, I do think it's a good point that Stark (yes Tony) is the one who treats him as a human being and urges him to accept the aspects of himself he'd rather suppress.
Should have added more to the "however" at the end:Delete
and that Romanoff has been in the exact opposite camp.
You know, I'd noticed that everyone in the movie was being a dick to Banner, but I hadn't thought through the implications of Tony being a friendly dick - the kind of dick that my engineering friends are to their friends, and I am to them. And when I was looking for a clip of Banner hulking out on the carrier I found this interview with Mark Ruffalo talking about his version of the Hulk, and Ruffalo says specifically that Tony was the one who really helped Bruce turn it around.Delete
Incidentally, found the bit you were talking about: both Fury and Romanoff go for their weapons.
Unrelated, a comic.
Welcome, new commenter! That comic is sweet and awesome! (With content warnings for references to physical abuse, maybe? I don't remember what the guidelines on that are here.)Delete
the kind of dick that my engineering friends are to their friends, and I am to them.
Yeah, this. Also, pretty sure chris has a post about wanting a movie with science/engineering people in the Marvel Cinematic Universe doing their thing. Which would presumably involve more of that kind of bonding.)
That comic is sweet and awesome! (With content warnings for references to physical abuse, maybe? I don't remember what the guidelines on that are here.)Delete
Oh, wow, I wasn't thinking at all - thank you! Content/trigger warning: references to physical abuse. (The artist is talking about superhero comics helping her survive as a kid, especially the Hulk.)
Also, pretty sure chris has a post about wanting a movie with science/engineering people in the Marvel Cinematic Universe doing their thing. Which would presumably involve more of that kind of bonding.
That would be awesome. Actually, what I love the most about the idea - more even than seeing the kind of byplay I remember from my engineering college's ASME lounge on the big screen - is that a movie about science and/or engineering would be fundamentally about figuring stuff out, not jumping around and hitting things. Done well, that stuff is pure catnip to me.
What Lonespark is talking about re: science movie is described some here and here.