I was going to post sooner and I got sidetracked by getting the new Covid variant.
Frist time I got one, and I get the one with mild cold symptoms, go figure.
I felt worse honestly for not eating a few days afterward than I did while I had a fever, the fatigue and aches were the worst of it.
But I’m recovered now.
Anyway, to fill up my time while I’m fasting certain things, and taking a break from anime, my sisters and I have been binging the old X-Men animated show.
If you’ve never seen it, you should watch it, it’s really good. It’s on Amazon Prime.
It was a different time, man.
It’s not a perfect show, but it’s so much better than the movies. And the dialogue is refreshingly not boring for an old show. Superhero shows can be disappointing in the long run because they just don’t ever go anywhere.
X- Men does suffer from that, but the continuity is good for the most part, the characters get well flushed out, and I like at least some of them. I can’t stand Scott…there is no version of Cyclops I’ve ever liked, old movies, new movies, or this how. Jean always bored me too. Though the Dark Phoenix movie was better than people gave it credit for, acting-wise anyway.
But anyway, this isn’t a review of the show.
As always, the shipping caught my eye. It’s not the best I’ve seen, the older shows usually are very non-committal about shipping, you were lucky if they even kissed.
This show handles it way better than most of its genre, so I got interested, even thought they don’t put a lot of effort into chemistry.
But what they do well is show people’s hang ups about getting into relationships.
The one they spend the most time on, with that, is Rogue x Gambit.
Being only a fan of the X-Men movies until now, and a distant fan at that, not die hard, I had not idea who Gambit even was, and Rogue was always just kind of a sad, scared little girl.
Well, I don’t know what those directors were thinking. Rogue’s character on tis show is the best part of it, along with Wolverine.
Gambit wasn’t as funny, in my opinion, at first, but he grew on me, and mellowed over the course of the show too, like Wolverine.
Anyway, the ship is not the best ship I’ve ever seen, but compared to the level I expected on an old 80s cartoon, it far surpassed it.
I mean, the shows of my generation were Kim Possilbe, the Animated Justice League, and old Spiderman and Batman and Superman. And while I liked all of those, and they have a few good ships in them, most of them don’t commit.
Gambit and Rogue, so far at least, don’t either. But no other show outside Justice League (once) really bothered to explore why, but this show does, and I think it’s interesting.
The romance is old fashioned for our time now, but Rogues’s character is well done, and her hang ups ring pretty true even today with what a lot of people express, so I thought it was worth using as an example.
Man, back then, characters could be interested in each other without shacking up, and it was just normal. Maybe not on every show, but one like this, made for kids, it was.
And unlike anime, which is so sexually repressed, yet bloated at the same time that they will devote multiple shots to grotesque fan service in every season yet act gun shy of having two healthy, normal characters kiss–these old American shows aren’t afraid to show kissing, and other physical forms of affection, without crossing over into the sexual.
I think it was more balance back then. Because they had standards to uphold they didn’t do stripping and naked women, and men showing their abs all the time, but because of that, they had no inherent shame implied if they kissed. They knew what we, the audience, would expect.
The pervy side of comics is a more recent evolution from the old stuff. There’s always been some pervs who would enjoy comic books (or any illustrated book) for the wrong reason, but the old art wasn’t that oversexualized, I’ve seen it. the new stuff is so gross. Ugly too, in my opinion.
Anime may not be ugly, but it has the same disproportionate, overdone factor to it, sorry, to sorry.
So it’s been nice to watch a romance that doesn’t shove fan service in my face. And is mature enough to at least acknowledge the problems.
Rogue’s obvious problem, if you know her power set and story, is that she can’t touch anyone.
There’s a few loopholes to this that the show ignores, like most superhero shows do. Such as the myriad of appearance of mutation blocking technology, which had the X-men chosen to keep any of it, Rogue could have used to manage her power when necessary.
So while the problem would easily be resolved if the rules of superhero shows didn’t dictate the heroes can’t be pragmatic (because there goes the drama then, right?) it isn’t so prevalent that her struggle doesn’t seem real.
Rogue does not wallow in angsty self pity, which I really appreciate. Anime emos get old after a while, they’re okay in moderation, but after a while you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. We get it, you’re sad…get a life.
Instead the writer made Rogue a strong person, who more takes a wry sense of humor about her inhibitions, though at some moments she shows how deeply it bothers her. It’s far more realistic, most of us don’t go through life pitying ourselves every minute of the day, and acting sad all the time, we take that wry point of view about our problems.
I think it’s healthier to do that than to purposefully be depressed. Enough sadness in life without dwelling on even more of it on purpose.
But it may be a better option still to try to heal.
The show does stop short of that. I think maybe they just didn’t know how to write it.
Rogue and Gambit’s ship actually serves to show Rogues’ issues more, which is how I think a ship should be used if it’s gong to be reoccurring, nothing like a romance to drive your true nature out.
The interesting ting about Rogue, and what makes her so much like us, is that she yearns for normal things, enjoys normal things, and want the kind of love she sees other people have–but she believes she can never have it.
So far it’s not been said, though i think it might be eventually, but her logic, we see, has to be no man is ever gong to commit to a girl he can’t touch. It’s just not gonna happen.
I find that intriguing.
I mean, the cynical person in me does kind of want to agree.
This is a world where we value sex above all else often enough in relationships. At least we do now. People will ship characters in fiction and in real life just because they want to see them have sex.
I do enjoy a good kiss scene myself in fiction.
And sex is a good thing, between married people. I’m 100% for that. I actually hate stories where married couples never have sex, for some stupid, contrived reason, to create drama. It’s a necessary part of marriage, if both people are capable of having sex, and don’t have sexual traumatic that might prevent them from engaging in it with ease. It’s selfish to deny your partner sex because you don’t feel like it, I think. We don’t not cook because we don’t feel like it, someone has to cook, even if you buy food. But that’s another story.
However, the idea that sex is the most important thing about marriage has been disputed.
Many couples, for health reasons, can’t have sex for many years of their marriage. Age can be one reason. But they can still feel fulfilled. It’s probably like eating sweets, sure you’d like to, but if you can’t, that’s not the end of your life. You can live without it.
Personally, I’m a 23 year old virgin. I’d like to have sex at some point in my life, I believe it’s a God given gift. BUT, I would, at least now, prefer a man who’d be the right emotional match for me more.
I mean, if you gave me the choice, great sex for the rest of my life, or, being with someone who would day in and day out try their hardest to make me happy, and would let me make them happy…someone I could always turn to, who would not lie to me, and who would make the best of whatever situation we fell into…I think I could abstain from sex for that. I hear the older you get, the less sex seems like it’s so important. C. S. Lewis said that he’d choose affection and loyalty over sexual excitement, now that he was older.
I might be young but I’m not stupid, guys. Trust is more important. Sex is icing on the cake of love, not the main ingredient.
Of course, Rogue can’t even hold hands or kiss. She can embrace a bit with gloves and clothes on, but not as much as she wants to.
I imagine, if the show were allowed to discuss this, she’d probably verbalize the thought that it’s just not fair to ask any man to put up with that kind of restriction.
What’s funny is that, for all her longing, she is the one who shoves Gambit away in their quasi, flirtatious relationship. Gambit never seems bothered by her mutant power, and is very outgoing about how he flirts, he even is the one to say “I love you” first–and so far, the only one.
Rogue is very insecure.
Funny how she’s confident most of the time, but anytime he’s open about it, she pushes him away, sometime literally. And walks away herself, and acts irritated.
But also gets jealous and begs for attention.
None of it is to the extent where she’s Toxic, I can’t imagine Rogue being toxic, she’s too sweet, but she’s so clearly at war with herself, and it’s shown really well.
The heartbreaking thing to think about is that Rogue is really just a dramatization of a very real feeling many of us have.
Rogue was rejected by her Daddy, as she tells us, and then abused by her surrogate mother, in a way, mystique.
After such experiences, it makes sense she has trust issues. But really, she has self worth issues.
It’s all too familiar to me.
I’m taken back to my emotional abusive household as a kid.
Both my parents, though more my father, would use me being upset as a reason to act like I was attacking them.
I loved my parents, even in my most angsty years, and I don’t recall ever saying I hated them, or saying anything particularly cruel, though I maybe have just forgotten. But I always knew words had power, that’s what they taught me.
The message my father gave me, sometimes to my face, was that he had enough stress in his life without dealing with me also.
This led to me feeling like I was just a bad reminder to him of this gaping issues, which was our relationship. A relationship he sabotaged himself from the time I was born, and all through my formative years. Then he destroyed it openly when I was a teenager. Always it was he who would reject, he who would say the most hurtful things, he who would judge me.
If I fought back, or tried to complain, I was told I was the problem, and it wasn’t my place to correct him. Then he would tell us to correct him, and that we were right, and the next time we did, it was the same thing, it wasn’t our place. He’d even threaten me if I tried.
I learned to just keep my mouth shut, and when I learned that, he began picking fights with me on purpose. He couldn’t go more than a few days without some toxic outburst, I think he was addicted to it, personally.
All this lined up with what I learned about abusive behavior once he was gone.
But what it stamped on me, perhaps permanently, is that the people closest to you are the ones you will hurt the most.
I knew I had hurt my parents even if it was mostly their own fault, and I knew I hurt my sisters too, the people who I later came to rely on more for support.
And the fact is, if you love someone, you will still hurt them, because you are a flawed, imperfect human.
I’ve said things to friends, not thinking how they sounded, and meaning it to be funny that hurt them badly, and I never knew till later. Some people realized that and brushed it off, others never forget.
I’ve found that people from emotionally abusive homes often share this belief that I have, which is that when you love someone, you hurt them.
Oddly, I don’t find that attitude in accounts by people with happy families, who kept their trust.
People who rebel against their good parents may come to think that way, but that’s not everyone.
And those of us who’ve been let down the most by people we love, believe it the most.
To us, love is associated with pain.
A lot of us abused kids don’t want to give up on love, we know we’re meant to love, so we accept the pain of it, but we have a harder time accepting that we will cause people pain.
In our minds, since the love we were shown was conditional, and we took on the brunt of forgiving the other person, but never get their forgiveness in return, then every wound we cause is far worse than the ones they give us.
You see, we normally don’t struggle with our half of it. They hurt us, we shake it off, we don’t think it’s that important.
But we hurt them at all, and we feel horrible. We feel unworthy of love, and we think it’d be better if we just stayed away from them–but we know that will hurt too, and we feel stuck.
Rogue is such a perfect type of this kind of person. I think it’s fitting she was written to have abusive parental figures.
Though the show frames it as being about her mutation, it could have been about anything. That was the genius of the X-men, they used mutation as a metaphor for anything that makes people seem a little different.
And Rogue is like if that attitude was to take physical form in your body. If the fact that you can’t get close to someone without hurting them sometimes was made a trait in your DNA.
Because, in a way, it is.
Since the fall of man, we humans have turned on each other.
We make such a big deal out of racism and bigotry now, like it’s the worst sin of all, but, if you’re not hurting someone one way, you’d just do it another way. Racism can be less giant int he long run than many other human evils, depends on the kind of racism.
I just think it’s like we expect perfection out of humans. Looking down on each other for stupid reason has been a part of us for millennium, it’s not any one group of people’s exclusive fault, we just hate each other, because we fear each other.
We fear what’s different, because we know we’re not prepared for it. We cannot understand, so we don’t try. That’s what we think.
If it doesn’t lead to racism, it leads to something else, like the fear of intimacy.
When we damaged people hit this flaw in ourselves, it’s easy to get depressed.
It has depressed me many times to realize I can’t get away from not being perfect.
As a Christian, I am promised that one day I will be perfect as Christ it perfect.
But Jesus was still hurt by people, probably more than anyone else ever has been, because he truly was innocent. but no doubt his followers took his honesty the wrong way at times, and were hurt. Jesus must have known people will be hurt, even if you are in the right. Sometimes that hurts worse than being wrong. You ever had your parents say they hate punishing you?
My dad used to say that, I wish it extended to his abuse. He never liked to spank us much when we deserved it, but would be forceful over minor, stupid stuff that wasn’t even bad. I never understood that.
I doubt it would make Rogue feel better to hear that it’s not her fault. She’s in our position, she can’t help it, and she knows it, and that’s what hurts. We’re most ashamed of what we can’t help, as C. S. Lewis observed.
She’s kind of like Shigaraki from MHA, in a way. Though he can control his quirk now, he seems to shy away form touching people because, subconsciously, he remembers what happened when he did and lost control.
Rogue hasn’t killed anyone, but she’s hurt them pretty badly.
There’s a lot of characters like that in superhero fiction, I think it’s because people play out their insecurities in superhero writing. It’s when we most want to portray ourselves as heroes that we find ourselves seeing weaknesses and reasons why we can’t be. We tend to project that onto some characters, and then project our fantasy of a savoir onto others. Hence MHA has Deku and All Might, and the X- Men have professor X.
But the X-Men is a bit more honest about it than MHA, they know that Prof X can’t really fix these problems.
While there may be a solution, people often accept their circumstances. Don’t I know that feeling?
I’ve never been able to fully accept suffering as normal, but I have been tempted. Who hasn’t?
Like Rogue, and so many other victims, I yearn for more, but when I get it, I push it away.
I’m at least catching onto to this habit, and learning to stop doing it, but Rogue probably hasn’t noticed it, because like so many real people, she has no one around her to reflect it back at her. Al lot of us never realize this on our own, that’s they therapy can be beneficial. If it’s good therapy.
When we feel like we’re wrong, deeply, something inside us is, it’s hard to open up.
And what’s sad is that some of us, like Rogue, do have people around us who accept us.
Gambit never shows any fear of Rogue, as I said. And pushes more for the relationship than she does, but Rogue seldom acknowledges it. She’s scared, he’s not.
Gambit of course has to be well aware of the reasons, she’s quite vocal about it.
But while he says he doesn’t care, Rogue isn’t willing to risk it, even if he is.
And of course, realistically, Gambit knows that there’s only so far they could go. How could they ever have kids?
Metaphorically, one could see it as one realizing that all human intimacy is never going to be enough to satisfy us. Not fully.
Of course, we Christians say that’s because we need God. When you have God, you can let man be man.
Rogue does actually express the wish to know more about God on the old show, because you could do that back then and not get cancelled by social media, but the show didn’t take it farther than that.
I wonder if she would find peace in believing that God loves her, and is the One person she can’t hurt.
That was one thought that kept me sane in some of my more self hating moments, knowing I can’t hurt God. Sometimes I want to, it’s horrible, but I want to take out my anger on someone, and I know He will not hurt me, not like my dad would. It’s a sad truth.
God usually doesn’t answer when I do that, and then I feel alone, but I’ve started to realize it is me who’s pulling away, not him.
So yeah, Rogue’s actions hit home in that way too.
I know that God values me, I just don’t accept it when I should. I find it hard to believe.
I think Rogue reflects the way victims feel that even if others are willing to be hurt by them, they don’t deserve that kind of grace.
It’s hard to hear, but it’s not like Rogue is the only one with this problem. Scott can never look anyone in the eyes without glasses on, Beast is…a beast. There are other mutants who can hurt people easily with their powers. Rogue can at least cover hers up.
And she sees no issues without other people getting their happiness, but can’t see it for herself.
I think she believes Gambit would never commit anyway, though he seems more than wiling to do so, though he can also be a bit of a flirt, but then so can she…the real issue both of them have is they won’t be honest about what they want.
Many victims just don’t know. I don’t know what I want, often.
I know it a little better now. Other than I don’t want someone like my dad, I have begun to learn what positive traits I want.
But we can swing the other way and look for perfection. We are drawn to the familiar, but repulsed by it when it lets us down.
I think I am at least not drawn to my dad’s cruelty anymore.
I may always like banter, as a permanent mark of growing up with him, but banter doesn’t have to be cruel.
I recently had an annoying time with a guy at my school who liked to say snide things to me, not sure he really knew they were snide, I could never tell if he was rude on purpose, or just stupid, but either way, it reminded me to much of how my dad would mock me.
This guy was hot, not gonna lie, but I couldn’t be attracted to his personality enough for that to be a plus. It’s like gilding a bitter pill, really.
I don’t hate this guy, I don’t even think he’s the worse sort of person, but he’s not my type. Maybe some women could put up with him, I don’t know I they should, I think it’s up to them, but for me, it’s not a good idea to get close to someone like that. I’m already on the defensive, and I barely know him, that’s never a good sign.
But victim flock to it, to people who put them on the defensive, because we think that’s showing interest.
And perpetrators flock to people like that because they think that’s the kind of person who will support them.
But the trouble is, even if you take steps to become better, you could still miss what’s right in front of you.
To go back to Rogue and Gambit’s example, let’s look at it more seriously.
So, Rogue is right, it would never be easy or simple for her to be with someone. And Gambit might need to acknowledge that a bit more.
I mean, if the love each other, they may still never be together, just because she thinks it’s not fair.
The question is, is that a valid reason?
I’ve read of people deciding not to marry because of health reasons, just because it wouldn’t be possible for them to have children. In Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist, there’s a woman who won’t marry a man because she has a stain on her ancestry and doesn’t want to drag him down with her, it’s no fault of her own, but she feels like it would be irresponsible.
Heck, even goofy movies like Mad Monster Party hold out the idea that you can refuse to marry someone because you think you’re no good for them.
And many people in real life self foil because they think they are the wrong person emotionally for someone else. And they feel selfish if they do get involved with someone.
I hope one day I will stop feeling guilty for asking for help. And for people making sacrifices for me. I wish I didn’t have to ask. But I have to tell myself now that it’s okay for me to have my needs met. Not to the exclusive of everyone else’s, but that it won’t hurt them if I do. And even if someone does get hurt, it can be mended.
The magic thing about love is that it makes pain seem unimportant compared to the love.
There are difficulties to any relationship. Some people decide to be together despite that, because they figure the love is more important. That was the story of many interracial couples, and still is, interracial marriage is still looked down on even in America…and it’s not always the white side of it, either. I heard a comedian who was black talking about how black men asked her why she married a white guy. Couldn’t a black brother lover her better?
I can’t even begin to explain how disgusting that is, and yet it’s seen as normal to have that reaction.
But there are difficulties, we can’t pretend there aren’t.
While it’s minimal now, there were health risks in the past when interracial couples had children, the blood type could be a problem.
So in that case, a situation like Rogue’s becomes a reality. A mother can hurt her own child by having different blood from them. They can fix it now, but back when they couldn’t, it was a gamble.
I thought it was poetic they made Gambit the other half of this ship. What is love but a gambit? Even if you marry someone who you know is good and honorable, you risk them hurting you by accident, even physically, accidents happen. Things you don’t expect happen. There are other problems that arise.
One of you can get sick, or die. There is always risk.
But the way couples have answered this since Eden, has always been the same.
It’s better to have love, while you can, and to cherish it, then to live without it. Love is worth the risk. Love is, or nothing is.
And it seems to me that’s how God meant it to be. He chose to create us, knowing full well we’d break His heart a million times a year with our problems, but He is Love. He cannot be anything else, and to Him, Love is what matters, pain is not what He’s afraid of. God is never afraid, that’s His advantage over us.
But what God values form us, is that even though we are human, and cannot help feeling fear, we still choose to love. Our faith is precious to Him because we can do it in spite of being imperfect, something He could not do, as God, except through becoming a man.
That’s why I still want to marry, and have children.
I’ve seen it go wrong, I know how much it hurts. It has hurt me more than anything else in my life.
I can think my parents for many of my emotional problems, and health problems too. That hurts.
And I know I will likely repeat at least some of their mistakes until I learn better.
But, I still want love. Because I think Love matters more than pain. I am afraid to love, of course, it’s a risk. But I still want to try. God help me to do it right.
Some have said that if love doesn’t hurt, it’s not real.
I don’t think love has to hurt all the time, but if it doesn’t sometimes, I think you’re delusional, even God suffers for love. It’s normal.
It’s not easy but it’s normal.
And I pray I find a man who shares my view of it. They are rare, but there’s a few out there. Heck, I don’t want a perfect man, that would be freaky, I just want one who shares my idea of love.
It’s easier to find a perfectionist than a real Lover in the old sense of the word, but one has to try.
I doubt the X-Men show ever went that far, but it’s interesting that the set up at least was there. If people would just be honest with themselves and each other about what they are willing to risk.
Well, this ran long, I do get on a roll about love.
Until Next time, stay honest–Natasha.