The Heroic Philosophy of Phil Coulson

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“Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage” – C. S. Lewis

In a earlier post I talked of Agent Coulson’s role as the heart and soul of ABC’s new Marvel show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  What began in 2008 in Iron Man (and many thought reached its zenith in The Avengers) now continues on the small screen (hopefully for the foreseeable future, thus spared the fate of other Whedon television projects the networks – FOX – deemed less shiny).  Therefore, as Coulson goes, so goes his philosophy of heroism.

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The Heart of (the Inner) S.H.I.E.L.D

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“What does S.H.I.E.L.D stand for Agent Ward?”  “Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division.”  “What does that mean to you?”  “It means someone really wanted our initials to spell S.H.I.E.L.D”Maria Hill and Agent Ward, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

In May of 2008, Summer movie-goers were introduced to what would become the Marvel cinematic universe via Jon Faverau’s Iron Man.  The origin story of billionaire Tony Stark and his Iron Man Armor.  In the midst of all the tech, action, and Robert Downey Jr.’s seemingly patented “Stark Snark”, a secondary character emerged:  Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Looking the consummate “G-Man” – something strait out of Mad Men at times – he became a larger presence as the Marvel cinematic universe grew, appearing in Iron Man 2, Thor, and finally The Avengers.  It was in The Avengers that Coulson’s character shined brightest, as his belief in what that group of Superheroes could become was so deep, so engrained into who he was, that his willingness to sacrifice himself to give them a cause to rally around becomes the emotional heart and pivot point of the film:  the idea that the film’s greatest hero was, in fact, the one without powers.

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When God allows you to grapple…

Posted on by Aaron in Star Trek, Star Wars, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

School lunch tables, brown and worn, sat empty as the sunlight beamed into the elongated building beaten and worn by season after season of north-eastern weather in the wilderness.  The air was still from the outside, as the only discernible movement of molecules came from the half-dozen or more fans turning overhead.  Alone, the area felt like a ghost-town.

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Teaching Doctors…with lolipops.

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“Sometimes I learn more from a visit than the patient does” – from a doctor visit this summer

Often we underestimate what we’re actually capable do doing, of accomplishing.   Generally it’s because we don’t look a certain way, don’t have an influential job, or enough money to give Scrooge McDuck a run for his bin.  We spend too much time actively – or more likely passively – listening to a culture beholden to what C.S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery”: the idea that anything from the past isn’t worth listening to simply because it is past.  It’s a much nicer way of describing “shiny ball syndrome” – the disease of chasing whatever is new (not to be lumped in with the use of “shiny” from Firefly).

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Margin for a Miracle…

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What margin exists in your life?  Where does nothing less than a miracle need to happen?

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Two Types of Stories…

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How many different types of stories are there?  No, I don’t mean genres like Science-Fiction or various sub-genres such as  cyberpunk or space opera (i.e. Blade Runner or Star Wars; two movies with a glaring commonality).  An expert in literature or well read aficionado will tell you there are only seven literary tropes or archetypes.  I disagree.

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The Foolish Muppet

Posted on by Aaron in Star Wars | 3 Comments

Foolish (adj):  silly or ridiculous; lacking good sense or judgment.

He is small.  He is slow, walking with the aid of a stick.  Oldness exudes from his being. His complexion is a sickly grey-green.  Moreover, he’s a Muppet!  No, he’s not a frog, nor is his name Kermit, but I think they’d have been great friends in a “crossing the streams” sort of way; they do both like to hang out in swamps, after all.  I can imagine them patiently fishing together and the amphibian chiding the other for his terrible lack of lyrical skills as they attempt to sing a duet of “Rainbow Connection”.

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Conscience, thy name is Ramona (and I don’t mean Flowers)

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Growing up watching Disney’s Pinocchio – and presently watching shows like ABC’s Once Upon a Time – you’re presented with the idea that your conscience is a good thing, right?  The inner voice that keeps you on the strait and narrow, away from harm.  But what about when your conscience no longer sounds like Jimminy Cricket but rather the annoying voice of one Ramona Nowitzki?

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Trial and Community: The Saga Continues…

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When we last left our intrepid heroes…

Moving down hallway, only stare at ceiling.  Similar questions.  How did it happen?  FENX!  They don’t understand?  Phone. Facebook. Picture.  Not working.  Max is trying now, success.  Shock and amazement:  “You got hit in THAT?  Can I have one?”  Mind jumps to  Leia in Star Wars:  “You came here in that?!  You’re braver than I thought!”  3…2…1…hospital bed now.  Young doctor trying to talk to me; better than Dr. Allen at Shriners…

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Trial and Community

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No one wakes up on a given morning thinking that they’ll be a focal point, a lightning rod, for action.  You don’t think you’ll be the conduit through which community is displayed in a powerful way.  It’s certainly not expected shortly after you tell a small group of men that one of the ways that community is evident is when members allow their lives to be interrupted because another needs them.  Nevertheless, life has a way of being ironic.

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