The Marvel Effect

Challenging my deepest suppositions.

March 17 2021

For many years, I would blithely spout vitriol against Marvel to anybody that brought it up. I loathed the movies, and everything they represented. "Fuck Marvel", I'd say.

Then, in 2020, I watched my first Marvel movie. And then the next one. And then the rest of them. Then the first one again. Then the TV shows. Then Infinity War and Endgame a couple more times.

Needless to say, I was wrong. My entire worldview was turned upside down. If I could be so arrogantly fallacious about this, what else might I have been wrong about? How else could I challenge my own prejudices...

Gadhians of the Galaxy

Read books on an eReader

Like many people before me, I would deify the idea of physical books. I bought a Kindle last week, and already I've read more books than the entire previous year. Lo and behold, reading was just as magical.

Shave my hair off

This was born out of a necessity rather than to satsify a curiosity. As a youth, my hair was my pride and joy, the glue that kept my appearance together. One day in lockdown, I was having a bad week and then a bird pooped on my head and one thing led to another and I got rid of it all. And the world span on.

In fact, not only am I now more emotionally prepared for the inevitable day in the not-too-distant future when Time withers it all away - I might even get away with never having to go to a Barber again 🤞

Eat Tomato Ketchup

Though my childhood Mortuusequusphobia has somewhat subsided, I'm still not really a sauce person. HOWEVER the other day I made homemade burgers, and the recipe asked for some Tomato Ketchup in the mixture so I put a little bit in. Progress.

Have my coco pops with milk

I have tried this once upon a time, but again I feel I'm on solid ground here. Now obviously, I have a glass of cold milk on the side. But when you pour milk into a bowl of coco pops, you lose all the chocolatiness of the cereal! You may as well be eating rice crispies and chocolate milk.

Acknowledge that there are more than 151 Pokémon

I'm willing to compromise here and accept that the Generation II Pokémon are legit. I have played Gold/Crystal before, but that's as far as I can go.

Get a cat

I'm still secretly afraid of cats, but I do feel I've made some strides in this area! I only sometimes cross the road if a cat is in the way; just over a year ago I stroked Tootsie (albeit whilst slightly inebriated); and I frequently put positive Slack emoji reactions whenever colleagues post pictures of their cats.

Willingly use an umbrella when it rains

One of the perks of working from home is that there's really very little reason to step outside in the rain right now. Do I still think that we as a species should be able to engineer a better solution the the whole weather problem than a tree on a stick - yes. Would I put it high on the agenda for the human race - maybe not. Will I still consider anyone that uses an umbrella on the streets of London to be selfish -

Dunk already broken digestive biscuits in my tea

No, but I have very sound logic for this! Digestives diverge dramatically when it comes to taste and consistency. After extensive taste testing, I've settled on McVities as my brand of choice. But a lot can go wrong between the factory and my mouth - perhaps a bad batch, or somebody in the supermarket dropping a packet.

When I dunk my biscuits in tea, I break it in half. Partly so it fits better in the mug, but mostly as a test of it's consistency. If it breaks into perfect halves, I know the biscuit is likely to remain solid in the tea, and taste normal. If a biscuit comes out of the packet broken or crumbly, I know it will fall to shit. So I don't eat it.

I can't see this one changing to be honest. My tea is too important.

Accept that small children should be allowed on scooters in public.

I know of all people I have no business judging parents or children. All I'm saying is that if adults driving cars and bicycles are subject to some form of regulation, then surely a five year old callously and carelessly swerving around into ongoing pedestrians should be held accountable. At least let them take a spatial awareness test or something.

Instigate a pleasant conversation with a (willing) stranger

I'd love to be the sort of person that can do this, but where would I even find a stranger in this day and age?! It's just impractical is all, otherwise I'd totes be doing this all the time.

Listen to a Prince song

I'm not sure this really counts. It's not like I had an opinion on Prince, it's just never really been something I've thought to listen to (at least not knowingly). You can probably substitute Prince for any number of popular artists that I "should know". Save your judgments for after you've heard a Lata Mangeshkar song.