Rated: 18+ · Book · Biographical · #1399999
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"The Soundtrack of Your Life" | Day 1
"Do Ya Wanna Taste It"
by Wig Wam
It's February and that means "The Soundtrack of Your Life" is officially open for business!
This year's challenge is going to start strong, with all the things my musical choices are known for:
Obscure band (a 2000s Norwegian glam metal band in this case)
High Energy (you read the part about it being a Norwegian glam metal band, yes?)
Discovered on a film/TV soundtrack (it's the Peacemaker theme song)
I actually included a link to the opening title sequence of Peacemaker rather than the full actual song because the choreographed dance number is also worth watching. The song and dance together do a remarkable job of establishing the over-the-top cheesy tone of the show.
Fun fact, this show's theme song actually saved the band. Formed in 2001, they had broken up in 2013 and then tried reuniting in 2019. According to an interview with Billboard, the lead singer (Glam) said that their agency actually dropped them three days before the pilot aired. Thanks to the popularity of the show, their streaming numbers are spiking, they've signed with a new agent, and they're booking gigs all over the world, including the United States where they previously hadn't ever been able to drum up enough interest for a tour.
The real reason I wanted to include this song, though, was to talk a little about Peacemaker's showrunner, writer/director James Gunn. In addition to Peacemaker, he did last year's The Suicide Squad, and before that was the writer/director of both installments of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. He was slated to continue on with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2018 when, in response to right-wing troll Mike Cernovich unearthing past tweets of Gunn's, he was fired by Disney.
To be fair, some of those tweets were in extremely poor taste and made light about topics such as pedophilia and rape. The other side of the coin, however, was that these were tweets from over a decade prior, and had already been deleted after a mea culpa from Gunn explaining that he recognized in hindsight that the tweets were in poor taste and not acceptable, hence why he deleted them. And Mike Cernovich has a reputation for hypocrisy, bad faith attacks, and smear campaigns against "liberal" celebrities.
Neither side was completely innocent, which is what makes it a fascinating case study for the question of whether people can truly atone for mistakes in their past, and if there's a point where "I was young and stupid and make a mistake" is an acceptable excuse. Or should your past follow you forever, always? Does it depend on the offense, or how sincerely their remorse is perceived to be by others?
Ultimately, Gunn parted ways with Disney and did The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker for DC over the past couple of years. And then Marvel hired him back to do Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after all, thanks in large part to the Guardians cast advocating for his return and in some cases threatening to leave the project themselves if he wasn't reinstated. Personally, I feel like it was the right choice. The initial accusations against him weren't in good faith, he had previously atoned for those mistakes, and I think Disney caved to political pressure.
It does worry me, however, especially now that I have two young children. Mistakes are a part of everyone's life, especially in our formative years. In order to grow and develop as people, we have to make choices that have consequences, both good and bad. But there's a lot of research now about how kids are so afraid of being ostracized for "wrong" or out-of-the-mainstream opinions that they just go along with the status quo rather than questioning things, suggesting ideas that are out of the box, etc. And with something like humor, if you're not pushing the envelope from time to time, you're probably not very funny. It's not healthy to live your entire life in fear of being called out for making a mistake a long time ago.
I worry that my kids are going to grow up in a world where every mistake will follow them around forever. Where any pissed-off ex can post revenge porn on the internet, and every job recruiter can find pictures or video of that one time they got hammered on spring break. Or, even worse, where my kids play it so safe that they never even try to think for themselves or voice their own real opinions for fear that some troll will pick apart something they said years ago when they were naive or immature or didn't know better.
Anyway, when you're ready for a break from these deep thoughts, you really should check out Peacemaker if you enjoy irreverent humor and violence. It's a fun show that takes a surprisingly deep dive into the psyche of the title character, trying to figure out whether he's basically a good guy who is sometimes a loser asshole... or if he's really the loser asshole and just occasionally does good things.