Last (Second) Action Hero

I like Quentin Tarantino movies. The gore, the blood, the set-action sequences, the weird camera angles, the mad storyline, etc. There’s an earthy raw feel to his movies which is arresting. Part of the tension in Tarantino movies are the dialogues. They add to the whole experience.

I’ve always been a Superman fan. There’s something about a guy who can fly, have infinite strength, look good without a lock of hair out of place at supersonic speeds, be the ideal bastion of human ideals, always have adoring girls around, and of course wear his underwear outside (not too sure about the last one still). But, I love Superman. I grew up with him, and idolized Christopher Reeves. I have tied enough towels and scarves around my neck and stood in front a floor-fan (at full speed) in the hope I look as dashing with my cape flying about romantically. I have contemplated jumping out of my window many times, but somewhere at the back of my head, I always had a niggling doubt that if my experiment failed, it would lead to a classic Tarantino scene.

When Kill Bill came out, I rushed to the theaters to watch it. It was typical Tarantino. Mad storyline, mad set-action sequences, mad music and with madder anime thrown in. Brilliant! The culmination of the brilliance for me was in Vol. 2 when Bill explains to the The Bride about Superman. This is one of my all-time favorite dialogues. Sample this:

Bill: …..Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He’s weak… he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race. …….

I salute Tarantino for coming up with such an observation. Tarantino verbalized my fascination with Superman. Batman and Spiderman never had the same appeal as Superman did, and I could never explain why. Now, I know what I felt intuitively all those years ago.

August 18th is D-Day; I’ve got to submit scholarship applications for INSEAD. Let it be known I’m yet to start on them and am instead writing this. The thought of writing more b-school essays is painful. I almost feel like I’m watching a Tarantino film. Can’t stop, yet can’t continue.

And, it doesn’t help that my alter-ego is Mr. Last Second. My super-powers are panicking under stress, procrastination, daring myself to wait longer before starting, substituting other tasks with current one and coming up with great excuses. I almost feel like I was born with these qualities and my actual “alter-ego” is OMJ.

Sigh, I’ve let you down Superman.

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10 Responses

  1. look what you’ve been upto instead of writing those scholarship essays !

  2. nice post.

  3. don’t waste your time. unless you’re some sort of ethnic somethingorother, you’re not gonna get these scholarships. certainly not if you’ve been doing a consulting/banking job instead of saving some developing country from itself.

  4. “My super-powers are panicking under stress, procrastination, daring myself to wait longer before starting, substituting other tasks with current one and coming up with great excuses.”

    Dude, I can put my name under that statement and have it engraved on my tombstone.

    • You and me both…

      • why spend time writing essays for 20 hours when you know that the pressure can help you do it in 2 ?

        when the adrenaline kicks in , the mind works at supersonic speeds. U can see the bats outside the window then.

  5. Finally someone who shares with me the same childlike fascination with Superman.
    I have a silly confession to make: Before going in for my Insead interviews i listened to the Superman Theme on my iPod full blast to get me pumped up….

  6. […] McCombs ‘10 Paragon2Pieces discovered UT Austin’s Gregory Gym pool and had a good swim to ease her annoyance over a fickle car. Darden ‘10 JulyDream managed to get through the toughest part of her week and considered locations for her post-graduation life. McCombs ‘10 Metal confirmed his fall course schedule. INSEAD ‘10 OutOfMyJeans talked super heroes and identified his own version of kryptonite: waiting until the last second. […]

  7. […] McCombs ‘10 Paragon2Pieces discovered UT Austin’s Gregory Gym pool and had a good swim to ease her annoyance over a fickle car. Darden ‘10 JulyDream managed to get through the toughest part of her week and considered locations for her post-graduation life. McCombs ‘10 Metal confirmed his fall course schedule. INSEAD ‘10 OutOfMyJeans talked super heroes and identified his own version of kryptonite: waiting until the last second. […]

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