Saw Iron Man last night--beautiful, exciting, and surprisingly funny. The bits when Tony Stark converses with his AI lab equipment are priceless.
It got me thinking, though, about a certain genre of movies lately. Iron Man and Batman Begins both focus on men whose lives and livelihoods have been shaped by their parents and other powerful adults into something monstrous. Tony Stark has embraced it by helping his company become the foremost manufacturer of weaponry--and he is filthy rich. Bruce Wayne, too, is filthy rich, but more from his parents' idealistic projects in Gotham. Until the company is overtaken by his "mentor" and it, too, turns to weapons manufacture. Both men at some point in their lives have an epiphany and turn away from the violence and greed of their big businesses. Or at least the greed--they are, after all, superheroes and a certain amount of violence is part of the genre.
It is interesting to me that we go in droves to the movie theatre to see these stories enacted and yet don't really expect CEOs in the real world to follow suit. There is so much talk about corporate culture and consumerism as a necessary evil, yet we cheer on heroes who forsake the path laid out for them and try to save the world. This is, at its base, what repentance is. It means "to turn" or "to turn away." Jesus and others call us out of what we think we have to do, out of the monstrous molds we've grown into, and give us another path. Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne turn away from the corporate sin they've participated in, however unwittingly, and commit themselves to helping the helpless.
What would the world look like if we all did the same?