I am Iron Man

by Jamie Rice

Dear Karine,

It is no secret that I have always sought to understand everything about my life through the lens of films and television. This identification is a good thing a lot of the time, helping me process my emotions and understand the world around me in a pragmatic objective way. But even I, sometimes, catch myself going too far. I have to step back and go, “Jamie, you are not Greg from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend nor are you Gretchen from You’re the Worst. You’re a breathing complex person.”

However, today is not one of those days. Today is a day where I dive head first into the comparison because I realized something at last Friday’s screening of Captain America: Civil War. I have always connected with Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man.

Now, let me begin by saying… on paper this makes absolutely no fucking sense. None.

Well, except for this moment. Always related to this moment.

But I mean this guy is the self-described:

Like this ain’t my typical thing. Karina, this man is the patriarchy, but here is the other thing, Tony was an already interesting character due to his motivation and decision to basically become a superhero, but in the last four movies I have watched with him, this kid has grown. For example, read this interaction:

STEVE
Big man in a suit of armor. Take that
off, what are you?

TONY
Genius, billionaire, playboy,
philanthropist.

STEVE
I know guys with none of that worth ten
of you. Yeah, I’ve seen the footage.

(MORE)

STEVE (CONT’D)
The only thing you really fight for is
yourself. You’re not the guy to make
the sacrifice play, to lay down on a
wire and let the other guy crawl over
you.

TONY
I think I would just cut the wire.

STEVE

(SMILING)
Always a way out… You know, you may
not be a threat, but you better stop
pretending to be a hero.

It has always gotten right to my heart, and I think I have to admit to myself that it must be because I have some sort of personal identification with Tony. There has to be something more there. At first glance, it makes no sense. I am a team player. Always have been. Steve should be my shit. But here is the other thing. With the exception of my gender, I am not very different from Tony. I value my smarts. I am well-off and generous with the privilege I have been born into, and at the end of the day, I am painfully aware of the fact that every aspect of my life has reinforced a bad system. I shop at Forever 21. I eat meat. I wear makeup. I have no desire to visit Africa. I’m an integral cog in a shitty system.

However, I try to use every ounce of the good stuff I listed above to better society. I involve myself in the feminist club. I read everything that I can, and if I am in a conversation with someone and they say something that is bad, I will motherfucking tell them. I try to be a personal role model and hero to those around me. I am an Augustus Waters. I want to save the world, but here’s the bigger catch and connection that I have to Tony: I am a “hero” because I am terrified.

The beginning of Avengers: Age of Ultron, I’m giving you the most insane superhero backstory right now and I’m kind of sorry, Tony sees a vision of his deepest fear. You wanna know what it is? That every one of his friends is dead, and he wasn’t able to save them. He failed, and when he is asked about it later he goes, “You know what the worst part was… that I wasn’t dead.” That’s the kind of shit that gets right to my fucking heart. The idea that not only will people die but that they will die because I didn’t do enough. I failed to save them. They died because of me.

Side note: This doesn’t even get into the most recent film I watched him in where someone asked if he was fine, and he replied with such melancholy, “Oh, I’m always fine.” *cries*

It’s over dramatized and ridiculous, but this is the heart of my fear. There is so much suffering in this world, and I just want to make the world an awesome place for the good people in it. I want it so bad that it hurts, and sometimes it feels like, if I don’t try, I might as well just say that I want to help this shitty system.

I know I didn’t really update you on my day, but I will definitely make sure to do that when I pick you up at the airport tomorrow afternoon!

Love you to the moon and back (it’s really true),

James

xoxoxo

p.s. Sorry for the fact that you can’t understand most of this cause it’s so superhero-y

p.p.s.

Me about this post…

p.p.p.s

You when I said anything in this post that you actually got

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