The myth, fantasy or religion of the superhero or saviour is pretty much embedded in every culture in the world. For those of us that grew up watching Spock, Kirk and Bones boldly go where no man had gone before, the idea of a mixed crew facing new existential threats in new frontiers is nothing new. The global melting pot that is post-modern America, is represented in contemporary superhero saviours.
Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the many branches of Marvel comic superheroes. Unlike many of the more two-dimensional superheroes that are “good” and fight “bad”, the Guardians are a more eclectic mix of pirates with a conscience, out to save life-kind. Any reading of most myths would likely suggest that subtlety is an unlikely prerequisite for the role of hero, saviour or guardian and this motley crew are as subtle as the obligatory movie soundtrack sale (ker-ching!).
Sadly, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a rather more obvious copy of previous attempts of the same story, almost a direct copy of “Return to the Forbidden Planet” which is derived from “The Tempest” by Shakespeare. The CGI is obviously better, but essentially, it’s the same.
Superhero your financial plan?
So what on earth can a financial planner gain from a Superhero film? Well, perhaps a reminder that relationship is at the heart of everything and those that are obsessed with their own ego, the narcissists, are just about the worst people to hang out with. However, perhaps allowing for the more nuanced subtlety that real people (and real clients) require, there is one particularly vital lesson for investors. It is this. The perfect world does not exist…. life is brief.
The real world is as complex and as messy as the people that inhabit it. Investors seeking illusory risk-free bumper returns, yet despite regulation, your inbox or “newspaper” is probably crammed with offers of them. Investing in property because you believe equities are “risky” is a misunderstanding of both. We might want jargon free, easy to understand financial products (most could be substantially improved) yet we live in an imperfect world where often all is not as it appears and our own desires may not necessarily be the best path for us to take. Simple is not always better.
The Perfect Life?… good luck with that
We live in a world of fairly immediate gratification, yet there are consequences to every decision. What we require, all of us, is wise and good counsel, that is designed for our best interest, not necessarily the convenience of “perfection”, which is invariably disguised as more earthy, pithy virtues such as redemption or restoration of broken relationships… or perhaps simply finally attaining the approval of a parental figure, through the acquisition of “stuff” that is the equivalent of those unnoticed (or noticed) gold stars.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air; And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on: and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.
The Tempest, Prospero Act 4, Scene 1.
As for Guardians, well it’s a bit of fun and in a world where distraction from the trials of life is the invisible drug that keeps most of us going, it will doubtless make a fortune. I hear that the third film is already commissioned. Here is the trailer for the latest movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2… and no it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, however Guardians is all about the ordinary doing the extraordinary when sharing a common cause together as a family, tribe or group of misfits.
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