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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Immortality
Posted: July 6, 2020 at 4:47 am
I think Tuck Everlasting put it best when Winnie said: Dont be afraid of death, be afraid of an un-lived life. But what happens when you dont have that option? In the latest trailer for The Old Guard, starring Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne, the latest immortal member of the squad finds herself face-to-face with an eternity she didnt sign up for.
Based on the graphic novel by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernndez, and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Old Guard tells the story of a young soldier named Nile (Layne), who discovers that shes part of a centuries-long line of god-like mercenaries who are unable to die.
With the help of Andy (Theron), otherwise known as Andromache of Scythia, Nile is brought into the titular Old Guard to fight for humanity or perhaps the right pay-cheque. However, things take a turn when a dangerous group uncovers their secret and decides to go after them. They cannot be killed, but it turns out there are far worse things than death for an immortal to face.
All the while, Nile is struggling with the fact that, while she stays forever young, everyone shell ever love will someday die something that every member of the Old Guard has had to face during their centuries of living. Fun times for all involved!
The Old Guarddebuts on Netflix on July 10th.
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Theres a thing you can always count on in blockbuster movie culture: If a popcorn genre hangs around long enough, after a while its going to merge with another popcorn genre it seemingly has nothing to do with. Thats what happened when Kingsman: Secret Service (2014) fused the setting and attitude of a James Bond thriller with the fanciful bang-bang-ballet-in-the-air action of a superhero movie.
It happens again in The Old Guard. Adapted from the 2017 graphic novel by Greg Rucka (who wrote the screenplay), the movie is about a team of crime-fighting immortals whose flesh can repair itself from bullet wounds and knife stabs like something out of an X-Men film. But theyre also a down-and-dirty crew of leather-jacketed renegades who find a way to do maximum damage with machine guns and windpipe-smashing moves like something out of a Jason Statham payback special. You could call them The I-Team (I for immortal). You could also call the film X-Men: The Expendables Edition.
The leader of this posse of ageless commandos is Andromache of Scythia, known as Andy (Charlize Theron), who we meet in Morocco, where shes wearing Ray-Bans and a black T-shirt and a sharply edged dark-brown version of a late-70s David Bowie coif. She looks like a refugee from a motorcycle commercial, which makes you think the film is going to be some convoluted exercise in numbingly abstract action iconography. But The Old Guard, if anything, goes in the opposite direction; its like an immortal-mercenary hangout movie. Chunks of the picture are logy and formulaic (it dawdles on for two hours), but the director, Gina Prince-Bythewood (making a major lane change after Love & Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees), stages the fight scenes with ripe executionary finesse, and she teases out a certain soulful quality in her cast.
According to the films theology of invincibility, each team member was killed at a certain moment in history, only to wake up and learn that from that point on they would be immortal. Andy is the oldest she cant even remember how long shes been at this and Theron, as cuttingly fierce as you want her to be (especially when shes wielding a circular medieval Asian slicing weapon), acts like someone whos bone-tired after a millennia or two of fighting evil; the dream of immortality has become her cross to bear. Matthias Schoenaerts plays Booker, who was killed fighting for Napoleon, as a melancholy loner spinning through history. And Marwan Kenzari and Luca Marinelli are Joe and Nicky, a swarthy duo who died while dueling in the Crusades and have been lovers through the centuries. Thats part of the films rousingly inclusive approach to the action genre.
The other part is the casting of KiKi Layne as Nile, a Marine who gets her throat slashed by a Taliban leader during the war in Afghanistan. One day later, shes all better, marking her as the first new member of the I-Team since 1812. Laynes performance is the most resonant in the film. She plays Nile as a surly, desperate, human-sized outsider whos distinctly unenthused about joining her new warrior colleagues in a life that never ends. Shes so not with the program, and that gives the moment she agrees to get with it a charge of actual drama.
The Old Guard is at once a conventional action thriller; an origin story thats trying, in its utilitarian Netflix way, to launch a badass franchise; and an elegiac late episode of that same franchise. Its a genre movie that, if anything, takes its characters a lot more seriously than the audience does. Floating through the years with hidden identities, Andy and her team are presented to us as stealth saviors who really, really care. Andy, explaining the game of immortality to Nile, says things like, Its not what time steals. Its what it leaves behind. (A line like that can leave the pulse of a movie behind.)
The way The Old Guard works, immortality lasts until it doesnt. The film has a passing-the-baton-to-a-representative-of-the-new-world plot that echoes Terminator: Dark Fate and Logan. The villain, Merrick, runs a pharmaceutical corporation and is played by Harry Melling (from the Harry Potter films) as if he were the evil grandson of Malcolm McLaren. His plan is to kidnap our heroes and learn the secrets of immortality by mining their flesh for its genetic secrets. Merricks middleman, Copley, is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, an actor who never fails to surprise. Here, he goes from villain to soul-haunted collaborator to the films equivalent of a certain character with an eyepatch in a way thats entirely convincing, even as he barely moves a facial muscle. Will The Old Guard be successful enough to spawn a sequel? If it is, the challenge going forward will be to make the prospect of immortality seem like something more than a rerun.
Posted: at 4:47 am
Doctor Who season 12 revealed the true origin story of the Time Lords - but just how does Rassilon, founder of Gallifrey, fit into this?
The Timeless Child is the biggest retcon in the history ofDoctor Who - but how does Rassilon, founder of Time Lord civilization, fit into this?Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall promised that season 12 would change everything, and he wasn't understating the case. TheDoctor Who season 12 finale, "The Timeless Children," revealed the Doctor's true history has been concealed all this time."They lied to us," the Master revealed. "Everything we were told was a lie. We are not who we think. You or I. The whole existence of our species - built on the lie of the Timeless Child."
The Doctor is the Timeless Child, a mysterious being found at the foot of a Boundary into another universe. She was discovered by a Gallifreyan explorer named Tecteun, who took the Timeless Child as her own. Then, one day, tragedy struck. The Timeless Child suffered what should have been a fatal accident, but instead of dying she regenerated. Tecteun was astounded at what she had seen, and she set about trying to understand the Timeless Child's powers. The Timeless Child thus became thebase genetic code for all Gallifreyans within the Citadel, and the Time Lords were born. This is easily the biggest retcon in the history ofDoctor Who; in general it's foreshadowed fairly well by classicDoctor Who,thoughit sits uncomfortably with the post-2005 relaunched series.
Related:Former Doctor Who Showrunner Changes Regeneration Rules
There is one curious omission, however: Rassilon. Generally regarded as the founder of Time Lord civilization, Rassilon was an explorer who longed to see more of the universe than any man could in one lifetime. According to classicDoctor Who, and countless previous tie-ins, under Rassilon's reign the Gallifreyans discovered the secret of regeneration and became Lords of Time. Rassilon himself is immortal, although he believed no other Time Lords were worthy of this, and left the Game of Rassilon behind as a trap for any successor who would seek immortality. The Time Lords brought Rassilon back to lead them in the Time War, and he was opposed byDavid Tennant's Tenth Doctor in "The End of Time."
Rassilon is apparently entirely absent in "The Timeless Children," which seems odd given that Chibnall is an old-schoolDoctor Who fan. It is important to note, however, that "The Timeless Children" confirms Gallifreyan history has been deliberately obscured; that leaves a lot of wriggle-room. The most likely solution is that Tecteun, the scientist who discovered the Timeless Child and unlocked the secret of resurrection, was in fact Rassilon. Both have been portrayed as explorers who sought immortality; Tecteun gained the power of unlimited regenerations but chose to limit other Time Lords, just as Rassilon believed he alone should be functionally immortal. It's true that Tecteun was female while Rassilon was male, but that is hardly an issue given that regeneration allows a Time Lord to change biological sex.
This is a simple retcon, and it fits rather well. If this is the case, then during the Time War the Doctor found himself going up against the one being who truly understood what he was capable of. Little wonder Rassilon was so shocked and surprised in "The Day of the Doctor," when he realized how many incarnations of the Doctor were in play. It is ironic that Rassilon, the explorer who sought immortality to explore the cosmos, ultimately led Gallifrey to a pocket dimension where his people lived on in isolation, unable to return.
More:Doctor Who Already Has The Perfect 15th Doctor Actor
Snowpiercer Episode 8's Wilford Twist Is Smarter Than The Movie
Tom Bacon is one of Screen Rant's staff writers, and he's frankly amused that his childhood is back - and this time it's cool. Tom's focus tends to be on the various superhero franchises, as well as Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Star Trek; he's also an avid comic book reader. Over the years, Tom has built a strong relationship with aspects of the various fan communities, and is a Moderator on some of Facebook's largest MCU and X-Men groups. Previously, he's written entertainment news and articles for Movie Pilot.A graduate of Edge Hill University in the United Kingdom, Tom is still strongly connected with his alma mater; in fact, in his spare time he's a voluntary chaplain there. He's heavily involved with his local church, and anyone who checks him out on Twitter will quickly learn that he's interested in British politics as well.
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Its Negligence: Young People Hosting Coronavirus Parties, Betting On Who Gets Infected First – CBS Pittsburgh
Posted: at 4:47 am
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) Some young people have been throwing coronavirus parties, a gathering where people who have COVID-19 attend.
The goal for the guests? To win money by being the first to be infected.
Its so alarming, says Dr. Brian Lamb, a primary care internist at the Allegheny Health Network, flaunting what they feel is their immortality.
With a coronavirus infection, many young, otherwise healthy people, only have mild symptoms but some have a severe illness.
We dont know whos going to have the severe reaction, said Dr. James Deangelo of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Associates.
Thirty-eight percent of those sick enough to be hospitalized are younger than 55 years old. For people ages 20 to 44, four percent of those hospitalized die.
A young person from Penn State who died of complications from coronavirus, says Dr. Lamb. You dont want to get this disease.
The big problem with young people getting coronavirus and not having significant symptoms is they can spread it to others and not realize it.
You now have exposure at a party, you go home, you infect your sibling, your parents, grandparents, says Dr. Deangelo.
People who are actually going to get sick from it, added Dr. Lamb.
Somewhere down the line, theres a death, says Dr. Deangelo, Its negligence.
And if you get invited to this kind of party?
I would decline, and quite frankly, I would report it, Dr. Deangelo says. I do think the health department should listen if you hear about such a party taking place.
You really need to rethink your friend circle, Dr. Lamb recommends. Are these people that are making the best decisions in their lives? Are these people I want to be friends with? Are these people I want to associate with?
In Allegheny County in the last 10 days of June, seven of the people hospitalized were in their 20s and 30s.
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Through a Blur of Migratory Birds, Photographer Sankar Sridhar Captures the Rituals of the Yamuna River – Colossal
Posted: at 4:47 am
All images Sankar Sridhar, shared with permission
When Dehli-based photographer Sankar Sridhar visits the Yamuna River in winter, he observes hundreds of gulls, terns, and other birds as they flock to the Ganges tributary that flows through the Indian city. Despite the rivers inability to maintain a thriving ecosystem in that stretch, the avians are spurred by site fidelity as they migrate each year, a ritualistic act Sridhar recently captured in a series titled Long Live the River.
Because the tributary attracts such an influx of avians, its also a site of religiosity and legend. People travel to the water to feed the birds, an act thought to bring good karma, and disperse offerings for their loved ones whove died. My approach to documenting life along a small stretch of this river was driven by the deep connection of rivers and life and divinity in Hindu texts, mythology, and legend. The fact that the Yamuna is considered the only river with the power to grant immortality to humans seemed an irony that could not be overlooked, the photographer says.
Fifteen drains of untreated wastewater from household, municipal, and industrial sources flow into the tributary, saturating it with chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, and garbage that eliminate aquatic life. However, Sridhar notes that in 2017, officials recorded 24 bird species residing in the rivers wetlands. This finding came as a surprise, given the greatly degraded water quality of the Yamuna, he says.
Using a low shutter speed, Sridhar captures the annual rituals through clouds of Dehlis thick smog, blurring the flying creatures as they swoop over the water. The obscured visitors mar clear shots of boats and the horizons as they appear to linger above the water in shadowy flocks. I aimed to impart a surreal touch to the images by using the boats as the fabled transport into the afterlife while flight-paths of the birds as metaphors as much for the souls of the dead as the mad chaos in our world that blinds us to the damage we do to the environment, he says. Throughout, though, the river remains a giver of life, despite having the life sucked out of her.
An avid outdoor photographer, Sridhar shares his projects focused on Himalayan landscapes and local communities on Behance and Instagram.
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Posted: at 4:47 am
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Carli Lloyd of USA celebrates scoring her third goal from the halfway line ... [+] during the FIFA Women's World Cup Final between USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Stuart Franklin - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
My goal since the beginning was to become the most complete player in the game.It is up to other people to formulate their own opinion of me" the words of Carli Anne Lloyd, a double World Champion, a double Olympic champion and a double World Player of the Year. A minor knee injury has ruled her out of the ongoing NWSL Challenge Cup but approaching her 38th birthday, Lloyd has no desire to rest on her laurels.
Five years ago today in Vancouver she scaled heights of achievement unparalleled in the sport. Within 15 minutes, 5 seconds of the World Cup Final, Lloyd had scored a hat-trick which not only destroyed her Japanese opponents and secured the United States their third world title but secured her immortality in the history of the game's greatest showpiece.
The third goal, a shot from the center line, left commentators and fans gasping for superlatives. After two unsuccessful World Cup campaigns, Lloyd now had the only international medal missing from her collection. For most players there would be nothing left to achieve in the game but for Lloyd there is always another challenge. "People approach me all the time about that game and always bring up the long-distance goal I scored", she admits "but I try not to think about that game too often because Im still playing and want to focus on what is coming up next while continuing to build the best possible version of myself.
Four years earlier, it couldn't have been more different. Against the same opponents in the 2011 World Cup final, Lloyd was one of three United States players to miss their spot-kick in a shoot-out defeat. Speaking on the eve of the 2015 tournament, Lloyd admitted that experience was "a really tough thing to go through. It's tough, but I think that builds character. There's nothing I want more than to go to Canada this summer and hold that trophy".
USA's midfielder Carli Lloyd reacts after missing a penalty during the FIFA Women's Football World ... [+] Cup final match Japan vs USA on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. Japan won 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out after the final had finished 2-2 following extra-time. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)
After an indifferent start to the 2015 World Cup in Canada, Lloyd had failed to score. In the group stages of the World Cup, I knew I could be better and our team knew it could be better.I was playing in a more reserved defensive role and once I was moved to the attacking midfielder position it enabled me to create and play with more freedom and help my team in a more effective way.Fitness played a part in it but so did my determination to maintain my spot as a pure attacking midfielder".
In her 2016 book "When Nobody Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey To The Top Of The Soccer World", a New York Times Bestseller, Lloyd admits to dealing with the challenge by "going back to work. By working when nobody is watching, and then working some more". Five years on, she believes that unquenchable desire to improve still pushes her. "From day one, the goal is to keep adding layer of improvements with each day and this is what fuels me to keep going".
The move into her more natural position yielded startling dividends. Lloyd scored in successive knockout games against Colombia, China and Germany, to score again in the final would be an unprecedented achievement in the history of soccer.
There, the United States would remarkably face the Japanese again, the two had also contested the 2012 Olympic final, with Lloyd scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory. There was never any chance she would allow this World Cup final to be decided in a penalty shoot-out lottery. My only goal was to help my team win a World Cup" she recalls. "There was so much riding on that game, and I remember us all feeling ready and charged up!"
Within five minutes, Lloyd had scored twice from almost identical set-piece moves, on both occasions anticipating the play in the crowded Japanese goal-mouth as if predestined to score. "The first two goals were the result of being in the zone. My mind was ready, I was on my toes and anticipated where the ball was going to go and let my instincts do the rest".
Lauren Holiday added a third goal before Lloyd's strike for the ages made it 4-0 with barely a quarter of an hour on the clock. "After I scored the third goal, I remember being in a huddle with my team-mates celebrating. The feeling was incredible. It was like we knew we were going to be world champions".
The USA's Carli Lloyd (C) celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup ... [+] final between the US and Japan at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
The remaining 75 minutes turned into a coronation party for the American fans in the sold-out crowd. The final winning margin of 5-2 is the most decisive in the history of any World Cup. Lloyd remembers that the 2015 World Cup Final was very special to me for a number of different reasons. I felt rewarded for all the hard work I had put in and it stands out in terms of how good our team really was on the day".
Lloyd and her world champion team-mates should now be preparing to win the Olympic soccer tournament in Japan but the postponement of the Tokyo Games until 2021 means the Sky Blue midfielder will be a week past her 39th birthday when the first match is played. Already a double Olympic champion, Lloyd is undeterred, viewing the break as an opportunity gained rather than lost. "Having the Olympics postponed for another year is giving our team more time to learn from Vlatko (Andonovski). Personally, it has given me the opportunity to tweak my training program and get ready for the year ahead".
The opportunity to join former team-mates Christine Rampone, Heather Mitts, Heather O'Reilly and Shannon Boxx as a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist is there for a player who continues to drive herself relentlessly in her pursuit of greatness. "I just want to be remembered as a player that never gave up on her dream and proved that with hard work, sacrifice and dedication anything is possible. I want young players around the world to be inspired by my journey".
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Weve got all heard of a contemporary world. This world will have flying cars and trains, and even buildings as high as the skies. We would even have floating towns! What will the human race do should they eventually figure out immortality using technologies?
Altered Carbon paints a beautiful image of exactly what a technological future would look like. It reveals the upsides and drawbacks to modern technology and tells you that the future may be innovative but you may not enjoy it!
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This itself garnered half the press attention that the series received. Using technology and machines, the fast-paced activity sequences along with the mystery of some unsolvable crimes make the fans completely addicted to the show.
Altered Carbon is an American cyberpunk net collection. Its a version of a novel by Richard Morgan. Its a Netflix original show, making Netflix the key show distributor.
The very first installation consisted of 10 episodes. The show was revived for another year with eight episodes on 27th July 2018.
The series revolves around Takeshi Kovacs. He is a trained mercenary who works for the Protectorate, a galactic security organization. Takeshi has a traumatic past and the only family hes left is his sister Reileen.
Technology allows humans to store their whole memory in electric discs calledstacks, and its the essence of living. If you damage your pile, you are dead for good. If your system is damaged, you can attach your heap into another body. They call the entire bodies assleeves.
Takeshi is set from sleeve to sleeve, used by different people for their particular purposes. On his trip, he meets Quellcrist Falconer, the leader of this rebellion against immortality. He falls in love with her and aligns himself with her cause.
The narrative proceeds across two seasons with death, loss, and a lot of time jumps. You may not be able to decode the true story till the finish and that adds allure into the narrative.
The Attractiveness of Altered Carbon is that numerous actors have played the same role:Joel Kinnaman, Anthony Mackie and Ray Chase as Takeshi KovacsJames Purefoy as Laurens BancroftMartha Higareda as Kristin OrtegaChris Conner as Edgar PoeDichen Lachman and Elizabeth Maxwell as Reileen Kawahara/GinaAto Essandoh as Vernon ElliotKristin Lehman as Miriam Bancroft and Naomi BancroftTrieu Tran as Mister Leung/ GhostwalkerRenee Elise Goldsberry as Quellcrist FalconerLela Loren as Danica HarlanSimone Missick as TreppDina Shihabi as Dig 301Torben Liebrecht as Jaeger/ Ivan Carrera
No official cast list was released for the upcoming season. But it will be fun to see what a brand new cast member brings to the table.
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New Delhi: The newly-formed Madhya Pradesh cabinet signals the Congressisation of the BJP, ThePrints editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta said in episode 512 of Cut The Clutter.
An analysis of the cabinet, and where the loyalty of its members lie, shows that MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been cut to size. In fact, he has been rendered a lame duck whos also been kneecapped.
Fourteen of the 33 cabinet members are former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindias loyalists; they had defected to the BJP with Scindia back in March. This means more than 40 per cent of the people, who arent even members of the House yet, have been made ministers.
Three others are loyalists of BJPs Narottam Mishra while three are loyalists of the partys national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. This leaves just 13 ministers who are actually CM Chouhans loyalists, which means he has very little space to do or say anything.
But it isnt just Madhya Pradesh which is showing these signs. Of the 17-NDA ruled states, BJP has its chief ministers in 12, but a closer look reveals a slow move towards a complete Congressisation of the BJP.
For one, this indicates the rise of a high-command culture in the BJP, just like that of the Congress. Only one person or a couple of people own that high command space similar to how the Congress is presently run by just a few people, such as Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.
This also shows that the BJP now has very weak CMs as well as cabinet ministers. This is because all the power within the party emanates from one source.
One of the main reasons why Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power with such a resounding mandate in 2014 was due to the fact that the BJP had built very strong Chief Ministers who could always swing elections in their states for him. But six of these strong CMs are nowhere to be seen now.
Former Rajasthan CM Vasundra Raje is out of power as is former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh.
Gujarat had Narendra Modi as its powerful vote-catching CM, but his shift to Delhi moved that power with him. In Maharashtra, Nitin Gadkari, who could swing elections single-handedly, has now been sidelined.
In Madhya Pradesh, Chouhan has also been sidelined, cut to size and rendered powerless despite being the CM.
On Wednesday, at the swearing-in ceremony, he cryptically commented that amrit (nectar of immortality) comes out of the churning of the ocean as Shiva consumes vish (poison), in whatmay be a metaphorical reference to himself.
Other BJP-ruled states signal a similar trend. The formula of keeping your chief minister reduced to a nobody who gets instructions from Delhi for anything he wants to do is being repeated in all the states.
For instance, Assams CM Sarbananda Sonowal is seen to have very little power. In fact, it is the Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who is considered the face of the Assam government. He is also seen as the face of the BJP in all of the Northeast. He won the Northeast for the BJP.
In Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar has had to share power with his deputy and JJP leader Dushyant Singh Chuatala, after the two parties were forced to form a coalition government. Cabinet minister Anil Vij too occupies a very important, powerful position in the state government.
In Gujarat, CM Vijay Rupani is remote-controlled from New Delhi, which is a well-known fact.
Manipur CM Biren Singh was forced to restore the portfolios of his deputy CM, National Peoples Party leader Y. Joykumar Singh, as part of the understanding reached between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the NPP delegation led by its national president and CM of neighbouring Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma.
This means that while Singh may be the CM, the real authority and power lies with the high command in Delhi.
In Karnataka, B.S. Yediyurappas authority has been undermined time and again, most recently when none of his Rajya Sabha nominees were selected by the party high command, which instead backed those of Yediyurappas rival, B.L. Santosh.
The one exception to this rule is Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath. He was seen as a political lightweight with no real following of his own. But the fact is that the way Adityanath has conducted himself has not only made him more of a Hindutva brand ambassador but also a brand ambassador for Modi and Shah. He wasnt chosen to be an exception, but just turned out to be one.
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In Batman Beyond, Bruce Wayne must use his modified Lazarus Pit in order to save his son's life after a failed assassination attempt.
When it comes to family, its hard to not follow in their footsteps regardless if you want to or not. In Batman Beyond #44, former leader of the League of Assassins Damian Wayne follows in the footsteps of his grandfather Ra's as he uses a Lazarus Pit in order to escape death. The real kicker is that it's a Lazarus Pit owned by his father, Ra's persistent nemesis Bruce Wayne.
Created by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, the genetically-engineered son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul spent his childhood raised by the League of Assassins as he was groomed to either inherit his father or grandfather's empires. Choosing to rebel against these predestined plans, he chose to stay with his father and became the newest Robin. This new identity and the responsibilities that came with would clash with Damian's personality and temper but in the end, it helped him become a better person. Throughout his career, different possibletimelineswere shown of Damian inheriting the mantle of Batman from his father or in this instance, in a world where Bruce retired and eventually let the mantle of Batman be succeeded by Terry McGinnis, he became the new Ra's Al Ghul and commanded the League of Assassins. Although Terry and Damian's last interaction didn't end on the best of terms, Terry's return to his role as Batman is interrupted by the appearance of Goliath, Damian's pet bodyguard, who leads him through Neo-Gotham to find Damian's tattered and unconscious body at death's door.
RELATED:DC's Most EVIL Version of Batman Beyond Has Arrived
As Terry and Goliath fly through Neo-Gotham while alerting Bruce of their situation, they are interrupted by the League of Assassins eager to finish the job their leader, the mysterious Mr. Zero, had failed to do when he usurped Damian from his current title. As they are unsuccessful, Terry and company are able to get to the current Batman headquarters where Damian is placed in a recovery pod whose rejuvenation powers and design look a little too familiar. When Terry comments on it, Bruce reveals that the pod is his own interpretation of Ra's famous Lazarus Pit, the ooze responsible for Ra's iconic longevity, and that it should heal Damian so they can find out who wants him dead and why.
Comic book characters escaping near death situations isn't news and it hasn't been the first time that Damian has almost or actually died but the real surprise is at the revelation that Bruce Wayne technically owns a Lazarus Pit. Having seen firsthand the power of the Pit and the price those who use it pay for their "immortality", it feels like Bruce justified crossing a line that could end up being a slippery slope all for Bruce's crusade against crime and evil. Although Bruce claims to have borrowed some of the elements from the Pit, he clearly hasn't tweaked the madness that overcomes the subject upon immersion as Damian emerges in a feral frenzy, attacking Terry with an alert Goliath prepared to protect his master. Although Bruce defuses the situation in a surprising manner, it still doesn't shake the fact that Batman himself has a working Lazarus Pit, something that in the Batman Beyond history he was once offered and refused, and it makes you wonder what other surprises he has stored away.
Although Damian survives and fills everybody in on his usurper Mr. Zero and his plans to execute one of his grandfather's old doomsday plans, it's clear that the rejuvenated former Robin will waste no time working alongside Terry and his father in stopping him. Although he is both Bruce's son and Ra's grandson, Damian proves that he chooses to make his own destiny regardless if he gravitates to one lifestyle or another. The lingering concern is more about the morality of his father and his ownership of one of his greatest enemies signature weapon. Although he chooses to use it for good, Batman Beyond's Bruce Wayne is playing with the forces of life and death and the price for that is usually unclear until it's too late.
NEXT:Batman Beyond & Damian Wayne Are Saving The Future Gotham
Should Hela Be Thor's Sister, or Loki's DAUGHTER?
Drew is a reader, writer, artist, and creative professional based in Westchester, New York. He dabbles into cosplay, movie references, comics, and some anime while also being a Ghostbuster. He has a Bachelors in History, a Masters in Publishing and is excited to be working with Screen Rant. Previously his articles have been featured on Comic Book Resources and Iron Age Comics and he's excited to see what happens next!
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A battle to defend the soul of football: How Spain achieved immortality at the 2010 World Cup – The Independent
Posted: June 17, 2020 at 12:59 am
When the final whistle went on South Africa 2010, Andres Iniesta fell to his knees and raised his arms in glory.
In that moment, youre crying like youve never cried before.
Thats what it meant, that feeling of being able to call yourself a World Cup winner, but not all it meant. Elsewhere on the Soccer City pitch, Xavi more of the ideologue, some would say more sanctimonious recalls a feeling of satisfaction.
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
It is a sense of having done something good for football, not just that Spain won and we made people happy, the midfielder told the late Michael Robinson. It was a feeling to be able to say that weve marked an era.
That is undeniably true for Spain, whose victory in South Africa was the greatest of their three trophies in that historic run, and proclaimed them as probably the greatest international team in history. As regards that era of international football in general, though, its a bit more open to debate.
While South Africa 2010 was a momentous World Cup for its wider context, it was instantly forgettable in terms of the football. A mostly defensive tournament was the second-lowest scoring in history, with just 2.23 goals a game, only ahead of Italia 90.
It does feel a contradiction that the greatest ever international side rose to a peak in what was a nadir for the level.
Many might say Spain themselves contributed to this, given a minimalist run of results that read: 0-1, 2-0, 2-1, 1-0, 1-0, 1-0, 1-0. They were the lowest-scoring World Cup winners.
That is a somewhat superficial reading itself, though one that overlooks the context, which involved a lot more than a contradiction.
South Africa 2010 happened at a historical crossroads in football, too.
It marked the end of a shift, which started with the 1999 expansion of the Champions League, where club football became the highest level of the game. International sides had generally not been capable of the same integration, the same cohesion, the same ideas. The top players were adjusting to an inferior level of play.
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola influenced Spains football (AFP via Getty Images)
This wasnt the case with Spain. They were effectively a club team, since they were dominated by Barcelona players, and integrated into a sophisticated possession-pressing approach that had also become the national style.
That approach, of which Pep Guardiola was the high priest, had sparked a tactical revolution in football.
The game was being turned on its head as Barca and Spain were lifting almost every trophy above their heads. High possession percentages translated into high win percentages as Spain went undefeated for 35 matches. The football was often spectacular. Spain had joyously flowed at Euro 2008, and in pretty much every game right up to the start of that World Cup.
That was a key period, because it was also when we saw the single most successful response to this so movement far. That was the other extreme, in one of the most intense Champions League ties ever played. That was when Jose Mourinhos Internazionale willingly relinquished the ball, the space and the initiative to Barcelona to try and just sit deep and counter.
It worked by the slimmest of margins, but had a mass effect of its own. This temporarily became the template to tackle Barcelona and Spain. It conditioned that entire World Cup, and was the question before every Spanish match.
A couple of days before the final, I was asked: Can we [Holland] stop Spain playing in the way which allowed Jose Mourinhos Inter to eliminate Barca from the Champions League semi-final? wrote Johan Cruyff the prophet in all this.
It meant that South Africa 2010s finest team were usually involved in its most attritional games. There was also the issue that the general shift in football meant a defensive approach was far easier to impose on a disparate group of players. It was similarly less risky and more logical against a team that would kill you given the space. Switzerland showed this in the very first match and again, just about got the result.
By the final, Xavi was talking exasperatedly about how there was never any space within 30 metres of the opposition goal.
Spain and especially Spanish supporters became victims of their own success. It was because they were so good that their games now became so nerve-shredding. The opposition had few other options. They certainly wouldnt have the ball. Its probable that this conditioned Spain, too.
Vicente Del Bosque had already been conscious of how the approachs necessary high line had been susceptible to quick counter-attacks. It had the potential to become a glass jaw, but was generally well worth the risks, given the rewards.
Del Bosque had already developed a drill where one centre-half and a goalkeeper would work on counters against three attackers. That would prove decisive.
To mitigate against it further, though, Del Bosque moved away from Luis Aragones more open midfield from Euro 2008 and introduced a second pivot. Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets would now share the work previously done by Marcos Senna alone, with Xavi pushed forward. That removed some of the thrust from Spanish passing, and may have moved Xavi away from his best position. They were still commanding, but werent quite as fluid.
One argument is that it made their possession more pragmatic, less proactive. That is possible, but it is difficult to disentangle that from games where long stretches would be spent with Spain trying to unravel deeply woven backlines. They insisted they were the ones still trying to impose their game, to make the play.
David Villas role in Spains triumph is often overlooked (AFP via Getty Images)
I think we are involved in a battle to defend the soul of football, Xavi said. Thats the only way I know how to play.
That opening defeat to Switzerland also ensured every game thereafter was sudden death. Those were the stakes. The squad were keenly aware that anything less than victory and especially Spains usual early exit would be shamefully wasting a historic opportunity.
I had never in my life felt so nervous as against Honduras, Iker Casillas said.
They won that game 2-0, when it should have been 6-0, ensuring there was the same feeling before the Chile match.
The hours before that game were the most nervous I can recall since I joined the national side, David Villa told Graham Hunter.
That suffocating tension could be felt in every match.
Villa was one big reason it was eased. There is an argument the striker was Spains most important player, maybe even beyond Xavi and Iniesta. Xavi defined and set the entire style, with Iniesta continuing and enhancing it, but what was so distinctive about Villa was that he fit it but was still so different. He ensured the possession had true penetration. He was the sharpest edge amid so much smoothness. Villa scored the decisive goals for four successive games, from that match against Honduras to the battle of a quarter-final against Paraguay.
It is no coincidence that Spains best performance by far came against the next best team, in the semi-final against Germany. That wasnt just a case of rising to the occasion. It was also that Germany tried to play them on their terms, which played into Spains feet.
Joachim Lows side just werent quite ready for it. The German coach admitted that afterwards, amid effusive praise for Spain.
It is extraordinarily difficult to win the ball back if you lose it to Spain. Yes, they are definitely the best team in the world and they are going to win this tournament. In 2008, they won the European Championship in a spectacular way, totally convincing, but in the last couple of years they have evolved, introduced some changes and they now play as if they are on automatic. This team has a unique ability to dominate you and to control you. It is a marvellous team. These guys are the masters of football.
The seeds of something else were sown there, not least for Low and Germany.
Regardless of his words, though, the World Cup still had to actually be won. Spain still had to play a final that was in its own way a fitting distillation of everything that come before: a low-scoring battle; destruction against creation; attack against defence; counter-attack against possession; a contradiction in how the Dutch went against their ideals; a philosophical battle.
I would much prefer to win a very ugly game than lose a beautiful one, said Arjen Robben. The point is, we are in a World Cup final. From now on, how you actually play no longer matters. We will defend from the front; no one here feels they are too special to get their hands dirty.
Rather different to Xavis words about marking an era. Alonso instead had his chest marked by Nigel de Jong, in one of the many fouls that characterised the Dutch approach. So much for the Cruyff final.
The Dutch were playing a totally different game to what they had grown up on. The reality was that, like with so many other teams, it proved the approach that offered the best possible chance against Spain. It also produced maybe the best chance of the game.
Robben himself was at the centre of one of those counters that Spain had found themselves so susceptible to.
He was sent clean through, Casillas goal at his mercy. Except, some of Casillas training paid off. So did the goalkeepers quality.
He spoke of the moment lasting an eternity. He calculatedly put his foot out, and brought himself immortality.
Iniesta struck in extra-time of the final against the Netherlands (AFP via Getty Images)
So did Iniesta.
He offered up what Fernando Torres described as the goal of all goals. Iniesta then added the gesture of gestures, as he lifted his shirt to reveal a tribute to Dani Jarque, and ensured his late friend was remembered at that moment of greatest glory.
Spain were champions. One of the worst World Cups from a pure football perspective had crowned one of its greatest teams.
That contradiction came from a crossroads that set a new path, which Germany and France would follow. If international football was never again going to rival the club game, it meant that those countries that could industrialise youth production and a certain style of football would come closest to matching it. It is no coincidence those nations won the next two World Cups. England hope to follow the example, to enjoy that greatest of feelings.
South Africa 2010 may have been a forgettable World Cup from a football perspective, but Spains victory there had a lasting effect.
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