Friday, February 25, 2005

Does Whatever A Spider-Man Can

Another load of snow was dropped off in the driveway last night. What better way to celebrate than reflecting on the many advantages of swinging over the snow, rather than shoveling it.


Spider-Man, Spider-Man,
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size,
Catches thieves just like flies
Look Out!
Here comes the Spider-Man.

Is he strong?
Listen bud,
He's got radioactive blood.
Can he swing from a thread?
Take a look overhead
Hey, there
There goes the Spider-Man.

In the chill of night
At the scene of a crime
Like a streak of light
He arrives just in time.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man
Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man
Wealth and fame
He's ignored
Action is his reward.

To him, life is a great big bang up
Whenever there's a hang up
You'll find the Spider man.

I came across a haunting acoustic guitar version of the theme by David Gillis. I couldn't remember where I found it, so I went to the artist's site and read this review by Dave Alexander of the Canadian Guitar Players Association:

"I recently received a promotional package in the mail from David Gillis containing his CD, 'When You've Got A Dream'. At first glance, I admit, I was skeptical. It's like when you hear about a movie and that it's really good only when you go see it, it's mediocre at best. I had read some decent reviews about David, but to be honest, I was approaching this with a critical ear. The one song I was REALLY looking forward to hearing was his wild Flamenco arrangement of the Theme from Spiderman. That's right...the theme from Spiderman. As I write this, I've checked and the song is ranked 12th out of thousands of song downloads! Now THAT'S impressive! As for the arrangement, it's truly addictive and a great showcase for his ability as a guitarist. Now whether it's by pure coincidence that this is out at the same time as the movie release or a planned event, it's pure genius. Why can't I think of stuff like this??
So there you go.

When I was a kid I didn't read that many comic books. My love for the character came from the Saturday morning cartoon which offered two things: the music (I probably enjoy spy movies and crime caper films more for the jazzy music than the narrative), and the relative convenience of pretending to be Spider-Man.

I heard a program on This American Life about superpowers, and why certain superheroes caught on while others didn't. The host Ira Glass spoke with Jonathan Morris, editor of Gone And Forgotten, who suggested that characters with abilities that magnified mortal talents -- running fast, throwing things, fighting well -- were easy to reproduce in the playground. Other characters -- he mentions a guy who could literally fall to pieces -- were too much of a stretch (which is why I rarely pretended to be Reed Richards; I could stretch, but I couldn't imagine many reasons to do so.)

I loved Spider-Man because he jumped -- I could jump -- and he swung -- I could swing. I couldn't shoot a web from my wrists, but I could mimic the gesture that triggered the shot.

I'm doing it now.

It's better than shoveling.