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The Incredible Hulk In Harlem?

I took my son to see The Incredible Hulk on Tuesday night and it truly was incredible. I didn’t mind the fact that he didn’t look completely believable (as Iron Man did) as I’m not sure how you can make a 9-foot tall, bulletproof, barefoot, shirtless, green man with more muscle than most countries look believable under any circumstances. Now that Marvel is producing their own films there is a certain realism that they are injecting into superhero movies that just didn’t exist before --- such as the abject horror splayed across the faces of the soldiers who came face to face with a 9-foot tall, bulletproof, barefoot, shirtless, green man who was toppling Humvees, ripping cars in half, downing gunships and roaring like a lion.


The Hulk and Abomination (Hulk’s adversary in the flick) wind up in this climatic battle sequence on 125th Street, Harlem U.S.A. They lay waste to the street, interesting enough avoiding the Apollo Theatre, all of the new big box stores and overpriced condos that have sprung up thanks to gentrification. And as with any action flick, all hell breaks loose in front of innocent bystanders and what do they do? They run into the trouble, rather than from it. Abomination knocked a handful of people about a city block away from him. Hilarious. Michael K. Williams a.ka. Omar Little of The Wire ran outside onto the street and ran back inside the doorway he emerged from as soon as he saw the chaos. Tankers were blowing up, people were standing around screaming and traffic continued to head toward the chaos. Even a soldier tried to drive away from the scene in reverse with only three wheels on his vehicle versus just getting out and running for his life.

I thought all of this was hilarious. Not because I've seen it at this point dozens of times, but because this time most, if not all of the innocents were black folk. And here's the thing with black folk: we run --- like hell --- at the first sign of trouble. And I'm speaking from personal experience as a person who, as a younger man, attended large outdoor events where too many people were around too many other people. Things go wrong (as they do at all large events) and everyone, including this me, runs like hell.

Which brings me back to the movie.

Had one 9-foot tall, 1,100-pound green behemoth been fighting a 10-foot tall behemoth in present day Harlem, I humbly suggest that this would be the scenario:
  • Anyone not driving a Cadillac Escalade or a vehicle with 20+ inch rims would abandon their cars without hesitation.
  • Everyone on foot would run like the wind away from the chaos.
  • People would kick windows out of buses trying to get off them if they were stuck in traffic.
  • Any and every cabbie spotted going North, South, East or West of Harlem would be pulled out of their car by mobs, and once people finished fighting each other to get inside the empty cabs, at least 8 people would pile in to go North, South, East or West of Harlem (whether they knew how to drive or not).
  • Several cats would bring their lawn chairs to the rooftops of their buildings and watch the festivities on the street. Some of these individuals would even probably begin smoking weed or have a forty with them just to make the whole scene more palatable (or exciting).
  • The few illegal street vendors still around would pack up their goods faster than they do when NYPD does sweeps and descend into the nearest subway.
  • Mothers and fathers would either drag their children down the street by their arms yelling at them the whole way to "c'mon!" or push their babies full speed in their strollers, making sure their shopping bags were still hooked onto the stroller handles.
  • And then a few, because of pride or machismo, would defend their homestead by any means necessary. And they would die.
This is just my take on things. I won't say more because I'll give away the rest of the movie for those of you who actually want to see it. I don't believe in spoilers.

This is completely random and has nothing to do with fatherhood, being a man, or a husband.

I simply couldn't resist.

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