The Reality Breakdown
This universe sucks. I don’t feel bad saying it. There aren’t any superheroes, no one can time travel, teleportation is looking more and more unlikely.
Curse you, physics. You are a harsh mistress.
The other day, while playing Arkham City, I was struck by the thought of how woefully inadequate Gotham’s police force is.
Every one of Two-Face’s henchman is wearing some kind of suit that was cut in half, then sown together with the half of another suit. He has to outsource that, right? And, let’s say you can’t find the place that is manufacturing henchmen’s daily wear. Two-Face can’t possibly clean his own suits. Find the dry cleaner, stake out the place, follow the guy back to his lair. That can’t be so hard. I mean, really, “World’s Greatest Detective”. Buzz by the closed comedy clubs every evening, you catch Joker before he starts anything.
I’m joking, of course. The untraceability of Gotham City’s most wanted is built into the Batman universe and that is one hundred percent okay. I’m not ragging on it. I have accepted the incompetence of the Gotham police. They are lucky to have Batman. Things would be terrible without him. I have suspended disbelief.
In improv, one of the first things you learn is to never say, ‘no’. In order to make progress in a scene, you have to keep the scene moving. Saying ‘no’ stops all forward movement.
This is the same with the suspension of disbelief. I remember watching the preview for Star Trek, the teaser where the Enterprise is being built in the cornfields of Iowa.
My dad turned to me and said, “That would never happen.”
“Really? That’s the problem you have with this movie? The no seatbelts thing didn’t get you?”
“They would be building it in outer space. It’d be too heavy to get off the planet.”
I blacked out after that.
I’m not a Trekkie. I have not seen Star Trek. The movie could have ended with the Enterprise attempting to achieve orbit and crashing back to Earth while Spock sits on the bridge and says, “We really should have built this in outer space.” I think it’s more likely that the universe of Star Trek allows for a ship that size to be built on Earth, then launched into space.
Dad’s statement was the equivalent of saying ‘no’ to an entire universe.
I don’t deny Dad’s right to have a point of no return. I have abandoned stories over things much sillier. When we try examine fiction through our lens of reality, things aren’t always going to hold up. The suspension of disbelief is the closest thing we have to magic.
So get lost. Let it go.
Like I said, our universe sucks.
But, that’s totally okay.