It's no secret: The Avengers are here. You can see them flying around, punching things, yelling, and sweating in what almost seems like slow-motion. These facts are undeniable. However, we here at GPS have decided to take a closer look at what the emergence of these so-called superheroes means for both the Human race and planet Earth.
Our dogged determination to make sure our interns know how to research things has led us to believe there are two impacts The Avengers' appearances and subsequent actions have made: An environmental impact, and a spiritual and cultural impact. Part one will focus on the spiritual and cultural impact, and part two will examine the consequences of Stark Industries arc reactor technology.
Part One: Spiritual and Cultural Impact
Being the unrelenting journalist that I am, I set out to find spiritual and religious leaders who are in unique positions of authority. By asking them about what's been going on in our world for the past few years in terms of super heroism, I hoped to glean enough information to predict how our lives will change in the coming days.
I first sat down with Pope Benedict XVI and put on my most serious of hats. I wondered how the revelation of Thor, the God of Thunder, being a real, tangible ass-kicker from the heavens has changed his views on philosophy and epistemology.
For the interview, Ratzinger grabbed the most serious hat he could find within arm's reach.
"I don't really see it as a problem. I mean, this Thor character seems powerful, but is he all-powerful? Is he the unstoppable force that can ultimately move the immovable object? I doubt it. I think you're going to see the end-times come a lot sooner than originally planned. Jesus is pissed."
According to the Pope, J.C. has nothing to worry about but doesn't like being upstaged.
Be that as it may, Jesus' popularity has definitely taken a hit, especially in the younger demographics. Studies have shown that between the ages of 4 and 14, Thor is outselling Jesus on the action figure front by a 5-to-1 margin.
"Poseable arms and gliding action" haven't helped the Son of Man get out of his marketing slump.
Maybe he should take a cue from the Thunder God and hawk his own merch.
Kids and man-children who need their action figures aren't the only ones flocking to Norse paganism from Catholicism. Anecdotally, I can say that I've seen cars lined down the street with Asguardian bumper stickers, most of which were stuck directly over old, peeling WWJD stickers.
Efforts have been made in the past to get more people wondering about what Jesus would do.
Everybody knows what Thor is doing.
Pope Benedict XVI downplayed Jesus' sagging numbers, arguing that it's not about who's "in" right now.
"I'm in this for the long haul. A real deity doesn't need to fly around with a cape, always grimacing. Jesus will outlast this Avengers fad, and when he does, his numbers will soar!"
When told that he, too, ostensibly wears a cape and grimaces a lot, the papal leader declined further comment.
Action figures sales aren't the only woes being experienced by followers of Christ. Apparel sales are also down a whopping 40% ever since Thor's fight with the Destroyer hit YouTube, and it doesn't look like those figures will climb any time soon.
Team Jesus is still selling jerseys...
...but they lack a certain panache found elsewhere.
The future isn't set in stone, but as of right now, Thor is beating the crap out of Jesus in a very public popularity contest. I'm not even sure what's on the line, exactly, but if I were to wager, Thor would be my guy. I've never even seen Jesus get punched in the face. Who knows how he'd react?
I also sat down with Deepak Chopra, one of the leading minds in metaphysics and quantum mechanics, in order to pose the question of how the natural order of things has changed since The Avengers have shown themselves.
Nobody knew why Chopra was signing books at a rave, but the universe seemed to be alright with it.
"Nature's intelligence functions with effortless ease, with carefreeness, harmony, and love. And when we harness the forces of harmony, joy, and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease."
I have no idea what he was talking about, but when Chopra told Thor to master his rage, the Asguardian answered back, "Or my rage will become my master."
Chopra didn't seem too phased by Thor's existence, or by the Avengers, for that matter. Honestly, I'm not sure if he was still answering my previous question or if he had moved on to something else.
"Clearly, the body needs to be reinvented. That’s the main theme of my new book, 'Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul.' I throw out every fixed belief about what the body can and cannot do. In their place, I offer five breakthrough ideas that can completely alter how you see your body and what you do with it."
I guess he was talking about the human body in relation to a deity's? The only thing I know is that we'll never know for sure.
Not to be left out in the cold, Tom Cruise contacted GPS upon getting wind of our spiritual Avengers coverage. A noted Scientologist and opiner, Cruise, 49, regaled us with his findings on what makes sense in this crazy world.
Tom Cruise is dedicated to making you feel better.
"Look, you don't know Norse mythology. I do. You haven't done the research. I have. You need to get cleared and look on the rational side of things. You either want to be in front of this hammer or behind it. Which side is your choice."
While the often-star's threats may motivate some, we here at GPS remain skeptical on whether or not Scientology should be allowed into the conversation when it comes to what a mythological outbreak might mean to the general public.
Thor is Tom Cruise's Obi-wan Kinobi. They've both done the research. Have you?
I was surprised by Cruise's hardcore backing of Thor's mighty hammer, and as the conversation went on, he became visibly agitated. I simply asked if he could understand how some people wouldn't want to drop their favorite god for this new, shiny one, but he took offense.
"Sir, Sir, you're being glib. Now you're just being glib. Being depressed about your crappy god not measuring up to the Mighty Thor is just a symptom of a larger problem. What problem? Well, wouldn't you like to know? Look at who wants to do some research now! No. I'm not telling you."
He then folded his arms and gave me a raspberry. Man, Tom Cruise can be a jerk.
While the majority of my time with this story was spent trying to understand the Jesus angle, I want to underscore the importance of this topic to everyone by reminding you of Thor's immense power. He can crush you if he so chooses, and it's not an idle threat. Just remember that.