With the middle of the year having fallen earlier this week (July 2nd for the curious), it's time to take stock, look back and wonder: What has 2009 taught us so far?
Here are five pieces of wisdom that we've gleaned from the last six months (and handful of days):
President Obama Is The Greatest Hero Of All
As his many comic book appearances have demonstrated, there's no end to our current president's ability to save the world from any genre of threat. Amazing Spider-Man has him fighting supervillains, Youngblood shows him carrying massive laserguns to shoot renegade soldiers taking over the White House, Drafted gives us an alien-invasion-battlin' Barack and Barack The Barbarian brings everything back down to sword and sorcery basics. He's like a modern-day Arnold Schwarzenegger - and enough to make us wonder just how the comic industry would've dealt with John McCain winning the election instead.
Threats To Humanity Are Getting Weaker
Last year, it was the Large Hadron Collider and the possibility that it would rip existence apart when someone flipped the switch, and this year, it was... Swine Flu. It can't just be me, can it? I mean, Swine Flu... Doesn't that seem like a step down from the technological "Our Quest For Knowledge May Destroy Us All" conceptual genius that threatened us last year? Even calling it "the H1N1 Influenza Virus" still sounds kind of shit. Okay, so there's no chance of "hardon" spoonerisms, but still: Pandemics? Haven't we done that already? I'm holding out hope that sewer monsters will brighten the remaining months of the year, however.
The BBC Should Stop Making Us Feel Old
Yes, we know that it's just one of those aimless homilies that you know that you're getting old when the policemen and doctors start looking younger, but selecting a twelve year old to be the new Doctor Who really doesn't make us feel very good about ourselves nonetheless. I know that we started with the oldest of the Doctors and have progressively gotten younger since then - well, roughly - but between David Tennant and Matt Smith, I'm convinced that we'll have our first pre-teen Timelord by 2015. And then, the next one will be a little baby, just like in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Joss Whedon Can Defy The Laws Of Nature
If nothing else, the renewal of Dollhouse proves that he can defy the laws of television. I wouldn't put money on him being unable to fly if he really wanted to.
Terminator Salvation and Watchmen - two downbeat movies offering popcorn versions of pessimistic views of humanity ("Ultimately, man's greed and laziness will lead us to become disconnected from our fellow man and controlled by the machines and mechanisms that we created to ease our daily existences - but doesn't this slow-motion action sequence look hot?") - both failed to meet expectation at the box office, while Star Trek's hopeful, colorful version of a future that may be too lens-flarey to be cuddly but is nonetheless positive surpassed expectations. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles also died a slow death on television. The obvious conclusion? No-one wants to their entertainment to end with the lesson "We're all screwed." The Dark Knight's glossy hopelessness was so last year, people. We hadn't experienced so much of the economic downturn and/or the hopetrain of Obama back then. We were all so much more innocent and desperate to be mistreated by our movies. (Along the same lines - Size Matters: Terminator, featuring human-sized robots, fails to become a hit. Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, featuring giant robots, breaks box office records. I think you can see what I'm saying here. See also: Robot On Robot Action Is More Acceptable Than Robot On Batman Action and Megan Fox Is Hotter Than Moon Bloodgood. Sorry, But There It Is.)
Bolstered with this new knowledge, we look forward to what the rest of the year can teach us - presuming, of course, that the sewer monsters don't decide to team up with Joss Whedon and end the world before then. Pray for us.