The Snappening or What I Would Have Done As Thanos
First, sorry I missed you all yesterday. I meant to get home and write something after work, but the day got away from me as I wound up crashing and taking a short nap before heading over to a friend’s house for an informal farewell. By the time I made it back home, it was already Sunday, so I’m doubling down and hoping to give you all a couple of posts today.
Anyway, I’ve seen Avengers:Endgame three times by now, and I’ve been thinking about the Infinity Gauntlet quite a bit. Mild spoilers ahead. Canonically, anyone can wield the gauntlet or the stones for that matter, and a number of people besides Thanos have actually done so. The MCU changed things up a bit by establishing most of the stones can’t be used by “mortals” and in this film they make it clear that unless your name is Thanos, you can’t use the gauntlet safely. So yes, you can snap your fingers, but you wouldn’t survive doing so.
This brings me to the topic of this post. Keeping in mind that using the gauntlet at all would kill you, if you had the opportunity to snap your fingers wearing it, would you, and what would that snap do?
The cheeseball answer is to snap yourself into a body that can handle infinite uses of the gauntlet and then rule the universe. But the spirit of the question is what I care about. You have the opportunity to irreversibly change the universe at the cost of your life, what do you change?
It’s a subtly complex question, you can weed out hatred and bigotry but given so much of that is as much nurture as it is nature (you can’t convince me racism isn’t a mental disorder- if you blame shit on the color of people’s skin you’re not dealing with reality properly), I feel like it would only be a matter of time before that shit came back. You snap away poverty and the social structures in place that made it happen to begin with will also eventually bring it all back. Double all the resources in the universe and you’ll still wind up with greedy bastards consuming it all in the name of profit or whatever bullshit cause they champion.
Now, all of this is arguable, just like Thanos’ take on the matter. There’s no guarantee that turning all the racists into ash wouldn’t permanently abolish that type of thinking, but that’s kind of the point. There’s really no right answer to this. I’m not sure changing any one thing could save the universe from itself. I mean, Thanos is a smart guy, but removing half the life of the universe also fucks shit up for the remaining half. Less people means less infrastructure which means societies collapse and I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not sure we could all learn how to farm over night.
Personally, even though I’m liable to mess things up as much our favorite purple villain, I would totally use the gauntlet and my one change might be as much physiological as it is philosophical. I would have to work out the details before doing so, but basically I would force empathy onto all sentient life. A lack of empathy is what I think is the source of our problems. If everyone could feel what everyone else was feeling, we would know who the psychopaths and nutjobs are and remove them from society in as humane a way possible (they can have Florida). It would also end violence as we know it. No one would be willing to stab or shoot anyone else if you also feel the knife or bullet, to say nothing of sexual assault. Those with money, power, and resources would be a hell of a lot more likely to share once they knew the helplessness of the current working class. I knew folks with three jobs in a two person household who still couldn’t make things work out here, and that level of hopelessness isn’t something anyone would wish on another if they’ve been through it themselves.
Call me corny but I think if we could all actually understand each other, we could make this world paradise. That’s not to say there wouldn’t be a fair share of problems along the way. Understanding why your neighbor is a Nazi, doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t deserve to be punched in the face, it just means you’re more likely to kill their worldview with kindness. At least I think so.
Now if I really want to wax philosophical, I can argue that we all have an infinity gauntlet as it is. If living your life is the equivalent of snapping your fingers, what change are you making happen right now?
Then again I might just get rid of all the Republicans.