by Bruce Banner
From time to time, we offer free editorial space to folks from all walks of life who have something to get off their chests. Today we bring you a heartfelt request from an itinerant scientist.
I’m Bruce Banner, and I’m writing to ask politely that the recent spate of Twitter feeds based on the persona of the monster that is the Hulk suspend publication. I refer specifically to the so-called Feminist Hulk and the so-called Drunk Hulk, but I include by this reference the field of so-called Hulks that seem to be growing unchecked like kudzu.
I feel that I have standing to make such a request because the monster that is the Hulk, the unstoppable menace whose power is only matched by his ineloquence, is me. And I am not the author of any of these Twitter feeds. If I had a Twitter feed, I’d prefer topics like nuclear physics, or science in general, or really great diners off the beaten path. I would not Twitter about the Hulk, and the Hulk would not Twitter himself, as social media is not something in the Hulk’s skillset, which is mostly, punching and lifting and jumping. “Smashing.” I know. 🙁
I should explain the particulars of my circumstance. Since the radiological accident that gave birth to the monster that lives inside me, I’ve become what you’d call a drifter-a long step down from being what you’d call a research physicist. I try to think of it as just another collapse of my state vector, to keep me from getting too down. But it’s not so bad. I meet many more interesting people than I did in the military industrial complex, which is filled with people who are weenies or evil or both. The reason that I am a drifter is that I must keep a low profile and remain in motion, because of the varied forces that intend to capture me and unlock the secrets of the weapon of mass destruction that is my gamma-irradiated DNA. (These forces are also weenies or evil or both.)
I do not make this request out of a personal sensitivity, per se. Mock me and I won’t protest. But the actual Hulk is not funny. His timing is poor. His timing is non-existent, unless it involves catching a Stinger missile or throwing a taxi cab at a helicopter. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, because I should not allow my feelings to get hurt. The world does not need an Emo-Hulk. (Oh sweet Christ please don’t use that.)
It might be persuasive to point out that to create a Hulk “character” is just not that hard: just replace all first person pronouns with “Hulk” or “Hulk’s” and then choose subjects and verbs that do not agree. That’s all that needs to be done. Quite simple. That is to say, the degree of difficulty is a low degree of difficulty. And while the results may be humorous-presumably because of the ironic cleft between the content and the diction -it is not brain surgery. And I know brain surgeons, because I minored in brain surgery. It is far from. It is clever, but it is also, dare I say, cheap? I know how things work (I’m a scientist): Twitter feed, Tumblog, book deal and then unimaginable fame and riches. Surely these young writers are very talented, and surely some of them would even have the same career trajectory even without reliance on the CAPS LOCK key.
I’ve gone on too long. I need to keep moving, picking up the odd job where I can, maybe make a friend or two, maybe smash-or should I say, watch as some person violating our social contract, or trying to destroy the world, is smashed. But this glorification of this Hulk, this power that could be unstoppable if he were to be angry (or drunk, dare I say) enough, should stop. This Hulk is ignorant to your non-gamma-ray political strife and philosophical arguments. And, even as a friend, he is wont to break chairs by sitting on them and knock door frames from true and sometimes, when he is careless (either playing with children or very very mad), level cities.
Or maybe these authors should consider ceasing and desisting purely on the basis of my having asked, because frankly while this matter is not hurting my feelings it is actually getting under my skin a bit, and it’s no secret that I have this social interaction problem that revolves around my anger and how it forces others to not like me very much. Obviously my primary problem remains reining in my temper so as not to trigger the transformation which makes me grow three and a half feet, gain twelve hundred pounds and turn green in the course of thirty-five seconds, which transformation is excruciating on a cellular level and perhaps before someone wonders out loud about how funny it would be if the Hulk were a Presbyterian this person should wonder first what it would be like to feel excruciating pain on a cellular level, just once, just for a second. Because that is what motivates me: being the person who turns into the Hulk is not easy, and in a lot (if not most) ways it fucking sucks a sack of fucking cocks. And I’m not getting angry-I’m no David Brooks but I have some self-control-but I was once a Nobel-tracked Best and Brightest and now I’m a sideshow freak with no permanent mailing address and people I’ve never met are using me to get the attention of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and it’s just not fucking fair.
Doc Bruce Banner, belted by gamma rays, turned into the Hulk. You know the rest.