So I filled out my March Madness bracket. My method was based around favoring schools that friends support or attended. Also, my distaste for Duke. Usually I suppress Texas A&M, but they haven’t done anything too awful in a while, and I recently had some quality interactions with some A&M folks. Anyways here is my hastily filled bracket:
But of course, March Madness is also time for another wonderful tournament: the Tournament of Everything!
I did the first Tournament of Everything when I worked on the St. John’s Review. Honestly, Joe Mathlete had done it before and I just stole the idea from him. In high school, I actually created a big chart and had people vote for a winner every day until we completed the entire bracket. I think when Joe did it, Luby’s Macaroni and Cheese won. And this is before Pappas Restaurants bought Luby’s and grossed up their delicious Mac and Cheese.
The Tournament was continued to the Rice ThresherBackpage, where I just kinda made it myself. The general concept is a competition between the best things of everything. Of course, it is somewhat limited by the author’s own provincial knowledge, but I tried to include some great universal concepts. (pdf: ToE 2006, ToE 2007)
That is a bit grainy, here is a closer view of the bracket.
And the 2007 version:
I’m not entirely sure which year was better. 2007 doesn’t have the quirky breakdown and analysis that was in the 2006 version. This difference is probably because I was busy with my expanded role in the Thresher after the March staff turnover.
However, one of the critiques about the 2006 version was that it was too much of a “Tournament of Evan” rather than something more universal or accessible. While I still think it was an inspired joke to have Males ages 18-35 be the winner in Adult Swim v. Guitar Solos, in what universe would Mountain Dew go that far? Answer: The Evan Universe! If you compare, I did try to fix it a bit in 2007, eliminating some inside jokes and expanding the number of Rice jokes. Though the Magic Flute from Mario 3 was my favorite carryover. Alas, I was slowly learning my lesson that the Backpage was supposed to be for everyone and not just a bunch of Evan jokes.
This blog thing, on the other hand, can be nothing but Evan jokes! Which is why I am planning the first annual Tournament of Evan. In it, I would lavish myself with naval gazing, self-obsession, and inside jokes as I compete the various aspects of my life and attention against one another, breaking down the safety barrier between character schtick and actual personal issues, blurring into a grey mush of neuroses and spelling errors.
The 4 Categories for the Tournament are, so far: Women, Popular Media, Funny Third Thing, and Politics/History. If you have any recommendations or submissions or critiques or personal insults, please feel free to contribute in the comments or just yell at me IRL.
However, with the rise of Iron Man and the release of Iron Man 2, another sprite challenges Mary Jane’s throne: Pepper Potts. So, given the question of Pepper Potts v. Mary Jane, who wins? I asked the question on Facebook, and it resulted in a much more heated discussion than I intended:
Yeah, but while she wouldn’t look at the rich kid in school (where he was a nerd) she notices him after graduation. She is also in love with Spiderman after he saves her from Green Goblin (who knocks Harry unconscious, thus he cannot save her). Then, when she finds out who Spiderman is she says, “Somehow I always knew” indicating that she knew that Peter was not only her emotional savior, but also her physical savior Spiderman.
Also, Pepper stayed by Tony even after the embarrassing thing with the kiss and the dance and even unto his lowest point. I give her high marks for that.
I can’t believe this is even a contest. I like strong, intelligent women at the top of their field. Pepper Potts is smart, sexy, witty, and confident. All MJ has going for her is that it takes you quite a long time to figure out that you’re whipped.
Reasons why Pepper Potts is the bees knees:
1) Pepper Potts is a whiz at accounting.
2) The cybernetics in her chest will prevent her from ever losing her figure.
3) Pepper Potts is not offended by sexual harassment (which is definitely a sign of confidence).
4) Pepper Potts is feisty and self-assured. She a woman to be conquered, not manipulated. She’s a woman who realizes that 49 “No’s” and a “Yes” equals a “Yes.” Pepper Potts leaves trails of worthy men dead in her wake. And she understands that being fucked raw against the wall is way more sexy than gentle love-making on the bed.
Men who like Mary Jane are merely poor romantics who search for “good girls,” those petite, salad-eating, shy bitches who men assume don’t have baggage and will play fair and will not cheat. It’s assumed that the girl next door requires little confidence to ensnare and little effort to keep. All men learn the frightening truth eventually:
As a great woman once said, “There are no good girls, only bad girls found out.
Mary Jane Watson is a flighty harpy who took that whole women’s lib thing too seriously. Her fear of commitment caused her to turn down Petey’s first proposal, which would be fine in itself, except that, after giving him the runaround, finally did marry him. After they get married she gets a psych degree (A PSYCH DEGREE!!–just farce clothed in substance) and forces Peter to quit vigilantism, only to move to Los Angeles and be a whore.
Mary Jane is the sort of woman who would talk about a relationship as if it were a third person, begging for commitment while fearing monogamy–projecting her insecurities onto those pitiful boys who happily take her abuse because they believe they don’t deserve her.
No MJ defenders? I’m in Rey’s camp, I don’t know enough about Pepper to take her down, and the Spider-Man comic plots are so entangled and confusing, especially when considering Mary Jane.
However, I can give MJ a defense using her character from the cartoon, Spectacular Spiderman.
That universe focuses on early Spider-Man while he is still in high school. MJ enters the plot late, as almost an outside character. She has little interest in Spider-Man, but focuses more on her personal acting career and in Peter Parker, whose outsized self-confidence and wit intrigues her. However, despite the waves of high school social drama, she is slave to no drama nor man. She is an individual, knows what she wants, and will go after it without concern. Like Peter, she has an outsized self-confidence, yet does not develop a big head or high expectations over it. And unlike Peter, she does not have radioactive spider blood to justify it, only her talent (and I supposed good looks).
While Pepper tolerates her boss’ insulting and even harmful shenanigans (possibly out of a money-driven hope of inheriting the company, which eventually comes to fruition) MJ does not take such abuse. Pepper sits and follows orders like a spoiled child, waiting for her father’s inheritance. MJ makes it on her own.
I’m not hating her because she comes from money, I’m hating her because she didn’t go earn her money, even if she supposedly had the talent. Like her boss, she stands on daddy’s shoulders and thinks she’s tall. But at least Tony made something himself. What does Pepper have to show besides the ability to sit and wait?
A quick google images answers all
I come from Jewish sit-com folk, so I prefer a woman who will constantly inform me when I’m wrong and remind me that she could be with someone else.
A Google Images search, indeed!
This is the first appearance of Mary Jane's face in the Spider-Man comics. It may just be me, but whenever a girl says "You hit the jackpot, Tiger," instant orgasm.
Pepper! I'd like to thank all the people on DeviantART for making slightly pervy pictures of comic book characters. So thanks shibamura-prime for this one!
All this, and she's a CEO!
If I remember my nerd history, this collectors statue of Mary Jane washing a Spider Suit created a bit of scandal because it was overly objectifying. Because comics don't objectify women, or anyone, ever.
Oh how pervy! Is there some sort of odd cross-dressing fetish here of a girl wearing her guy's clothes. I guess its only really cross-dressing if a guy wears women's clothes, because third wave feminism dictates that women can do whatever they want. Its all about choice. Guy's don't have this option. But that's a discussion for later after I've had a lot to drink. I mean, I don't want to wear women's clothes, I just want to know that I had the option. If I wanted. Which I don't....
Kirstin Dunst was possibly the worst choice ever for Mary Jane. MJ was supposed to be the party girl who consoles Peter Parker after his first girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, dies in his arms/web. Rather, she played her as an annoying wanna-be actress.
This is probably a way better casting job. Though both of their faces look like they spent too much time sucking on lemons.
In conclusion, there is a veritable debate here. Thoughts, concerns, commentary? Does anyone actually read this far. I mean, I assume most people will get caught up on the pictures. Admittedly, there were a lot more Mary Jane pictures than Pepper Potts. But like I said, Spider-Man is a lot more popular and Mary Jane has a lot more exposure. Give it a bit more time, and maybe a better Iron Man cartoon than the crappy CGI one on Nickelodeon, and maybe she’ll have the same impact on the developing sexual identity of a bunch of pre-teen and teen boys who watch cartoons.