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Does Whatever a Spider Can
June 26, 2004 6:49 PM   Subscribe

Should not Spiderman's web not shoot out his arse?
posted by kenaman to Law & Government (26 answers total)
 
In the comics, the web was an add-on to the superpowers, a wrist-watch sized device he could wear which would shoot out a compound he developed. This is all based on Peter Parker's science wizardry, the abandonment of which is part of his character's classic journey out of the suburbs into the Big City.

Don't ask me to make sense of what they've done with the film. And don't draw parallels between humans and insects/arachnids, period. I don't see you complaining that Spider Man doesn't breath through spiracles in his chitinous exoskeleton ;)

Suspend disbelief. And stop looking at Toby Maguire's ass.
posted by scarabic at 6:57 PM on June 26, 2004


Oh, and don't not watch those double-negatives.
posted by scarabic at 6:58 PM on June 26, 2004


It's Spider-man! Sheesh you people! :-D
I like the idea of bio web shooters anyway, articificial web shooters seem pricey, one wonders how PP pays for them on his paltry photo journalist salary.
posted by riffola at 7:05 PM on June 26, 2004


Pretend I can spell, it ought to be artificial!
posted by riffola at 7:05 PM on June 26, 2004


Since spider silk is various proteins, Spiderman should be excreting it via ejaculation, Spiderwoman through lactation. You know--like the spider goats.
posted by plinth at 7:11 PM on June 26, 2004


So what is arachnidesque about him apart from sticking to buildings and fancying Ms Dunst?
posted by kenaman at 7:17 PM on June 26, 2004


Proportional strengh and speed.
posted by scarabic at 7:24 PM on June 26, 2004


And remember: he's not A SPIDER -- he's a human with spider-like abilities. The bite that he suffered endowed him with such abilities -- but didn't turn him INTO a spider.

Brundlefly comes to mind.
posted by davidmsc at 7:45 PM on June 26, 2004


Fer Pete's sake, IT'S A COMIC BOOK CHARACTER!!
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:05 PM on June 26, 2004


I think it ought to come out of his tits.
posted by coelecanth at 10:15 PM on June 26, 2004


Look, riffola and Smart Dalek, it is possible to discuss the relative plausibility and, more importantly, the *consistency* of a fantasy storyline and its characters and premises. Some people have higher requirements for satisfaction than others in these regards.

While most entertainment involves some degree of fantasy or suspension of disbelief, some of us are reluctant to suspend all intelligence as well, so we hash out the minutia of plausibility and consistency. It's as much an enjoyment of the entertainment as the watching of the movie, or reading of the comic itself.

All that said, this is an objectively stupid question.
posted by scarabic at 10:37 PM on June 26, 2004


It's plausible that a bite from a radioactive spider would impart fantastic powers. It's unlikely that it wouldn't involve the subject's ass.

Now who's being naive, Marge?
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:41 PM on June 26, 2004


scarabic, when did I say anything about it not being worthy of a discussion? :) I just said I prefer bio-shooters. I think you mistook my correcting the spelling as a write off of the story. I just said that to point out the hyphen.
posted by riffola at 10:51 PM on June 26, 2004


How about the middle ground? All that web has to come from somewhere, perhaps his ass can swell up after eating and then it shrinks as he shoots out webs. You could have a scene where he has to run home and digest some protein because he's outta juice. You could do some product placement for jeans with a loose bottom. Come on people, we're trying to make money here.
posted by skallas at 11:46 PM on June 26, 2004


I, personally, did want to go along with the film and embrace the bio-shooters. I liked the way they provided an entre into teenage body-changing drama. But, if we accept the bio-shooter model, then indeed, the webs should shoot out of PP's ass, sticking him to his own chair or some such other scatalogical nonsense. Hardly workable into a teen drama storyline... I confess: the possibilities are tempting, especially with a gf named "Mary Jane," but the implications of all this veer our hero too close to a scatalogical Cheech-n-Chong comedy about getting one's ass stuck to the bong. Pretty girl from next door wants a hit. It's almost reminiscent of 'Three's Company..."

But, if Spiderman 2 gets hit with an X-rating, how are we going to sell all those goddamn Happy-MealsTM?

Anyone who's really dying to see an anally-projected superpower should come over to my house for pizza and beer, after which I'll be happy to treat you to my posterior's death ray. It is not, as far as I can tell, the product of a spider bite. It's likely that I'm just a mutant.

[registers right quick]
posted by scarabic at 12:55 AM on June 27, 2004


Oh, bollocks to all of you. A spider's silk glands are located at the rear of the abdomen so that its rear legs can assist with spinning. There is NO analogous human structure. If a human did develop one (and it's utterly implausible that anything could develop from a radioactive spider's bite other than an ulcer, but we'll suspend disbelief there for a sec) - where was I? - IF a human did develop one, then it could be anywhere at all, so it might as well be somewhere convenient.

Now, if he then brought his mate dead insects to distract her and bound her up so he could mate without being killed, that would be something.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:25 AM on June 27, 2004


I like the idea of bio web shooters anyway, articificial web shooters seem pricey, one wonders how PP pays for them on his paltry photo journalist salary.

He manufactures webbing himself.
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:52 AM on June 27, 2004


Ass-spinnerets lack sex appeal.
posted by Hypharse at 6:25 AM on June 27, 2004


I like the idea of bio web shooters anyway

Me too, but because it always seemed implausible that Peter Parker has, by about 21 (?), (i) become one of the leading material scientists in the world and then (ii) jacked it in to take photos.

So what is arachnidesque about him apart from sticking to buildings and fancying Ms Dunst?

In the film they show his skin has gown tiny hairs to enable his wall crawling.
posted by biffa at 10:20 AM on June 27, 2004


Proportional strengh and speed.

Are spiders strong? A 1-cm spider might be able to lift a 5-cm grasshopper, but that's just an indication of how light things are at that scale (even a big grasshopper doesn't weigh much), not how strong the spider is. That doesn't mean a 10-meter spider could lift a 50-meter grasshopper.

I wouldn't be surprised if a human being were stronger than a human-sized spider. The real comparison would be between equal amounts of arachnid muscle tissue vs. mamalian muscle tissue.

Same goes for speed. I bet I could move pretty fast if I were no bigger/heavier than a spider.
posted by straight at 10:25 PM on June 27, 2004


Okay, well, if you insist that spiders just have things proportionately easy, then I can' see any way of talking you into it. Why do you see a spider's ability to light a grasshopper as more about "how light things are at that scale" and less about the spider's strength?
posted by scarabic at 10:52 PM on June 27, 2004


jesus... that's "can't" and "lift"
posted by scarabic at 10:53 PM on June 27, 2004


I wouldn't be surprised if a human being were stronger than a human-sized spider

I'm pretty sure a ~70 kilo spider would be unable to support its own weight, much less move at all, and that it would sit still and quietly die of asphyxiation, unable to even wave its legs feebly in a fruitless attempt to gain sympathy, unless being crushed by its own collapsing exoskeleton did it in first. And that's when the CHUDs would come for it.

That doesn't mean I won't go see movies with giant spiders in 'em, mind. Especially it doesn't mean I won't see movies with giant spiders and Bull from Night Court.

Why do you see a spider's ability to light a grasshopper as more about "how light things are at that scale" and less about the spider's strength?

There's all sorts of square/cube reasons spiders are strong in the CAN LIFT A ZILLION* TIMES THEIR OWN WEIGHT!!! sense -- it takes proportionally a lot less energy to move small things around. If we shrunk you down to the size of a tarantula, you'd be much stronger than it -- your proportion of muscle mass is much higher, and you have more skeletal oomph to back it up. You'd be like the Hulk, able to fling spiders, well, several inches, and able to crack their legs apart with your mightily-thewed asscheeks.

*You should imagine me making the Dr. Evil "one million dollars" face here
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:27 PM on June 27, 2004


I'd pay to see that.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:38 PM on June 27, 2004


I'm pretty sure a ~70 kilo spider would be unable to support its own weight, much less move at all ...
Richard Ryan might disagree with you on that score.
posted by dg at 12:48 AM on June 28, 2004


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/0623_040623_tvspiders.html
posted by scarabic at 4:17 PM on June 28, 2004


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