Burdened with Glorious Purpose: Identifying the Most Resonant Movie Quote of 2012

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The most resonant movie quote of 2012 is, as one might suspect, a political quote. However, the movie is not "Lincoln" as one might naturally expect it to be. Nor is the speaker of the quote one of the most important political figures of the year, Bane, as one might just as easily suspect.

Remember this line? "I am burdened with glorious purpose"?

The movie from which the line originates hardly succeeds in resonating at all by the time one leaves the theater, but that line does manage to stick in the mind. For two reasons, doubtlessly. One, the line was spoken by Tom Hiddleston who is such a premier actor that he somehow manages to wade through the attempted murder of his brilliantly realized character Loki by Joss Whedon. The second reason that Loki's line resonates so strongly is that 2012 was an election year.

Let me forward a query to all readers: Did any of you at any time feel that any Presidential candidate acted as though they were crumbling beneath the burden of a glorious purpose?

One of the most resonant things about "The Avengers" is not that the bad guy was the most attractive character in the movie. We are all used to that. The really scary part was that Loki was the only attractive character in the movie. In between Robert Downey Jr.'s snarky one-liners and Samuel L. Jackson's audition for Shaft II: The Shaftening, the Avengers all boiled down to a bunch of Republican and Democrat candidates saying their lines, meeting very low expectations and eschewing charisma.

No great desire to save the world; just an annoying burden.

Only Loki, when Joss Whedon's clunky emasculation of his textured complexity allowed for it, seemed fully interested in actually doing something more for than the mere sake of doing it.

I dream of Loki in a world that gives us men like Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Barack Obama wants to receive great credit for burdening himself with being the first President to express the glorious purpose of suggesting that two consenting adults who happen to be of the same sex deserve every single right awarded two consenting adults of opposite gender. Hey, welcome to the club that the rest of us joined long before we reached your age, Mr. Obama!

Mitt Romney's greatest burden was making sure he didn't appear in public with his hair mussed or a camera at the ready when speaking to his base.

When Loki says "I am burdened with glorious purpose" it became instantly the movie quote of the year because even by early summer we all knew that fiscal cliffs and outdated gun control laws would be damned. American politicians reject all burdens of glorious purpose. The only purpose they have is to get re-elected.

Even Lincoln and Bane can't touch Loki's insight when it comes to the sad reality that is the American political process.

For more from Timothy Sexton, check out:

Why the Star Wars Prequels are Better Than the Original Trilogy

Movie Quotes from 2007 with a Lasting Resonance

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