The Trouble with Superheros

Flatiron Building, NYC.
Spiderman’s day job at the Daily Bugle

I used to wonder why I was only one of five protesters during the first Gulf War.

There was so little national dialogue. Father George did gather an international consensus, and everyone agreed Saddam was creepy, his state stability built on crushed knees and chemicals, so, OK, fine.

He annexed Kuwait (like we annexed Texas) so we galloped right awn in. Some of us were concerned about the oily proceedings.

The second Gulf+ war, a few more of us showed up to “dialog” with signs about Junior George going after the people who went after his daddy. “Surf not War” exclaimed some flip-flopped dudes’ boards, along with the No Blood for Oil ones.

Still, our country was relatively silent, and has been, while trillions of money trickle away into grave destruction.

Are we relatively quiet because TV doesn’t show bloody soldiers?

Are we quiet because our bank accounts don’t take a direct debit hit in a pay-as-you-go fashion for these wars? Lulling us into thinking we, personally, are not actually paying for them?

That’s a hell of a smoke screen, krazy king george!

Or are we quiet because we’ve learned to be patient and submissive. We have a big monster coming, boom boom boom–some impossibly large implacable and complicated problem that we KNOW we can’t solve, but by the end of the movie, one (or a few more)


will come dashing in to save us.

Hollywood Americans. We are so well trained to wait for someone to fix everything. Like quiet anticipation. Knowing, trusting, it will be over soon, all will be well, wrongs righted, life askew tilted and tipped back to normal.

This movie has gone on too long. People have left quietly down the side exits, gone back to work, home, mildly confused they haven’t gotten their just-deserved denoument, but they’re not asking for it very loudly. They just put the confusion somewhere else, in a drawer somewhere, in the garage, out in the garden shed, to be attended to at some later date, perhaps.

A whole generation of kids, raised on transformers, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, the Green Hornet, The Federation, are having to rise to the occasion. Become the mythical superhero in Jesus-fashion, mere mortals taking on the human world and its ills. Asking their father, little king daddy G, “dude, what’s up?” (Translation: Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?), not realizing that he’s really not there.

But they are. And their whole adventure is not ending according to script, for us or them.

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