What Would Superman Do?

2009 December 14
by mockers

I spent the weekend writing a 28 page paper instead of today’s Mockable.  It was about urban economics and real estate.  I could post the paper for you to check out, but I promise – you’d rather read this thing that I wrote almost 6 years ago.  For frame of reference, it’s from a column that I used to do that “reviewed” ridiculous websites, all loosely based around some topic of my choosing.  I’ve always been proud of this one for some reason…

supermanI’ve been having trouble at my job lately. Without getting too far into the details of it all, I will say that my very position exists because of political patronage. The position is not very popular in the grand scheme of things and I find myself constantly running into walls – very rude walls at that. This conflict was not disclosed during the hiring process. The individuals that are responsible for the creation of the position consider the situation to be a campaign promise made good and are not willing to provide any support to the conflict. It is a pretty accurate assessment in my mind that I am the redheaded stepchild of the organization.

With that understanding, let’s take a quick look at what goes on inside my head. Since I have never been inside anyone else’s head, no real comparative analysis can be made as to whether or not what I am about to say is normal. I would judge by the responses that I get from people sometimes that it is not. Have you ever seen those billboards that display a message for a few seconds and then a new message is scrolled into its place for a few seconds, and then a new message is scrolled into is place for a few seconds, etc? The inside of my head is like being stuck in the world?’s largest traffic jam in a part of town with several dozen of these billboards scrolling simultaneously and The Hamster Dance (www.hamsterdance.com) or some other terrible song playing over and over and over again on the radio. Try to imagine each of these as a commercially produced part of an ad campaign complete with logos and registered trademark slogans.

Aside from a couple billboards that advertise things like “Breathe/Eat/Go To Work/Feed Your Family”, the majority of them flash millisecond messages like “She’s really hot/You’re Fat/Turn Left/Do I believe in God?/Fuckcookies/Chapelle wasn’t as funny as usual last night/Wow, The People At NPR Are Really Condescending/What’s The Best Method For Empowering Citizens To Participate in Municipal Government’s Policy Development Process/I’d Like to See Her Naked/Just withdraw $20 More Dollars, Your Wife Won’t Care/Anus is a Funny Word/Mail Your Taxes…” This goes on without end and with no apparent rhyme, reason, or maximum number of billboards.

So anyway, I was driving around thinking about how stupid my job has gotten (as well as what happened to the girl I kissed on my parent’s pontoon boat when I was 12, whether or not OPEC was going to abandon the dollar as the standard monetary unit for barrel price and embrace the Euro, if that dick is ever going to come finish the remodeling work he started at my house, and about 60 dozen other things) when the message “What Would Superman Do?” popped into my head for no apparent reason whatsoever. It was really funny because at this point, also for no apparent reason, my brain seized this phrase, shut down all non-essential billboards and proudly displayed this one for several minutes:

  • “I think…” I paused, trying to make certain of what I did think. “I think it’s because you inspire us. Or at least some of us. Well, maybe a whole hell of a lot of us. I don’t know if anybody goes around thinking, ‘What would Superman do?’. But I do know…I do believe…that the morality you taught us, that you and the other good heroes taught us, stays with us. That there is an ideal, and we should try to live up to it. That somewhere there is a good…and one of the symbols of that good could be Superman.
  1. Okay, here’s the deal – This is where my article would have gone if I were some kind of serious or professional person. Despite being a little glurgey for my tastes, this is pretty good. And yes, Mark, at least one person goes around thinking, “What would Superman do?”. www.subreality.com/ashes/stories/heroes.htm , et al.
  • On occasion people have asked me why I enjoy the character so much. To me, Superman is more than a colorful, well-known comic book superhero. He is a role model, someone to look up to and “consult” when contemplating moral dilemmas: WWSD (What would Superman do)?
  1. Can you imagine what your life must be like when more than one person, on more than one occasion, asked you why you liked superman so much? And then the answer: He’s my moral guide? Of course Superman wouldn’t have taken advantage of his intoxicated prom date – He wouldn’t have gotten her drunk in the first place. Superman wouldn’t be living with his parents (neither birthparents nor the Earthlings that adopted him). What moral dilemmas are you talking about? You’ll never get a date to the prom. The only moral dilemma this guy is facing is whether to get the Mexican pizza or the chalupa at Taco Bell. www.shotgunreviews.com/comics/siegel1.html
  • For every damsel in distress that he saved, his super hearing picked up the dying screams of ten others dying of starvation halfway across the world. http://www.uvm.edu/~chmartin/superman.html
  1. Taken from a dungeons and dragons type-site. Another piece of fiction that’s pretty good and makes you feel like crap. Pretty much in line with my point.

Before I go any further, the answer is Jesus. There, consider it conceded. Don’t send any e-mails.

Super-strong-bad-guy-aliens bent on world domination need to be expelled from Planet Earth, little kids that fall into Niagara Falls need to be scooped up at the last minute and carried to safety. And guys that beat you up when you voluntarily give up your super powers for the love of your life need to be handed their comeuppance by being placed on a chair and spun around really, really fast (okay fine, I’ve only seen the one movie).

This is the only real moral dilemma I can think of that Superman faced – the woman he loved vs. the superpowers that scored him the chick in the first place. I’m sure there were hundreds of other examples from 61 years of comics, radio, television, and movies- but that’s the only one that springs to mind. Sure, when the morals are clearly defined, Superman is the greatest – he wasn’t a racist like the Lone Ranger and he didn’t hang around with young boys (save a few brief stints with superboy) like Batman did. The point is that superheroes like Superman are useless when it comes to solving problems. What would Superman do if Lois wanted to have an abortion? All they can do is provide muscle once a problem has been clearly identified. What they are, however, is a reflection of our inability to take responsibility for our own actions.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an all-powerful figure that could make everything right with their mighty strength and super-powers?? Greek gods, wand-wielding fairy godmothers, Jedi knights and Ron Popiel are all characters created by people that wished somebody else would do it.

People, we are on our own. No one is coming to help, and no one is going to tell us what is right and what is wrong. There is no reason to create a task force, don’t start up a 501(c)(3) and start asking for grant money. Life sucks sometimes. I don’t get to quit my horrible job and neither do you.

Now the signs are saying “What Was The Point/Pudding/Fat Chicks On Mopeds/Get Back To Work”

4 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 December 14

    I always liked that one, too. Then again, Metten has always been my moral compass, so what the hell do I know.

  2. 2009 December 14
    Vicki permalink

    I’m really intrigued by the urban economics and real estate paper. Anything I need to know that will enrich my life?

  3. 2009 December 15
    currage permalink

    When I encounter a dilemna, I always ask loudly and in front of random people walking by, “Would Scooby Do It?”

  4. 2009 December 23
    chill permalink

    Love the drawing. This looks like a job… for Übermensch!

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