Saturday, April 25, 2015

17730--What're you looking at?

It’s still a little early yet, so I won’t say the lines have been clearly drawn.  I do feel it’s safe to say they’re being drawn, though.  Anyone who’s spent a bit of time reading from this site might expect that I have an opinion of my own.


Now, don’t think Batman and I don’t get along.  We do.  I also think it’s crazy to go looking for a fight with Superman.  Friends don't let things that colossally stupid.  That’s a choice best left to bad guys...who have no friends (which might have something to do with why they're bad guys).  I feel this way because when I ask “What would Superman do?” (WWSD), the answer is easy: the right thing.  When the harshest thing that comes out of name-calling the big farm boy is “boy scout”, it’s hard to argue this.


Lots of people like to credit Batman’s extreme preparedness tendencies for a large part of his successes.  Sure, that’s got to go a long way, especially when combined with his resources, intellect, and relentless drive.  Certainly, if he were going to even dream of fighting Superman (the place he’d have the best odds of victory, btw), Batman would need to make the most of all he has.  Even Superman doesn’t do that anymore.  Those of you too new to the characters probably don’t realize how much the comic book creatives have taken away from Superman over the years, attempting to play up more of the man and less of the super.  I think they’d developed not only a fear of their own inability to challenge the hero effectively, but also that audiences were having trouble relating to him as a superhuman.  Diminishing his physical abilities wasn’t enough, though.  Superman’s intellect and scientific prowess were also greatly reduced, while Batman’s were increased.  Tipping those scales is significant to how the characters are portrayed, but I’d still advise Batman to stay on Superman’s good side.  Honestly, met with even minimal resistance, how hard would it be to disable someone with even a fraction of Superman's powers or using only a few of them.  Imagine having powers available that you have to always be careful not to use at anywhere near their full potential because of all the incidental damage they could cause.  This is why Godzilla can't go to the mall and the Powerpuff Girls can't play tag in Townsville.


Superman’s not a character usually shown as being arrogant.  If anything, his levels of lawfulness and self-discipline often have him labelled as boring.  Even so, which seems to be what’s played upon in the upcoming confrontation that has the internet abuzz, many people fear him.  In a recent interview, when a pro-Superman Jon Stewart asked Neil deGrasse Tyson about his take on the coming clash, Tyson’s opinion was that Superman is feared because he is accountable to no authority and “does what he wants”.  Sadly, that attitude, far from unique to Mr. Tyson, is one that discounts the fact that what Superman wants to do is apparently help people.  Again, WWSD?  You know.


When I don’t trust the NSA or the CIA, you can probably put together a list as to why.  If you boil it down to a summation that says their capabilities give their people the power to “do what they want”, it’s not hard to imagine a number of dark results that go with that.  If I were to say that I don’t trust Santa because his power and position let him “do what he wants”, at some point you have to acknowledge that that seems to result in handing out toys to children and encouraging socially acceptable behavior.  When Lex Luthor “does what he wants”, people die.  When Superman “does what he wants”, the world is a better place: lives get saved, wrongs get righted, bad guys soil themselves.  Sometimes, he even hands out toys to children and encourages socially acceptable behavior (without the questionable bits about exploiting animals, spying on you while you sleep, sneaking into your home, or using a racially homogenous minority workforce).  Unless you’re a bad guy, fear of Superman is misguided at best.


The Dark Knight’s own darkness is merely something he has embraced to fight the darkness around him.  Never forget that the Wayne Foundation does a lot of good works.  Batman (and by extension, his cover ID of Bruce Wayne) really does want a better world where children don’t grow up as orphans of murdered parents; where Batman is unneeded.  As for Superman, though he was raised here, he’s alien and that does make him different.  Some people want to hang their fears on him rather than their hopes.  Just as Batman dwells in the dark and looks for the darkness in others, Superman is of the light.  He draws power from the light.  He seeks the good in others.  Those who would fear him need to ask themselves, are they truly afraid of Superman or of what he might find?  The truth many people have to deal with is that the real problem they have with those they would denigrate as being “too good” isn’t the goodness, but the fear of being measured as “bad” in comparison to it.

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