Calling all heros

Calling all heros

→ ..rant follows.. ←

Been reading Batman, The Dark Knight Returns after I found the series at a closing sale deep in the Mission. I always have loved Frank Miller’s work and this is no exception.

Reading comics now, when I’m 25, is a different experience than when I was younger, more naive, and perhaps less literate. And certainly just as much if not more visual. In fact the stories really never resonated with me much; sure I’d read them but I was much more into the art.

So reading comics now — comics only 10 years old but already classic in their own right — while reading the news, I wonder if we’re stuck in some weird life-imitating-art vortex. Or some alternate reality. Yeah, that must be it.

In which case, I don’t see any reason why I can’t put a call out for all remaining heros to show themselves. In fact, I’d call for amnesty on all of them, if they’d just come out and give us a hand and maybe provide, even for a fleeting moment, some semblance of a heroic ideal.

You see it in the movies in fact. You see it with characters like V. But those tales of hyper-violence that exist in the Matrix genre of reality are farcical, pretending to give us some deep clue about the inner reality of our time but only obfuscate the confusion and true alienation of our time.

I’m sorry, I can’t just call in an exit. I’m sorry, I just can’t take the blue pill. I’m sorry, I don’t have the strength of 40 men with the ability to absorb hundreds of bullets fired point-blank. I’m ordinary; I’m human; I’m no hero: I’ll die and make mistakes. And so I’m terribly desirous of someone who is some kind of superperson to come in and clean up the mess we’ve made.

. . .

No but see, I did the dishes tonight (– at least part of them). We had our pasta, we did the dishes. Has the President ever done dishes?

Look, I’m utterly distressed. I’m at a loss for a clear sentiment here — I mean, any hope of raising kids normally, with a sense of right and wrong and order is out the door, thanks to the most popularest-ever Decider in Chief. You do realize what’s going on, right? You do realize what else has been happening lately? You do realize that nothing the President says is true, is believeable, is trustable, is something that you should repeat with authority? That our credibility as a nation is in the ashtray? That this country — our country — is being lead by a baboon?

Fuck, the man signs a bill into law and then jots down the ways in which he’s not bound to play by them in the Federal Registrar. I mean, why have a system of courts? Why have a Constitution? Why did they fucking play that stupid ass “How a Bill is Made” video over and over in grade school when they left out the most important part: that the Supreme Dicktator isn’t bound to mortal laws… only the ones of His choosing.

. . .

That’s why I’m calling out the superheros. That’s why we need their help. There is no law in this country — not even the one that was supposed to get the person that we voted for the most into the White House — that applies to this administration. While the sniveling proletariet stutter through the metal detector conveyer belts that They Who Rule’ll never be subjected to, shovel $8 fuel into oversized steel death machines, while we foot the bill and they sip the champagne of Crusade Spoils and the rancorous chorus of the maligned, the disenfranchised, the disenchanted, dispirited, overpromised, underdelivered — the normals — grows deafening, the cracks begin to appear.

Jules from Pulp FictionBut they’ll not tumble without an unyielding force of righteousness — and without the help of the supers. I mean, badazz supers, like Batman. Or like Jules in Pulp Fiction. This is what he’d say, on the page right before the very last page of the series:

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

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Author: Chris Messina

Product guy, friend to startups, inventor of the hashtag, proponent of bots and conversational apps; Xoogler and X Uber.

8 thoughts on “Calling all heros”

  1. These classic politico-dystopian comics (TDKR, V for Vendetta, Watchmen) are interesting, because sure, we have it bad, but these were written at the height of the Reagan/Thatcher era. The cold war was still on, with the everlooming foregone conclusion of nuclear winter, and the yuppies partied on while AIDS and the Culture Wars ravaged the land and voodoo economics did its work.

    Growing up, I was pretty oblivious to it (Transformers and GI Joe were at the top of my radar during the mid-80s), but looking back – those were pretty damn bleak times. (TDRK hit its *20th* anniversery this Feb, BTW).

    And before that, LBJ and Tricky Dick? We’re about to hit casualties of 2.5K in Iraq. The official America KIA count in Vietnam was just shy of 60K. Even Iraqi civilian casualties, which must number in the hundreds of thousands are dwarfed by a magnitude in Vietnam (4M *civilians*!)

    Are things getting worse? It’s hard to say. It feels like administrations are getting better at deception, and that more people are willing to be deceived (true believers! amen!), but at the same time, while frustrating, the Internet has definitely changed political discourse positively, and it seems like this new generation, bred on video games, im, and Google is media savvy in a way that the old guard could never hope to be.

    I suppose it could all just collapse on itself, we do seem to be skirting ever closer to the edge of the surf, but that’s seems to be the inevitable byproduct (cost?) of our technological progress.

    Now, re: superheroes. They don’t exist! As far as I can tell, every single one of them, from Batman, to Jesus, to Achilles are mostly-to-completely fiction. History though seems full of individuals around whom momentous movements focus and catalyze – a combination of personal qualities perfectly suited to a confluence of environmental factors. Every historical person of note was surrounded by a web of other people and a chain of circumstances without which what happened wouldn’t have – of course, what’s important and not is only historicized post-facto, the shapes shifting until a canon is formed.

    All that is saying that it won’t be superheroes that change things for bettr or worse, just people. (The laws of the country now being broken, were just things created by other people off of principals originally established by some other people). And there’s nothing especially special about Bush being President except he was the right sack of potatoes at the right time.

  2. Heroes are just ordinary people who’s actions get retold. Commit to daily doing something, a-one-little-something, that is worth retelling.

  3. Regarding the quote in your stimulating article, as human beings, having an immanant and transcendent equilibrium can be illusory. This is an apparent contention with Ken Wilber. He would likely say that’s because you are still in “The Matrix” but I’m with you as your insight here may illuminate this as a potentially obfuscated threat present in Integral Theory (as opposed to Sri Aurobindo’s Integral).

    Why do you think we have such a high level of obesity in American compounded with forced schooling designed to make super consumers, not super humans?

    For example: http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/underground/toc1.htm

    You see it in the movies in fact. You see it with characters like V. But those tales of hyper-violence that exist in the Matrix genre of reality are farcical, pretending to give us some deep clue about the inner reality of our time but only obfuscate the confusion and true alienation of our time.

    I’m sorry, I can’t just call in an exit. I’m sorry, I just can’t take the blue pill. I’m sorry, I don’t have the strength of 40 men with the ability to absorb hundreds of bullets fired point-blank. I’m ordinary; I’m human; I’m no hero: I’ll die and make mistakes. And so I’m terribly desirous of someone who is some kind of superperson to come in and clean up the mess we’ve made.

  4. Do you think that all employees in the workplace are hereos..as they contribute daily to the organziation.

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