Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hostess fruit pies - taste even a superhero would love

One reason I could never be a professional writer is that I only write when the mood strikes me. I'll be sitting on my veranda in my seersucker suit, watching the mighty Mississippi lazily wind it's way through the verdant forest as the sun lingers just on the horizon, a sliver of fire on an otherwise genteel setting. Sipping my lemonade, I'll lower the brim of my finely-stiched fedora and say "Why, I reckon' it would be most fortuitous if I were to plan on doing some writing, presently".

That's the way I picture it, anyways, in my imagination. That stupid thing is always getting me in trouble.

I went to see the latest Batman movie, and it dawned on me just how much I love comics. As a wee lad, my parents would foster my love of reading by buying me classic magazines such as
Mad and Cracked, but also comic books, from Groo to X-Men. While the former exposed me to interesting lowbrow humor, as well as some cheesecake artistry, the latter exposed me to lowbrow humor, cheesecake artistry, but also heroism. Of course, these were the days when your average Superman could, on occassion, still be seen hawking Hostess fruit pies on the back cover, rather than brooding menacingly.

It has been said before that superheroes are the personification of America's hopes and dreams- I fully understand that (except Aquaman- I mean, come on). It's my belief that in the far future, people will go to the First Unified Church of Spider-Man for bingo night. Church vestments will consist of spandex tights, and the prayers will be "to Superman, hallowed be His name." Superheroes represent the best ideals of humanity; they fight villians in a world of stark contrasts between good and evil. Also, they have grappling hooks and eye beams, and those are just cool.

Just as interesting are the different iterations of each character: Nobody, perhaps, more than Batman. He's been portrayed from a near-psychopath to, well, Adam West. Each retelling, even the awful Joel Schumaker films, offers a slightly different perspective of the hero, sometimes with elaborate traps. Tell me the giant Mouse Wheel of Death isn't awesome. How often did the ancients retell the stories of their own heroes- Gilgamesh, Thor, Beowulf? I imagine they often sat around the campfire and told stories, sometimes dehumanizing those icons, sometimes softening them, sometimes placing them in a locked room with super-slick floors, knockout gas and Julie Newmar. The key is that the characters always had the same morals and beliefs- those never change.

I often wonder what people would think or do if Superheroes actually existed. Would we think of them as a public nuisance? Or exalt them? My own feeling is that they would become the ultimate movie stars- we'd celebrate their success, but immediately leap upon any scrap of rumor that swirled about them. And I don't know if secret identities would work, either- there's too many tabloids for even Superman to escape from. Although, I think everyone is just humoring Superman and letting him believe that they all don't recognize him when he's Clark Kent. He's thinking he's all sneaky, but come on, you're wearing a pair of glasses. At least use some prosthetics or something.

I keep intending to talk about myself and adventure, and I keep getting sidetracked. Maybe I need to write more. But for now the veranda and the lemonade await me.


At 4:22 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

The verandah and the lemonade sound good to me! And maybe a laptop in case inspiration hits...yep, I can dig that!


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