Of Course There Must Be a Superman

If he didn’t actually exist we’d have to create him

REACTIONS & REJOINDERS

Of Course There Must Be a Superman
Mon April 11, 2016
If he didn’t actually exist we’d have to create him
In answer to a question posted on Quora.com, “Why do comic book fans take superhero films way too seriously? Can’t they just enjoy the movie?”

Many of us have a stake in the integrity and internal consistency of these characters.

Often our fictional heroes occupy much the same place in our consciousness as distant beloved public figures and role-models do. When the president died some observers noted that the disaster affected many of us and our countrymen to a more profound degree than the loss of someone close to us. We identified with him and found - even if after the fact of his death - that we felt his significance in a personal sense to a greater degree than we were aware of when he was alive. In a very real sense, the citizens of a democracy feel that they own their head of state - feel responsible for him and to him - even perhaps to a greater degree than they do their children or their elderly parents.

Read a little Karl Jung or Joseph Campbell and you might better understand what I mean. They explain it much better than I do.

Our fictional heroes - our icons - our archetypes - our common legends - have a place in the community’s consciousness that goes beyond their actual origins in the fevered mind of some fabulist. They are part of a collective creation and a mass acceptance. When the community declines to accept some aspect or presentation of that hero’s exploits, that is invariably a very considered and sophisticated decision.

We build our cities and our civilizations on our mythology. The Greeks, the Yoruba, the Norse and others all did it. Of course the Americans do it; we learned to do it from our predecessors and role models. We define ourselves by our aspirations and ideals and that is a good thing. These characters embody our shared superego. They are our self-image, our best identity. You don’t insult someone’s superego lightly.

Dan Hagen
Wed Apr 13 2016
4:47 PM
Super heroes have always represented the joy of life for me. Boldly colorful, dashing and resourceful figures in focused, fluid, fast motion toward what is right, always, like Cincinnatus, carefully concealing their power until the very moment the world cries out for it. What dream could be more delightful? The fantasy satisfaction of heroism is the pure joy on unconflicted action.

Ron Fazar
Wed Apr 13 2016
9:43 PM
Agreed. The corruption of our heroes does matter.

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