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Superman Must Ignore Tons Of Crime…And That’s Okay

Is this guy a total D-bag who doesn't stop enough crime?

Who wouldn’t want to be Superman?

The Man of Steel comes with buns, thighs, and abs of steel, not to mention a lock of hair that always curls perfectly on your forehead. Wouldn’t it be grand to soar through the sky (like a bird, like a plane) and to never, ever have to feel vulnerable except when that pesky Kryptonite enters into the picture?

Well, here’s the thing. I wouldn’t want to be Superman (or Supergirl if we’re being gender specific). It’s not just because that form fitting outfit looks tight enough to give some “super” wedgies or even the thought of seeing everyone’s pores and hearing their bodily functions in High Def.

It’d be the pressure.

If you’re neigh invulnerable, can shoot lasers from your peepers, and blow a hurricane when you sneeze (except you never sneeze because even germs can’t penetrate your awesomeness), then you pretty much have to don a cape and tights or you’ll be a total D-bag. See, guys like Bruce Wayne don’t have to be superheroes. He’s just a dude with a butler, an unsettling bat fetish, a perfect growly voice, and enough money to buy a bat jet ski among other crime fighting tools. Even someone like The Flash could probably get off the superhero hook. He may be fast, but bullets won’t exactly bounce off his chest. It’d be perfectly reasonable for him to…say, decide to use his super speed to deliver fresh water to villagers in Africa instead of tango with a crazy villain called Captain Boomerang (an actual villain, look it up). I wouldn’t fault him for that.

But Superman.

Superman is different. If he doesn’t fight crime and save the world, then talk about squandering your genetic legacy. Talk about letting the peoples of the world down.

For a long time I resented Superman, because I felt like he wasn’t being all the hero he could be. What’s a guy who can circumvent the globe during his morning jog doing bumbling around in a suit and glasses as Clark Kent? Didn’t he realize that women were getting raped, children molested, soldiers killed, protestors imprisoned, and governments overthrown while he was typing up a fluff piece for the Daily Planet about five tips to sizzle away belly fat?

I wondered, how many lives could he have saved from an earthquake in Pakistan, a tsunami in the Philippines, or a tornado in Missouri he if had done his little phone booth number instead of grabbing a hot dog for lunch with Lois Lane?

For years and years I was mad at Superman for so callously ignoring all the need around him. For having a life.

And then it hit me…Superman deserves to have a life. Why am I asking him to play the untouchable, majestic superhero every second of every day when I’m too lazy to walk my empty yogurt cup to the recycling container in the laundry room?

Superman spends his nights hanging bank robbers from street lamps (or is that Spiderman?), battling horrendous aliens from outer space (does anyone else think that every citizen of Metropolis should have severe PTSD by now?), and preventing Lex Luther from taking over the world (again).

I gave $25 to Kiva.org…two years ago.

So yes, Superman must make a clear decision to ignore tons of crime…but so do we. Bad things happen every day around the world, in our country, even in our small little spheres of influence, and you know what most of us do? We play Clark Kent, hiding behind our glasses, eating a hot dog with Lois, and waiting for Superman to save us all.

The moral of this story is not to start sewing our pajamas into a superhero outfit. It’s just this – I have mad respect for Superman. Not the fictional character – but all the Supermans in this world who commit their time and energy to making a positive contribution in whatever form that might take (Here’s a little something to warm up your heart). We can choose to make the world a little better, we can choose to cause harm, or we can blend in with the majority and do nothing at all.

Inevitable Book Tie-In

I may not be a Superman just yet, but at least I can create some Supermen on the page in my Girl With Broken Wings series that feature three vigilante protagonists. My characters live dark, dirty, obscure lives as they fight a secret war against genetically altered super humans. My characters aren’t bullet proof and that vulnerability is what makes them truly heroic.

Now, if you’ll excuse me…I need to go dig that yogurt container out of the trash.

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