Tag Archives: God

Why Superman Would Be A Nightmare

Not too long ago I wrote about how Batman needs to just suck it up kill his villains. The idea being that he could have killed the Joker the first time he met him and saved thousands of human lives.

Batman, however, is unique in that he is still a man. No matter how ridiculous his adventures get he’s still one of us with all the associated human foibles and desires. He still understands what it’s like to be us.

Superman, I argue, would not be the same. With all of his powers and a brain, I assume, built for an alien psychology, there is no way he would be anything other than awful for us. The minute he decides he knows who should live and who should die is the minute our civilization ends.

No One Is Perfect

Everyone has faults. Superman’s power may make him something like a god, but he isn’t divine. He came from a world where individuals still had flaws and was raised on a world that is brimming with personal faults. There is no reason to assume a superman would be perfectly well-adjusted.

With a superman, any fault would lead to nightmarish consequences. For example, let’s say Superman was a wife-beater. Domestic violence is an all-too common story. Imagine what that would be like for Lois–constantly afraid that he’s watching her and knowing that there’s no way to escape because Superman is everywhere; he can see and hear what she is doing at all times no matter where he is. If he lets her call the police, will they believe her? If they do, are they going to arrest Superman? That would take an army… and the Justice League and, I don’t know, Silver Surfer or something.

Either Lois lives the nightmare alone or it gets out and escalates into a global super fight. There’s no middle ground there.

And Superman wouldn’t have to be that messed up. He may just have an interest in things like abortion rights or prayer in schools. He was raised in Kansas, after all. Or maybe he decides that no one needs guns now that he’s around. As a matter of fact, that’s happened before. In Superman’s For Tomorrow story arch he rolls into a middle eastern country and takes all the guns. He, like a stern farther, destroys all their weapons and tells them to knock it off.

If you kids don't settle down he will turn this society right around.

If you kids don’t settle down he will turn this society right around.

Can you blame the guy? He has a compulsive need to help people so why wouldn’t he violate a country’s sovereign authority to save lives? Yeah, maybe he overstepped some individual rights to property and arms, but what are those powers for if you’re not going to meddle?

Not much, actually. The next week insurgents from the neighboring country kicked the place over. It was pretty easy since none of the defenders had guns. So Superman comes back and demands that the insurgents throw down their weapons and surrender to the “proper authority.” As it turns out, they’ve already killed all the opposition and imprisoned the King. Superman is forced to concede that they are the “proper authority” unless he decides to make himself the “proper authority.”

ThrowDownWeapons

… because we’re in charge now.

Pollution. U.N. sanctions. Political corruption. Whatever it is, picking a side in human struggles tips the scale ridiculously towards one political interest or the other. Which puts him in the position of having to ignore those cries for help.

More importantly, it keeps Superman from effecting any permanent change. Has he ended crime? Has he ended hunger? No, because he can’t do it without forcing us to live up to his standard.

Superman Wouldn’t Have A Life

How is it that Superman can hear and see everything and not spend all of his time saving lives? I mean all of his time. Murder, rape, robbery, wars, abuse and every other terrible thing we do to each other is happening, literally, all the time. Not a second goes by in which more than one of these things isn’t occurring.

In which Astro City's Samaritan laments not having time for friends, family or even enjoying his power.

In which Astro City’s Samaritan laments not having time for friends, family or even enjoying his power.

If our superman feels as we do and genuinely wants to be part of our society, he’ll spend all of his time saving it at the cost of actually having friends, family and any other meaningful attachments. How long can that go on? How long before it feels like he’s repeating the same thing with no real change?

Astro City‘s Samaritan has this problem. He’s a superman that spends almost every second of his day running around the planet at super speed saving people. At one point he slows down to let a little girl, whose cat he saved, see him. Seconds later he is chiding himself for almost letting a man in Boston die.

In which Astro City's Samaritan concludes talking to the people he saves is a waste of time.

In which Astro City‘s Samaritan concludes talking to the people he saves is a waste of time.

Choosing between staying at your job and letting 5 people die every second is worse than awful.

It sounds like insanity to me. If he feels and thinks like we do, my bet is even someone with the strongest mental fortitude wouldn’t last more than half a century trying to stem the tide of never-ending human cruelty. It wouldn’t take long for him to do what every instinct tells him and force a better world. It would be easier and more efficient to build a totalitarian regime and make us be safe; he would  conclude that democracy is just too messy.

Or he could go the other way and decide to ignore those cries for help, which means…

Superman Would Be A Sociopath 

Most supermen still have relationships, so I have to assume they ignore a lot of those cries for help to afford themselves a life. It must be frustrating to hear all of that suffering and not do anything about it, right? With all his power, it would be like walking by a starving man with all the McDonald’s in the world and not tossing him some nuggets.

But that has its own problems. He chooses to ignore all the suffering he hears because he’s learned not to care or because he didn’t care in the first place. Either way, it means that he’s become disconnected from the human condition.

Which isn’t that crazy if you think about it. A superman doesn’t have most of our needs or worries. Death is probably off the table and he’ll never have to worry about earning a paycheck or finding a place to live. He’s infinitely smarter than most of us and he knows no limits. Understanding him is like trying to understand God. He has nothing in common with us. Aside from his appearance, there’s almost nothing human about him.

In which a Superman's philosophical  angst leads him to conclude he is god.

In which Power‘s Super Shock concludes he’s a god and the best way to protect us is to rule us like a god.

He would see us as we see animals.

And he would treat us accordingly. He might leave, like Doctor Manhattan, which would be a best-case scenario.

If we are lucky he’d decide human life has no meaning to him and that he should go be a god somewhere else. If we aren’t so lucky he would go about the work of organizing our lives the same way we organize the lives of dogs. A superman would let us know when it was appropriate to eat, sleep, work, play and procreate.

Welcome To A Police State

And that’s really the rub. If a superman does care for us, he would feel an obligation to use his powers to control us. And if he doesn’t care for us, there would be nothing restraining him from doing it anyway. It’s game over unless some other superman shows up to save the day. Any way you slice it our society is at the mercy of some superman’s whims, which really makes it his society.

No one could stop him and pretty soon human institutions would bend to his will to avoid his destructive retaliation.

Red Son

In which we all get used to praying to this god.

No doubt it would be a perfect world without crime, suffering or the burden choice.

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The Pros and Cons of Being a Winchester

Recently I’ve been trying to play catch-up on this season of Supernatural. It’s a little difficult to watch it regularly without cable at home, but I’m pretty much caught up and realizing that this season is getting better and better. I was a little iffy about it after last season’s Leviathan nonsense.

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Dean and Benny – Best friends? (Source: eonline.com)

I feel like last season was a bit unnecessary and costs the story a fantastic character, Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver), only to replace him with a sub-par substitute, Garth. (I’ve never been a huge fan of DJ Qualls.) But this season has been progressively interesting with the Dean (Jensen Ackles)/Benny (Ty Olsson) storyline, Castiel (Mischa Collins) being forced by Heaven to do their nefarious bidding, Sam’s (Jared Padalecki) normal life, and the boys trying to figure out how to use the Demon Tablet. And, the LARPing episode was one of the funniest they’ve had in a while. I’m interested to see where they go with the rest of this season.

With every episode I watch, I can’t help but wonder how cool it would be to be one of the Winchesters–but also how much it would suck. So I thought I might compile a list of the pros and cons of being a Winchester.

PROS

300px-Impala

That is one sweeeeeeet ride! (Source: Supernatural Wiki)

  1. You Get a Sweet Ride. – The Impala is one the coolest TV show vehicles ever. This thing is Batmobile cool. A badass muscle car, blaring classic rock (as long as Dean is driving) with a monster-slaying arsenal in the trunk. You can’t get much more badass than that.
  2. You Get some Cool Toys. The Colt, the knife that kills demons, the silver dagger that will kill demons and angels, as well as guns, crossbows, machetes, and whatever else the boys can use to kill any monster they may come across.
  3. You Get to Travel All Over. The boys take jobs all over the country and sometimes beyond. They are always on the move, taking in the sites, enjoying food and drink and fun from many different locales. They live the exciting lives of nomads and gypsies.
  4. You Get to Meet Some Interesting People. They’ve met angels, demons, ghosts, gods, hunters, and a lot of really cool regular folk as well. Granted, a majority of those interesting people have tried to kill them but still, it’s pretty cool.
  5. You Know Some Cool Stuff. Witchcraft, Latin, how to kill all kinds of Supernatural beasts and keep them from possessing you, and credit card fraud. Okay, the last one really isn’t cool but it has helped the boys out along the way.

CONS

Lock up Hell’s controller…demons get pissed. (Source: fanpop.com)

  1. Hell Hates You. I mean, you’re killing every demon and evil thing you come across and have been for many years. Your whole family has. You’ve built up a bit of a reputation with the creatures of Hell, and it’s not a good one. Luckily, if you smell sulfur, you can usually tell if a demon’s around but you don’t always detect them, so you always have to be on guard that someone might be possessed and trying to kill you. Plus, you’ve locked their leader in a cage for eternity and he’s been replaced by someone who’s even more of a dick than him. And now you’re trying to permanently trap all demons in hell. Yeah, I can see why they might hold a grudge.
  2. Heaven Hates You. Not only have you killed demons but you’ve killed angels too and gotten a bunch killed. Your buddy Castiel, an angel, has killed his own kind and absorbed all of Purgatory to become God. He then killed a bunch of angels and then set loose the Leviathan, who were the worst of the worst. And because of you, the archangel Michael is now locked in a cage in Hell, fighting an eternal battle with Lucifer. Not all angels are fans of humans to begin with but when you start meddling in their affairs and getting their way, they get a little pissed.
  3. You Can’t Live a Normal Life. You’re always on the move; you can’t have a normal family life, can’t settle down, can’t get married, can’t have kids. You are living in motels and in your car, never getting to enjoy a home-cooked meal or celebrating holidays with family. Stability is non-existent. Plus, Sam was possessed by Lucifer at one point. Nothing normal about that.
  4. You Die All the Time. Sam and Dean have died at least twice, I think. Dean was sent to Purgatory and Sam lost his soul. I’m pretty sure your life insurance premiums would be through the roof, if you even got approved at all.
  5. Everyone You Love Dies. Your mom, your dad, your grandfather, your girlfriend, your brother (but he’ll probably come back to life), your substitute father, your half-brother (although he’s not really dead, he’s just the vessel for the archangel Michael and trapped in Hell forever), everyone. Anyone you love or get close to is more than likely going to end up dead.

I’m still debating on whether the pros outweigh the cons and make the life of the Winchesters worth living. It’s a tough call.

What do you think?

And just for giggles:

Hehe (Source: evilspacerobot.com)

Hehe (Source: evilspacerobot.com)

 

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Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH

Russell Crowe as Noah… need I say more?

Aronofsky on set. (source: collider.com)

I’m not sure what Darren Aronofsky is going for with Noah (his next film). He’s either trying to encourage people to read the Bible, piss off a lot of religious types, or just say “Eff it! Let’s make a biblical flick!”

My money is on the last two because from what I’ve read, he’s not exactly going “by the book” on this one.

He’s straying away from the “two by two” idea that we’ve typically gotten from Bible stories and going more with a darker telling of the classic tale, so you probably won’t see a lot of animals in this flick. He’s still apparently going to hear the voice of God telling him to build the Ark because some heavy rain is coming to cleanse the Earth.  The movie is panning out as more of an epic, end-of-the-world survivor’s tale rather than a save all the animals, PETA-loving family flick.

And there’s a bad guy in it, too. Ray Winstone (great choice!) will play the villain, Tubal-Cain. I don’t remember there being a bad guy in this story, but I always thought it needed one. With Winstone playing the part, I don’t see a Snidely Whiplash-type of villain either; expect something much more menacing.

There’s also going to be 11-foot tall fallen angels with no wings and six arms called Watchers in this film. This makes it even more intriguing. I can’t wait to see how those look on screen. Plus, Aronofsky is even having a life-sized Ark built for the film! Yep, that’s right! No CG Ark for this film. It’s all about the realism.

Lerman as Ham on set. (source: collider.com)

The film also stars Sir Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah (another great choice!), Jennifer Connelly as Noah’s wife Naameh, and Logan Lerman as one of Noah’s sons, Ham.

I’m not one for biblical films, but this one has caught my interest. It’s helmed by one of my favorite directors (although, I will admit that I didn’t think Black Swan was all that great), it stars one of my favorite actors (Crowe), and it’s gonna have those giant freakish angels.

Sounds like a winner to me.

The downside is that it we’re gonna have to wait until 2014 to see it.  But, I think it’ll be worth it. If it’s good enough for Aronofsky to drop out of The Wolverine for, it’s good enough to wait a year and a half to experience

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