Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Confession: I’m a Super Hero Junkie

SupermanWe watched Thor last night, and I mean the first one since I’m generally late on watching movies. Now I’m ready to see the next.

Yes, I’m a Super Hero movie junkie. I admit it.

I’ve read theories that women like super heroes because they denote personal protection and we women like to be protected, and that they can make men feel inadequate because they can’t live up to Superman’s abilities. I think that’s all hogwash. I’m a realist enough to know super heroes are fantasies, and I darn well understand the difference between fantasy and reality. I never actually expect Spiderman to throw his web around someone who is being a jerk and save the day, or for Aquaman to send a rescue dolphin if I’m silly enough to get in over my head in the ocean.

I could be wrong that some women like them for that reason. And I could be wrong that it makes men feel inadequate, although really, the men I know are also able to separate reality from fantasy and aren’t so silly they’d let a movie hero make them think they aren’t good enough because they can’t stop a speeding bullet or jump over a skyscraper. Now, honestly… why would anyone assume men would be threatened by cartoon characters?

One of the earliest lines in Thor was: “A good king never looks for war, but … he is always prepared for it.” (Pardon my memory if the quote isn’t exactly exact.)

I enjoy the themes in most super hero movies. They portray how a common man can step up and do very mighty things when his heart is in the right place and he is willing to put himself aside to think of others first. (Of course it applies to women, as well. It’s easier to use one or the other.)  Yes, Thor was another cliché “boy learns to be less arrogant and more human to achieve a common good for all” theme, but you know what? That theme doesn’t get old to me. Because it’s true. Because we need to hear it over and over. We need to know that we can all be a super hero if we will do the same, if we will cast our selfish, petty wants aside and put others first and help them achieve. If we stop our quest for power and control (which are both fleeting and overvalued) and give them up for a greater cause.

We do have real life super heroes. Maybe they can’t pick up a heavy magic hammer and make everything right with one stroke, but they can put themselves in harm’s way to protect others. And they do. Every day people do so. They might not do it with strength. Sometimes they do it with gentleness, or with intelligence, or with no more than determination. But they do it. And I thank them for it.

Maybe the fantasy side of it appeals to me, as well. I can’t say I’d mind if someone with more strength, power, and intelligence would come FIX things for us when we can’t seem to do it. But then, that would take away the need for us to become super heroes ourselves. And maybe that’s the point.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

LK--I like the theme of Thor. If our politicians, etc. would adopt this as their theme, the citizens of the US would all be better off. Even if each individual would act in this manner, our world would be a nicer place. I do understand your definition of a Super Hero.
Well done.
Odd that both of us wrote about heroes this week.