The horror of mediocrity OR Why the world -NEEDS- Superman

Time and time again, I’ve been dealt severe blows by the realisation that there are just too many people on the planet to compete with, and life’s too short to compete in, and opportunities are scarce to compete for and it’s downright depressing. The awful realisation that we’ll all end up living generic lives [you know? The ol’ eat sleep work shit eat play sleep work eat shit *in-out,in-out* [play?] eat shit work work sleep eat work shit eat play sleep work eat shit sleep die] *Meanwhile you’ve created a new human being who will, with a landslide probability, end up doing the same routine. There seems to be no escape.

You try to fool yourselves by assuming that even the little things matter. That dance competition you competed in and won, that promotion at work, that Ph.D in psychology, that comic book collection that you finally managed to buy, your very own condo, [ohmygod!] a new car, [oh wait, i just thought of a good one!] that reunion with ol’ time best friends for a quaint evening of nostalgic fun[?], these are the little things that synergise the biggie: Life.

“Life”: using that word to describe your existence and mode of living is almost criminal. “Life” has a biological connotation, as if the way you choose to live it -is- the way to live it, the way it’s supposed to be. “Life” used normally, is almost an exclamation, a sentence in itself [pun intended].

You know what I think? I think we should start saying lifespan, because in essence, we mean lifespan. “Life” is too…universal to just ignore. “How’s life?” Ha! As if you’re the center of the universe. As if you’re a major character in the universe. As if you’re a minor character in the universe. As if you’re an extra on the set. As if you’re a prop. As if you’re the filthy dust that they forgot to vaccuum away. As if. You are nothing. They say when you go to space, some people tend to lose a part of their personality. Because the scale of such ginormous emptiness eats away at your ego, alerting you to a long overdue lesson: you are nothing. We are nothing. Maybe that’s one more reason we like the God concept.

“He made us and loves us. Maybe. Hopefully? Please!!”

So how’s your lifespan been so far?

The reason for this is our very obvious lack of purpose. I sometimes wonder if we like games because they give us a purpose to do something worthwhile in that virtual dimension. Why are we alive? Don’t answer when I’m asking rhetorical questions foo!

As we all know, evolution is fuelled by necessity. “Oh it’s getting colder, I need to grow more hair.” or “Hey, did you notice the days are getting shorter, I’ma gonna need night vision dude.” geddit? Necessity. So while we’re busy assuming that we’re the *most evolved advanced beings* on the planet, we’re getting complacent. Necessity is about want as well. **Oh, don’t deny it. What do we refer to ourselves as? Human -beings-. Heard of tiger -beings-, or bovine -beings-? Nope only human -beings-. We are in a state of being, is that it? A voluntary state that exists only because you will it to? Oh puhleese? Semantics is sooo underrated. Language deserves to be used properly.

Anyway, I quote from Kill Bill Vol. 2:

As you know, I’m quite keen on comic books. Especially the ones about superheroes. I find the whole mythology surrounding superheroes fascinating.

Take my favorite superhero, Superman. Not a great comic book. Not particularly well-drawn. But the mythology… The mythology is not only great, it’s unique.

Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone.

Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S” – that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us.

Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He’s weak… He’s unsure of himself… He’s a coward.

Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.

Superman is also an ironic take on humanity’s failure. He stands for justice and truth and ends up being more humane than humans. Imagine that. An alien more “humane” than humans. And the etymolgical root of humane is human. Irony. And essentially, that’s what superheroes do. They don’t beat supervillains; that’s not their purpose in life. They’re just like you, only more so. Lost and disillusioned. And they don’t necessarily solve all their issues. But they end up doing the right thing [for the most part]. The whole “With great power comes great responsibility” bit. They make us admire and want to be like them. Superheroes make us believe that we can be something more. More than human. Superhuman. That’s the whole point isn’t it? In the absence of purpose, go for the next best thing: become the cause. Inspire others to be like you, or taunt them as they try. We need superheroes because we need something to aspire to be. We need a source of motivation to change and change is the essence of evolution. Evolution is not always a measure of change in phenotypes.

We need superheroes because who we are now is not good, or not good enough anyway. Mediocrity is the order of the day, our blueprint, the template we’re made of and we are not satisfied with it. We need escape. We need to want to escape.

From Meet Joe Black: ” A man wants to leave something behind. And he wants it left behind the way he made it. And he wants it to be run the way he run it — with a sense of honor, of dedication, of truth.” Evolution leaves behind traits, and we all secretly wants our left-behind traits to be admirable and wanted. More immediately, we just want to leave traits behind [and you thought you were so noble to want to extend the longevity of the species, or the family name? Right.]

We need superheroes because we’re only human.


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