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Truth, Justice, and the American Way!

Look- in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... SUPERMAN!!!

Look- in that room! It's a cat! It's a giant lump! It's me... BORED!

I have never quite been able to assess why I dislike Superman so much. He's supposedly the purest, truest American superhero we have. America's very own mythology. And I like America well enough, some might even say I love it. So why do I dislike Superman so much. Maybe it's because he doesn't feel truly American to me. I mean, don't get me wrong- he's all about truth and justice and all. He's an immigrant of sorts, and he definitely falls into the whole perfect body image paradigm. But he's not flawed, and less face it, all Americans are flawed... most time really REALLY flawed. Iron Man's an alcoholic, Spider-Man's a brooding, angsty "I caused the death of my first, possibly true, love" young adult, and the X-men are all mutant 'freaks' (note these are all Marvel comics). But Super-man, with his perfectly sculpted jaw and boy-scout charm, well his only angst derides from whether or not he can reveal his identity to some version of Lois Lane (depending upon the series and universe). How am I supposed to relate to that?! I'm not some altruistic do-gooder trying to save the world. I'm just your run-of-the-mill college student trying to write three papers in one night! Superman doesn't give me anything to aspire to. He doesn't test my sense of morality or challenge my ethical reasoning, because for him, most things are just black and white. He's not someone I could grow up with or hope I could grow up to be like. Because he's just so darn perfect... which in actuality, doesn't seem to be much of the American way.


MCMahler said…
Yes, all Americans are flawed. All human beings on this earth have flaws and aren’t perfect. But, I believe that the “typical” American pretends to be perfect, and I think that all Americans always envision living their life in a perfect way. Everyone wants to have a perfect family, a perfect job, a perfect wife/husband, etc. Whether or not this is the best way to live life, most Americans do aspire to attain this sort of a lifestyle. In fact, this is the only way to be accepted within society. I believe that all people pretend to be perfect because that is what is expected among their friends and neighbors. However, I think that all people are flawed and try to hide their flaws, but they pretend to look perfect on the outside. Superman, I believe, is the typical American, and he is no different. To everyone, he seems like the perfect man, he possesses everything a true American should. This is the side of himself that he shows the world since his flaws may keep him from being accepted as a true hero in American society. Whether or not he’s truly perfect, we will never know, because just like every other American, he keeps his flaws hidden, behind closed doors.

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