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Lunch with Superman


I was sitting at my desk, trying to reason with a corporate mandarin over the phone, when a tall figure entered and sat down in the chair across from me.  Although he was wearing a normal suit, the build, clean teeth and general good-guy aura radiating from the man clued me in to his identity.

 

"Good morning, Mr. Kent", I said.

 

Kal-El grinned and winked at me.  "Good morning to you as well", he said.  "I'd like you to do a favor for me.

 

"Sure", I promised.  "How can I help?"

 

"First, let's grab some lunch", said Kal-El, and off we went to the Earl of Sandwich.  I had the Earl's Club while 'Clark' ordered an All American, a 1762, and a Caprese.  We sat out on the patio and munched as we talked.

 

"It's these guys at DC Comics", said Kal-El.  "Every year they get stranger and weirder, and by now they've created a Superman that is unlike me in almost every way.  For crying out loud, now they want me to renounce being American!"

 

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/04/superman_to_renounce_us_citize.html

 

"Why should you care?"  I asked.  "Sure, it's embarrassing, but people have misunderstood Superman since, well, forever.  Remember that physicist who explained what Superman would be like if he existed the way the comics described him?"

 

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&sqi=2&ved=0CB8QFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FMan_of_Steel%2C_Woman_of_Kleenex&ei=sm65TaPQPIWUtwfg-sneBA&usg=AFQjCNG4Qb7smt4K_7qi_2dBaas0CJtswA

 

Kal-El chuckled.  "Oh yes," he said, "when that one came out Lois avoided me for almost a month because she worried about possible ... difficulties.

 

"But even so," said Kal-El, suddenly serious again, "I am a symbol of truth and justice, and a lot of people believe what is written about me.  This DC stuff is garbage, but I have to try to set the record straight."

 

"Aren't you a reporter?" I asked. 

 

Kal-El snorted.

 

"Yeah sure, just like I still wear a red cape and spandex",  he said.  "You know very well that I quit the Planet back when they started trashing Batman for not driving a hybrid compact.  Besides,  newspapers lost their readers decades ago.  I became an accountant and never looked back."

 

"Accountant?"

 

"CPA.  Hey, you don't get more mild-mannered and invisible than that!"

 

"So how can I help?" I asked.  "It's not as if I have a huge readership or any influence."

 

Kal-El looked up from his chips.  "Don't be too modest,"  he said, "you've interviewed presidents before."

 

http://stolenthunder.blogspot.com/2005/12/lunch-with-lyndon.html

 

"Dead presidents", I noted.

 

Kal-El shrugged.  "Lots of people don't think I'm real, so what's the difference?"

 

"OK" I shrugged myself.  "So what do you want folks to know?"

 

"Start with the basics," Kal-El said.  "That just like them, I love America, my family, I work hard to do the right thing and it's not easy.  That just because I'm a bit faster and stronger doesn't mean I have all the answers or never worry.

 

"Shoot, I have problems just like anyone else", he remarked.  "I mean, sure it's cool I can jump over the house, but so can my dog.  Kinda hard to 'blend in' with the neighborhood when your dog steals food from everyone in the zip code, you know?

 

"And I hate crime as much as anyone.  I can catch bank robbers in my sleep, but stopping drugs takes education and community resolve.  And sexual predators?  They scare me, just like any parent. 

 

"I can help, and I try to do that.  But ethics, justice, honor, these things have to be chosen by individuals, you can't force someone to be good.  The same is true for maturity, logic, accountability and duty - I have and practice these things, but I can't do it for someone else.

 

"But with all that going on, I never forget that I am a symbol of what is right and good, and we all have the obligation to stand up for the good, and defend what is right.  Even in a comic book", he finished.

 

I nodded.

 

"OK," I promised, "I will try to get that said in a way that folks will hear and understand."

 

I then asked Kal-El if he had ever considered politics.

 

"Well," he answered, "I'm definitely not a native American, if you're thinking that way."

 

"But you might want to suggest to that Ryan fellow, that he could be just what his country needs ..."


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Comments (10)

Heh. Pretty spelled out whe... (Below threshold)
RFA:

Heh. Pretty spelled out where even a Progressive could understand it. Of course they would have to want to understand it in order to get there.

Comic books are a good place to reach them.

LOL...BTW -<... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

LOL...

BTW -

http://www.rawbw.com/~svw/superman.html

"Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" in the original essay form.

Nicely written.<br... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

Nicely written.


As a minor aside, I personally do have a bit of a problem with this.
In the 1970s, Superman was portrayed in the comics as "Kal-El hides as Clark Kent". Since the 1980s, Superman has been written as "Clark Kent presents himself to the world as Superman". Kal-El is his name given to him by his original parents, but he was raised as Clark. I prefer this portrayal.

So, I would have used Clark throughout the article, as opposed to Kal. But that's me, and this takes nothing away from your intent.

Well done!!

Oh, yeah - a question raise... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

Oh, yeah - a question raised in my mind.

Is is Superman renouncing his citizenship, or Clark Kent?

IMO, there is a big difference. As I stated, Clark is the private individual, and Superman is his public persona.

For the first time in his l... (Below threshold)
epador:

For the first time in his life he is embarrassed or does not want to be embarrassing to (be) American?

Which is it?

Oh and btw due to the manda... (Below threshold)
epador:

Oh and btw due to the mandarin comment, this is a racist post.

Aren't comic book... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


Aren't comic books on a higher comprehension level than liberals can understand?

Are you sure it isn't the pretty colors that fascinate them?

Actually I think it's an insult to bewilder them with with so much rich nuance and complexity.

You should apologize for that, you know.

Clearly the work of an unre... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

Clearly the work of an unrepentant anti-kryptite.

Just another illegal alien ... (Below threshold)

Just another illegal alien taking advantage of the American way when its convenient

Actually, this kind of stor... (Below threshold)
James H:

Actually, this kind of story would have potential if done right. For example:

1) Would Kal-El's actions as a non-citizen represent ideal American actions -- actions that a US government lacks the courage to undertake?

2) No longer moored by his US citizenship, would Kal-El become a fascist dictator bent on the global good, to the detriment of others' freedom?

And so forth. The problem, IMO, is that a lot of these stories have been explored before. Kingdom Come gave us a fascist Superman, while a series of Elseworlds stories -- Superman: Red Son and JLA: The Nail among them -- explored how the world might have differed if Superman had not landed in America. Or if he had not landed in the right place in America.

What new story could be told?




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