What Stace had to say on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
On Superman

So I’ve been planning this post for a few weeks now, which is why it’s maybe a little out-of-date. Or, not maybe out of date, it IS out of date, but I’ve been working hard and being sick–I’m still sick, bleh, with one of those colds where the symptoms aren’t too bad but you just generally feel like you haven’t slept in weeks and you’re about to die. Seriously, I feel like utter crap. I don’t think I had a single cold for like two years and now this is the second one this year (I was horribly sick over New Year’s). I keep going to bed early and getting a good nine or ten hours of sleep–highly unusual for me–and then feeling exhausted like half an hour after I get up. It sucks. It’s doing nothing for my productivity. All I feel up to doing is staring at the TV but I have too much to do, like, three entire people depend on me for dinner every night and shit like that, so I can’t just stare at anything, I have to wash dishes and cook food and drive children to school.

And it’s depressing. I don’t think there’s much more depressing–in an otherwise fairly healthy day-to-day life, I mean, obviously there are illnesses way more depressing in general–than having a cold. It just makes you think of how shitty everything is and how shitty you are, doesn’t it? Like, you sit on the couch in a stupor and suddenly want to cry because, I dunno, you’re hungry or something. It’s the worst. I hate it. I never used to mind it so much, but now I just hate it. Bleh.

I am going to be back tomorrow, too, though, to post an excerpt from MADE FOR SIN and the cover, which I know a lot of people have already seen.

Oh, and our car died last week. Our old piece-of-shit was on its last legs anyway, but now it has given up the ghost and will run no more. So we’re looking for a new cheap car, which wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t feel like crap and hate everything at the moment.

Anyway. Here’s the thing I was going to post a couple of weeks ago, before I got this stupid awful fucking cold (I have not had the cold for weeks, I was just really busy, and then I got the cold).

I saw a reference the other day to a comment made about the Superman movie, Man of Steel. If you recall, that’s the one where it’s made clear to us that a world with superheroes in it is a hellish place where entire cities are destroyed and millions of lives are lost just because some guy with special abilities shows up on our planet. I mean, really. Isn’t one of the points of superheroes supposed to be how hopeful they’re supposed to be, and how one person can make a difference and we’re all supposed to be inspired and such? Is it really fun to believe that no, the worst thing you could ever want would be to live in a place where an invincible superhero also lives, because that’s just a place where mass death is ready to happen at any second? What the shit is that, right? “Oh, I’m moving as far away from Metropolis as possible, because you’re totally gonna die if you live anywhere near that magical super-strong guy who can fly and loves to help people. Near Superman is the worst place to be.”

Anyway. You may also recall that Superman kills a guy in that movie. Superman. He kills a guy. It caused rather a bit of controversy when it came out, and here’s what the film’s director, Zack Snyder, had to say about it recently:

“I was surprised with the fervency of the defense of the concept of Superman,” said Snyder. “I feel like they were taking it personally that I was trying to grow up their character.” Snyder also recalled being told that his film had more collateral damage than any other movie in recent memory, which was a claim that surprised him.

“I went, really? And I said, well, what about [‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’]?” said Snyder. “In ‘Star Wars’ they destroy five planets with billions of people on them. That’s gotta be one of the highest death toll movies in history, the new ‘Star Wars’ movie, if you just do the math.”

“‘Grow up’ their character.”

“I was trying to grow up their character,” he says.

In other words, turning Superman into this grumpy guy who kills people is “growing up” the character.

Aside from the general pissiness of that statement, like people who didn’t like seeing Superman kill somebody are just childish little whinybabies, or how dare people love a character so much that it means something to them personally, there’s another problem with it. That he thinks making Superman kill is “growing up” the character is a fundamental lack of understanding of what “growing up” is, along with who Superman is, what he stands for, and why.

The point isn’t that Superman doesn’t kill because he’s a big wussy or a child; the point is that Superman doesn’t kill because he’s fucking *Superman.* He doesn’t HAVE to kill.

Humanity, people–we have to kill, sometimes. Because sometimes it’s the only way we can handle or deal with or solve a serious problem. Sometimes we have to go to war, for example, because every attempt to not go to war has failed and we simply have no other choice unless we want to live in slavery or let millions of other people die or whatever. Life is complicated for humans.

Superman is not human. Superman can always find another way. And that’s a GOOD thing.

That’s something grown-up, mature people–even those of us who understand that, to put it bluntly, sometimes rabid dogs need to be put down for the good of society and the world–ASPIRE to. All grown-up people aspire to a world and a society where there is no more need for killing. It’s only children (mentally) who think killing is cool and no big deal. (I’m not talking about action heroes of a different stripe from Superman here, because that’s not what Snyder was talking about. Believe me, I like movies and [obviously] books where the bad guys die. I don’t have a problem with heroes in general who kill bad guys…but I also recognize that in real life that’s not always the ideal way to handle things, and that what we enjoy in entertainment isn’t necessarily the arbiter of what’s right in real life.)

Yes, Superman is also fictional, but it’s different. Superman is a fictional character we’re supposed to admire and look up to and want to be like, the embodiment of our ideals.

Superman doesn’t kill because when Superman doesn’t kill, it gives the rest of us hope that one day we can live in a world without killing.

Superman doesn’t kill because when Superman doesn’t kill, it makes it okay for our other action heroes to kill.

Superman doesn’t kill because he’s better than us.

The day Superman kills is the day we admit there’s no hope that problems will ever be solved any other way.

That doesn’t strike me as something to aspire to, and it doesn’t strike me as something it’s childish to object to.

So, tune in tomorrow for MADE FOR SIN stuff! Hopefully I’ll be feeling a little better then, though I doubt it.

(And guys, I am working on Downside 6, okay? I will announce news about it as soon as I have some.)

7 comments to “On Superman”

  1. Colleen C.
    · April 20th, 2016 at 1:05 pm · Link

    Very well said! Superman doesn’t kill Period. I hope you feel better soon. Nothing like a lingering cold to make you want to do stabby things.

  2. Pike Stephenson
    · April 20th, 2016 at 4:16 pm · Link

    I wasn’t as taken back by the kill but understand where you’re coming from. He’s the Big Blue Boy Scout. He’s supposed to be that beacon that we all look up to, to guide us from the deepest, darkest of moments. This reminds me of a line from the Justice League cartoon when Superman meets Darkseid for the first time. He says, “I feel like I walk through a world of cardboard, afraid of flexing my muscles for fear of breaking something.” If any character had to show constant restraint, it’s Superman. Watching him let go is damned frightening which was why the premise for the BVS movie worked for me. If I were Bruce Wayne I’d be damned scared if Supes got a wild hair and let loose.

    Oh ya, and get better soon!!

  3. Abby
    · April 20th, 2016 at 4:49 pm · Link

    There is nothing worse than a lingering cold. It’s like a toothache or backache; everyone has advice but after a while the sympathy dries up and everyone questions what you’re doing wrong.
    Feel better.

  4. ManaChelle
    · April 20th, 2016 at 5:15 pm · Link

    Oh, that fucking death cold this year! I’ve had it twice and it is so evil. It starts as a scratch in the back of your through the and within 5 hours you’re laid out like its Ebola for the next week. I sympathize. It was like I was reading my life lately.
    Looking forward to good health, excerpts, New piece of shit cars, and Downside 6 ?

  5. Stace
    · April 20th, 2016 at 5:45 pm · Link

    That’s IT, yes! I felt fine Saturday during the day, the back of my throat felt tickly Saturday evening, and by bedtime I felt like utter crap–and it only got worse on Sunday. And it won’t go away!

    Well, at least I know now it isn’t some regular cold and my body is falling apart, it actually is like this for everyone (that’s the sort of shit I worry about when depressed and sick, lol). Sigh, a whole week of this, huh? Ugh!

    Thanks though!

  6. Peter Turley
    · April 20th, 2016 at 6:23 pm · Link

    Superman killed his fellow Kryptonians in Superman II. They downplayed the Deaths. But General Zod, Non and the Woman, who’s name I can’t remember, all died. Superman doesn’t kill Innocent people. But he has killed bad guys who just wouldn’t quit. I.E. screw you, Space villan Mongel!

  7. Carrie
    · April 20th, 2016 at 11:21 pm · Link

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, and Lord knows I read/watch a lot of stuff with violence in it, but the way the director phrased his statement kind of rubs me the wrong way. And not even because it’s about Superman; I guess it’s more the tone? War and violence exist because human beings can’t settle their shit any other ways sometimes. I don’t necessarily see anything inherently grown up about that.

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