Saturday, 30 March 2013

My Number One Super Power

00:00:00 Posted by Ashley Lister , , , 1 comment

 By Ashley Lister

Like Lisa discussed in her post yesterday, I also grew up reading Marvel comics. I was a fan of Spiderman, Captain Britain and the Fantastic Four. I did read some DC comics, Batman and Superman, but it was the Marvel stable of heroes that roused my interest. They were convincing and compelling characters and I dreamt of being blessed with similar super powers. Like so many of the young and impressionable readers of those stories, I wanted to grow up to become a superhero and fight crime. Nowadays I think the heroism side of such a gift might be overrated. If I was blessed with such powers now, I think I’d likely become a supervillain.

There are several reasons for this response, the main one being that superheroes are often shown pursuing bank robbers. I never questioned this as a young reader but nowadays I think: Why? Can’t the police do this? What’s the motive for a superhero pursuing bank robbers? The banks aren’t paying individuals like Spiderman and Batman to resolve breached-security issues. These costume-clad tosspots are volunteering their services to stop banks from suffering the losses. These morons are putting their own lives on the line in the process.

Admittedly, as discussed on yesterday's blog, there are some genuine heroes in our society who regularly put their lives on the line for the benefit of others. But usually those genuine heroes are risking their lives for the benefits of deserving individuals. The superheroes I once read about seemed to be risking their necks to help banks and bankers.

It should be noted here that, as a collective, the banking industry has caused our society more problems than any masterplan of destruction dreamt up by Dr Doom, the Joker, the Green Goblin or the Penguin. Mismanagement within banking is at the heart of the global recession. At some level it’s fair to say that all the doom, gloom and misery brought on by the collapse of the world’s various economies is directly attributable to bankers and banking.

And yet, Spiderman, Superman, Batman and nearly every other superhero simply stop villains from taking money that isn’t legally theirs and hand it back to the super-thieves who are the bankers.  

In some ways it’s an affirmation that money is our society’s current God; that Marx was right and that capitalism is the force to which the masses pay homage.

The superheroes I read as a child took the money from the needy ‘criminals’ at the bottom of the social hierarchy and made sure it was returned to grasping claws of those privileged with a surfeit of opulence and excess.

If that’s heroism, then it’s not a form of heroism that benefits anyone.

And so, what I’m saying here is, if I had Spiderman’s powers and I saw a ‘criminal’ running out of a bank with a big bag of money, I’d maybe smack the crap out of him and then do a runner with the sack of loot they’d stolen. Because, if I was given the choice, my villainous super power would be: looking out for number one.


Colin Davies said...

Y'all need ta read "The Boyz"