Dec 30, 2008

Real Life Heroes

".... We were also doing something because we believed in it.We were attempting, through our personal efforts, to make our country a safer and better place to live in. Individually, working on our separate patches of turf, we did too much good in our respective communities to be written off as a mere aberration, whether social or sexual or psychological."
~ from WATCHMEN, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons


I've recently begun re-reading "Watchmen" again in preparation for the movie release in just a few short months. It's a lengthy read and I want to be sure to have plenty of time to soak it all in before I see it on the big screen and hopefully not get disappointed.

But shortly before I pulled it off of the bookshelf, I had just finished reading an article in Rolling Stone magazine about real life superheroes that are popping up all over the planet fighting crime in their own individual way.

When I started reading the article, all I could think of was shades of "Mystery Men", where kooks and freaks of all sorts were purporting to have powers and be superheroes.

But although that appears to be the case on the surface, when you scratch a little deeper you find out that these guys (and gals) are committed to their duties and really are trying to make a difference and improve their communities. They aren't just attention whores looking for an endorsement (although some might actually seem like that).

A friend at work emailed me a video that was broadcast just today regarding an interview with "Razorhawk" who fights crime in Minneapolis.

Part of me wants to laugh out loud that people are dressing up in costume and running around "fighting crime"... but then what exactly am I doing when I get off work to make my neighborhood and town a safer place? Sitting on my fat ass blogging?
And besides, this is coming from somebody who still gets giddy when the comic book convention comes to town so who am I to judge?

These folks are organized (sort of) and they are taking matters into their own hands to effect the change they want to see in the world.
Whether it's stopping a robbery, handing out clean socks and clothes to the homeless, or guiding wayward drunken lasses from the clutches of nefarious men... they are helping people.
As "Razorhawk" says in the interview, "The costume helps to inspire people", but we can all try to do better with or without a costume.
(and maybe in the process we can let these ass-monkeys fade away into obscurity)

The term "hero" gets used way too often nowadays. Practically anybody who breathes air can get labeled a 'hero' just for standing at the right place at the right time... whether they actually did anything or not.
I don't know any of these costumed crime-fighters personally, and I'm a bit reluctant to call somebody a hero just for doing a good deed (like collecting food for a local foodbank) or their civic duty (like filling out an accident report). But they are inspiring and setting an example of what we can accomplish if we try.

2009 is almost here.
Maybe being a "Real Life Superhero" isn't my cup of tea, but I'm certainly looking forward to trying to do and be better.

1 things people had to say:

Elwood said...

Did you ever see Confessions of a Superhero? You should, as it would fit right in with your meme today.

Happy New Year!