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2004-07-09 - 10:00 a.m.


I’ve been thinking a lot about superheroes lately, especially in the context of the Presidential Elections.

Just hear me out.

It seems to me that superheroes embody the best of both liberal and conservative philosophies.* Superheroes have that conservative-minded rugged individualism and sense of personal accountability that makes them believe in the power of one guy in tights to take on a whole race of tentacled aliens bent on world domination. But they’ve also got that warm, fuzzy, liberal idealism and the belief in social responsibility that compels them to lead a double life to keep the townsfolk safe, and which calls for them occasionally to let the bad guy go in order to save the busload of schoolchildren dangling over the railroad bridge.

We need a candidate like this. I mean, who couldn’t get behind Aquaman for President?

My parents raised me to live by the superhero model and I’m doing my best. I’m also trying to pass that stuff along to my kids, and frankly I think it would help if we all had superhero names to guide us. Let’s see what my super imagination comes up with.

First of all, my sister has fallen to the dark side and belongs to the Legion of Doom. She’s bitter and angry, so I’m not going to talk about her.

John’s superhero name (he’s technically only super by marriage but that counts) would be Tenacious Man because what he lacks in reliability he makes up for in persistence. His logic may be circular, and his powers may not be as disciplined as his opponent’s, but he’ll keep fighting or arguing with the guy until the guy just gets tired and gives in. He’s kind of like Cool Hand Luke that way, only not really cool since his bonus powers are flatulence and ‘eighties music.

Luckily for John, my bonus power is patience.

I don’t want to reveal any of my other powers right now. Just you rest assured they’re good ones and I look really hot in my costume. And I don’t have a name yet because my powers are so vast and varied that nothing seems to encompass them all. I’ll let you know when I come up with something.

My five-year-old son would be Mr. Nice Guy because he is completely without guile or malice. He could love and/or cuddle the villainy out of Spawn. He could melt the collective heart of the Borg with one flash of his big, blue eyes. And his body is made of special extra-soft tissue that molds itself to the shape of whomever he hugs, rendering them utterly devoid of the will to escape. Yet, amazingly his powers are stabilized by his strategic use of dead-pan humor and just enough mischievousness to keep his opponents guessing. Buddha could learn a thing or two from him. Like how to fly and walk through walls.

My six-year-old daughter is our ace in the hole. She would be The Mindbender since her phenomenal mental abilities rival those of any evil genius. But we’ve raised her right, and unless she is bitten by a blood-sucking alien or Ann Coulter, we feel certain she will use her powers only for good. Think Little Man Tate, only as a tall, lithe alpha female with cutting-edge fashion sense, telepathy and x-ray vision. Her powers are tempered by compassion and her unceasing quest for fairness and balance.

She’d make a great president, but fortunately she lacks the super-ego that job requires.

* X-Men don’t count because as a group they are unstable and have bad attitudes. That may sound racist, but they’re mutants and should be used to comments like that by now.


reading -When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden by Bill Maher
viewing - Ying Xiong
listening -"Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder

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