Recently while doing my rounds in some of the Google+ communities that I’m a part of, I came across an interesting blog post titled Why I Hate Superman. I thought it was an interesting title and since I know much about these kind of things being a comic book geek, I decided to take a gander at the article.
Almost immediately I saw biased thinking which is what blogs are about to a degree. They are many times opinions of the writers and I don’t fault the writer for that. What I fault her for is the flawed conclusions that she came to based on erroneous presuppositions with very little evidence. If she would have written that she hated the Superman how he was written in, say, Man of Steel, or just the Justice League Animated Series (which she does), then I could understand the article. But the problem is that she said, ” I hate Superman.” She then goes on to make flawed observations and conclusions about who Batman is as well.
I don’t want to be too hard on her and I don’t want to really get into where she dropped the ball on her observations. What I really want to address is the tone of the post.
I believe the writer is reflective of a culture that hates anyone who just may be better at something than they are. That raises the standard. A culture that hates the good guy by virtue of the fact that they really are good, as much as any human can be. They hate someone who embodies what they are not, almost a sort of suppressed jealousy. Or, quite simply, they hate light and love darkness.
Overall, we live in an apathetic, narcissistic culture globally. We are pretty full of ourselves. We think that this somehow frees us when it keeps us in the same, weak, dark, deluded mindset. Anything so we don’t have to change. Anything so we can affirm our faults. Anything so we can embrace our transgressions. Anything so we really don’t have to work at being better in any sense.
Since this individual is also a writer, it’s highly probable that her “heroes” are similar to her. She’s not the only one that does it either. It’s all over in Hollywood and books. The famed anti-hero protagonist. Of course, that’s not a hero. Its an idol made in their own image. A hero is someone you can at least aspire to be like; that have virtues that you do not in spades. Why write a hero that is just like me? What is the point in that? This doesn’t raise the human spirit to any level of high achievement. It keeps individuals where they are, validating their insecurities, immorality, anxieties, and numerous other character flaws. Never mind trying to fix those things. That would take humility and who needs that when the world screams at you to be a narcissus. Just blur the lines and embrace your transgressions and don’t you dare let anyone tell you that you’re screwed up.
Well…that’s screwed up.
It’s sad that in response to my rather pointed comments, she refused to respond and just deleted them. She had strong opinions about how she felt but anyone with equally strong opinions she shuns. I didn’t saying anything different than what I’m saying here so it only signals to me that she likes being heard but not challenged. That, of course, would prove what I’m saying to be correct, at least in this instance.
You can best believe that my heroes will be better than me. Of course, they won’t be flawless. They will have their struggles and faults. But in the end, they will be better than me.
I don’t mind saying that. I like the good guy. Sue me.
4 thoughts on “The Pathology of Hero Hatred”
I understand exactly what you mean.
I bump into situations again and again where people try to take me down for doing stuff better because they’re too lazy to improve.
Also, anti-heroes can be an incredibly lazy way to make a character relatable. At the same time. Heroes without flaws simply bore me.
I thought Superman in Man of Steel struck a good balance of a guy who’s far from perfect, but who’s trying to figure out what’s right for him and everyone around him.
Thanks for writing Misha.
The problem with the post really was the whole tone. One of her reasons for hating Superman was because she didn’t like him “acting like you have a halo over your head” which she openly said “is a bit irritating for us mortals.” First, that she supposedly speaks for all mortals is presumptuous. Second, Superman inspires generations of heroes and people because of his code. Third, she bases all of her idea of who Superman is off of television programs and movies. Error. That’s not Superman. If you want to get an idea of who Superman actually is, you need to read the source material. You need to pick up a string of comics and read them. Comics is where he originated. Comics is where he’s defined. Television programs and movies often change things for various reasons (some of them inexcusable) so they are bad source material. Seems that a writer would at least do their due diligence before giving an opinion. That’s a sign of just pure laziness.
She then proceeds to talk about how a “goody goody” just doesn’t translate well into a romance novel. And yet, he’s had a romantic love interest with Lois Lane for…well…a VERY long time which means even at a basic level, it actually does translate.
My point is that if you have an opinion, at least form it around the facts.
Hi Easton…Like I’ve said I welcome all comments, just not when someone is trying to call me an idiot covertly. I freely admitting I don’t read the Superman comics. That out of the way, in my post I said I hate the person Superman has evolved into. I also said I liked the characterization of him by Christoper Reeves and Dean Cain. But I didn’t like the Smallville and Justice League versions of him because he seemed hypocritical and arrogant. You did read those parts and my reasoning right? Or were you annoyed by my audacity that you glossed over it? I also said at the end that I agree with what Superman as a whole stands for, but as a romance novel hero (by the way, all my post are centred around romance novels and my perspective on reading them) he wouldn’t work. Not enough depth. (Before you jump on that, as you consider yourself a Superman aficionado, I have read a tiny bit of romance novels myself.) You speak on heroes and striving to emulate their perfection, well I prefer to emulate Batman’s ‘imperfection’. Why? Because even with his flaws, darkness and lack of super powers he trys to help people, even though he know bullets don’t bounce off him. I want to believe that faced with insurmountable odds I would rise to the occassion. And as for Lois, I wrote that post too. Take a read.
And I didn’t delete because you disagreed with me, plenty people post comments that do. I deleted the comment because I don’t invite people into my house only to feel ridicled and condescend by them. I’m sure you’d put them out to.
Illyana. Thank you for commenting here. Been busy with a writing project so you’ll have to excuse me for the late response.
First, as I said before, I wasn’t condescending. You taking it that way doesn’t make it so. Since you deleted the comment, no one will ever know if that was indeed the case. But I think that my general tone will give it away. I’m straight-forward. There’s a difference. Being straightforward and direct is not condescending. It’s being straightforward and direct. What’s condescending is insinuations like “you consider yourself a Superman aficionado” or “not when someone is trying to call me an idiot covertly”. However, I’ll respond to the condescension instead of deleting your post.
If I wanted to call you an idiot, I’d call you an idiot. One thing is certain from our exchanges. Your tone is rude and condescending. But hey, that’s your issue. In addition, I don’t know you from Adam so to think that I have to do things covertly online to someone who is an overall non-issue in my existence is arrogant and presumptuous. Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think.
Second, as I said above, your conclusions are based on faulty source material. Movies and television programs are not source material for those characters. Comics are. Since you read romance books, seems that if you wanted your opinion to be accurate, you’d go to the source material and read them, especially if you’re writing lengthy posts about them.
Third, you just proved my point by stating that you want to emulate imperfection which makes zero sense. In case you missed it in my post above (maybe you just glossed over it so you didn’t see it), here’s a recap:
It keeps individuals where they are, validating their insecurities, immorality, anxieties, and numerous other character flaws. Never mind trying to fix those things. That would take humility and who needs that when the world screams at you to be a narcissus. Just blur the lines and embrace your transgressions and don’t you dare let anyone tell you that you’re screwed up.
Well…that’s screwed up.
I’m guessing also you didn’t read my above comment either but I’m loathe to repeat myself at this point so if you feel so inclined, please read that as well to get the full picture.
And, you are wrong on your last point because as I stated previously, you’ve been rude and condescending and yet…your comment remains.
There is MUCH more I can say about your post but I’ll sum it up like this: it’s faulty, erroneous information based on faulty, erroneous source material. Which means it’s junk. That I pointed that out is probably more of an issue but again, that’s your problem.
Glad we had this exchange. Good deal.