Thursday, August 31, 2006

Season One, Down. Season Two, Here We Come!

I finished watching Who Wants To Be a Superhero. I couldn’t stand to miss a single episode. In fact, I watched the reruns. What is it about that show? Its a rhetorical question. I’ll tell you.

Its pretty obvious. Who Wants To Be a Superhero? Who DOESN’T want to be a Superhero? The list would be much shorter. That is, if you dig down deep, down past the adult talk, past the fear of what co-workers would say, past all that, most the boys would find ourselves under the kitchen table playing with a Captain America action figure … maybe Captain Kirk … but the point is, we all thought that was attainable. What a fantastic show!

I typically can’t watch reality TV. It’s the celebration of dysfunction. But every so often something comes along that reverses the trend. This is a show about celebrating the good things about people. Oh, it has all the hallmarks of reality TV. Catching people being able to laugh at themselves. Comedy works. That’s great. After the show, many blogs, comments on MySpace, interviews with the contestants showed that, indeed, that was the case. Things were said, like, “I’ve never seen a cast of competitors who bonded together and helped each other so much!” Of course! These were people who cared enough about those dreams we all had to carry them with them through life and arrive here. These people are heroes, or rather, they have the Heart of a Hero. They found a way to bring it out. I love it!

I wish I would have known about the show. If they have a season 2, I must be on it!

Who Wants To Be a Superhero Cast

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

First "Official" Patrol

Phoenix Nights

I went on my first “official patrol” tonight. I must say official as its really something I’ve always done naturally. Now, I just have something to call it. Ever since high school, I’ve driven around, checking things out, stopping if there was a situation. I’ve always been out there. It just never had a name. Now it does and I do. Citizen Prime. The first of many primed citizens to come. Go ahead. Laugh! You have to laugh. Its fun. Even patrolling is a blast. I have no idea where to go, what to do or where needs “patrolling.” Its just fun driving around, stopping, walking for a bit, back in the car, etc.. Just making sure things were as they should be, at least appeared that way.

It gives you time to think. Its very meditative … eye opening. I’ve always been told I was fairly empathic. Many times, sitting in the airport, I watch people and look just behind there eyes and try to see who they are. Abraham Lincoln said every man (and I’ll assume woman) is responsible for the look of their face after 40. What I think he meant by that is, the way we carry ourselves, the things we do, they … inhabit … us and make us who we are. They make us what we look like. I thing that’s true. Or true enough to see what’s behind the masks people wear in public.

When on patrol, driving past people who think they are alone, you don’t get that mask effect as much. You see another level … sometimes …. behind the mask. I mean its just them on the street, right? No one else is watching. Right? There are a lot of people in need on the street. A lot of sad people. A lot of disconnectedness. Presumably a lot of sick people, too. I heard 80% of the homeless population was mentally ill. So, I’ll be out here. I’m not going to climb up a building and jump down on crack dealers. That’s not what I’m about. I’ll watch and help, as I can, for now. Eventually, I want to make a real difference. What’s the biggest and best way to do it though. That’s the question. Regardless, tonight was fun.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Can You Make a Difference?

Liberty for all!

I’ve been looking at the online real life superhero community for a while now. Tonight I talked to a member called Superhero over the phone. The name pretty much says it all. He is out there, in costume, patrolling, with police … well, not sanction, but at least tolerance … It was a great chat. Fired so many thoughts. What would it be like to apply my persona to the real world.

This is actually a possibility. The Guardian Angels … I’ve chatted with them … to many politics already. Too much structure. What if I want to help in my way? Neighborhood Watch? Well, truthfully, I’ve always kind of done that. I can’t help it. Driving down the road, my eye naturally wanders to broken down cars, people who might need a hand. I circle back to kids who seem to be arguing, husbands yelling at their wives or, worse, their kids. So sad. So, that’s just me. How could I bring that perspective to others. Superhero seems to be doing a great job. He is open, friendly, wears a cape. Life imitates art. I love it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How Would You Become a Hero?


Its amazing that after referencing real people doing hero work, after doing more research, I discover that people are actually walking the streets patrolling, keep crime at bay. Its later than I thought! The hero revolution has already begun and I’m late! So what ways would someone take to become a crime fighter?

Who Wants to Be a Superhero. Twelve joe-schmoes put on costumes and compete in contests of super hero character tests; bravery, self-sacrifice, etc. So one avenue would be join the show and insist you are a real superhero. That would definitely be a twist. After the show, win or lose, leverage the show to become a “name” and off you go. Bonus: If you win, they make a comic out of you. Life and art mesh …

Of course, heading to the streets, full regalia, is an option although there is no … how shall we say it … quality control. Any fanboy ... and lets face it, they would be the first out there on the street. No Batman, no Captain America, even Doughboy would be a vast improvement over what most these idealistic, reality challenged youth would be. So, what to do? Well, setting up an Assembly of Heroes would be the best bet. You could implement training, a headquarters of sorts, and have association with other groups. Most important among them, law enforcement agencies.

Remember, those who take crime fighting as a street hero seriously, should take training just as seriously. Use of force, criminal law, communications and other areas of law enforcement should be seriously studied under professional tutelage. Not to mention hand-to-hand street fighting.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Is It Finally Time For Heroes?

Batman Unmasked

There is more than a cyclic interest in heroes, be they of will, strength or passion. We are increasingly obsessed with the heroic and always searching hopefully for the super heroic. The number of comic hero movies and series keep increasing and logic dictates that our demand is driving this obsession … but what social obsession drives that demand?

Eventually, the inevitable will happen. Sometime, some thing will trigger the continually pervasive theme in our cultural mind’s eye and life will start to imitate art. We are already giving cultural permission to allow classic heroes among us? They are rough, transitional, uncomfortable but they are here as the forbearers of greater things to come.


Spandex would never be common place … would it? French studies have shown that athletic performance is markedly enhanced when athletes wear compression tights. It forces blood back from the extremities and muscle compression conserves kinetic energy increasing athletic performance, a hallmark attribute of heroes.

Technology could lend a hand. Recently, Olympic downhill skiers started using a cloth containing a fluid compound with hardened silica that becomes rigid when struck violently, such as a high speed skiing accident.

This protection only works when the suit is tightly fitted to the body. Taken to extremes, is flexible bullet resistance around the corner?

And the last barrier of “normal” humans being classic style heroes is crime prevention laws, including self defense and defense of others legal issues. Yet the laws are surprisingly balanced, at least on paper, when it comes to these factors. Violence is discouraged, yet stopping crime is not. Even up to and including non-lethal force applied in a citizen’s arrest for crimes being committed.

As long as the would be defender of life and liberty follows specific guidelines, he could theoretically do much to prevent criminal activity, just by their presence even if not actively engaged in stopping it. Already the Guardian Angels have spread across the nation as a positive force in stopping crime.

So what’s left to prevent someone from becoming a hero. Passion? Commitment? Super powers? Are the powerful among us and if we give them permission, would they work in service to the community perhaps as a group of heroes. Possibly even with police sanction? I think its time. Time to discover the age of the superhero.


To be continued …

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Prime: Introduction


This is a work somewhere between dizzying hyperbole and rampant reality. It will consist only of real elements of my life, however, I choose not to distinguish between mundane and fantastical. For those who "get it", this will be a view of the world that should be, according to me. For those who don't, this will be full of ... barely believable facts and must-be-whoppers.

What is to be gained from observing / listening / watching / reading such a holistic view of reality? Well, perhaps you can start to see how your flesh & bones, paycheck & paid bills, and politics & parties can fuse with vision & imagination, legend & myth and the quasi & psuedo. Maybe you can start to look beyond the pink - phone - last - movie - jerk - at - work - hot - girl - cute - guy - nice - pants - reality - show - hate - Bush - love - Wendy's view of life and -- wait! -- don't throw any of those babies out with their bathwater - pour them into your real life. The real life that exists just beyond your tongue because you don't dare say it and just beyond your eyes, as you've lost the ability to see it when someone your trusted said, 'Time to grow up.' And perhaps you were even the hachetman, cutting away someone's lives because you couldn't see them as they did; maybe you told someone what is real and what is not and thought you were right (don't worry, all will be forgiven later).

So, what is to be gained from this? For now, suffice to say, we have many lives. Right here. Right now. Respect your brain, heart and soul like you do your body and let them live out their destinies. Free your mind, Neo. Live the lives you were meant to live and I'll be your Primer by documenting mine.