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 …