They don’t make buildings out of adamantiumJanuary 19, 2010
So there was an earthquake in Haiti caused by Tiger Woods’ cock fueled by Mark McGwire’s steroids… shit, the news is starting to run into itself again. I need a drink, but I don’t feel like leaving my house, so I go up on the roof to have a few with my local superheroes Mercury Shadow and Crimson Paraplegic.
“So what are the role of superheroes in humanitarian crisiseseseses?” I ask, admittedly inebriated, but that’s why I’m at home and not behind the wheel of a car. I’m a responsible drunkard, thank you.
“Lifting things mostly,” says Crimson Paraplegic.
“Unless you’re a superhero that can conjure medicine and drinkable water out of thin air,” says Mercury Shadow. “And while playing in the land of make-believe, let’s say you can also shit unicorns too. Having heat vision eyes won’t help you get food, water, shelter, and medicine to thousands of people who just survived the earth swallowing their town.”
“Maybe during a disaster is where superheroes do their best work, if they happen to be there, when everything falling down around everyone,” says Crimson Paraplegic. “But after everything falls down, in the aftermath, there’s not much we can do other than dig up rubble and hopefully find survivors underneath. Maybe dig some of those mass graves there too.”
“Do you really want Superman taking the time to dig mass graves?” says Mercury Shadow. “That is a messed up picture, man.”
“Disaster relief is a huge undertaking, requiring lots and lots of planning and resource procurement and allocation,” says Crimson Paraplegic. “Superheroes are not equipped to handle all those facets. We can’t follow billions in relief aid and make sure it goes where it’s supposed to go. We don’t have crates of food and medicine in our secret lairs (aka my first floor one-bedroom apartment). Unless you’re Batman, but he’s prepared for everything.”
“You can provide security, right?” I say. “Bring some sort of order to the chaos?”
“To a point,” says Mercury Shadow. “But a squad of soldiers would do a better job of maintaining order and safety. Strength in numbers.”
“Also, it was determined that the Haitians would get really freaked out seeing me flying around with my unusable legs dangling under me,” says Crimson Paraplegic. “That’s why I’m not there.”
“So even superheroes feel helpless in a disaster?” I say.
“Superheroes feel helpless all the time,” says Mercury Shadow. “The whole genre is born from helplessness. Bruce Wayne was helpless to stop his parents from being murdered, so he now he’s Batman. Peter Parker was helpless to stop his uncle from being murdered, now he’s Spiderman.”
“And there was that time I had food poisoning,” Crimson Paralegic said. “Bullets can’t harm me but salmonella does? I can lift a jumbo jet without breaking a sweat, but a batch of bad shrimp has me gripping my toilet for three days puking and crying.”
The caped life is a complex life.