I Like the Creative Education Story

Why I Like Superman

A lot of my close friends will tell you that I am obsessed with Superman. Not in a crazy-nutcase-fan way, but in a more subtle, thoughtful way.

One of my favourite shows of all time is the animated series created in 1996. In my opinion it is more consistent than the comic books (which change the story every five seconds).

I recently ordered this on DVD, and I was watching an episode the other day when my wife sat down beside me to pass some time. She’s pretty cool for watching some of my favourite shows with me and asking questions about the characters.

She asked me why I liked Superman above all other superheroes.

This was a good question. I told her I would think about it, and here is the result.

To say I like Superman might be a bit of a misleading statement. Instead, I’ll state that I have a particular vision of Superman that I really like a lot. To find out what this images is, and why I like it, we’ll have to start at the beginning.

Growing up, I would catch episodes of Superman on television. Superman was even on Sesame Street once. As a kid, I liked the fact that superman could fly, and that he was very strong. Above those qualities, I admired him for his principles, and how he would use his gifts to help those who needed assistance. One thing that I really wanted to be when I was a child was helpful (who knows what happened since then).

Here was a guy who had unlimited potential. He could use his powers to get money and toys and whatever else my imagination could think of, and yet he just helped out.

As I got older, my mother introduced me to comic books. She bought a big box and I would read and re-read everything in there. I used to know most of the stories by heart. I enjoyed some of them immensely.

Unfortunately, not all of them were to my liking. Being a nerdy kid, I had a better-than-average understanding of science. A lot of what happened in the comic books was very odd, and didn’t make sense. Also, at that time, I would watch Justice League of America and Superfriends on television. Superman was much stronger in these newer cartoons. In fact, in one episode the Earth’s orbit was disrupted, sending our planet hurtling into the sun. Superman actually moved the planet back into orbit.

While superpowers are a thing of fantasy, this didn’t really jive with me. No one should ever be that powerful. It was too fantastic.

I fell out of my Superman admiration phase, and kept up with Batman. I started reading more Marvel comics, and enjoyed Daredevil and Wolverine. Two of the most flawed heroes you can imagine. Superman had no flaws anymore, and that made him uninteresting.

Fast forward to my university days and a book called Kingdom Come. This comic book should be read by everyone. It is the story of how Superman leaves Metropolis because people want more violent heroes. Eventually things spiral out of control and he comes back. It’s a great commentary on the state of comics, and on the state of people in these modern times. There are moments where Superman believes that he is right in taking control of the situation. But then there are times when he despairs at his lack of perspective, and has no idea what to do.

This book portrayed the most human Superman ever, in my opinion. I was hooked again. The regular series was mediocre, and enjoyable enough, but it didn’t strike as resonant a chord as Kingdom Come did.

Shortly after the release of that book the new animated Superman show aired. Superman was not so perfect. He took his lumps, and he got angry just like a normal person. While mostly benevolent, he had his moments where it looked like he was thinking about pounding the crap out of some criminal.

In the pilot episode a large battle suit is stolen. The terrorists use it against Superman. Over and over the terrorist John Corben keeps hammering Superman with all manner of weaponry. Finally Superman takes the suit apart, pulls John out, and asks (with a very angry expression) maybe we can go a few rounds without the suit? It is this realistic emotional portrayal of a fictional character that really draws me to the series.

To me, this is Superman. A person gifted with power who tries his best to do good and fit in. A person who makes mistakes, and has his share of problems, but does his best to persevere in the face of adversity (and the occasional alien invasion). Plus the costume is cool.

What’s not to like?

Another Creative Spam Name

Anyone remember Brontosaurus B. Intemperance?

Well I think I got a spam from his brother…

Uncomplimentary H. Fuzziness

Wow. The believability of that name is hard to dispute.

Ire Education

A friend of mine sent me a news article that talked about how the word fail should be banned from British classrooms. It would be replaced with the phrase deferred success to ensure that students are not demoralized.

Indeed, even here in Canada it’s getting harder to give students accurate marks. Failed student statistics are usually made to reflect poorly on the teacher, and ultimately on the Principals.

Sugar-coating failure is just another step towards the softening of our society. Shielding children from negativity is just going to create a false sense of security which will lead to problems.

Unfortunately, it’s our government that implements the policies that lead to this idiocy. Most likely it is about keeping our country competitive in the global arena.

Our government doesn’t want Canadian kids to look stupid, as that would eventually reflect poorly on our country.

Much better to make them falsely look good so they can display all of their stupidity to the world later when they become politicians.

What’s Your Story?

I received a comment a while back from someone from MSN who indicated that I might be on What’s Your Story?.

Essentially it’s a front page to MSN Spaces that highlights a couple of blogs and also has a section highlighting other spaces (which changes on a weekly basis).

Unfortunately, due to the fact that I have profanity on my blog (mostly in the Hai-Kuul section) I didn’t make the cut. What’s Your Story? is a family-rated space, so profanity is a no-no.

If you are planning on making it onto there, I would suggest you change your swearing ways.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank MSN for considering me. It feels great to be recognized for creativity.

Hai-Kuul – July 21, 2005

Jorge Doesn’t Like Lunch (Requested by Drea)
Jorge used to eat food
Now he simply writes haiku
Send him some muffins!

Burden? What Burden? (Requested by Drea)
I’m not complaining
So why don’t you take your whip
And leave me alone!

Drea’s Hai-Kuuls Are Fun (Requested by Drea)
Leandra’s requests
Fly in a mile a minute
But they make me think

This Side of the Country (Requested by Drea)
It’s the wild, wild West
But instead of the horses
We’ve got wild salmon!

Pianos and Piccolos (Requested by Drea)
The strangest duet
You will ever hear for sure
Expensive tickets

Van Gogh’s Earring (Requested by Drea)
Vincent’s gold earring
Sparkles brightly on the ground
Since his ear left town

Maple Leafs and Other Red Things (Requested by Drea)
In the wind it flaps
Who knew that this bright colour
Would make us so proud?

Irish/Scandinavian Who Speaks French (Requested by Drea)
An accent can be
A very attractive trait
But a triple? Whoa…

The Taj Mahal (Requested by Drea)
Some guy built this thing
To make his lady happy
Flowers are cheaper

Morning On My Mind (Requested by Drea)
When I go to bed
I think of the sun’s greeting
I can’t wait ’till morn!

*Remember, you can submit a topic to inspire your very own Haiku Poem by clicking here. You can read about Hai-Kuul here.