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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Clark Kent never remembers to turn his phone on silent in movies

(I have a friend who is firmly against repeating jokes and stories -- and in general, I am as well. But not this once. So if you've already heard me tell these, I sincerely apologize.)

"Ya know how I know Clark isn't Superman? Superman could write a 500 word story without passive voice."

"Superman would know not to bury the lede."

"A split infinitive?! Who do you think you are, Kent, Captain Kirk?"

I saw Man of Steel over the weekend. I have some very mixed feelings, but I didn't dislike it, which I suppose is good. It definitely got me in the spirit of Father's Day, let's just say that.

It's not a spoiler to say that at some point in the course of Clark Kent's life, he dons a pair of nerd glasses and joins the staff of The Daily Planet. I don't think it's too big of a stretch to say most fans find this disguise pathetic at best. (Though the good folks at DC did apparently once try to come up with a scientific explanation for the poor investigative skills of all the investigative journalists around Clark.)

I think the reason that people don't realize or assume that Clark Kent is Superman is pretty simple -- human beings believe what they want to believe. No one wants to believe that Clark Kent (the guy who screws up their coffee orders) is a demi-god. No one wants to believe that the shmuck who picked up the tab at happy hour is also faster than a speeding bullet.

Superman as a character is pretty perfect -- moral, altruistic, loyal, handsome, and all that jazz. But I think it's safe to assume that the Man from Krypton was also imperfect. He might not have tripped in the hallway, but I don't think he was any better at loading the toner into the printer than anybody else.

A character's flaws are not just necessary to make a character interesting -- they make that character believable. No one believes that Clark Kent is Superman because on some level, Superman is just not believable -- not even to the imaginary denizens of Metropolis.

3 comments:

  1. you're right, people believe what they want to believe. I've heard mixed things about Man of Steel, and as a huge Superman fan (he and Batman were always my favorite super heroes) I'm a bit nervous. But I honestly think I'll end up enjoying it since I try to get lost in movies and not dwell on plot lines and such. The only movie I've had a huge problem with (recently) was The Great and Powerful Oz, man was that a waste of my time and a waste of story lines and characters that could have been great. Oh well.

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    1. I wouldn't be nervous - I didn't LOVE it, but I also didn't think it was bad. High expectations weren't met, which isn't exactly fair.

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  2. I had so many issues with the movie. I was shocked at how disappointed I was.

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