Bend the Round

…where the madness is recorded.

Thoughts on Superman February 12, 2008

Filed under: wtf — bendtheround @ 9:34 pm


Matt has all three seasons of the 90s cartoon Superman. We recently watched the last of the episodes, which led up to the stellar series The Justice League.

If like the superhero genre at all, you’ve gotta love good ol’ Superman. He can fly, is super-strong, shoots frickin’ lasers out of his frickin’ eyes, and always gets there in the nick of time (or inexplicably turns back time so that he DOES get there in time). Plus, you gotta love that little curl of hair on his forehead. It makes you feel good to see him always make it right.

…and yet… there are a number of things that bug me about Superman and his schtick.

WTF#1 The Disguise

Lois Lane, the crack reporter with honed observational skills, who’s gotten plenty of good close looks at Superman doesn’t notice that Clark Kent is Superman? WTF? Seriously.

WTF#2 Variable Super-Strength

In scene one, a bridge is falling! Superman has to fly up and hold the bridge up until everyone safely clears it. He grits his teeth and grunts and groans under the weight – it’s taking everything he’s got to keep that bridge in place!!

In scene two, a helicopter is falling! Superman has to fly up, catch it, and slowly lower it to the ground. He catches it! He grits his teeth and grunts and groans under the weight – it’s taking everything he’s got to gently lower that helicopter to the ground!

WTF? The bridge covered with cars must have been WAY heavier than that one helicopter, even adjusting for the inertia Superman had to overcome. Is he show-boating? What’s the deal??

WTF Corollary

How does the flying thing work in with the super strength? If Superman’s on the ground, he’s got something to push off of when he’s demonstrating his feats of strength. Not so in the air. Does super strength plus the ability to fly automatically mean that he’s a super strong flyer?

WTF#3 Lois Constantly Falling Great Distances

Superman ALWAYS catches her. ALWAYS. You know why? Because he’s got a freakin’ half an hour to get there before she hits the ground. There’s no in between for Lois…she’s either on the ground or 7,000 feet in the air.

Bad guys – if you ever really want to pose a threat to Lois Lane, and you really feel the need to stick with the “drop her to her doom” theme, push her off the fourth story instead of the 400th. Four stories will do the job, and Superman won’t have nearly the time to get there. Of course, he’s going to be super-pissed when he arrives to find Lois splattered on the ground, but since you’re screwing around with Lois in the first place, you must be aware of that.

WTF#4 Henchmen’s Insistence on Unloading as Many Rounds as Possible at Superman

Guys… Really… The first clip you unloaded on him didn’t phase him. Did you miss those bullets bouncing off him? Sure, most people fall down when you pump a clip in them, but this guy didn’t, so cut it out. All you’re going to accomplish is the possible causality on your side from the ricochets.

While we’re having this nice little chat, lemme ask something else. Why is it that henchmen are only able to hit Superman? Every bullet bounces off of him, but when it comes time to open fire on Lois or the cops, they can’t hit a damn thing. WTF?

WTF#5 The Suit

How many of those things does he have? Does he wear the same one all the time? And where the hell did he get it – or does Superman also have super-tailoring skills? What about the boots? Do those fit under his Clark Kent shoes like footie pajamas?

What is that suit made out of, by the way? Bullets don’t seem to phase that fabric. Lasers frequently bounce right off it without leaving even a scorch mark. Superman is occasionally shown walking casually through fire – would somebody like to tell me why he doesn’t walk out bare-ass naked with all his clothes burned off? Maybe there’d be more female comic book fans if stuff like that happened… probably not, but hey, seems like an easy way to reach out to a market niche.


One more thing. Watching every episode of the 90s Superman cartoons has left me with the intense, perverse desire to hear Superman swear. Just once. Maybe a bad guy slams a stone column on him and Superman says “Ow, f*ck!” Or he averts one disaster, only to look up and see another one imminent, and instead of just jumping up to handle it, he says “well, shit” and THEN goes and takes care of it.

Can’t tell you why. It’s not Superman’s thing to be foul-mouthed – he’s the clean-cut goody-goody type that happens to be faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Still… it would make me smile. 🙂


Free Hugs Campaign January 23, 2008

Filed under: wtf — bendtheround @ 8:13 pm

I saw this on Digg earlier this week and can’t decide if it’s unfettered hippy crap or just plain weird.

The idea is to foster human contact by going out in public and making yourself available to strangers for hugs (for free…no pimping out your hugs).

My reaction to the campaign seems to be a consistent and equal mix of enthusiasm and suspicion. On one hand, I know that I’ve been desperate for human contact before – just needed someone to say hello to, look in the eye, and care, even for just a minute. (Pardon the emo moment, please.) It would have been lovely to be able to get a hug in any one of those moments.  On the other hand, I seriously doubt that I would have taken advantage of the opportunity if I had seen some stranger holding up a sign for Free Hugs. I’m pretty sure I would have assumed the individual was at least a little nuts, and I’m not one for close personal contact with the insane.

It seems like maybe I have seen a Free Hugs sign somewhere, though, for the life of me I can’t think where. If I did, I know I didn’t partake of said offered hug. I’d remember hugging a total stranger.

I watched the whole video on the website and was touched. It is a remarkable reminder that the masses around us are individual people and that most of them are good. It makes me feel good to see strangers reaching out to make each other smile. That’s awesome. It’s the opposite of the road rage I see on a daily basis and totally refreshing.

And yet… I know damn well that I’m still a bit hinky about the whole thing. What if that guy holding up the sign is just hoping to grope people? Or trying to get people close enough to pickpocket them?

See? Totally confused in my own mind about my reaction to the whole thing. In its sincerest form, I think I like it. Let’s humanize each other. Make each other smile if we can. Distance this thing even a little from the ideal, though, and yeah, it’s just weird.

Thoughts anybody?