By John James Kirkwood
“There is nothing more un-American than a “Man of Steel” who is a walking, breathing breach of the fourth Amendment; a drone with a pulse who sees all, keeping watch over the helpless herd and whose main impetus to frustrate his adversaries is sheer and utter brute force. He dons no cape – but an iron curtain. In the age of the Superman, the most needful thing for any freedom lover is a fistful of Kryptonite!” – The Parson
Is Superman really the perfect embodiment of the “American Way”? Has Clark Kent masked his true identity while mainlining fascism to the American people? Why would two young Jewish boys from Cleveland on the threshold of the Third Reich birth a saga of a “man of steel”?
It’s time to peek beyond the cape.
WHO’S YOUR DADDY?
Riddle me this, Superfans: Who is Superman’s father?
No, it is not Jor-El or Jonathan Kent? Nor is it Jerry Siegel or Joe Shuster. The father of Superman is Friedrich Nietzsche.
If you search the phrase “Man of Steel” at Rotten Tomatoes, the top two results will be Warner Bros. upcoming movie about Superman and a 2006 History Channel documentary on Joseph Stalin. This is not a coincidence. Clark Kent and Uncle Joe are both worthy personifications of Nietzsche’s tyrannical wet-dream. In the beginning, this was the plan.
Superman first appeared as a short story entitled “The Reign of the Superman” in a fanzine – Science Fiction: The Advance Guard of Future Civilization #3.
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster first conceived of Superman as a villain – bald and telepathic with a penchant for world domination. Siegel would disclose in a 1983 interview that this first conception was inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s outline of the Übermensch
Even in FDR’s America, capitalism still reigned and to sell their character, Siegel and Shuster would refashion Superman into the bespectacled hero with leading man looks, a cape and super abilities.
An orphaned alien, corn-fed with good old fashioned “American values,” Superman, now Clark Kent, would act as a shepherd to the lost sheep of humanity – leaping tall buildings, impervious to bullets, and employing x-ray vision and a gamut of other world capacity. And of course he’d hide his identity with a pair of glasses and a press pass.
THE HERO JOURNALIST:
Of course nothing screams “American Hero” like the mention of a “journalist,” – a vocation that ranks with Americans somewhere between venereal warts and chain-saw enemas.
Imagine David Gregory as an alien from another planet hiding behind the White House press badge to preserve both his secret identity and “truth, justice and the American way”? No, really, imagine it. Imagine it without milk coming out of your nose and the uncontrollable convulsions of common sense and stark realism. Sure, and Bob Schieffer, Katie Couric and George Snuffleupagus are all members of the Justice League! The only thing worse than Siegel’s choice of a journalist, would’ve been to pen Clark Kent as an IRS employee.
Reporters, who according to their own polling are 80% godless and by about the same percentage Obama supporters, fit quite nicely with a leftists understanding of the journalist: a being less interested in purveying truth and accurately reporting the facts and more inclined to “changing the world.”
HOW TO JUDGE SUPERHEROES:
Let’s forego the geek dilemma over “Can you be a Superhero if you don’t have super- powers?” and cut right to the quick: judging a superhero or any myth for that matter is best done by peeling back the cape and looking at the underlying worldview. Would you be surprised to find out that Siegel and Shuster were two left-leaning cheerleaders of FDR’s New Deal who first penned their fascist Frankenstein as a social activist to fight for social justice?
Even his superpowers, upon closer inspection, are at swords point with the “American Way.” As a matter of fact, if you asked the American people what they think of full body x-rays at the airport, drones over our cities and government eavesdropping of citizens sans a warrant or judges approval, they respond with about the same enthusiasm as a man facing a colonoscopy from Freddie Krueger.
Would Americans be more accepting of the nude x-ray if we sprayed an “S” on its outer shell; would they welcome the drone if we robed it in a scarlet cape?
And I guess fathers, husbands, and boyfriends are to be just fine with a “hero” who can see their daughters, wives, mothers or girlfriends naked. We can be content with the fact that he only thinks of Lois Lane in that way. Really, just trust him.
And humanity must submit to the Kryptonian equivalent of “jus primae noctis” because, frankly we have no choice. If you don’t want him looking ladies, then walk around in a lead burka with a Kryptonite chastity belt. But really, who are you to question the integrity of the “man of steel”?
HOW HUMANITY IS PERCEIVED: THE UNTERMENSCHEN
The Nazi’s gravitated toward Nietzsche’s theory of the Superman and filled in the ellipsis that was left undeclared – That not only was there an Übermensch (Superman) but also an Untermenschen – “inferior humans” who could be dominated, enslaved and as a final solution, “evacuated.”
“I will teach you the superman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him? All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man?
What is the ape to man? – A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the superman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment …” – Friedrich Nietzsche, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”
In the Superman myth, humans are either victims or villains who realize only a shallow existence. They are sheep to be herded, sheared or coddled by the state and protected by its mechanical shepherd that can see through walls; an ant-hill in the hands of a curious boy.
USE OF WEALTH:
One of the “tells” in literature is “how is wealth perceived and explained?” In Batman, Ironman and The Green Hornet, wealth is neutral and can be used for good or evil: the love of money is the root of all evil but wealth itself is also an instrument of righteousness.
The heroes themselves are men of means whose generosity in philanthropy is only outweighed by their investment in criminology; a storyline that jives with both a Christian and a capitalist worldview. Not so in Superman.
Superman’s main antagonist is not Adolf Hitler, though he did battle with the Nazi’s, nor is it a creature from outside this world, though he’s had his share of scrapes with E.T. as well, but a businessman. Lex Luthor, the evil head of an evil corporation is the chief nemesis for the Übermensch.
So let’s recap; the world’s supreme Superhero – a journalist, tells us that the greatest threat to humanity is a business man, a corporate leader. A narrative that reeks of Occupy Wall Street and is the very perspective that makes up the backbone of righteousness in Superman was the expression of wickedness, personified by Bane in the last Batman movie.
Never mind Lord Acton’s maxim about power, forget the founders counsel about concentrated power, and completely ignore the fact that the 20th Century was bloodier than the previous 19 because of rogue governments killing their own people; we must allow our Iron Shepherd to crush the businessman. Well click your heels together and shout “sieg heil,” – (I think that’s Kryptonian for “hallelujah.”)
To paraphrase James Madison, “All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree – especially those spawned by Nietzsche who wield x-ray vision!”
Tags: james kirkwood, ONE