Thursday, April 23, 2009

Superman - pseudo-Messiah from space

Classic Superman. Warner Brothers
The character was born 1932

The fictional cartoon character Superman has become one of the hallmarks of modern Western civilization. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel (1914-1996) and Joseph Shuster (1914-1992) in 1932. Today surprisingly many people know that Clark Kent, a humble newspaper man in Daily Planet, has romantic interest in Lois Lane. We are also aware of the horrible dangers of cryptonite to our beloved hero whose adventures are the more amazing the better movie special effects get.

In some sense Superman is a Western figure because there is something in his history that resembles the story of Jesus in the Bible.

As the story develops from comic book to other, from movie to the next one, we have learned about the humble parents who are taking care of this boy who arrived from the space, from elsewhere, and whose specialty is not so well known even to himself at young age. These "Joseph and Mary" take loving care of him but somehow he is different. And off he goes, from the telephone boot to the crashing airplane, the sinking ship, the train on colliding course, the falling child and voila! people are so happy and we all feel very satisfied that the catastrophe was avoided thanks to his X-ray vision.

Superman must have a mighty villain or otherwise the story would not be so interesting. Almost a devil like character capable of doing much evil is much more effective than some anti-Superman with equal powers and mischief in its mind.

Christopher Reeve (1952-2004) as Superman

Christoper Reeve (1952-2004) was in many ways the perfect Superman for the movies and most of us connect him to the character in the backs of our minds. His charisma, innocence and good looks combined to make a perfect mach with the cartoon character who was originally rather more robust and masculine radiating physical superpower.

After the riding accident Christopher Reeve
wanted to help others with spinal injuries

Theologically thinking, that wonderful person, in some ways the epitome of what is admirable in humans and their imagination, Christopher Reeve alias Superman sitting on wheelchair is a reality check to us all.

God is not detached from this world as we so often imagine in hope or despair depending on our relationship with Him.

There is a line that should not be crossed and need not be crossed.

So I write in great sadness about the riding accident that broke Christopher's back and put him in wheel-chair. And I write with great respect about his work after the fatal accident for the good of others suffering like he did.

de mortuis nihil nisi bene
I do not blame the actor Christopher Reeve. I blame those who wrote the script and made that Superman movie where the hero brings Lois Lane back to life by rotating fast around the planet causing time to go back.

This scene crossed a definite red line between fun and imagination and the reality of life and death. We people may not take it so seriously. Movie what movie.

It seems to me - and this is strictly my personal opinion - that God took rather seriously that humans are depicting an imaginary hero almost like His only Son.

John Lennon (1940-1980)

What was John Lennon missing? He had been given everything and more than a guy from Liverpool could ever hope. Money, fame, admiration and great future.

Why did he have to go and say "We are more popular than Jesus"?

Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)

And Kurt Cobain (1967-1994). After MTV Nirvana unplugged was there a young popular musician more respected than he? Why did he have to do that video that is perhaps the harshest mockery of Jesus dying on the cross created by our modern pop culture - a culture not exactly known for piety and respect for cultural values?

There is a thin but clear line that should not be and need not be crossed.

Word of God
Jesus was very clear about this. Let them mock me and call me crazy and a nuisance and a Samaritan or whatever. I do not seek my own glory and honor among the people of this Earth.

My Father does.

Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.

And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.

John 8:48-50 KJVA

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