Evidence 101

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Superhero Ethics: 10 Comic Book Heroes; 10 Ways to Save the World; Which One Do We Need Most Now?

There are many authors who take me by surprise. Dr. Travis Smith is one of those. Recently, I dove into a good read:

Superhero Ethics: 10 Comic Book Heroes; 10 Ways to Save the World; Which One Do We Need Most Now?

 

I really did not know what to expect. I thought maybe it would reveal who was the best comic book hero we all grew fond of in our heart of hearts. The convergence and divergence of the comparisons kept me flipping the pages.

Is this the answer to the great debate of which superhero should be on top?

You might have to stick around for the contest to find out.  I found it endearing that Dr. Smith also unveiled his humanitarian side blended with a political strategy with a dab of common decency. You have to read it to understand what I mean. Perhaps I should explain more clearly, but I do not want to give out spoilers.

Superheroes have shaped and inspired us to cheer for good over evil. But you know, some of those supervillains were just so bad. Their additions made the stories so good.

Readers will discover brilliance and a unique perspective reflecting a hidden humanity mixed with nonhuman abilities. Smith dives into the complexity of several characters and bounces the internal conflicts each one possesses with societal comparisons. It feels like a twist and kneading of the perfect mix for a win. But can you do that? Superheroes are all so different with individual skills and abillities.

Furthermore, Smith demonstrates superheroes have a larger purpose than just entertainment value. Sure, we all see glimpses of these hero types in ordinary people during extraordinary moments captured by someone and displayed in the media.

But superheroes are more than that. They really stimulate the action junkie inside you. You want to be in their shoes. You want to be cheered by the people with your crime fighting capabilities.

I wanted to be them. You want to be them. We all wanted to be them. Right?

So what about the human parallels? Superheroes are imperfect. Sometimes it was frustrating, but that made us love the drama more. Even Superman was flawed with his weakness of kryponite which could symbolically resemble a human vice.

When Smith compares beasts such as The Hulk and the Wolverine, he writes,"As we will see, Wolverine's need to defend the innocent and act honorably in a social setting contrasts with Bruce Banner's desire to live separately from society, protecting others by isolating himself from stimuli that might engage his rage."  They are opposites but still the end goal is the same. Maybe that is why they all get stuck together in some adventures.

Smith goes on to explain the Wolverine is a deliberate fighter whereas The Hulk comes by being a hero through opportunity, unintentionally. Both characters struggle with internal clashes, but still persevere against evil and try to right a wrong.

The Hulk and Wolverine are dangerous and dark in the stories. They have savage responses which are sparked usually by anger and out of control emotions. In the same sense, they can somehow harness that aggressive behavior into a product they steer which can fight for the good.

As we grow with each superhero's story, they evolve almost with some sort of similar reality as a mortal. It is important for fans that there is a moral to the episodes, comics, or movies in which is relatable to everyday societal problems or futuristic chances of peril.  Perhaps it is social decay almost on the brink of destruction rescued just in time by Batman and Robin. Maybe it is a strong single woman saved from a horrific death and left to admire her savior while she uses her networking to help defend the world and aid her superhero crush. Don't forget about the characters who are on the fine line of going rogue but somehow turn to good choices.

Superhero Ethics is definitely a unique approach to human conflicts, behavior, and morality issues with an academic spin. I found it fascinating to read about all the angles Smith brings to the surface.

As he suggests, maybe Batman has more in common with Lex Luthor. Nah. I can't go there. He despises Lex Luthor. Batman still feels it is his responsibility to save Gotham City. He gives to needy causes as Bruce Wayne and intrigues us with the highest technology and secret black veil to disguise him as the dark of night.  Who could dismiss that raspy voice? He's just too good to be so bad.

Dr. Smith brings many viewpoints to the table which really spark a conversation as to which character is best. As a great author, it is designed to reach your imagination. Explore, through each chapter, the comparison to our own human conditions.

Travis Smith is associate professor at Concordia University where he teaches political philosophy. He remembers seeing Superman: The Movie with his dad on the big screen at the age of five. He has been collecting comic books since he bought a copy of Uncanny X-Men #207 in 1986 with his allowance from the racks at Stan's Variety. For over thirty years, Travis has made a weekly stop at his local comic shop on the day new comics are released to pick up the books on his pull list--from Comic Connection in Hamilton, Ontario, while he attended McMaster University, to the Million Year Picnic in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as he earned his doctorate at Harvard University, to Major Comics in Montreal, Quebec, the city where he now teaches Hobbes, Tocqueville, Plato and Aristotle by day, and fights crime by night.


Superhero Ethics is a fun read with very deep analytics. Heck, you should expect fantastic stuff from someone who received their doctorate at Harvard.  He does not disappoint. This is a book with profoundness and fascination. Great fun!

Stretch your imagination while you dive into the complexity of the character contrasts. I think you will find Smith is really on to something beyond the normal examinations.

I find it tricky he looks like an ordinary gentleman in his profile picture. Does he use a phone booth to change into his superhero costume? It might be what we least expect.

He even had a love for comic shops and collects comic books. That's pretty cool.

I also picked up those comic books as a kid. You might have done the same. Keep the thrills going by rushing to Amazon to pick up Superhero Ethics.  You get to psychoanalyze some of our favorites through Dr. Smith's perspective. It is so interesting and makes for a fast read because you can't put it down. You will love it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Go With The Current

First off, I must clarify this post with that fact that people I know can stop dying now. Please and thank you. Gah. What a rough few weeks.

Sometimes we paddle upstream or against the wind. Today, I am going with the current. Flowing. Keeping up on current events. Not pushing. Letting the stream take me where it goes.

Why? Sometimes God pushes you in these directions.

I have an exciting book review coming up this week and another one next week. Yay for summer reading! I think you will be impressed and excited to add them both to reading list.

As for me, I am still pushing full steam ahead. Doing what, you might say? A lot of stuff. I feel like Cinderella construction worker. Weeding, mowing, fixing, painting, blah blah blah. My summer has been zero fun and all work. So, I hope to be able to go swimming this hot weekend perhaps. Or fishing.

I wrote a new diddy here: Squeezing the Free Speech out of Cops. Enjoy. There are those who disagree and those who agree. Start a conversation. If you want to talk it up, find the posts related to this article on Law Enforcement Today's Facebook page.

Because today's society only absorbs 6 second blips, the news in short form. To keep you current:

Kate Spade, fashion icon committed suicide by hanging herself.

No more purses for you!

You never know what goes on inside a person.

Money does not make your world perfect.

It could make mine perfect, however.

There are some blunders in the news; ie. Fox with Philly Eagles, CNN with a WH event.

Wait, when are there NOT blunders in the news?

Seriously, I am beginning to think mainstream media are all satire sites and mimic the early days of the National Enquirer.

Guatemala volcano has been a factor in deaths and missing person.

Prayers.

The EU had a big move with same-sex marriages and rights.

A Senate report is criticizing the Iran deal Obama made and stating he "misled the American people".

It does not matter what the report says, many will buy in the report because they drank the Kool-Aid.

When will Americans realize no matter your party affiliation, presidents make some little and some huge mistakes.

All of them are imperfect.

Facebook is in trouble again.

It sounds like Mark Z should be in the NFL.

I think you get several passes and still get to play.

Passes, get it?

I'm punny.

NBC news reported the Republican candidate for CA governor asked for civility in the election race while the Democrat announced Trump was the issue.

Trump is not running for governor of CA.

If he was, can he legally run two countries?

Snork.

It's just a question.

By the way, who would want that job?

For reals.

Happy hump day, peeps!




Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Blue Umbrellas of Respect

The cure to saving humanity is: be kind. There. I solved the world's problems.

So let us give a statement of the problem:

1. People are killing cops. More so than before.
2. We have school shootings. More so than before. School is out for the summer. Relief.
3. Bullying is now a policy and might become law.
4. Terrorists are prevalent in every country. Attacks usually accompany them.
5. Gas is almost $3.00 a gallon and was over that a few weeks ago. We still drive. Like everywhere. We showed them supply and demand manipulation. Not.
6. Media are part of the problem but claim to have all the answers. Yet, they lie, skew, and cheat to pass an agenda. Look at what they have taught generations.
7. We have raised entitled brats because we wanted to give them more because we had more and suffer not. Yikes. We didn't pass on the coping skills.
8. Technology took away social skills.
9. Our rights are being chiseled away all in the name of public safety. This includes all rights, not just the 1st and 2nd amendments.
10. No one suffers any consequences. Prison does not work. The justice system does not have punishment fit the crimes. Reform is just a word.

11. Chicken Little used to be a moral of the story. Now it is the way of the world.

I could go on. But those are some basic observations. Amidst all this doom and gloom, I found some hope of humanity and respect left in our nation. Where? At a baseball game.
Respect.